EDIT: My purpose in this post is to help you build well. I still consider myself a noob, but far from it. To build for Blender (also make a mean Gimp machine too), I've had both Quadro and Geforces GPUs before, and Pentium D, Core 2 Quad and as of now, i7 CPUs, standard sata and Raptor hdds. All on Blender, so I've seen how Blender has behaved throughout several hardware platforms. I try not to be a fanboy or bias to any brand, but I dont have patience for bogus hardware, I like what works and works well, without spending a boatload of cash. "This post is a work in progress"
Build it yourself and keep it lean and mean(that's upkeep).
This is a rewrite of a post that I wrote last year, explaining the follow up threads. I'm compiling into one group, and trying to help the new dude or gal build their own system and or upgrade a system. The way this economy is, we need to do more things ourselves, and get the best bang for our buck
ShaneWith me its three key things when building: "Heat, BIOS settings(mainly memory) and GPU drivers, or the GPU itself"
______________________________________TIM(thermal compound) and applying it.
I myself add a grain of rice worth of TIM to the CPU and let the heatsink spread the TIM, on a flat HSF(heatsink) base. If ya have a DHP(direct heat pipe) heatsink, see link. After the system is built, do a temp check and then if temps are good, run Prime95 for a few days to stress test. Find out what your idle and load temps are and keep them under thermal spec, each CPU's thermal spec is different.http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=3
Watch your CPU temps:http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/
__________________________________________________________________________________Know your BIOS:
EDIT: Ill get to this one later:
Know your cpu:http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
And your memory settings in your BOIS:
Set your memory settings manually to your memory manufacturer's recommended setting,
Edit: Ill get to this later.
Make a memtest86 ISO CD (Memtest86 is also included with most flavors of Linux):http://www.memtest86.com/
__________________________________________________________________________________GPU and GPU stability
EDIT: Ill get to this later
Trobleshoot your GPU drivers and proper installing(and uninstalls) of that driver.http://www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper/http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/
This is nowhere near done guys, please be patient.
(Some editing for spelling and grammar by SPARTAN-001, at Shane's request.)
If ya would provide a screen capture of what your working on, that always helps.........