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New Home Office Build ~$800

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July 29, 2012 2:01:58 AM

Hi, there. My main computer (laptop) is getting old and I need something more robust for storage and performance reasons. Looking to build a new desktop (I've built one before), and could use some feedback on my parts list.

System usage: Working from home (via RDP), photo editing, data manipulation and visualization (Excel w/SQL, Gephi, Circos). Will also be the main storage for family photos and music.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next 1-3 weeks

Budget Range: ~$800. Not a hard number. Mainly want to get something that's got some horsepower but not pay for overkill.

Parts I already have: Monitor (looking to get a second down the road), keyboard, mouse, OS (Win 7 Pro 64-bit)

Location: Eastern Washington State

Preferred store: Something online... generally NewEgg

Overclocking: Interested in trying it, although probably not immediately. Not a deal-breaker.

Crossfire/SLI: Nope

Other comments: Would really like to go with a SSD for the OS & programs. Haven't picked one out yet, but probably something like a 120GB? Also not sure what route to take on the graphics card...need discrete or not with this processor?

Current parts list (NewEgg):

Antec Three Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded 2 x USB 3.0
Model #:Three Hundred Two
Item #:N82E16811129180

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)
Model #:BX80637I53570K
Item #:N82E16819116504

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (is the Black overkill?)
Model #:WD1002FAEX
Item #:N82E16822136533

Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Model #:KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Item #:N82E16820104173

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Z77 Extreme4
Item #:N82E16813157293

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply (~$50 AR)
Model #:o CZ600MXSP
Item #:N82E16817341017

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Model #:D RW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #:N82E16827135204

More about : home office build 800

July 29, 2012 4:01:34 AM

If you don't plan on doing heavy gaming with this build, just use the onboard graphics with the CPU and mobo.

Give this a try...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dj6y

If you need to cut costs, cut the 256gb SSD back to a 128gb. If you go with the 128gb SSD change the seagate HDD back to the western digital for increased reliability. I also wouldn't bother with the ocz PSUs. I don't trust 'em. Go with the pc power and cooling 600w. It's modular. This will help with cable management.

You'll also want to make sure you get low profile RAM. This way you don't run into clearance issues with the aftermarket heatsink.

Everything else looks good. You can even change my case recommendation back to the antec illusion you were originally considering.
July 29, 2012 4:06:29 AM

I would get a quiet case

The antec P280 is large but works well , the cm silencio is also ok
I'd also ignore overclocking . You have plenty of power with out doing that

i5 3550
H77 motherboard
2 x4 gig of 1600 Mhz RAM running at 1.5 volts or less
Use the onboard graphics
and a maximum 500 watt psu . 80+ bronze or better
60 gig cache ssd
hard drive

It will be plenty fast enough and very responsive
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July 29, 2012 4:40:26 AM

any of the newer 128g ssd are going to be fine. also toss in a gpu it will help you when you do rendering with video or photos.
the onboard video from intel the 3000/4000 not bad for web and light gaming..but with a 560 or 7770 video card you find that photo and video render a lot faster. off loading the render to the video card..freeing up the cpu. also speak with your cpa or look online..depending on how you use this pc you can write some or all of it off on your taxes. (for back up of kids movies and games.) your better off picking up a empty network storage unit. there more $$ the the cheap usb one you see in best buy.
there going to be a little faster then the usb ones..but for work data...want to have a min raid one (mirror) so if one drive goes bad in the raid system you have a 50 percent change of still having all of your data. more costly system use 3 or more drives and have a better chance of rebuilding. also sign up for online storage some of it free some you pay a small amount for a lot. also pick up two usb sticks. with most back up or clone software you can clone your data to the usb sticks. why i say two is there always a chance for one of them to be bad. I also recommended locking one of them up in a fire proof min safe. I seen it as a tech...collage kids..lawyers...biz people lose all there data from fires...come in with a smor's looking laptop..used a dremel to cut out the drive and hand it to the owner who sent it out to a data recovery lab..only to find out the heat killed the drive. with a usb stick back up at lest if the pc at home dies..you can use your laptop..
July 29, 2012 5:03:34 PM

Many thanks.

I'll take a closer look at the 3550+H77 and rethink the power supply.

As far as the case goes, I do think I want to stick with something that has USB 3.0 header on the front. Sounds like the Silencio would plug into the back rather than into the mobo's internal connection? I had considered the P280...like you said, it's a pretty big case.

I do like Antec cases I've had in the past. Anyone tried their Sonata series? Wondering if those might be the right size but also a bit quieter. The Three Hundred Two seems to fit what I'm looking for, but based on your recommendation, maybe it's a bit loud?

Thanks again for taking a look.
July 30, 2012 9:10:25 AM

as long as the mb has good fan speed contoller in the bios your dadshould be able to set the speed on most 120mm fan down to 200 rpm. keep the case cool and quiet.if not a simple after market fan controller will work.
i look into case with 200mm rear or top fan. larger the fan the slower it runs to move the same amount of air.
most of those type of gaming cases have the usb port under a plastic front cover.
also talk to your dad if he has the desk space have him pick up a cheap 22 inch monitor.
two 22 inch monitors..one on the onbord gpu and one on a cheap gpu card...can have two apps running on two monitors and not have to close stuff down. (put a tv card in the pc and watch tv and work :) 
!