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$500 Office PC. Looking for max performance

Last response: in Systems
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January 31, 2012 8:11:45 PM

I haven't built a computer since Core 2 Duo days, so I am a bit rusty.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 2D CAD, simple solidworks, engineering programs, MS office apps.

Parts Not Required: Power supply. I have a relatively new decent brand 600wattish power supply that I will be reusing. have a PATA DVD writer, keyboard and mouse are not needed. I also have a 500GB SATA hard drive for media storage.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or amazon (I have prime)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire: No. In fact, I will be happy with the onboard Intel GFX. Currently using a ATI HD 3400 and it does fine for what I do.

Monitor Resolution: Dual monitors 1920X1200 & 1280X1024

Additional Comments: I'm not looking to mine bitcoins or do any gaming in 2560X1600 with 16xAA. I am just looking to get the best bang for my buck for what I do. I have a budget of $500 and saving money doesn't earn me any kudos, so I would like to spend it all.

Currently I am thinking of:

CPU - Intel i5-2500K for the slightly faster onboard graphics and unlocked multiplier $230 ($230 total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - I would like SATA 6Gbps, 4 memory modules, gigabit lan, and overclocking ability (a PATA slot and USB 3.0 would be nice). I have heard ASRock is the current value brand of choice. $85 ($315 total)
http://www.amazon.com/ASRock-MB-Z68MU3-LGA1155-USB3-0-M...

RAM - 2 X 4GB Corsair XMS DDR3 1600, CAS 9, 1.65V $28 ($343 total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - OCZ Agility 3 120GB. I gather many like the Crucial M4 better, but I have had good luck with OCZ and cant afford the extra $50 for the same size. $130 ($473 total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - Something cheap that it will all fit in.

Thanks for taking a look!
January 31, 2012 8:14:30 PM

Oh one other question. How does the voltage listed for the ram effect the quality. Is higher or lower voltage more desirable and how much does it matter with a CPU that is multiplier unlocked?
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