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A lot of advice please! no clue!

Last response: in Systems
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September 17, 2009 5:49:43 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the month
BUDGET RANGE: a maximum of $5000.00/canadian

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
-Projects for school(using programs like mudbox, XSI, autodesk maya, Zbrush, photoshop, adobe etc etc)
-making videos
-flash games
-flash videos (cartoons and whatnot)
-Using work related programs (the ones listed above but a few more programs such as autocad, microsoft office etc)
- Playing video games (also apart of work, testing games and videos)
-Playing movies
-downloading movies, games and other stuff.
-watch tv on the net
-msn facebook and other trivial things such as that.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: NEED NEW EVERYTHING.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, ncix.com.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm not to sure, but i'd like to use at least 5-6 monitors, just because i can lol.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. although im not sure what this means, if it'll help boost my comp's performance, yes definitely.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: The best it can be, with hd and all that.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would prefer it if it could have some led lights in there, and a quiet tower. hmmm. Would also like maybe a touch screen monitor in the middle, anything else you think would be good with it, go for it.

It's gonna be used for alot of gaming, and gaming programs seeing as im going to a graphics/animation school.
Ahh, and money's not a problem, i've been saving for this thing since grade 8 and i finished grade 12, so lets have at it, i'd like the best parts money can buy, and maybe if you guys have some good monitor ideas, i wanna use like 5-6 monitors, that would be sweet.

More about : lot advice clue

September 17, 2009 12:55:33 PM

If you really want to build a $5,000 computer you certainly can, but most of the people who contribute on here would probably agree that buying top of the line is pretty wasteful in the computing world. Since you've worked hard for 4 years to save up that much money, I'd hate for you to find yourself wanting upgrades 6 months later because your system will no longer be "bleeding edge."

For example, just on the Tom's News articles, Super Talent is releasing a 1 TB SSD designed to fit in a PCI-e 8x slot. It has insanely fast read/write speeds in the neighborhood of 1.3 GB/sec. Pretty much 100x faster than the best you can currently find on the market. Even though Super Talent claims they are making one of the versions a "gamer" edition, it's still $5,000 alone, and they forgot the rest of the computer in that price too.

There will be insane gamers out there who have more money than sense, and will buy these despite the cost. But when new products like this hit the market, it always pushes the cost down on competing products, and makes things more affordable for us.

If you were to even cut your budget in half to $2,500 you could get most of what you want, and I dunno, invest the other half of it in intel stock. 2 years from now you'll have plenty of money for all kinds of upgrades, instead of an aged "super computer" that mainstream has caught up with, and no budget for upgrades.

Also, if you look at the benchmarks available here on Tom's and elsewhere, once you get past high-end mainstream products, every dollar you spend returns less and less performance the higher you go. Probably the best example of this is taking a $250 processor and comparing it with a $1,000 processor. There is a notable difference in performance, but the $1,000 is definitely not 4x faster than the $250 one. When you bring overclocking into the picture, the gap shrinks even more. Of course you could overclock a $1,000 processor, though it's harder to do, and requires even larger investments in cooling systems.

Since you are going to school for graphics and animation, you'll want upgrades down the road as technology improves.
September 17, 2009 5:46:41 PM

Ok sounds good. So what do i do now then? just cut my budget and work from there?
I still do need help with the right parts to get though.
Related resources
September 17, 2009 5:58:06 PM

This might be a good place to start looking. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended... I would recommend taking one of the Enthusiast builds, and make a few tweeks. Obviously 5-6 monitors will eat up a lot of budget, particularly if you want quality ones. I have seen a bunch of stuff that you would most likely want identical monitors for ease on the eyes and consistent quality.

ATI is coming out with the 5XXX series (next week? already?) and there are demos on the eyefinity http://gizmodo.com/5356822/amds-eyefinity-graphics-card...
September 17, 2009 6:07:50 PM

Read this thread - the secodn post has gamer and enthusiast builds.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

One problem we are going to have is you are about 2 weeks early on the multiple monitor things. Next week ATI ships the first good DX11 multiple monitor graphics cards. GPU advice will completely change after they are released.

Your budget is good enough to get an x58 motherboard with an i7 920 or a p55 motherboard with an i7 860 (an upgrade of the i5 builds). Either one is going to serve you well for a few years.
September 17, 2009 6:14:41 PM

Sounds like you have a case of the "I want it cuz I can have it." But saving that long to blow on a rig that will be good for a door stop in a few years doesn't seem like the best application for all that hard work and sacrifice. And wthman brings up a great point that you'll be wanting to keep current on tech and upgrade along the way, so blasting everything now is advised against.

From some of the questions you have and lack of knowledge, I kind of see this like learning to drive a car in a Ferrari. Its dangerous in the fact that you'll be buying parts you don't know how to use or if you even will use.

So first, a few questions of need?

Why the 5-6 monitors? I definately see the multi monitor need for you, but 3 is a lot of space. You've only got two eyes as it is. The touch screen? Do you have an app that will use one? If you're getting the best now before you get to school, I'd really wait. Get advise from instructors or upper classmen on what is needed and used vs what is cool but a waste of money. And heaven forbid you change your major to forestry in the middle if you've spent all that money on a computer instead of a Jeep. It could happen.

Some suggestions I could give though:
You'll want to look at a X58/i7 920 system or P55/i7 860. The 920 system will have a little more legs when the system is fully tasked, but you won't notice any difference when your under full load. Again, this comes back to listening to the experience of those in the field. If you're running as many apps as you plan, 8-12 gigs of ram would be warranted. Overkill for gamers, but you're into production.

Not sure how much you'd benefit from an SSD, but I have no hands on experience with them yet. Ask some eldars in the field.

I'd also wait till after the 5870s are launched. One, it gives you the most current tech for production and two, they support multi monitors better than the current gen cards.

I know this is more philosophy than help, but questions that need to be seriously looked at when dropping that kind of coin.
September 17, 2009 6:33:10 PM

Ahhh, alright. Well, i've been putting computers together for almost 3 years now, i just need help with finding the best parts at the moment, my last build was done this way, i asked for a list of parts and just built it myself. I'm not fully sure why the 5-6 monitors, i just thought it would be neat, i'd get a projector and do it that way, but i'd like to use different monitors for different things, one for trivial things like msn facebook etc etc, and another for mudbox, maya and whatnot, games n all that, but if it sounds to complicated to do or something i could bring it down to 3-4. I figure the touch screen would be easier to use with imaging programs like photoshop, mudbox etc, i'll be using a wacom tablet also, but if you advise against a touchscreen, then so bee it. My instructors just told me to get a fast, reliable well built computer, since they will be providing me with a computer at school, I need one at home, and this computer im on just isn't doing the job right. The school im in only takes 8 students a year, so they're all getting custom rigs too. Budgets from 2000-5000 as well. I don't think i'll be changing my major any time soon, the school costs 30 grand to get into, doubt im gonna throw that money away halfway through the semester lol.

Ok, i'll look into those when i have more free time, i gotta get to work in about 30-45 minutes. Yeah i would think i'd need a big SSD, but again, im not to sure. When will those be launched? and no problem, I'm learning alot, and i know it's in the best interest of me and my money lol. thanks for the info!
September 17, 2009 6:45:08 PM

Any chance you can find out what computer the school will provide you with? Might be a good basis to start with.
September 17, 2009 6:49:29 PM

Assembly is a little different than computer design and spec.

Lets try it this way, list what the computer the school provided for you is and where it doesn't cut it and we'll work with that as a starting point.

Give this a read too, would the monitor tech be a big cost factor? The IPS monitors can run $500+ but are recommended for production applications. Something else to ask around if its worth it.
http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=3584&p...

September 17, 2009 6:57:53 PM

I can find out later in the week when i go there, but there pretty insane, from what i've heard from previous students, their dual monitor'd, have up to 1 tb of hard drive space, and a x-large SSD, im not sure what else though, but i can get the real specs most likely tomorrow or the day after.
September 17, 2009 7:02:37 PM

Ahh alright.

No no, MY computer at the moment doesn't cut it. the one the school is providing is just right, but the one i want to build, i want better then the one at school, because i'll be using it more then the one at school. if that makes any sense.
If what your asking is would money be a factor for the monitors, then no it wouldn't, i can dip into my savings more if i have to. i'll check that out too thanks!
September 17, 2009 7:13:09 PM

We cant help you do better than the school 's computer until we know what the school's computer is.
September 17, 2009 7:38:49 PM

OCZ OCZ3OB1600LV6GK 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 CL 9-9-9-24 Triple Channel Memory Kit(12gb two kits)

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42867

Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34598&promoi...

Cooler Master Haf 932 Full Tower Black EATX Case 6X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PSU USB eSATA 1394 Audio

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33029


Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme 1366RT Heatpipe Cooler LGA1366 120MM Fan FDB 1600RPM 28.0DBA 63

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34994

Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM(3 off these)

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=31000

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 2 off

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=37916&vpn=01G-P3-1180...


Corsair TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Active PFC 140M Fan Power Supply

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35156


ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 X58 ATX LGA1366 DDR3 LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E4 2PCI CrossFire SLI SATA2 Motherboard

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=36225

Samsung SyncMaster T240HD 24IN Widescreen LCD Monitor 1920X1200 5ms DVI VGA HDMI Component DTV Tuner 3 off

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=39287


Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard USB Black Color LCD Programmable MULTI-COLOR Backlit Keys 2 USB Ports

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=37678

OCZ Vertex 120GB 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=36023

Logitech G9 Laser Mouse 3200DPI USB2.0 1000HZ Weight Adjustable Black
Usually ships in 1-2 business

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=25637

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64BIT OEM DVD with Windows 7 Upgrade

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=40693

all for $4,832.68 ex shipping (not saying get this but just to give you an idea)
September 17, 2009 7:54:35 PM

If you really do want to blow your entire budget in one go, obsidian's build certainly does it with style. I still think holding back a portion of your budget will serve you better in the long run. Not sure how busy your school will keep you, but I'm assuming you won't have much spare time to work while you're a student. I'm sure when you finish, you'll be making bank, but you'll want to keep this system alive and kicking until then.
September 17, 2009 8:05:00 PM

you could cut $1000 off the build by going with 2 minitors instead of 3 ,2 hdd's instead of 3 and a single gtx 285
September 17, 2009 8:12:35 PM

yeah, I'd even say moving down to a Logitech G15 might be a good idea too. I agree that the G19 is a sweet keyboard, but it doesn't offer a whole lot more than the G15, or even the G11. It might cut costs by $80 at best, but unless you really need the tiny built in LCD when you'll have 3+ 24" ones in front of you, I don't see much point in spending the extra on a keyboard.
October 20, 2009 8:32:10 AM

Hey, sorry all, been busy with school and work, their having us create characters and environment mapping lol, but the specs for my school computer is from what they told me is an intel pentium 4 CPU 3.20GHz Microsoft Windows vista 64, 4g ram, and geforce 9800gtx, but that's from what students have said.
October 20, 2009 8:34:42 AM

But im hoping you guys can help me come up with something good,
i saved up another grand in 3 weeks lol, but i this machine won't be needed for another month, right now im running everything i need on the school pc, but i'd rather not spend all my free time at school, so if you guys could put your input in again, i'd greatly appreciate it!
!