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yoda510

Software Guy needing a new PC build

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Ok, I am need of some advice. I am looking to build a PC for the following 1) Game programming using XNA/Visual Studio - moving it to the Xbox 360 2) General Use - email, word docs, surfing etc. 3)Photo editing, movie editing, video watching 4) Guitar/piano music editing 5) Gaming It is in that order of importance too. So I want to be able to get a game from time to time, but I won't be cranking out crysis. I would like to keep it as cheap as possible of course, but looking to spend mid range on it...And although I am a terrible hardware guy knowing what to get, I am pretty good at putting it together. So any component recommendations? Also OS recommendation? I guess it is pretty much becoming a Vista world now? Thanks

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What's mid range, I would price a computer like that at least $800. That doesn't include monitor, which would tack on another $250 if you don't have one already.

I'll tell you what each of your requirements will mean component wise.

1) CPU speed, and a OK hard drive is what you'll want here to help speed up compile times.
2) Not much here that isn't covered elsewhere.
3) You want CPU speed here, and a large hard drive to save lossless backups of source footage (if you do that like me). A lot of this software doesn't make use of the GPU, so it relies on your CPU.
4) Besides what 3 requires you may also want to look into a sound card, I don't have much experience with this.
5) I would say buy whatever graphics card to fill out your budget.

As far as individual components go I would recommend getting a core 2 duo or a core 2 quad for CPU since you want something fast. I'm not familiar with the latest ones, but there is usually one that has the most bang for the buck, it should run you around $250 and you can find it by searching rating on newegg. I am indifferent as far as OS's go, Vista isn't any better than XP, but in my opinion isn't much worse either. You can find the rest of the components by sorting them best to worst rating on NewEgg and then scrolling down until you see something in your price range. I've built 2 computers essentially doing that and it works great.

You want to get 2 gigs of ram for XP and at least 3 for Vista. The stuff is bugger cheap these days.

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Well, from the sounds of things RAM and harddrive are going to be your biggest factors here. I would say go 4GB of RAM (it's dirt cheap) and run 64-bit XP or Vista (you want 64-bit to be able to use all 4GB). I'd lean towards Vista64 as I believe it's driver support is better than XP64, although it shouldn't be an issue with a new system.

For movie editting you'll probably want a RAID0 (splitting) array of some decently sized drives (size depending of course on just how much movie editting you'll be doing, how much source footage, etc.), but be aware that the more drives you have in your RAID0 array the more likely it is a drive will die and you'll loose everything, so keep backups. If this bothers you then take a look at RAID1 (mirroring), you still get a (smaller) boost in read speeds but with the benefit of redunancy so if all but 1 of the drives dies doesn't matter. You can even go RAID0+1 or RAID1+0 (there's a difference, check Wiki for a quick overview), but they require at least 4 drives.

Since gaming isn't that high on the list the other compenent don't matter all that much. Typical mid-range components should cover you.

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Quote:
Original post by joanusdmentia
You can even go RAID0+1 or RAID1+0 (there's a difference, check Wiki for a quick overview), but they require at least 4 drives.

If you have the money i'd go for raid 10 (1+0). By probability raid 10 has better redundancy than raid 01, and 10 offers better performance than raid 0 (when comparing two drives in raid 0 with no redundancy versus 4 drives in raid 10 with redundancy).

[Edited by - Jarrod1937 on June 29, 2008 2:27:40 PM]

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