Hi Steve. Thank you for your in-depth response and for your advice on the "T" CPUs.
I should probably mention that my current Dell is packing a Xeon E3-1270 (3.7GHz), with 8GB DDR3 (non-ECC), and an AMD FirePro V4700. I will be keeping my monitor which is a Dell U2713HM - 27" LED QHD IPS. Its not as great as the U2713H, but I'm not a creative professional, so I don't need the crazy colour accuracy. The U2713HM is a great monitor though (cost effective as well for its specs).
I'm not familiar with the Illustrator/web page design side of the Adobe suite. So, I'm not sure how much horsepower you'll need for that ... I don't know if your apps make use of hyperthreading
From my googling, I have found out that the Adobe products I'm using don't make use of HT. I don't use Photoshop or any of the video editing packages like Premiere Pro. Sketchup does not make use of HT, and neither does Google Earth nor QGIS. Available memory and decent graphics processing is what is important for the latter software packages. Visual Studio 2012 however, can utilise all cores available if necessary, but for most of the applications I compile, this isn't a big issue.
GPU: Just use the integrated graphics. The 6670 doesn't buy you anything unless your apps make use of GPU for hardware acceleration (eg: Photoshop rotate/zoom/etc Mercury Engine stuff). If they do, then it's another discussion.
I'm unsure if Intel HD Graphics 4600 will support my usage, but I know Google Earth Pro requires DirectX9 and 3D capability with 64MB of VRAM. I assume that QGIS would be similar. Sketchup has similar requirements, but the graphics solution should also support OpenGL 1.5 or higher.
Another option I have is to use an AMD FirePro 2270 (http://www.amd.com/us/products/workstation/graphics/ati-firemv-2d/amd-firepro-2270/Pages/amd-firepro-2270.aspx
). It consumes 15W max, and supports a maximum resolution of 2560x1600. However, I believe that it's meant more for dual displays rather than graphics processing.
I'll do a bit more homework on the GPU options and post back here if I come across anything.
PSU: deferred until GPU resolved.
I've come across this: be quiet! SFX Power, 350w
), but am hoping I will be able to use this: http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-160-XT
RAM: 8 or 16GB? Easy to tell - just look at your current PC and see how much is used.
I would prefer 16. Running a typical load, through Windows Task Manager I've seen my memory peak at about 7.2GB and I have never seen my CPU usage go above 19%. I would also like to allow for spinning up an extra VM if needed, and also allocating more memory to the main VMs I am running.
Haswell runs ~5-15% faster than Ivy Bridge. It also idles at lower system power levels.
Thanks for informing me ... I was not aware of that! These are my options based on the various retailers' stocks:
- i7-4770S -> 65W TDP
- i5-4570S -> 65W TDP
here is the comparison chart: http://ark.intel.com/compare/75124,75122,75038,75047,75043,75044
What do you think?