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Please Give Advice on My New Computer Build

Question asked by Nate Parello on Sep 10, 2008
Latest reply on Sep 23, 2008 by Nate Parello
I am going to build my own system here to run Solidworks 2009. That is the program I am mainly using though I do occasionally use Photoshop and Dreamweaver as well as internet browsers(duh). I am not doing any high level operations in photoshop.

Anyhow, my boss said to spec out a system and to keep it around $2000 so this is what I've come up with. I've gone with a quad core AMD processor. I have a lot of brand loyalty with AMD but would be willing to try Intel for this if it would give me a solid performance gain over AMD. Also, I am looking for some advice on whether I should go with a single, dual, or quad core processor as well. Some thoughts on my video card choice would be nice too. Here are my wishlist specs(from Newegg):

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Processor

Cooling: ASUS Lion Square 92mm Vapo Bearing CPU Cooler

Motherboard: ASUS M3A78-T AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Video Card: PNY Quadro FX3700 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Memory: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V

Hard Drive: 3 Western Digital 160mb 7200rpm Caviar drives. The quantity reflects me throwing the idea around of setting up a RAID. Any ideas on whether this would be beneficial to me? I'm also disappointed that Newegg does not sell any Maxtor drives anymore. I've been buying Maxtor drives for close to 9 years and have only had 1 fail on me(it was 5 years old).

I have the rest of my components spec'd too, but these are the ones that affect Solidworks.

I am planning on running Vista x64 Ultimate Edition. My questions are:

Single, Dual, or Quad core processor? I mainly do assemblies with 10-600 parts. I do not do any surface modeling though I sometimes must use surface modeled parts and imported parts from customers. I occasionally do rendering with photoworks/realview. I do not do simulations.

Should I get 4gb or 8gb of RAM? I want this computer to be fast and lag as little as possible.

Is my video card good? From what I have read online, the FX3700 seems to be a pretty good card. Anyone have experience with these? Know any better ones? I'd like to keep the price of the video card under 1k dollars.

Should I use RAID 0, 1, or not at all? I have an external hard drive that I backup to so using RAID as a backup is not necessary.