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26 posts


Topic # 53069 8-Dec-2009 16:16


Am looking to build a new computer for my work and was seeking validation of my thought processes. For work I would normally just buy "off-the-shelf", but this time I am keen

to custom design and build to get the best bang for buck ('cos it's my machine!). Would be very grateful for any feedback / suggestions.

(Note that the unit will act as both a workstation for me as well as a file/web/database server for a 10-person network.)

SQL Server 2008 Express Edition
Developer Tools
DBA Tools
Office productivity tools
Graphics tools  (CorelDraw, as opposed to CAD)
Dual video output for dual monitors (currently 1xVGA, 1xDVI, but possibly 2xDVI in the future)
High (relatively) availability - as a "server", I need it to be - well - available.
Budget - $2400 (excl GST) max

"Non"-requirements (i.e. what I don't really need):
Screens / KB / mouse (getting from retiring unit)
Super quiet (used in office environment)
Overclocking capabilities

Where I'm at:
MB: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4
Proc: Intel i5 750
RAM: Corsair Dominator 4x2GB 1600 DDR3 8-8-8-24
Video: Gigabyte nVidia 9500GT  (don't need flash graphics, just a decent card with dual video out)
System: Corsair X32 SSD  (x2 in RAID 1)
Data: Seagate 1TB HDD (x2 in RAID 1)
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit (OEM)
Case: CoolerMaster CM690
PSU: CoolerMaster 650W eXtreme

Pricing for the above at Computer Lounge comes in at just on $2,360.

The Gigabyte MB has eSATA, USB3.0 and SATA3.0 - all items which may have a future use (just getting in on the cutting edge)
I have gone 64-bit / high on RAM as I quite often have a good number of apps open at one time and want to avoid the delays with paging as much as possible.
Have gone for SSD on the system drive to get a performance edge when launching programs.

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 280467 8-Dec-2009 18:23
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For that number of users and the fact that you're going to be sharing files/databases with them, I would look at a dedicated server running a server OS.

A server should be just that - a server, not a server/workstation!

26 posts


  Reply # 280517 8-Dec-2009 21:38

Thanks for you response Kraven.

Understand exactly where you are coming from - and when I started with this company that was one of my very first recommendations.

However, old school company owners simply don't believe in having a separate server when a combined solution has worked quite well for them in the past.

Admittedly, the existing (combined) solution has served us well during the past 5 years with pretty good performance for both local and network users. So the powers that be aren't swayed in their thinking at this time.

Simply trying to get the best solution I can within specified boundaries.

Thanks again.


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  Reply # 281479 11-Dec-2009 13:13
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If I were you I'd check out some prices for everything you are looking for on
Good cheap stuff on there :)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 281480 11-Dec-2009 13:25
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I would recommend you dont do that. Get all the parts from one supplier, computer lounge is a very reliable company with good prices, id stick with them. (makes life a lot simpler when it goes tits up and your facing warranty issues)
As for the specs they look adequte for what you want. I wouldnt recommend using the pc for dual task's either but if thats what the business owners want then good luck chaning there minds. Have you considered virtualisation for this task?

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  Reply # 281518 11-Dec-2009 14:38
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The top 5 cheapest sellers on pricespy usually:

- Have no retail store
- Drop ship parts straight from the wholesaler
- Are impossible to deal with if you need to return something
- Are probably not going to be still around in 2 years time

Playtech, Computer Lounge etc offer far superior service and support.

26 posts


  Reply # 281559 11-Dec-2009 16:01

Thanks for your input Jexla - but I have to side with garvani and Ragnor. I don't mind buying the odd part via Pricespy recommendations (but even then, avoid the cheapest few in the listing). elive have proven to be a reasonable source for me in these cases.

But have made more major purchases from Computer Lounge for several years and and they have an excellent mix of price, accessibility/responsiveness/knowledge and quality product. Hence my desire to use them for this purchase. Have also heard good things about Playtech - just have never got around to trying them out.

garvani - Unfortunately haven't worked with virtualisation technologies enough to be confident to make it part of the mix is this setup. Maybe in 5 years time when this new computer is due for replacement (but hopefully by then we'll have a formal server in place.....)

Many thanks to all of you for your feedback.

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