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~$1.2K Environmentally respectful Gaming, Adobe CS4 machine

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September 23, 2009 7:06:45 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1,200 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
- Adobe CS4 (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign)
- Playing games (Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, MMORPG)
- Watching streaming video & BlueRay movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, OS (have XP & upgrade version of Windows 7 Ultimate)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, amazon, respected websites.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer smaller case (mid-tower) and quiet machine. Would like a Radeon 5850 card.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not initially

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, 1920x1080 (preferred)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC that is environmentallty respectful. Basically, when the machine is idle, I would like it to use as little power as possible. Its the main driver for getting an LED monitor over the cheaper LCD.

======================

Here is what I've come up with so far:

Monitor: LG W2286L 22-Inch LED Backlit Monitor $230

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $80

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V $150

Mobo & CPU: Core i5-750 & Asus P7P55D Pro ATX Intel Motherboard Combo - $390

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 $93

Video Card: Radeon 5850 ~$240

Keyboard: Apple wired Keyboard $50

Current Total: $1,233

Please let me know if there are better components that don't use up a lot of power while the machine is idle. Plus I don't necessarily want to overclock this machine.

I appreciate any help you can provide!
September 23, 2009 7:14:24 PM

Don't forget a hard drive;

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

If you want to sacrifice some performance, and go with a low power option;

Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AACS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($64.99 + Free Shipping)

And you will need an optical drive;

LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($124.99 + Free Shipping)

However I do not think a Blu-Ray player will fit in your budget, your maxed as is;

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($31.99)

Edit: Just realized those prices were for newegg.ca, parts still will not change.
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September 23, 2009 7:28:14 PM

My bad! I was following links from other posts and compiling a system. I'll go back and edit the original post tonight with NewEgg US prices.

Good catch on the hard drive & optical drive. I completely forgot about those critical pieces. If I was to downsize some items (maybe get an older video card till the cheaper DX 11 cards come out next year) could I get a decent blue-ray player?

I have a PS3 which is my current blueray player so its not a necessity.
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September 23, 2009 7:36:56 PM

Well, you can save money by not setting your rig for crossfire/SLI, so you'll be able to get a smaller PSU, around 500W-600W.

Also if you're going with that LED monitor, an ATI 4870 would be able to max out most games at that resolution, even the really demanding ones so you really won't need to go crossfire/SLI. You can upgrade your graphics card later on when you feel the performance isn't cutting it anymore, most likely cheaper and more powerful GPU's will be available by then.
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September 23, 2009 7:38:20 PM

Ah ok, that makes a big difference, let me see if we can squeeze in a blu-ray player;

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($59.95)

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($89.99 w/ $10 MIR + Free Shipping)

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($199.99 + Free Shipping)

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($139.99 + Free Shipping)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($94.99 + Free Shipping)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($49.99 + Free Shipping)

SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($154.99)

LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($124.99 + Free Shipping)

LG W2286L 22-Inch LED Backlit Monitor (Gloss Black)
http://www.amazon.com/LG-W2286L-22-Inch-Backlit-Monitor... ($229.95 + Free Shipping)

Apple Keyboard
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB869LL/A?fnode=MTY1N... ($49.00)

Total: $1,193.83

You can drop the blu-ray player, and get the HD5850, or go with a HD4870 until prices come down and maybe upgrade to a HD5870 down the road.
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September 23, 2009 9:51:48 PM

First off, let me just say wow you guys are fast at responding and building systems! I appreciate the help Transmaniacon & Build.

If I decide to go with non-crossfire/SLI rig (which is the way I'm leaning to minimize power consumption) and I get a cheaper video card to hold me over (the Radeon HD 4870 has a great price point) till the cheaper DX 11 cards come out. What PSU and MoBo would you folks recommend?

I'm also open to other energy efficient monitors if you guys have something to recommend.

Once again, I appreciate the help!


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September 23, 2009 10:17:56 PM

the 5870 is more energy efficient when idle, using 42W less than the 4870.

to OP: why you need blu ray player anyways


"Comes to just $65 after rebates. Should be capable of running any GPU that you decide to get in the future. "

not the gtx 295..

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September 23, 2009 10:26:01 PM

I said future i.e. 1 year+. Which sane person would get a 295 when the new range of cards will probably be cheaper by then?
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September 23, 2009 10:31:39 PM

If power usage is a big concern, then yes the 5850/5870 will use much less than a 4870 at idle. And they are much better in terms of performance per watt at load. Also, the Corsair HX750 or HX850 psu has slightly higher efficiency than the older TX750 psu.
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September 24, 2009 1:20:05 AM

You don't say what you are going to be doing w/ CS4 but if it involves anything associated with accuarate color rendering, a large part of your budget is going to be eaten up by a decent monitor. TN gaming monitors, which often overcome their deficiencies with color over saturation just don't cut if for color accuracy. At the very least you'll want a monitor with an S-PVA panel (or IPS). At your budget, that limits you to the < $500 category which has very few worthwhile opportunities that still allow for damn fine gaming. IMO, best choices are currently the Lenovo L220x (if you can still find one) and the Dell 2408 WFP which can be found for $430-$450
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September 24, 2009 2:03:34 AM

JackNaylorPE: I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & Indesign CS4 for grading student work (in an intro class). At this point, accurate color rendering is important but falls in the nice to have given my current budget. Those monitors look amazing btw, and you can still get the Lenovo L220x at Office Depot.

=================================

Based on the input I have received, here is what I plan on purchasing over the next few weeks:

Case
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($60)

PSU
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($65)

MoBo
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
((Combo with I5 isn't available on New Egg anymore))
($110)

CPU
Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($200)

Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($95)

Hard drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($50)

Video Card
Will hold off a week or two to see if Radeon 5850 appears (~$250)

Optical Drive
I will use my PS3 as the blue ray player
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($32)

Monitor
LG W2286L 22-Inch LED Backlit Monitor (Gloss Black)
http://www.amazon.com/LG-W2286L-22-Inch-Backlit-Monitor...
($230)

Keyboard
Apple Keyboard
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB869LL/A?fnode=MTY1N...
($49.00)

Total: ~$1,135

Please let me know if you see something I missed or something that doesn't work with this setup. Also, I'd appreciate any order you recommend I purchase items in because of expected price increases or drops.

Thanks again for all your help! I truly appreciate it!
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September 24, 2009 3:10:36 AM

One last question, should I buy any thermal compound if I'm not planning on OC my processor?
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September 24, 2009 3:17:52 AM

hadrius said:
One last question, should I buy any thermal compound if I'm not planning on OC my processor?


No point, save the 6 bucks.
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September 24, 2009 3:21:12 AM

overshocks said:
No point, save the 6 bucks.


No point, Protect your CPU with only 6 bucks! The offer of the year!
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September 24, 2009 4:17:55 AM

lol. thermal paste is just to fill the microscopic air gaps between heatsink and CPU, making temperatures a LITTLE lower, hes not overclocking, theres no need for it.
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September 24, 2009 4:29:01 AM

For only $5 i think it worth it! Just an opinion here.
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September 24, 2009 5:40:53 AM

overshocks said:
lol. thermal paste is just to fill the microscopic air gaps between heatsink and CPU, making temperatures a LITTLE lower, hes not overclocking, theres no need for it.

Thermal paste is essential for creating a proper conductive surface between the CPU package and the heatsink. But then again, if he's not using an aftermarket cooler then he doesn't need to buy it.

I have a question for the OP though. If you want to be environmentally concious, why not just turn off your PC when you're not using it, instead of letting it idle?
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September 24, 2009 1:21:02 PM

Hi Youngster,

That is a great question! I do plan on turning off my machine whenever possible and powering it at the power strip (after I shut it down gracefully). However, since I'm usually grading, there are times where I need to access the machine for a few minutes and then it will set idle for a few minutes while I sometimes manually grade a portion of an assignment. Instead of powering it up and down all the time, I'm going for something that doesn't draw a lot of power for the few minutes I'm not using the machine.

Make sense?
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!