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Review of my 'work/gaming build', ~ $1000 (or less)

Excuse me for repeating a previous post - I got a good answer in October 2011 and never made the purchase. Since then, a Win7 install has died and I'm running out of memory even more often under a clean install. So, time to quit resisting.

I've re-read the forums and tried to pick current components with a good price/recommendation balance.

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I'm motivated to upgrade by my PC struggling under 3DS Max 2012 and Photoshop chewing through the scraps of my RAM Windows 7 leaves it to use. I believe that Autodesk's new display driver is just completely taxing my system, as soon as I work in a shaded view the GPU fan goes to max until I change to a different shading option. Now even Google Chrome gives memory warnings with four tabs open.

My current machine specs are: Intel® Core™2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz, Gigabyte GA-N650SLI-DS4, 4Gb RAM (3.25 usable), BFG Tech GTS 250, using the HDDs listed below all wrapped up in an Antec P180 case. So as you can see, I think I'm past due to upgrade; but I'm so far out of touch I need a good build review.

In my proposed build I don't list two video cards, since 3DS Max doesn't benefit from SLI. I do lean toward a card with higher memory, I just don't know the difference in all the current flavors of GPU.

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Approximate Purchase Date: Flexible

Budget Range: ~$1000 USD with instant Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 3D art (3DS Max, Photoshop, etc.); some gaming, though not usually high-end 3D; internet.

Parts Not Required: I have keyboard, mouse, monitor, and speakers. I also have my Windows 7 license.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Have historically used newegg, but I'm open to alternatives. I have a Fry's locally.

Country of Origin: U.S.A.

Parts Preferences: I prefer an Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not; but I could see this as a future upgrade if I go back to dual monitors.

Monitor Resolution: My eventual target is 1920x1080, currently I'm using 1680x1050. Possibly dual monitors, but not likely.

Additional Comments: I like a quieter PC, not concerned with appearance.

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New parts:

CPU:
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...

CPU fan:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM:
2x Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

GPU:
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support ...

PSU:
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

CASE:
Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

DVD:
LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

Total: ~ $939.00 after instant rebates

I'm not sure where I could shave costs any further, in fact, I can see the very real possibility of adding an SSD into the mix. So, thoughts and feedback are very much appreciated.

Thanks!
- Don
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about review work gaming build 1000 less
  1. Best answer
    It looks like a decent build. *IF* (and only if) you can hold out till June, you might be better with an Ivy Bridge 3xxx chip (supposedly 15% better performance). If you need it now, there is nothing at all wrong with the 2600K.

    To that end, you might consider a Z77 board instead of Z68.

    You also NEED an SSD for 3DS and Photoshop work. At least a 90-120 GB model to hold the OS, Photoshop, 3DS and your swap space for both. For your job, and SSD is a NECCESSITY


    consider a less expensive case (Like the award winning Rosewill Challenger U3), and the Corsair CX V2 500W PSU if you plan to stick to 1 GPU. both will save about $80 toward the SSD
  2. ScrewySqrl said:
    It looks like a decent build. *IF* (and only if) you can hold out till June, you might be better with an Ivy Bridge 3xxx chip (supposedly 15% better performance). If you need it now, there is nothing at all wrong with the 2600K.

    To that end, you might consider a Z77 board instead of Z68.

    You also NEED an SSD for 3DS and Photoshop work. At least a 90-120 GB model to hold the OS, Photoshop, 3DS and your swap space for both. For your job, and SSD is a NECCESSITY


    consider a less expensive case (Like the award winning Rosewill Challenger U3), and the Corsair CX V2 500W PSU if you plan to stick to 1 GPU. both will save about $80 toward the SSD


    Thank you very much for the suggestions and links, I think I'll be needing to go ahead and build the system now, so I'll stick with the present motherboard.

    I updated the build to use the case and PSU you suggested, and am going to look at SSDs now. Last night I needed to edit a batch of 16mp photos and it was just painful - I could tell when things started swapping to disk as real time feedback would just suddenly bomb. :??:

    Thanks again,
    Don
  3. If you are not planning on Overclocking, then drop down no the non-K version of the 2600. This will shave off about $20 from the processor, and you can then eliminate the 212 EVO, saving another $35.
  4. since you are doing workshop things i suggest this first

    cpu/ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.888211 (i7 2600k and 16 gb of ram @1600)

    mobo/gpu:http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.904684 (560 ti and a z77 msi mobo)

    case/psu:http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.873463 (sorry for this one i couldnt find a modular one to be more organised)
    stick with your cpu fan and dvd
  5. Any thoughts on this SSD? My local Fry's has it for $170 after a $45 mail-in rebate.

    Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F180GB3-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III

    They've also got 16Gb of Patriot RAM for $70.

    DDR3 16GB 1866MHz PATRIOT

    I haven't checked the entire list against them, but I suspect after tax it would be about the same and I could get started sooner.
  6. DWHogan said:
    Any thoughts on this SSD? My local Fry's has it for $170 after a $45 mail-in rebate.

    Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F180GB3-BK 2.5" 180GB SATA III

    They've also got 16Gb of Patriot RAM for $70.

    DDR3 16GB 1866MHz PATRIOT

    I haven't checked the entire list against them, but I suspect after tax it would be about the same and I could get started sooner.


    yes that will work for both if anything you should have about 1 tb hard drive or at least 500
  7. boulbox said:
    yes that will work for both if anything you should have about 1 tb hard drive or at least 500


    I picked up the RAM and SSD today, and have cross-checked everything else for best price. With the non-OC i7 and no extra cooler, I'm only about +$120 for the SSD and if all the rebates come through that will shave it to +$85. Not bad.

    Storage HDDs are still solid for now, I have a pair of 420Gb and an external 1Tb - with the SSD I'll have the freedom to swap out or put them in a NAS later.

    My only remaining savings thought is to drop the GPU and keep working with the GTS250 while hoping for some price drops as the 6xx series takes off.

    I appreciate the suggestions from everyone.


    EDIT: My comments are starting to sound like a whole lot of creative math is going on, so I'll post a final build summary when it's all ordered.
  8. looks very good. Hang on to the GPU, it blows the 295 away, and apparently the 295 has been dropped from recent drivers.
  9. Best answer selected by DWHogan.
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