Hey Everyone,

I am new to Toms Hardware and it has come strongly recommended from a friend of mine in my unit I am deployed with to ask on this forum. I own a business and I use Carlson Survey which is a CAD program. It is not as resource demanding as others but I want to build a very nice system and not worry about any lag like I have with off the shelf computers. Here are my thoughts:

Approximate Purchase Date: The soonest will be some time in July-August. I am currently deployed in Iraq. Depending on Intel when they release their new CPU I might wait until that comes out…but unfortunately I Doubt it.

Budget Range: $2,500 - $3,000 (This is just for the costs for the tower itself. I am budgeting the monitors separately.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (CAD program, amateur video editing/making, games, media PC, internet.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard (figure I would just grab a split Microsoft keyboard). Mouse ( Optical same as keyboard)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I am doing most of my pricing off of for this post. However, I will most likely be going through someone I know at Intel for a discount on Intel products.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I used to be an AMD man but for the discounts I am going to get through Intel…im ashamed…

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Don’t know

Monitor Resolution: I haven’t looked at monitors yet but since I want to use it for BluRay than I am going to have to go a minimum of 1920x1080

Additional Comments: As much as I would love to run Ubuntu on it and have a virtual drive for Win7…since I cant seem to get Win7 installed on my laptop via virtualization I am just planning on installing Win7 and then using Ubuntu in a Virtualization (I know its not smart to install a more stable platform on a less stable platform.) . I only need windows for the CAD software and some games.

Current Parts:
Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition -

Intel BOXDX58SO2 LGA 1366 Motherboard -

Memory- G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)-

SSD- Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest)-I don’t think I will be going with this one though. Intel is going to be coming out with their next generation. The plus side is they are going to have a larger capacity, Intel controller…but the bad side is they will be SATA II not SATA III which I feel is going to hinder performance.
SSD Link-

Video Card- I need some help here. I have been looking at both Workstation and gaming ones on I don’t think I am going to go with a workstation Video card because even though I do run CAD I think a high end gaming one should cover and I get more bang for the buck. I think I can sacrifice on the drivers (which I feel is the biggest difference between a workstation card and gaming card) I am going to have at least two monitors possibly 3.

Cooling – doing some research on this mother board it looks like because of some of the cooling built in not too many CPU coolers can fit on it because the screw heads stick up to high. I was thinking of the CORSAIR CWCH50-1 High Performance CPU Cooler from new egg. They do offer the CH60 which seems like an upgrade from this one but haven’t found any reviews on for conflicting install issues.

Other- will have a BluRay/DVD burner; The main reason why I am going with all Intel for the guts is I want to try and eliminate any BIOS and driver issues I may have with the SSD as there seems to be a lot. And Intel seems to have the least returns and the overall best performing SSD’s. I am also curious on towers. I need to contact a buddy back home but he has a tower he got for about $100.00 I thought and it had to HUGE fans on the side. I thought he mentioned they were 130mm and they were quieter than the average sized fans. Want to make sure everything is as cool as possible without getting into something that is crazy and going to cost an arm and leg to cool it every day. Last thought is I am curious about which power supply to use/buy. I will gladly take recommendations.

I would like to get thoughts on how you will think the overall compatibility of the hardware will be to minimize driver and BIOS issues. Also, I would like some ideas for video cards, cooling, and SSD’s. I plan on having this for a long time so I want to do it right and not worry about it. If there is something to substitute that is equal in performance but cheaper (similiar quality) I would look at that. What are the overall thoughts on the system?


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  1. Best answer
    Approximate Purchase Date: The soonest will be some time in July-August

    Mucho changes in 2 mths time nvm July-August so :P

    Since peeps been waiting this long for the top end i suggest for healthier/fatter budgets to
    1. Await Z68 chipsets, Zambezi AM3+ on platform front
    2. Await HD 6990/GTX 590 on the GPU front and price revisions trickle down lower down the foodchain
    3. Await the Sandforce SATA 6GB/s SSDs to hit retailers :P

    Leaked: FAH score of a 4 way Interlagos Bulldozer <--Pay attention to floating point numbers/chip architecture
    Exposure of the first performance of AMD bulldozer cpus

    Intel Z68 Express Chipset Preview,2888.html
  2. ^ True dat.
  3. Best answer selected by MBeau.
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