Advise the clueless person

Soldato
Joined
8 Apr 2009
Posts
12,702
I am looking to get a PC for my son to do 3D modelling, programming (C++ if that makes any difference), Sonar Music Studio, Adobe Photoshop, and some gaming (he plays online games and strategy games). He would need a bit of storage I guess.

I am not made of money (as I guess we all aren't at the moment) so would like to get something that will last him a couple of years or so without having to change stuff but not break the bank at the same time. However, if I need to spend the money I will do so. So basically not a wish list more a practical list - what do I have to spend to do the job.

I would need everything including a monitor (would I need two?).

Thanks for any input you can offer. I am not that clueless I won't be able to stick everything together more don't really know what I would need to get the job done acceptably.
 
Underboss
Joined
16 Jun 2009
Posts
7,668
Location
Cambridge
Do you have a budget in mind?

I'd personally suggest something like an i7 860, 4G of RAM, and maybe an HD4850 when it arrives.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Apr 2009
Posts
12,702
Well I don't really have a set budget he needs one and I will get it - I want it to do the job and am prepared to pay whatever really but don't need unnecessary stuff - would 1000-1200 sound about right? Or do I need to spend a lot more?
 
Associate
Joined
4 Jul 2008
Posts
801
Location
UK - Maidenhead
Below is a spec I've been playing around with.
My main focus is the same as you, building a powerful machine that should last for a good few years.

Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - Retail £211.99
(£184.34) £211.99
(£184.34)
Dell S2409W 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor £199.99
(£173.90) £199.99
(£173.90)
Asus ATI Radeon HD 4890 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £157.99
(£137.38) £157.99
(£137.38)
Asus P6T SE Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £143.99
(£125.21) £143.99
(£125.21)
Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Low Latency Tri-Channel (PVT36G1600LLK) + 3D Mark Vantage Benchmarking Software £89.99
(£78.25) £89.99
(£78.25)
Coolermaster Storm 'Scout' Gaming Case - (No PSU) £79.99
(£69.56) £79.99
(£69.56)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready Modular Power Supply £69.99
(£60.86) £69.99
(£60.86)
Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (HD103UJ) £59.98
(£52.16) £59.98
(£52.16)
Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler (Socket LGA1366) £57.99
(£50.43) £57.99
(£50.43)
Sony Optiarc AD-7240S 24x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM £18.99
(£16.51) £18.99
(£16.51)
Sub Total : £948.60
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £15.50
VAT is being charged at 15% VAT : £144.62
Total : £1,108.72
 
Associate
Joined
2 Sep 2009
Posts
787
You wouldn't need to spend more than that. I would look at one of the i5 bundles and come back tomorrow to see what the prices of the new ati graphics cards are like.
 
Associate
Joined
7 Jan 2004
Posts
137
at a guess for your budget ( average kinda stuff ) id say check out some of OcUk's gamer series , they pack easy enough grunt to handle 3d modeling unless your making a new pixar film , c++ will compile faster than you can click the button, as for sonar again unless you plan on doing pro studio stuff the xfi's and the like will handle things fine, photoshop also will be a snap. Storage .. well unless you plan on storeing every movie ever made and pictures from hubble you will have more than enough with a 500 or 1tb

dual monitors can be useful when doing photoshop work and 3d modeling but obviously would require alot more cash

so just like the others have said some more info would go a long way , budget and what level your going to working at would be handy.

edit: didnt refresh fast enough i see ... lol - Sharlaws spec is a nice one , but missing a dedicated sound card.. which is a must for decent sound, simply put if you get one of the OcUk ready built systems you cant go wrong these guys have been around for quite a while and know there stuff
 
Last edited:
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Apr 2009
Posts
12,702
Well first of all thanks for all of the replies don't believe how helpful you chaps are.

Well my lad has just finished his computing MSc and has been working on a game for some time now as part of a CV etc. The only problem was his PC was stolen amongst other things last week and he can't afford a new one. Hence where good old dad comes in!

I want him to be able to do his stuff at a professional level, as he has worked hard, and if it means I have to get a loan albeit but I am happy to spend 1200. But if you guys tell me nope that won't be enough for what my lad will want to do then like I say I'll get the extra money.

I would ideally ask him but he will so no and spend a few months working in a job he doesn't want which is silly hence why I can't ask him what he would need.

Hope that makes sense for the vagueness.
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Mar 2009
Posts
4,940
Location
North East
2jcy0ra.jpg


this will no doubt be picked apart but have a look :D
 
Associate
Joined
4 Aug 2009
Posts
266
Location
Thornton, Lancashire
Below is a spec I've been playing around with.
My main focus is the same as you, building a powerful machine that should last for a good few years.

Intel Core i7 920 D0 Stepping (SLBEJ) 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - Retail £211.99
(£184.34) £211.99
(£184.34)
Dell S2409W 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor £199.99
(£173.90) £199.99
(£173.90)
Asus ATI Radeon HD 4890 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £157.99
(£137.38) £157.99
(£137.38)
Asus P6T SE Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £143.99
(£125.21) £143.99
(£125.21)
Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Low Latency Tri-Channel (PVT36G1600LLK) + 3D Mark Vantage Benchmarking Software £89.99
(£78.25) £89.99
(£78.25)
Coolermaster Storm 'Scout' Gaming Case - (No PSU) £79.99
(£69.56) £79.99
(£69.56)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready Modular Power Supply £69.99
(£60.86) £69.99
(£60.86)
Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (HD103UJ) £59.98
(£52.16) £59.98
(£52.16)
Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler (Socket LGA1366) £57.99
(£50.43) £57.99
(£50.43)
Sony Optiarc AD-7240S 24x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM £18.99
(£16.51) £18.99
(£16.51)
Sub Total : £948.60
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £15.50
VAT is being charged at 15% VAT : £144.62
Total : £1,108.72

Although a nice build I would change the following:

Mouse to not sure but cant justify that much in my opinion!
MB to Gigabyte UD5
Corsair HX series PSU
Heatsink H50 Corsair much the same price but better cooler and quieter for me!

think that would be an awesome system - plus do you need OS?
 

Nor

Nor

Associate
Joined
27 May 2003
Posts
1,839
If it's for 3D modelling, would it not be worth going for the (expensive) 24" HP LP2475W monitor?
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Apr 2009
Posts
12,702
I have got the OS and MS Office for him through work as they have this scheme were you get them for free (well postage) from MS direct.

And once again thanks for all the replies.
 
Associate
Joined
8 Oct 2004
Posts
2,283
for 3d modeling go for a Dell 24 or 30" if you can afford. they are the best for this area of work (I do this professionally).

go nvidia with the card (ATI cards have issues with 3d programs).

get as fast a CPU as you can afford (i7 ideally) and as much and fast RAM as you can afford. you're going to want 6GB at least for medium>serious 3D rendering work.

If he's relatively serious about doing 3D work then a good colour management tool such as Spyder3 Elite will be important.

obviously go with 64-bit windows to take advantage of the RAM.
 
Associate
Joined
8 Nov 2007
Posts
423
Location
London and Florence, Italy
For what you're after, put money into the processor, I'd really recommend an i7 920 or higher. For RAM, 6G would work fine with that.

The only thing that will tax the above in time will be newer games, which put a strain on the graphics card. Which ones specifically did he have in mind? This is a big area as a graphics card good enough for everything else will run £50-80, but a top end one that can play the latest stuff is up to £300.

I would advise getting something like a 1GB 4850 with dual DVI outputs for now, and if he requires more beef for games, you can easily replace it with a more sophisticated card later on.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
8 Apr 2009
Posts
12,702
Well I am hoping he knuckles down and gets his project all sorted and doesn't spend too much time playing games! But he's more into the strategy type games and would not play something like Crysis for example.

I hadn't really considered the monitor as being so important but I guess for graphical work the bigger the better. Guess I am putting in some overtime looking at how much the bigger ones cost!
 

Nor

Nor

Associate
Joined
27 May 2003
Posts
1,839
Well I am hoping he knuckles down and gets his project all sorted and doesn't spend too much time playing games! But he's more into the strategy type games and would not play something like Crysis for example.

I hadn't really considered the monitor as being so important but I guess for graphical work the bigger the better. Guess I am putting in some overtime looking at how much the bigger ones cost!

It's not just about bigger being better Maustin, it's also about the quality of the panel. The cheaper monitors tend to have TN panels which while having quick response times (good for games) they tend to have poor colour representation and suffer from narrow viewing angles. Personally, I've always found it worth spending the extra on a good monitor. It's what you're spending all day looking at after all.
 
Associate
Joined
8 Oct 2004
Posts
2,283
i fully endorse the above post ;)

and don't forget the Spyder3 Elite or something similar. otherwise the colours you are looking at will be all kinds of screwed up.
 
Top Bottom