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Evaluate this $1000 kit, newbie builder

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May 4, 2010 5:52:34 PM

I'm about to undertake my first PC build. I'm looking to create a QUIET general-purpose machine, but it often needs to be able to run 1-3 Virtual Machines and occasionally transcode Tivo video (some HD) to DVD. Otherwise, there's nothing that would tax most modern machines. I don't plan to overclock or play games, and I don't run very many apps. In fact, my Win 7 64-bit C: partition is only around 22 GB.

My budget will be about $1000, excluding monitor, OS, keyboard, and mouse. I also have an existing OCZ Agility 60 GB SDD that will be my boot drive, but I'm adding a drive for my VMs, music, and video.


Here's my list:
CPU: Core i7 860, $199.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Motherboard: GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 P55 ATX Motherboard, $149.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/4G, 2@$136.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case/PSU: Antec - Sonata III Super Mini Tower Case, $99.99
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Antec+-+Sonata+III+Super+Mi...

GPU: POWERCOLOR Go! Green AX5670 1GBD5-NS3H Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1, $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW, 2@$31.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD (applications), WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive, $89.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...


Total of $998 before shipping and tax.

The RAM is what I'm most clueless about. I picked something off the RAM sheet provided by Gigabyte for the motherboard shown above. I'm also flexible on GPU, though I believe I want fanless and DirectX 11 support. Second hard drive is also flexible, but since I'm only running some VMs off of it, plus a big of video transcoding, I thought I should go with something between a Caviar Black and Caviar Green.

Finally, I ended up listing 3 vendors. Best Buy and MicroCenter are local, saving me shipping costs, especially on the heavy case.

Thanks for any constructive criticism!
May 4, 2010 6:00:13 PM

Switch out that HD for a Samsung Spingpoint f3. Also, go with G.skill ram. Both are a much better value.
May 4, 2010 8:16:36 PM

^ Switch to an i7-930 build althogther.

And swixt that GPU to a 5770.

(20$ more, Much faster for GPU enabled apps, can handle Eyefinty nicely)
Related resources
May 4, 2010 9:06:56 PM

builderbobftw said:
^ Switch to an i7-930 build althogther.

And swixt that GPU to a 5770.

(20$ more, Much faster for GPU enabled apps, can handle Eyefinty nicely)


I could not find a silent 5770. Can you recommend a specific model? Otherwise, I did find a silent 5750, POWERCOLOR SCS3 AX5750 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 5750 1GB, for $149.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). So it's $30 more, which I could do.

As for the i7-930, I'm not sure what I get for the extra $100 of CPU price. I think the motherboard is more expensive also.

Thanks for your time.
May 4, 2010 9:08:08 PM

antisyzygy said:
Switch out that HD for a Samsung Spingpoint f3. Also, go with G.skill ram. Both are a much better value.


OK, I'm sold on the Spinpoint F3, so thanks for that! I'll look again at the RAM tonight.

I appreciate your taking time to post!
May 4, 2010 9:11:03 PM

bmgoodman said:
I could not find a silent 5770. Can you recommend a specific model? Otherwise, I did find a silent 5750, POWERCOLOR SCS3 AX5750 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 5750 1GB, for $149.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). So it's $30 more, which I could do.

As for the i7-930, I'm not sure what I get for the extra $100 of CPU price. I think the motherboard is more expensive also.

Thanks for your time.


The i7-930 is 300$, Same as 1090T

and It is 200$ (100$ less than 1090T) at Microcenter.

Here is a very Quite 145$ 57701gb.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 4, 2010 9:23:11 PM

I know I may not be so experienced, but do you really need dx 11 support? Not many games support direct x11 and the 4770 might be a better choice as it has a better fps in most games and is around the same price.

Spoiler
*Credit goes to Tom's Hardware


Also, if you look into the past, not many games supported direct x 10, and with the consoles supporting a much lower direct x, it is likely for direct x 11 to have the same fate.

However, take my advice with a pinch of salt. It may be worth it with the video card you picked.
May 4, 2010 9:28:30 PM

Depending the size of VM's you want to run, you'll probably need more than 4GB RAM. I would also recommend the i7-930 on the GA-X58A-UD3R mobo. (Tom did a review on this recently, its on the front page) Pair that with 6-12GB RAM. You dont need blazing speed memory for what you are trying to accomplish. My ESX servers all run 1066 RAM with Xeon's.
May 4, 2010 9:58:06 PM

singalongconflict said:
I know I may not be so experienced, but do you really need dx 11 support? Not many games support direct x11 and the 4770 might be a better choice as it has a better fps in most games and is around the same price.



Also, if you look into the past, not many games supported direct x 10, and with the consoles supporting a much lower direct x, it is likely for direct x 11 to have the same fate.

However, take my advice with a pinch of salt. It may be worth it with the video card you picked.



No, No no.

Fail bench.

MW2 puts no load on the GPu.

Stick to a goddamn 140$ 57701gb!
May 4, 2010 10:07:24 PM

builderbobftw said:
No, No no.

Fail bench.

MW2 puts no load on the GPu.

Stick to a goddamn 140$ 57701gb!



As I said, take my advice with grain of salt, maybe I should have said a large grain of salt.

[*edit]
However, he said that he doesn't plan to play games. Frankly, I don't think many programs use Direct X 11 at all.
If the above is the case, why not get a 4890 or 4870?
May 4, 2010 10:39:49 PM

^ The 5770 is perfect for HTPC taks, as it can handle anything.

5670 struglles with some more GPU intseive tasks.
May 4, 2010 10:49:01 PM

I agree with the i7-930 and mobo suggested above. It just makes sense since it's $199.99 at microcenter.

Oh and I really recommend you rethink your gpu. Why do you want a fanless? You have a case fan, exhaust fan, cpu fan and who knows what else.

(5770 is a great GPU, I agree).
May 4, 2010 10:59:19 PM

fastx21 said:
I agree with the i7-930 and mobo suggested above. It just makes sense since it's $199.99 at microcenter.

Oh and I really recommend you rethink your gpu. Why do you want a fanless? You have a case fan, exhaust fan, cpu fan and who knows what else.

(5770 is a great GPU, I agree).


NVM!!!

Wrong thread!

yeh, 140$ 5770 1gb=Win
May 5, 2010 12:30:31 AM

fastx21 said:
I agree with the i7-930 and mobo suggested above. It just makes sense since it's $199.99 at microcenter.

Oh and I really recommend you rethink your gpu. Why do you want a fanless? You have a case fan, exhaust fan, cpu fan and who knows what else.

(5770 is a great GPU, I agree).


It's a NOISE thing. I have an nVidia GeForce 7900GS currently, and when I minimize, maximize, or switch to a different VM, the fun goes to high speed for 30 seconds or more. Every time. This computer is near the TV and the noise is distracting. Also, I've found that when I boot a Linux Live CD for testing, the video card fan run at high speed CONSTANTLY. Same whenever I boot into Bart PE or Ghost or Win PE or WHS Client boot. I absolutely HATE that noise. So there's NO WAY I'm going for something like that again.

Please keep in mind I don't play games on my computer, except maybe something simple like Risk. That's it. In fact, I'm only getting DirectX 11 as a slight "future-proofing" thing, though the reality is it will likely be a waste of money. As I said, I run some VMs and sometimes transcode Tivo videos to DVD. Maybe in the next 2 years I might get a hi-def camcorder and I might want to edit some HD home movies. Even that I'm not sure of.
May 5, 2010 12:39:47 AM

^ I garentee the card I link won"t bother you unless you are superhuman/insane.

You have Bob"s promise.
May 5, 2010 1:00:15 AM

builderbobftw said:
The i7-930 is 300$, Same as 1090T

and It is 200$ (100$ less than 1090T) at Microcenter.

Here is a very Quite 145$ 57701gb.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Bob,

Thanks again. I will seriously consider the i7-930. But my initial reaction is that it's going to be overkill for me with the amount of power it sucks. Even my Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz can run 2 VMs very well. I'm not sure I like burning 130W compared to 95W when I'm not often transcoding any video. Here's a quote from an Anandtech article:

"Perhaps this is a bit anticlimactic, but the Core i7 860 performs exactly where you'd expect it to. It's faster than a Core i5 750, faster than a Core i7 920 and slower than a Core i7 870." (http://www.anandtech.com/show/2839/9).

So I'm guessing the i7 930 might perform equivalently.

The motherboard goes from $149.99 to $219.99.

The next consideration is the RAM. For $274 or less, I get 8 GB of RAM with the i7 860. With the i7 930, I get either 6 GB or 12 GB. It looks like 6 GB can be had for $170, which does save $100. Or 12 GB for $340.

Of course, going with Socket 1366 might give me an upgrade path not found with Socket 1156, but since I typically keep a computer for about 5 years, I'm probably not going to upgrade the CPU anyway.

It seems like I can get an i7 930 with 6 GB of RAM for about the same as an i7 860 with 8 GB of RAM, with the main difference being power used and heat.

Is there anything else I'm missing in my analysis?

Thanks!
May 5, 2010 1:07:59 AM

^ I would realy get the i7-930.

The power usage is not that bad.

It's not an i3, But it is more than accpetable.
May 5, 2010 6:42:48 PM

builderbobftw said:
^ I garentee the card I link won"t bother you unless you are superhuman/insane.

You have Bob"s promise.


Bob,

I found this thread at SilentPCReview.com: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=56.... The second post says, "I also bought this and have been running it for a few days. The default cooler is an Arctic Cooling L2 Pro with customized plastic fan shroud. At stock 40% speed the fan is annoying in my very quiet environment. "

So I think I'll stick with the fanless 5750 at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

Still debating between the i7 860 and i7 930. I'll make a decision soon and post my revised parts list.

Thanks again to all for your support!
May 5, 2010 7:00:48 PM

^ i7-930.

But I highly recomend the normal 5770 I linked....
May 5, 2010 7:37:20 PM

builderbobftw said:
^ i7-930.

But I highly recomend the normal 5770 I linked....


OK, it is possible to UNDERCLOCK an i7-930 with the Giga-byte motherboard recommended in this thread? (Yes, perhaps I'm the first to ever ask you THIS question!) I hate the thought of 40 extra watts, minimum, at idle and I also worry about extra heat in a small room with inadequate air conditioning.

I'm a guy who typically values efficiency over pure speed, especially in the mundane tasks. If it helps, consider I drive a Camry Hybrid. :D 

Kind regards for entertaining so many questions.
May 5, 2010 7:48:41 PM

^ Uh...

Yes you can underclock, I think.

But you would proably lose power effeciancy....
May 5, 2010 9:10:08 PM

I'm not sure why you're being directed to the i7 930 over the i7 860. Not only does the 860 run cooler, but it has a much higher turbo mode. I would always pick the 860 over the 930 for the same price. An i7 860 build with 8GB of RAM would work great for your intended use.
May 5, 2010 10:56:16 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I'm not sure why you're being directed to the i7 930 over the i7 860. Not only does the 860 run cooler, but it has a much higher turbo mode. I would always pick the 860 over the 930 for the same price. An i7 860 build with 8GB of RAM would work great for your intended use.


Thanks for the input. Another data point to consider. Now I vividly remember why my last two attempts to build a computer resulted in 2 new purchases from Dell! ;) 
May 5, 2010 11:22:09 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I just thought I'd let you know that you were on the right track until being sidetracked by "Bob".

You want a quiet, fast, computer that will run VM's well. The lower power consuming and faster i7 860 meets those needs better than an i7 930. The passively cooled 5670 will also serve you well since you don't want to play games on the system and want it to be as quiet as possible. Builderbobftw always thinks along the lines of gaming systems and has a hard time making good recommendations for non-gaming builds.
May 6, 2010 12:09:58 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I just thought I'd let you know that you were on the right track until being sidetracked by "Bob".

You want a quiet, fast, computer that will run VM's well. The lower power consuming and faster i7 860 meets those needs better than an i7 930. The passively cooled 5670 will also serve you well since you don't want to play games on the system and want it to be as quiet as possible. Builderbobftw always thinks along the lines of gaming systems and has a hard time making good recommendations for non-gaming builds.


He's gonna have real fun with GPU enhanced encoding with that 5670
:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

Worth the 20$ for a decent card that can handle any non-gaming tasks.
May 6, 2010 1:13:21 AM

builderbobftw said:
He's gonna have real fun with GPU enhanced encoding with that 5670
:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

Worth the 20$ for a decent card that can handle any non-gaming tasks.


Do you have any experience with Avivo? I just assumed it was a really useful tool, but I just did a quick look at it seems very lacking, at least based on:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2337062,00.a...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2781

So now I'm wondering who is REALLY using this capability. Does it really work? If it doesn't, then I see myself going for the passively cooled 5670.

Thanks, Bob
May 6, 2010 1:15:21 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I just thought I'd let you know that you were on the right track until being sidetracked by "Bob".

You want a quiet, fast, computer that will run VM's well. The lower power consuming and faster i7 860 meets those needs better than an i7 930. The passively cooled 5670 will also serve you well since you don't want to play games on the system and want it to be as quiet as possible. Builderbobftw always thinks along the lines of gaming systems and has a hard time making good recommendations for non-gaming builds.



Thanks, and no worries. I'd rather be confused BEFORE I spend my money than afterward regret having missed something important!

I'm still weighing options at this point, but MadAdmiral changed his earlier recommendation from i7 860 to i7 930. Anyway, another data point.

More to come....
May 6, 2010 1:19:11 AM

On a separate note, I can see why you would want a 5770 (finally my head works). I apologize for the above comments about using a 4 series. However, I am not sure if encoding is stressful to a GPU (probably is though), but if not, wouldn't it be a bit overkill. But, I guess making it overkill is useful for other programs and it is better to have too high specs than too low specs.
[edit]
(Save the embarrassment of myself. oops.)
my bad.
:??: 
May 6, 2010 2:06:28 AM

^

yep.

The 5770 is only 20$ more, So you can"t go wrong.

And me and Shortstuff are best buds, so its all in good fun.
May 6, 2010 1:36:05 PM

bmgoodman said:
Do you have any experience with Avivo? I just assumed it was a really useful tool, but I just did a quick look at it seems very lacking, at least based on:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2337062,00.a...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2781

So now I'm wondering who is REALLY using this capability. Does it really work? If it doesn't, then I see myself going for the passively cooled 5670.

Thanks, Bob

ATI Avivo is most certainly lacking. I wouldn't waste your time with it.
builderbobftw said:
The 5770 is only 20$ more, So you can"t go wrong.

Yes, you can go wrong with it if you're not going to be using the extra power and put more importance on a quiet system.

Edit: I don't know why people are recommending the i7 930 over the i7 860. I see no benefit to a hotter running, slower, CPU. That's especially true for your intended use. The max turbo speed of the i7 930 is 3.06GHz while the max turbo speed of the i7 860 is 3.46GHz.
May 6, 2010 3:08:18 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
ATI Avivo is most certainly lacking. I wouldn't waste your time with it.

Yes, you can go wrong with it if you're not going to be using the extra power and put more importance on a quiet system.

Edit: I don't know why people are recommending the i7 930 over the i7 860. I see no benefit to a hotter running, slower, CPU. That's especially true for your intended use. The max turbo speed of the i7 930 is 3.06GHz while the max turbo speed of the i7 860 is 3.46GHz.


I'm still on the fence deciding between i7 860 and 930. As for the video card, MadAdmiral has recommended I go with POWERCOLOR Go! Green AX5450, because I don't do gaming. It sounds like GPU-based encoding/transcoding is a sham anyway based on what I could find on Avivo. It's an interesting idea to go with the $50 card now. Eventually if I buy an HD camcorder and want to begin editing HD, then perhaps I'd need to upgrade the card. I just keep adding up all these Watts for a machine that will only do encode/transcode tasks 10% of the time, and I'm wondering why I should be so wasteful.

Even an i7 860 with the AX5450 should run circles around my Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz with nVidia GS7900, right? With only a small amount of extra watts. I think the i7 930 needs around 40W more juice, and any video card that needs its own power connector like the 5670 or 5750 or 5770 be sucking even more power. And generating more heat and noise.

Anyway, thanks for hanging in and continuing to discuss all this!

May 6, 2010 3:28:53 PM

I'm with shortstuff on this one.

While the i7-930 is a great processor, most of the benefits to switching to socket 1366 are only realized in really intense gaming builds. Since both Intel sockets are due to be phased out next year, there's no real future-proofing available by going with the i7-930. The i7-860 should serve you well, based on your stated usage.

And I'm not an expert, but it seems like most GPU-based processing is done on nVidia cards...but any card that would significantly improve encoding/whatever would not be a passively cooled/no extra power card and would add noise to the system.
May 6, 2010 3:38:00 PM

The 5670 doesn't require an extra power connector. That said, the 5450 would be another option if you don't see yourself using the GPU for your video editing. You're right, GPU encoding really is a sham right now IMO. The quality of the video output is horrible. It may get better in the future, but the i7 860 is plenty powerful for video encoding on its own. Your results will be better just using regular software that puts the power of the i7 to use instead of the GPU.
May 6, 2010 7:32:50 PM

All right, I would go either 5450 or 5770 based on how much gaming you see you"reself doing.

May 6, 2010 8:08:25 PM

builderbobftw said:
All right, I would go either 5450 or 5770 based on how much gaming you see you"reself doing.

bmgoodman said:
I don't plan to overclock or play games

bmgoodman said:
It's a NOISE thing...I absolutely HATE that noise...

Please keep in mind I don't play games on my computer, except maybe something simple like Risk. That's it.
May 6, 2010 9:23:10 PM

^ Dude, I know that he wasn"t going to game, I just wanted to be 100% sre he would never get within 10 feet of a game in his life!

Calm Down, Why are you so angry?
May 6, 2010 9:29:07 PM

I'm not angry. I just don't like people getting bad recommendations in these forums.

I always make sure I either first-hand experience or have fully researched components and how they perform in specific tasks before offering somebody advice. I guess I just thought it was common sense that other people offering advice would do the same.

I'm kind of like the OP, I don't really game on my systems. I do a lot of video editing and appreciate a quiet system, just like the OP said he wants out of this system.
May 6, 2010 9:38:05 PM

^ Right.

I just wanted to make 100% sure that that specfic task wad the only specific task.

Calm Down.

Deep breaths.

May 6, 2010 10:43:57 PM

OK, regardless of which route I go, I'm wondering about what to order from where.

I've decided to get case/power supply at Best Buy due to weight and ease of returns.

I'm getting CPU/motherboard from MicroCenter for price and it is local. I think
if I am really unhappy with my choices, I can more easily return.

The question is about the RAM. I can't seem to find any well-priced RAM with low CAS latency as suggested in this thread. But I've read that there's not that much difference in CAS 7, 8, or 9. Maybe only a few percent. So I'm wondering whether I should go with some CAS 8 from MicroCenter just so it's all from the same place.

Similar thing with video card where I might get an HIS for $15 - $30 more at MicroCenter again for ease of return?

The only thing I know for sure I want is the Samsung Spinpoint F3 and it is not locally available anywhere I can find. Clearly that's being ordered.

Thanks.
May 6, 2010 11:01:10 PM

I'm pretty sure Best Buy doesn't carry computer cases and they don't carry quality power supplies. The PSU is the one component you do NOT want to scrimp on. A low-end PSU will cause all sorts of stability issues.

Apart from the CPU and possibly the motherboard, I don't know why you don't just order all the parts from Newegg. They offer the widest selection of components at the lowest prices. They also have an excellent return policy, not that you'll likely need to use it if you select quality components. I would avoid Best Buy like the plague.
May 6, 2010 11:06:04 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I'm pretty sure Best Buy doesn't carry computer cases and they don't carry quality power supplies. The PSU is the one component you do NOT want to scrimp on. A low-end PSU will cause all sorts of stability issues.

Apart from the CPU and possibly the motherboard, I don't know why you don't just order all the parts from Newegg. They offer the widest selection of components at the lowest prices. They also have an excellent return policy, not that you'll likely need to use it if you select quality components. I would avoid Best Buy like the plague.


+1.

Microenter has ome stuff cheap thou.

I would do a mix of Newegg and Microcenter.
May 6, 2010 11:26:47 PM

Well, my local BB did have the Antec Sonata iii with a 500W Earthwatts PS for $99.99, but it's gone now and no other local stores carry it. I guess I'll have to look some more and I probably should check out some of the quiet PC sites to be sure my rig stays cool and quiet. Thanks again.
May 6, 2010 11:40:04 PM

LOL, he said it was 100$ at BB, YOu linked him a 120$ one.

Good Job!
May 6, 2010 11:41:50 PM

yeah, but the 120$ one has a 500 watt psu...good job! :p 
May 6, 2010 11:44:34 PM

builderbobftw said:
LOL, he said it was 100$ at BB, YOu linked him a 120$ one.

Good Job!


Newegg has it in stock. The local store no longer does. Probably because it was a good deal.

EDIT:
@singalongconflict - The OP has said (multiple times now) that he's not planning on gaming. At least not anything more demanding than a flash game or something. You can run that with integrated graphics. There's no chance any modern discrete card is going to be a bottleneck.

By most measures, the i7-860 and i7-930 are the same processor. They both self-overclock, they both have 4 cores & hyperthreading. The primary difference between them is what socket they are on. For non-gaming builds, they're pretty much functionally equivalent, unless you need something that only socket 1366 can provide.
May 6, 2010 11:46:24 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
ATI Avivo is most certainly lacking. I wouldn't waste your time with it.

Yes, you can go wrong with it if you're not going to be using the extra power and put more importance on a quiet system.

Edit: I don't know why people are recommending the i7 930 over the i7 860. I see no benefit to a hotter running, slower, CPU. That's especially true for your intended use. The max turbo speed of the i7 930 is 3.06GHz while the max turbo speed of the i7 860 is 3.46GHz.


I don't know much about the 5 series, but I feel its better to have extra power than a gpu bottleneck.

Sometimes, it is not the clock speed for a cpu. For example, the Pentium 4 can go up to 7ghz, yet it can't run stuff as great as a quad going at 2-3gHz. Just saying, though.
May 6, 2010 11:48:24 PM

ares1214 said:
yeah, but the 120$ one has a 500 watt psu...good job! :p 


And Antec's bundle psu usually are good. I believe its 80 plus certified, right?
May 7, 2010 1:27:58 AM

So as of tonight, here's my proposed final list:

CPU: Core i7 860, $199.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0317378

Motherboard: GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 P55 ATX Motherboard, $149.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_ [...] id=0328212

LITE-ON DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM, $21.99 x2 = $43.98
(QTY=2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply, $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive, $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWERCOLOR Go! Green AX5450 512MD2-SH Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 512MB 64-bit DDR2 HDCP Ready Video Card, $41.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ, $109.99 ea x2 = 219.98
(QTY=2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NewEgg UPS 3-day shipping $10.95

VA Sales tax, 5% at MicroCenter $17.50

Total price $879.36

I expect I will also have to pick up 4 SATA cables and a 2.5" to 3.5" mounting bracket for the OCZ Agility SSD that I recently purchased.

I'm going to sleep on this, but I think this is a powerful non-gaming rig that doesn't waste much energy, make much noise, or thorw off heat. May eventually need to upgrade video, but as it stands should be able to handle occasional editing of HD home video. If I ever get around to it.

Many thanks to all for the debate and the back-and-forth that made me examine more possibilities than I might have on my own!

P.S. The RAM above was the only G.Skill RAM (DDR3 1600) listed on the approved memory sheet of the Giga-Byte motherboard. I realize that it is CAS9, but I thought better to pick from their approved list.
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