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A computer for a programmer/gamer

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January 18, 2012 2:38:24 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Looking now, but if i7 3820 or even Ivy is worth the wait I can hold off.

Budget Range: $2000 out the door

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Dual purpose machine, work by day, play by night. I don't watch movies on it
Day use Web developer:
Tools: Eclipse IDE, MySQL Workbench, Photoshop (web design not ultra high rez pro photography), Flash Professional, Illustrator
Dev environment: Apache/MySQL/PHP, Node.js, dabbling in NoSQL implementations atm I expect their use to go up, Ruby on Rails
Would be nice to get into virtual machines instead of installing everything on my main system, so when I want to game I shut down the VMs and system is clean
Should I be thinking about Xeon? None of the web servers ever see more than my personal dev traffic unless I make it public to share with 2-3 colleagues


Gaming:
Battlefield 3, Team Fortress 2, Diablo 3 Beta, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, random indie titles

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, possibly case: I bought in 2006: COOLER MASTER Wave Master TAC-T01-E1C http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/amazon prime

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Looking for performance, green would be great if not a sacrifice

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No, but option to have in future would be nice

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 x 1920x1200 x 1680x1050 (eventually will upgrade the other 2 to 1900x1200)

Additional Comments: While I'd like to think when I want to play a game I will shut down all my development stuff, I know that doesnt always happen (either break in mid day, or working late at night) so it would be nice to leave all my dev stuff running and still play a game.
Also on that note, I play all my games in windowed mode so I can easily see whats going on in other monitors and task bar on main monitor. I don't play any simulators that would use 3 monitors. Currently I have an el cheapo $30 video card that runs the 3rd monitor and GTX260 runs the other 2

Was thinking a decent sized SSD for OS/Games/Apps and then a 1TB storage for code/personal documents

Quieter would be nice, but I'm used to the noise.


Current System: E6600 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 6 GB ram, 7200 HDDs, GTX260
January 18, 2012 3:16:34 PM

MOBO : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU : I7 2600K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU : MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD : HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD : Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD-RW : ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE : Fractal Design Define R3 Titanium Grey w/ USB 3.0 ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOTAL : $1,508.91 without rebates.
You can run 3 monitors with that video card.
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Best solution

January 18, 2012 3:17:05 PM

Here's a rough cut at $1600, without poking around for combo deals:



Personally, I'd consider waiting on the GPU until 7970's are back in stock. Also, if you have an old HDD you can use for the next 6-10 months, hard drive prices are pretty fucked because of flooding in Thailand.

That said, this machine (with either a GTX 580 or an HD 7970) should crush games at your current resolutions, and have plenty of RAM to handle having a bunch of applications open at once. The board will let you SLI/CF at x8/x8 when you decide to add a second card down the road, and the power supply has the necessary headroom. 128GB of SSD will hold your OS and current games with room to spare.

If you want a new case, I'd recommend something like the Corsair 600T or NZXT Phantom.

I don't think Xeon is necessary. An X79 platform is something to consider, but probably overkill for what you need, and would butt up against the tippy top of your budget.

EDIT: given three displays, I'm not a huge fan of the above's recommendations on graphics card or power supply.
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January 18, 2012 6:43:25 PM

Thank you guys!

When you said the above recommendation for GFX/PSU, I'm assuming that was aimed at the first reply with the 650W PSU? Is 1000W your recommendation for 3 monitor? I'm currently using the CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W in the old rig

Did not know about the Thailand stuff, that sucks. Been waiting forever for SSD upgrade, doh.
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January 18, 2012 7:05:23 PM

The 650-TX will handle one card fine (at least, a 7970, not sure about a 580) but for multi-high-end-GPU setups you will need 900-1000W.
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January 18, 2012 11:49:50 PM

Best answer selected by rschmitty.
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