SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Graphic Design, Music recording/mixing, Gaming, 3D, General Office work
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Will need everything
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, amazon, tigerdirect
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: After a year or two
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200+
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This build will need everything, down to the surge protector. It’s been 10 years since my last personal build; it’s time to update. (And yes, it’s still running great without one faulty part).
This build will basically need to do everything. I have spent many weeks catching up to the latest and greatest technologies, reading posts left and right, and trying to figure out the biggest bang for the buck.
I do heavy graphic/audio work and have entered the 3D realm earlier this year. This machine will need to handle the load. This is why I added the dual monitors, the SSD, and the RAID.
Of course we can’t forget about gaming, which I can’t wait to play on an updated machine. The games I will be playing are the standard current line-up. I don't need blazing fps, but I would like something above average.
I do not have any true loyalties towards parts (sorry AMD), but I do prefer quality products. (Who doesn’t?)
The last thing I need to mention is that I will be searching for a used A/V receiver to run the surround sound and to connect things together (gaming consoles, PC, etc.). I have some decent speakers to start off with. The receiver will probably be an Onkyo, Pioneer, or a Danon. (8ohm 80W speakers). If you have any extra input on this subject, feel free to comment.
Below is what I put together after swimming through all the current posts and going back and forth on many items. Please rip it apart and add in any comments or questions.
After that, I'd highly consider dropping the SSD for now and getting a better GPU. The 5850 is a good card, but it's a bit weak for dual monitors. In addition, I'd consider a nVidia card (gasp!) because you're doing some non-gaming work that would benefit from nVidia's CUDA and other bonuses. If you're not worried about that (I don't know what you're doing exactly), I'd at least step up to the HD 5870.
Finally, combos are your friend. Use them. For example:
OK, I made some changes. Going based off of my needs and finding some pretty good combo deals, here is the update. I had to up the PSU due to (eventually) putting a 2nd 470 card in. Finding the combos saved $200. Thanks.
Any comments/concerns would be helpful. Will be ordering all this in 2-3days.
The build is great, nVidia requires 2 cards for a 3-monitor setup (while ATI 5000-series cards can handle 3 monitors on one card), but only 1 card for a 2-monitor setup. If you're looking at doing nVidia's 3D Vision (which I don't think you are, just making sure), I believe a single card can handle that on one monitor.
That I do know, but they are just out of the budget. I don't do enough to justify the cost. After a few more years I will be able to upgrade, but I'm not able to at the moment. But thanks for the reminder.
Nvidia surround requires 2 GPU's regardless of 3D or not. However, you could just not use surround and just use 2 monitors as normal. What surround and eyefinity do is simply treat multiple monitors as 1 giant monitor, as oppsoed to separate.
Talking about the PSU, I took a look at at CORSAIR HX Series 850 and the XFX Black Edition XPS-850. I'm learning towards the Corsair. Seems to be very solid and very reliable. I would technically be loosing $20 bucks switching to PSU's out because of the combo deal, but its well worth the comfort in knowing I'm using a better product.
As far as the monitors go, it is a pretty hard decision. It is an extra $60 for 2 small (quality) monitor. So I am just going to have to decide if I want the extra size, or the extra quality. Also, I just plan on using them as 2 independent monitors - nothing special.
Either of PSUs would be fine. XFX is gaining a lot of favor right now because of their quality and the pricing.
@banthracis: The problem many have with the Pi Series sticks is that they're very tall. They often interfere with heatsinks, which makes them a bit of a hassle. I'd stick with the XMS3 sticks I linked in the first post.
Alright guys (or gals), I think I got this thing all ironed out. I ditched the 2nd monitor for one nicer one. Some things got switched around to where I will be able to reuse another monitor I already have (not the greatest, but i does what I need it to do). Spent hours last night going over HP vs Dell vs so on and so on. While I like the u2411h, the NEC performed better overall at a lighter price. Any input on this subject would be appreciated
I also switched out the Antec case for the HAF X. I did some more reading and the HAF X is going to be a better buy in the long run when I add a 2nd GTX 470 and I really like the usb 3.0 in the front. Plus, the case is just sweet.