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Video editing & gaming PC build - need advice

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March 25, 2013 10:04:58 AM

So I posted a few months back with a proposed build that was on a bit of a budget but people seemed to think was ok for what I needed. Since then i've come into a bit of money, and i'd like something with more grunt that will last a long time. My plans are to do a bit of photoshopping, and lots of gaming, with a fair bit of video editing that I do for friends. My proposed build is below, if anyone can tell me any alternatives that would be better than what I have picked for around the same price, I'd be happy to hear them.

Case: Coolermaster Haf 912 Plus - £59.99 (Was going to go with the Zalman Z11 plus, but I heard that this was better in terms of airflow and space inside.)

Mobo: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 - £103 (Seems to be the most recommended around this price, especially in terms of features/cost)

CPU:
i7 3770k - £255 (Chose it over the 3570k since I heard hyperthreading is beneficial in activities like video editing, and if HT is to become more popular in games, I figure why not.)

Cooler:
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO - £24.99 (I figure anything is better than the stock cooler, and i'm not quite comfortable with moving to water cooling yet. Plus this thing seems to have some pretty impressive results from what i've seen.)

RAM:
Corsair Vengeance LP 4x4gb 1600 DDR3 - £63 (Was going to pick the 2x8gb but the price fluctuations are insane on these at the moment (While writing this they went from £70 to £110), chose Low profile because i've heard the 212 evo and the asrock board create issues when trying to install memory with high heatsinks. Also for CL9 it doesn't seem too expensive.)

GPU:
Gigabyte windforce 3x GTX 670 (Chose this over the 7970 purely because I want to try out Nvidia instead of ATI for a change. Plus cooling on gigabyte 3x cards seems to be great. Also, I love eyecandy in games.)

PSU:
Corsair TX750V2 - £85 (Always heard good things about this one, chose such a high wattage in case I want to SLI in future and have plenty of headroom for overclocking.)

Boot drive:
Crucial M4 256gb SSD - £149 (I think from the benchmarks i've seen this is one of the best price/performance options available at this price point. Got a few 1tb drives fro storage and any games I don't end up putting on this one.)


Total is around £1070. As I said, any alternatives that are better for around the same price, or things I need to avoid, please let me know. Also I'm not 100% sure that all these parts will work together, so if anyone can confirm or deny, this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks folks!


March 25, 2013 10:10:50 AM

Looks like a really strong build that will do you well for years to come, for gaming and video editing. You may want to add on a storage HDD but other than that (Never mind, just read that), you should be very happy with your build.

You should also not have any compatibility issues that I can see.

I personally love Corsair cases, have you looked at any of the Corsair Case designs?
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March 25, 2013 10:11:29 AM

Change the graphics card D: change it; you might as well get a windforce HD 7950 and OC to the speed of a 670 and you will get the same performance. If you don't want a 7950 then please go with the 7970 instead D: but... CUDA cores are useful for video editing so not the worst choice but not the best choice for gaming.
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March 25, 2013 10:15:12 AM

I see no issues with the build overall, though the case is a bit "gamey" for my taste, and I prefer Samsung SSD from personal experience. I think you have fairly well balanced the rig, though be sure you have at least one good fast internal HDD to "scratch" to when video editing..
I personally had bad luck with Asrock mainboards a few years ago, and try to use Intel, Asus or Gigabyte when I can.
not that they are not great now, but prejudices die hard with me when it comes to hardware..
and I agree about looking for the same chipset Graphics, but that vents externally..
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a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 10:18:31 AM

Your build looks good.
My thoughts:

1. I would buy a 16gb kit of 2 x 8gb. You will want to OC a bit, and a motherboard must manage all ram sticks th the same voltage. It is more difficult to do with 4 sticks vs. 2. 1600 and low profile is good. Other ram vendors like Kingston and G.skil are equally good. check some others out.
Here is just one kit I found: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-Technology-KHX16C10B1B...

2. I like graphics cards with a direct exhaust cooler that gets heat directly out the back of the case.
Something like this EVGA GTX670 FTW : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Graphics-EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-RAM...
Photoshop can use CUDA capabilities of Nvidia cards, probably a good pick.

3. Here is my canned rant against planning for dual cards:
-----------------------------Start of rant----------------------------------------------------
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX650/ti or 7770 can give you good performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX660 or 7850 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single gtx690 or Titan is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX660 needs a 430w psu, even a GTX680 only needs a 550w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Even the strongest GTX690 only needs 620w.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
The GTX780 and amd 8000 series are not that far off.
-------------------------------End of rant-----------------------------------------------------------
4. Crucial would be my third pick after Samsung or Intel. Performance of all modern SSD's is essentially the same; ignore unrealistic synthetic benchmarks.
You might find this article on ssd return rates interesting: http://www.behardware.com/articles/881-7/components-ret...
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March 25, 2013 10:19:59 AM

ryan5609 said:
Looks like a really strong build that will do you well for years to come, for gaming and video editing. You may want to add on a storage HDD but other than that (Never mind, just read that), you should be very happy with your build.

You should also not have any compatibility issues that I can see.

I personally love Corsair cases, have you looked at any of the Corsair Case designs?


Thanks - I haven't actually, can you link any that you reckon are worth a look?

Cyanide Reverse said:
Change the graphics card D: change it; you might as well get a windforce HD 7950 and OC to the speed of a 670 and you will get the same performance. If you don't want a 7950 then please go with the 7970 instead D: but... CUDA cores are useful for video editing so not the worst choice but not the best choice for gaming.


Surely just OCing the 670 would take it beyond what the 7950 can achieve? Regardless though i've had AMD cards for like the past decade, I fancy a change really.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 10:21:15 AM

That's a pretty solid build. There's a couple of minor things I would suggest but otherwise it looks good to me:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£239.94 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.99 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£103.46 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£53.44 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£106.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£310.98 @ Amazon UK)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£94.99 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£76.88 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £1066.62
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-25 17:19 GMT+0000)

- You don't need 750W for a PSU, especially on a single card configuration. The Seasonics are also among the best in the business.
- OCZ Vector is faster than the Crucial M4
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March 25, 2013 10:31:40 AM

geofelt said:
Your build looks good.
My thoughts:
-snip-


Thanks for the feedback, you make some good points:
- I'll drop the PSU down to 500-600w (depends what I can find etc, and I might decide on a more powerful card in the future, so i'd like to have a good PSU incase)
- I'll be getting a 2k monitor soon, so i'd rather keep the 670 for the sake of having all the bells & whistles on and still getting a respectable framerate
- Any chance you know of a review for that memory? I had a look at it but decided against it when I couldn't seem to find any reveiws of it on any of my usual hardware sites.
- I'll have a look at the SSD article then re-evaluate my choice, thanks.

g-unit1111 said:
That's a pretty solid build. There's a couple of minor things I would suggest but otherwise it looks good to me: -snip-


I'm not sold on buying everything from Amazon yet, so those prices you found will help - thanks!
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March 25, 2013 10:31:45 AM

padanew said:
ryan5609 said:
Looks like a really strong build that will do you well for years to come, for gaming and video editing. You may want to add on a storage HDD but other than that (Never mind, just read that), you should be very happy with your build.

You should also not have any compatibility issues that I can see.

I personally love Corsair cases, have you looked at any of the Corsair Case designs?


Thanks - I haven't actually, can you link any that you reckon are worth a look?

Cyanide Reverse said:
Change the graphics card D: change it; you might as well get a windforce HD 7950 and OC to the speed of a 670 and you will get the same performance. If you don't want a 7950 then please go with the 7970 instead D: but... CUDA cores are useful for video editing so not the worst choice but not the best choice for gaming.


Surely just OCing the 670 would take it beyond what the 7950 can achieve? Regardless though i've had AMD cards for like the past decade, I fancy a change really.


The Corsair 300 and 400R are great cases. I have the 300R and love it, plus it has 2 front USB 3.0 ports. They are very well built and thoughtful case designs.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 10:35:36 AM

The main thing on any ram is whether it works or not.
All the main ram vendors warrant their ram, usually lifetime.
You want documented ram compatibility. If you should ever have a problem, you want supported ram.
Otherwise, you risk a finger pointing battle between the ram and motherboard support sites, claiming "not my problem".
One place to check is your motherboards web site.
Look for the ram QVL list. It lists all of the ram kits that have been tested with that particular motherboard.
Sometimes the QVL list is not updated after the motherboard is released.
For more current info, go to a ram vendor's web site and access their ram selection configurator.
Enter your motherboard, and you will get a list of compatible ram kits.
While today's motherboards are more tolerant of different ram, it makes sense to buy ram that is known to work and is supported.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 10:38:07 AM

ryan5609 said:


The Corsair 300 and 400R are great cases. I have the 300R and love it, plus it has 2 front USB 3.0 ports. They are very well built and thoughtful case designs.


Both of my builds use Corsair cases. My home PC uses the Graphite 600T and my work PC uses the 500R, they are very well designed cases and have great air flow.
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March 25, 2013 10:45:28 AM

The 300r and 400r do look quite nice - i'll have a look at some reviews and make up my mind, thanks for your input!

geofelt said:
The main thing on any ram is whether it works or not.
All the main ram vendors warrant their ram, usually lifetime.
You want documented ram compatibility.
-Snip-


Ah thanks, i'll head to AsRock's site and have a look now. The other thing that put me off that kit is that I couldn't find the timings for it anywhere. EDIT: I notice in the model number it shows C10, which I presume is the CL. Is going for CL9 worth it or is the difference negligible?
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a c 278 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 10:53:49 AM

padanew said:
The 300r and 400r do look quite nice - i'll have a look at some reviews and make up my mind, thanks for your input!

geofelt said:
The main thing on any ram is whether it works or not.
All the main ram vendors warrant their ram, usually lifetime.
You want documented ram compatibility.
-Snip-


Ah thanks, i'll head to AsRock's site and have a look now. The other thing that put me off that kit is that I couldn't find the timings for it anywhere.


That has to do more with the RAM than the motherboard. Now what's supported could be different than what's listed on the RAM modules you plan to buy but that's determined by the motherboard's QVL (qualified vendor list), which you should *ALWAYS* check before buying a motherboard or RAM.
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March 25, 2013 10:57:52 AM

Just looked on the QVL list, the kingston RAM selected is NOT on the list, although several variances are. I'll keep looking and try to find a kit that is. Thanks guys, wouldn't have even checked this if you didn't let me know about it!
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a b 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 11:11:57 AM

Many times, the motherboard QVL list is not updated after release. There are only a limited number of test scenarios that is worthwhile for the motherboard vendors to do. To my mind, if the ram vendor supports the ram, you are good.

On ram timings, 9 is better than 10. But not significantly so in actual usage. It makes more of a difference with amd cpu's, synthetic benchmarks, and with integrated graphics.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
March 25, 2013 11:31:39 AM

padanew said:
Just looked on the QVL list, the kingston RAM selected is NOT on the list, although several variances are. I'll keep looking and try to find a kit that is. Thanks guys, wouldn't have even checked this if you didn't let me know about it!


Even if it isn't as long as the specs match up you should be good to go. Check the specs of the listed modules against the one you plan to buy and that is usually the way to go. They can't check every single RAM module out there - it's just a random sampling based on a few modules that meet the desired specifications.
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March 25, 2013 11:35:08 AM

Fair enough, thanks folks - I was all set to buy it, but it has a 2-4 weeks estimated dispatch, and I don't want to wait around for it, so i'll have a look on the QVL and try to find some other ram that looks decent for the price. If CL10/9 doesn't make that much of a difference I'm sure i'll be able to find something. Thanks!
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March 25, 2013 11:42:40 AM

padanew said:
Fair enough, thanks folks - I was all set to buy it, but it has a 2-4 weeks estimated dispatch, and I don't want to wait around for it, so i'll have a look on the QVL and try to find some other ram that looks decent for the price. If CL10/9 doesn't make that much of a difference I'm sure i'll be able to find something. Thanks!


The key thing too is the voltage. On Sandy and Ivy Bridge builds (and I'm assuming the same with Haswell) is that voltage is critical. 1.5V - no more no less.
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March 25, 2013 11:53:33 AM

g-unit1111 said:
padanew said:
Fair enough, thanks folks - I was all set to buy it, but it has a 2-4 weeks estimated dispatch, and I don't want to wait around for it, so i'll have a look on the QVL and try to find some other ram that looks decent for the price. If CL10/9 doesn't make that much of a difference I'm sure i'll be able to find something. Thanks!


The key thing too is the voltage. On Sandy and Ivy Bridge builds (and I'm assuming the same with Haswell) is that voltage is critical. 1.5V - no more no less.


Thanks, settled on this kit:http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007TTEHMW/ref=ox_sc...

Also, you recommended the OCZ Vector over the crucial M4 - Aren't the OCZ SSD's renowned for having a high failure rate?
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