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A PC for Developer 800~1000.No Gaming Needed

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January 29, 2012 6:20:41 AM


Thanks for visiting my thread. With Tom's Hardware forum's support, I am taking up my first PC building challange. This forum has tons of info for a programmer like me.

I want to build a PC for developing Components for SharePoint and Dynamics CRM which only run on Windows Server 2008.So on a Win 7 PC I have to Boot another VM of win 2008. Some development tool only work on win 7,so Virtual machines for me are must.

I will not use this PC for anything else so average Graphics card and standard resolution monitors will suffice.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 to 2 weeks
Budget Range: 800~1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Programming, Using Multiple VMs of Windows server 2008 on windows 7 PC, Local web server hosting for testing.
Parts Not Required: Do not need Software Licenses for OS or MS Office.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Microcenter just 10 miles away
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: must have 2 19” monitors for efficient working. SSD is also preferred.
Overclocking: Not needed.
SLI or Crossfire: Do not know much about it.
Monitor Resolution: standard resolution will suffice
Additional Comments: This is my first time building PC. I will not use this PC for games. Only for programming on virtual machines with different OS.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2012 12:22:14 PM

Well a few tips I have is get plenty of RAM, 16GB shouldn't be a problem at that budget and seems like a minimum if running multiple VM's.

For 2 monitors you will need either a basic graphics card or you could go with a Sandy Bridge CPU and use Intel HD graphics. It should support 2 monitors. The i7-2600k CPU is probably the best choice anyway, this has Intel HD 3000 iirc.

Hope this helps :) 
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January 29, 2012 3:10:00 PM

Thanks jmsellars1 For reply.

Do you have any idea about the motherboard that will support 16 gigs of RAM. Also should the integrated graphic card be sufficient for these requirments?

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2012 3:22:32 PM

The integrated graphics on most socket 1155 processors will be fine. Almost all Z68 motherboards will support 16GB of RAM too.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2012 3:28:31 PM

+1. 2600k is great for VM's on a budget. I run mine on a 2500k and wish I had HT's to play with :( 
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January 29, 2012 9:52:51 PM

2600 K is around $325 on nextegg. Is it wise for me to spend that much on Processor? I mean what will be the bottleneck on the system, an HD or processor. Is there a processor in $200 range that I can use so that adding SSD in the budget is possible.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2012 4:56:17 PM

You could drop that down to a 2600 (without the K) since you don't want to overclock, that wouldn't save a lot though. Your next logical step down would be either an i5-2400 or an FX-8120, both would still be good for this sort of thing. Not as good as the i7 but not a massive difference. They both go for around $200.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 30, 2012 5:35:30 PM

Here's what I would suggest for your usage:

(I have put a bit of cash towards quietness in this build, if quietness isn't an issue you could make it ~$50-100 cheaper)

AMD FX-8120 - $199.99
This is because I suspect the 8 cores may trump an i5 for running multiple VM's and that kind of thing.

ASUS M5A88-M AM3+ - $99.99
This is one of the cheaper AM3+ boards but should be fine as you shouldn't need anything fancy. As with most AM3+ boards though (especially the cheaper ones), there's a strong chance it could come with an earlier BIOS version which means you would have to buy a cheap AM3 Sempron and update the BIOS before using the FX chip. Another bonus of this board though, it is mATX but still has 4 sockets for RAM as well as USB 3 and SATA 3.

CORSAIR XMS3 16GB (4 x 4GB) - $79.99
As I said before, VM's are really RAM hungry so you are one of the few people that can justify 16GB it seems :p 

PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 HD 5450 1GB - $29.99
This really is all you need for 2 monitors, this is passively cooled too which is always nice for silence.

Samsung 830 128GB SSD - $199.99
I have this drive myself and it really is the best around in terms of a good mix of performance and reliability. One of the fastest drives around while still being very reliable. Looks awesome too ;) 

Seagate Barracuda 500GB - $84.99
Nice quiet and reliable drive, it's no slouch in terms of speed either so this should be a good option assuming 500GB is enough for storage.

SeaSonic SS-350ET 350W - $42.99
This build shouldn't even pull 200W so 350W really is more than enough. Seasonic are also well known for reliability and silence. (This is OEM so you might need a power cable.)

Fractal Design Define Mini - $109.99
A tad expensive but is nice and small, well made and will really help for quietness. Not to mention the more subjective fact that it's beautiful :) 

Scythe Shuriken CPU Cooler - $34.99
Most might think this is overkill but I wouldn't trust a 125W CPU on a stock cooler personally. For the sake of $35 this gives you peace of mind and will be far quieter than the stock cooler.

ASUS DVD Burner - $18.99
Standard DVD Burner for installing your OS etc. This one just happens to have free shipping at the moment.


Total - $901.90 (No rebates)


This comes in your budget nicely and with 8 cores and 16GB of RAM it should cope with your heavy multi tasking nicely. In terms of quietness, this should be nearly inaudible too.

If you are prepared to put up with something a bit more noisy you could drop the cooler and get a cheaper case and PSU to save $100 as well.

Hope this helps :) 




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January 31, 2012 3:19:52 AM

Hi Jmsellers,

Thanks a ton for your info and insight. you have made my job very easy. The $900 budget is okey with me so this is a very good starting point for the build. I will do a little bit of research and get back to this thread.

However I have few questions on this if you do not mind.

Can I add a video card later if i decide to use it as a gaming machine?

will the mother board support 2600k or higher level processor if i decide to upgrade?

Thanks a ton for your help
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 31, 2012 10:26:28 AM

- You can add a better graphics card later but you would need to upgrade the power supply

- This is an AMD motherboard so you could not upgrade to an Intel CPU, you would need to wait until AMD bring out something better. The difference between the FX-8 and the i7 wouldn't be big enough to warrant upgrading from the FX to the i7 anyway.
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February 11, 2012 3:54:29 PM

Hi Jmsellars1,

I have been trying to fight myself to increase budget and I have justified myself with I7-2600k. so the budget is now around $1200.could you please suggest a motherboard for it that supports 16 gig ram and has pci slot for graphics card.

Thanks
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February 11, 2012 11:34:44 PM

Best answer selected by talfan2000.
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February 11, 2012 11:35:54 PM

Thanks Jmseller1 for all your help.Now its time to break the bank.
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February 12, 2012 12:44:24 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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