Mac user needs a BEASTLY PC for Excel and wants to build


I'm new and haven't built a pc before, but I have a particular spreadsheet that I need to run all the time that needs to be faster. I need to do this in Windows because it runs this file 50x faster than on the Mac. It basically comes does to the way the Mac handles copy/paste. The PC kicks its ass.

I think I could spend a grand on a PC just for that.

I've been using Excel 2007 via Boot Camp/XP on my MacBook Pro c2d 2.4 with 6gb of ram. I went to Best Buy and tested the file on a few of their quads and it was actually slower.

I want to build this PC to do run this massive spreadsheet. Don't really need gaming power/graphics..but it'd be nice to have the space to upgrade in the future.

Can you guys tell me what kind of gear I should be looking at?

What's going to make the biggest difference? More cores or more Ghz? Ram?

Feel free to give me a shopping list!

And when building a PC, is it as easy as installing the parts, loading Windows and drivers? I saw a build-kit on Newegg the other day and was wondering what else I'd need/to do.


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More about user beastly excel build
  1. I just got a bid to build a machine for me - what do you guys think of this?

    Integrated Realtek 8111D Gigabit Ethernet Controllers
    Integrated Realtek ALC888 7.1-channel HD Audio Codec
    2 x PCI-Express x16 Slots (Supports ATI CrossFireX; Supports PCI-Express
    1 x CPU Intel Core i7-920 Processor (8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
    3 x MEM DDRIII 1333 2GB 128MX8 (In order to maximize the performance of CPU
    -i7, we need to use 3 MEM since the CPU has 3 channel)
    1 x Samsung DVD-ROM
    1 x ATI Radeon 256MB Video Card
    1 x CASE

  2. Have you considered installing Windows on the Mac? That would be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new computer just to run one program.
  3. Hopefully that's not a 7200.11 HDD or a Basiq PSU... What GPU is that exactly? Is the ODD SATA? What manufacturer is the RAM made by? What case? If you fill out the form in my sig, it will be easier to help you.
  4. >>Have you considered installing Windows on the Mac? That would be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new computer just to run one program.

    That's what I have now. My MacBook Pro is running Xp via VMWare Fusion & Boot Camp. Fusion is slow, but workable. Boot Camp is quite fast. My system is a C2D 2.4, 6gb ram and it crunches a 20,000 line version of my spreadsheet in 30 seconds. I tried out a CDQuad with 4 GB Ram (Gateway SX) and it took a minute or more to run the file. I want it to be faster. I also want to run much larger versions of this file.

    The reason I'm looking into another computer is that I need to run it AND my Mac all the time. Ideally, I'd just have a badass MacPro with a virtualized XP, but it seems like the wrong time to buy a Pro and a dedicated PC would be way faster.

    I won't be playing games on this machine.

    I took at look at these comparison charts and it looks like the i5 could offer some serious bang for my buck in the Excel arena:,bGhkapiZmJjKYMg,bGlka5iamJfKacg,bGlka5iamJfKaMg,bGZka5iYmJTKaMg,bGhkapiZmJfKZ8g,!/

    What do you think?

    I also read that Excel can only use 3ish gigs of ram, even in Windows 7 64-bit. Is that true?

    If it was your money and you wanted something great for Excel, quiet and fast, what would you get?
  5. Assuming budget is not an issue and no gaming:

    P6T SE (the X58-UD3R has only 4 DDR3 slots, so beware)
    i7 920
    ATI 4670/4650
    Windows 7 x64
    3*2GB DDR3 1600
    WD 640 HDD (possibly 2x in RAID 10)
    Antec 300 or better case
    Corsair 400CX PSU

    If on a budget:
    AMD Phenom II X4/X3
    A good AM2+/AM3 motherboard
    2*2GB DDR2 or DDR3 depending on motherboard
    Same PSU, case,OS, and GPU as above i7 build.
  6. Why not use "Crossover" to run Excel as "native" on the Mac?
    > I gave up using Mac-Office (2004) due to poor performance.
    > I don't like sharing resources via Parallels
    > I avoid the hassle of booting into Bootcamp, even though Win7 runs very well on my MacBookPro 17" (2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM).

    So I installed Crossover, and installed Office 2003 (yeh, the old one).... and it runs MUCH faster than Mac-Office (excel, Word, PPT)
    -- Crossover maps the application to equivalent libraries on OSX

    Give it a go; I think you be pleasantly surprised, and no need to build extra hardware and move stuff around...
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