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Need to build new desktop for my small business


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#1 StartingOver

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:47 PM

Where to start? I've been reading posts here & on other websites for advice. I've also Google'd myself silly searching for "the best this for that, etc. etc." I think I'm more lost than when I started! So, here's where I'm at and what I need.

Skill level: I'd say intermediate.
I've changed and/or upgraded many components over the years. The three systems runnng in my home right now are 5 to 7 years old and have been upgraded through scavenged parts many times (sorry, I'm a scrounger at heart). Thanks to Bleepingcomputer.com, I've eradicated viruses & malware for myself and friends. I have NO brand loyalty to Symantec, Norton, or McAfee and prefer to use third-party, open-source firewalls and malware protection such as Comodo's free firewall combined with aVast's free real-time antivirus software. I alos run other scanners manually, such as MBAM, SuperAntispyware, Spybot, etc. And, running things like CCleaner and ATF are SOP. However, I've never built from scratch. And, many of the successes I've had in cleaning up an infected system were due to my decision to simply performing a complete destructive recovery (all data lost!), resetting the system back to it's original factory specs, because I got sick and tired of messing with it and could think of nothing else to do.

I've now reached the point that my system can't be upgraded cost-effectively to meet the needs of my small business and what will be my new career. I'm currently offering design services (using TurboCAD Deluxe) and I'm going back to school at age 57 to study computer-aided design and drafting. I'm going to need a desktop that will handle TurboCAD and, later, AutoCAD. The more I read about which processor is better for CAD and CAD's dependency on a processor that can handle a math-intensive resource hog software like CAD programs, the more confused I get. So, please guide the feeble minded and forgive the stupid questions in advance!

Before I go any further, I'm BROKE! Can this be done for, say, around $600 to $650? If not, what can I do for that amount and how does that affect my need to run CAD programs?

First question is the motherboard. Or, is it the processor? Chicken or egg? Which does come first? Al I really know is that they have to be compatible. Can I take advantage of the Quad Core processor/motherboard bargains created by Intel's i-series processors? Just because the Quad Cores are now "old technology" doesn't mean they are any less kick-ass than they were. It just means that there is a bigger dog in the fight now. Should I wait until AMD releases it's next line of processors? Someone said they will release a line called Bulldozer this month. I've never been a fan of being the guinnea pig on new technology. I'm lousy with debugging. For that matter, which way should I go, AMD or Intel, considering what I'll be using the system for.

Memory is next. I wanted a minimum of 4GB but, I'm finding out that I should really go for 8GB if at all possible. Huh?

I'm planning to run Windows 7 home premium 64-bit at a minimum. Or am I? You tell me!

I want at least two HDD's. One for the OS and software and the other for data. How big? Solid state for one? or both? or not at all? I was just going to get a 500GB or 1TB drive for the OS and software and a 500GB for data. Now, I'm lost.

I will need a very good graphics card. How good, I don't know. Investigating this got me to trying to understand things like Crossfire and SLI. Will I ever need two graphics cards?

Of course I'd planned to install two combo burners or one combo burner and one CD/DVD ROM drive. Should I?

Finally the case and power supply. Full tower? Mid-tower? And, what the heck are ATX and Micro-ATX form factors? More importantly, do I care? I was set on ATX. Now, I'd rather just be advised as to what to buy (or what to avoid)based on what I'll be running. Should I buy the case and power supply together? From what I've read, it seems the answer is no because the determination of which power supply I need is based on the equipment it will need to supply.

I'm sure there are numerous other considerations I've not even covered so, feel free to expand on any advice you may have.

Thanks in advance for your help!
StartingOver

PS: I already have keyboards, mice, and a new Acer 23" LCD monitor.

Edited by StartingOver, 01 June 2011 - 11:49 PM.

Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

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#2 killerx525

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:01 AM

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz - $125 - This is a dual core CPU using the new Sandy Bridge architecture.

Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 - $60 - A simple motherboard should do fine.

Graphics card: HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB - $160 - Hopefully your Acer monitor has a DVI or HDMI connection.

Hard Drive: 2x Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM - $88 - This hard drive is not the fastest but will do the job.

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 - $80

Optical Drive: 2x Asus DVD Burner - $42 - A basic drive.

Case: COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310 - $50

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - $100 - You need this.

Total: $705 excluding shipping and taxes.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 dpunisher

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:20 AM

Before you spend a cent, find out exactly what video card your CAD programs need. Does it need CUDA support? Will it require a "professional" grade card (Quadro/Firepro)to run acceptably?

CAD programs are CPU hogs, and many use GPU acceleration as well.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#4 killerx525

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:36 AM

According to the sites of the 2 programs, they do not need CUDA support and they do not require a "professional" grade card.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 dpunisher

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:53 AM

Well, that's a good thing.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#6 killerx525

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:46 AM

My school uses AutoCAD and it runs fine on Pentium Dual Core and onboard graphics.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 dpunisher

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:06 AM

Well, Autocad recommends either Firepro or Quadro cards, and is certified only with those I believe. Yes, it will run on other cards, but how fast it runs, or how many features are sacrificed with a "consumer" card is something that needs investigation. Maybe finding an older pro level card on ebay or other source might be a better long term investment than a new consumer grade card.

Just putting that out there.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#8 killerx525

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:02 PM

To fit the budget for a "professional" grade card, a $160 Nvidia Quadro FX 580.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133273

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 StartingOver

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:26 AM

I'M SO-O-O-O-O SORRY!! I did not intentionally drop off the planet right after I posted this!

Unfortnately, the day after I posted my initial questions, all hades broke loose in my electronic life! (Or, to paraphrase the old "SH#& HAPPENS" bumper sticker, "Life intervened!") My wireless home network died which killed my internet access and things went downhill from there. I'm just getting back online and picking up the pieces.

I just wanted to say Thanks to everyone who responded to this post and to let you know your efforts did not go to waste. Unfortunately, the new build will have to wait for a while, now. How long is unknown. I'm going to have to limp along with my current hardware which, by the way, is in dire need of help from the experts over at the "Am I infected? What Do I Do?" forum. I'll be over there until the trauma care is completed.

So, I will not be able to participate any further in this thread. However, I'm saving all of the great information and advice submitted here.

Hopefully, I can revisit this subject in th near future. But, for now, I must take a step back and re-group.

Thanks again!
StartingOver
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#10 killerx525

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:17 AM

That's ok :)

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png





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