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New build recommendations - Lab computer

Last response: in Systems
October 21, 2011 3:14:44 PM

Hey PC guru's, looking for some new system build advice. There's simply too much to research in the timeframe i've been given to make the best choices.
My wife runs a research lab at a university and is in need of a decent computer for image processing, etc. I've been told several times that they need a decent graphics card. Budget is 1500 but I think a decent computer could be had for ~1000. I need everything.

The details:
Approximate Purchase Date: Next week, 11/01/2011

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) 1500 max, 1000 ideal, pre rebates (I hate rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Image processing (graphics and ram intensive), word-processing, email, surfing

Parts Not Required: Need all including OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse, small speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon

Country of Origin: Im located in the US

Parts Preferences: Intel core i5 2400, Nvidia gtx560, Antec 300 case, 8gb of ram (min), 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black

Overclocking: Definitely not

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200, probably want a 22" widescreen (min)

Additional Comments: Less bling hence the plain case

I like Intel cpu's and nvidia gpu's. Would like decent quality components for all things - don't want to get into the support business for her lab. Single HDD required only, most data stored on file server. Would like USB 3.0 on the mobo.

That's about it. Pricing this system out on Dell/HP puts it closer to $1500. Roughing out some parts on Newegg seems like it can be had for ~$1000 or slightly more.

Thanks in advance!
October 21, 2011 8:17:26 PM

You do NOT need a gaming graphics card for image processing .
It is true that some elements of some image editing suites can support gpu acceleration of image processing , but these are very specific instances .
Also ditch the gaming case . No need for all that air flow and the noise is intrusive in office/lab situations

The core of your build does make sense though

z68 mb [ consider m-ATX since you dont need the expansion slots and it will save you power and money ]
2 x4 gig of 1600MHz RAM running at 1.5 volt [ maybe 4 x4 gig ]
2 x hard drives for RAID 1 data redundancy
gts 450 graphics card
Antec SONATA IV Computer Case/ 620W Power Supply
quiet, sturdy, quality
October 21, 2011 11:05:27 PM

Outlander - thank you for your reply.

Im going to have to look into this more. I think you might be right about the image processing. I'll find out what specific software they're using.

Here's what I have so far:

EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 01G-P3-1461-KR Video Card
Item #:N82E16814130661
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811129066
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #:N82E16820148441
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813157265
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II PPCMK2S650 650W Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817703026
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
Item #:N82E16819115074
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

Asus VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
Item #:N82E16824236117
Return Policy: Monitor Standard Return Policy

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820145345
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy

LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS70
Item #:N82E16827136236
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #:N82E16822136283
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
Item #:N82E16832116989
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy

Kensington PocketMouse K72406US Black Wired Optical Mobile Mouse
Item #: N82E16826125165
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Kensington K72357US Black Wired Keyboard
Item #: N82E16823155044
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$11.00 Instant
-$5.00 Combo
Grand Total: $1,310.87

I own an antec 300 case already, but wanted the illusion for myself. I was going to swap them. However, I think the only difference is the LED fans, which I can add on my own anyway. I think you might be right about the case though. Its probably too big and too noisy. I could swing the extra cost of a nicer case in the build, especially if its quieter and smaller.

Im not sure on the mobo... and don't know much about the differences between them.

There seem to be a number of builds on this thread at the 1000 price point or so. Based on responses to these threads, i've created this build.

Windows 7 is $10 cheaper on amazon.

The keyboard/mouse is a combo deal on newegg.

The graphics card you show is ~80 cheaper or so. But its probably several steps down in performance, no? I guess if the software doesn't use the graphics card, then it really doesnt matter. Might as well save the $$.

I added an SSD to the build thinking that it would speed up load times for key apps. I should have said that *all* data will be stored on the university's managed file server. Only OS and apps on the local PC. Otherwise I'd go with your suggestion and do a raid 1 setup.


Thanks again,
Related resources
October 22, 2011 2:38:07 AM

I like the antec 300 a lot , and have seen it used as a quiet case by removing the fans.
But you do have the 560 included so maybe just set them to low .

Definitely use a Z68 motherboard . That allows you to use features like quick sync , and to have a graphics card
October 22, 2011 2:16:15 PM


Thanks again for the advice. I might swap to the case you recommend based on size and noise.

I wasn't clear on the Z68 mobo's so swapped to the ASRock Z68 Pro3. Its cheaper too.

Thanks again,