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Old 12-14-2012, 06:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Towson, MD
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Smile New build, new to building, can NOT decide what to buy...

HELP!! Okay, I am fairly well versed in computer & electronics jargon, but I have never been brave enough to build my own computer. I always had to buy from BestBuy or Walmart because, well, I was an idiot. Now, I am working off a 6-year-old HP desktop with an AMD dual core SLOW bargain computer. It's been slow since the day I set 'er up but was computer illiterate and settled. So now I came into a modest stack of cash and I'm going to get what I want instead of what I can afford.

I have decided that my ideal computer will have an Intel i7 3770K CPU, run Windows 7 64-bit (not Windows 8!), 480GB SSD complimented with a 2TB HDD, and have 2 monitors. I will be using my computer for e-mail, word processing, school (needs to get me through another year of university and 3 years of law school), Photoshop, and watching movies. I don't play games but I need a strong machine for some demanding mapping programs. I want my computer to be lightning fast!

My budget is modest. I want to spend about $2,000... but that has to include 2 monitors and a laser printer (I already know which of these I am getting). So, my real budget is about $1,400 for the computer and software. Is this unreasonable?

What motherboard is a good compliment for the i7 3770k?

What's a good video card that will allow me to set up the two monitors and let me watch a Blu-ray on one monitor and type an essay on the other?

Is there a need to go with 32 gigs of RAM or would 16 (or even less) suit my needs?

How about cases and power supplies? I could care less about looks; I care about function (I don't need a fancy light show or a window).

HELP PLEASE!!! Tell me what would be a great machine for my needs. Oh, and what website or supplier in the USA is good for reliable merchandise? I've heard good and bad things about newegg and tiger direct. Maybe I should edit my opening paragraph... maybe I'm not as versed as I think I am. Anybody that can help me, I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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this should help.http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=62434
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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In my opinion, I think you are wasting money going with a 480gb SSD. After briefly looking on the Egg, they are around $300-$400 for this one component alone. When your budget is only $1400, I don't think it's cost effective to spend 1/4 of the budget on one SSD. Personally, I would opt for one of the stellar deals right now on a 250gb Crucial or Samsung drive for $150-ish. This would leave alot more $$ in your budget to put elsewhere. I think 250 gb would be plenty of space, and since you will have a 2tb storage drive I doubt you'll be hurting for space.

I would also probably opt for 16gb ram, but look to the future and buy a mobo that offers the ability to upgrade to 32gb in the future. Hardly doubt you will need it, but it's nice to have an upgrade path.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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To stay in the 1400 range using that processor... you're going to have to heed Smoove910's advise on the SSD drive and memory to stay on budget...

- 256 GB SSD from Intel, Samsung, or Crucial for main OS drive is around $150
- two 8gb sticks of ram will run around $80
- Motherboard will vary w/features, figure $80-150 range without going nuts
- Power supply $80 to 150
- Case $60-100
- i7 processor is around $320 (assumes no overclocking, and using stock HSF)
- additional 2 TB HDD drive is 180 or so
- DVD optical drive $100 or so
- Mouse/keyboard 50 to 100 range
- copy of windows 7 is around $100

So you see, you're quickly approaching the $1400 range even going somewhat conservative.. leaving you around 100-200 for a graphics card..
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #5
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Were it me, I'd be closely examining that mapping software if it is that important to you.

Does it take advantage of multiple processor threads or more processor cache? If it isn't a multi-threaded application, you could save $100 by getting a i5-3570k instead of the i7-3770k and never notice the real world difference on anything other than a static benchmark. In turn, that $100 bucks is enough to pay for 16GB of memory (or more, if you don't mind messing with rebates) or towards a good higher end hard drive, case, or extra capacity on a good brand power supply. Or, pay for a decent retail blu-ray burner w/playback software as that seems important to you.

One thing not to overlook - a UPS. Myself, I wouldn't ever spend that much money on a computer system without a very decent UPS (one with user replaceable batteries to make it more cost effective over the long term) to protect it.
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