$1000 Workstation Build Advice?


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop multitasking (4 monitors), Media Center (2 extenders in the house), light video editing, Google docs, watching movies, gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (bought windows 7 today)


PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm leaning towards the Intel i5 based on the stalking of this forum, but I'm very open to AMD suggestions

OVERCLOCKING: Yes Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. I have two 20" monitors now and would like to go to 4 20" or an additional 24" which would make it a total of 3.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for a solid professional look. No windows required, but I like the cooling features of some of the gaming cases. I would like all the benefits of the gaming case with a professional appearance.

Hi everyone,

I need to upgrade :-). I have a DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ system that's on it's last leg. I'm a bit confused about the graphics card configuration I should go with. I'm not a huge gamer, but I do a lot of graphics heavy work mostly with the Adobe suite. I can't decide if I want to go SLI or Crossfire or just buy one solid card and go with three monitors instead of four. I would like four, but it looks like some of the new Radeon cards could easily handle 3 monitors on a single card. If I go 4 I should crossfire right? I know I can hook up four without the two being linked in crossfire but isn't it much better to link?

Hardware I'm leaning towards:

CPU: Core i5 750

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128405

Sorry I can't be more specific on the Video Card, HDD, RAM, etc...I'm hoping for some advice.

Thanks again guys...this forum rocks.
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  1. cschwatk said:
    If I go 4 I should crossfire right? I know I can hook up four without the two being linked in crossfire but isn't it much better to link?
    Actually, you won't want to run in CrossFireX mode to run 3 or 4 screens of different output.

    Here is a great combo deal on a professional looking gaming case (after you shut off the LED blue fan):
    Cooler Master RC-690 & WD Digital Caviar Black 640GB SATA HDD $100 (thats $45 off)
  2. Core i5 750 & GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 P55 MB $300
    4GB G.SKILL DDR3 1333 RAM $85
    Primary video card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 $290
    Secondary video card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4650 $55
    LG 22x DVD burner $28
    WD Caviar Black 640GB HDD & RC-690 Case combo above $100

    Combo on PSU and Win 7 deal: $170 before rebate
    OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W PSU plus $25 rebate and 10% off with coupon code: OZSAVEOCT, ends 11/1
    Windows 7 64bit OEM

  3. Thanks for your reply. Would there be any benefit to upgrading my RAM to 8GB? I think I can shave some of the cost off by using an existing video card as my secondary. I can also re-use my DVD burner. If I spent a little more and got the Core i7 would it be worth my while in the long run?
  4. Photoshop can put 8GB of RAM to good use. Not so much for the rest of your computer tasks.

    You could also step down your main video card to Radeon HD 4870 1GB, re-use a video card and DVD burner
    and probably get the 8GB RAM and a Core i7 860 with no great difference in the overall cost.

    A 4870 video card does fine on a 20" monitor but might struggle a bit on a 24" monitor with some current and future games if you like using the highest quality settings.
  5. Excellent...thanks again for your input. How does this look? I'm going to pull the trigger on it in the next couple of days if everyone agrees this is a good rig.

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail

    GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail

    POWERCOLOR AX4870 1GBD5 Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail

    SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C - OEM

    Hanns·G HH-251HPB Black 24.6" 2ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
  6. Anyone?
  7. That good price on the monitor ends tonight.
    I think you're good to go.
  8. Take a look at this ram
    Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996657 - Retail
  9. Hello Tobinator;
    The Core i5-i7 motherboards look for RAM voltage in the 1.5-1.65v range.
    That Mushkin Blackline spec is 1.85-1.95v RAM.
  10. Purchased everything. *fingers crossed*
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