I've got a disgustingly old desktop that is in such bad shape that only a warehouse fan pointed directly into the case will keep running. As such, I decided a few months ago to look for an upgrade to better suit my gaming needs as well as my production needs as well.
I purchased an HP Pavillion dv8t laptop at max customization for a little under $1400, but was incredibly displeased with its performance in a game like World of Warcraft and editing in the CS suites.
I soonafter returned it after being scolded by many enthusiasts who had a lot to say about why the dv8t, (and most dv#t variants) were just stupid builds altogether.
So now I've got my $1500 budget, and am trying to make the best possible gaming and production rig I possibly can, from scratch, which will not be bottlenecked in the wake of immediate-future technologies.
My main gaming interests lie in MMORPG games such as World of Warcraft, and most of my production efforts lie in the Adobe CS Suite, namely Premiere Pro, Photoshop via tablet, Audition, and AE. Of course, building something that is beautiful across the board is most desirable, but I'm not sure if that's possible with my budget.
What specifications would be my ideal course for a media workhorse / gaming rig that wouldn't immediately bottleneck itself from future demand?
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By October 2010 (sooner the better)
BUDGET RANGE: $1,000 - $1,500 after rebates, tax, shipping, etc.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Latest High-Def gaming on max settings with seemless or close-to seemless FPS, High-Def video and audio editing and production
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: All parts aside from interface peripherals such as mouse, keyboard, speakers, are required.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Prefer notable websites such as TigerDirect, Newegg, Amazon, etc.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: No preference.
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Visual aesthetics are not important to me. QUIETER THE PC THE BETTER, as it will be used for home studio recording.
That leaves between 625 and 1125 for the CPU, mobo, and GPU(s).
I currently have an M-Audio Delta 1010-LT that I was considering moving over in to the new build, but I've also got an mbox interface package that works via USB, so if I picked up a newer card, I wouldn't necessarily need a huge variety of inputs, including optical. For the most part, I'm not too concerned with picking up a big player of an audio card at the moment. Forgot that little detail.
One of my biggest concerns, depending on how intensive the setup is going to be, and I imagine it will probably matter once I start exporting long pieces of HD media or long expanses of gaming, is additional cooling systems. Unfortunately, my current living situation leaves me in a poorly-ventilated living space that insulates heat like nobody's business, so keeping things as cool as possible internally is also a must.
Will 4GB memory hold up to multitasking several CS5 softwares at once? I understand that $1500 really isn't enough to get a serious workstation, but I'm trying to get it as close as possible.
Only you know your workstation load, I've never used past 3GB with CS5, but I'm not you. You could move up to 8GB by simply buying an additional kit if you think you'll need it. If you think you'll need more than 8 you'll have to get 4GB dimms, which are typically a bit more expensive/GB and not as nice, but it's not a huge deal. Alternatively, the X58 platform has 6 DIMM slots, so 12GB with 2GB dimms or 24 with 4GB.
If heat is a huge issue the ATI 5000 series is more power-efficient than the NVidia 400 series, but you'll pay for it.
It is meager compared to some independent film enthusiasts. I suppose I've just been struggling with an almost decade-old system that I feel like my workload is enough to cause problems, as it has for such a long time.
I've been doing quite a bit of research on your suggestions, and it seems that the X58 i7 setup is relatively popular with my demographic of cutting edge media and gaming technologies, so I think I'm going that route.
As well, I've taken a look at some SSD drives which seem to aid incredibly to fast loading (I loathe slow loading times and fear I might wind up having an OCD about this), as well as some faster memory.
It's upping the projected numbers you gave me, but I'm trying to think about lifespan in lieu of latest technologies both in media production software as well as gaming demands. I've never quite had what was required to really be at the forefront of either of these, and I'm trying to get a decent foothold this time around.
My cooling concerns may be unfounded, but heat in my locale in general is somewhat of an issue, at upwards of 110F, which is disgustingly insulated by my living quarters which has little to no ventilation. I'm not positive at what point liquid cooling and waterblocks is recommended, but that's more what I was thinking about, rather than looking for power-efficiency, though I'd certainly like something that didn't dim my lights every time I powered it on as well . It is possible that I might attempt SLI configurations in the future, and so liquid cooling had crossed my mind... though that in itself seems to be an expensive system to uphold.
My mistake, it wasn't the U9 I was looking at, it was a contender to the ASUS that I can't seem to find atm.
I've put together some specs that would certainly seem to be a nice investment should I decide to take a heftier bite than I originally anticipated. I'd like some feedback, especially on what wattage PSU would be required for the following.