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Need advice on multitasking/office build: $500 - $1,000

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November 15, 2010 1:23:56 PM

I am looking for advice on my build. I own a small accounting/tax consulting business and here is what I am looking for:

Budget Range: $500-$1,000 USD

System Usage: MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Quickbooks, Peachtree, various tax software packages, internet; no gaming

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor. DVD Writer

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference (Newegg, Amazon, etc.)

Country of Origin: (USA)

Parts Preferences: I have always had Intel systems but would be happy to explore AMD

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050 (dual monitors)

Additional Comments:
- My big thing is multitasking; at any point in time, I can have many memory-intensive apps open at once (Acrobat, Quickbooks, Peachtree, tax software, Outlook and Excel for example)
- The computer generally runs 24/7 as I do a lot of remote access
- I don't need a top-of-the line gaming GPU. but I am staring at numbers on the screen all day, so I need a pretty good one
- I won't be doing any gaming on this system

Thanks for your help!
November 15, 2010 1:54:45 PM

At towards the lower end of that budget range:

$515AR w/o ODD since u have one on hand ^^


If thats way overkill tone down to

4GB DDR3
Propus 640 - Deneb 955BE
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November 15, 2010 2:35:13 PM

Thanks batuchka. That's exactly the type of setup I am looking to build. Will that motherboard support dual-HDMI monitors?
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Related resources
November 15, 2010 2:38:52 PM

If u want to drive 2 x via IGP the principle is

1 x Digital (HDMI or DVI)
1 x Analogue (VGA)
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November 15, 2010 2:43:11 PM

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$74.99

HIS IceQ H567Q1GD Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 before $10 MIR

ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Combo Discount: -$20.00
Combo Price: $184.98

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT51264BA1339
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Combo Discount: -$14.00
Combo Price: $297.98

Subtotal: $772.93 + tax & shipping (for me $4.83)

The tower case is a very quiet case with a small footprint for an ATX tower. It includes a highly-rated efficient power supply from a quality manufacturer (Antec). I added a quiet discrete GPU that exhausts from the case and will make Windows graphics perform better overall even though it could be used for some low-end gaming. I went with a quad-core high frequency CPU because it's doubtful the productivity applications can take advantage of more than 4 cores. Even though you are running multiple apps, likely only one is processing at a time but you want lots of memory so you are not paging these apps every time you switch, hence the 8GB. USB 3.0 and SATAIII support allows for future expansion as more peripherals/components are released to support these features.
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November 15, 2010 5:20:55 PM

Thanks for the advice Dougie and batuchka. I am so glad I found this site!
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November 15, 2010 8:51:02 PM

batuchka has covered the low-end of your budget and I've got the middle -- now you need someone to spend the whole $1000 :D .

Do you need Windows in your build? I have it in mine because I didn't see that you already had it in your original post.
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November 15, 2010 8:58:08 PM

Yes, I do need Windows (I forgot to put that in the original post). I figure on using Win 7 64-bit Pro because I will need remote desktop hosting and will probably have to run some of my programs in XP mode.
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November 15, 2010 9:31:08 PM

The high end (didn't look for combos):

CPU - i5-760 - $205 - pretty much overkill
Mobo - ASUS P7P55D-E LX - $130 - includes USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s for future-resistance
RAM - Mushkin CAS 6 1600 MHz 4 GB kit - $115 (or $230 to get 8 GB)
GPU - Sapphire 5450 - $41 - passively cooled for low noise/low power
SSD - OCZ Agility 2 - $130
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB or Seagate 7200.12 500 GB - $55 for either one (upgrade to 1 TB for $75 or $70 respectively)
ODD - cheapest SATA DVD drive - $16
PSU - Seasonic X Series 400 80+ Gold fanless - $130 - fanless for no noise
Case - whatever looks good to you...something from Lian Li for about $80?
OS - Win 7 Pro - $140

Total - $1042 - looks like I went just a little over. Could easily shave some of that off with a cheaper case and combos. Could also switch the i5 + mobo for Dougie Fresh's AMD CPU & mobo. Or get any good 400ish W PSU, many are still very quiet.

Went with SSD + fanless GPU & PSU for low noise, though there will be some from the CPU and HDD.
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November 16, 2010 12:48:11 AM

Another top-end Intel configuration.

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

HIS IceQ H567Q1GD Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 before $10 MIR

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$154.99

Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$279.99

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Combo discount: $25.00
Combo price: $209.98 before $10 MIR

Subtotal: $949.93 before $20 MIRs + tax & shipping ($7.15 for me)

One thing I really like about this build is the TDP on the CPU is 95W which will help this system run cooler. Plus, it will absolutely FLY. I wish I had $1K for this :D 
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November 16, 2010 7:24:45 AM

You can also dual boot with any Linux distro if u are worried about security/virus (no gaming anyways) and if so for equilavent Linux apps and core scaling:

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T reviewed (for Linux developers) | What Digital Revolution?
Quote:
As anyone who does Linux development knows, going multithreaded is usually as simple as typing “make -jN”, where N is the number of parallel jobs that you want to execute while building your app (normally N = number of cores/processors + 1). At $200/$300 per processor, that would make the X6 a bargain-basement priced high-power workstation (Intel’s current six-core offering, the Core i7 9xx series, is actually faster than the X6 but also costs +$1000, out of the reach of mortals and students like myself).
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November 16, 2010 9:40:38 PM

Why not use the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T? Same model just 2.8 rather than 3GHz speed, which for office apps won't make a difference. But it is $20 cheaper.
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