Building a New Computer

After I move in about a month I’ll be able to order a new desktop and I want to build it. The problem is that I don’t know too much about hardware.
My friend has already compiled a list, and though I don’t doubt its awesomeness, I would appreciate any feedback that you may have on this.

I live in the USA.
My budget is $2,500 USD.

All I’ve got that isn’t on the list is a mouse and my trusty pen and tablet, every thing else will need to be ordered. This includes a copy of Windows 7, a monitor, and speakers.

I play Team Fortress 2, Fallout 3 & New Vegas, Oblivion, and others, and I want to be able to play newer games such as Skyrim (which will hopefully not suck) when I do build this computer.

The applications that I’ll be using are Blender 3D, Photoshop, various other freeware/open source programs like GIMP, Winamp, Inkscape, and whatnot. I expect Blender to be the most intensive of those.

So I’ll be doing a lot of gaming, and a lot of 3D work.

My Friend’s List

Tower -

MotherBoard - GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128498

CPU - Quad Core i5 (3.1Ghz, 3.4Ghz with Intel Turbo Boost)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074

Heat sink - ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118074

GPU - PowerColor Radeon HD 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349

RAM - 4GB DDR3 1333 (BUY FOUR! ENDS UP WITH 16GB TOTAL)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139046

Hard Drive #1 - Intel 320 SSD Drive (ONLY install your Operating System and most used programs on this, everything else belongs on Hard Drive #2).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167052

Hard Drive #2 - 2TB Caviar Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136830

RAID Controller - Koutech IO-PESA230 (Plug your two hard drives into the Sata Ports on top)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816104015

Sata Cable - Sata 3 Cable
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812816062

CD-Drive - Lite-On iHAS124
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16827106289

PSU - 600W Corsair ATX PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139019

Case - Lancool PC-K62 ATX Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112239

OS - Windows 7 Pro
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992

OTHER STUFF -

Keyboard - Kensington Standard USB or PS/2 Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823155013

Monitor - Acer S201HLbd (20" 1600x900)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009256

Anti-Static Wrist Band (optional but good to have) - KingWin ATS-W24
http://www.amazon.com/KingWin-Anti-Static-Wrist-Strap-ATS-W24/dp/B0042TLA90

Total cost of everything - $1,675

Thank you for your time.

I know Blender has had problems with ATI graphics cards in the past, and while I haven;t gotten a chance to use one of the newest ones yet, I do know that they do not support Cuda (ruling out Cycles for now). So I would stick with a NVidia graphics card for the time being. Of course, there are many on these forums who would disagree strongly with me on this point!

i can vouch that the newer versions of blender run fine on my 6870. obviously wont be able to use cycles but i will have to live with that :slight_smile: again like i mentioned to the other thread running like this, make sure you do your research and make sure you have enough power to cover your overheads :slight_smile:

unless your worried about data integrity i wouldnt worry too much about having a raid controller, especially as your planning on having a 2tb HDD and a 320GB SSD. It would just be a waste of money, you would need at least two hard drives of the same spec to get the most out of it otherwise (as i understand your setup) it would be pointless.

as for oblivion etc you should be able to run it no problems at all :slight_smile: will be worth tweaking the .ini files for them once you get it running to make the most out of the resources :slight_smile: (oblivion never had a 64bit version so it will always suffer from hardware limitations.)

also i would recommend it if your budget can stretch to it to get the 2500k at least, or the 2600k if you really want some fireworks :stuck_out_tongue: i have the 2600k and can run crysis with all the graphics turned up full and no slowdown so it gives you an idea of how much of a beast it is :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks you two!
So, NVidia would be the best choice for Blender and the upcoming cycles? I’ll have to look into their cards.

At the moment, yes. Brecht plans to add OpenCL support to Cycles which would allow you to use ATI cards, but it will probably be a while before that arrives. Also, as ATI cards are more strict with their GLSL implementation, you will find that many shaders posted on these forums will not run properly unless re-written.
On the other hand, high-end ATI cards tend to be more powerful, so if you are willing to live with those limitations you might get better performance with a Radeon.

Which card do you think would be the best power for the best price?
My friend suggested this one.

GIGABYTE GV-N56GOC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125383
Another friend says that I should get a more expensive one.

It seems that you devote so much effort to the learning process! Good luck!

Before building new computer, twice think whats your use of that computer. If your a Graphics designer or animation engineer. You have to focus your usage on Graphics. SO you can go for the processor of AMD. Its exclusively build for graphics purpose. Else if you have a programmer or freelance writer you can go for the way of Intel processors.