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New comp for the wife... help me earn brownie points!

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February 20, 2011 4:13:47 PM

:hello:  Alright... another newb here, oh joy! Budget was supposed to be 1200-1500 but I'm starting to outgrow that. Not a huge deal, but if there's anything I could replace to save some coin for the monitor, that would be nice.

I'm trying to build an awesome computer for the wifey's photography business. And yes, this would be my first build. She will be using the system primarily for photo editing (CS5) and some lighter video editing. I think I might have gone a little overboard, but in my limited amount of research time, I've put most of my stock in having a solid backup capability (raid) and trying to get her a nice card that optimizes the mercury playback engine on cs5. That being said, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

The 4x drives in raid sound almost like a necessity for her line of work if you ask me. I added a small SSD for the boot speed benefits I've read about, but is it worth it? That being said, I don't even have a clue as to how to set up any of the hard drive components (i.e., raid 0+1 using the mobo vs a controller, or making the SSD as a dedicated boot disk). And would an external backup be more beneficial/cheaper/easier?

The monitor is one of the main factors... I'm leaning towards the Dell U2711 just from the reviews, quality and price point. The budget doesn't really allow for one of the top of the line NEC or equivalent self-calibrating monitors. Thoughts?

Based on reviews, I went with the Zalman cpu cooler, but again... open to suggestions. One question I have is about case fans. Should I upgrade? How many should I uprgrade? Which ones? etc.. Bcause this is going in my wife's home office, i made the mistake of "letting" her choose between some of the nicer/highly coveted cases (of course she picks one of the expensive ones). Are there any issues or alternatives here?


So, here we go..

Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811139001
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Item #: N82E16819115211
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

*I MIGHT OC if a dummy like me can make a slight tweek without messing up the dependability... the wife will depend on this to work non-stop.

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131665
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231358
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

2 x ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
Return

4 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2K5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820167031
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

SPARKLE SX560T1024D5MH GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814187136
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy

*Was trying to get a good mix of price vs. cuda core availability for mixing speed.

Sparkle Computer Corp GOLD CLASS SCC-750AF 750W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active, 0.99PF Typical PFC ...
Item #: N82E16817103053 OKGEAR 18" SATA 6 Gbps Cable, Straight to Left Angle W/ Metal Latch, Black, Backward Compatible 3 Gbps and 1.5 Gbps
Item #: N82E16812123282
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Addonics ADSACFB SATA to CF Adapter
Item #: N82E16812174010
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

*fastest compact flash reader I could find

ZALMAN CNPS10X Performa 120mm Long life CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835118059
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Rosewill - Pellucid HD Series High Speed HDMI® cable (6 FEET)
Item #: N82E16882021128

Thanks for all the help forthcoming!
February 20, 2011 4:42:54 PM

How soon do you need to build the new system?
We're about five or six weeks out from being able to recommend some Sandy Bridge CPUs/MBs that would take the performance up a notch AND save some money.
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February 20, 2011 4:46:05 PM

Since this isn't going to be for gaming...the psu and vid card can be changed to something like this down below

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 FREE SHIPPING
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 - $104.99 after mail-in rebate FREE SHIPPING
MSI N450GTS-M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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Related resources
February 20, 2011 10:07:26 PM

WR2 said:
Your case and PSU total $390! That's more than 25% of your $1500 budget on things that don't make the system run FAST.
CM RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II & CM Silent Pro M600 80 PLUS Bronze Modular PSU $150 plus $20 rebate
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 600 W Power Supply Review

The GTS 450 only has half the CUDA cores that the GTX 560i does - but it still has 192 of them and saves ~$140 or so towards that Dell U2711.


Hahaha... very true. I saw a discount with a good card AND a psu, so i bit. Definately a good place to start shaving some fat. I'm not in a huge hurry and can probably wait for the sandy bridge gear to come back onlne. What did you have in mind? Or is everyone still in the dark as to what they're going to offer?

What are some good professional cases that will keep the noise down and get good cooling WITHOUT screaming "I wanna kill some dragons!"
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February 20, 2011 10:20:36 PM

Afflicted said:
Hahaha... very true. I saw a discount with a good card AND a psu, so i bit. Definately a good place to start shaving some fat. I'm not in a huge hurry and can probably wait for the sandy bridge gear to come back onlne. What did you have in mind? Or is everyone still in the dark as to what they're going to offer?

What are some good professional cases that will keep the noise down and get good cooling WITHOUT screaming "I wanna kill some dragons!"

Actually that combo that WR2 posted would be one worth looking at imo. It doesn't have any LED's, it's basic black, and there's plenty of options to add more fans if you want more cooling.
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February 20, 2011 10:22:27 PM

We had a good look at the SB CPUs and MBs before the recall.
Still lots of good reviews and stuff available.

Knowing how important a good monitor is to killing dragons the photography business I'd prioritize the Dell U2711.

If you look at the Recommended Builds by Usage guide you'll see a couple recommended Sandy Bridge build lists in the 2nd post in that topic.
Gamer: $1,102.90
and
Enthusiast: $1,332.89
* CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 95W Quad-Core CPU
* MOBO: ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 l Motherboard
* RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) RAM
* HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
* HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
* PSU: XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC ...
* GPU: EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB Video Card
* DVD: SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
* Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

For your wife we'd probably suggest 8GB RAM, a 550W PSU, a GTS 450 or GTX 560 Ti video card and a SSD boot drive.
And I'm thinking the Core i5-2500K $1100 option has a lot bang for the buck performance.

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February 20, 2011 10:27:48 PM

Gamer: $1,102.90
* CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 95W Quad-Core CPU
* MOBO: ASUS P8P67 PRO LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard
* RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM
* HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
* HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
* PSU: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W 80 PLUS SILVER Modular PSU
* GPU: EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked video card
* DVD: SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe
* Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
I think we could squeeze the basics here down to about $100 with a slightly less powerful video card, PSU and a different case and still upgrade to 8GB RAM.
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February 20, 2011 10:31:32 PM

Here is a performance comparison across different benchmarks between Core i7-950 and Core i5 2500K
You can plug the Core i7 2600K into that comparison to check that out too.
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February 20, 2011 11:13:38 PM

WR2 said:
Here is a performance comparison across different benchmarks between Core i7-950 and Core i5 2500K
You can plug the Core i7 2600K into that comparison to check that out too.



Nice! Those options are sounding great... definitely glad you showed me the comparison tool. In my limited research, I was all but sold on the i7 950... glad to see the performance comparisons.

Definitely agree that at least 8GB is the way to go...

Liked the case/psu combo, but as far as the cases go... considering I want to try and do 5 (4x1TBs + SSD boot drive) will the case mentioned be good enough for not only space, but cooling?

Would you stick with the Intel SSD? CS5 master (~25GB) will be the main customer...

I really appreciate the help WR2

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February 21, 2011 12:07:47 AM

Here is the CM RC-690 website
It has 6 internal 3.5" HDD drive bays plus 4 5.25" which could take a couple more HDDs and still leave room for a couple optical drives.
Maybe a removable backup HDD drive.

All kinds of different cooling options available.


Since you enjoyed the CPU comparison site so much there is also one for SDDs on the same site.
IBM is about the drop the next gen of it's SDDs shortly. And the competition is working on the new Sandforce 2000 controller.
But at the moment the Sandforce 1200 based SSDs have an advantage over the Intel consumer SSDs.
Intel X25-M G2 (80GB) - Intel vs OCZ Agility 2 (100GB) - SF-1200
OCZ Agility 2 90GB SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD) $180 & $20 rebate
OCZ Vertex 2 80GB SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD) $160 & $20 rebate

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February 21, 2011 2:05:42 AM

WR2 said:
Here is the CM RC-690 website
It has 6 internal 3.5" HDD drive bays plus 4 5.25" which could take a couple more HDDs and still leave room for a couple optical drives.
Maybe a removable backup HDD drive.

All kinds of different cooling options available.
http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/upload/product/2971/feature1.jpg

Since you enjoyed the CPU comparison site so much there is also one for SDDs on the same site.
IBM is about the drop the next gen of it's SDDs shortly. And the competition is working on the new Sandforce 2000 controller.
But at the moment the Sandforce 1200 based SSDs have an advantage over the Intel consumer SSDs.
Intel X25-M G2 (80GB) - Intel vs OCZ Agility 2 (100GB) - SF-1200
OCZ Agility 2 90GB SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD) $180 & $20 rebate
OCZ Vertex 2 80GB SATA II Solid State Drive (SSD) $160 & $20 rebate


Ok, I promise not to question you again, hahaha. The case looks good. No to be dense but, where (out of all those 10 fan spots) would you beef up the cooling?

Glad to see that I was wrong again. OCZ it is.

It all sounds great... let me know if you think of any other areas of improvement. I'll make sure to come back and bump the list once the sandy bridges get back on the shelves...


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February 21, 2011 9:42:01 AM

I think the 2 standard fans (2&3) are enough to get the job done.
An extra fan @ #7 spot might be something to look at if your notice the HDD temps rise above the 'normal' operating range. I wouldn't expect that to happen but you can keep an eye on it. It's easy enough to add fans later.

That Intel X25M SSD choice would not have been 'wrong'. It's still a FAST SSD. None of us would really notice the difference in performance. It's only in the benchmark tests that the differences show up.
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February 21, 2011 3:30:26 PM

For a business based machine, you don't want anything flashy .... you want professional appearance and QUIET. case should be specifically designed with sound deadening panels as noise may not bother agamer with guns a blazin but it is quite irritating in a working environment.

No need for twin opticals in these days of SSD's.

Bargain PSU's is a mistake.....given there's no real price savings getting less than a 650 watter makes little sense. And with a business depending upon it, it should be better than just "good enough". I'd recommend the XFX Black or Core Edition 650's but, again, with QUIET in mind, I'd move up to a CPX form factor, if that's worth $30 to her.

Wait for Sandy Bridge's re-release in April

Photoshop like fast memory

And yes, w/ Photoshop not getting an IPS monitor is not an option....

$1770 w/o monitor

Case - $160 - Antec P183 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $120 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $80 - Antec Kuhler 620 http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cpu_cooler/kuhle...
RAM - $155 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $250 - Asus 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $65 - Same
SSD - $185 - OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $35 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $120 - ASUS BR Model BW-12B1LT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Pro OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - $987 - Dell U2711 IP2560 x 1440 http://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSharp-U2711-27-inch-Wid...

or

Monitor - $560 - Dell U2410 1920 x 1200

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSharp-U2410-Performance...

If needed

Keyboard - $65 - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - $53 - Logitech G500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 21, 2011 4:03:10 PM

The U2410 has some problems I don't recommend it the U2711 is great but has an aggressive anti-glare coating, if you can afford the U3011 that is great has the same anti-glare coating though, look for coupons (usually there is one on the U3011 every month or so)
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February 21, 2011 5:13:30 PM

More great stuff guys.. thanks! I guess I'll keep my eyes out for some monitor coupons while I wait on the Sandy Bridge re-release. I've got plenty of time.

I'm anxious to start getting pieces and fitting them together. :bounce:  Lord knows how long it's going to take me and my OCD to wire this thing up, haha! That being said, are there any other connectors/extensions that I'm going to need. I've been focused on all the "big" stuff and don't want to neglect any of the essential wiring that needs to go with. Thx!
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February 21, 2011 6:48:37 PM

Until you have the big stuff settled it's probably too early nail down the rest.

Then you can check to see how many SATA cables are in the MB accessory pack and based on the number of HDD/SSD drives you end up figure if you need any more. (right now it's about 2 extra, plus 1 for a spare maybe)

The ASUS P8P67 PRO has four in the accessory pack for example. Other boards might have more or less.


Right number of SATA power connectors on the PSU? The one I suggested has 9.

A good place to watch for Dell monitor deals is Dealigg. Here is the 'sales history' or the Dell U2711 It's been as low as $719.


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February 21, 2011 11:36:03 PM

U3011 sometimes hits $1000, still expensive though
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