I am planning to build a PC mainly for Photoshop and Maya.
At the moment I have about $800, and another $1600 over the next two months (end of February). Because I create large Photoshop files (often 5k*5k or more with several hundred layers), I need a lot of RAM. 16GB are definitely not exaggerated. I'd probably even go for an X58 board with 24GB if the Intel processors weren't so expensive. I am new to modeling but it looks like I will need a fast processor in order to reduce the rendering times for my 3D scenes as much as possible.
The only other tasks I'll be using the computer for are database development and some internet surfing. I went off computer games as soon as everything started to go 3D and playing a game required more than just a joystick and a fire button.
Currently I only have a 19" widescreen monitor (1440*900) but I would like to buy a 30" monitor (2560*1600) in the next few months (not included in the $2400 budget). As I don't know anything about graphics cards, I was wondering whether I should get one that is sufficient for my current resolution, and add an equivalent one to connect via CrossFire or SLI once I have got a second (higher resolution) monitor?
So far I have already got the case (without power supply), optical drives, SATA drives, keyboard and mouse, and I won't need speakers. I'll probably opt for an SSD as system drive. In terms of budget, I could build a lower spec configuration and then add components whenever I have some more money to spend (after February), e.g. add a second system drive and set up a RAID 0 array.
the problem with this is the way you're distributing your spending on the machine...
for $2400 you can get a KILLER amazing configuration... But only if you wait until you have the full $2400 budget in your hands... you won't be able to start (building) it properly with only $800.. if you want a working PC from the get-go (for example - you're going to have to buy lower end parts to get a PC up + running for $800.. that won't accommodate the next 2/3 of your budget anymore)
if you can compromise... let's say $1600 first... $800 later... then you can get a good based high-end system... and later add the "fancy" stuff from the last of the 800 budget...
also... in British pounds - how much will be your final actual budget for what you want to purchase for the PC? (not including monitor, parts you already have and peripherals)
Ironically, my current system packed up just after posting this thread ...
I seem to be lucky though as a friend of mine has got a server with several Xeon processors (comprising eight cores), plenty of RAM and a RAID 1 configuration which she hasn't got any use for and which I'll be getting as a permanent loan after Christmas once it has been brought here from its current location.
Now I'll only need to find a decent graphics solution. As I don't know anything about servers, I've got to find out several things, e.g.
will my most commonly used applications be able to run on Windows Server 2003?
if not, and I have to install a client OS, will it be able to support the hardware (e.g. multi-processor environment)?
what about advanced graphics? (I don't know yet what type of board it is, but do server boards usually have PCI-e slots?)
Not sure if this is the right sub-forum for these questions, if not could someone please point me in the right direction. Thanks.