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    New Roll Your Own Computer Specs - Fast & Cheap

    Just spec'd this computer for a friend and helped him put it together...

    All prices are US dollars.

    Intel Core i7-2600
    (quad core)
    $300
    The Sandy Bridge architecture - the fastest single-threaded CPU currently available.

    Intel DP67DE Micro-ATX Motherboard (1155 pin)
    $115
    Intel motherboards don't get much attention because they're boring. IT people love them because they're rock solid.

    Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz - (2) 4GB modules

    $85

    Kingston is rock solid. Crucial is also rock solid.

    MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB
    $250
    Newer, better version of the GTX 460 (runs faster and cooler). The new sweet spot. (note that as of this writing, it hasn't been thoroughly tested with Revit, but so far, so good).

    Intel SSD 120GB (Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC)
    $230
    Again with Intel... their stuff is just rock solid. It's hard to beat the performance at this price point. The brand new Intel 510 120GB SSD theoretically bumps performance way up, but I needed to keep the price down.

    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6.0
    $90
    Simply the best "old-school" hard drive, IMHO. If you need even more storage, e.g. backup drive, or huge iTunes library ;-), consider the Caviar Green 2TB drive for ~$80.

    LG Blu-ray - 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal UH10LS20

    $70
    Plays Blu-ray discs, burns DVDs. If all you really need is to occasionally install software off a DVD, save $50 and get an old-fashion DVD drive.

    Antec Mini P180

    $105
    Just one of a million cases on the market - This is a "micro-ATX" case which is a slightly shorter version of the typical tower. Antec makes excellent cases. This is a "professional" looking case, heavy and very well built.

    Seasonic X-650 PSU ATX
    $130
    This is one of the top-rated PSU's out there... whisper quiet, plenty of wattage, extremely energy efficiency, modular cables for improved airflow.

    Windows 7 Pro 64-bit OEM
    $140
    If you're in a home-office environment or don't have to deal with servers and VPNs, consider sticking with the "Home" version and save yourself $40.

    TOTAL $1,515

    This computer is rad.

    The only thing I would do to make it even radder with a couple hundred more bucks would be to install a whisper quiet heatsink and fan (to replace the stock Intel cooler) and maybe upgrade to the new faster SSD (I haven't really had a chance to read up on it yet). And with the SSD as the OS drive, I'd stick with the WD Caviar Green drives... they're quieter as well. I might see what I could do about lowering the fan noise a little bit on that GF 560 (it's not bad as far as graphic cards go, but I like quiet! ;-))

    #2
    Great idea and it should be noted that actually building a computer from solid components is not a big deal.

    I would suggest cranking up the on-board memory to the most a budget will allow. I have 12Gb installed & have been cruising - until that project with a 10+ acre site where I had to sculpt the topo.

    And - Newegg is a great source for all of this. Get a nice big monitor, too.


    Comment


      #3
      I still like my configuration better!!!
      Here

      LOL

      But serisouly, thank you for posting this. I am going to be in the market soon and havnt been keeping up with desktop components. Much appreciated.
      -Alex Cunningham

      Comment


        #4
        Yep, if you've got less than half a dozen computers in your office, and are willing to get your hands dirty, and are either tech savvy yourself or have someone to help you out if something goes wrong, then building a computer is a good way to go. With a little experience, you can put together a system in a few hours. One thing absolutely for sure in my experience - a PC built from solid components gives me a tenth of the headaches a Dell does.

        He didn't need anything more than 8GB, but with the 2 x 4GB modules, there's room for another 8 GB for just another $85 (the MB will support 8 GB modules, for a total of 32 GB).

        Got everything at newegg except for the MB and case, which we got from buy.com (newegg didn't have them in stock).

        Originally posted by gwnelson View Post
        Great idea and it should be noted that actually building a computer from solid components is not a big deal.

        I would suggest cranking up the on-board memory to the most a budget will allow. I have 12Gb installed & have been cruising - until that project with a 10+ acre site where I had to sculpt the topo.

        And - Newegg is a great source for all of this. Get a nice big monitor, too.

        Comment


          #5
          comments?
          http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=23165448

          unfortunately, we just got 8 of the following
          http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=12095934

          i say unfortunately, but it was really time for new hardware. (previously e6700, 4gb ram, quadro 3400)

          guess that is the downside to getting new computer hardware, when you finally toss down the money to buy something, your just about to be behind the curve... guess the positive is that i spec'd the machine in plans to double the ram when the ram is half the price of when we got it last november... only another $15 off and we can double up...

          oh well, here's to hoping 2012 works better/faster, not worse/slower than 2011
          perhaps i will find out next week (if they release revit 2012)
          Last edited by btrusty; March 28, 2011, 05:43 AM. Reason: commentary

          Comment


            #6
            All the components look pretty decent... no issues from a "spec" POV. Not really my cup of tea as far as some of the "brands" go, and a little too much of the "gaming PC" look for my personal taste. The only item that really stands out that I'd suggest taking another look at is the Zotec video card... that card apparently runs hot and loud. Not sure what you're going to get out of the faster RAM unless you're planning on trying to OC (which I don't recommend). I've never been much of a fan of Gigabyte, but I felt my bias might be out of date, so I did a little googling, and they now appear to be considered a top-notch brand for motherboards, up there with Asus.

            Best of luck with the new computers!

            Comment


              #7
              i got the cheapest black case we could that had side mountable hd's (i hate trying to jiggle a hd past the mobo in traditional case thats too short (from front to back) and even though i really doubted i would be making that many drive changes. it was also nice that it had "tool-less" drive bays. the IT guy here didnt like the illumnated LED, so we cut the wires to the LED and left the fan running. my thought is that i wasnt going to choose a more expensive case that didnt have led where we culd fix it for free and save the money. if price wasnt the issue, i would have gone for an all aluminum lian li case, silverstone, etc. i like the antec case you chose, but im not a big fan of "doors" over the front.

              we got the zotac b/c it was the cheapest gtx 460 board back in november. i dont find it loud. i rarely hear it at all. we can hear the western digital 7200rpm "percolating" when copying tons of small files to be louder than any of the other fans in the case/cpu/gpu (case has 3 120mm fans). i read pc hardware reviews in my spare time and for the most part, its a wash for zotac, asus, gigabyte, msi. ironically, i have that setup next to my older dell precision 390 tower. and its loud enough at idle to over-power the new box.

              the faster ram was $5 more for the 12800 than the 10666 for 2x 4gb pair back in november, so i figured it couldnt hurt. now the price difference is much more noticeable $20.

              ive been buying gigabyte motherboards since i got a amd 900mhz, havent had a problem with them. the IT guy here @ my office prefers ASUS, but they were $20 more for the same features.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by iru69 View Post
                All the components look pretty decent... no issues from a "spec" POV. Not really my cup of tea as far as some of the "brands" go, and a little too much of the "gaming PC" look for my personal taste. The only item that really stands out that I'd suggest taking another look at is the Zotec video card... that card apparently runs hot and loud. Not sure what you're going to get out of the faster RAM unless you're planning on trying to OC (which I don't recommend). I've never been much of a fan of Gigabyte, but I felt my bias might be out of date, so I did a little googling, and they now appear to be considered a top-notch brand for motherboards, up there with Asus.

                Best of luck with the new computers!
                Gigabyte Mobo's have become rock solid monstrosities of awesomeness in the last 5 or so years. My personal favorites for builds tend to be Asus, Gigabyte, MSI in that order.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Iru This the "WOW factor" We are looking to by new CPU at this price range and I just read the Requermts for 2012 and almost choked on my coffee.... Thanks for your help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My upgrade specs

                    Upgrading an existing machine so I'm replacing the "go fast" parts and reusing the parts that aren't as important...

                    All prices are CAN dollars.

                    Intel Core i7-2600K(quad core)
                    $329.99
                    The K version is "unlocked" so for an extra $30 it makes it very easy to overclock if I want that option down the road.

                    Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 Socket 1155
                    $189.99
                    Last machine we built was with a Gigabyte board after we had trouble with memory stability in a ASUS board. The Gigabyte board has been rock soild. The B3 versions of sandybridge boards are the versions that have been fixed for the Sata3 issue. If I went with ASUS again it would be the Asus P8P67 R3

                    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1333 8GB - (2) 4GB modules
                    $88.99
                    Used G.Skill and Corsair before with very solid results.

                    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 TI Superclocked 1GB
                    $269.99
                    Very hard decision for me between the GTX 560 and a Radeon HD 6950 for $249.99 Reviews seem to put these 2 cards at about even for performance, noise and heat. I have had ATI products for a long time and I have a soft spot for them being a Canadian company before they where bought by AMD. However there seems to be a strong preference for Nvidia cards in the Revit Community.

                    OCZ Vertex 2 120GB (OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G)
                    $229.99
                    I'm going to try an SSD for the program drive and use the existing WD Black 500GB as the D: data drive. I've always separated drives into 2 partitions, so 2 physical drives is no issue. Looking forward to seeing what kind of performance boost the SSD gives.

                    DVD Drive
                    $0
                    Only really need is to occasionally install software off a DVD.

                    Cooler Master 690 II Advanced
                    $89.99
                    Love this case. Heavy metal, all thumb screws and quick release HD brackets so no tools to swap things around. USB and headphone jacks on top front edge of the case so nothing sticks out the front to get knocked off but still very accessible. Plus a SATA "slot bay" on the top which we use all the time to quickly pop a bare drive into for backing up or copying data too.

                    Antec TP-650 Truepower
                    $99.99
                    All the power I need. Quite. Solid brand and modular cables.

                    Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM
                    $0
                    All our machines are on Windows 7 x64 Home. I wouldn't run Revit on anything less than a x64 version.

                    TOTAL $1,298.93

                    Really more of a "new" system then an upgrade. Reusing my Keyboard, Mouse, 21in and 19in Monitors, DVD and speakers and that's about it. This will be upgrading from a Core2Duo 3.0ghz system with 8GB ram and a Quatro FX 1800 video card.

                    Haven't gone shopping yet as I'm still torn between the Gigabyte vs Asus MB and Nvidia vs ATI video card.

                    Comment

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