Student's First Build, ~1650

First time builder here. I’m heading into my second year of University (Electrical Engineering at Queen’s) and have decided that it is time to replace my old Inspiron 6000 (with a desktop). I’m excited to have this project in front of me, but need it to be completed soon, as school starts up in just a couple of weeks (eek).

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP (Preferably before August 16)

BUDGET RANGE: $1400 - $1900 (preferably around $1650) After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Surfing the internet, listening to music, gaming (Starcraft II mostly, probably others down the road), MS Office, video calls, watching (1080p) movies, basic programming, music editing (most likely using professional grade software), photo/video editing (hobby, does not need to be professional grade), SolidEdge ST, SketchUp. Possible use as a media server.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, mouse, keyboard, 1.5TB and 500GB removable HDs are on my desk waiting

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca (open to other reliable e-vendors, preferably Canadian)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Windows 7 (64 bit). I am leaning towards an Intel i7 Quad Core, unless you can convince me otherwise. Planning on dual monitors, so would need a video card that can support two 1080p’s (hopefully... if I can find a good deal). Not an expert on storage, but open to any solution, be it a single, larger hard drive with my two removable ones, two internal drives backing up to an external, RAID, or something else completely. Would like Bluetooth. Do not need (or want) a flashy case – prefer a plain, but functional, and preferably cheap case.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (preferably)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As you can probably tell I am not very knowledgeable, but am very eager to learn. Quite flexible with the price range - I want a quality machine that will last me a couple of years at least (with occasional upgrades), but I will listen to your opinions if you feel I am spending too much for the machine’s intended purposes.

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I’ve been looking at the following parts so far, but I’m far from settled on anything yet.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders – OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225&cm_re=i7-_-19-115-225-_-Product

^ Seems good, but really have no idea what the difference is between this and the other options. I’ve done a whole lot of reading on this site on CPU’s, but... what is the difference between the Bloomfield and the Lynnfield (apart from their names)? I’ve read that the Bloomfield is supposed to be superior, but am not sure whether this is a matter of fact or opinion.

Two mobo’s below... obviously wouldn’t be getting both...

ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131404

ASUS P6TD Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131403

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227365

XFX Radeon HD 5750 700MHZ 1GB 4.6GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180BD7820&vpn=HD575XZNFC&manufacture=XFX

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433

^2 internal HDs?

LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk – OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136181

LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136168

APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154098

APEX AL-D500EXP 500W ATX12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817154026

Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter Dongle (Vista Compatible)
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11866

^ Is it a good idea to buy such a cheap device? Ideally I would like range to stretch through my house... and is a dongle the way to go? Or something internal...


I was also thinking of getting a lower end camcorder (such as the one below), and finding software to use it as a webcam for Skype, Messenger etc. The advantage of this for me would be that I could bring it around me as a camcorder as well, which would save me a chunk of money. Buying a camcorder and a new webcam would be redundant, no? Let me know if anyone here has tried / considered this.

Aluratek Ahdvc03f Cinecam 1080p HD Digital Video Camcorder With Touch LCD 5.0 Mega Pixels CMOS Sensor with 5X Optical Zoom & 20X Digital Zoom
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16830251005

+ 2 monitors


So, there you have it. I would be using all of the above parts in the machine, save for the redundant motherboard. As it is now, it’ll run Windows 7 (x64) with an i7, 2 internal hard drives and 2 external, plus a Blu-Ray and DVD drive, 6 GB RAM, and graphics card... and I am open to SLI or Crossfire. Will my mobo be able to handle this? The space is a must for me – I’m already coming close to filling my 1.5 TB external, and would like to have ample room for expansion and backup.

Also, while going through my options, I began to feel concerned that I might be spending too much money. I do not need a supercomputer. As I’ve said above, I’m mainly going to just be using this build for browsing and office, with the occasional tinkering in ProTools, Photoshop, and 3D graphics programs like SolidEdge ST and SketchUp. If you think that I could opt for a less expensive part than I’ve used above, let me know.

Cheers, and I look forward to your responses,
Riley
7 answers Last reply
More about student build 1650
  1. [hmmm...]

    I just stumbled across this build:

    Enthusiast: $1,385.90
    • CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860
    • MOBO: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    • RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
    • HSF: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
    • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    • PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    • GPU: XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    • DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
    • Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    • Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
    This build will allow you to play games at max settings at a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 or higher...


    (from http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended-builds-usage)

    It is slightly cheaper than what I had priced out (a little over $200). Just thought having more options to choose from here wouldn’t hurt...

    Cheers,
    Riley
  2. Hmm think that is in USA dollars but togive ya an idea of mobile/portable college engineering/games/all rounder configs i do up (also in USD)

    The HD 5750 is a bit light weight for me
  3. batuchka said:
    Hmm think that is in USA dollars but togive ya an idea of mobile/portable college engineering/games/all rounder configs i do up (also in USD)
    http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-552.jpg
    The HD 5750 is a bit light weight for me


    So... it is your opinion that 1650 would be far too much then?
  4. I would never go with a seagate HDD, they have horrible quality. Go with a samsung spinpoint F3 or a WD.
  5. fps_noob said:
    I would never go with a seagate HDD, they have horrible quality. Go with a samsung spinpoint F3 or a WD.



    Thanks, fps_noob! I was wondering why they were throwing them into so many sale combos..... I'll keep that in mind.
  6. Hmm even in CAD $$ i would say your project could be concluded @ a lower price ^^
  7. batuchka said:
    Hmm think that is in USA dollars but togive ya an idea of mobile/portable college engineering/games/all rounder configs i do up (also in USD)
    http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-552.jpg
    The HD 5750 is a bit light weight for me


    Hey guys! Pretty excited, as I am about to order my machine. I’ve got (most) of it spec’d out below, but want to check the forums before I hit the “Buy Now” button.

    Four things that I am wondering about here.

    1) Any suggestions on a good match to this system for video card(s)?
    2) Should I be looking for a more expensive power supply? Would a RAM upgrade be worth it at all, and if so, to what?
    3) General thoughts – compatibility, bottlenecks, price, etc... How’s it lookin’?
    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now

    BUDGET RANGE: Whatever it comes to, pretty set by now since it’s mostly picked up by now

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Surfing the internet, listening to music, gaming (Starcraft II mostly, probably others down the road), MS Office, video calls, watching (1080p) movies, basic programming, music editing (most likely using professional grade software), photo/video editing (hobby, does not need to be professional grade), SolidEdge ST, SketchUp. Possible use as a media server.

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, mouse, keyboard, 1.5TB and 500GB removable HDs are on my desk waiting

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca (open to other reliable e-vendors, preferably Canadian)

    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

    PARTS PREFERENCES: (See below)
    OVERCLOCKING: Yes (hopefully, eventually... I would like to run it on its own for awhile, and once I’m more confident with it, start OC’ing)

    SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe – I am open to it. I am also open to getting a nicer card, and possibly adding a second in the future. Whatever you guys think.

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 (preferably)

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (See first paragraph)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders – OEM
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

    Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115225&cm_re=i7-_-19-115-225-_-Product

    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231304

    Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015

    COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
    LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136168


    + 2 monitors


    Thank you so much!! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


    Cheers,
    Riley
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