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Help Specing New Box for Web Developer/Programmer ($800~1800)

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April 11, 2012 10:41:37 PM


Approximate Purchase Date: 7~10 days.

Budget Range: $800~1800 (before or after rebates is fine.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: The most important thing here is improved power for web development. I use Eclipse IDE all day, and sometimes run the debugger with WAMP and xdebug. Sometimes it slows to a crawl as I'm stepping through the php code. I'm guessing CPU/RAM may be needed here. Also, I'm running MongoDB, and loading some pages can take a while with high CPU usage. Web Development (Eclipse IDE, WAMP, Multiple Browsers) also, typically with lots of support programs running. FTP, Chat, Screen Capture, and of course Winamp streaming music. Will need to support two DVI outputs for a pair of 1920x1200 monitors.

Parts Not Required: Already have keyboard, mouse, 2 monitors (1920x1200), speakers, OS, and UPS. Will need the case, power supply, and everything that goes inside the case.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No preferences.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: 2x 1920x1200

Current System: (Just to give perspective) I currently have windows experience index 5.9, with the disk transfer rate at 5.9, cpu and ram at 6.3, and graphics at 7.3. AMD 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6400+ 3.20 GHz, 4gb ram (the other 4 died a month or two ago.) ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series.

Additional Comments: Basically just building a new box. My current machine is about 12-16 months old, built it for about $800. But, I need something faster.

I've read a handful of threads around here. Some of the ones that exactly met my needs were 3 years old. :D  If there's another recent one that's exactly like this, feel free to link it and I'll refer to that.

From what I've read I'm still not sure if I want an SSD or Raid 0. But, at this point it looks like the recommendations are leaning towards SSD.

I put 800-1800 because I'm flexible. I'm not planning to play games, but if I do, I'm fine putting everything to the lowest settings. Most cards for $100 that can run two 1920's are good enough to play Sc2 on the lowest settings I've noticed, so I don't need to splurge there.

Main reason/justification for this upgrade is to be able to develop faster, since I find that there are plenty of times through the day where I clear the server's cache and reload the page, and it takes 30 seconds for WAMP to rebuild all of the css/js cache files, or when I hit a breakpoint in some php code, it takes 60-90 seconds for the debugger to finish loading all the variables and the call stack.

Sorry for all of the rambling, just trying to paint a picture of what I'm trying to build.

I'm pretty good with coding/programming/developing, but when it comes to hardware I'm fairly ignorant. Let me know if I should put together a basic build, or if you can give me a full recommendation. Thanks so much guys. Wonderful forum.

Best solution

April 12, 2012 7:10:39 PM

dustingraham said:
Approximate Purchase Date: 7~10 days.

Budget Range: $800~1800 (before or after rebates is fine.)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: The most important thing here is improved power for web development. I use Eclipse IDE all day, and sometimes run the debugger with WAMP and xdebug. Sometimes it slows to a crawl as I'm stepping through the php code. I'm guessing CPU/RAM may be needed here. Also, I'm running MongoDB, and loading some pages can take a while with high CPU usage. Web Development (Eclipse IDE, WAMP, Multiple Browsers) also, typically with lots of support programs running. FTP, Chat, Screen Capture, and of course Winamp streaming music. Will need to support two DVI outputs for a pair of 1920x1200 monitors.

Parts Not Required: Already have keyboard, mouse, 2 monitors (1920x1200), speakers, OS, and UPS. Will need the case, power supply, and everything that goes inside the case.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No preferences.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: 2x 1920x1200

Current System: (Just to give perspective) I currently have windows experience index 5.9, with the disk transfer rate at 5.9, cpu and ram at 6.3, and graphics at 7.3. AMD 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6400+ 3.20 GHz, 4gb ram (the other 4 died a month or two ago.) ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series.

Additional Comments: Basically just building a new box. My current machine is about 12-16 months old, built it for about $800. But, I need something faster.

I've read a handful of threads around here. Some of the ones that exactly met my needs were 3 years old. :D  If there's another recent one that's exactly like this, feel free to link it and I'll refer to that.

From what I've read I'm still not sure if I want an SSD or Raid 0. But, at this point it looks like the recommendations are leaning towards SSD.

I put 800-1800 because I'm flexible. I'm not planning to play games, but if I do, I'm fine putting everything to the lowest settings. Most cards for $100 that can run two 1920's are good enough to play Sc2 on the lowest settings I've noticed, so I don't need to splurge there.

Main reason/justification for this upgrade is to be able to develop faster, since I find that there are plenty of times through the day where I clear the server's cache and reload the page, and it takes 30 seconds for WAMP to rebuild all of the css/js cache files, or when I hit a breakpoint in some php code, it takes 60-90 seconds for the debugger to finish loading all the variables and the call stack.

Sorry for all of the rambling, just trying to paint a picture of what I'm trying to build.

I'm pretty good with coding/programming/developing, but when it comes to hardware I'm fairly ignorant. Let me know if I should put together a basic build, or if you can give me a full recommendation. Thanks so much guys. Wonderful forum.


******all available at newegg, despite the labels*****

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($194.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($147.98 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Intel 320 Series 80GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6770 1GB Video Card ($96.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($25.97 @ Newegg)
Total: $1020.85
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-04-12 15:13 EDT-0400)

You could go with a lesser i5 1155 and a cheaper less featured z68 motherboard and still be light years beyond a 6400.

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April 12, 2012 9:10:39 PM

Edit: Ooh, I missed the SSD recommended at first.

Thanks so much for these suggestions. I'll see what I can do.

Thanks James. I'm new to this forum so I'm not sure if I should have created a "discussion" instead of a "question." Not sure if it's taboo to discuss in a question thread??

Anyways, why do you recommend the samsung spinpoint as opposed to a raid-0, or ssd? Is it a price point thing? For the budget, you're recommending that because it is much stronger than my current setup? (I know I'm not sure exactly what my current hdd is, but assuming it's on par with the 6400 lol)?

Thanks again. Appreciate the workup, I'll look into it.
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April 15, 2012 2:01:20 PM

Best answer selected by dustingraham.
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