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Small home Workstation/gaming rig

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January 5, 2011 1:35:40 PM

Hi everyone,

So i think its time to change pace. These last 2 months i've working with a lot of apps for my master thesis and i've been noticing some moderate lag when working with them (not to say when working with them at the same time). Im not an expert in putting up a nice DIY rig even if i have done it 2 times before (last time around 3 years ago :-). So i hope you can help me. Ok so right now this is what i have:

- MONITOR - Dell LCD U2311H 23" 1920x1080 (bought three months ago after a 12 year period with my old school Nokia 17" CRT hehehe). I have to be honest when i've made this change i really noticed the hardware loose working capacity pretty fast. Changing native resolution made a big difference.
- PSU - Corsair HX520w (by the way a stupendous and reliable psu)
- MOTHERBOARD - Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS5 (Socket 775)
- RAM - Gskill F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK (2Gx2) DDR2
- CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
- GPU - XFX 9800 GTX
- HD - ATA SAMSUNG 750GB

So this is it. I have to say so far none of these components gave me problems and have been reliable, exept HD (with time they become less responsive and somehow reliable and that scares me cause im working with critical data). I work with an ecletic pletora of apps depending on the type of work. to resume: 3D rendering/design (mostly Blender), GIS (both GRASS and QGIS), some Photoshop and also de fun part, gaming. I might use others but these are the most common. I use both Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows (Vista). To be honest i find Ubuntu to be more reliable, articulated and faster response (at least it frees more resources to be able to work faster). Now the money. Well i intend to spend around 600-700 Euros (that means 800-900 USD). I think i will update between mid/end January. So this is my story :-). Any help and suggestions with the new rig will be great. Please ask any questions.

Best Regards

Nuno

PS: I have to say that the new rig is not for professional/commercial use, only for academic/personal use.

More about : small home workstation gaming rig

January 5, 2011 7:29:44 PM

any ideas?
January 5, 2011 7:35:17 PM

not having a quad core will slow you down a little but this late in the game i wouldn't worry about it. some apps like extra ram but 4gig will suffice. i think the biggest upgrade ( work station/gaming ) would be a gtx460 with 2gig of ram.......... depending on what you do. i missed the bottom half.. oops......... got money go for the gold. add the ram and quad if you can but 1st choice would be the card. but then you come to ... why not do a complete upgrade considering the money involved.
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January 5, 2011 7:47:02 PM

If you want to see a major difference in general performance the you need to upgrade to an i series such as the i5. The i5 holds the sweet spot for real world computing performance while an i7 Lynnfield will be able to provide on those rare occasions when the i5 may be a little strained.
January 6, 2011 11:02:39 AM

Assuming i play games a decent amount of my spare time (of course i have others things to attend :-), work with the previous apps i mentioned, don't do overclocking or Sli configuration, do you think it would be wise investing in the follow setup:

MOTHERBOARD - Can i save some money and go for the H67 or i will loose performance against the mainstream P67? (im inclined to opt for a Gigabyte motherboard be it one or another)
RAM - Well im not totally sure if i should opt for 8GB (i sometimes feel like apps like 3D rendering consume a fair amount of memory). Anyway im inclined to Gskill DDR3 1600 (myaybe the new ripjaws-x)
CPU - Intel Sandy Bridge 2500 (i think there is no necessity of paying more for the K version right?)
GPU - Any brand 570 GTX (I hope im not stretching to much considering this is a moderate priced card, i have to see how it behaves with the VAT raise these next two weeks)
PSU - Now this is the problem. Can my corsair 520W keep up with the 570. Nvidia says no (minimum 550W), what you all think?
SSD/HD - SSD still are a bit expensive and im not aware of the real advantages here. So i have three options: invest in another HD (fresh one), keep the one i have and see how it goes or when im sure what the total price will be (suming all other components) see if it fits in the bill.

I hope i could be more useful anyway feel free to help me out and give suggestions. Im gathering the much info i can so i can decide the next weeks.
January 6, 2011 6:28:51 PM

I wouldn't worry about going with more than 4 GB RAM you will gain no real performance using 8.

If NVIDIA says that the card they have made has certain requirements you should take that as read. If that is the minimum you should be aiming for a 650 or above go make sure you have some overheads.

Dont worry about an SSD. They demand big money for small capacity. A 10000 RPM HDD will serve your needs for the most part and wont break the bank.
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