Homebuild Review Sites

I am looking to build a new desktop after getting along with a few old systems for a while. In the past I have stumbled across sites that would give recommendations for components (some very generalized, some more specific based on different use / needs). After a little Google searching, I can't seem to find anything.

What I would like is a site (or sites) that keep up with current hardware (updates at least every 6 months) and give suggested configurations for various computer needs and budgets.

Although I hesitate to waste anyone's time, in case what I am looking for isn't really out there, I will also post my specific need below and welcome any comments on it.

Out of 100, I would say my priorities are reliable (25), energy efficient (25), quiet (20), performance (15), budget friendly (15)
I would like to use my current drives (SSD & SATA plus optical) and case / PS (new but relatively generic 500W), unless there is a real compelling reason otherwise. Thus, I am looking to purchase just the basic "barebones" components along with appropriate cooling.
I will be running Win 7. I do mainly office type stuff, but occasionally some video editing & desktop publishing. Reliability is even slightly more important than performance.
I have been getting along with a P4 3GHz, so almost any current generation CPU will seem like a big boost. My biggest complaint with my current system is the MB's lack of true Win 7 drivers which causes instability.

Thanks for your assistance!
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  1. Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

    Well, this is an interesting request. I don't know if I can help you with it because you have conflicting needs. You want:
    A. Standardized set of suggested builds
    B. You want something very efficient and quiet but also have high performance.

    Therefore, the pre-canned builds may not suit you well! I can however link you to the BestConfig page here at Tom's (it's a crowd sourced compendium of builds) http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/bestconfigs-build-pc,news-32984.html It's a pretty good resource. Sounds the closest to what you are looking for.

    Hope that helps!
  2. AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz Socket AM3+ 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor FD6100WMGUSBX

    CORSAIR H70 Core High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

    ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

    SAPPHIRE FleX 100314FLEX Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    $199.99 and a $20 rebate makes it $179.99

    SeaSonic M12II 650 SS-650AM 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Semi-modular Power Supply

    Taking you requests under consideration and not knowing your budget I came up with this upgrade. I also included the psu in the upgrade because you want relieability and the term "relitively generic" doesn't spell reiablility and the Seasonic brand does. The total for this upgrade is $684.95 and like I said I don't know your budget so if this is over then you can of course make what ever changes you want.
  3. Hello weinhofer;

    THG does that.
    Build Your Own: Articles & Reviews - System Builder Marathons a series of articles that cover the parts and performance in several different budget ranges.

    TechSpot has it's PC Buying Guide

    If you'd like to have one of the forum guys give you a headstart - maybe start a new topic and
    Fill out the form in *How To Ask For New Build Advice* you'll answer all the standard questions that help things get started.
  4. Thanks for all the great advice. As I started to look at some of the sites you recommended, I realized that I forgot an important and potentially tricky need. I have become a big fan of multiple monitors and would like my new system to be able to support 3 or 4 monitors.

    I saw that the graphics card inzone recommended has 2 Mini DisplayPort ports and 2 DVI ports (which I believe means it could support 4 monitors). Is that good enough for a non-gaming / non-multimedia system? Or do I need to think about a pair of graphics cards? And if so, what should I look for in terms of PCIe slot configurations (I haven't built a system since PCIe became standard, so dumbing it down here is appreciated)?
  5. With AMD cards you can have up to six monitors but for that you need two cards , if you go with the one card you can have up to four monitors.
    The motherboard needs to have two x16 pci-e slots for two video cards and the motherboard that I listed does have the two slots for that.
    If you are thinking of two video cards then you could either go with two of the 6870 of tow of the 6850 cards.

    SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    $149.99 and a $15 rebate makes it $134.99
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