A computer for a programmer/gamer

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

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

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
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about computer programmer gamer
  1. MOBO : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
    CPU : I7 2600K
    RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    GPU : MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
    HDD : HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM
    SSD : Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III
    PSU : CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W
    DVD-RW : ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
    CASE : Fractal Design Define R3 Titanium Grey w/ USB 3.0 ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
    TOTAL : $1,508.91 without rebates.
    You can run 3 monitors with that video card.
  2. Best answer
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Best answer selected by rschmitty.
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