Cliff notes from above:
- I have an ancient Dell I am looking to upgrade.
- I am debating if I should buy a new Dell or build my own computer.
- If I do build a new computer, what components should I use to get the best value?
The New computer:
Usage: Some gaming/movies entertainment and some CAD work/Photoshop (good for most uses but not necessarily great at everything)
Budget $: I would like to spend under $1500 including 2 monitors and other peripherals but the items below are more important to me and a few hundred dollars is not an issue either.
I am looking for a computer with really good value which to me means the amount of performance and reliability I get for the money over the longest time period. Basically, a computer I can use for the next 5-8years with minimal amount of upgrade over the years.
In order of importance:
1. Lowest cost over time (i.e. will the components still be relatively high performance for several years)
3. Performance which also relates to time as technology is always changing quickly in this market
I have seen friends who spent a very large amount of money on the latest and greatest components and came out with a nice computer, but not what I would expect for the money spent. My old Pentium P4 on moderately striped down XP is by no means fast but it seemed almost as good as my sister's laptop on Windows Vista w/Dual Core. Also, at work I have a Dell T3500 (12GB RAM, 6 core Xeon, Quadro 4000, Win7 64bit, etc.) and it is fast, but again, not what I would expect for the money although it is probably slow because of the Microsoft Enterprise Network/Software they have it on.
My picks for the build:
Not sure if I should go for a cheaper or better feature rich motherboard but I was trying to stick with Asus, Gigabyte, or Intel. Also, I know the Corsair 600T is expensive and not necessary but I like it over the other cases in its class. Trying to make it fairly future proof so I may add another GPU in the future, more RAM as necessary, and overclock, etc.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.