Alright, I am looking to build a new work/play machine. It's been quite a while (nearly 6.5 yrs) since I went through this process last and I see there are still a plethora of options available to me when it comes to new hardware. There is nothing really wrong with my current setup for work (other then the fact that the multiple machines take up a lot of room and are noisy), however, my 2xGTS 250 cards, single core processor, and tiny amount of ram are certainly starting to show their age in some of the newer games. With that said, lets get right into things.
1) Reduce the noise / make more space in my office! (It doesn't have to be a silent PC, but if you opt for 3xSLI - those cards can't sound like a super-prop on a take-off clime sitting next to me (if that means adding in $100 for after-market coolers on the card(s), so be it).
2) Virtualize my existing development environment to 1 desktop + laptop (already have a laptop, just need the desktop) - expect 3~5 VMs running 6+ hrs of the day, 3~5 days a week. The VMs are replacing a mix of Intel/AMD 2.8~3.2Ghz machines sporting 2~8GB ram and 2x 80 GB HDs (Raid 0+1) .. I suspect any new multi-core/hyper threaded proc will be sufficient.
The budget is some what flexible but I do expect to spend $2~2.5k US. If you have a reason for spending extra for quality components at certain points please point it out (It's not always obvious to those of us who haven't kept up with new tech through the years.). With the exception of maybe upgrading to SLI later on and/or maybe an Ivy proc... I generally won't be upgrading any time again in the near future.
Parts Not Required
Keyboard, Mouse, traditional HDD storage & Monitors.
Given a choice on where I buy my components, I'd prefer to stick with NewEgg and/or Amazon. I have been extremely pleased with them both as far as purchasing/RMA/Replacements have gone.
More then likely I'll overclock a bit but certainly not to the extremes most enthusiasts take their machines. I'd rather the majority of the parts live for 5+ years.. heh.
Nice To See / Requirements / My Picks
My picks are listed below my component requirements/nice to see's (these were selected after some random surfing of toms hardware, manufacturer sites, and google'n). I'd love feedback and alternate suggestions. Please keep in mind that my #1 goal is a quieter office!
Case I currently have the majority of my boxes sitting to my right. So please keep that in mind when it comes to sound.
* Quite enough to sit on top of my desk
* Efficient airflow for optimal cooling.
I am aware that this case has an odd-upper flan arrangement that makes it noiser then it should be. I also know it has an additional 4x fan mount points that may need to be taken advantage of depending on the GPU setup ... 2 of which can be blocked by long GPU's/Aftermarket Cooling
* Gold/Platinum 80 Plus rating on the PSU, preferably modular.
This is kind of pricey for what it is. And really, probably to little if I go SLI and maybe a bit much if I go single. Alternatives/Suggestions are appreciated.
* Raid 0/1/5/0+1 for existing HDD storage solutions (1+0 aka 10 would be awesome but not required)
* LucidLogic's Virtru support ('cause it just makes sense).
* ALC892 Audio codec (or better)
* Ivy-bridge ready/Gen3/PCI-e 3.0
These are 555R/515W if you suggest alternatives based off of your experience (bad drives or what have you) please try and match the IOPS/Speeds.
I will likely install at least 4xadditional HDDs in this box for additional media/VM data drives.
GPU When it comes to a single card vs. SLI/Crossfire ... I don't really care. I have SLI'd cards at the moment, however I started out with a single card. If it makes sense, I will go that route again.
* Longevity or Performance+Price
* Must be able to drive at least 2x 1920x1200 monitors (I have 3 at the moment but I can always loose one).
* I'd like to see a 4 out of 5-star performance on current first-person shooters/MMOs. Ideally a 5-out-of-5 for Guild Wars 2 .. but god only knows when that will be released and what it will take to reach that.
I'm a nVidia fan. I've owned a number of both nVidia and ATI cards in the past ... and nVidia has always been less-hassle for me. So this pick is based solely on my past experiences.
* Should probably have some sort of fan controller (the case has a 3-fan controller for the ones it comes with, however a controller that could handle 5 or even 4 (depending on the room left in the case) would be nice).
* I'll be tacking on a Win 7/Pro SP1 license
* The p280 is somewhat of a tall case, PSU extensions maybe required.
Well I think that's about it, if I missed anything please let me know. Additionally, If it's all there but you have an opinion on one or more of the items please speak up, I'm pretty flexible and don't mind listening to the thoughts of others.
Thanks in advance!
Update: Corrected a couple of spelling issues, corrected my video card selection, created a wish list for easy-component viewing, and ran some quick numbers on the max power.
As far as that PSU goes, it will work with a fully-maxed draw (it came out dead even watt wise).
MB 75 + RAM 60 + GPU 300 + HD/SDD 150 + Fans 25 + USB 25 + DVD 35 + PCI 25 + Onboard GPU 15 + Proc 150 = 850.
Thanks for the reply. Looks like you read my post before I fixed the GPU (originally I posted it with a 560 and not a 580 GPU). I'm curious to know if you (or anyone else here) has an opinion on the 580 vs. 2x 560 Ti's in SLI. My gut feeling is that a single 580 will perform nearly as well (or better in some situations) as 2x 560 Ti's but that they will give of a lot more noise/heat... so I should probably stick with a single card for now and upgrade later on if I go to a set of 3D monitors or start drivign 2k+ displays.