My apologies for posting this again but I realized that this belonged in the new system build rather than the general homebuilt section. Just to recap, I need advice for a case, graphics card, monitor and CPU cooler. I'm pretty set on the other components. Looking forward to everyone's responses. Thanks and sorry once again for the repost.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: as soon as I decide all this
BUDGET RANGE: $2000 to $2500 for everything
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3D CAD (Rhino, Solidworks), Photoshop CS4 + Lightroom, Gaming (Dragon Age, Crysis, COD MW2 etc), General Stuff
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: India/USA
OVERCLOCKING: Yes CROSSFIRE: Yes (but not right away)
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 or 2560x1600
I'm looking to future proof as I will keep this rig for the next 4-5 years at the very least and just keep upgrading from this as the base. I might be upgrading to a higher end 1366 processor sometime in the middle of 2011
2. Graphics Card(buying 1 card now, then one more for Crossfire at a later date)
Option 1 -- Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-x
Option 2 -- HD 5970 (which maker -- Asus or Diamond or Sapphire or others?)
3. Case -- I will be OCing so effective cooling is a must. Dust Filters are a must as well.
EDIT: I really like the look of the Cosmos 1000 and is what I'm considering going with. Any alternative suggestions are welcome.
I'm basically looking at full towers. So the HAF 932 Blue and the Antec 1200 are also on my list. Also, does anyone know the difference between the Cosmos and the Cosmos S?
4. Monitor -- Again, no idea what to go for. At the very least I want full HD (1080p). Preference for either 24" or 30". Single Monitor at first, will add a couple more by the end of 2010.
EDIT -- Two monitors on the shortlist right now. Dell U2410 and HP LP2475W. More suggestions are welcome.
Regarding SSDs -- I don't want/need one. There are other things I'd rather spend the money on.
Regarding NVIDIA -- I'm opting for ATI because of Eyefinity and I'm not waiting for Fermi to come out
you need 12GB's memory not a measly 6GB's; check out the recommend spec's for the s/w you are using. 12GB's memory is a good place to start assuming you are using a 64 bit OS.
thanks for the reply killerswan. I will be using win7 Pro 64bit.
From what I've read 12GB isn't necessary unless I'm looking to do extreme multi tasking which I don't think I will be. I've also read that the visible performance difference between 6 and 12GB is at the most about 5% so I decided I didn't need it.
As it is, the software that I've listed recommends 2 to 4GB of RAM tops. So I figured 6GB should be sufficient for now.
I'm curious to know why you say 6gigs aren't enough. Also, do you have any suggestions for the 12GB? is 3x4GB better or 6X2GB?
Check the recommendations for your CAD and photoshop programs. They are the only ones that might use more than 6GB.
Do you need to play crysis at max settings at 1920x1200? If the answer to that is yes you may want to move up to the 5970. A 5870 will handle almost anything else.
Thanks for the reply. All of the software I use (CAD and Pshop included) recommend 4GB for the most part (and thats how much I have right now). I assumed that 6GB is a good enough jump with the option of upgrading to 12 later.
As for graphics, I've never had the opportunity to play crysis at maxed out settings and from a few friends i've heard that its like playing a whole new game so I would like to try it. Then again, it isn't a dealbreaker for me.
Thanks for the reply. I looked at the review link and I liked the Dell you suggested. Will add that to the list along with the HP LP2475W (trying to find a direct shootout between the two right now). I also looked at your thread and it looks like we're building similar rigs. The HAF932 is now on my shortlist of cases.
I picked these over the megahalems and the noctua d14 because it is compact and won't be affected by dust nearly as much as the air cooler options. The performance is comparable as well at approx +2-3 deg C which isn't a big deal since I don't plan on OC'ing over 4 GHz
8. Graphics Card -- HD 5970 (either Sapphire or XFX) .Thanks MadAdmiral for the advice. Whether I go 30inch now and/or eyefinity with 3 screens later, the 5970 will work out cheaper in the long run for me because I won't need an upgrade (hopefully)
9. Monitor -- I'll most probably wait for the Dell U2711 because it has everything I need (and Engadget claims it will be out next month). This CNET review has me sold on this monitor.
If it takes too long for it to come out then I'll end up settling for the U2410 instead (with fingers crossed on the supposed quality control issues).
There are only two things left for me to decide.
1. CASE -- right now its down to 4 Coolermaster Cases
Favorite Option -- Coolermaster Cosmos or the Cosmos S -- I would like to know which of the two is better. I like the look of both of them and from what I've heard, the airflow is better on the Cosmos S. Some advice would be appreciated.
Second Option -- HAF 932 Blue or Storm Sniper -- I don't like the look of either as much as the Cosmos but both supposedly have better airflow.
Interesting Option -- Cosmos PURE (any opinions on this?)
2. SSD -- I'm not totally convinced on the benefits of an SSD. I've got everything else that I need within budget. This is the only logical addition (or i could just save some cash). I'll probably be looking at a 100GB or higher capacity SSD as my OS drive for boot and apps. Any suggestions are welcome. Based on what I've read, the intel X25-M seems to be pretty good
Thanks a lot for the advice so far everyone. I hope to have this figured out by Monday.