What is the current, commercially available technology for mobos, RAM, graphics cards, etc for someone who's about to purchase a state-of-the-art kit. I'm less concerned with brands than architecture. For example, is Haswell where it's at, or has it been superseded? Remember, it what's already out there to buy that I'm interested in.


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You don't ask much, do you? The answers will depend upon what you intend to do with your gear. Myself, I have an almost 7 year old system that still kicks butt! Dual quad-core Intel CPUs, 8GB of fully buffered ECC RAM, 10+TB disc, nVidia 8800GT dual display video w/ dual 1920x1200 24" displays, dual DVD-RW drives, and other goodies. It cost me about $5000USD at the time. It can play dual HD videos (one on each display) at the same time.

Performance hardware? Get an Intel mobo and CPU's (4-6 cores each of up to 2 cpu chips), with good cooling gear, a 1000watt power supply, low-cost nVidia graphics (unless you intend on high-end gaming - the low-end these days will blow your socks off!), plenty of memory (16-32GB), and plenty of sata-3 drives. Blu-ray? Don't bother unless you plan on using it for backup. The encryption of commercial BD discs is a PITA to deal with. DVD's are a no-brainer. It is easy to backup your DVD's, but BD's are another thing - you have to first extract them to MKV format, and/or then convert to the appropriate format to store to either DVD or BD.

Haswell is a low-power bus and Intel Celeron CPU chip intended for mobile systems. Don't bother for a desktop or server system. The current level for desktop/server systems is Sandy Bridge as far as I understand.

There are a lot of motherboard manufacturers out there that make good gear, and they are certainly options if you want the lower cost afforded by AMD cpus. However, if you want the best performance, then get an Intel motherboard with Sandy Bridge chip sets and Intel CPUs.

One final note. If you want top-line reliability, then make sure your motherboard supports fully-buffered ECC RAM, and get/install that. It has saved my butt on more than one occasion! ECC means Error Correction Code. IE, it will continue to operate even if memory goes flaky. I has such a problem due to RAM overheating. The system detected it, mapped the bad RAM out of use, and continued to operate normally, if with less usable memory until I could deal with the problem. Reliability is MORE than it is cracked up to be!

My computer is about 1 1/2 years old and has an 8-core AMD processor -- runs Diablo III online very very well. The more cores the motherboard has, the better (IMO). I also have 2 hard drives, one is 1TB and the other external is 3TB. You need a 64-bit operating system in order to access that much space.

Thanks for the replies. Very helpful. I'm not a games programmer, but I need a decent system for graphics and video development.

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