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Need help buildng workstation computer as a present for my bf

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September 29, 2010 8:00:36 AM

Hi. My boyfriend's computer is in it's death throws, and I really, really need help to select parts to buy him for an early 6th anniversary/christmas gift. I found his list of remaining parts that he needs to buy in order to build a new workstation. I'm willing to spend ~$1400 or less ( hopefully less). If it helps, you can just list what specific parts you think are best for me to buy for each category that you know are reasonably priced, and I will search newegg, tigerdirect etc for the lowest price. Please let me know if pulling off these parts for this price range is impossible, so I can start my ramen noodle diet asap to save up more money.

Parts still needed:

1. 750W or more power supply
2. Two Sata 300gb 8000-10,000 rpm hard drives
3. Two Sata 2TB 8000-10000 rpm hard drives
4. Two quad core processors
with lga771 sockets. NOTE: I found xeon quad core e5405, e5410, and e5420 processors ranging in price from $250-$350. does anyone know if any of those are any good?
5. Ram (I don't know the mainboard specs. He just has DDR2 written next to it.)


My bf isn't a computer gamer, but he runs a lot of visual effects programs and does lots of rendering etc. I know whatever video card he has it was PCI express
model or something like that (dunno if that's important info or not). Anyways, I've been researching the parts, but there seems to be lots of debate over parts, and I keep reading mixed reviews of things. please help. I really, really appreciate your time and effort. Thank you!! :) 
September 29, 2010 8:14:16 AM

I think he's taking the p@#s
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2010 9:17:33 AM

I don't know if that's a good idea, he's the one who knows what he needs/wants. Better give him, say, $1000 and let him get his stuff.

Awesome GF BTW.
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September 29, 2010 9:44:05 AM

Yes I agree, this is serious stuff and it is better for him to choose exactly what he wants. If it was for a generic PC suitable for office work and web browsing ok but not for a dedicated hard core user.

I have given strict instructions to all my family and friends never to get me anything relating to electronics and computers. Better to get him something else, he might appreciate it more than computer bits and pieces that might not be of his liking.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2010 10:13:01 AM

Quote:
I'm willing to spend ~$1400 or less ( hopefully less)


You have to elaborate the software he uses for work i.e if they are strictly CPU intensive or may leverage on GPU (Adobe Premiere Pro, etc)

Assuming some leverage possible wth GPU: In the whole lot less category :p 
$583AR off Egg USA


Optional: Scythe YASYA cooler $35
http://www.directron.com/scys1000.html

Review
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3274/scythe_yasya_scys...


Edit: If his software/apps just uses CPU power just hit an IGP chipset like the 880G/SB 850
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September 29, 2010 1:08:06 PM

mosox said:
Awesome GF BTW.


I agree.

You could ask him for specific parts that he wants then buy some or all of them.

or...

It sounds like he's already got some parts, I'm guessing at least the motherboard based on what you've said already. If you can say what parts he has that would help. It's hard to select parts without knowing what the options really are. Just because a motherboard supports a type of CPU or RAM doesn't mean it will work with ALL of them.

batuchka: That doesn't even come close to what chempenn asked for.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2010 1:53:27 PM

batchuka's build is more a gaming/workstation single build, but not what chempenn asked for at all. It sounds like Chempenn is looking for a 2-processor xeon or magny-cours workstation, which can get mighty expensive, mighty fast.

from her initial description, it sound like he has a notherboard with two Socket lga771 Xenon slots, so thats what we want to look for. It has DDR2 Ram (so its older, probly mid-'00s)

the 4 HDD description might be better servived with a coupel of 2 TB 7200 RPM Hard drives and a large SSD
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September 30, 2010 3:37:37 AM

You all make very good points. Thanks for trying to help me. Although it's a little bit of a bummer to not be able to make it a surprise, I can definitely see the logic in finding out what he specifically wants. For myself, I'm happy as long as my computer works,so in my head I thought well parts A, B, and C are needed, so just ask what the best affordable A, B, and C are and slap them all together. I had no idea that there's so much more that goes into that, so it's a good thing I talked with you guys instead of just buying stuff based off of consumer reviews.

Although he works with lots of computer programs at work and knows what parts do what, I know he's not familiar with the differences between different brands, model types, or cost of parts like you guys are. His current computer is like 6 years old, so that was the last time he looked stuff up.

I'm going to ask him what he prefers and get back to you. Knowing him and his super busy work schedule, he'll probably give me a hug and a list of what parts he has already to ask you guys what we should buy to finish the comp ( some of the parts are slightly older but practically new things that were given to him for free from when his work decided to upgrade a few computers for the higher ups, so he wants to use those for sure to keep costs down. ). Anyways, thanks again everyone for all the feedback! I will get back to you with more information.
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September 30, 2010 4:20:16 AM

RickyT23 said:
I think he's taking the p@#s




......what? Is that computer slang? When I see win digs in a word, I think it's supposed to spell a curse word, and I'm coming up with a blank for what four letter curse word starts with a "p" and ends with an "s." laugh.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 30, 2010 10:09:43 AM

chempenn said:
You all make very good points. Thanks for trying to help me. Although it's a little bit of a bummer to not be able to make it a surprise, I can definitely see the logic in finding out what he specifically wants. For myself, I'm happy as long as my computer works,so in my head I thought well parts A, B, and C are needed, so just ask what the best affordable A, B, and C are and slap them all together. I had no idea that there's so much more that goes into that, so it's a good thing I talked with you guys instead of just buying stuff based off of consumer reviews.

Although he works with lots of computer programs at work and knows what parts do what, I know he's not familiar with the differences between different brands, model types, or cost of parts like you guys are. His current computer is like 6 years old, so that was the last time he looked stuff up.

I'm going to ask him what he prefers and get back to you. Knowing him and his super busy work schedule, he'll probably give me a hug and a list of what parts he has already to ask you guys what we should buy to finish the comp ( some of the parts are slightly older but practically new things that were given to him for free from when his work decided to upgrade a few computers for the higher ups, so he wants to use those for sure to keep costs down. ). Anyways, thanks again everyone for all the feedback! I will get back to you with more information.



On my part peeps dun listen to me cos i decided to match or exceed their initial thought up budget - i'd rather ask questions on needs and start low rather than jump the gun and make assumptions :non:  You are welcomed :p 
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October 1, 2010 3:49:15 AM

Ok, I fessed up...kinda, to get the information for you guys. Right now he thinks that I needed to know everything about what he needs and has for the comp that he wants to build, so I can research everything to buy him whatever ends up being the 3 cheapest categories out of the 5 for his present. I still want to buy all five categories of parts that I listed in my first post, so any help about any of those parts would be great. Here's the info:

Parts that he currently has that he obtained through work over a span of a couple years to use in a new computer one day
: tyan S5375 Tempest i5100x mainboard, PNY nVidia GeForce 8800GT pci express 2.0 512mb GDDR3 video card, and an Antec titan 650 server tower case.

Programs that he will use at home: mostly Maya and Nuke

Purpose: Rendering. He says that ideally he would like to do background renders while continuing to work, but only if it's feasible cost wise. If not, the best comp that you guys can build that can render things at a reasonable speed for $1400 or less would be greatly appreciated. At the moment, his current 6 year old comp with 7 year old parts seems to be able to render anything he needs to do. However, it can't handle doing ANYTHING else during that time, and the render time can be anything from 5-19hrs or more depending on what it is.


I hope that's everything you needed. Please help me and Thank you in advance!!
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
October 1, 2010 10:59:29 AM

ok, here's a build. It assumes you have a monitor:



Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433

$69.99


SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102859

$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$129.99


SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817151088

-$40.00 Instant
$179.99
$139.99


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

$179.99


8x Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR2 667 ECC Registered Server Memory Model KVR667D2S8P5/1G
Item #: N82E16820139168

$247.92
($30.99 each)


2x Intel Xeon E5410 Harpertown 2.33GHz LGA 771 80W Quad-Core Processor BX80574E5410A
Item #: N82E16819117149

$599.98
($299.99 each)

Subtotal: $1,367.86

now, if you don't need windows 7, that $180 plus the $70 for the hard drive could buy a combo of the Seagate hard drive and a 128 GB Kingston SSD for $279.98:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

the new total would be 1396.

Alternately, you could get a decent 1650x1080 monitor for that $180. I like this one for $159.99
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit...
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October 4, 2010 10:26:34 PM

I'm sorry that I haven't responded in so long. I have the flu and have been stuck in bed. I'm actually still sick and called in sick from work today, but I realized that if anyone posted anything, it would look rude that I haven't replied yet. I like how detailed your answer was. We do have a monitor and windows 7, so I'm excited about the combo pack. Everything sounds really good, goes with what he asked for, and you came in exactly on budget. thank you so much!! I really gotta go back to bed now, cuz I'm starting to get dizzy again. Sorry! I'll be back in1- 2 days to see if there are any additional replies and to do the select the best answer stuff to kill the thread. Thanks again!
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October 4, 2010 10:58:01 PM

Argh, had to drag myself back to ask you a question. I do have a monitor and windows, so I got a tiny bit more money to play with even if I get the bundle. When I was looking up processors last week, I found Intel Xeon Quad-Core L5420 2.5GHz 1333MHz 12MB LGA771 CPU, OEM - EU80574JJ060N, AT80574JJ060N for $330 at some random website. I know you suggested the 5410 because of the budget issue and usually the 5420 is more expensive than that on many of the more popular sites. Would you upgrade to the 5420 if it just meant spending a tiny bit more money or would you stick with the 5410, because it's less tweeky with less bugs or something technical like that?





ScrewySqrl said:
ok, here's a build. It assumes you have a monitor:



Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433

$69.99


SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102859

$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$129.99


SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817151088

-$40.00 Instant
$179.99
$139.99


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

$179.99


8x Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR2 667 ECC Registered Server Memory Model KVR667D2S8P5/1G
Item #: N82E16820139168

$247.92
($30.99 each)


2x Intel Xeon E5410 Harpertown 2.33GHz LGA 771 80W Quad-Core Processor BX80574E5410A
Item #: N82E16819117149

$599.98
($299.99 each)

Subtotal: $1,367.86

now, if you don't need windows 7, that $180 plus the $70 for the hard drive could buy a combo of the Seagate hard drive and a 128 GB Kingston SSD for $279.98:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

the new total would be 1396.

Alternately, you could get a decent 1650x1080 monitor for that $180. I like this one for $159.99
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit...

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a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 10:59:45 PM

sorry to hear you're under the weather.

the SSD will be great for disk-intensive tasks, and the 5750 will be much better than the 8800 at rendering.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 11:09:42 PM

actually, I suggestd the 5410 because it was the only one I saw on Newegg :whistle:  o/`


if you can get a faster chip, go for it :) 
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October 6, 2010 2:48:16 AM

awsome. Ok, last question I swear. I'm finding really good deals on stuff, so I have extra money to play around with. Now that I have a bit more money, do you think it's ok to substitute the power supply that you listed with the CORSAIR Professional Series AX750 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply for $154.99 after rebate or is that not a compatible power supply?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2010 3:18:22 AM

both psus are fine, however, the 650w I listed is still plenty for this workstation. Both Seasonic & Corsair are excellent supplies, and gold means very efficient (88%) as well

rather than up the PSU, I'd up the GPU since you're doing a lot of rendering: I'd look at the 5770, or GTX 460, or wait 2 weeks for the 6xxx stuff to come out and see where the prices fall.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2010 3:27:34 AM

oh, one item I forgot was a dvd burner. you can either cannibalize on from your old build, or get a new one for $17-20
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October 6, 2010 3:52:14 AM

I'll just get the corsair power supply, since it's on sale. If it's incompatible, then i'll just return it to get the other one, but it seems like it'll be ok. I think I'm all set! I'm gonna upgrade the processors and power supply with the extra cash I saved on other things. Thank you so much sqrl! Without your help, I wouldn't have known where to even start, much less upgrade anything. I don't know anything about computer parts, and there are a ridiculous number companies for this stuff. Growing up, I only heard my parents argue over whether our next appliance should be sony, panasonic, or samsung, so this experience was mind blowing. I really appreciate your help with my present. Take care!
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October 6, 2010 3:52:43 AM

Best answer selected by chempenn.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2010 11:17:02 AM

good luck and congrats!
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!