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Been out of the computer loop for a while.

JayPeeM

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#1
Hey guys! I'm trying to build a new computer but have been WAY out of the loop. I'm a college student so my budget is pretty slim.

Currently I'm running Windows 7/Ubuntu on a 3.0GHZ Athlon X2 250 with 800mhz DDR2 RAM, brand new SATA drives (1 160gb, 1 320gb) and Radeon 3870. I'm selling this rig to my dad for a few bills as it's quite old except for the processor. I'm keeping my hard drives and CD ROM and taking the PSU I let him borrow (650W Cooler Master) back.

I've already got a power supply, CD rom drive, harddrives.

I use my computer for:
HD video
Music listening
GIS applications (which run pretty slow, currently) (ArcGIS 10 and QGIS)
Office tasks and schoolwork
Photoshop/various movie editing software
Streaming live television (I've got a brand new Hauppage tuner)

I use a 32" Samsung TV with 1360x768 resolution.

Basically, since the Athlon X2 was "new hotness" when I built this one, I have no idea how current hardware compares to my current rig. Is an upgrade to a Phenom system (X6 or a higher clocked X4) going to make a noticeable improvement in speed?

What would you guys recommend for a system great for multitasking? Has Intel made competent, competitively priced processors yet? Can you recommend a few builds from 400-800$ not including the hardware I've already got? Either way, I've had a nightmarish experience with Nvidia so I'm definitely not budging on ATI.

Thank you all so much!

-JM
 
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#2
I've been looking at the new Sandy Bridge CPU's from Intel.

If I were building a new system right now, it would be a Intel I5 2500K and P67/Z68 motherboard. With 4GB ram that would add up to right around $400.

Doesn't sound like you need a hugely powerful system, so you could cut costs by settling for a I3 2300 which does not allow overclocking. Also, these CPUs have a built in GPU which could be enough for your needs.
 

CDdude55

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#3
The stuff you do is mostly CPU dependent, so i'd focus more on that area. Intel is overall the multitasking king currently and if you're doing a lot of photoshop and video edit editing as well as streaming then you'll want a good CPU and a decent chunk of RAM.

But anyways here's a cheap Sandy Bridge based system with an 8GB kit of memory and an average motherboard and video card :



The subtotal is $471.96
 
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JayPeeM

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#4
The stuff you do is mostly CPU dependent, so i'd focus more on that area. Intel is overall the multitasking king currently and if you're doing a lot of photoshop and video edit editing as well as streaming then you'll want a good CPU and a decent chunk of RAM.

But anyways here's a cheap Sandy Bridge based system with an 8GB kit of memory and an average motherboard and video card :

http://img.techpowerup.org/110818/53535534534.png

The subtotal is $471.96
That looks just plain awesome! I may end up keeping my video card (which is good enough for pretty much every app I use, I'm guessing) for a little while. Would you guys recommend a workstation card over a gaming card?

Also, thinking about converting from 1 32" TV to 2 1080p monitors. Anyone run dual 1080ps and have any comment on that?
 
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#5
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#6
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#7
Hey guys! I'm trying to build a new computer but have been WAY out of the loop. I'm a college student so my budget is pretty slim.

Currently I'm running Windows 7/Ubuntu on a 3.0GHZ Athlon X2 250 with 800mhz DDR2 RAM, brand new SATA drives (1 160gb, 1 320gb) and Radeon 3870. I'm selling this rig to my dad for a few bills as it's quite old except for the processor. I'm keeping my hard drives and CD ROM and taking the PSU I let him borrow (650W Cooler Master) back.

I've already got a power supply, CD rom drive, harddrives.

I use my computer for:
HD video
Music listening
GIS applications (which run pretty slow, currently) (ArcGIS 10 and QGIS)
Office tasks and schoolwork
Photoshop/various movie editing software
Streaming live television (I've got a brand new Hauppage tuner)

I use a 32" Samsung TV with 1360x768 resolution.

Basically, since the Athlon X2 was "new hotness" when I built this one, I have no idea how current hardware compares to my current rig. Is an upgrade to a Phenom system (X6 or a higher clocked X4) going to make a noticeable improvement in speed?

What would you guys recommend for a system great for multitasking? Has Intel made competent, competitively priced processors yet? Can you recommend a few builds from 400-800$ not including the hardware I've already got? Either way, I've had a nightmarish experience with Nvidia so I'm definitely not budging on ATI.

Thank you all so much!

-JM
Can you wait one month man? Sandy Bridge is a beast of a processor. However AMD is about to drop their new CPU next month. There is no guarantee it will be faster or slower but to build so close now could be a bad move IMO.

As someone who uses Photoshop and Illustrator professionally I will say RAM....lots of it. 64-bit OS and Photoshop is also a huge must.
 
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#9

JayPeeM

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#10
Can you wait one month man? Sandy Bridge is a beast of a processor. However AMD is about to drop their new CPU next month. There is no guarantee it will be faster or slower but to build so close now could be a bad move IMO.

As someone who uses Photoshop and Illustrator professionally I will say RAM....lots of it. 64-bit OS and Photoshop is also a huge must.
It'll be September before I even BEGIN building it. Any clue what day it'll drop? My first paycheck of the year is in August and I'll just be getting smaller parts together then. CPU and MOBO will likely be the last thing I buy. I hope to have the build complete by early October.

I've got 64 bit Win7 and RAM will definitely be something I invest heavily in.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DD...

Hell of a deal here. Would it be worth it to futureproof and snag up this kit?
 
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System Name The SwagMachine / The Sister
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Cooling Phanteks PH TC14PE / Corsair H40
Memory M379B5273DH0-YK0 2X4GB + PVI316G213C1QK 2X4GB / 2x4GB Patriot 2133
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Display(s) AOC Q2963PM+Acer S200HL / Acer S200L+ LG 22LD350
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Mouse Razer Deathadder Chroma / Roccat Kone+
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#11
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#12
It'll be September before I even BEGIN building it. Any clue what day it'll drop? My first paycheck of the year is in August and I'll just be getting smaller parts together then. CPU and MOBO will likely be the last thing I buy. I hope to have the build complete by early October.

I've got 64 bit Win7 and RAM will definitely be something I invest heavily in.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DD...

Hell of a deal here. Would it be worth it to futureproof and snag up this kit?
8gigs (2x4) would be fine man. Make sure its fast RAM. The Bulldozer drops around the 19th of next month as far as I know. If its a flop then you can't go wrong with a sandy bridge. Just wait until then.
 

JayPeeM

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#13
8gigs (2x4) would be fine man. Make sure its fast RAM. The Bulldozer drops around the 19th of next month as far as I know. If its a flop then you can't go wrong with a sandy bridge. Just wait until then.
I was exaggerating :p It is a good deal though. I'll probably end up with 4-8.

I'll definitely wait until the Bulldozer drops anyways as Sandy Bridge's prices will likely go down a tad anyways.

But what's wrong with that case? I kinda like it. It's classy. I'm not big on the lights and windows, y'know?

I think I may order the monitors as soon as I can find a wall mount for my TV :)

Also, if I mount my TV, would I be able to use an old video card to run it as a third monitor above the other two? It'd be cool to set up video or a music program up there while I work.
 
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#14
I was exaggerating :p It is a good deal though. I'll probably end up with 4-8.

I'll definitely wait until the Bulldozer drops anyways as Sandy Bridge's prices will likely go down a tad anyways.

But what's wrong with that case? I kinda like it. It's classy. I'm not big on the lights and windows, y'know?

I think I may order the monitors as soon as I can find a wall mount for my TV :)

Also, if I mount my TV, would I be able to use an old video card to run it as a third monitor above the other two? It'd be cool to set up video or a music program up there while I work.
Um that isn't what I would call a work rig kinda case. It looks HOT. Ask Sneekypeet. Hes the local case guru around these parts.
 
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#15
But what's wrong with that case? I kinda like it. It's classy. I'm not big on the lights and windows, y'know?
Tormenting hardware is whats wrong with the case :roll:
Grab something with actual air flow and/or something that won't make your hardware look like its from the 90's :eek:
 

JayPeeM

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#16
Tormenting hardware is whats wrong with the case :roll:
Grab something with actual air flow and/or something that won't make your hardware look like its from the 90's :eek:
I won't be overclocking or anything... Adding the optional fans wouldn't improve the airflow enough to keep it reasonably cool?
 
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#17
But what's wrong with that case? I kinda like it. It's classy. I'm not big on the lights and windows, y'know?
What ever floats your boat I say.

But lack of airflow was my immediate reaction. Seems like hardware could block the fans front an back.

And you must consider if the parts you want will fit in there.
 

JayPeeM

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#18
Really though, any good case recommendations? I'd like something compact that I could put on my desk.

Also, what do you guys think of the Thuban series for multitasking? 6 cores vs. the 4 on the Sandy Bridge. Would it be better at handling multiple apps?
 

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#19
That case is terrible and ugly. There is nothing classy about it.

I think you should forget Thuban. Get a SB i5 2500K, 4-8GB of good, fast RAM 1600Mhz+, and a Asus/GB P67/Z68 board (Z68 would be good if you're into photoshop and video editing). Get a cheap case that is not made of wood, isn't super cramped, and isn't MADE OF WOOD. That case could not only catch fire easily, but it's a media center/htpc case. It's not made for a workstation.

Get a mid tower ATX case. Check reviews. Cooler Master, Corsair, Silverstone, Antec, etc. Buy a quality case that has good airflow (and is made of metal/plastic) so your computer doesn't catch fire and burn your house down. Why would you buy a $100 POS mass manufactured wooden HTPC case when you can get a Silverstone Raven RV02-BW for $76 at Fry's. No brainer man...
 
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#20
Really though, any good case recommendations? I'd like something compact that I could put on my desk.

Also, what do you guys think of the Thuban series for multitasking? 6 cores vs. the 4 on the Sandy Bridge. Would it be better at handling multiple apps?
Instead of getting a Thuban, I would wait for a month (hopefully) and see what AMD has to offer with Buldozer Zambezi chips.

Thuban 6 cores are nice, but just don't offer the bang for buck that intel does right now.
 

JayPeeM

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#21
I'm just gonna start planning my build all over from scratch because I know I can do a much more logical and cost/energy effective one with what I've learned in the past few days of looking at how much hardware has changed.

Quick question though, what'll be my main bottleneck for the uses stated? Ignore the video editing part, as I can do that at my school's library computers and do that once a year at most, maybe.

Basically, what kind of video card would I need to run ArcGIS 10 and watch HD movies?
 
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#22
extreme couponing!
 
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#23
I'm just gonna start planning my build all over from scratch because I know I can do a much more logical and cost/energy effective one with what I've learned in the past few days of looking at how much hardware has changed.

Quick question though, what'll be my main bottleneck for the uses stated? Ignore the video editing part, as I can do that at my school's library computers and do that once a year at most, maybe.

Basically, what kind of video card would I need to run ArcGIS 10 and watch HD movies?
Probably a good idea to take your time.

As far as a video card goes, you don't need much for what you mention. As I mentioned before, some of the newer embedded graphics cores, as offered in Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Llano, would probably be sufficient for that.

Not the route I would go personally. Would always want the option to play a game. :)