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New developer build $500 - $1000

Last response: in Systems
July 30, 2011 4:00:18 PM


Thought I would see if you guys could help me decide the best use for my money. I'm in need of updating my main machine. I'm currently running the following:

Q6600 2.4 not over clocked
Windows Vista 64 bit
NVidea GeForce 9600 GT
XFX nForce 680i LT SLI Socket 775
NZXT mid-tower
500 watt power supply

Here is the requested data on the new build spec
Approximate Purchase Date: 1st week August

Budget Range: $500 - $1000 After Rebates, lower is better ;-)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Development - Adobe CS5 (quite a bit of Photoshop and Flash), video editing, virtual machines for testing different configs, surfing, office apps, no gaming

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (will be using Windows 7 Ultimate), case?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no preference but would be nice to buy all at one place unless there is a big savings

Country of Origin: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: whatever works best

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe ?? Don't know as I need it

Monitor Resolution: Currently running two 22" at 1680x1050 which is ok, might like the ability to add a third display later

Additional Comments: no bling needed, I would like a quiet PC - current one is LOUD - guessing this requires a new PSU and possibly new fans, possible use of an SSD

I have an HP P6000 case that is available if it would work. That way I could keep the Q6600 in use. If that doesn't work I am willing to use the NZXT.

Not sure what else is needed. I build a machine every 2 to 3 years and just have trouble keeping up with what the best bang for the buck is.

As far as the video editing, I don't do a lot but when I do it is usually good sized batches.

One other note, when working I hate waiting for the computer.
July 30, 2011 4:46:37 PM

Here's a few ideas to mull over

Non over clocking board and i7 cpu along with 1333 RAM down below.... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASRock H67M-GE B3 Intel H67 Micro ATX DDR3 1333 Motherboard $299.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600 $54.99 FREE SHIPPING $10 off w/ promo code EMCKCHB22, ends 8/3
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL

And this set up which does allow o/c.... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Gigabyte Z68A-D3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard GA-Z68A-D3-B3 $314.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

July 30, 2011 4:55:01 PM

^ i would definitely take the z68-d3 regardless of whether you plan to overclock (i7-2600k) or not (i7-2600). it has about a zillion more features and a better warranty for the same price.

its hard to give you noise advice because i dont know what is making your current computed "loud", and people have very different opinions on what constitutes loud. it could be your case fans, cpu fan, psu fan, case vibrations, hdd, or gpu fan, or a combination.
Related resources
July 30, 2011 6:16:04 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. I have been thinking the Z68 and an I7-2600K would be the basic starting point.

Most of my current noise comes from the cpu fan and two small fans on the mb. I thought it was coming from the psu but I just checked and while some is the majority are the fans mentioned.
July 31, 2011 5:03:11 PM

Ok, anyone have input on the below config? I'm sure I have missed something or there are better options but it is a start.

Disclaimer: As I work on this the specs have changed a little and I will explain my decisions next to those items.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $164.99
Has RAID which I decided would be good and a VGA D-Sub and a DVI.

Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K $314.99

Memory: 2 Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX $109.98
Currently running 8GB and it is at 80%+ utilization most of the time so thought 16GB might be useful. I could close some programs but it seems I always end up with a gazillion things open at once.

HDD: 2 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $119.98
As I was looking I decided that RAID 1 would be a good thing ot have as this is a work machine. The piece of mind is worth the cost.

SSD: 2 OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $239.98
First one for the OS (Windows 7 Ultimate) second for applications.

Adapters for SSD: 2 Mushkin Enhanced MKNSSDBRKT2535 3.5" to 2.5" drive adapter bracket $11.98

Case: Use current NZXT

PSU: Use current - if it is too loud I will replace it soon

GPU: Hoping I can use the 3000 in the chip for my application

Total comes to $961.90 before one $20 rebate, no shipping included

Please tell me where I am making bad choices.



Best solution

July 31, 2011 5:33:31 PM

looks good. in terms of the ssds, the ocz agility 3 seems to be the most problematic of the new ocz ssd line (BSODs, crashes, etc). my choice would be a 128gb crucial m4 or 120gb vertex 3 (which conveniently includes a 3.5" drive adapter) for both OS and programs.

an aftermarket cpu cooler can be quieter than the stock fan if you find that this is still a problem with your new build.

intel recommends 1.5v ram with sandy bridge, whereas that particular kingston ram is 1.65v. id grab two of these , although im impressed/surprised that you get 80% usage off of 8gigs:
(1.5v and lower latency, $20 off w/promo code)
July 31, 2011 8:04:05 PM

Thanks genghiskron,

Good point on the SSDs and I appreciate the input on the memory.

As far as memory usage, it is not to impressive. Adobe products eat memory. Especially when working with files from designers that are huge. The tend to layer everything and never delete anything. (at least the ones I work with) I probably run in the 65-75% usage most of the time. I just don't pay much attention until things are getting a little sluggish which is about the 80% mark or a little above and I close some apps and down we go and things run better again.

Thinking maybe I should add a new PSU while building and not have to mess with it later. Any suggestions on that?
July 31, 2011 8:16:28 PM

what exact psu is it?

if you are maxing out 8gb ram, i agree, get 16gb, ram is dirt cheap now.
July 31, 2011 8:31:45 PM

The current PSU is an Ultra 500w that is three years old and no longer manufactured. It has modular cable system and I may not even have the cables I need with it. I'll have to see if I can find the ones that came with it that are not in use.
August 2, 2011 1:06:48 AM

Decided to go with the Antec 380. Thanks for the advice. I'll post back once I get it running.

August 2, 2011 1:07:18 AM

Best answer selected by AllByteNoBark.
August 8, 2011 8:47:02 PM

Got the machine up and running. Everything is working great, easy build. The OCZ SSD is really fast and the F3's aren't bad either. Did a little stress testing with fractals and this thing is not disappointing.

Thanks for the inputs!