New Home PC / Developer Rig

August 14, 2009

In honor of Windows 7, and my increasing frustration with my 4 year old DELL computer, I figured I would pony up and build myself a nice developer rig. Even though it is my home computer my typical usage is work related; Visual Studio(s), SQL Server, IIS, Virtual Machines, etc... My wife's typical usage is email and web browsing. We are not gamers at all; not even solitaire! The most graphic intense application I use would be Google Earth.

I was initially thinking RAID 0 15K rpm SAS drives with the new ASUS MB, but that bumped my cost up way too much. Plus, the performance benefit of RAID 0 doesn't outway the issue of losing one drive loses all data factor. So I decided to go with a single 300GB 10K RPM SATA drive. I don't need much in the way of disk space since all music, video, doc's, etc... are sitting on a file server (that needs to be upgraded).

The last PC I made was about 7 years ago. It was a beast of a machine with Dual SCSI CD drives and a DVD drive. Does one really need more than one optical drive these days? I don't remember the last time I needed to duplicate a disc.

Here is what my initial thoughts are. Starred rows are the upgraded components that I am not sure are worth it for my usage. This doesn't include monitors, which I desperately need, but will be holding off on.

Any comments would be appreciated. I want to get this project rolling ASAP!


Motherboard ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 $290
Video Sapphire HD 4770 512 MB $109
HDD Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 10000 RPM $230
DVD Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Burner $30
Card Reader SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB $13
* CPU i7-950 $570
- CPU Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz $270
- Case/PSU Antec Sonata III 500  $110
* Case Antec P183 $155
* Extra Fan Antec 75003 120mm Case Fan $13
* PSU Antec earthwatts EA500 500W $70
  "Cheap" $1,366
  Expensive $1,739

Comments (1) -

John L

I would definitely go for two VelociRaptor's in RAID 0 as I would argue it is the single most noticeable performance improvement that you can generally do is increase your disk speed. Just build your machine in anticipation that it will die at any moment (which you should do anyway), with a good image and daily backups and you will be fine. I have been running RAID 0 on my main desktop's for the last 7 years and the rare occasion that you have a problem is worth the constant speed boost you get.

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