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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Thinking about new PC build - need advice on parts, planning

    Since I can get a copy of Windows 7 for $30 because of my academic affiliation, I figured I may as well build a new computer to go along with it. Since I know a lot of people here are computer building hobbyists, I was hoping to get some guidance on what specific parts I should look at. Here is the general plan I am considering:

    • Intel i7
    • small SSD main boot hard drive, larger 1TB for programs/storage
    • good but not top-of-the-line video card - I don't really play games, but I want the ability to do so should something great come out
    • 6GB-8GB memory
    • basic DVD burner (maybe Blu-Ray reader? no idea on price)
    • depending on price, maybe new monitor to replace my 19" LCD

    What do you guys think is a fair budget for something like this? Any info/pointers/part suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Under Your Skin
    Go to and spec it out...

    SSD? LOL... Okay... No. Save your money.

    8 gb of memory? 4 is still the new sweet spot (if you want to call it that). Everything I've read states computers have very little advantage after 4... Of course you could say you want to future-proof your machine... much like I did when I purchaed 64-bit Athlon back in the day. ROFL

    I'd go in Blu reader... I got one for $60 last month.

    I have two monitors... skip the ssd and the extra 4 gb of mem and go dual screen... maybe two 22 or 23 inch monitors. That is what I did... love two monitors... bomb.

    *Memory and SSD: I know some some have specific uses for that much memory... not many people. Do a search of 6 or 8 gb of memory... or 4 vs. 8 or whatever. Sounds good, but do you really need it?

    Far as budget... I'd say you can build an i7 machine for less than $1000... or at least that is what I'd budget, if you have to get everything (power supply, etc....).
    Last edited by hekwu; 11-01-2009 at 09:48 AM.
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Though it's not exactly related to the computer build, I agree with the dual monitor setup - it really helps you get work done more quickly, or just get more out of your computer I'd fine it hard to go back to a single monitor and I'm currently adding a third (for the machine I do all of my work from).

    Not a hardware expert but based upon what hekwu said, do you really need that SSD? I mean, is it really going to speed up the booting and running of your computer? I'd imagine not by too much, but it depends what you're using the computer for. Perhaps some experts can answer that for you..

    I personally can do with pretty much any "current" spec... all of my work involves a basic text editor, ssh and web browsing... I barely do anything else. So for me, any current / modern spec is plenty. Perhaps it is a good idea to let people know what you generaly do with your machine, or what you plan to do, I'm sure that will help people to give you better feedback on the spec.

    As for pricing, I guess you just go and price it up online and see what sort of pricing you can get altering the spec, again like hewku said.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    San Francisco
    $1000 USD would more than cover a i7 build like this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Under Your Skin
    Quote Originally Posted by confidenceb122 View Post
    I recommend this WD Caviar Green WD15EADS 1.5TB hdd, Seek clicks sound like a soft cricket in a quite room. More quite than most of my 2.5" drives.
    No... check the benchmarks on this (and similar drives).

    First off, I'd guess it is operating at 5400 rpm... it does not state, but this is the case with most "green" drives.

    This might be a good backup drive or secondary drive, but definitely not as a main drive. At least not for me anyway.

    I'd go with a 7200 drive...
    Last edited by hekwu; 11-02-2009 at 07:47 AM.
    Windows 10 to Linux and Mac OSX: I'm PARSECs better than you. Eat my dust!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Lakewood, CO
    If you are not gaming, like others have said, forget the 6-8gigs of ram. 4 will more than cover you.

    Second, ssd drive is a waste at this point. They are buggy with most operating systems, and the only ones that are reliable at this point are the intel ones that cost way too much.

    3rd just get one monitor, like a 22-24 inch for your main screen and recycle that 19 inch for your second screen. That is what I have set up at home and it works wonders just have data, IM clients, and my server graphs on the 19inch screen and then doing everything else on the larger screen. Just dont put them next to each other because they will look a little funny
    Charles Coyle - Data Center Operations, Engineer
    Red Rocks Data Center - Morrison, CO - Colorado's First Green Data Center Since Day 1
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