New Computer: Buying/Building and Need Help

July 28, 2009 at 09:20:20
Specs: N/A

I'd greatly appreciate your help in finding info/suggestions on building/buying a new rig. I built my last based on great community suggestions and research, but the time has come (5 years) to upgrade.

I'm looking for a gaming/multimedia computer build (multitask, photoshop, etc. capable) that will have some future staying power (ability to upgrade as much as possible though I understand there are no crystal balls). In addition to the rig, I will also need to purchase a new display (I guess the good news is I need everything but minor peripherals, so we can tailor for performance). Having done some preliminary research, I have been leaning towards Intel, but certainly I'm open for suggestions (I went with AMD for my current rig and have been very satisfied, but it seems the tables have turned slightly and AMD is now playing catch-up, so I'm wiling to go with the forerunner).

My budget is between $1,500 and $2,500 though I don't need to push the max just for the sake of it, but I'm willing to fork over the extra dough to purchase a build with some staying power (it's worked for me in the passed).

I can't tell you in advance how much I appreciate your time, help and knowledge; just lurking in these forums for some time reading my eyeballs dry has given me a wealth of practical information and the confidence to ask for this kind of help in such a knowledgeable community.

Please let me know if you need any more information.


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July 28, 2009 at 16:29:35
I would select a system based on the Intel Core i7 950(3.06GHz) cpu.
A look on Newegg will give you an idea what you can get for your money:
Opinions will vary on choice of motherboard, graphics cards and power supplies.
You may be better off to purchase a prebuilt system, pricewise you will get a warranty and an operating system (with a free ugrade to Windows 7) for probably less then building it yourself.
On the otherhand doing it yourself is very satisfying and you know what's in it even if it costs a little more.
Choose a couple of motherboards to suit the cpu, a couple of video cards, good quality power supplies and invite comments on your selection, or search for reviews on the models you are interested in.
Choose a good quality case and power supply don't skimp on either.
With your budget you will be able to put together a good quality system.

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July 30, 2009 at 08:22:19
Thanks for the reply. I've looked at some basics and put together two rough configurations though any and all help/thoughts are greatly appreciated (referring to my original message, I have no need to spend the extent of my budget to fulfill my purposes). Here's my initial thoughts subject to complete change based on your greatly appreciated suggestions:

Intel Core i7 950
Asus P6T Intel X58
6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1333
850 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-850TX Power Supply Quad SLI Ready
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 PCI-Express x16 – 1GB Single Card
500 GB HARD DRIVE-[Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache]
160 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache]
Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit
24" Sceptre LCD 16:9 Wide Screen HDTV Video & Resolution 1920x1200


Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9650
Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3LR Intel P45 Chipset
800 Watt -- Power Supply-Quad SLI Ready
4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
500 GB HARD DRIVE-[Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache]
160 GB HARD DRIVE -[Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache]
Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card-
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bi

Looking at the reviews here, I'm wondering if crossfire/SLI is a better way to go and if I'm even in the right mindset with either of these layouts?

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July 30, 2009 at 08:43:04

I'm wondering why the 160GB drive? If you partition a 500GB with a comfortable OS partition it should perform better than the 160 and the prices are not much different.

Don't waste your money on SLI/crossfire. Just get a card in the sweet spot, cash wise, and then upgrade if need be in the future.

Wait for jam to come along with some comments. He is our hardware guru.

Why are you buying an add in NIC?

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July 30, 2009 at 12:43:45
Thanks for the reply,

Thanks for the suggestion with the crossfire/sli; I didn't know if I could get cheaper performance by going with two lesser cards rather than one mega-card. The NIC addition was a mistake when I was copying and pasting (good catch for the unnecessary). I had the partition suggestion when I built my current PC (a good suggestion); maybe I'm wrong (usually likely) but I've always liked having an entire separate drive to create some built-in space for more reliable hardware/file redundancy and overspill (I have no problem filling my current second drive). Though, the 500GB would be a large increase in size for me, so I could easily get away with an external dirve (which would not be a new, purchased addition).

What are the thoughts in terms of the main components (cpu, motherboard, memory, power supply, and graphics card)?

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July 30, 2009 at 13:01:27
I don't know much about that chip set. As I stated, jam is the man. He should eventually come around.

I asked about the hard drives because the 500GB has 32MB of cache, which is much beter than the 8MB on the 160GB.

I have been using Western Digital drives lately and have had good luck with them.

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July 31, 2009 at 06:38:42
Good stuff, Thanks!

I'm still guessing that I'm off somewhere between price and what I'm looking for, not to mention that my initial thoughts on cpu, motherboard, and power suppy are more of a guess than a legitimate setup?

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