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24 votes
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Which would make a greater difference? Extra CPU or RAM?

In almost any case, with a proper, modern compiler, compilation speed will increase near linearly with the number of hardware threads on your system. In the case of Microsoft compilers, even running ...
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18 votes
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CPU cooling system recommendation?

I don't recommend fanless or water cooling. Instead, I recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (which is a newer version of the 212 Plus I have). This is a very quiet fan. The specs say it's between 9-...
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10 votes
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DDR4 memory - which one to choose

There are very few memory bound tasks for modern CPUs. The key factors to look for are capacity, cost, latency, voltages and speed, usually in that order. It doesn't really matter if a CPU doesn't ...
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  • 1,781
9 votes
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What should I buy? (RAM Chips)

Your computer's RAM cannot be significantly upgraded. Crucial's memory finder reports, and HP's support page agrees that your computer is limited to 4 GB of RAM. Further, you appear to be running a ...
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  • 2,858
9 votes

CPU cooling system recommendation?

This is a slightly more budget friendly option, which is according to the budget which was just edited in, the Noctua NH-D14. This CPU cooler keeps temps pretty low, about 5*C higher on an i7-4770k ...
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  • 1,751
8 votes
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Computer case for new college build

I have to recommend my favorite: the Fractal Design Define R5 (~$110 USD). This case is beyond excellent for everything you'd ever want. It's also one of the highest-rated cases for noise reduction (...
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8 votes
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LGA 2011 vs. AM3+

I would actually not recommend either of the platforms that you had in mind, and go with the LGA 1151 Skylake Processors. These require DDR4 RAM and are the newest CPUs that Intel has released. For ...
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  • 266
8 votes
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Motherboard for the long run, in an otherwise (initially) low-end gaming system

I would say you would be better off building a new computer. Here are the reasons: Your CPU is probably only good for one more upgrade then it can't go any further. With a new build, you could choose ...
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  • 368
8 votes

Which of these two PC builds would offer better performance?

The i7 5820K would be much faster than the i7 6700K. None of the programs you will use will benefit from an i7 5820K or even an i7 6700K for that matter. An i5 6600K will be enough for what you are ...
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  • 1,697
6 votes
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Which of these two PC builds would offer better performance?

Looking over the specs of the 5820K versus the 6700K, notable differences are: Larger cache (15MB vs 8MB) More cores and threads Higher memory bandwidth All of these would probably be of benefit ...
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5 votes

The quietest PSU under 100 USD

There are a couple Cooler Master, Corsair (AX and RM) and EVGA series power supplies that disable their fan under low load. My recommendation: EVGA SuperNova 550 G2 (220-G2-0550-Y1) Within budget ($...
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5 votes

CPU cooling system recommendation?

The question was edited with a budget after I posted this answer. If you are looking for something more fancy, something a bit quieter, and a lot colder, I recommend you check out the NZXT Kraken x61....
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  • 1,751
5 votes
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Recommendation for "thin tower PC cases"

If you're not planning to add more than one expansion card (say, a TV tuner card) to your system, a mini-ITX board in a low profile or home theater case fits your needs. If you want two to four cards ...
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  • 2,858
5 votes
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A 240 GB SSD for a programmer

Moving from HDD to any new SSD will be noticable, while the differences between particular SSD tend to be slight. I actually did the same (also ssd upgrade for programming) and just went with the ...
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5 votes

What is an affordable cheap Linux box you could recommend?

Personally, I would just go with a raspberry pi, more specifically, the RPi 3 Model B Along with a USB wifi dongle such as this. Cost totals out to about $49 USD ($40 for the RPi and $9 for the wifi ...
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  • 970
5 votes

Does this CPU fit with the GPU?

Apparently this CPU is a bad combination with my GPU; I have been told that they will not work together. That CPU and GPU will work together just fine. GPU's are designed to be compatible with most ...
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  • 609
4 votes

Fan controller for a high-end PC?

With the information given, I would recommend the NZXT Sentry 3 or Sentry 2 fan controller. You can buy one here. The reviews are good, the only cons being that sometimes the controller does not work ...
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  • 1,127
4 votes

Recommendation for "thin tower PC cases"

The Fractal Design Node 202 is a very small form factor PC case (console size), with support for a full size graphics card. A link to the fractal design page for all their node series cases is here, ...
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  • 1,127
4 votes

What do you suggest for a PC with 80 chrome tabs, 6 virtual machines?

As a starting point, I'd recommend the Haswell-E i7 5820K. 6 cores on the X99 platform, similar to the Xeon E5 16xx v3s but cheaper, unlocked and without certain server features, it can currently be ...
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  • 1,781
4 votes

Computer case for new college build

I recommend a Phanteks "Enthoo Pro Series" full ATX case, which is $100 on Newegg. My main machine rests in this case. It sits behind my desk and the fans are very quiet. As an added benefit, I know ...
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  • 3,308
4 votes

DDR4 memory - which one to choose

The clock speed of RAM doesn't affect the performance of the computer much (if at all). Running a RAM at a faster speed would increase the CAS latency, which is the amount of clock cycle lag the RAM ...
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  • 1,697
4 votes

Upgrading my current build for gaming purposes

Upgrading your GPU Guessing at your budget, I'm going to recommend a R9 380, or GTX 960. Both are pretty equal cards, and the GTX 960 pulls ahead in nVidia optimized games but I'm not going to go ...
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  • 1,751
4 votes
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Motherboard for future extensibility

The LGA 2011 platform and the LGA 1151 platform is designed for two different markets. The LGA 1151 is a mainstream consumer socket, designed for CPU's ranging from $100 - $350. The LGA 2011 socket is ...
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  • 1,697
4 votes

CPU cooling system recommendation?

As an alternative to @rubyjunk, there is a similar water cooler made by corsair that includes usb control for only $100: the H100i. I have personally had a H100i on an overclocked FX-8350 (125w TDP), ...
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  • 141
4 votes
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Graphics card choice?

Sony Vega Pro's hardware acceleration uses OpenCL compute. Generally, the consumer cards have similar performance for quite a bit cheaper, as seen in the benchmark below. OpenCL has also typically ...
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  • 1,781
4 votes

Cheap USB drive bay with headphone output

It looks like your case has standard front-panel audio. If that's correct, it makes finding compatible front-panel bays much easier. The cheapest 5.25" bay I've been able to find is this $40 bay ...
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  • 2,858
4 votes

Looking for Specific (WxH) Sized Monitor

Your size requirements are a very odd size for monitors, so I don't think you'll find one exactly fitting your needs (short of having one custom made). That said, I have found some that are very close....
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3 votes

Ultra graphics performance for a penny

I personally would recommend getting a EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+. You can find those around 300$ maybe even less. I have owned that card and I was quite happy with the performance and the support. You can ...
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  • 151
3 votes

Ultra graphics performance for a penny

Ultra graphics performance for a penny As this is your requirement I don't think that the graphics card which are recommended until now will statisfy your future self. I'd like to future proof, ...
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3 votes
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Ultra graphics performance for a penny

That resolution is pretty easy to drive. I'd actually consider a newer monitor, even if my experience, eizos are pretty nice. At the current resolution, and in fact up to QHD, a 960 would likely be ...
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