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$1500 or less Workstation/Games

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Last response: in Systems
May 4, 2011 12:35:16 PM

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,

More about : 1500 workstation games

Best solution

May 7, 2011 6:38:25 PM

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.
May 14, 2011 10:59:13 PM

Best answer selected by Larry_75.