Budget Range: I’m shooting for ~$1500, but do not want to sacrifice quality
System Usage from Most to Least Important: CAD (SolidWorks 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and simulations), Gaming (League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Dirt 3), occasional Photoshop and video editing @ 1080p
Parts Not Required: Monitor, OS, and speakers. Mouse and keyboard not required, but I’m looking for recommendations! Currently have something like the M705 and am looking for a change b/c it's wearing out.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, but open to others, just worried about shipping primarily.
Country: U.S. (Pennsylvania)
Parts Preferences: Intel IB CPU (3570K or 3770K). Was thinking Nvidia GPU, but anything with performance greater than or equal to that of the GTX 580 would be great. Also open to workstation GPUs (of which I know very little about).
Overclocking: Maybe (Something I might try eventually, but isn't pivotal to my build)
SLI or Crossfire: Eventually (not initially, but I want to have the option in the future)
Monitor Resolution: I acquired a monitor, but not sure on resolution. 1920x1080 for reference. I will be running dual monitors.
Additional Comments: I plan on using this computer as my work computer after college (in two years) and I am an engineer.
Will need be starting w/ 2x8GB RAM and then up to 4x8GB when necessary.
I plan to have a 1TB HDD (@7200RPM) coupled with a small SSD (it can be as small as 60GB, no need to go bigger unless its the same price).
You should not use one 8 gig stick of RAM rather than two 4 gig sticks . That would mean you'd be in single channel and kill off half the badwidth of the cpu- RAM connections. Do that and you can expect system performance to drop 7-8 %
Motherboard with a Z68 or Z77 chipset
2 x4 gig of 1600 MHz 1.5 volt RAM
RADEON 7850 [ are there 6xxx series nVidias available besides the GTX 680? ]
Do you have something that further explains that? I honestly didn't know that. I mean, 4x4GB or something would probably be good for a while.
The reason why I said Nvidia 6xx was b/c I thought there was going to be a big upgrade from the Fermi to Kepler. I am also open to workstation GPUs if you think they would be good enough or better than the other options over the next couple months.
I have updated my original post with the graphics card information.
Thanks for the suggestions, I will be checking them out more as the week goes on (I have finals Monday and Tuesday) and getting back to you.
If you go X79 like Why_Me suggested with the ASRock Extreme 6 board (what I have, actually), you'll have 8 DIMM slots, which means you can have up to 32 gigs with 4GB sticks. So you could get 4x4GB now and 4x4GB later. Not a bad option.
Also, do you plan to install Solidworks and Photoshop on your SSD? I think you should, and a 64GB SSD might be cutting it close. SSD prices are low and getting lower, so I'd recommend a Samsung 830 or Crucial m4 at 128GB.
8 DIMM slots would be perfect, I just didn't really know it went that high (I've seen up to 6), I know I won't need more than 32GB of RAM throughout the lifetime of this computer.
SolidWorks is only ~5GB installed (I don't have all of the simulation stuff yet b/c I get it through my school, I think it totals to ~16GB with everything at most). I don't use Photoshop often enough to justify a large SSD honestly. On the other hand, if it's only like a $10-$20 difference, it's worth the cost to me.
I'm reading about mechanical keyboards now and pretty much I just would have to try one out and then make a decision.
I sort of just temporarily picked the GTX 580 for now b/c I do plan on getting a 600 series card. Exactly what one? No idea yet... Given this, would you still recommend the Radeon 7970? If I got that card, I would eventually get a second one. (something like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127645 would make sense to me)
I do have the Crucial M4 in there. I will be using that for my boot disk and SolidWorks. The remainder of my stuff will be on the 1TB drive.
I have no idea what to do as far as motherboards go... they confuse me.
Is the 3570K sufficient for my needs or should I go with the 3770K?
What about 7970s? I would prefer 680s, but there's a pretty significant price difference between the two and, for me, the performance difference just doesn't seem to be worth it. From what I can find, it seems like 850w is still good.
Any motherboard opinions? They still confuse me...