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$1000 - go to town

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September 30, 2009 5:49:19 PM

Alright guys, my four year old 3200+ Winchester and 6800GT are old enough to be stealing my social security, thought it's about time to make a new build. I haven't read up on computer hardware since so excuse me for being completely ignorant. =)

Figure you have ~$1000 to waste on a completely new build.

What do I need this computer for? It's mostly going to be used as a workstation. I'm a big photographer and need RAWs to be drawn/processed rather quickly. I spend plenty of time in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4. I already own a 360 so I don't anticipate too much PC gaming albeit I want to try the likes of Crysis and such. I know I'll be playing games on occassion so I'm not dropping down to some integrated graphics nonsense.

I've currently been doing all of my work on my laptop. It has a 2.2ghz Core 2 Duo T7500, 2x2GB (only 3GB found by windows, 4GB in BIOS - fail) and an nVidia 570m, which is actually pretty decent. But I can only assume that current spec hardware would run circles around this ***. I got the laptop through school, went mech eng so they gave everyone badass rendering laptops.

I need some kind of backup drive system. Losing originals is not an option. I need my photos to be in two locations. I don't really know much about RAID, only that RAID 0 is haul ass mode.

I overclock albeit I wouldn't consider myself an overclocker. I'm not going to spend hours and hours and hours tweaking voltages and timings and *** just to squeeze out a lousy hertz. Anyway, I hear these Intels seem like they come underclocked.

Anyway, here's with what I've come up with so far:

CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

Motherboard:
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

RAM:
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail

GPU:
PNY VCGGTX260CXPB GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

PSU:
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail

HDD(s):
2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Case:
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K56W Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic + Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Total: $1066.39 (after shipping)

I was initially considering the i7 860 Lynnfield given the uber reviews it's been getting. But after doing some reading, most people seem to suggest the i7 920 (1366) over the i7 860 (1156) because of triple channel memory. Some also say the 920 would be a better path for upgrading in the future, which is obviously important. I'd imagine the 920 vs 860 debate could be beat to death. Could anyone provide some opinions on this?

To take advantage of the 6GB RAM, I think I need 64-bit Vista, correct?

I know nothing of the current generation GPUs. All I know is that way back when SLI came out, it didn't make any sense. Pay double the price for less than a 50% performance increase? I don't know if SLI/Crossfire has improved since then, but I'm not yet convinced. I'm somewhat partial to nVidia, but I've been seeing ATI (are they still ATI?) all over the place.

I already have a DVD burner, mouse/keyboard, monitor. Am I forgetting anything? Ixnay the OS of course. =)

Anyway, that's the deal. I'd greatly appreciate any advice or opinions. Thanks guys!

More about : 1000 town

September 30, 2009 10:13:06 PM

Raid is not a backup. RAID 1 protects against drive crashes, but not the far more likely problems of file deletion/corruption problems or viruses. There are lots of online backup services you can subscribe to if you dont want to burn your own backups to DvD. (carbonite.com, mozy.com, etc)

The OS you want is Vista 64 with the Windows 7 upgrade. Windows 7 will completely replace VIsta pretty quickly as its much more stable in beta than Vista.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus CPU cooler $30. Good performance, relatively quiet and really inexpensive. You should be able to change a couple bios settings and get an i7 920 over 3.6GHz.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For you, upgrading to a 6 core CPU might be valuable in the future so x58/i7 920 is the way to go.
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October 1, 2009 12:29:58 AM

dndhatcher said:
Raid is not a backup. RAID 1 protects against drive crashes, but not the far more likely problems of file deletion/corruption problems or viruses. There are lots of online backup services you can subscribe to if you dont want to burn your own backups to DvD. (carbonite.com, mozy.com, etc)

The OS you want is Vista 64 with the Windows 7 upgrade. Windows 7 will completely replace VIsta pretty quickly as its much more stable in beta than Vista.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus CPU cooler $30. Good performance, relatively quiet and really inexpensive. You should be able to change a couple bios settings and get an i7 920 over 3.6GHz.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For you, upgrading to a 6 core CPU might be valuable in the future so x58/i7 920 is the way to go.

Thanks for the reply, greatly appreciated!

Are there any other backup options besides an online service or burning to DVD? How would you rate these online backup services? What would you recommend? I'd really rather not go with DVD route, would be too hard to organize everything given the size of some projects.

Regarding the 64-bit OS, will the 6GB of RAM be accessible straightaway? I heard you have to do some fancy stuff with PAE mode or something.

Thanks for the suggestion on the heatsink. I was definitely considering getting some kind of aftermarket cooler, just wasn't sure what's a good value these days.

6 core CPUs are coming? Jeez, I better go read up on all this crap... Apparently some new CPUs are coming soon?
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October 1, 2009 11:58:22 AM

Anyone else have any other thoughts or am I looking pretty good? I'm hoping to order this thing within the next couple of days.
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October 1, 2009 5:21:11 PM

calzinger said:
Are there any other backup options besides an online service or burning to DVD? How would you rate these online backup services? What would you recommend? I'd really rather not go with DVD route, would be too hard to organize everything given the size of some projects.
I dont use any of the online services, you will need to look at reviews. There are USB/firewire backup drives in addition to burning your own DvDs.

Regarding the 64-bit OS, will the 6GB of RAM be accessible straightaway? said:
Regarding the 64-bit OS, will the 6GB of RAM be accessible straightaway?
I have Vista 64bit and dont have to do anything special. Its possible XP 64 needed something but you wont want XP anyway.

6 core CPUs are coming? Jeez, I better go read up on all this crap... Apparently some new CPUs are coming soon? said:
6 core CPUs are coming? Jeez, I better go read up on all this crap... Apparently some new CPUs are coming soon?

Intel has 6 core nehalem "gulftown" CPUs (maybe called i9) already demoed. I dont remember if they are due out this year or next.
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