Advice on build for programming / casual gaming

Hi Folks,

I'm finally sick of my 5 year old desktop, and looking to put something new together. It would primarily be for programming / development, but I'd like to be able to play some games as well. My main requirement is that it support 3 x 24" monitors, and be relatively quiet.

Intel Core i7 3770
Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C9 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3
Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD Retail Box
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Motherboard
Antec VP550P 550W Power Supply
Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
ASUS GeForce GT 640 2GB
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM

I already have a 2TB HDD that I'll throw in there as well.

Things I'm unsure of:

* Is the i7 overkill -should I be looking at i5 instead?
* Will the GT640 be sufficient for casual gaming?
* Will the Antec 550P be enough for the GT640?

5 answers Last reply
More about advice build programming casual gaming
  1. Whats the budget?
  2. manofchalk said:
    Whats the budget?

    The list above comes in at just under $1200 from my local store (Australia). I'd like to stay under $1400 if possible.
  3. Just realized I should have asked you to fill out this form.
    Because then I know if you want to overclock, where your buying from (PC CaseGear, Mwave, uMart, Scorptech, Super Billing?), etc.
    This way I'l have the info I need to really help you.
  4. Thanks! I've filled in the form, and also added links to the list of parts.

    Approximate Purchase Date: This week

    Budget Range:: $1000 - $1500 including shipping.

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: Programming, Photoshop and friends, Browsing the internet, Gaming (mostly indie)

    Are you buying a monitor: No, already have 3 x 24"

    Do you need to buy OS: Yes (will be dual booting Win 7 / Ubuntu)

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (I'd like them to do the build for me too) or MSY ( but I'm wary of their build quality. Open to recommendations too!

    Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

    Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel CPU and nVidia graphics.

    Overclocking: No

    SLI or Crossfire: No

    Your Monitor Resolution: 3 x (1920 x 1200)

    Additional Comments: I would prefer quiet and stable over super fast / gaming. I play maybe 1 hour of games to every 50 - 100 hours of coding, and enjoy listening to music (rather than fans).

    And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:
    Upgrading from 1.8 GHZ, 4GB RAM, GeForce GT210

    1. I would like to be able to use my third monitor. My current system only supports two.

    2. My PC is starting to feel slugging. I can hear the fan struggling if I open too many applications.

    3. I can't even run relatively low specced games anymore (e.g.

    Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts. Please do not post only links.

    Intel Core i7 3770
    Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 CMZ16GX3M2A1600C9
    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Motherboard
    ASUS GeForce GT 640 2GB

    Samsung SH-224BB/BEBS SATA DVDRW Drive OEM
    Samsung 840 Series 120GB SSD Retail Box
    Existing 2TB HDD

    Case & PSU
    Antec VP550P 550W Power Supply
    Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM
  5. Wow, not surprised that cant run many games. The GT210 is what I recommend if people just want more display outputs, no gaming performance wanted whatsoever.

    CPU: Core i7-3770. $299

    CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO. $35
    You could probably drop this without issue, as aftermarket cooling is only really needed when overclocking. But given your emphasis on quietness on the case and in the additional comments I think it should be here.

    Mobo: AsRock H77 Pro4. $95

    RAM: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $89

    PSU: Antec High Current 520W Modular, 80+ Bronze. $99

    GPU: Gigabyte HD7950 OC. $330
    I know that you specified Nvidia in the form, but you have 3x1080p monitors and AMD cards just perform better at this resolution and have a superior utility for it. Using Eyefinity, its possible to play games across all the screens. Admittedly performance wont be great unless you Crossfire/SLI in more intensive games, but for the stuff you seem to be after it would be great.

    SSD: Samsung 840 120GB. $105

    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM. $95
    Though I would advise getting Windows 8 64bit OEM. Its only $5 more and faster, will have a longer support cycle and the downside of the Metro Interface can be bypassed now.

    Case: Fractal Design R4. $150

    Plus this adapter: Wicked Wire Active DisplayPort-DVI adapter. $45
    Reason or this is that for Eyefinity to work you need to use a DisplayPort from the GPU. So unless you have Displayport native monitors then you need to get an Active Adapter for it to work, Passive adapters wont let you enable Eyefinity.

    Total: $1345
    Leaves plenty in the budget for the assembly fee and shipping, though it may be a good move to buy the case locally (as PC CaseGear is based in Melbourne) as that will be most of your shipping costs.
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