Workstation build, $500

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 Month or so.
BUDGET RANGE: $500-$650. Cheaper is better.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Audio editing and recording.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, displays, chassis.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: New to the egg.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
PARTS PREFERENCES: What I've got so far listed below.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dual 1280x1024
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Must have quad core, dual output passive GPU. Gotta be quiet. Would like lots of PCIe 1x slots as well as PCI for recording cards.

Here's what I've got so far, but I'd like to make this cheaper. I'm considering downing to 4GB of RAM. Any suggestions to take the price down?

CPU: Q8200 - $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115055

RAM: 4x2GB DDR2 800 - 2x$89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220227

Board: Asus P5QL P43 - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131393

PSU: Corsair 450W - $64.99 - $20MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

GPU: 8400 GS - $28.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814141068

HDD: WD 500GB SATAII - $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320

Cooler: Xigmatek HDT-S1284EE - $38.99 - $10MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233023

Optical: Cheapest drive I could muster. Long as it's a DVD-RW and SATA, it doesn't matter. - $28.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136167

This machine will be rackmounted in a custom case. Anyone with suggestions on making it cheaper? I'm trying to talk the guy I'm building it for out of 8GB of memory.
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  1. 8GB is overkill, 4GB is plenty.

    Your system will bottle cap at the GPU. If you want to save money and don't care about the GPU, just get rid of it and get a mobo with an on board card. Other than that, your system is already pretty cheap.
  2. Send your friend this link: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/2

    And yes, just get a motherboard with integrated graphics.

    What's wrong with the stock cooler that comes with the CPU? Does your friend intend to overclock a lot?
  3. the intel quad Q8xxx are the crappiest quads ever made by intel, also the 775 socket is dead
    you can easily get a am3 based build that is better and future proof.
  4. I agree with Daggs about the AM3 system. It's likely AMD's next line of processors will be compatible with that socket. And intel will not be making anything new for socket 775.

    But where do you get the idea that the the Q8xxx series are crappy? I'm interested to know. Links or stories please.
  5. Whoops, forgot to mention what it's for. It's going to be doing high end audio editing and recording, so the performance of the Core 2 Quad is warranted.

    The GPU isn't really going to be used, but I can't use an integrated solution and still get dual monitors.

    Yes, it will be overclocked, as I stated in the post.

    Edit: It won't be upgraded at all - the system it's replacing is a P4 unit. He doesn't prefer to mess with the "stability" of a system once it's built. Paranoid, yes, but I can't talk him out of it.
  6. I'm running Dual monitors on my ASUS M3N78-VM. It has the same outputs as the card you selected: 1 VGA, 1 DVI. It also has a third hdmi port. It's under $90 too. So you can find motherboards that fit your need with integrated graphics.

    Haha that's funny. He doesn't want to mess with the "stability" of the system and yet he will be overclocking.
  7. He's a former Mac user. It makes sense to him, I guess.

    Your board is nice, but the recording cards we're going to be getting are both dual slot, either PCI or PCIe (don't know yet) - microATX is just too small.
    I'll see if I can get him into a Phenom system (I've never built one). He won't be too keen on the lower performance, but I'll see what the price delta looks like.

    Edit: Both monitors are VGA, BTW, so the video outputs have to be VGA or DVI - Unless you're aware of an HDMI->VGA connector..I'm not.
  8. enzo matrix said:
    I agree with Daggs about the AM3 system. It's likely AMD's next line of processors will be compatible with that socket. And intel will not be making anything new for socket 775.

    But where do you get the idea that the the Q8xxx series are crappy? I'm interested to know. Links or stories please.

    from what I know, the Q8xxx are a castrated versions on the E8xxx, they present no value in regards to their price and in comparison to other quads in the market, this I've learned here, don't remember where I've read it.
  9. The Q8000s are whimpier quad-cores, but the Q6600 prices are inflated now that they're out of production. It's the cheapest 775 quad core available. It's got 95% of the Q6600's performance, and probably 90% of it's overclockability.

    If I was to drop the GPU, heatsink, motherboard, and CPU and trade them in for an AM3 system like this, what do you guys think? Tom's charts show this CPU being better than the Q6600 and Q8200 at stock. Like I said, the last AMD system I built was off on an Athlon 64 - how are AMD's overclocking margins nowadays?

    Board: GIGABYTE GA-MA785G-UD3H
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128395

    CPU: Phenom II X4 620 (not the best, but it's cheap)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706

    Cooler: Either this Zalman or a Dark Knight. Charts show this one's better, but I've never heard of it.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118051&Tpk=Zalman%20CNPS10X%20Extreme

    No GPU necessary with the 780 board.


    Edit: The 620 can hit ~3.2GHz, apparently. I'm pretty happy with that, I suppose.
    http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/amd_athlon_ii_620_x4/7
  10. Get the Core Contact Freezer. It's $20 after MIR at Newegg and better than the S1283.
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