My desktop got fried last summer in a thunderstorm, and I've been working on my laptop only ever since. Its inadequacies are beginning to show themselves more and more every day, though, and I think it's time to bite the bullet and buy a new desktop.
Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.
Budget Range: Probably $1000 max. Somewhat flexible, but obviously the cheaper the better.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Image processing/related CPU-intensive work, gaming.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: I'd probably prefer Intel/NVidia, especially as I'm looking into starting CUDA programming.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
I've been out of the hardware loop for a while now so I'm really not sure what's good parts-wise anymore. I've been looking around the forums and this build given by mlCaouette seems to be the best I've seen so far:
Thanks for the tips guys. Unfortunately most of my codes wouldn't take full advantage of the i7's hyperthreading, so I'm not sure if it would actually be worth the $100. One of my friends also suggested that it might be a better idea to get 4x2GB sticks instead of 2x4GB sticks, so here is the build so far:
I don't think there will be a performance difference but it might be less expensive. You should decide based on price and whether you think you'll need more than 8GB of RAM.
I just wanted to point out that if you decide to SLI with that motheboard, both of your cards will be limited to 8x (as opposed to 16x). There are motherboards with two 16x PCIe slots that will run both cards at full speed. (example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665) However, it is kind of unclear whether or not the difference between 16x and 8x is always very significant. I don't really want to get draw into that debate. Just wanted to point it out.
One of the things I've heard is that four stick of RAM can put more strain on the memory controller - that probably only matters if overclocking the RAM tho. Only using 2 sticks has the advantage of having more/easier/cheaper upgrade options, as you don't have to replace sticks to get more RAM than you currently have installed.
No test I've ever read showed a significant difference in performance between two graphics card installed in motherboards with either dual x16 or dual x8 slots. I believe the only Sandy Bridge motherboards with dual x16 slots (the one eightdrunkengods linked was X58 which is not compatible with Sandy Bridge CPUs) cost over $200, so I think the difference in performance really would have to be quite large to justify the extra cost.
Well 1 4GB stick does not perform as well as 2X2GB because it operates in single channel.
So if u 2x 4GB its already dual channel so why bother? Go with 2 x 4GB. if u decide to add more RAM in the future u wont have to sell (or throw away) those 2GB modules to free ur slots.