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Custom PC for a Lawyer - Trinity or Ivy Bridge?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Alright - so my step father is a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri. He is doing very well business wise - so he is finally going to consider updating his computers. He currently has a 2006 Vostro 200 with a Core Duo in his office. It's lack luster and slow - even after upgrading it to 4GB of RAM and cleaning it. I also just managed to convince him to ditch his 2003 Dell Latitude and buy $300 ASUS laptop with a Dual Core Celeron, 6GB of DDR3 and USB 3.0 from Microcenter. His cousin that he shares a leased building with just purchase 2 x 27" iMac's for $2500 a piece and this made him consider purchasing a $1700 Lenovo all on one touch screen PC until I convinced him to let me build him a system.


Since he's moving into a bigger and more expensive building and is still paying for his law school he won't be jumping the gun until December. He also wants to get each part over time to spread the amount he spends over time. In the end all of these parts will be used as business write-offs. My idea is to spend $600 into the physical system (Core i5 or A10 Trinity w/ 8GB of DDR3, 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD, NO DEDICATED GPU) and $300 into monitors - either a single ~27" or multiple (Two) ~23" monitors for a grand total for $900.


Since he plans to get parts over time from now to December - I have to decide whether to go w/ a FM2 A10 5800K and A85X ($130) or a LGA 1155 Core i5 ($190) as soon as possible. 2nd Generation 8 Core FX processors will be considered if they are released soon. What do you guys think I should go with? I do understand the A10 truly compete's with Core i3 processors in single threaded applications - but considering he's been living with a Core Duo from 2006 - do you think he will NEED a Core i5 or 2nd gen FX? He WILL be keeping this system for at least 5 years. He is not the kind of person that feels the need to upgrade every year.


Thanks guys - Everything will be considered.
Edited by M3T4LM4N222 - 10/3/12 at 7:06pm
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post #2 of 29
Don't get him a single 27", he will benefit much more from dual monitors than from a single large one. And that's also way too much to spend on 23" ones. Get him two of these Dell P2312H monitors, $220 apiece.

Second, if he's going to be storing critical business info on there, do not - I repeat DO NOT - build a system without a RAID1 array (of HDDs, not SSDs). Using an SSD for the system drive is great, but do also build a RAID1 for storage and redirect his user profile onto it. Also make sure he has a backup solution, like an external drive or something, and if he doesn't then include one in your budget.

As for the core of the system, my recommendation is an i3-2100 or whatever i5 you want. They will both perform about the same for him now, but down the line the i5 might "feel" faster for longer. Either way, in a few years time he'll be able to upgrade the CPU for peanuts so it's not a big deal. Do try and pick out a good motherboard though; one with solid state caps and USB3 ports and what not. 8GB RAM is also an excellent choice.

Also try and build it to be quiet. If you go with the i3 the stock cooler is great, if you go with the i5 get a 120mm tower cooler. Then replace all the fans with something like the Nexus Basic (rebranded Yate Loon). And let him pick the case - pick like 5-10 cases that you know will have good cooling and will fit the tower cooler and all the parts, and then let him pick which one he likes the most. Maybe even offer him an ITX case, if he wanted to buy an all-in-one he might like having the computer small.
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post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manyak View Post

Don't get him a single 27", he will benefit much more from dual monitors than from a single large one. And that's also way too much to spend on 23" ones. Get him two of these Dell P2312H monitors, $220 apiece.
Second, if he's going to be storing critical business info on there, do not - I repeat DO NOT - build a system without a RAID1 array (of HDDs, not SSDs). Using an SSD for the system drive is great, but do also build a RAID1 for storage and redirect his user profile onto it. Also make sure he has a backup solution, like an external drive or something, and if he doesn't then include one in your budget.
As for the core of the system, my recommendation is an i3-2100 or whatever i5 you want. They will both perform about the same for him now, but down the line the i5 might "feel" faster for longer. Either way, in a few years time he'll be able to upgrade the CPU for peanuts so it's not a big deal. Do try and pick out a good motherboard though; one with solid state caps and USB3 ports and what not. 8GB RAM is also an excellent choice.
Also try and build it to be quiet. If you go with the i3 the stock cooler is great, if you go with the i5 get a 120mm tower cooler. Then replace all the fans with something like the Nexus Basic (rebranded Yate Loon). And let him pick the case - pick like 5-10 cases that you know will have good cooling and will fit the tower cooler and all the parts, and then let him pick which one he likes the most. Maybe even offer him an ITX case, if he wanted to buy an all-in-one he might like having the computer small.

Great suggestions! I was talking $300 for two monitors - like $150 a piece but he may consider spending more. Quality over quantity I suppose. I like the suggestion of Raid1 - but what if he only has one drive? Can raid be setup with one drive?? I do plan to choose a motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s - it will also be either Mini ITX or Micro ATX for sure. I was considering a Prodigy build or Fractal Arc build. The only reason he was considering the All-in-One is because it was impressive - but HE decided that he doesn't need touch screen or all in one - it was just the WOW factor that impressed him. He said he'd much rather save money. The extra $700 he where to spend on that All-in-One can go towards his truck payment, rent, ect.
Edited by M3T4LM4N222 - 10/3/12 at 7:39pm
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3T4LM4N222 View Post

Great suggestions! I was talking $300 for two monitors - like $150 a piece but he may consider spending more. Quality over quantity I suppose. I like the suggestion of Raid1 - but what if he only has one drive? Can raid be setup with one drive?? I do plan to choose a motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s - it will also be either Mini ITX or Micro ATX for sure. I was considering a Prodigy build or Fractal Arc build. The only reason he was considering the All-in-One is because it was impressive - but HE decided that he doesn't need touch screen or all in one - it was just the WOW factor that impressed him. He said he'd much rather save money. The extra $700 he where to spend on that All-in-One can go towards his truck payment, rent, ect.

Ah, I misread. If you want cheaper monitors go with E-series ones. They're pretty much the same panel, just no option for rotation or a built-in USB hub and stuff like that. But this is one of the rare cases where quantity > quality. Being able to spread applications between screens and look at one set of data while you type another is a major boost to productivity, and all the gamut and color accuracy and viewing angles in the world won't make up for it.

If he was a graphic designer it would be a whole other story tongue.gif

As for the RAID, no you will need two drives. If you want 1TB of space, get two 1TB drives. This sort of redundancy is very important to ensure that he can always access his files, especially since he likes to keep his computers a long time and hard drives tend to die at the worst possible times. RAID isn't a replacement for a backup solution, it's a way to ensure reliability. Which costs more: an extra hard drive, or one workday of not being able to use the computer (to call you up, go buy the HDD, install it, restore from backup)? I do IT for a living, and believe me, there's nothing worse for business than not having access to your data. Even slow access is better than no access.
Edited by Manyak - 10/3/12 at 8:35pm
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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manyak View Post

Ah, I misread. If you want cheaper monitors go with E-series ones. They're pretty much the same panel, just no option for rotation or a built-in USB hub and stuff like that. But this is one of the rare cases where quantity > quality. Being able to spread applications between screens and look at one set of data while you type another is a major boost to productivity, and all the gamut and color accuracy and viewing angles in the world won't make up for it.
If he was a graphic designer it would be a whole other story tongue.gif
As for the RAID, no you will need two drives. If you want 1TB of space, get two 1TB drives. This sort of redundancy is very important to ensure that he can always access his files, especially since he likes to keep his computers a long time and hard drives tend to die at the worst possible times. RAID isn't a replacement for a backup solution, it's a way to ensure reliability. Which costs more: an extra hard drive, or one workday of not being able to use the computer (to call you up, go buy the HDD, install it, restore from backup)? I do IT for a living, and believe me, there's nothing worse for business than not having access to your data. Even slow access is better than no access.

So I would basically be running 1 drive and have the other for backup in case the other drive dies? I've never set up raid before - but i'm sure I could figure it out without any major issues. The two monitors will be solely for productivity. The ability to do one thing on one, and one thing on the other without having to change the size of the windows.

Whatever I build him needs to impress him and his cousin. I want to show him that spending $2500 is completely unnecessary especially when your paying $2500 for a ULV Core i7, 8GB of DDR3, and a mobile graphics solution.
Edited by M3T4LM4N222 - 10/4/12 at 12:13am
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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3T4LM4N222 View Post

So I would basically be running 1 drive and have the other for backup in case the other drive dies? I've never set up raid before - but i'm sure I could figure it out without any major issues. The two monitors will be solely for productivity. The ability to do one thing on one, and one thing on the other without having to change the size of the windows.
Whatever I build him needs to impress him and his cousin. I want to show him that spending $2500 is completely unnecessary especially when your paying $2500 for a ULV Core i7, 8GB of DDR3, and a mobile graphics solution.

Yeah it's a basically like a backup, since the drives will be mirrored, but it's still not a replacement for a separate backup drive somewhere else. In case of flood or fire.

Here's a build. I pushed your budget a bit, but if its not manageable then drop the monitors to E2011h's, drop the CPU to an i3-2100, and drop the SSD to some cheaper model. And if you still need to save more than get rid of the fans.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811345017
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136798 (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824260045 (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151086
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231546
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131841
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835610006 (x2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441
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post #7 of 29

More cores with a better GPU result in far more balanced computing with modern general-use apps becoming moreso optimized for both, with CPU and single-threaded performance being not as much an issue because such is aplenty across modern architectures. This is where Trinity APU's powerful GPU will win. FM2 also has a huge advantage in future-readiness, as the next generation Kaveri APUs compatible with FM2 will be part of a movement that revolutionizes modern computing with HSA. He will be upgrade-ready for a new generation of optimized and efficient software compatible with APUs only. Read more in sig: What is HSA

post #8 of 29
Go with the Trinity. It costs less, has AES acceleration (after watching the Pelican Brief I'd assume he will encrypt his drives) unlike i3 Intel chips, and really doesn't have a single downside for office usage.
 
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post #9 of 29

Office apps, particularly spreadsheet, have been optimized for GPU acceleration (at least if you use Microsoft Office) already.
I suspect there'll be further HSA optimization down the road as Microsoft is a partner in AMD's HSA foundation.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Trinity would be considerably cheaper. I do have a Microcenter to my disposal.
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