Hi guys. I'm a new member, but have been reading the forums and using the website for years...
I'm working on a new i5 setup which I plan to use for software development (which is my job). I'm a desktop and Web application developer. I do almost no gaming. The only upcoming game I plan to buy is StarCraft 2... which I don't think will need much resources.
So here's what I have in mind:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: before the end of December 2009.
BUDGET RANGE: 750 USD after taxes (5%) and rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Application development using Eclipse IDE, watching movies (maybe in HD... still don't know), casual gaming, standard stuff...
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case (already have an Antec P-180), monitor (Samsung 226BW 22"), mouse, keyboard, DVD burner.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: bestdirect.ca
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: Not really, except for the processor
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, someday
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need two disks in RAID 1. Will install Ubuntu and *maybe* Windows 7.
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nVidia is currently getting the crap beat out of them by ATI. Check out the lower end 5xxx series (5750, 5770) or older 4xxx.
That HDD is also horrible compared to the competition. Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3. They're cheaper, faster, quieter, and just plain better. If those aren't available, a decent substitution is the Seagate 7200.12. It's better than the WD, but not as good as the F3, and generally the same price. If neither of those are available, wait for them.
Both the F3 and 7200.12 use 500 GB platters, while the WD still uses 250 GB platters. Basically, a larger amount of data is spread over a smaller area, allowing the data to be found faster. In addition, each platter uses 2 heads to read/write the data, allowing the F3/7200.12 to be quieter. This isn't something that shows up on the specs very well. I actually didn't know it until someone recommended them to me a month or so ago.
If you check out the charts through the link at the top of the page, the F3 is the best in about every benchmark, followed closely by the Seagate. WD is a ways behind. Just make sure you're looking at the same size drives.
I don't use Linux, so I wouldn't know about the compatibility.
After a lot of reading, I'll stay with nVidia. I've read too many people having problems with Ubuntu and ATI 5750 (and many others). ATI open source drivers seem to become better and better, so I might switch back in a year or two, we'll see.
After giving it some thought, I also decided to buy the Asus nVidia 9800GT as it comes with an HDMI port instead of a second DVI port (which I don't need at home). There's also a $20 mail-in rebate (which I hope I won't forget about )
So here's what should be my final build. I'll buy it on Friday:
Hey MattBass I'm a dev myself the most important thing you dont speak about here is the monitor set up. I've been working on a single monitor at home and I've gotten the chance to work on a dual monitor system. My productivity was tripled. It is as essential as tabbed browsing. This is like tabbed browsing x 2. You MUST have a dual monitor set up. Seriously if you have to downgrade your processor or what not to buy a monitor than do so.
You're totally right about that zoemayne. I have a dual monitor setup at my job, but it won't be an option at home for a while. I use my home computer for 1 or 2 contracts a year so it's not a big problem. Still, I totally understand what you mean.
One thing I do though, I use multiple desktops on Ubuntu. One or two IDE's on a desktop, two or three browsers on another, and so on.
Thanks for your input, it's very much appreciated.