Need advice for a ~$1000 build for GIS/3D Modeling


Nov 14, 2012
Hello! I have absolutely no computer building knowledge, but I think I'll need to build a computer to get it to do what I need to do (below)... so I'm hoping some of you could help me?

Approximate Purchase Date: Before the end of the year- preferably whenever parts are on sale.

Budget Range: up to $1000 after rebates (but preferably less, ideally under 700$)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: modeling using ArcGIS, Photoshop/digital illustration, 3d Modeling/animation (Blender), word processing/internet, possibly gaming (but not critical)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes: planning on buying a Wacom Cintiq 24HD Interactive Pen Display and a second large-ish monitor (type not decided yet) (have other money set aside for this).

Do you need to buy OS: Yes- planning on Windows 8 (don't need to factor price into budget)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no preference, whatever you recommend!

Location: City, State/Region, Country: Chico, California, USA

Parts Preferences: no preference.

Overclocking: No?

SLI or Crossfire: No?

Your Monitor Resolution: no preference, probably as big as possible

Additional Comments: Quiet would be nice. Primary purpose is for art and GIS modeling with some gaming.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current laptop is not capable of running GIS without freezing and the screen is just too small for illustration work (which is paying for my graduate studies), so I figured its time for an upgrade.

Thanks for any help!


Aug 23, 2012
I would do something like this.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($199.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme3 ATX AM3+/AM3 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($234.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $910.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-14 01:36 EST-0500)

7870 would be more than enough actuall for some gaming.

As for the monitor, you'll want an IPS for your system usage.



So does that mean other AMD mobos only support up to 1333mhz?Sorry if it sounds stupid.


Nov 14, 2012
Thanks! Do I need to do anything special (second video card?) if I want to have a dual monitor set up with the cintiq tablet/monitor and the recommended monitor?