Suggestions for a productive PC build?

First time attempting to build my own PC. Not a PC gamer at all but I would like the most productive dual screen PC as possible. Looking for part suggestions for the overall build. I am a college student so I would like something fairly affordable but I don't want a cheap PC(If that makes sense).

Do you have a budget in mind?

Also have you decided on an OS?

Programs you use?
Preferred budget? (Affordable is entirely subjective unfortunately)
Future Use?

EDIT: You say college, so I'm going to assume you want something fairly small?

Budget 500-800
Would probably go with a windows OS.
I definitely want something that I can upgrade in the future. I'm studying to become an electrical engineer if that helps with future use.
The size isn't really a factor to me. I have a laptop right now and I barley ever go anywhere with it. Which is why I would really like a PC.
As I said not much of a gamer so high quality graphics card isn't necessary. But I will be doing a lot of programming.
Do you recommend using Linux for an OS or should I go with something that I'm most comfortable with?

GNU/Linux is probably better overall for programming, you can either dual boot or go crazy and try to do a GPU passthrough for gaming, you'd need a CPU with an iGPU to do the passthrough thing, and a bunch of other things

otherwise a Xeon 1231v3 with 16gbs of RAM should be good. Maybe invest more in your displays rather than the GPU for productivity.

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M PRO4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($70.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($78.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.89 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 380 4GB PCS+ Video Card ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $729.83
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-02-17 17:11 EST-0500

1 Like

I'd go somewhere along the lines of that and give Linux a go! As Streetguru says Linux is better overall for programming and worse case scenario you can always buy a Windows license later on if you prefer it.

There are a lot of things that can be changed and tweaked in the order such as taking out the monitors if you already have a couple and possibly getting a better graphics card so you can do some gaming if you decide too in the future. May want to add a Hyper 212 or something for cooling which can reduce the noise of the machine a bit and of course improve cooling on the CPU.

Ill let you in on a little tip. If you are programming, Editing,Trading or Monitoring. The more screens you have the more efficient you become. If you are analyzing large amounts of data or working on multiple tasks more monitors is the way to go. I now have 5 monitors in my current setup and I was originally running one monitor for about 4 years until i realized the level of productivity multiple monitors could actually add.

I'm assuming the parts you have in that list are all compatible?

Yes they are!
Here is my final parts list. Obviously not including monitors. Thanks for the help.

Realized that link probably didn't work.

Very solid. I can only recommend maybe a 212 plus instead of 212 evo because cheaper and pretty much same performance. And case is subjective... not the one i would have gone with at that price but that's totally up to you. So yes, very solid build indeed (could get you gaming a bit as well if you wanted to try your hand at that ;) ).