Build advice for workstation with 5 monitors

sequoia

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
171
My last build was a Q6600 which still run like a champ. Since then I have not really keep a close eye on the latest greatest - new baby kinda keeps me busy :) I tried to read up, and catch up, but thought I ask the experts here before building a new PC.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Main purpose is for coding, spreadsheets, web browsing (work related). Light gaming (on one monitor is fine) and photo editing. Multi-tasking with many apps open. Perhaps playing some movie on the side while working.

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
I am looking for the best bang for the buck, so not necessarily the cheapest way. Ideally around $700 or less, but can spend to $1K or possibly higher to get the job done right. Just tell me what I need to have. To make it easy, lets not worry about tax or shipping. Price do not including the monitors.

3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
USA, Kentucky.

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
CPU, RAM, Mobo, PSU, GPU, CPU cooler (if needed). I am unsure which video card(s), and which adapter I need to purchase because these Dell monitors only has DVI. GPU will need to have enough power to support these monitors - dont want any lag when having multiple apps open :)

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
Keyboard, mouse, Sony optical drive, Intel SSD for OS and some apps, Hitachi 3TB drive for game, data and the rest of the apps, brand new Rocketfish case (Lian Li) thats been sitting in the storage waiting for this build :)

6) Will you be overclocking?
This will be for a work PC, so performance and speed are important, but stability/reliability is the priority. Silence - low noise would nice, but not necessary. I can replace the fans later if too loud for my taste.

7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
Currently two 1600x1200 dpi Dell 2007. Once the PC is built, it will be five monitors 1600x1200 (if I can obtain more IPS monitors), or three monitors 20-30-20 setup (I already have a Dell 3007). So need a configuration that support 5 or 3 with pretty high res. While I prefer to get EVGA card (lifetime warranty and awesome customer service), I dont mind using ATI GPU.

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
As soon as possible, but can wait a few months if need to wait for something that is a game changer. Anything good coming up around the corner that is worth the wait?

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? etc.
ATA 3.0, USB3.0 and eSATA would be nice to have.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
x64 Win7.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Light gaming (on one monitor is fine)
What exactly do you mean by "light gaming"?

I am unsure which video card(s), and which adapter I need to purchase because these Dell monitors only has DVI.
You're probably looking at one video card: One AMD gaming video card to power the 30" and one of the other monitors via the DVI ports. The 3rd monitor will be connected that AMD video card via a displayport to DVI adapter. If you get a motherboard using the the H67 or Z68 chipset (or H77, Z75, Z77 if you can wait two months), that'll allow you to use the onboard video chip inside Intel's current CPUs. Most current Intel H67 and Z68 mobos only have one DVI port and one VGA port so that'll be enough to power the 4th and 5th monitors if you're willing to take a hit on the image quality for one the monitors due to the VGA connection. Or if one of the monitors you're getting has HDMI, you can also connect the 5th monitor to the motherboard via HDMI. That'll be the cheapest route.

The second cheapest route and slightly easier but more power using route would be to connect the 3rd and 4th monitors to a cheap secondary video card that has dual DVI ports.
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
As soon as possible, but can wait a few months if need to wait for something that is a game changer. Anything good coming up around the corner that is worth the wait?
The closest newest hardware release thats applicable to you is late April: That's when Intel is planning on releasing their new Intel CPUs, code named Ivy Bridge, and motherboard manufacturers will be releasing new motherboards using the Z77 chipset. The Ivy Bridge CPUs aren't game changers but basically a refinement of the current Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs. As such the Ivy Bridge CPUs will run cooler, use less power, will be roughly 10 to 20% faster clock for clock, and have faster onboard video. The Z77 chipset will just bring native USB 3.0 support (right now current Intel motherboards are using 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers that aren't always that great), full PCI-E 3.0 capability, and support for faster RAM. Though to be honest, the last two items don't really matter since A) You're not gaming with multiple GPUs and B) faster RAM may not show a noticeable performance increase.

There's also the possibility of new Nvidia GPUs around that time frame but I'm not sure if those will be within your budget.

Up to you if you want to wait the two months.
 

sequoia

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
171
Sorry... game I play is Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty series. Light gaming: I mean to say that I do not need any serious pic quality while gaming.

I did not realize there is a new Intel CPU coming up...thank you! I got to read on those and decide what to do...
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
No prob. Just let us know what you want to do.
 

sequoia

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
171
Not sure if I should open a new thread or just continue this. I have a trip coming up this weekend that will pass MicroCenter in Cincinnati. Hearing those deals at MicroCenter, I am going to stop by and see what I can find.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Main purpose is for coding, spreadsheets, web browsing (work related). Multi-tasking with many apps open simultaneously. Call of Duty (on one monitor is fine) and photo editing.

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
I am looking for the best bang for the buck, so not necessarily the cheapest way. I am thinking $100 PSU, $100 RAM, not sure how much a good mobo cost, say $100-150 enough? Budget is flexible here, but cheaper is always better. I do aim to get quality components.

3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
Have trip to pass Cincinnati on May 12, and plan to go to MicroCenter to buy stuffs.

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
I will get either 2600K or 3770K depending on price and availability. I like some advice for mobo, RAM, PSU. Too many to choose, and unsure what is the best bang for the price. I like Seasonic X series 650 watt for PSU for low noise, but open for suggestion. Whatever I cant find at MicroCenter this weekend, I will get from online.

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
I already have SSD, 3TB drive, GTX 460 1G to re-use for now. I may upgrade GPU later, but like to have this build done first. I also already have a case.

6) Will you be overclocking?
Yes, however, this will be for a work PC, so performance and speed are important, but stability/reliability is the priority. Silence - low noise would be nice, but not necessary. I can replace the fans later if too loud for my taste.

7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
It must support single 30 in monitor plus two 1600x1200dpi monitors.

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
In a few days

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
On board video is a must have to support 3 monitors with 460GTX. eSATA, USB 3.0 and ATA 3.0 are nice to have.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
x64 Win7.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Go for the 2600K (or 2700K if it's the same price_ as not only is it slightly cheaper but you can qualify for the $50 off a Z77 or Z68 motheboard deals that MC are having. Motherboard wise, you should be fine with the Gigabyte GX-Z77X-D3H. It should cost $100 + tax for that motherboard. As for RAM, buy that online as MC tends to have overpriced good RAM or cheap but poor choice for an Intel setup RAM. I recommend this RAM:
$39 - G.Skill Value Series F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM

PSU wise, the Seasonic X-650 is a fine choice.
 

sequoia

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
171
Thanks Danny for a quick reply! Really appreciate this, now hoping that MicroCenter will cooperate and have some stuffs in stocks :)
 
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