This is the my first build and am very new to this process. I am definitely not set on any part. I am looking for a gaming and working from home computer. I am computational chemist and do some graphic/computational taxing things, but if it is very taxing, I can work on the 8-16 processor servers at the chemistry department.
Approximate Purchase Date: 2-4 weeks
Budget Range: ~1600-1700$ After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: working from home/gaming/surfing the internet/watching movies
Parts Not Required: Keyboard/Mouse/Speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Trustworthy sites, most of the prices quoted are from Tigerdirect.com or Newegg.com
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: No preference
Overclocking: Maybe, I would love to, but have never done it before.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe?
Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200), best possible, but not a huge concern (should it be?)
Additional comments: I would like the dual monitors for working from home.
Main HD: OCZ OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G Vertex 2 Solid State Drive - 60GB, 2.5", SATA II (124.99) (For running windows?)
Second HD: Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green Hard Drive - 2TB, 3.5", SATA-3G (79.99)
PSU: Ultra X4 750-Watt Modular Power Supply - 135mm Fan, ATX, Lifetime Warranty w/ Registration, 80+ Bronze, NVIDIA SLI & ATI Crossfire Certifications, Vibration Dampener Included (119.99)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL (2X84.99=169.98) (Is 16Gb overkill?)
Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 SuperClocked Video Card - 1024MB GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0, Dual DVI, Mini HDMI, SLI, DirectX 11 (199.99) (Is this good enough? I also looked at this card, but its much more pricey: Sapphire 100311SR Radeon HD 6970 Video Card - 2048MB, GDDR5, PCIe, Dual mini-Display Port, HDMI, Dual DVI (374.99)
Monitors: Acer S201HL bd 20" Widescreen LED Backlit Monitor - 1600x900, 16:9, 12000000:1 Dynamic, 5ms, Tilt, VGA, DVI (2X129.99=259.98) (Most definitely not locked into these monitors at all)
This build puts me at $1614.88 with the cheaper video card. I would still need Windows 7, but i can get that on campus for cheaper than online.
What do you think? This is my first build and I am most definitely inexperienced. The thing I am most worried about is the video card. I don't know how much to spend on it. When does the rate of limit returns start hitting for video cards? It seems that the 2Gb one would be nice, but how much nicer than the cheaper one?
Overclocking would be nice, and I have some local friends that could help, so would the system handle it? I would need a different cpu cooler I would guess, so that would be another thing I would have to buy. What is the approximate difference in the GHz going to be?
Also, just to cut some costs I could definitely just do the 2TB main drive. Most of the parts are the from Tigerdirect's Top sellers so I was trying to find parts that others had "liked" as well, but again don't know if a part is more expensive than it needs to be. Let me know. Thanks.
Price/performance tends to be more linear at lower levels, becoming more exponential as you approach the top of the line. Again, how much performance you 'need' depends on your gaming preferences and budget. I personally found the HD 6950 to be a good mix for me.
The SSD is a personal preference. It will definitely make the machine seem snappier, but they are expensive and the tech is advancing quickly. Maybe you want to put the money toward better monitors and pick up a 128GB+ is a year or two.
Speaking of which, if you can make it work, I'd go for 1920x1200 monitors. The extra vertical resolution is particularly nice for work applications (as opposed to games and movies), but is good all around. Haven't done any research into displays lately though, so can't recommend specifics.
1) If the extra $100 price premium for the 2600K is not important to you, get the 2600K.
Otherwise, the $100 can better be spent elsewhere. You are getting the "K" version to be able to overclock. It is likely that either the 2600K or the 2500K will be able to OC to the same levels. Few games use more than two cores, let alone 4, so the 2500K w/o hyperthreading will drive any game out there very well. A modest overclock is easy with the K processors.
2) Spend what you need to for two Good identical monitors. preferably 1920 x 1200, not 1080P. Two monitors are one of the best PC upgrades I have ever made. These monitors will be with you for several generations pf PC, and you will be looking at them every day. Get the best up front, you won't regret it. I like Samsung, because they are the source for panels for many other vendors, and I think they may keep the best samples for themselves.
3) Gaming will be done on one of those 1920 x 1200 monitors. To get excellent performance, budget about $350 for a GTX570 or 6970.
Graphics cards are very competitive on a price performance basis these days. Do not anguish too much about the choice. I like EVGA and XFX for their customer service and warranty. I think I would go with the Nvidia card because of the CUDA computational capabilities. Some programs like Matlab can use CUDA to speed up calculations.
2gb of video ram is good for 2560 x 1600 monitors, bud does not seem to make much difference elsewhere. Not a factor, I think.
How about this EVGA GTX570? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I would not spend anything extra to prepare for CF or SLI. By the time you need it, there will be stronger single graphics cards available.
5) The ram you selected is fine. 8gb is plenty, unless you have a 64 bit enabled app that can make use of extra ram.
1600 does not cost much more; I would get the 1600 version: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Newegg has a 15% promo on all ram; use code DM15A0111US at checkout.
6) I love the ssd, it makes everything feel so much snappier. Gen 3 ssd's are due out soon, and using 25nm technology will be faster and cheaper. If you can wait, just install your OS in a hard drive partition and plan on cloning it later. Otherwise, I would suggest an Intel X25-M 80gb drive which will give you a bit more room. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CP-850, XFX and Corsair HX all get 10.0 performance ratings on jonnyguru. The CP is quieter and cooler tho, so I'll spend the $10 over tha XFX. The HX is too pricey....and 850 watts to handle twin GFX cards
Consider also the HAF 922 if ya want a mid tower.
MoBo / CPU - Go with the combos dude and save some cashola
GFX - 460 is old news .... as of today ..... the 560 Ti is out for $250. At the $350ish level, the 570 and 6970 are more closely matched than any two cards I can remember. But Guru3D has two 570's scoring 873 fps in SLI versus 825 for the paired 6970's. Different games play better on different cards, so your choice may well depend on which games you play.
If getting the 570 / 6970, get one card now and save the 2nd for XMas 2011 or 2012. With the 560's, I might ge tempted to get one now but Xmas 2011 sounds like a better idea. Add the case door fan when you do.
*Just be aware if you get the CP-850 PSU that it *only* fits in select Antec cases.
A good 750W psu like the XFX I linked to is also fine for all but the most insanely powerful dual GPU setups. However, the XFX is on sale for only $5 more ($105) after rebate at newegg, so might as well go for it. (Or the CP-850, which is a great quiet supply, as mentioned.)