$1500 or less Workstation/Games

My current computer is a Dell Dimension 4600, 1gig of RAM, 75gig harddrive.
And it makes a whine, I'm surprised it has lasted
this long, I got it in 2003....almost 8 years old now.

I've been researching building a computer, starting last June, have gotten some parts,
but have found this forum to be a good place to post a possible build, and get reliable feedback.
I'll use the form suggested in the FAQ:

Approximate Purchase Date: Remaining parts, in the next 2 weeks.
Have bought some already, over the last 9 months.

Budget Range: $1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
This will be my main computer, park workstation, part gaming, part general webbrowsing and streaming video (Netflix, Hulu,)
and physical DVDs. I may possibly get a Blu-ray drive, ....but maybe I'll just buy a PS3, and hook it up to the same monitor. I have
an xbox 360 currently hooked up to it. I don't need crazy power-gaming, or intense video or 3D rendering.

Applications: Adobe CS3 Creative Suite (mainly Photoshop)

Games: Starcraft 1 & 2, Half-Life 2, The Old Republic MMO. Possibly newer games, just haven't tried them since my
current system is so slow. Haven't purchases Starcraft 2 yet, but plan to play it...and Diablo III.

Parts Not Required: Monitor (using an HP 2709m 27inch monitor, great monitor, BUT, only one HDMI input)
Speakers (M-Audio AV 40)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe, I'm new to it, ...if I did, it would be not major. If I get a 3.3 CPU, the most I would clock to would be 4.0.
I've heard that's pretty easy with an i5-2500K or i7-2600K

SLI or Crossfire: Not right now, I'm just planning on using one Graphics Card, and just need a pretty good card,
I don't need the super graphics for "Crysis 2", but....I do have a large monitor, so I wouldn't want it to look choppy.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 27inch LCD

Additional Comments:
My case has a side window, I do want it to look good. I will probably go with simple white lighting inside, I was attracted to the simple black/gray themes, such as the EVGA boards a while ago, but I don't see any 1155s from them recently. The new Gigabyte style looks good, better than the light-blue/white, for my tastes.
My current computer has an annoying high-pitched whine, maybe the power supply? But, it's getting old. I want something relatively quiet. I'm not a power-gamer, I tend to like the fantasy/sci-fi adventure stuff...Myst, WoW,...some strategy, such as Starcraft, and Dawn of War: Dark Crusade. But, I want a good graphics card that can handle pretty good gaming, and also video, such as any DVDs I play, or possibly Blu-ray, if I decide to install a drive for it. Also, streaming video is choppy for me right now, I'd love if it was smoother, and could handle large resolutions, to fit my 27inch monitor.


Parts I have already bought:

cost about $175, I payed $211 last November
Lian Li (PC-7FNWX-B) All Aluminum Mid Tower Computer PC Case with Side Window- With USB 3.0 Ports, Equipped with 8 PCI slots, Support CrossfireX™ and 3-Way SLI™

POWER SUPPLY: (bought on sale about $145)

SeaSonic X Series X-850 (SS-850KM Active PFC F3) 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

MEMORY: (paid $135, special at newegg)

Mushkin Enhanced Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996982

CPU COOLER: (paid $57, amazon)
ZALMAN CNPS10X QUIET 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Lite-On DVD with lightscribe

HARD DRIVE: (bought amazon $59)
Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD15EARS


Parts I still need:


I bought an i7-950, in September, but sold it on ebay after Sandy Bridge came out.
So, now I'm looking to get one at microcenter,
$180 for an i5-2500K,
or $280 for an i7-2600K

I may want to save money, get the i5, and put that toward a solid state drive, for operating system.

I'm leaning towards a Gigabyte, that has the look that I want, mostly black. But, motherboards I don't know a ton about.
I'm going to be only using one graphics card, at the most, adding 1 more for SLI. I'll need SATA 6 for a solid state, probably.
Most likely I'll use ATX format, since I have the case for it.

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I'd like to keep it under $200.


I'm not sure, the most I would spend is in the $270 range, but would prefer at or under $200.
Originally I was thinking GTX 460, of some sort, then 560ti, but now the April "best graphics card" for the
money has me confused. What I want is something that will be good for my 27inch monitor, DVD or Bluray
playback...streaming video, and games. Also, I want to keep the noise down, a quiet card would be good,
especially for multi-media. I've heard the AMD cards can be louder than Nvidia?

some cards I'm looking at:

MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

this second one just looks cool, and would look great with my side-window, it's a bit pricey though, $280, for the all copper.

MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


I've only had one in mind, for OS, and Photoshop, and a few often-used programs,
(prices vary between $177-190)
Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2K5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

I'll probably get Windows 7 Home Edition. I'm guessing that's around $100.

I guess depending on which CPU and Graphics card I get, it could be plus or minus $200, $1300-$1500.

Thanks ahead of time for any feedback,
2 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1500 workstation games
  1. Best answer
    The sata ports will get in the way on the gigabyte ud3p and that p8p67 doesn't support x8/x8 sli.

    I would suggest these, in order of price:
    Gigabyte x-ud3
    MSI gd-53
    Asrock extreme4
    Asus pro

    They're all good boards but you said looks is part of the decision so I suggested multiple.

    I would pick the 560ti twin frozr regular version.
  2. Best answer selected by Larry_75.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product