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New at tom's hardware - need your help

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November 24, 2010 6:34:28 PM

Hi, I'm an equities & futures trader and located in Dubai, UAE - for the past several years I've had a simple core2duo pc with dual monitors and it worked beautifully till last week (when the whole thing got wrecked in a moving accident,sadly). The only work I had to do on it, in all the time I owned it was to increase the ram once from 2gb to 3gb last year - and this suited me fine because I am not very computer savvy...so now I'm looking to build a new pc.

My usage needs are simple
- no real gaming (at the most, some times I play a little counterstrike: source and that runs great even on my crap laptop so it shouldn't be a prob)
- browsing and some hd movies from time to time
- most importantly, stock trading with multiple charting packages and data streams running concurrently

I'm looking for a simple enough setup but I want to have 3 monitors this time - from what I understand, AMD's Eyefinity is the way to go - Price is not really an issue but I don't want to spend like $2-3k because my needs aren't that heavy. Right now I only have a keyboard and mouse left so I'm looking for an entire build - CPU, casing, MoBo, power supply, hdd, optical drive, RAM, graphics card, win7 64bit and 3 monitors, atleast 22" each

The rep at the local computer mart gave me the following specs

PROCESSOR : INTEL CORE i5 650 3.20Ghz (4MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s - 32nm)

MOTHERBOARD : ASUS P7H55-V P55 2200FSB O.C (LGA1156)

MEMORY : CORSAIR 8gb 1333mhz

HARD DRIVE : 500GB 3.5" SATA-II 7200RPM

OPTICAL DRIVE : SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA

GRAPHIC CARD : ATi FirePro V4800 1GB GDDR5

CHASSIS : COOLER MASTER CHASSIS GLADIATOR 600 WITH 600W PSU

O/S: Win 7 home prem. 64bit

Monitors: DELL P2210h x3

Price Total = US$ 1350 - includes all cabling and installation


Now, to my questions:

1) Is this setup overkill for my needs, especially the firepro card and 600W psu? (The comp store guy said the firepro card will serve all 3 monitors, run eyefinity for me and firepro drivers etc are hassle free and stable, much more so than radeon)

2) Do I need to add a cpu cooler or something - don't cpu's and graphics cards already come with coolers/fans?

3) I came across this motherboard when googling - http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...px?pid=3443#sp

it has dvi, hdmi and displayport on it with the following 'notes' on its spec page

(Note 2) To use the onboard DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D, and D-Sub ports, you must install an Intel CPU with integrated graphics.
(Note 3) The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
(Note 4) You can use only one of the onboard digital graphics ports (e.g. DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI-D) for output when in the BIOS Setup program or when during the POST screens.

so presumably it will run my 3 monitor setup and I don't have to get a graphics card at all then - or am i missing something very basic here? :-s

I'd appreciate any help answering these questions and/or suggesting changes to the build given above as per my requirements - Thanks

More about : tom hardware

November 24, 2010 6:46:57 PM

Hey welcome to the forums.

1) This setup is a bit overkill for your needs and is not well balanced at all. You could do much better for $1350.

2) No you do not need to add a CPU cooler or anything. Retail CPUs will come with one.

3) Unfortunately thats not how it works. You can only output 1 video display using the on-board graphics.

You will need an ATI/AMD card to output 3 displays with a single card (might require an adapter). I would suggest a HD 6850.

First I would definitely swap out the CPU as its usually not very good from a price to performance stand point. I also don't think you need 8GBs of ram (4GB is more than enough for your needs). The power supply that comes from the case combo is also very low quality. Try to stick with something from Antec, Seasonic, Enermax, Corsair, OCZ, and a few others. From Cooler Master the silent pro series is very good.
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November 24, 2010 10:07:39 PM

Thanks for taking the time to reply, and for the suggestions - keeping them in mind, this is what I have come up with - its shaved off about $120 from the total price :) 

PROCESSOR : INTEL CORE i5 760 2.80Ghz (8MB CACHE - 2.5 GT/s)

MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P7P55D-E

MEMORY: CORSAIR 4GB 1333Mhz

HDD: WD CAVIAR BLACK 500GB 7200RPM

OPTICAL DRIVE : SAMSUNG DVDRW 22X SATA

GRAPHIC CARD : HiS IceQ HD 5670 with directx 11 & Eyefinity support - 1gb gddr5 - dvi/hdmi/dp

CHASSIS : COOLER MASTER CHASSIS CM 690 (AVAILABLE WITHOUT PSU) 120mm fans

PSU: CORSAIR 550 WATTS VX series NON-MODULAR (12V / 30A)

O/S: Win 7 home prem. 64bit

Monitors: DELL P2210h x3 (displayport capable)
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