To my fellow geeks out there
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It’s time to build a new PC. I don’t want to buy a prefab one so I need to figure out the parts necessary. Alas, I’m awash in a sea of choices from CPU to memory to motherboards. And it’s been so long I’m not sure what will work best for me.

Let me explain my needs and hopefully there’s some stuff you can point me to.

  • I’m a Microsoft developer, so while most of you will probably recoil in horror, I’ll be upgrading to Windows 8 Pro.
  • Win8 Pro has Hyper-V as a service, which means I can run my server on the same box, so virtualization is very important.
  • I will not be overclocking. While I like to play a good game from time to time, I’m not one of those people who feel the need to squeeze every last CPU cycle possible out of the system
  • I want 32G of memory
  • I want an Intel based CPU (I have no love for AMD any more). i7 is fine, but I can’t afford an Extreme
  • I will need to raid several SATA Tb drives. I have 2 that are 3Gbps and one the is 6Gbps. Not sure if they all can be raided or not.
  • I will have a 120Gb SSD SATA 6Gbps drive
  • I have SLI ready video cards (although probably will only run one due to heat)
  • My budget, including a new 120g SSD, Case + Power supply is around $800. That’s flexible if I need it to be, but I’d prefer not to.

Looking at i7 chips, it’s difficult for me to know which version to get. I don’t want K versions since I need the virtualization features on the locked chips more than I need the ability to overclock, but I don’t know if Ivy or Sandy is a better bang for my dollar or if 3770 or 3780 or whatever is where I should be focusing.

I don’t mind ordering online if some place has really, really good pricing and good customer service. I’m cool with paying *just* a bit more from CompUSA since I can do returns in the store down the road rather than have to ship things off (and you know how touchy computers can be when you build them. Parts are DOA all the time).

Hints? Thoughts? Pointers?

posted by by Robb Allen @
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