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Away and Confused

Last response: in Systems
June 15, 2010 5:17:28 AM

I've built several systems, but my last was about 5 years ago. I just haven't kept up with the changes to desktop systems since. I've been reading review and articles etc. for a month in my free time(which is not much) but would greatly appreciate some guidance.

I have:
(Don't laugh) 3 Hitachi Super Scan Elite CRT monitors circa 1994 monitors. 1600x1200 and about 60lbs each. I Love em and have the room, but might go digital in the future.
DVDRW(Don't have a need for BlueRay right now)
Windows 7 Ultimate

My needs:
Firstly, I am a programmer/DBA/Sysadmin for a bunch of systems.
I'm creating a large Flash CS4 application where I would like my main stage to be on my center monitor; my tools, actions, timeline etc. on my left monitor and web preview page on my right monitor.

This is just one scenario, I typically have 30-40 windows open and maybe a few virtual machines. Need quick compile times!!

I'd like modest game performance, so I'm looking at SLI.

My price target was $1500, but can go a little over and a little under would be great.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819103727
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Rosewill - Pellucid HD Series Swivel HDMI cable (10 FEET)
Item #:N82E16882021125
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
MSI GeForce GTX 260 N260GTX Twin Frozr OC Video Card
Item #:N82E16814127464
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
Item #:N82E16811119160
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #:N82E16822136592
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #:N82E16820167023
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$75.00 Instant
Item #:N82E16813128441
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231277
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

This is what I'm working on, but quite frankly, I'm just confused as this will all work together.

More about : confused

June 15, 2010 5:27:55 AM

1. HD 5850 the way to go
2. U dun sound like a HC enthusiast gamer so no need 890FX :stick to single GPU solutions? 870 chipset
3. Beefy 650w like Corsair 650TX/Antec EA650 would suffice (related to #2)
4. Compiling/multitasking have a look at the Thubans?
June 15, 2010 6:07:09 AM

As I understand it, the AMD vs Intel scene has changed over the years and the comparison is now further apart. AMD is good for a budget gaming machine, but for anything else, such as compiling, you probably want Intel.

These will probably suit you really well, imo the best on a ~$1500 budget. Sorry, I don't have time right now to fetch newegg links.

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-930

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI

+ an HD 5850
Related resources
June 15, 2010 6:25:16 AM

As Idlewild has pointed out AMD really doesn't stack up very well against Intel in productivity. I'd like to go a different route than 1366 however.


This is the P55 platform. Based on what you've stated it doesn't seem to me that you'd need the ability to upgrade to a hexacore processor in the near future so there is little incentive to spend the additional money on 1366. The 860 will outpace the 920/930 (slightly) even while lacking triple channel memory.

I would recommend 8 gigs of RAM. With the amount of open applications, and compiling there really can never be enough.

As others have already pointed out I would suggest looking into an ATI solution for your video. The major advantage is that you can run all 3 of your monitors from a single card and do so in Eyefinity mode which allows you to create a single large surface screen. Your 3 CRTs would be seen as a single 4800x1200 screen. You'd want at least a 5870 if you plan on serious gaming. If just casual gaming you can get by with a 5830.

In order to pull off Eyefinity you will need a single VGA>Displayport adapter. These run about 25$. The other two monitors you can run from VGA>DVI.

One last recommendation. Investigate SSDs. For gaming purposes they really aren't currently worth the investment. In productivity however they're worth their weight in gold. No more 15-20 second load times for Photoshop, CS4, Office. I can open Photoshop in under 3 seconds. Coming from a rig that it took over 30 seonds on, it's impressive.
June 15, 2010 2:43:04 PM

a4mula has pointed out a superb option, and you will need a lot of RAM for your intended usage. However, the 860/p7p55d-e pro is only $30 away ($488) from the 920/x58a-ud3r on newegg ($518), and the 930 is only $10 more. Perhaps triple channel is worth the extra $30-40?

As well, the UD3R supports dual & triple, whereas the p7p55d-e only supports dual. Something to consider for upgrades down the line.
June 15, 2010 4:36:34 PM

Let me know if you're software benefits from CUDA.

If not, here's a good x58 build.

Antec 300 Illusion $60

Spinpoint F3 1TB $70

If you buy in next few hours get a 120gb vertex 2. $270 w/ $30 MIR

If you miss deal, then the Intel X25-M 80gb $225

Corsair 750TX $110 w/ $10 MIR

G SKill Trident 6gb DDR3 2000 9-9-9-24 $200

G SKill Pi Cas 7 ddr3 1600 is $20 cheaper and also works. But, the tridents run 2000 at Cas 7, and 1600 at Cas 6, so there's a better performance there.

GPU/Power Strip
5850 and power strip $280

i7-930 and GA-X58-UD3 $485

Total: $1475 before $40 MIR and shipping
June 15, 2010 4:37:28 PM

Oh and if your current optical is IDE, I say just fork over $20 and get a new SATA one.
June 15, 2010 8:21:19 PM

Thanks for all of the replies, I think you guys got me turned in the right direction. The more I've learned I definitely needed to move from AMD/NVIDIA to Intel/ATI.

I went with:
i7-930 and GA-X58-UD3 $485 I already had these in my cart separate, but saved $15 with the Combo
XFX HD-585X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 $280
Nice combos and got a Power Strip 16GB USB Drive thrown in.

G SKill Trident 6gb DDR3 2000 9-9-9-24 $200

OCZ 120GB SSD $240 - Had an 80GB IBM for $225 - Thanks for the shell shocker

I wasn't even aware of Eyefinity. This sound exactly what I need. Got an extra adapter cable for my third monitor.

I stuck with my case(came bundled with a 600W PS) COOLER MASTER HAF 932

And stuck with my WD 1.5TB hard drive.

Went a bit over with $1548, but I think it was worth it.

Hopefully can start putting it together Friday.
June 15, 2010 9:10:53 PM

Should see if you can edit your order. CM PSU's are pretty fail. Better off getting a good one like the corsair I linked.