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Give me your opinion about my new $3000 build

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June 9, 2010 9:21:11 AM

PROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2-3 days BUDGET RANGE: < $3,500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Sony Vegas, MS Project (large scheduling), media center, mild gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, Asus, ATI, Lian Li

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (noob) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need a new PC. Want something fairly quite as I work from home and I'm on the phone often. Currently using a 4 yo laptop. I've got a decent budget and I'm not worried about building too big. Been in IT for 20 years but switched to IT PM about 12 years ago so I'm not as in touch with technology as I once was during my Banyan VINES admin days :-)

I've been researching parts for 2 months (case took the longest to decide). This is my final build. Tell me what you'd changed on a $3,500 budget.

Thanks,

1

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116762

Software Standard Return Policy

$174.99

. 1

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131614

Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

$299.99

. 1

SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817151087

Standard Return Policy

$169.99

. 1

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204

Standard Return Policy

$22.99

. 1

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835608018

Standard Return Policy

$89.99

. 1

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
Item #: N82E16819115225

CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

$289.99


. 4

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1501FASS 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136592

Standard Return Policy

$439.96
($109.99 ea)

. 1

LIAN LI PC-X1000 Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811112242

Standard Return Policy

$329.99

. 1

Koutech IO-RCM621 All-in-one USB 2.0 3.5" USB 2.0 Front Panel Multi-format Card Reader with USB 2.0 Port
Item #: N82E16820162024

Standard Return Policy

$19.99

. 2

Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998826
Item #: N82E16820226124

Standard Return Policy

$459.98
($229.99 ea)

. 1

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MJ080G2XX 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
Item #: N82E16820167027

Standard Return Policy

$229.99

. 1

ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 Platinum 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ...
Item #: N82E16814121382

VGA Replacement Only Return Policy

$519.99

Subtotal $3,137.83
Tax $0.00
UPS 3 DAYS $52.81
Order Total $3,190.64
June 9, 2010 9:41:28 AM

Although not a major thing, 1.5 and 2TB drives do have higher failure rates than 1TB and below. I'm not sure how much of an issue that is for this drive.

Not too sure about the mobo. I would've thought that you'd be able to pick up something just as good cheaper. Depends what you're wanting I guess.

I personally wouldn't choose that case, but that's mostly a personal preference - each to his own I guess.

For mild gaming, this card's probably more than you need, but if you want to get something good cos of your budget, then that's fine.

btw, what're you doing with 6TB of storage?
June 9, 2010 10:13:00 AM

These drives are relatively cheap. Same as a the WD Black 1TB (500Gb) platters and only $20 more for the extra space. I have a 5 yo and have been shooting HD video since he was born. I must have 50 DV tapes sitting around waiting for a PC powerful enough to start compiling. I eventually use all the storage. At the very least, I won't have to worry about it for awhile.

The case took forever for me to decide on but it was always going under the desk so size didn't matter and this is supposedly one of the best airflow while also being fairly quiet. It was either this case or the FT02. Well to be honest, I couldn't wait any longer on this one to start shipping from Japan.
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June 9, 2010 1:56:06 PM

Lot's of wasted money in that build. In fact, you can build a $2200 i7-980x workstation build that'll be significantly faster than that one for non gaming needs.

i7-980 $1000
GA UD3 x58 mobo $210
Seasonic 650W gold $169
G Skill Trident 6gb kit $210
HAF 922 case $90
Optical $20
Win 7 Premium OEM $99
Spinpoint f3 1tb $80
9800 gtx $110
X25-M 80gb $225

Make use of combo's and you can probably knock another $60 or so off the price.


For $3,500 you can build a dual xeon hexacore rig with a quadro.
June 9, 2010 3:01:56 PM

A few things, supporting what banthracis said-

Soooner-n-PA said:

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131614

Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

$299.99


Gigabyte x58-ud3r board would save you about $100. The p6x58d is more geared towards serious overclocks.

Soooner-n-PA said:

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835608018

Standard Return Policy

$89.99


If you're only doing a moderate overclock, you can probably get a cheaper fan (Hyper 212 or equivalent). The Noctua fan would be if you're trying higher than 4.0 OC, although the 930s do run a little hot compared to the 920s.

Soooner-n-PA said:

LIAN LI PC-X1000 Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811112242

Standard Return Policy

$329.99


Unless you're buying this case for the looks, which can be a personal preference, I'd suggest going with the HAF 922. I currently own one; it's awesome. Plenty of room for everything, and about $80. You can even get some good combos with excellent (smaller) HDDs, the 500gig to 1tb range. In terms of airflow, it's great- room for extra fans if you really want.


Soooner-n-PA said:

Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MJ080G2XX 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
Item #: N82E16820167027

Standard Return Policy

$229.99


Considering your budget and intended uses, I'd get two of these in Raid 0. They're blazing, lightning speed, fast and that will be enough space to upload your OS and a decent amount of apps. If you're worried about the ~.02% chance of the drives failing, then you can just run them independantly.

Soooner-n-PA said:

Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998826
Item #: N82E16820226124

Standard Return Policy

$459.98
($229.99 ea)


This is pretty High-End ram used frequently in significant overclocks- if you're not planning on milking every extra % of performance out of this PC via overclocking, you'd be safe to downgrade to the G Skill (as recommended above) or a comperable ram.

Soooner-n-PA said:

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930
Item #: N82E16819115225

CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

$289.99


If you happen to live by a Fry's Electronics or MicroCenter, these are $199.99.


Soooner-n-PA said:

ASUS ROG MATRIX 5870 P/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5870 Platinum 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ...
Item #: N82E16814121382


Overkill for a low-gaming build, but with your budget, it is personal preference. If you want to game casually at high to max graphics, then this is a great card.
June 9, 2010 3:40:53 PM

Basically give us a better idea of exactly what you want and we can fine tune a build.

Would you like to maximize performance/$ and get a good $2,500 ish build, or would you like to spend the full $3,500 and go dual xeon.

What exact programs are you using?
Do you need CUDA?
What games and at what resolutions?
Any particular reason you're selecting extremely expensive high end parts that provide minimal benefit over parts much cheaper?

Best solution

June 9, 2010 4:38:13 PM
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Case / PSU - The goals of "quiet" and "cool" require different approaches. The more openings the case has, the cooler it is, the less openings the quieter it is. My typical recommendation where quiet is the over riding goal is the Antec P183. My recommendation where cooling is the over riding goal is the Antec 1200 (or HAF 932), though I would guess ypou'll probably wnat to turn the LED lights off in an office setting. I should note that my son has an Antec 1200 and it's almost completely inaudible. You have to focus on it to notice the noise. You could spend more for something with higher aesthetic value to you, but I didn't think you'll find anything significantly quieter or cooler.

The 1200 has a lotta fans, back and top have 3 speed switches and fronts have variable speed knobs allowing you to balance cooling versus quietness.

Continuing on the quiet and cool theme, the Anttec CP-850 is also unique in this regard. It's larger from factor compared to standard PSU's allows it to run much cooler and quieter than standard PSU's, while matching or exceeding the electrical performance of the "best in the business". Once you consider the cost, it's virtually unmatched. See the reviews below:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Here's a summary of the top PSU's from jonnyguru:

For comparison purposes , the list below contains performance ratings (10 scale) at jonnyguru.com / prices as per newegg on 02/21/2010 and ones w/ double asterisks (**) made it onto silentpcreview.com's Editor's Choice List meaning they excelled at both electronic and acoustic performance:

Recommended for serious OC and twin GFX Cards
Antec SG-850 - 10.0 ($220) **
Antec CP-850 - 10.0 ($110) **
XFX 850W Black Edition 10.0 ($185)
Corsair HX850 850W - 10.0 ($180)

Recommended for Moderate OC and twin GFX Cards
Antec TruePower Quattro (TPQ-850) - 9.5 ($150)
Corsair TX850 - 9.5 ($140)
Seasonic M12D 850W - 9.5 (NLA) **
NorthQ Giant Connector 850W - 9.5 (NFS)
Etasis ET850 - 9.5 (NLA)
Silverstone Zeus ST85ZF - 9.5 (NLA)

Recommended for either OC or twin GFX
Enermax Revolution 85+ 850W - 9.0 ($250)


Best way to purchase the items recommended above in the US anyway is via the newegg combo offerings:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

For the first time, I can remember the 1200/CP-850 combi isn't listed. Here's the separate links
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo / CPU - The ASUS P6X58D is one of my favorite boards, but for $300.....the single LAN version the P6X58D-E is $60 cheaper and can be bought in a newegg combo w/ the 930 for $515 for a total $75 savings.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

However, given your budget and stated usage, I'd opt for the Asus Rampage III Extreme. Though targeted for the extreme OC enthusiast I find it one of the easiest boards for those new to OC'ing. It's BIOS has built in OC features such as "CPU Level Up" which by changing one setting, it will for example, reconfigure all required BIOS settings for say a i7-960. The diagnostic features are 1st rate and nothing could be simpler for determining why your machine didn't boot. My favorite feature however is the OC Profiles; this lets you save up to 10 or so separate sets of BIOS settings allowing you for example to switch between a 3.8 GHz setting for every day work duties with HT enabled to a 4.2 GHz setting with HT off for gaming by changing only one setting.....only $80 more than the ASUS P6X58D

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

Memory - With your budget, DDR3-1600 CAS 6 (6-8-8-24) . Grab these while you can .... just 2 or 3 weeks ago they were $240 ....now they are $220 w/ a $30 rebate, so $190 .... that's the cost of typical CAS 7 stuff. These have an advantage over the Ridgebacks as the latter has those tall heat sinks which are known to sometimes cause interference issues with CPU Heatsinks. THG reports that these heat sinks do nothing to help performance and impact on cooling is sometimes the reverse and they actually hinder performance. Mushkin does have Liquid Cooled modules (Model 998692) which are low profile and effective but I haven't seen those since February.

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

SSD - Again, give your budget, you might consider the faster Vertex 2 series from OCZ....50% more capacity for 50% more $ is pretty good ratio in SSD's

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

Hard Drive - Again, given your desire for a quiet and cool PC, the 7200.12's have a significant advantage over the WD's. The Seagate HDs run 5C cooler and 10dB quieter. Considering that each 3dB represents a doubling of sound level, that means that the WD's are 12 times as loud. In addition, the WD model listed is targeted and its formware tweaked towards sever usage. If you look at the benchmarks in the link below, the Seagate wins every one handily except for workstation I/O.

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2365]=on)

(Note: link may not work from inside forum....cut and past into browser)

Heat Sink - The the Noctua fairs well on the 775 platform, it has proven less effectibe on 1366 based system CPU's. The Prolimatech (24.29C) handily beats the Noctua NH-D14 (29.10C) on i7 PSU's with almost 5C performance difference.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

I'd recommend getting the Megahalems, a good TIM (IC Diamond or OCZ Freeze) and at least one PWM fan to start. 1 Fan is fine for up to 3.8Ghz...I'd move two two if you're going over 4.0 Ghz

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...

Grab a 2nd PWM fan and a PWM fan splitter below which will allow you to control the fan speed of the twin fans via the MoBo BIOS fan feature if you later decide to add a 2nd.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...

GFX Card - Not my field but given movie editing is one of your priorities, I would tell you that those that I know who are into that kinda thing are all using nVidia cards reportedly becaus eof CUDA. Read more about it here:

http://www.elitebastards.com/index.php?option=com_conte...

"Even compared to a fast Core i7 CPU, our relatively modest GeForce GTX 260 with 216 Stream Processors offered some fantastic speed increases, particularly in the various video transcoding applications at our disposal - If you're looking to work with large High Definition video files in particular, the difference in encoding times between CPU and GPU is notable in the extreme. ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre's SimHD functionality is also worthy of mention, allowing users to upscale DVDs with impressive results; quite simply, this is impossible using a CPU alone, and can only be achieved with a CUDA-capable GPU in tow at the present time."

I know that many video editing applications are specifically coded to support CUDA but to my knowledge Vegas doesn't "outta the box". There is a plug in available however that reportedly speeds it up substantially.

http://www.alivedownload.com/v1/vegas%20cuda%20plugin.h...

If that's the way you wanna go, I'd recommend the 470 as a starting point, twin 470's if you really want to crank it up

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

Card Reader - Recommend this over the one selected
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive - Given your usage, I see a $167 Blue Ray storage in your future once prices come down a bit on media. Hurry while 10% discount lasts

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

Summing that all up...

Antec 1200 $170
CP-850 $120
Rampage 3 Extreme $380
i7-930 $290
Mushkin DDR3-1600 CAS 6 $190
Vertex2 SSD $344
Four Seagate 7200.12 $320
Megahalems $65
IC Diamond TIM $7
Two PWM Fans $11
PWM Y-Splitter $7
Two nVidia 470 $700
Win7 Ultimate $175
Card Reader $35
Blue Ray Burner $167

Total $2,981

Now since I somehow left you wit $500+ :)  .....

Again with movies being "your thing"....if you consider RAID, you might want to upgrade your HD's to SATA III (6 GB/s) HD's. You only get a 33% capacity increase with these for a 82% increase in price but these 2 TB models might be attractive for you. For one drive you won't see performance increases on sustained writes but even a single drive will show some performance increase on cache transfers as it takes advantage of increased STA III bandwidth. However in RAID w/ 4 drives, being able to write to multiple drives at once will speed up movie editing and SATA III will help here. These are currently $200 if you act fast and will add $480 to your bill but still under the $3500 limit.
June 9, 2010 7:08:32 PM

^ The only way to get Vegas to utilize CUDA ATM is using third party unsupported software. That's a very bad idea with these types of professional software, doubly so if it's for work purposes.

He's better off switching to Cyberlink Powerdirector if he wants to utilize CUDA.

I'm not sure what other software he's using, so he may get more benefit from CUDA there, I'm not sure till OP clarifies though.

Also for the money he's spending, he should really be getting a 980x.
June 9, 2010 7:43:55 PM

^ I definitely agree about the i7-980x

+1 to SSD RAID 0 for OS/Apps

Not sure the price increase really warrants SATAIII yet, I would stick with the Seagate 7200.12 or Spinpoint F3.

Edit: Case-wise, the CoolerMaster Cosmos is very roomy, has excellent airflow, and is known for being quiet.
June 10, 2010 12:36:18 AM

Best answer selected by Soooner-n-PA.
June 10, 2010 12:38:55 AM

Thanks to everyone who responded. You've provided me with plenty to investigate over for the next couple of days (translation = my wife won't see my face for the next 48 hours).

Thanks again and I'll be sure to post again with additional questions. Cheers.
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