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Need help slimming a friend's build so his wife won't kill him

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July 10, 2011 1:20:13 PM

My friend is a programmer who has a 22" & a pair of 24" monitors. He wants to be able to program/research on one, Photoshop on another, and watch a movie on the third w/o either his system or his monitors stuttering at max resolution. I suggested the following build for starters and heard his wife's response through the phone.

I should add that as time progresses he is getting better and therefore more heavily involved in graphics editing and he needs a system which will be decent for the next 3-5 years w/room to upgrade for ~$1500.

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • he wants the SRT

    LIAN LI PC-Z60B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • he wants the two USB 3.0 ports in front but it might be possible to get a case w/ 1 port and a card-reader w/ 1

    SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
  • could be less expensive to go with 2 less expensive cards but I'm not clear on the trade-offs

    CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX750 (CMPSU-750AX) 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

    Patriot Wildfire PW120GS25SSDR 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • possibly a smaller/cheaper drive but between the SRT usage and the OS I'm not sure if it's advisable

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH
  • Don't know if this is sufficient RAM for his purposes and if it's better to get more slower

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

    ZALMAN CNPS11X Extreme V-Shaped Dual Heatpipe Design w/120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
  • could be a less expensive one out there which works just as well
    I realize there are a number of places to "wiggle" but given his multi-tasking nature I'm not sure what to scale down.
    I also realize I've left off an optical drive but the $5 between the high and low end just aint the diff. we're going for here. :) 
    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 10, 2011 2:49:16 PM

    Possible ways of trimming cost would include gettinh (assuming you will get from newegg), or even getting these parts.

    CPU & Motherboard: i7-2600K & MSI Z68A G65 (same processor & cheaper motherboard but with the same features, has room for upgrade)

    GPU & Power Supply : $435- EVGA GTX 570 & Corsair Enthusiast TX850 (Great Card & Great power supply, can power two of those cards)

    SSD : $220- OCZ Agillity 3 120GB ( here's a review )

    Cooler : $30- Xigmatek Gaia ( Good one for its price , provides ample headroom for overclocking)

    OS: $100-Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64bit). (incase you don't have one)

    RAM : $75- Corsair Vengeance 2X 4GB (Cheap)

    HDD: $55- Samsung Spinpoint 1TB (its fast, and cheap)

    Case : $150-Corsair Graphite 600T (Has front USB 3.0 support)

    Optical Drive: $19- LiteOn

    Total( Excluding Rebates): 1539 USD

    Rebates: Around 50 USD

    That should help.


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    July 11, 2011 3:59:18 PM

    Thanks for the ideas. I've used some suggestions and been inspired to try different combinations and this what I have so far.
    The one thing that I'm still fairly uncertain of is my choice of graphics cards.

    LIAN LI PC-A05FNB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

    OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

    ZALMAN 9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

    Koutech IO-RCM630 Multi-in-1 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Front Panel Internal Card Reader with USB 3.0 Port (3.5")

    LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100284VXL Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity x2 in CrossFire

    Total before combos and rebates: $1,582.88

    Best solution

    a b B Homebuilt system
    July 11, 2011 4:21:48 PM
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    Shabtai1024 said:

    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100284VXL Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity x2 in CrossFire


    5750 in crossfire will not yield good performance . it is better to go with a single powerful card for now.
    A GTX 560Ti or 6950 2Gb will be a good option.

    Motherboard is great but way overpriced.There are really good sub $200 motherboards . Same variant of this motherboard but cheaper : Gigabyte Z68X UD3H worth $170


    July 11, 2011 6:03:40 PM

    Really the 5750 is a really good budget card, take a look at the 5770 a great budget card I still have a 5770 and does everything. A 5750 in crossfire is a good choice, though he could get like a 6870 or 6850.
    July 25, 2011 5:35:15 AM

    First, I want to thank you guys for the help and ideas. This is pretty much the final configuration I came up with(there's always last minute checking for similar combos). I don't know if he'll use it in the end because I'm not the only one he asked.

    LIAN LI PC-A05FNB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    SAPPHIRE FleX 100312FLEX Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

    Koutech IO-RCM630 Multi-in-1 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Front Panel Internal Card Reader with USB 3.0 Port (3.5")

    OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04

    ZALMAN CNPS11X Extreme V-Shaped Dual Heatpipe Design w/120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge
    August 1, 2011 3:56:10 AM

    Best answer selected by Shabtai1024.
    !