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Need advice for multi-tasking digital plan take off machine

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August 7, 2012 5:37:28 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: as soon as possible

Budget Range: @ $1,000 Before / After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: multi-tasking [excel files with arrays, 450mb .pdf files, construction take off software, ftp sites (downloading & uploading),microsoft project, chrome browser with about 10-15 tabs…all typically running at the same time; watching movies in background, listening to audiobooks, minimal gaming

Parts Not Required: Windows 7 **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Any, but would prefer to be as mobile as possible since I can many times work from home or on the road, but a SSD seems like it would be a great benefit for quickly accessing large digital plans.

Overclocking: unknown

SLI or Crossfire: unknown

Monitor Resolution: 1920X1080 (two 40” monitors) assuming I can achieve clarity on digital plans (I already have one)

Additional Comments: My current computer (laptop) can not handle the load that I am putting on it. It is constantly running out of resources or having excel or word or adobe shut down…very frustrating.
I have a flexible working environment that allows me to work from home occasionally and I am many times on the road. If needed I could have two identical computers (one at home and one at office) what would be the best method of achieving an integrated working environment, with out having to carry a huge desktop around or spend excessive money on a laptop that could never be upgraded?
Thanks…Newby
August 8, 2012 1:43:13 AM

Try this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($269.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $875.40
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-07 21:40 EDT-0400)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. This build should easily handle all your tasks and more. It'll also allow you to play modern games if you ever feel the need to do so. If you're not gonna be playing any games, you could drop the dedicated GPU even more...something like the hd 6850 would be great. Or you could just use the onboard graphics that comes with the mobo and CPU. Then you could put the extra money in a SSD. This will help with programs' load times.
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August 8, 2012 2:14:27 PM

I have never built a computer. I believe that I would be able to assemble it, but I do not know what equipment/tools would be required. Could you fill in some of those gaps for me.

Additionally, do you have a pre-built deal that you could recommend?

Your help is truly appreciated.
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August 8, 2012 3:20:52 PM

All you'll need is a phillips head screw driver and possibly some zip-ties for cable management.

Here's a 3 part tutorial on how to build a computer...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls&feature=relm...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxaVBsXEiok&feature=relm...

Building it yourself is much more rewarding than buying a pre-built. Pre-builts are generally more expensive and/or they cheap out on parts that matter.

Here's a pre-built system...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As you can see by comparing my build with the prebuilt, you get more for your money by building it yourself. You also won't have tons of bloatware installed on your PC if you build it yourself and do a fresh install of Windows 7. Most vendors install a lot of unnecessary programs before shipping your PC
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August 13, 2012 3:25:06 PM

Thank you for all of your help. I am preparing to buy, however I have one more question.

I would like to have a 256GB SSD. I have noticed that there are several variances in price for the samsung 830 series.
This is what you recommended:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...

I was interested in maybe one of these:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...

Does the bww vs the dam vs the nam make a difference?

Thanks,
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August 13, 2012 4:21:20 PM

Yes, it makes a difference. If you want the 256gb version, you'll want to grab the "dam" drive. This indicates it's a desktop upgrade. The other 256gb drive is for laptops.

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256D/AM 2.5" 256GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or if that doesn't fit the budget...

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Crucial brand of SSDs may be cheaper...if so, grab one of those instead.
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August 13, 2012 5:47:54 PM

One last thought.... they make some viciously fast laptops.

Your old laptop was not doing the job. The size desktop build will absolutely perform well.

If you also want to consider a laptop, post specs on your old laptop. Something like this properly configured would meet the requirements you posted and still be somewhat mobile. http://shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Lap...
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August 14, 2012 5:18:36 PM

As I delve more and more into the purchase, I thought about down grading the GPU. However, one of my primary concerns is being able to read construction drawings on a monitor in full size. To make sure that I am correctly explaining this let me give you an example.

Construction drawings that I view digitally are typically:

A0 1189 x 841 mm 46.8 x 33.1 in
A1 841 x 594 mm 33.1 x 23.4 in

I want to have the clarity on a 42" (or something close to this) to view the small text that many times appears in the documents. This text may be at font size of 12 on a sheet that is 46.8 x 33.1 in.

Using this as a basis will I need a special monitor or GPU to achieve this goal?

Thanks,

Mike
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August 14, 2012 6:31:19 PM

Oh my, that isn't necessarily my area of expertise. I suggest you specifically ask about that in the monitor/graphics section of the forums.

Sorry :/ 
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August 15, 2012 12:50:56 AM

mhumble said:
As I delve more and more into the purchase, I thought about down grading the GPU. However, one of my primary concerns is being able to read construction drawings on a monitor in full size. To make sure that I am correctly explaining this let me give you an example.

Construction drawings that I view digitally are typically:

A0 1189 x 841 mm 46.8 x 33.1 in
A1 841 x 594 mm 33.1 x 23.4 in

I want to have the clarity on a 42" (or something close to this) to view the small text that many times appears in the documents. This text may be at font size of 12 on a sheet that is 46.8 x 33.1 in.

Using this as a basis will I need a special monitor or GPU to achieve this goal?

Thanks,

Mike


Hi, next stop is to choose your monitor.

Your video display is running 2D if you are looking at document, not 3D. Essentially all video card can drive 2D, all of the fancy video card acceleration is for 3D. DVI is a digital standard for connecting a monitor to a PC. There is a max resolution that "Single Link DVI" solutions can provide, its 1,854 × 1,483 pixels (5:4 ratio), or 2,098 × 1,311 (widescreen 16:10 ratio) per wikipedia. Many integrated video solution are single link DVI. If you attach a monitor with higher resolution then you need "Dual Link DVI" which is very common in video cards or "Display Port" which is becoming more common.

The size of the monitor doesn't matter to the video card, but the number of PIXELS does. Most monitors (and HD TV sets) have 1080p resolution meaning 1920 by 1080 pixels. Single Link DVI works at 1080p. To get higher resolution you are into specialty monitors and the price goes up.

Example, Here are 14 42" large format displays at newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... as you can see all of them are 1080p 1920X1080 displays. No easier or harder for a video card to drive than a 17" 1080p display.

Here are some high resolution displays at 2560 x 1600 resolution. You need dual link DVI or displayport to run these monitors. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <it might be truncating link, goto newegg and look for 2560 X 1600 monitors.

Another approach people use is Multiple Monitors -- you can build a 3840 X 1080 display out of two 1920X 1080 displays. You do end up with a line in the middle even with the clever dual monitor stands that exist.

I suggest you get a 30" 2560 X 1600 monitor and attach it to you system via dual link DVI or display port vs a 42" panel at 1920x1080 if you care about fine resolution. Any video card you look at will tell you if it has dual link DVI or displayport.

ASIDE: another approach. Most likely the software you are using allows you to zoom in on a subset of the diagram. (For example, as you read this post hold down the control key and them hit the plus key to zoom in, or the minus key to zoom out. I do this all the time on web pages to get the text to a size I like. Control and mouse wheel do this also if you have a wheel mouse). That would let you read the finer points without needing a high res monitor.
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August 16, 2012 12:01:47 AM

tsnor said:
Hi, next stop is to choose your monitor.

Your video display is running 2D if you are looking at document, not 3D. Essentially all video card can drive 2D, all of the fancy video card acceleration is for 3D. DVI is a digital standard for connecting a monitor to a PC. There is a max resolution that "Single Link DVI" solutions can provide, its 1,854 × 1,483 pixels (5:4 ratio), or 2,098 × 1,311 (widescreen 16:10 ratio) per wikipedia. Many integrated video solution are single link DVI. If you attach a monitor with higher resolution then you need "Dual Link DVI" which is very common in video cards or "Display Port" which is becoming more common.

The size of the monitor doesn't matter to the video card, but the number of PIXELS does. Most monitors (and HD TV sets) have 1080p resolution meaning 1920 by 1080 pixels. Single Link DVI works at 1080p. To get higher resolution you are into specialty monitors and the price goes up.

Example, Here are 14 42" large format displays at newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... as you can see all of them are 1080p 1920X1080 displays. No easier or harder for a video card to drive than a 17" 1080p display.

Here are some high resolution displays at 2560 x 1600 resolution. You need dual link DVI or displayport to run these monitors. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <it might be truncating link, goto newegg and look for 2560 X 1600 monitors.

Another approach people use is Multiple Monitors -- you can build a 3840 X 1080 display out of two 1920X 1080 displays. You do end up with a line in the middle even with the clever dual monitor stands that exist.

I suggest you get a 30" 2560 X 1600 monitor and attach it to you system via dual link DVI or display port vs a 42" panel at 1920x1080 if you care about fine resolution. Any video card you look at will tell you if it has dual link DVI or displayport.

ASIDE: another approach. Most likely the software you are using allows you to zoom in on a subset of the diagram. (For example, as you read this post hold down the control key and them hit the plus key to zoom in, or the minus key to zoom out. I do this all the time on web pages to get the text to a size I like. Control and mouse wheel do this also if you have a wheel mouse). That would let you read the finer points without needing a high res monitor.


TSNOR:

I really appreciate you help. I want to make sure that I am clear about your comment. I care about fine resolution, however, my ignorance of exactly what will be seen on a 42" 1080p is pretty high. I believe what you are saying is that 1080p is the same resolution on a smaller monitor vs a larger monitor. So really the pixel sizes vary from monitor to monitor or TV to TV...ie. you can have a 22" monitor with the same resolution and number of pixels as a 42" monitor.

(light bulb)

Well...I always assumed that resolution was not scalable from a pixel perspective and that the area regardless of size would generate the same clarity of picture.

I understand...

Thank you both very much for your assistance. Very beneficial.

Mike
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August 16, 2012 2:21:31 PM

mhumble said:
TSNOR:

...1080p is the same resolution on a smaller monitor vs a larger monitor. So really the pixel sizes vary from monitor to monitor or TV to TV...ie. you can have a 22" monitor with the same resolution and number of pixels as a 42" monitor.


Exactly right.
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August 26, 2012 11:31:13 PM

**Multi-tasking Digital Takeoff Machine for Construction Drawings**

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/xCV


I decided to buy everything through Amazon and Newegg, because the other vendors did not offer what was stated in pcpartpicker.com.

Approximate Purchase Date:

CPU | [Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80623i72700k) | $289.99 @ Amazon
CPU Cooler | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-cpu-cooler-r...) | $29.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard | [Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz77...) | $181.98 @ Amazon
Memory | [G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f31600c9d8ga...) | $44.99 @ Newegg
Storage | [Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-internal-hard-driv...) | $217.99 @ Newegg
Video Card | [XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-fx785acnfc) | $204.99 @ Newegg
Case | [Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-rc912kk...) | $59.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply | [PC Power & Cooling 600W ATX12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pc-power--cooling-power-su...) | $69.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive | [Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lite-on-optical-drive-ihas...) | $22.98 @ Newegg
Monitor | [Dell U3011 60Hz 30.0" Monitor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/dell-monitor-4688513) | $1099.99 @ Newegg
Operating System | [Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit)](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/microsoft-os-fqc04649) | $130.20 @ Amazon
Total
| Prices include shipping and discounts when available. | $2353.08
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-26 19:30 EDT-0400 |

Specifications / Benchmarks

CPU|Clock Rate|3.5GHzGPU|Core Clock Rate|860MHz
GPU|Effective Memory Clock Rate|1200MHz

Description

This machine was built to provide a high pixel density work area for digital plans that are typically 36" X 48". Additionally, I keep many applications open at one time; having to reference excel, word, microsoft project, on screen take off, adobe, about 20 web tabs and manage upload and download of 200mb-500mb files from FTP sites. So far so good. This was my first build and it seems to be running wonderfully.

I have noticed that some applications are DPI dependent and going to a 64 bit machine has made it a little difficult to use my previous browser (Chrome). I have gone with Waterfox and Pale Moon as browsers and xplorer2 instead of windows explorer because I am constantly referencing multiple files and file folders and the xplorer2 (desktop file manager) has some very nice features that allow me to make comments about multiple sales bids and variations of different take off sheets for adds or deduct options for the different bids (files).


I want to thank you two again for all you help and advice. Putting the machine together was not difficult, like building Legos. HOWEVER, understanding what component will work well together and what would cause issues is well beyond my current understanding. So DeusAres I think you for your time in sharing what you have learned.

TSNOR Thank your for your explanation about pixels monitors. It really helped me understand pixel density and helped me to win lunch (which I have yet to receive). I am running into resistance from the bettee who says that high definition is the same on a 42" monitor vs a 15" monitor. I try to explain, but they do not seem to understand that regardless of TV or monitor 1920 X 1080 has a total of 2,073,600 pixels, while the new Dell U3011 with 2560 x 1600 has 4,096,000 pixels, and that the size of the monitor does matter as the pixel sizes will increase thus increasing the distance that you must stand away from the monitor to achieve the perceived high definition. I will keep hammering on them.

Finally, now that I have this great machine, do either of you have a utility that you recommend on a 64 bit machine to track and view the performance. I want to see how much ram I using over time etc.

Thanks,

Mike
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