Recommend desktop computer setup please

jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
I've been out of hardware for a while and a lot of things have changed. I was thinking of getting a laptop to do this but it will be expensive. I generally use a tablet around the house so a laptop would be unnecessary for this.

Basically I want a desktop that I can use for MCSA and Cisco study and labing. I also want to use it for recording music (me and my guitar) and gaming. I would like two or three big monitors. What do you all recommend and where do I get it? Thanks!
«1

Comments

  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    I build all my rigs out on PcPartPicker. The X99 motherboards just came out so I'd start there. Build out accordingly to your needs and budget. SSD is a must. You'll have to decide between a case, Intel vs AMD, graphics cards (since you mentioned gaming), then a PSU to power it all. TomsHardware is my favorite site for hardware related stuff. Once I find everything I usually just order it all off Amazon but pcpartpicker has a feature that finds the lowest price where it can be purchased.

    let me know if you have any more specific questions..
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks tprice5... I should probably go over to tom's and study up... I don't want anything over kill or under kill for that matter. What do you think minimum RAM and CPU should be? What about Intel vs AMD?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Here here I agree SSD is a must. I find it disgusting/comical when I see rigs for 800 > rocking the TB 5400 rpm mechanical. Almost enough to make you puke.

    I actually had a co worker get a new laptop when it was time to refresh his work laptop. Take the hard drive out drop a SSD in it and told the desktop team to reimage his machine since it was doing something weird. I don't remember the problem but it was something that happened from time to time in that particular environment so it was an easy sell. They never checked the hardware and he was rocking 8 gbs i5 with ssd.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    What's your budget for the desktop? What's your budget and/or size requirements for the monitors?

    Dell has great monitors, especially for the price. I have one of their older 24"s.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAMember Posts: 368 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I built all my desktops. For what you want aim for 8GB+ RAM, a quad 3.0+ and you can do a traditional harddrive, or a hybrid drive if you really want. For Motherboard I always go for EVGA and an EVGA Graphics card with Power Supply from Corsair. Memory from Corsair too. The EVGA 740 card is enough to get up and going. Just depends how much you can spend at the time! Good luck!
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
    Professional Certificate - IT Project Management
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Ewwwwww Traditional HDD?

    I guess if you want to change out the laundry every time you boot up that's a good thing.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    For my system drive, SSD is a must. VMs can go on HDD just be careful about putting too many on one VM. Just because you can fit 10 VMs onto one HDD, doesn't mean it will work due to i/o constraints.
    Since this is going to be a multi-purpose rig and you plan on doing some labbing, I wouldn't get less than 16GB of ram. You'll need it. Also as far as motherboards go I like Asrock, Asus and MSI but would really settle for anything that fit my build requirements.
    Intel vs AMD really depends. If you look at benchmarks, Intel is clearly the better performer but you have to decide if it's enough to justify the price tag. For me, an AMD FX-83xx was plenty to power my 32GB server.

    The following is my build. It is about a year old so prices may not be current. You could leave off the extra HDDs and some other items to lower the total cost.



    [TH="align: left"]Type[/TH]
    [TH="align: left"]Item[/TH]
    [TH="align: left"]Price[/TH]


    CPU
    AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor
    Purchased For $153.61


    Motherboard
    ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
    Purchased For $99.99


    Memory
    Corsair XMS 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
    Purchased For $249.99


    Storage
    Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
    Purchased For $133.99


    Storage
    Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
    Purchased For $88.99


    Storage
    Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
    Purchased For $88.99


    Video Card
    XFX Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card
    Purchased For $29.99


    Power Supply
    Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
    Purchased For $83.24


    Keyboard
    Logitech Desktop MK120-TAA LOG920004218 Wired Standard Keyboard w/Laser Mouse
    Purchased For $14.99


    Other
    Cooler Master 4 in 3 HDD Module Device - (STB-3T4-E3-GP)
    Purchased For $23.99


    Other
    Rosewill RSV-R4000 Metal Server Chassis (Black)
    Purchased For $72.19


    Other
    Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit PCI Express Ethernet Network Interface Card (NO SOFTWARE)
    Purchased For $15.99


    Other
    Verbatim Store 'n' Stay 4 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive 97462 (Black)
    Purchased For $11.65




    Total



    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.
    $1067.60



    Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-18 07:48 EDT-0400




    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for showing me your setup T! That is very helpful. Would that video card work for playing say COD? Are you mirroring your two HDDs or using them separately for VM?
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Here here I agree SSD is a must. I find it disgusting/comical when I see rigs for 800 > rocking the TB 5400 rpm mechanical. Almost enough to make you puke.

    I actually had a co worker get a new laptop when it was time to refresh his work laptop. Take the hard drive out drop a SSD in it and told the desktop team to reimage his machine since it was doing something weird. I don't remember the problem but it was something that happened from time to time in that particular environment so it was an easy sell. They never checked the hardware and he was rocking 8 gbs i5 with ssd.

    What software does your company use to reimage?
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    What's your budget for the desktop? What's your budget and/or size requirements for the monitors?

    Dell has great monitors, especially for the price. I have one of their older 24"s.

    I would like to be completely done at between $1000 - $1500. I have a four year old 24" dell monitor now. I might look at getting one or two more. Maybe larger if affordable.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    If you want a gamin/litcoin mining/ 3d-modeling rig icon_biggrin.gif:

    Follow my build:
    Intel I7 4770k Oc 4.2
    Maximus Formula VI
    32 GB DDR3 - 1600
    Samsung 840 Pro 256
    4 x WD VelociRaptor 1TB 10k Raid 5
    3 x R290X Video cards
    Corsair 900D
    3 x Benq XL2720T

    Built it last year it cost roughly 7k. Not sure what the pricing would be this year.
    I'm going to be replacing the motherboard and the CPU and adding 32GB more of ram and one more 290x next spring.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Well, nevermind that idea just saw you say you only wanted to spend 1-1.5k.

    But running BF4 on Ultra at 120+FPS is so much funnnnn.
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    jem7sk wrote: »
    Thanks for showing me your setup T! That is very helpful. Would that video card work for playing say COD? Are you mirroring your two HDDs or using them separately for VM?

    Doubtful this video card would work for gaming. You're going to need something a little more high end. I no longer have the 2 harddrives hooked up to that machines. When I did though, they were not mirrored due to the fact that ESXi doesn't recognize software RAIDs. Not listed though is a LSI Logic SATA SAS Raid Controller Card SAS3041E-HP with 8 or so really low capacity drives I got off craigslist. The 2TB HDDs are connected to my HTPC. The HTPC could very conceivably double as a SAN for shared storage once I get a second host though.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    philz1982 wrote: »
    Well, nevermind that idea just saw you say you only wanted to spend 1-1.5k.

    Ha I like how you act surprised his budget is < $7k, as if that is a normal amount to spend on a rig.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • yzTyzT Member Posts: 365 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Remember not to be cheap on the power supply
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    For a good cheap monitor: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZSUVHK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2MYIPU3KEF8XS&coliid=I19IJH4PU7XRZR&psc=1

    For a good Dell I'd recommend: Dell UltraSharp 24 Monitor - U2412M
    It goes on sale freqently. Just last night it was $260
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    tprice5 wrote: »
    Ha I like how you act surprised his budget is < $7k, as if that is a normal amount to spend on a rig.

    Well, when you have no life except the goal of expanding your ass print in your computer chair you think everyone else spends as much as you do icon_biggrin.gif
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    yzT wrote: »
    Remember not to be cheap on the power supply

    Ya, I think I got a 1600W it's not that much more to go with a big a$$ PSU.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    jem7sk wrote: »
    What software does your company use to reimage?

    The current company I have no idea, when my co worker swapped drives that company used Altiris.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for your responses... I can see I need to go over to Tom's Hardware site and do some studying before I buy anything. I haven't built a computer in a little over 10 years.. a lot has changed. I have been out of the hardware area for about that long and have been doing mostly system admin and tech work. I work for the government and out computers are 10 years old.. the newer ones are All-In-One Lenovos or laptops... a lot has changed and I want to make sure I get the right computer so I will study up a little more. Any other sites I should check out other than Tom's?

    Hey, to get started quick I just remembered I have a five year old server that has never been used. A former employer that went out of business gave it too me. I was just cleaning out my closet and found it... forgot all about it. It is a Dell PowerEdge T100 with Intel Xeon E3110 Processor, 8GB (DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 2G, 800M, 256X72, 8, 240, 2RXicon_cool.gif Memory and two 250GB 7200 Hard Disks. What, if anything, should I upgrade and what OS should I load to get started with MCSA lab studies with VMs?
  • tprice5tprice5 Member Posts: 770
    jem7sk wrote: »
    What, if anything, should I upgrade and what OS should I load to get started with MCSA lab studies with VMs?

    I would add RAM and load either Server 2012 R2 or ESXi 5.5up1 depending on what virtualization platform you would prefer to get experience in .
    Maybe even an extra NIC if you want to divide up your traffic.
    Certification To-Do: CEH [ ], CHFI [ ], NCSA [ ], E10-001 [ ], 70-413 [ ], 70-414 [ ]
    WGU MSISA
    Start Date: 10/01/2014 | Complete Date: ASAP
    All Courses: LOT2, LYT2 , UVC2, ORA1, VUT2, VLT2 , FNV2 , TFT2 , JIT2 , FMV2, FXT2 , LQT2
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your advice! I'll report back when I figure out what I am going to do.
  • philz1982philz1982 Member Posts: 978
    Have you thought of using AWS? For what you want to do, labbing, the AWS can be very cheap. AWS | Amazon EC2 | Pricing
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    philz1982 wrote: »
    Have you thought of using AWS? For what you want to do, labbing, the AWS can be very cheap. AWS | Amazon EC2 | Pricing

    Good advice for the labbing part. I could use the free plan for all I would need couldn't I? I will still need a desktop for the other stuff but this could get me started labbing. How does it work... Just upload an image and away you go?
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    There is no Windows client instances on AWS... you might have to use CSR 1000v AWS instances to learn Cisco but that's a steep learning curve.

    $1250 ASUS ROG G750 Gaming Laptop - i7 4700HQ, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD, GeForce GTX-860M, 17.3", Windows 8.1 64-Bit
    +
    $170 SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series - 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC (SSD)

    If you go this route, you can even have 2 hard drives in the laptop, play some games, use GNS3, have 12GB of RAM for plenty of VMs (enough for MCSA/MCSE), it can handle 32GB if you want to upgrade later, it supports 3 monitors, you can take it with you, it's within budget.

    Just a suggestion.

    I have this laptop, and find it great.

    I know you asked for a desktop and if you want a desktop then ignore this post.. I just think it would do almost everything you wanted in your original post.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    That is the best deal I think I've seen on a laptop. Looks like it will do all I need it to as well. Thanks Asif! That ssd... There will be a slot for it in the laptop? Just install it and put Windows on it as the primary drive?
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    jem7sk wrote: »
    Sorry I meant to say Thanks Asif but auto correct got me
    No problem, it's not my real name anyway! icon_wink.gif

    There is 2 hard drive slots in the laptop so you can keep the 1TB and put the 256GB SSD in to the other slot.

    If you get this 250GB SSD below then you get software to transfer everything over for you for about the same size and price as the SSD above. Same performance as well.

    SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250LW 2.5" TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) With Notebook Bundle Kit - Newegg.com
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    No problem, it's not my real name anyway! icon_wink.gif

    There is 2 hard drive slots in the laptop so you can keep the 1TB and put the 256GB SSD in to the other slot.

    If you get this 250GB SSD below then you get software to transfer everything over for you for about the same size and price as the SSD above. Same performance as well.

    SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE250LW 2.5" TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) With Notebook Bundle Kit - Newegg.com

    I was thinking I'd just reimage it and start over when I got the computer anyway. Is that what you did with yours of was the original image good enough for you to keep as it was when you received it?
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I had to reinstall the OS because I went with 2 SSD's in RAID-0 for extra performance. But in fairness there wasn't a lot of junk that needed to be removed, probably the Anti-Virus and that was about it - otherwise it was fine for me (and I would usually install a fresh OS on a new computer where possible anyway).
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    I had to reinstall the OS because I went with 2 SSD's in RAID-0 for extra performance. But in fairness there wasn't a lot of junk that needed to be removed, probably the Anti-Virus and that was about it - otherwise it was fine for me (and I would usually install a fresh OS on a new computer where possible anyway).

    Yeah, me too! I am thinking about ordering the laptop as is for now and upgrading to SSD later. Is this a normal price for the laptop or is it a special? How would it handle say the latest COD as is? I'm also curious how long it will last on battery just studying for MCSE/CCENT with VMs running? Thanks!
Sign In or Register to comment.