Building Desktop-Need Advice

Approximate Purchase Date: January 2011

Budget Range: 1500-1750 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Online Trading (Tradestation), Surfing/researching items on internet

Parts Not Required:
keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin:
United States

Parts Preferences: No preferences

Yes-but only by 25-35% most likely

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Not completely sure on this one although for trading I can use poor resolution and wont be able to tell a difference, so something on the low side will be fine.

Additional Comments: I will be running 4-6 monitors off of this pc but the resolution will most likely be low. I am really only going to be using this computer with Tradestation along with a small amount of internet surfing.

List of the hardware I am looking at right now;

XCLIO Blackhawk Black Finish 0.8 mm SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Full Tower Extreme Cooling Computer Case

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

SAPPHIRE 100290SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 24GB (6 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm

MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material

That is what I am thinking of buying right now. It runs right about 1550$ which I like but I really just want to make sure that everything will be compatible and/or I'm not making any stupid mistakes in choosing one item instead of another. As I said above, I only want to oc the cpu by about 30% which is why I got the cooler master instead of a higher dollar one. If anyone has any suggestions though to different hardware or just general suggestions, I would love to hear them. I have never built a desktop before so I just don't want to start buying things and then have them not be compatible/not working properly.
12 answers Last reply
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  1. First off, 24 GB of RAM is WAY too much! You will never ever use that much ram. I would drop down to around 8 GB and that should hold you over just fine.

    The video card you chose will handle 4-6 monitors just fine (assuming they all support display port) and you can run them at a nice high resolution as well.

    With that CPU, and with your needs, an i7 is probably overkill. Looking at the Tradestation website, it doesn't seem like a program that demands a lot of power, so you can probably snag a cheaper CPU/Mobo setup.

    As for the thermal paste you chose, I have never heard of Masscool before. I'm not saying that they aren't reputable, but I would personally recommend Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. Its a little more expensive, but it definitely worth it.

    Everything else looks fine to me. Like I said before though, you should probably look into a different CPU and motherboard. I would probably recommend one from the AMD 9xx series (a 965 or 970), they will stil give you a nice overclocking potential, they are a lot cheaper than the i7-950 and will still be compatible with your chosen heat sink. With these changes you will save yourself a good amount of money on your build.
  2. ^ +1
    But before I go ahead and give suggestions, you should know that Intel is going to release newer i5/ i7 CPUs by Jan 2011, and from the previews, it looks like even the next-gen i5s will offer performance similar to the current-gen i7s, so I would rather wait and get those...

    GPU - You could actually use 2 of these cards if you would use at the max go with 4 monitors(2 from each card) and no gaming...
  3. I don't think the power supply is a good choice. It's more powerful than you need, you can get cheaper power supplies, with higher efficiency which will be much more suited to a non-gaming build.

    I was thinking that one of the new 6000 series cards with two mini-DP ports would be a good way to get 6 monitors off one card, altho I believe there is some complication with needing an MST hub, or something like that. Altho I'm sure you could power a few monitors off the HDMI and DVI ports to get up to the full six screens.

    This Sapphire card is the sort of thing I'm talking about, it also has the bonus of having lower energy consumption and being cheaper than the 5870.
    SAPPHIRE Toxic 100315TXSR Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $210 ($7 shipping)

    Here's my list of recommended power supplies:
    NZXT HALE90-550-S 550W ATX 12V v2.2, EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS GOLD Modular $100 ($6 shipping)

    SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE $65 ($10 shipping)

    Antec TruePower New TP-650 80Plus Bronze Modular $90

    SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Modular $70 ($10 shipping)
  4. I'd say go with 2x6850. They're more expensive than a single 5870 but you'll get your money's worth.
  5. Thank you all very much for your thorough responses. It looks like I should certainly wait at least until intel comes out with their new chips, which I was going to wait to buy this system until January anyways, so it should not be a problem. I really want to have this pc last for at least 4-5 years which is why I was thinking of so much ram, but I guess I could get 12gb now and get 12gb in another year or so. As for Tradestation, the program itself is not very intensive but I need to run simulations on it while I am trading (and I usually run with 15-20 real-time charts) and that just isn't possible with the computers I have now as the simulations bog everything down which is why I was going for a more powerful cpu and a lot of ram.

    I do have one quick question though. Everyone always seems to tell me you can never have too much ram, but it does seem like everyone on here says over 12gb is just overkill. Is that "saying" just for people that have basic dell/hp/compaqs that come with really small amounts of ram and thus they can always use more but once you hit a certain number of gb it just stops helping with the multitasking? Sorry if its a newb question but you guys are so helpful I would kick myself if I didn't ask.
  6. I found this article helpful in discussing the benefits of having more than 4GB of RAM:
    Altho, as stated in that article, there are occasions where usually the user knows when they need as much RAM as they can get.
  7. Just finished reading that article. It was very informative. I guess I am behind the times but I didn't even know what ssds were. So, with that in mind, I think I would cut the ram down to 12gb so I can still have 4gb sticks, and pick up a ssd but I have no idea what size of that I would need. Obviously the bigger the better but does anyone have any type of guideline with a budget of about 150-200$? Also, are they installed in a similar fashion to a regular hard drive?
  8. If you've ever seen a laptop hard drive then you can say you've seen what an SSD looks like. They come in the 2.5 inch form factor (laptop size) as opposed to the current mechanical HDD 3.5 inch that is normally found in your desktop. Most SSD's come with a mounting bracket so that you can fit a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" bay. For a budget of 150-200 you are probably looking at sizes ranging anywhere from 32 GB to 80GB, and possibly beyond that spectrum, although I have not looked at prices recently, so don't quote me on that range.

    Many people use SSD's as a boot drive, as they are a lot faster than your typical mechanical hard drive. Personally that's what I do as well, but its not explicitly a necessity.

    No one really technically "needs" a solid state drive, but that's the same as me saying that you don't "need" that new sports car you just bought. Obviously there are probably people out there that DO require them. Anyways, my point is that if you don't buy a solid state drive, its not going to be a major detriment to your computers performance.

    If you are on a budget and can't spare any extra money for a solid state drive, then don't sweat it, but if you got some cash that you are willing to put towards one, go for it. You won't be able to obtain the same capacities as modern mechanical drives (250 GB and above) without dropping some serious money though, so a SSD will supplement any mechanical drive you use. If you don't have major storage needs, you could get away with just a decent sized SSD as well.
  9. GenericUser said:

    No one really technically "needs" a solid state drive, but that's the same as me saying that you don't "need" that new sports car you just bought. Obviously there are probably people out there that DO require them. .

    Best need for an SSD is for a laptop that you know is going see rugged field use. The SSD means no moving parts inside the computer.
  10. For your usage, other than the 6 monitor thing, a $750 build would be more than enough. An 1156 build would therefore make the most sense but as was said above, sandy bridge will arrive in january and will replace the current 1156 chips.

    The replacement for the 1366 chip (LGA 2011) won't arrive till at least the 2nd half of 2011. The most noticeable thing you'll see from an SSD drive are faster boot times and a higher WEI (Windows Experience Index). If that don't excite you, don't bother.

    Many peeps are concerned that excessive writes to the SSD will wear it out and therefore they won't let the page file or temp files be stored there. I can't be sure having had no experience with your trading program, but my guess is all that data streaming might have the same effect. An equal number of peeps it seems see this as no issue .... time will tell.

    I imagine acoustics is important in your setting as whirring fans can be annoying in an office setting. Would therefore suggest the Antec P183 or P193 combined with an Antec CP-850. You'll find all are big favorites over at

    The Scythe SCMG 2100 is a better choice over the 21 in the same price range. See the reviews over at

    Other choices look fine tho I also agree that you won't see much improvement with 24 GB of RAM over even 6 GB. Any argument for more RAM would apply to having faster RAM.....your choice was DDR3-1333 . If you're overclocking the 950 "modestly", I'd suggest a BCLK of 160 (CPU speed = 3.84 - 4.00 Ghz (160 x 24 or 25) and a memory multiplier of 10 which would require DDR3-1600(160 x 10).

    I'd start w/ 6 GB (3 x 2GB) and add the 2nd set of 3 only if ya need it. I'd opt for at least CAS 7, CAS 6 if budget allows. Check to make sure the 2nd set will fit under ya CPU cooler as many modules with finned heat sinks won't.
  11. I think these are good picks for an SSD between $150 and $200:
    Intel X25M 80GB $180 ($30 rebate)
    OCZ Vertex 2 90GB $180 ($30 rebate)

    The Intel one is more known for being extremely reliable, while the OCZ has a more modern controller and higher performance and has itself been pretty good for reliablity as far as I'm aware.

    I agree that the Scythe SCMG 2100 "Mugen 2 Rev.B" is a much better heatsink.

    Another way to start off with a small amount of RAM but have the option to add loads more without replacing sticks is to get just two sticks of 4GB RAM. According to this thread there is virtually nothing to lose running memory in dual channel mode on an X58 motherboard versus tripple channel:

    @Jack, surely there are better PSUs, in terms of being cheaper, just as quiet, just as efficient and having a more appropriate wattage for a build like this?
  12. You guys are great. Thank you very much for all of your efforts! I think I'll pick up that OCZ and heatsink but I just want to clarify that I should probably be getting ddr3-1600 ram but not anything higher than 1600? That is I think my last question, haha. Thank you again!
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