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Question for My Computer DSM'ers

Posted by eclipsemf, Sep 17, 2012

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  1. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

    213
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    Joined Jun 10, 2010
    Glen, New Hampshire
    I have a friend selling a desktop computer its an Alienware Aueora 7500. Its an older model (2007) but my laptop is slowing down (had it for 7yrs now) so I'm looking to get a desktop that I can upgrade over time to make a nice gaming and work PC. I know I can hook up to 4 monitors to this which will help because I am studying to be an Electrical Engineer and one the programming comes back having that many monitors will be a huge help.
    Here is a link to it I'm just looking for input on a good price and things to look for when upgrading(I'm not paying that much for it).

    ALIENWARE AURORA 7500 W/ 2 HD MONITORS

    I'm thinking about going to 16gb ram
    1tb internal Hard drive matched with a 1tb external
    Intel i7 3770
    Upgraded graphics card to nvidia geforce gtx 660

    I think that's it for now...
     

    653  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  2. AlwaysDTF

    AlwaysDTF Proven Member

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    Joined Sep 9, 2012
    Prattville, Alabama
    just depends on what exactly you're looking for out of it. computer & parts have got a lot cheaper since back in the day so you could basically build a hella computer for under $500 now. what do you have in mind ?
     

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    1991 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    · 1G DSM
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  3. Clinical

    Clinical Proven Member

    578
    7
    Joined Nov 15, 2009
    Cedar Falls, Iowa
    I wouldn't
    The upgrades you mentioned will put you at about another $400-500

    I built my computer for $900 over a year ago and it's still pretty damn good - 3.2ghz amd six core processor/16gb corsair vengeance ram/Crossfire Mobo/560gtx/2TB HDD

    my buddy built something very similar just with not quite as pricey of a motherboard and a slightly less expensive video card, and spent $600 when all was said and done.

    I wouldn't give more than $300 for the alienware. Even at used price you're paying more for the name still.
     

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    1994 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    11.653 @ 119.06 · 1G DSM
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  4. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

    12,071
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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    With all the upgrades you have planned, you might as well just build your own. Do you even know if the upgrades you have planned would work with the motherboard that's in there? For example, if it's from 2007, the RAM might be an older version and more expensive than you anticipate. You also can't put an Intel CPU into a motherboard designed for an AMD chip, so that upgrade won't work.
     

    3K  0

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    12.529 @ 110.820 · 2G DSM
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  5. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

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    Glen, New Hampshire
    Im looking for a computer that can be used for modern games on high quality and be able to run 4 monitors for programming. I can get that computer for 230$ with everything in that add and the 2 monitors are LCD so i think right there it would almost be worth it. As for the processor I didnt even looking in to the AMD/Intel deal, for AMD id go with a fx-8120 I think it was. I havent looked in to mother boards yet either, Im not sure if the Video card will work or not because I know you need 2 PCI ports on the mother board to run that card. The ram is very reasonable for it 4x slots at 4gb each was only ~100$

    Thanks for the quick posts!
     

    653  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  6. isantop

    isantop Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    Uh-oh, don't get me started on computers... ROFL

    What are you planning on doing with it? Gaming, or Facebook? How much are you planning on doing at once?

    Also, what's your budget?
     
  7. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

    12,071
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    Joined Oct 15, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Again, from all that you want to upgrade, what do you think you will gain in purchasing the machine? Maybe just grab the monitors since that seems to be most of what you're concerned about and build a high end PC to your specs with newer/faster/better parts. This way you don't have to worry about compatibility issues with the used system, possible limitations because of older hardware, etc.
     

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    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    12.529 @ 110.820 · 2G DSM
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  8. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

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    Glen, New Hampshire
    I got the monitors and the computer but its only to test it out for now. I was wondering if any of you know a web site in which I can check compatibility of parts on? That will ultimately determine what parts I get of it.
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  9. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

    12,071
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    Joined Oct 15, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    You need to figure out what's in it first and then we can help you. Can you get a specific parts list of everything?
     

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    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    12.529 @ 110.820 · 2G DSM
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  10. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

    213
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    Joined Jun 10, 2010
    Glen, New Hampshire
    The main thing I am wondering about is if I can upgrade my mother board from a...
    Foxconn C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H Socket AM2/nForce 590 SLI/SATA2/RAID/A&2GbE Motherboard

    To something along the lines of...
    Dell H869M 4VWF2 Alienware Aurora ALX Motherboard

    If I choose to get the computer I want to start with an upgraded mother board so I can run an I7 or something along the same lines.

    They are both coming from/going to an alienware aurora but I'm just learning about all this!

    Thanks for all the help!

    Other things I will need to upgrade would be my...
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+ 2.8ghz
    Nvidia Geforce 8600 gts
    ATI Radeon hd 4300/4500 series
    Upgrade ram will depend on what mother board

    Is there anything else I need to get for you guys to make sure things will work?
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  11. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Bah, can't find my picture of my home setup now on my cell phone, but:

    Go eyefinity/3D surround or go home! :hellyeah:

    [​IMG]
     

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
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  12. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

    12,071
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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Maybe I'm just not understanding what exactly is going on here. If you're upgrading the motherboard, processor, graphics card, RAM, etc., what from the original PC will be left? The case?

    Why spend $270 on a refurbished motherboard when you can buy a new one for less/equal? If I go to Newegg and filter the motherboards by ones that accept an Intel i7 (LGA 1155 socket) and are ATX form factor, one out of the top 10 most rated are close to the price of that refurbished unit ($259). I'd be willing to be they're all better as well. That refurbished unit looks to be fairly old and outdated as it doesn't seem to support any of the newer Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge CPU's.

    Why are you mixing Nvidia and ATI graphics cards together? Pick one or the other.



    If you want to go through with this, be my guest. But I bet we could build you a kick ass PC with more top of the line parts if you wanted to build your own (which you're basically doing). Why not post up a budget of what you're willing to spend and we'll see what we can come up with.
     

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    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    12.529 @ 110.820 · 2G DSM
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  13. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

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    Glen, New Hampshire
    As far as the graphics that's just what it currently has in it. As far as a budget Im pretty open I wouldnt be able to buy everything right this instance but I have a solid 500$ to start and up to another 230$ if i stay away from the alienware all together. So we will say 750$ for starters but if I am going to loose performance because of the budget I can come up on it a bit.

    Basically my goals...
    to be able to run 4 Monitors, with enough power to multitask with all of them and have the power to play all of today's games on the highest settings with out bogging it down any.
     

    653  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  14. snowborder714

    snowborder714 Moderator

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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    That's a fairly low budget, especially if that includes the monitors. I'd say to have something that can do what you want, you'd be looking at least $1500. That'd include case, HD(s), motherboard, graphics cards, RAM, CPU, at least 2 monitors, PSU, and probably a cheap DVD drive.
     

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    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    12.529 @ 110.820 · 2G DSM
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  15. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    Are you interested in multi monitor gaming? That's why I posted. Multi Monitor gaming requires build considerations just in itself. If you just want to "work" on multiple monitors, you can use USB adapters for desktop resolutions in workstation programs.

    If you want max resolution multi monitor gaming, you have to consider 2 or 3 double slot video cards, a motherboard to support 2 or 3 video cards, and a power supply to handle 2 or 3 video cards.

    You have to be very specific about what you want to do on the computer, a motherboard alone just to support said multi monitor gaming can cost upwards of 500 dollars in itself.

    Over clocking i7? Sandy Bridge E i7? or Ivy bridge i7?

    Ivy bridge: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116502

    Sandy-E : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116491

    same 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo), but completely different animals under the hood.

    Even just saying i7 can be misleading. Someone tell me they have $750 and says build me a gaming rig, they are not thinking the same thing I am when I think "gaming rig".

    One video card alone could put you under the table.

    Newegg.com - EVGA Signature 04G-P4-2692-KR GeForce GTX 690 4GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Again, specifics. Otherwise you are just building a regular desktop and hope to play games on it at "max" settings. The types of games you play are also important to note, or examples (names) of games you are playing or want to play.



    p.s. I used to work here:

    http://www.digitalstormonline.com/

    I don't play games games when it comes to building gaming rigs :p
     

    829  1

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM
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  16. phunny

    phunny Proven Member

    1,652
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    Joined Feb 1, 2005
    Pittsboro, Indiana
    Ill chine in with a question since ive been planning on buying a couple desktops for my wife and i. We've been looking at the Alienware ax51 since it looks like they''ll perform how we need them to. We need something that can multitask with some ram hungry programs and can play any game with ease.

    So I I were build one since everyone's saying its the way to go what would you all recommend? Where would you purchase the parts from? What about software?
     

    Street Build 1K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    manual · 2G DSM

    953  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    10.500 @ 134.000 · 2G DSM
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  17. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 10, 2010
    Glen, New Hampshire
    Wow my mind is blown! I didn't realize there was much out there! As much as I would like to go with a multi display gaming set up I dont think my budget will allow that what so ever! I do have 2 nice monitors available so if there is a not so expensive way to do that I would be interested in 2 monitor gaming. (HP 2009M LCD)

    Where you know more with this, I dont need some super rig that will cost more money than my DSM takes up, but I would like to be able to play games such as
    Skyrim
    Battlefield 3
    COD
    Dirt and other racing games

    From the looks of it I wont be needing an Ivy bridge possibly an Sandy bridge

    4vwf2 Alienware Aurora ALX Core i7

    Would a mother board ^^^ like that be a good starting point. It accepts an I7 and should have plenty of ram(24gb). Seems to be reasonably priced and from my little knowledge should have the power needed to play the above games.

    Specifications: For the above Motherboard

    Chipset:
    Intel X58
    Supported Processors:
    Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz (8MB Cache) Quad Core Processor
    Intel Core i7 930 Quad Core Processor (2.8GHz, 8MB Cache)
    Intel Core i7 960 Quad Core Processor (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)
    Intel Core i7 980x Extreme Six Core Processor (3.33GHz, 12MB Cache)
    Intel Core i7-970 Six Core Processor, 3.23GHz, 12MB Cache
    Supported Memory:
    Up to 24GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333Mhz - 6 DIMMS
    Up to 12GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600Mhz - 6 DIMMS
    Up to 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1866Mhz - 3 DIMMS
    6x 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM Slots
    Audio
    Integrated
    Video
    Not Integrated
    Peripheral Interface
    (1x ) eSATA
    (1x) RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet
    (6x) High-Speed USB 2.0
    (1x) Firewire IEEE 1394
    (1x) Microphone In
    (1x) Line-In
    (1x) Front Left/Right Speakers
    (1x) Center Speaker
    (1x) Rear Left/Right Speakers
    (1x) Side Left/Right Speakers
    (1x) SPDIF Digital Output (TOSLINK)
    (1x) SPDIF Digital Output (Coax)
    Expansion
    (2x) PCI-Express 2.0, PCI-e x16
    (2x) PCI-e x1


    For graphics card I was thinking
    EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5 DVI mHDMI DP Graphics Card 02G-P4-2662-KR

    It seems like that should be compatible with the above MB
     

    653  0

    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    · 2G DSM
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  18. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

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    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    You got alienware stuck in your head like most iphone users got that stuck in their head.

    They make good stuff, but it is not worth paying the price tag for litterally no benefit. You like their case? That is fine by me; a case is made for looks (generally speaking) and if you like the style, it will fit any peripherals you throw in it.

    Do note that Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge - E, and Ivy Bridge are all different i7 chipsets.

    Intel Core - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Ivy bridge is newer more energy efficient processor with a built in video processor, while the Sandy-E release in 2011 was still build on the old 32nm archeticture but on a new 2011 pin interface. The increased amount of cashe (NEARLY DOUBLE) makes the Sandy E scream, and is called "E" to stand for enthusiest. Also supports quad channel memory instead of just tripple.. the list goes on and on, but you gotta pay to play.

    The 920/940/960 i7s are nearly 4 years old? I would not buy a x58 board when if that is the level of performance you want, you could pay the same price for a x79 or a z77 Ivy bridge which just came out in April. Lower temps, better performance, and with a built in video processor, that can handle a desktop browsing multi monitor setup just fine.

    [​IMG]

    eyefinity-setup-1.jpg

    ati_eyefinity_configs.png

    Multi monitor gaming is completely different. First off you need 3/5/7 monitors as you are not going to want the center of your screen split. Most people want to see their character/car clearly and their peripheral view of the surrounding area can be disturbed a bit. The issue with gaming is you need a huge video buffer and that is where the memory size of a video card matters. 4gb of video memory doesn't do sh** for a single monitor game, the speed of the video gpu is what matters then. The speed is how fast the graphics card can process one frame (picture 30 or 60 fps, remeber) the memory is how much or how big the picture is, i.e. 1920x1080 for example takes 1gb of memory, but do do a multi monitor image which is 3 times bigger at 5760x1080, would take 3 gb memory to make that same 1 frame. There's obviously more that goes into it but know that when selecting your video card.

    Since you only want to spend enough to do single monitor gaming, you can select a fast gpu video card with a lower memory capacity. They are all almost the same pci-e interface (generatation to generation) so pick the ones that best fits your needs. Any current video card that costs 300 or more can handle any single screen game at max settings. Its the multi monitor thing that has the gaming world kind of caught up atm and video card manufactures know all about that.

    GeForce 600 Series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The new GPU chipset from Nvidia Keplar can output multiple monitors off one graphics card, more then just 2 that the previous Fermi chip could do. This means you can do the multi monitor desktop/workstation just fine, yet still have a video card powerful enough to do high resolution single monitor games. All with one video card.

    Sorry if my posts are wordy; I'm just trying to make you aware of all the differences in parts, because they advertise them similarly to get you to buy them. Nvidia always launches their top of the line card first, 690. Gets all the hype going for the chipset, then later releases the entry and mid level cards 660 ect expecting to sell them with buyers expecting the same performance as all the hype they heard from the top of the line. You say to yourself "I'm sure it a little slower but probably not much I'll notice". If you aren't picky, and couldn't tell the difference in 30 fps or 60 fps, then sure you might be fine. But don't let the name or brand pull anything over you.

    To another of your questions, the best place I ave found to buy computer parts, with a good return policy as even I have receive DOA parts, newegg.com is hand down the best choice. You might dabble here and there are on ebay or amazon, but for your one stop place to get all you need, thats the place to go.

    They even offer "combo" offers where you get 20-40 bucks off a cpu/mobo combo, or a mobo/graphics card combo ect. They also have pre build computer deals, and "wish list/dream list competitions that you can view top rated and pick parts from them. I suggest checking them out.

    Building your own off the shelf computer is indeffinately cheaper then buying one pre built, ESPECIALLY if comparing to alienware. I'd compare it to racing a stock corvette against a heavily modded DSM. Comparing the speed to price ratio, they may both same speed in the end, but their is more pride in knowing you paid half as much to go the same, if not faster.

    meh.. dunno about that comparison, but.. hope you get the idea :p
     

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  19. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

    213
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    Joined Jun 10, 2010
    Glen, New Hampshire
    Or like most DSM'ers are :p I feel like this was me a couple years back when I first joined this site with newb dsm questions...

    But I'm going to throw down a list with some info you have given and some I have been looking in to. atuca Thank you so much for the help, but looking at you set ups its making me want to invest for a 3 monitor display because those look sick! But for now single monitor I'm looking at these.

    Motherboard:
    Asus P8Z77-V Pro (Intel Z77 ATX) 208$

    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 3770S (3.1GHz) QUAD CORE 65W 305$

    Ram:
    Kingston 16GB DDR3-1600 (4x4GB) 109$

    Graphics:
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB (EVGA, Asus) 300$

    Harddrive:
    2.0TB Western Digital Caviar Green (5400 RPM, SATA III, Quiet) 109$

    CD Drive:
    Asus 24x DVD-RW SATA (black) 25$

    Power:
    Seasonic X 850W (80 PLUS Gold) 130$

    CPU Cooling:
    Cooler Master Hyper TX3 (Intel 1155/6) 24$

    SSD:
    OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 100$

    Total: 1310$ On Newegg

    That's what Im currently looking at for a gaming computer, the price does come out to be a bit more than I hoped but I think I can deal with it. Please let me know of any concerns you have!

    Thanks again
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012

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  20. DsMWookie

    DsMWookie Proven Member

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    You really don't need 32 gigs of RAM.12 gigs is more than enough unless you're doing some serious editing.

    As far as a fast cpu goes, well they can be over kill as well. The 920 maybe 4 years old, but she never gets stressed by games. Most video games are heavily gpu intensive and the CPU us barely being pushed if at all. Just weigh that in your price decision.

    Secondly, I'd save some cash and stay cooled. Proper water setups can be pricey and simply unnecessary.

    A proper gpu will be your best money spent and considering your savings else where you might want to run sli.

    I would secondly look into buying an SSD and finding a good deal on a 1TB disc drive.
     

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  21. Atuca

    Atuca Supporting Member

    697
    91
    Joined Jan 6, 2007
    Central Valley, California
    The k in the processor name, means its unlocked for over locking. If you don't plan on over clocking, you don't have to spend the extra 20-40 dollars on the k version.

    If you are not over locking, you def do not need a water CPU cooler. The v8 by Coolmaster is a large air cooler upgrade that I believe still fits current gen i7s and can be had for 60 bucks.

    I agree with the ram suggestion as well. You can do a 4x4gb ram setup and have quad channel 16gb total ram and be more then enough to multi task even on multiple monitors. I program video games as a hobby, and have 4gb for the game while still maintain 12gb for visual studio, Internet explorer, Skype, my OS and anything else running. I can't see the use of more then 16gb unless you do serious like litter ally hour long hd movie clip editing, or a giant auto cad project. It's overkill and will be for another 5 years. Games are barely tapping into the 4gb realm now as a "recommended" suggestion. Even at that most don't use it.

    I'm on my cell so I can't check sockets, but assuming those are same socket compatibility, brands all look good to me.

    I would however up the wattage on the power supply. If your mobo is sli compatible, even if you go with one video card now, give yourself the room to upgrade with a 850 950 watt power supply. Check nvidias website for wattage requirements for sli of the video card you choose. Buying a 950 doesn't mean you are always using 950 watts, it's power you can tap into when needed, much like the throttle on a high hp Dsm :)

    Buying a 64 or 128gb ssd hard drive wouldn't be a bad idea for installing your OS and games for faster boot times. It complicates your install and may make you think when choosing when and when not to use the ssd, but I suggest it in every build. It can make your computer boot in 1/3 the time a standard hard drive could. Similar results when loading video games, or any other program installed on the ssd.
     

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    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    600 whp · 500 lb/ft · 2G DSM

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  22. eclipsemf

    eclipsemf Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 10, 2010
    Glen, New Hampshire
    Edited I added a SSD and cut back a few things that were mentioned such as the cooler and upgraded the power to 850W. I think shes looking good now!
     

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  23. isantop

    isantop Proven Member

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    Joined Jun 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    Just grab a copy of windows and put it on this:

    https://www.system76.com/desktops/model/leox3

    /shameless plug - I work for these guys.

    Or, take the following points:

    Intel makes some pretty good motherboards, IMO. They're well set up for either AMD or Nvidia, and they obviously support i7s just fine. Personally, I recommend a DX79TO, or for less money, the DX58SO2. In general, anything that starts with DX will be a good choice.

    The DX79TO is great because it supports Sandy Bridge-E, which is far better for gaming than Ivy Bridge. The big improvements in Ivy Bridge were the graphics, and the power consumption. You're obviously not going to be using the built-in graphics, so focus your money into Sandy Bridge-E.

    Pay close attention to the number of RAM channels your motherboard/RAM support, and match them up. Also, make sure you have matching DIMMs. On that DX79TO, you have quad-channel. Therefore, you need either four or eight sticks of RAM. Believe it or not, 8 GB (4x2 GB) will easily outperform any 12 GB combination, because at 12 they won't be running in quad channel.

    Gamers don't need SSSs, and I'd recommend against them for you, since they're super expensive. Don't go for a small SSD with the OS and a large HDD for programs/files. This is technically no faster than a single large HDD. Hybrid HDD/SSDs, however, would benefit you, as would faster hard drives (7200 RPM should be your minimum limit).

    Consider using two small hard drives with a RAID 0, as this will give you the same capacity and nearly double the speed.

    The Nvidia X60 Ti's are awesome cards. The 600 series will drive three monitors (supposedly four, but I haven't tested that) on a single card, but they are more expensive than 500s. For budget reasons, I would stay away from SLI, so if you want more power than an X60, for for an X70 or X80 rather than two X50's or X60's.

    Don't go for a BluRay drive. They're expensive and pretty worthless. Use Netflix for Movies, and remember that it's easy to add an optical drive later.

    With the latest iteration, we started selling liquid cooling on that Leopard I linked to, and I don't think I would ever go back. It's lower maintenance, quieter, protects your hardware better, and you get to brag about your computer having a radiator just like your car. :hellyeah: (Seriously, most of the good modern ones even use Glycol as a coolant. I guess if it's good enough for a 400 HP DSM, it's good enough for your computer, eh?)

    At this point, I think I'm rambling, but I have a lot of experience in the System Engineering department at work (in short, I build some of our computers) so I know what works well for what and what plays nicely with what. If you any questions, let me know! ;)
     

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