$1300-1600 Multi-purpose Computer

Hello all,

Recently my 6 year old computer started failing on me from software to hardware. Such as, my CPU's fan fell off and then the CPU started to fail after a fan was reattached. I came to the conclusion that it's time was up and it should just be used as an alternate computer or one my girlfriend can use when she needs a Windows based computer (She's a mac user) as it still runs with some old parts. I am a neophyte when it comes to computer building (I have only upgraded parts such as PSU, Video card, etc) and I have two options present so far: include the middle man (most likely more costly) and buy a pre-built computer, or build my own rig. I have not had much time to look over "*Guide to Choosing Parts*," "Homebuilt PC Buying Guide," and "Step-by-Step Guide to Building a PC" yet and I plan to as soon as this week calms down a bit, but here is a list I have composed based of off other examples:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The first week of May, 2010.

BUDGET RANGE: $1300-1600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Modeling/Rendering (XSI/Softimage), Adobe CS4 Suite, Gaming, Watching Movies, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor(s) perhaps. Currently I have two ViewSonic 19 inch monitors currently. Read below for more info.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: http://ncix.com/ (Will allow others long as there's no high shipping cost and is trusted)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe; I heard Nvidia is not doing so hot and currently I'm using a 9800 GT and I really would like to try out a Radeon. I found a review on Tom's Hardware that stated that these types were the "best bang for your buck".

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900+. I've always been in 1440x900 but would prefer to go higher.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Preferably a quiet PC since I do some sound recording. I would really like a bad ass looking computer case too - since I've always had horrid looking stock cases.

As for the list of parts I have taken into consideration:

Intel Core i7 860 Quad Core Processor Lynnfield LGA1156 2.8GHZ Hyperthreading 8MB Cache Retail Box
$319.99
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=42498&vpn=BX80605I7860&manufacture=Intel

Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M4A1333C9 8GB DDR3 4X2GB DDR3-1333 CL 9-9-9-24 Core i5 Dual Channel Memory Kit
$279.99
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=42528&vpn=CMX8GX3M4A1333C9&manufacture=Corsair

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty
$71.05
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34286&vpn=WD6401AALS&manufacture=Western%20Digital%20WD

ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black
$34.83
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=49597&vpn=DRW-24B1ST&manufacture=ASUS

Coolermaster RR-B20-N620-GP Hyper N620 Copper 6-HEATPIPE CPU Heatsink W/ Fan LGA1156 1366 775 AM3
$59.99
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=50888&vpn=RR-B20-N620-GP&manufacture=COOLERMASTER

Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular Power Supply SLI ATX12V 24PIN Active PFC 2X8PIN PCI-E 135mm Fan
$137.49
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42359&vpn=RS700-AMBAD3&manufacture=COOLERMASTER

Intel DP55KG Extreme Series ATX LGA1156 P55 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 SLI Crossfire Motherboard
$239.99
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42992&vpn=BOXDP55KG&manufacture=Intel

Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Paste NON-ELECTRICAL Conductive 30 Gram
$31.97
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=33229&vpn=MX-2T-30G&manufacture=Arctic%20Cooling

Computer Case
$150ish

XFX Radeon HD 5830 800MHZ 1GB 4.0GHZ DDR5 2XDVI HDMI DP PCI-E DIRECTX11 Video Card
$259.99
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=51147&vpn=HD583XZNFV&manufacture=XFX

Total before taxes and shipping: 1585.29

My main concerns is trying to narrow the price down. I am really looking for something I will not have to upgrade for at least another 5 years. Secondly there are a few things I was somewhat unsure of. Such as, a SLI/Crossfire Motherboard would not really benefit much compared to a standard when it comes to modeling and rendering since software does not support it, correct? I am mainly trying to keep the specs as high as I can go, but I really wanted to include a nice 24+ inch monitor within this price range. My current 19 inch monitors get the job done, but they're so horribly calibrated and I've tried countless times to fix them and yet they still provide off color from other computers. Plus I would love a new monitor with a big resolution. Using a tablet on that would be heaven.

Once I have time I will look over the guide for picking hardware and refine my list even more but help would be appreciated.

IF and only if I were not to build my computer myself, do these seem like good deals?

http://extreme-pc.ca/showproduct.asp?menu1id=10&menu2id=5&menu3id=40&productid=370839

http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10334107&whse=BCCA&Ne=4000000&eCat=BCCA|84|22481&N=4009831&Mo=40&No=1&Nr=P_CatalogName:BCCA&cat=22481&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-CA&Sp=C

I recently had a friend who bought an Extreme PC computer and he is happy with the results, but I am unsure of how much he paid.

Finally, if responding to my post is too troublesome could someone please link me to a recent post with approximately the same requirements I am looking for? I am new to the forums and it appears there are many requests for help here.

Thanks again and looking forward to your response,

Keithley

Oh PS: Just found out Newegg allows Canada so I wouldn't mind that long as it's trusted. Can a bank account be used to purchase from Newegg too?

PPS: Sorry again, my last question is would it be more cost efficient to buy a HDTV or a monitor? I would really like a big screen for when my girlfriend and I watch movies or when some buddies of mine come over and play games. I am just worried about burn ins and all that so I don't know if prolonged use of a TV would be worse than a monitor. I spend quite a bit of time on my computer.
12 answers Last reply
More about 1300 1600 multi purpose computer
  1. Yeah ... you definately need to scrap that build, especially with YOUR budget ...
    ... I have been doing MUCH research on exactly your requirements and will make some very key suggestions, "after this week calms down a bit", as you say.

    ... For now?

    Start thinking about TWO PNY 9800GT-EE cards (not available at newegg ... tiger.com has them). This is the card used in virtually ALL CS4 builds that do not use QuadroFX cards.

    We are talking about a Gigabyte AM3 mobo based on 890GX chipset and using a 955 or 965 Black-Quad proc with fast ram and a decent CPU cooler.

    We can definately do it, on your budget ... I also want to hear more about current/future display options.

    ... Later !,
  2. You can get a $200-250 ($US) TN LCD monitor on that budget, but if you're doing pro-level work, you would probably want to spend more for an IPS monitor.

    You could use an HDTV as your primary screen, but I wouldn't recommend it for photoshop work, etc. Consider that your large HDTV is still only 1920x1080 pixels, but it's going to be double (or more) the size of your monitor. You'll need to sit much further away from it in order to reduce the blurriness, and even then it's quite possible that text & images will be a little off. I don't like to recommend that people go with an HDTV unless it's specifically an HTPC that won't be used for other purposes, or you live in a very small apartment/have a very limited budget and must also get the tv for entertainment purposes.

    I'm not sure what qualifies as a good-looking case to you, I'd recommend googling "computer case reviews" and just poking around to see what suits you aesthetically. You might also look at silentpcreview for good cases & ideas on other parts.

    Like Alvin, I don't have enough time at the moment to post a full build, but I do have a question about your budget. Does the $1300-1600 include the monitor/HDTV? Whether or not that's included will have a dramatic effect on the recommendations.

    Just for starters, 700 W is probably overkill for your uses, unless you expect to use CrossFire or SLI down the road.

    For hard drives, typically the Samsung Spinpiont F3 or Seagate 7200.12 are recommended, as they use 500 GB platters, which means they're faster, create less heat, and may be quieter than other drives with more platters.

    At the higher end of your budget, you'll probably be able to afford an i7, and the hyperthreading will probably be useful for your purposes. At the lower end of the budget though, an AMD quad-core will also perform well, even without hyperthreading.

    For RAM, getting tighter timings is more important than faster clock speeds. This G.Skill kit would work and I believe it's $15 less per kit (after shipping, pre-shipping on the Corsair memory).

    I'd like to take the time to thank you for a well-constructed post that follows the suggested format. There's been a lot less of that around here recently. :)

    EDIT: I'll try to post a list later, running out of time for now.
  3. This is going to be a very ugly, "quick-n-dirty" cut-n-paste from my two carts ... One at tiger.com and the other at newegg.com.

    The PNY 9800GT-EE cards (one or, better, two of these ... not available at newegg).
    Price: $105.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5274327&sku=P56-9824

    These 28" LCDs are perfect for edit workspace ... get two or don't get any.

    I-Inc iH-282HPB 28" Class Widescreen LCD Monitor - 1920 x 1200, 15000:1 Dynamic, 16:10, 3ms, VGA, HDMI
    Price: $319.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4938558&sku=H94-2804

    **********************************
    Everything else comes from newegg . . . This is where the formatting gets ugly.
    **********************************
    In no particular order . . .

    KINGWIN 15.74" SATA Data & Power combo cable Model SAC-04
    Item #: N82E16812226004
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $2.99
    select item 2 quantity of item 2

    BYTECC 18" Serial ATA-150/300 Cable w/Locking Latch Model SATA-118C
    Item #: N82E16812270093
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $2.89


    NEWEGG QUOTE INCLUDES TWO OF THESE
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152185
    ($89.99 each)


    GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813128435
    $139.99

    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ...
    Item #: N82E16817139005
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$30.00 Instant
    $89.99

    Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical Gaming Mouse
    Item #: N82E16826104178
    $39.99

    SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA
    Item #: N82E16820300608
    $12.99

    SIIG 3 Ports FireWire 800 PCIe Card Model NN-FW0012-S1
    Item #: N82E16815150151
    $49.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7Q-8GBRM
    Item #: N82E16820231329
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $249.99

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
    Item #: N82E16819103727
    $180.99

    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116758
    $139.99

    SONY Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9 Pro Pack
    Item #: N82E16832135216
    Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy -$35.00 Instant
    ($94.95 each)

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
    Item #: N82E16835103065
    $34.99

    Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Item #: N82E16820167023
    $224.99

    (CASE & DVDR COMBO DEAL)

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Item #: N82E16811129066
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

    SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827151188
    -$10.00 Combo
    $96.98
    $86.98

    ============
    Subtotal: $1,536.64
    ============

    Calculate ShippingZip Code: . FedEx 3Day Express Saver -- $139.37FedEx 2Day -- $201.20FedEx Standard Overnight -- $237.95UPS Guaranteed 3 Day Service -- $32.52UPS 2nd Day -- $112.68UPS Next Day Saver -- $123.96 GO Shipping: $32.52

    Grand Total: $1,569.16

    SO ... WITH THE TWO 9800GT-EE GPUs, (NO MONITORS) ... SHIPPED TO AUSTIN, TX. ... THE COMPLETE, "KITCHEN SINK" BUILD COSTS . . .

    ~~ $ 1,782.00 (INCLUDING Win7-64 AND A $95 copy of VEGAS)

    That's it ... mix-n-match !!
  4. forgot something very important ...

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

    $34.99

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Hyper 212 Plus wins a 10/10 review from Maximum PC
  5. Hey again folks,

    Thanks again for your quick responses. I've skimmed through each of your posts and I really appreciate the time you guys have taken to assist me. I will update my post soon with my new modified list and perhaps we can tweak it a bit more. Alvin, what would you like to know about my current display? I am currently running 1440x900 (sometimes I use dual screens) and in the future I would love to run 1920x1080. Though, I probably would stick to one screen and maybe use my alternate 19 inch. One of them I plan to make a homemade Cintiq, though, it will not support widescreen and will limit the area it applies to. I overlooked a few key things and thanks for picking it up. I totally forgot about a HDTV would be horrid for photoshop. Same thing goes for the PSU, Coldsleep. :)

    Talk to you guys soon,

    Keithley

    Edit: Have you guys always had positive experiences dealing with Tigerdirect? I was going to buy a computer from them a long time ago and they had a really good one and a week later when I was almost going to put it on the credit card, the price fluxuated to almost $600 (CAD) more. It was not on a special or something either. I phoned them and the customer service just explained it happens. :P
  6. Sorry I didn't get back to this and come up with something, I'll wait until you post a new list before getting too crazy. Edited the G.Skill RAM info above, apparently I trailed off mid-sentence.

    I've never bought from Tigerdirect, so I can't say. From looking at prices here and there, they seem to typically have slightly more expensive non-sale prices than Newegg, but somtimes they have good deals.
  7. Alright here is the new list. I haven't the slightest clue if I missed anything or not:

    Old - Intel Core i7 860 Quad Core Processor Lynnfield LGA1156 2.8GHZ Hyperthreading 8MB Cache Retail Box
    $319.99
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=4249 [...] ture=Intel

    EDIT:
    * AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

    $183.00
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727&Tpk=N82E16819103727

    Old - Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M4A1333C9 8GB DDR3 4X2GB DDR3-1333 CL 9-9-9-24 Core i5 Dual Channel Memory Kit
    $279.99
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=4252 [...] re=Corsair

    EDIT:
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model
    F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
    $116.49
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

    * G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7Q-8GBRM
    $252.49
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231329&Tpk=N82E16820231329
    Notes: What’s the difference between these two? Pins and how each one would fit or be compatible?

    Old - Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty
    $71.05
    http://ncix.com/products/index.php [...] gital%20WD

    EDIT:
    * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    $84.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433&cm_re=Seagate_7200.12-_-22-148-433-_-Product

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    $89.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&cm_re=N82E16822152185-_-22-152-185-_-Product
    Currently Unavailable

    * New - Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    $319.00
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167023&Tpk=N82E16820167023
    Notes: What’s the difference between these? Internal HD vs. Internal SSD? If it’s just performance, is it really noticeable? I currently have a external 1TB drive that hold most of my files. Main computer’s HD is only 224 GB.

    * New - BYTECC 18" Serial ATA-150/300 Cable w/Locking Latch Model SATA-118C
    $3.19
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812270093&Tpk=N82E16812270093

    * New - KINGWIN 15.74" SATA Data & Power combo cable Model SAC-04
    $3.49
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812226004&Tpk=N82E16812226004
    Notes: Will not having a locking tab at the mobo end cause a problem?

    Old - ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X SATA DVD Writer OEM Black
    $34.83
    http://ncix.com/products/index.php [...] cture=ASUS

    EDIT:
    * SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM

    $29.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151188&Tpk=N82E16827151188
    Notes: Alvin, in your post it said “$86.98.” Was this a typo or perhaps a price drop? Just want to make sure we are both looking at the same product. 

    Old - Coolermaster RR-B20-N620-GP Hyper N620 Copper 6-HEATPIPE CPU Heatsink W/ Fan LGA1156 1366 775 AM3
    $59.99
    http://ncix.com/products/index.php [...] OLERMASTER

    EDIT:
    * COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

    $29.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065&Tpk=N82E16835103065
    Notes: Is this compatible with the Phenom II?

    Old - Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular Power Supply SLI ATX12V 24PIN Active PFC 2X8PIN PCI-E 135mm Fan
    $137.49
    http://ncix.com/products/index.php [...] OLERMASTER

    EDIT:
    * CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

    $109.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=N82E16817139005
    Notes: See Video card and mobo notes

    Old - Intel DP55KG Extreme Series ATX LGA1156 P55 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 SLI Crossfire Motherboard
    $239.99
    http://ncix.com/products/index.php [...] ture=Intel

    EDIT:
    * GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    $139.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435&Tpk=N82E16813128435
    Notes: With a suggestion of this and the AMD Phenom II, will this truly be better than the i7 and a different motherboard? Does i7 really run better with SLI or Crossfire? I heard it would beat the P2 on any applications that are heavy on multithreading. I will also add a note to the video card selection that will tie into this.

    * Old - Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Paste NON-ELECTRICAL Conductive 30 Gram
    $31.97
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=3322 [...] %20Cooling

    EDIT:
    Notes: Does this type differ from the cheap kinds?

    Old - Computer Case
    $150ish

    EDIT:
    * Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    $89.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066&Tpk=N82E16811129066

    Old - XFX Radeon HD 5830 800MHZ 1GB 4.0GHZ DDR5 2XDVI HDMI DP PCI-E DIRECTX11 Video Card
    $259.99
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=5114 [...] acture=XFX

    EDIT:
    * (TWO) PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB Graphics Card - 1024MB, GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, Stereo, Dual VGA Support

    $105.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5274327&sku=P56-9824&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&AffiliateID=X3Th4gZi_iQ-rVaWEbGWhGM1_6sf.hc7KA

    From: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2521-5.html
    Would 2 x GeForce GTS 250 1GB in SLI Configuration or 2 x Radeon HD 4850 1GB in
    CrossFire provide a little extra boost for the price? Or maybe a single Radeon HD 4890 perhaps beat out the
    Two PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB Graphics Cards?

    New - I-Inc iH-282HPB 28" Class Widescreen LCD Monitor - 1920 x 1200, 15000:1 Dynamic, 16:10, 3ms, VGA, HDMI
    Price: $319.99
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4938558&sku=H94-2804&SRCCODE=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&AffiliateID=X3Th4gZi_iQ-0gieCO20.zL1gLpBrqa7nw
    Notes: Still unsure of the monitor. This one looks good but I have never heard of it. All I have heard from Coldsleep and others is to look for a good S-IPS / H-IPS monitor.

    EDIT’s edit:
    Hanns•G HH-281HPB Black 28" 3ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 DC 15000:1(800:1) Built in Speakers

    $339.79
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824254043

    ASUS MT276HE Black 27" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 ASCR 50000:1
    $359.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236080

    SCEPTRE X270W-1080P Black 27" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 DC 60000:1(1000:1) Built-in Speakers
    $309.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824112019
    Notes: reading Anandtech Forums monitor thread now and I would like to shoot for an IPS based monitor like you said. Now, how do I tell which is an IPS on my selection haha? I’m guessing it’s just off response times, dynamic range, etc. Oh also, I added the newegg monitors because I was just checking how much TigerDirect would charge for shipping and they only have one option: UPS Worldwide. The monitor comes to $289.99 with the instant saving and the shipping charge is $270.82. Not something I can afford unfortunately. Same thing goes with the graphics cards; is there a good alternative on Newegg? It Is $87.01 just to ship the graphics cards alone. I have yet to check Newegg’s shipping prices but when Alvin posted his list it said “UPS Guaranteed 3 Day Service -- $32.52” which is much more affordable. When I start ordering all these parts I would just like to order from 1-2 companies and hopefully the shipping cost will be low.

    New - Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse
    $49.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104178&Tpk=N82E16826104178

    * New -Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    $144.99
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116758&Tpk=N82E16832116758

    Additional notes:
    Already have Sony Vegas and Premiere (Older versions but it gets the job done)

    Price preview on starred (*) items: 1635.05.
    Still a bit above. Hopefully some tweaking can happen and some deals will carry out until the first week of May, 2010.
    The mouse and keyboard I will be fine with a cheap store bought one. I've been using a Microsoft compact mouse for a long time now and I've grown used to it. Also trying to put some money aside for the monitor so narrowing the PC price down will help a lot.

    Thanks again,

    Keithley
  8. I'm just going to answer the questions I know the answers to. :) I really have no clue on whether 2x 250 GTS cards would be better or worse than the 9800s.

    The difference between the RAM that you linked is the voltage. Well, and one of them is an 8 GB kit and the other is a 4 GB kit. The first kit is 4 GB and runs 1.5 V. The second kit is 8 GB and runs 1.6 V. That will really only matter for overclocking. I'd just get 2 of the 4 GB kits and call it a day.

    You shouldn't need the SATA cables, they should come with the motherboard. If you still choose to get it, locking mechanism or no won't matter, it's simply some added security that it's not going to slip out of place (but it really shouldn't).

    I'm not sure how to explain the difference between an SSD and an HDD. I'd recommend just going to an Apple store or Best Buy or whatever and asking if they have a computer with an SSD in it and play around with the thing. (The Apple store should at least have an Air.) I can say that the SSD is an order of magnitude faster, but that doesn't really get it across. It's kind of like the difference between riding a kid's scooter or big wheel vs. hopping on a race motorcycle. Whether or not that's worth the cost difference to you is another matter.

    Here's some SSD reading material if you have the time (it's a little old, but still good info). SSDs are still high $/GB, and adding one in the future should be a relatively easy upgrade (same as adding any other hard drive). I plan to have one in my upcoming build, but it's not for everyone.

    As for the i7 vs. the Phenom, I'd suggest googling up benchmarks, but it's likely that the i7 will perform better for applications that make good use of additional cores, due to hyperthreading. This THG CPU chart has some details...it looks like for this specific test, the i7-860 completed in about 65% of the time of the Phenom II 965.

    Technically, the i7-860 (P55 chipset) is worse at SLI/CrossFire than the Phenom II (AM3 chipset). P55 can only do one slot at 16x, while AMD can do at least 2, maybe more at 16x. The other Intel chipset (X58) is equivalent to AMD. However, this only matters when you have 2 of the largest graphics cards (ATI 5970, and possibly the new nVidia 480), and even then it's only a 4% difference in performance. I don't think it's worth making it a deciding factor in your purchase.

    Here is probably more than you ever wanted to know about monitors: Anandtech Forums monitor thread.
  9. coldsleep said:
    I'm just going to answer the questions I know the answers to. :) I really have no clue on whether 2x 250 GTS cards would be better or worse than the 9800s.

    The difference between the RAM that you linked is the voltage. Well, and one of them is an 8 GB kit and the other is a 4 GB kit. The first kit is 4 GB and runs 1.5 V. The second kit is 8 GB and runs 1.6 V. That will really only matter for overclocking. I'd just get 2 of the 4 GB kits and call it a day.

    You shouldn't need the SATA cables, they should come with the motherboard. If you still choose to get it, locking mechanism or no won't matter, it's simply some added security that it's not going to slip out of place (but it really shouldn't).

    I'm not sure how to explain the difference between an SSD and an HDD. I'd recommend just going to an Apple store or Best Buy or whatever and asking if they have a computer with an SSD in it and play around with the thing. (The Apple store should at least have an Air.) I can say that the SSD is an order of magnitude faster, but that doesn't really get it across. It's kind of like the difference between riding a kid's scooter or big wheel vs. hopping on a race motorcycle. Whether or not that's worth the cost difference to you is another matter.

    Here's some SSD reading material if you have the time (it's a little old, but still good info). SSDs are still high $/GB, and adding one in the future should be a relatively easy upgrade (same as adding any other hard drive). I plan to have one in my upcoming build, but it's not for everyone.

    As for the i7 vs. the Phenom, I'd suggest googling up benchmarks, but it's likely that the i7 will perform better for applications that make good use of additional cores, due to hyperthreading. This THG CPU chart has some details...it looks like for this specific test, the i7-860 completed in about 65% of the time of the Phenom II 965.

    Technically, the i7-860 (P55 chipset) is worse at SLI/CrossFire than the Phenom II (AM3 chipset). P55 can only do one slot at 16x, while AMD can do at least 2, maybe more at 16x. The other Intel chipset (X58) is equivalent to AMD. However, this only matters when you have 2 of the largest graphics cards (ATI 5970, and possibly the new nVidia 480), and even then it's only a 4% difference in performance. I don't think it's worth making it a deciding factor in your purchase.

    Here is probably more than you ever wanted to know about monitors: Anandtech Forums monitor thread.


    It seems that the best option would be going with the SSD over a HDD. Thought, having a limited number of writes before it fails could be a downfall as the main hard drive, right? I thought all drives functioned that way. What I mean is the data is not really deleted.

    As for the CPU, the i7 seems to be better but perhaps the cost compared to the P2 isn't worth it. I'm still a little confused on the whole monitor, hard drive and cpu discussion. Maybe Alvin could shed some light here. I won't be making and final decision yet though so feel free to post back and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks Coldsleep!

    Oh yea, added a few monitors up above with some new notes.

    Keithley

    Edit: I am highly debating if I should buy the monitor over the next week. So if anyone knows any great deals please say so. :)
  10. If you do the math on how long that "limited" number of writes lasts you, it's theoretically a very long time. Though obviously there isn't any real-world data on how long they're really going to last yet.

    The difference between a traditional (HDD) and solid-state (SSD) drive failing is that if the HDD fails, it's true that the data isn't necessarily destroyed. However, to retrieve it, you have to put the platters in another similar drive enclosure and hope that there aren't any unfortunate incidents. At that point, you could retrieve the original data. With an SSD, if it "fails" you can still read it as is, though you couldn't boot off of it.

    My thoughts, in brief:

    SSD - worth moving to now if it fits in your budget, after you get all of the other stuff taken care of.
    i7 vs. Phenom II - i7 difficult to recommend at budgets less than $1500 for pure gaming builds, ideal for non-gaming edit rigs, difficult for mixed-purpose rigs to fit in the budget.
  11. SSDs are way better already ! ... enable AHCI in the BIOS/SETUP and "JUST USE IT" ... When SSDs start to fail, you start getting a few bad sectors, which gets scrubbed and you are up and running ... this starts in about 5 years of heavy office use and gets worse. ... In the end, the thing stops writing (after some error rate is reached) ... you can read and back the drive up for months, after that.

    = Al =
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