High-end, Multi Purpose PC $3500+


May 22, 2009
I am looking to replace my ten year old (but venerable) Pentium 3 system.

I will be in the US (Chicago) during all of June and want to use the opportunity to buy the components for a new machine. Even with the collapse of the Australian dollar, the prices in the US are significantly cheaper.

My aim is to build a unit that is now state of the art and can be readily upgraded. It will be used, primarily, for home business, extensive use of Photoshop and the internet but also for games (Crysis) and movies. Initially I will run XP Professional but then upgrade to Windows 7 (64 bit) say around Christmas.

Although I have built several computers for others in recent years, the exercise I’m now undertaking is a different game entirely. There seems to be a situation of too much choice and a lot of complexity.

My main concern is to have componentry that will integrate fully. It also needs to be very reliable or at least have a solid reputation for this, and to be relatively “future-proof”. Although I have never overclocked, I would like the capacity to do this.

My budget: say US$ 3500 +; I can claim the cost as a business tax deduction.

I am after advice on both what and where to buy. I could buy online of course but I could also buy over the counter in the Chicago area. Either way I want a retailer who’s fair dinkum.

I already have:
Case: a new Lian Li PC V1010. Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 193T (864 x 1152)
Keyboard: 12 year old Honeywell and Microsoft USB mouse

The following list is the result of the research I have undertaken in the last week. I have not locked on to any one item but am open to suggestions.

Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

CPU: Intel i7-950 Core i7 (3.06 GHz)
(These have been on sale in Australia and New Zealand since mid May. I guess US retailers need to get rid of their stocks of the older i7’s before it is released there)

RAM (Three x 2GB kits):

OCZ DDR3 PC3-16000/ 2000MHz /Platinum XTC /Triple Channel Kits / 6GB CL 9-9-9-30 or

OCZ DDR3 PC3-15000/ 1866MHz/ Platinum XTC/ CAS 7 /Triple Channel Kits /6GB CL 7-7-7-26

These, supposedly, are optimized for Intel i7 processor / Intel® X58 Express Chipset Tri-Channel mode.

I understand that the 32 bit Windows XP I will be using initially will only recognise 3GB of RAM. I am providing for the proposed upgrade to Windows 7.

It has been suggested to me that the higher the MHz rating, the more temperamental RAM can become. Is this the case? Should I go for, say, a 1600 or 1333 rating?

Graphics/Video Card

A totally confusing area; there are literally hundred of cards on the market at the moment.
The most powerful and, it seems, reputable are those based on the Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 graphics processor eg:

• Gigabyte GV-N295-18I-B
• ASUS ENGTX295/2DI/1792MD3
• BFG EGTX2951792E

These and others are listed on:

I understand that Nvidia is releasing a single-slot version of their GeForce GTX 295 graphics processor in the immediate future and I wonder if this may be worth holding out for?


Primary drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM

Secondary (Backup) drive: Western Digital RE3 WD5002ABYS-01B1B0 500GB 7200 RPM SATA

I have toyed with the idea of using an SSD for the primary drive, say a

Intel X25-E Extreme SSDSA2SH032G1 2.5" 32GB SATA II
OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC

Power Supply

This I have not researched as I will have to buy in Australia because of the different voltage (240 vs 110).I estimate that I will need a 650w supply to be on the safe side.

Any suggestions, please, as to what would likely to be a very reliable brand? Zalman, Cooler Master and Antec all seem to be reputable lines. I am currently running an Antec which will remain in the old machine as it is only a 350w supply.

Many thanks



Sep 14, 2005
Hmm... Why can't you claim it as a business deduction here in AUS? Sounds fishy to me.

Anyway, you could get a quality PSU in the states but you'll have to change out the power cord.

You have not given any details of what you want to use this PC for, so it is hard to specify what you need. As to over the counter retailers in the Chicago area, no clue, but you will run into issues trying to buy online in the US with a card issued in AUS

BTW, many parts can be found in AUS cheaper these days than the poor yanks can get them for. I'd really do some more price checking before I planned this shopping spree.


May 22, 2009
AUS is where I will be claiming the very legitimate deduction (See your accountant)

Re US vs AUS prices: My first estimate in mid April was gave an average 18% savings. The AUS$ has risen since then.