System requirements have overwhelmed my Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 1.5Ghz 4Gb Ram machine. I desperately need an updated stable desktop. I found this site while literally filling out a Dell purchase form and realized I might be able to build my own and get more for the same money but I'm need some help.
Stability of the system is important beyond everything else as my butt is on the line with open positions. All applications will be 2D. No gaming. This would be my first build. Reading the negative product feedback on Newegg product pages is giving me second thoughts. Are home built PC's reliable?
I would greatly appreaciate any recommendations of good part combination/configurations that would meet my needs as well as feedback regarding home built reliability. I watched the construction videos and it doesnt seem to be that complicated but again, I really need something dependable.
Also any pointers to recent threads relating to builds for this type of machind would be great.
Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: $600 to $800 but more if necessary
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Dedicated trading computer, 15 to 20 open charts, 2 programs running 2 separate data feeds, multi tasking simultaneously with email, Excell, Camtasia screen recording software, MS Word
OS: Expect to use Windows 7 home premium 64 bit unless something else would be better
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts e.g.: newegg.com
Country of Origin:USA
Parts Preferences: Setup need to provide video to At least 2 DVI monitors, 3 would be better
Overclocking: Prefer not to as I don’t know how
SLI or Crossfire: Hopefully not necessary
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200
Additional Comments: Stability of system highest priority. I would also like a quiet PC
$800 may get you a stable, fast, and quiet computer, but it will be a near thing.
As to newegg user reviews, they have their place but only for those with a good understanding already. 80% of negative reviews can be traced to one of these:
1. User error in assembly, mostly followed by blame of some hardware.
2. Failure to read the item description carefully.
3. Mishandling of parts, either by the user or in route.
Power to multitask means at least a quad core. probably because of your budget an i5-2500K. Yes, it's an overclocking part but look at it this way... a part designed to be stable while being overclocked is likely even more stable at stock speeds. Also, it's very easily overclocked and so retains value far better than say an i5-2400. It's a better investment.
The above build is a good one that's probably much more powerful than you actually need.
However -- for the sake of argument: Because you listed reliability as #1 I am going to have to disagree with you doing a first-time build. A computer built with custom parts is less prone to mechanical failure because of the higher quality parts, but it may be more prone to software challenges because it leaves you with no tech-support to go to if something doesn't work properly, etc. This wouldn't be a big deal for a home computer, but for a business computer there could be occasional tech challenges that reduce productivity.
What you have described is not actually a very demanding environment for a computer -- most new processors can handle a few programs, and there are many graphic cards capable of running a few monitors.
As deadlockedworld pointed out, I am not sure building your own computer is too appropriate for your line of work. The problem with building one's own computer is that there is no support at all; you would have to rely on forums like these to help with all the problems that you may encounter.
With that said, I think that homebuilt computers are also very stable. I've built 3 in the past 8 years, and have used each for quite a long period of time before I had to invest in a new machine. Granted, nothing bad has happened to me so far (in terms of software compatibility or hardware failure) so I think it is a good idea. But I've also seen, as you can tell by the large number of threads posted on sites like these, that the potential for problems is there.
Seeing as how you are a stock trader, you should weigh the risks of building your own or buying a prebuilt from a company. Do you want to get:
1. More hardware, and (much) less support
2. Less hardware, more junk programs, and (usually hassle free) support
An alternative might be to go to your local PC shop, give them the specifics of what parts you want in your system, and get a quote for what they would charge you to build it for you. That way you get a more experienced person to put it together and you'd have some recourse to service if things went wrong.
That having been said, it's fairly easy these days to put a pc together, especially if you're not looking to cram a lot into the case, which is the case in your case (pardon the pun). Check out a youtube video or two on the process and see if you think you can handle it.
Being an experienced builder and considering your budget, I think you are better off building your own
I've built 8 systems this year and every one of them have been ordered from newegg and rock solid. Most of them were quad core AMD builds though.
You won't get that level of quality from any Dell or HP. They are not going to ship a quiet computer for that amount, and the PSU may be adequate but nowhere near the quality of the listed Seasonic. Stable PSU means a more stable computer.
I do approve of the idea of establishing a relationship with a local company however. Every large town has at least one shop building and supporting office systems. The level of knowledge is usually high and they can often give you the fastest support if needed.
I would like to thank everyone, Proximon in particular, for the thoughtful and timely responses to my question. Given the requirements of my immediate situation, I've decided to go with a factory box for now but plan to build a backup system along the lines of the generous suggestions received here as soon as funds permit. That way, I'll be in a position of having both backup and a source for performance comparison that I can test for myself without undue anxiety about a sudden unexpected system crash. I'm really glad I found this forum. It's opened my eyes to a whole new set of technical possiblilities going forward. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience with me. aebcpa
I think that is a great plan. Building a PC is a lot more fun when you don't have to stress about it too much.
Along these lines -- an incrementally built PC is a good way to build up to the purchase and spread out the cost. My first build started with a sub $500 PC and the following upgrade order -- 1: new high-quality power supply, 2: new powerful graphic card 3: additional hard drives 4: high airflow case 5: bigger monitor and then 6 (more than a year later): a new montherboard and processor)
Graphic card and power supply are frequently the weakness in box PCs -- buying a lower-end box unit and upgrading those two parts soon would be an easy way to get good power without invalidating your warranty.