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My First Build - $800 MAX - used for medical research -- thoughts?

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July 16, 2012 8:15:24 PM

I'd like to note that I don't need a flashy GPU - just something simple. And with that, here's what I've come up with. Please let me know how you feel/what you would do differently!


Approximate Purchase Date: within the next two weeks (at the very latest)

Budget Range: $800.00 max - before tax/shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: medical image processing, physiological mapping, high-volume PDF viewing, video conferencing - gaming, as I mentioned briefly, is not involved whatsoever.

Are you buying a monitor: no, I've already got a compatible one

Parts to Upgrade: none - I'm coming from an Apple laptop and building this from scratch

Do you need to buy OS: no, will be running a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: none

Location: Cincinnati, OH // Chicago, IL - I travel back and forth between the two frequently

Parts Preferences:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.86 @ Outlet PC)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $796.63
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)


Overclocking: maybe.. I honestly don't know enough about it

SLI or Crossfire: no

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I need the PC to start quickly and reliably

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: tired of Mac's and looking to avoid expensive prebuilt's
July 16, 2012 8:19:51 PM

Go with a Radeon 6870 over a GTX 550TI - you'll be able to run multiple displays far easier should the need arise. Otherwise everything else looks good. I run that exact same storage setup and it works great.
July 16, 2012 9:17:16 PM

ignore him, for number crunching gtx cards are better

not a bad system for the budget, personally i would lose the ssd (for now) and up to an i7 3770 processor and drop down to a h77 board (if not overclocking) then throw in the ssd when u have a few more bux
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July 18, 2012 1:24:41 PM

skaggy said:
ignore him, for number crunching gtx cards are better

not a bad system for the budget, personally i would lose the ssd (for now) and up to an i7 3770 processor and drop down to a h77 board (if not overclocking) then throw in the ssd when u have a few more bux

But does he have a point? I may want to do multiple displays and it would be nice to know that I have that capability easily.

Also - the SSD is one of the most important parts to me - I want the system to boot as quickly as possible and without having to mess with a HDD...

is the i7 that much of an upgrade over the 3570k?
July 18, 2012 4:03:45 PM

FidelCashfloe said:
But does he have a point? I may want to do multiple displays and it would be nice to know that I have that capability easily.

Also - the SSD is one of the most important parts to me - I want the system to boot as quickly as possible and without having to mess with a HDD...

is the i7 that much of an upgrade over the 3570k?


Yes - the 6870 will run multiple displays better than the GTX 550TI will. On a system such as what you want to use it for, that will come in very handy.

The Crucial M4 is a great choice. If you want a faster Marvell drive try the Plextor PX-M3.

And the i7-3770K is worth it if you're using the extra threads. However it might not be obtainable on that kind of budget. If you're not the i5-3450 is the CPU you want to go with.
!