Desktop Computer

Hello there,    
I would like to build my own computer from scratch, all by myself like I did about 4 years ago.. I was looking at some of the best computers out there and I came up with this one     
I would be using the computer for video rendering, computer programming and to play video games! I would like advice on a small case because the one I currently have is huge. I would like to know what is currently the top cooling system, mother board, ram, video card, audio card and CPU brand + specs etc.. etc.. Since I spend most of my time using my computer, this means a lot to me. So I would really appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction!
Who is Participating?
Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
The poster above has clearly not kept up with CPU performance in the past year ==> you do NOT want an AMD based system !!

Video rendering & games are both very GPU-oriented activities; and also require powerful CPU's to perform at their best.   No matter what other components you select, be sure you use (a) an Intel Core-architecture CPU, and (b) a good mid-range or high-end graphics card.   In addition, be sure you get a good, reliable, high-wattage (500w if you'll be using one graphics card; 600w if two) power supply.

The Core-based Intel chips outperform anything AMD makes ... by a wide margin at the upper end.   And with the current pricing, you can get a superb CPU for $200 (E6750) or a top-of-the-line dual-core or very good quad core for $300 (E6850 or Q6600).   Any of these 3 CPU's would be an excellent choice for the system you want to build.

As for cases, those are very much a personal choice.   The smaller cases often only hold micro-ATX motherboards, and if they come with PSU's, they're often too small for a high-end graphics card.   So I'd choose a case before you select your motherboard ==> to be sure the motherboard will fit in the case you select.   Then just choose a good motherboard that supports the 3 CPU's I listed above; add 2GB of memory (plenty for your intended use);  a good graphics card; hard disk and optical drives; and you're ready to go.

For the graphics card ... if your budget allows a high-end card I'd suggest a GeForce 8800GTX.   If you need to stay with more affordable cards, the 8600GTS would be a good choice --> something like this:

While I think a top-end GPU is plenty of graphics "horsepower" for gaming ... you may want to consider an SLI-based system, which links two cards together for even better performance.   IF you want to do this, you'll need a motherboard that supports SLI, a larger power supply rated for SLI (at least 600w); and this will almost certainly require a case that doesn't meet your "small" criteria.

I suppose the following config might be helpfull to you... Its mainly for Gaming which i got it while browsing other forums. But it looks good:

AMD64 3500+
Asus A8N5X motherboard
2gb RAM
250 maxtor sata  hdd
Nvidia Geforce 7600GT 256mb
BenQ FP202W 20 inch LCD :)

REMEMBER! For Gaming u should opt for Better video card..! Otherwise you're wasting the rest of the system. BIG BOTTLENECK!!!
nplibConnect With a Mentor Commented:
currently the top cooling system =, this is the best case with cooling system around

mother board = This is basically the best mother board around, but mother boards are tricky. You won't get much performance boosts from one board to the other, other than with raid disks, it's more of how many slots of PCI, ram. etc to do want.
ram = this is really fast ram.
video card  xfx nvida 8800 gtx extreme is the fastest and best video card by a long shot
audio card = the sound blaster x-fi extreme gamer from creative
CPU brand + specs etc..= this is the fastest processor on the planet, but at a cost of $1300 a pop.
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Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
i support to buy brand desktop, it's the right way and to get great & cool compatibility between PC components
i support 100% Dell 
it's great for video rendering, computer programming and to play video and games
Dell's XPS systems are great systems if you want an out of the box system.

Since Dell owns alien wares.
Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
Mr. Rindi:  do you think it's Fair to Split point's between garycase & Nplib ? look at my answer befor nplib i post that dell is the right systems , befor mr. nplib's did , and gives the link to the dell XPS 1st.

please be fair .
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
zuhairGmaty ==>  I think rindi made a reasonable choice, for the following reasons:

I'm not sure any answer that basically says "Buy a Dell" meets the questioner's needs here ... he DID say "... I would like to build my own computer from scratch ..."    His link to the Alienware was more of an "... I like these specs ..." than a "I'll buy this $5500 box" comment.

I think rindi's choice of nplib was because of his 1st post that gave good suggestions on a case (Antec 900), RAM, and CPU (He mentioned a motherboard, but forget to give a link and didn't say which one he had in mind).   nplib's 2nd post was non-responsive to the question --> he was just agreeing with your comment about Dell being a good system.   But the author had already said he did not want to buy a commercial system :-)
Zuhir ElgmatiApplications and Systems AdministratorCommented:
thank you Mr. Garycase , but when the Author said " would like advice on a small case because the one I currently have is huge" & "I would be using the computer for video rendering, computer programming and to play video games" that's why i'm advice him Dell XPS .and i belive that brand pc's more better than Assembled one's , because "the compatibility between PC components"

The reason I didn't give an exact model with the motherboard is because it's almost a non issue when it comes to performance, it just what features do you want to have.
Gigabit lan,
onboard SPIDIF
RAID 0/1/5
2 IDE,
Though it may have been helpful to mention to only get a DUAL channel board, SLI and NVidia 590 or better chipset to support mad CPU overclocking.

BUT in my opinion SLI is a waste of time unless you get 2 8800 GTX ULTRA's, cause 2 of anything else doesn't not equal the speed of one of those cards.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree a top-end GPU is plenty (that's why I said "... a top-end GPU is plenty of graphics "horsepower") without the need for SLI => but sometimes folks just want the absolute best performance.   SLI's not a waste of time ... but certainly can be a waste of money :-)

And motherboards DO make a difference => I'd certainly use a relatively new Intel-chipset-based board, either from Intel, Gigabyte, MSI, or Asus.   As I noted before, choose a case first ... to be sure you don't select a motherboard that won't fit in your case :-)
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