This is my first post, and I would appreciate some help in checking the configuration of the system I'm planning to give me myself as a present for christmas. I have been browsing this site and some others, and done the basic investigation reading some articles and reviews, so I hope my desired system parts will match well between each other, but feel free to make any comment regarding quality, performance, alternatives...
I'm in my last year in Computer Science, so usually I need to use some Virtual machines in my system (currently a nice macbook pro) which usually use plenty of resources, and besides that I have been doing some music with Cubase/Ableton Live/Reson and Fruity Loops since some years, so it would be nice to have a machine able to keep with that hobby too with an able machine. Of course, I would like to mention that I'm an avid gamer, and after being playing only on consoles the last six years, would like to try these new PC-only games with a powerful configuration. My monitor is a 27'' 1080full hd, but I could upgrade in one year.
As my first build ever, I don't plan to overclock immediately, but this is definitely something that I would like to do in the future to extend the usability of the system. Also, I'm looking for a certain grade of scalability, I mean, adding one HDs more later, and possibly a second graphic card in the future, just to keep the pace of newer games. Money is a concern, but my limit is 2500$, so I think I an assemble an awesome machine.
It seems that it has the best specs, and a rational price. Just to boot and the most useful apps (maybe one game at a time).
172661 Western Digital Caviar Black, 7200rpm, 6... 2 169.-
I really have a lot of educational videos from U iTunes that I need to keep around, and every virtual machine is with time needing plenty of space, too.
185592 LG CH10LS, BluRay ROM, DVD-Brenner, schw... 1 85.-
191182 Corsair Obsidian 700D Big-Tower - black 1 255.-
I want a case that I like, big an sturdy and that I can use for ages and different setups. I know there are some alternatives with better air cooling, but I definitely want to go with this one (It will be sitting in my room and I will be seeing it every day, after all).
Same comment here as with the case: I want something that will last for ages, and this monster should provide the necessary power for more than one system. Besides that, I don't want to get limited in my Graphic cards or other components installation.
I'm doubting here... I would like to go NVIDIA because of CUDA performance, but noise and heat seem to be an issue with fermi cards. 5870 seems to run cooler and quieter, but then again, they seem to scale worse when a second is added, and to add confusion to everything, AMD/ATI is bringing new models this month. Any input here will be appreciated.
I hope I didn't forget something vital in my list. The prices would be a bit different because they are in CHF (I live in Switzerland), but more or less they are the same as in the States. I would like to thank in advance to everybody who will share his/her knowledge with a future system builder.
All good parts. Regardless of heat the GTX470 is a good card. You could step down a little on the PSU it is an overkill even if you had 2 x GTX470 in there. With a single card it would not even see a 50% load.
Two months later, I bought the parts and build the system, and I'm currently writing this from it.
I decided to change the Obsidian 700D for a Cooler Master HAF X, since I was not planning to use a liquid cooling anytime soon (as a n00b, the whole idea of liquid near of the internal components seems still a bit strange to me) and I prefeered a premium and silent air cooling solution. The HAF is also big, roomy, ans as long as you don't light the red LED fan, quite elegant -in a bit militar way-. I'm still thinking that the Obsidian is the most beautiful case, but if I begin choosing the components by its looks, I would end up buying another mac.
Also, waiting this long allowed me to buy a geforce 570GTX, which is a very nice improvement above the 470 (and maybe even a 480, if everything you read in these reviews is true). Coming from a gt8600 mobile card, I only have to say that I'm absolutely impressed with its performance, and besides that, I can assure you that in my system it's absolutely silent, even under load.
I also changed the mobo for a asus rampage III formula, since the swiss retailer could manage to import some of them, and for only a bit more has some nice extras, and you can put a SLI configuration in PCIx16 1 & 3, wich allows you to have some space between the cards for improved cooling. Unfortunately my budget dwindled a bit, so I was not able to buy the SSD, and it will have to wait maybe one month or two... but not really in a hurry, since waiting will only make prices drop, and I would like to have something like 256Gb.
The installation was absolutely a pleasure to do. As I mentioned, it was my first build, and thus being so, I was quite worried about making everything wrong and ending with a kapput system and an embarrassed face -while my GF laughs at me-, but everything was very well explained in the manuals -you should only read them all- and there are plenty of videos in youtube that can really help you to make it through. Of course I needed almost 5 hours, and maybe my cable management could be better, but in end it's working -fast-, and looking nice, so I would like to add that: if there's someone who is thinking about doing his/her first build and feels inexperienced to do so, don't be worried! going step by step is a good way to proceed and it is a lot of fun!
So, thank you very much for the help and see you in the forums.