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Looking for a solid "Future-proof" build

Last response: in Systems
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May 25, 2013 2:02:50 PM

I've been looking around both here, an along with various sites, on trying to find a more accurate build for my needs.

To give a little insight to what I do, I'm a Multimedia Artist, an I usually mostly focus on Audio & Graphic Design. When I'm not working on projects, I'm a gamer at heart. Mostly Battlefield 3 & Planet Side 2, an other high-end titles.

I know my way around most components an have an idea what I'm looking for, but I would rather hear the perspectives of more veteran builders;

My price range is roughly $1500-$2000, an hopefully someone can assist me in finding a balance of Longevity & High-End performance.

Any help would be much appreciated.
May 25, 2013 2:12:43 PM

"Future-proof" ain't gonna happen. Technology improves and is set to improve at an exponential rate, so there's no point buying stuff now that you don't currently need.

The above it was most people mean by the misguided term "future-proof". If you just want a fast PC, then that's fine, though I wouldn't spend over $1300ish (for the tower alone at least) if you're only using a single 1080p monitor, unless you want all the bells and whistles (such as a super nice case etc). A lot of people come here with budgets much larger than is strictly necessary. This is my advice as a veteran builder, save that $700+ dollars. That is the money you can reinvest in a brand spanking new graphics card 2-3 generations on, and perhaps even a new CPU. THAT'S what makes your computer future-proof, not overspending now.

Just buy a build that gives you the speed that you currently need and worry about future requirements when the time comes around. Hardware becomes cheaper at such a fast rate, that buying anything that you don't need in the very imminent future is silly, just buy the hardware when it's required.

That's the best and most logical advice I can give.

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May 25, 2013 2:48:22 PM

marshallbradley said:
"Future-proof" ain't gonna happen. Technology improves and is set to improve at an exponential rate, so there's no point buying stuff now that you don't currently need.

The above it was most people mean by the misguided term "future-proof". If you just want a fast PC, then that's fine, though I wouldn't spend over $1300ish (for the tower alone at least) if you're only using a single 1080p monitor, unless you want all the bells and whistles (such as a super nice case etc). A lot of people come here with budgets much larger than is strictly necessary. This is my advice as a veteran builder, save that $700+ dollars. That is the money you can reinvest in a brand spanking new graphics card 2-3 generations on, and perhaps even a new CPU. THAT'S what makes your computer future-proof, not overspending now.

Just buy a build that gives you the speed that you currently need and worry about future requirements when the time comes around. Hardware becomes cheaper at such a fast rate, that buying anything that you don't need in the very imminent future is silly, just buy the hardware when it's required.

That's the best and most logical advice I can give.

M


Exactly. There's no such thing as planning a rig for the future. No matter if you're spending $500 or $5000 on a rig, you can only plan for now. The only way to ensure a build's longevity is to evolve it as you go along and not limit the hardware you're able to buy to expand your rig.
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May 25, 2013 5:21:48 PM

Marshallbradley & G-unit1111; I do appreciate you're input. I'm aware of technology evolving at an alarming rate (I.E Moore's Law). An I would love to upgrade my current system but sadly with the money I would need to put into it (mind you it needs a new motherboard an it's a laptop), I would rather purchase/build a decent desktop.
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May 26, 2013 12:10:45 AM

Tempakua said:
Marshallbradley & G-unit1111; I do appreciate you're input. I'm aware of technology evolving at an alarming rate (I.E Moore's Law). An I would love to upgrade my current system but sadly with the money I would need to put into it (mind you it needs a new motherboard an it's a laptop), I would rather purchase/build a decent desktop.


Well you picked the time of year when new hardware is coming out so if you wait a couple of weeks what's going to be available in a couple of weeks will be drastically different from what's out now.
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May 26, 2013 2:16:55 AM

@Tempakua Oh don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support building a desktop to replace an ageing laptop. In fact I think every PC gamer needs to at least invest a little money in a proper gaming rig, even if they do keep their laptop for other purposes.

The trap I'm trying to help you avoid though is spending more than you need, because it gives you the impression it will make it "more future-proof".

And yes, g-unit is right. Though there is always new hardware on the horizon, we are now in the middle of a new generation being released (the GTX 780 for example has already hit the shelves), so I think it's worth waiting until at least the 760 Ti and Haswell come out before making any purchasing decisions.

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May 26, 2013 6:35:16 PM

Trust me I learned my lesson the hard way, on terms of being baited by spending a ton of money on a device that I obviously could have gotten somewhere else / let alone I should have built. The only downside to waiting is that I'm potentially losing more money, that an for Gpu's;

I wouldn't go as far as being a fanboy of sorts, it's just that I've always had bad luck with Nvidia products, either dying a few months after minimal use, or random pixel storming. Nevertheless I appreciate the information/insight.
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May 26, 2013 11:36:38 PM

marshallbradley said:
@Tempakua Oh don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly support building a desktop to replace an ageing laptop. In fact I think every PC gamer needs to at least invest a little money in a proper gaming rig, even if they do keep their laptop for other purposes.

The trap I'm trying to help you avoid though is spending more than you need, because it gives you the impression it will make it "more future-proof".

And yes, g-unit is right. Though there is always new hardware on the horizon, we are now in the middle of a new generation being released (the GTX 780 for example has already hit the shelves), so I think it's worth waiting until at least the 760 Ti and Haswell come out before making any purchasing decisions.

M


Yes that is definitely correct - spending more than you think you need will not make a build future proof. If you pay $350 for a motherboard vs. paying $150 motherboard, it does not mean your system will last longer. It just means you paid $200 for a motherboard when you didn't need to. People forget to take into account things like depreciation when making purchases. I believe the only way to really ensure a build's longevity is to buy what you need, not what you think you need, with the ability to upgrade incrementally and evolve your build as you go along. Buying a rig with limited parts (ie mITX or mATX) will only mean a more limited life for your PC.

But as for the current hardware - Haswell is only going to be a minor improvement over Ivy Bridge - though what I have heard about the Haswell mobile CPUs is that the battery life is going to be tremendously improved over the current generation. The NVIDIA 7XX series is really just a rehash of current GPUs - the Titan and the GTX 780 use the same GK110 processor.
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May 27, 2013 4:38:25 AM

What g-unit says is correct, Haswell and GTX 7xx are "updates" of current tech, rather than anything brand new.

Having said that, the GTX 780 is GK110 at a much lower price, without too much loss of gaming performance. You're getting something like 90% of the performance of a Titan, for 65% of the price. Check out the Tom's Hardware Review.

The question is, would CUDA be useful to you? If not, then I'd look to the HD 7970, since it's a bit more price efficient ($200 less, and at 1080p and below, the difference is going to be negligible). If so, you should really consider the GTX 7xx series.

Having said all that, here's the type of build I'd suggest getting for the usage you're looking at:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.69 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($433.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1273.52

There are a couple things that you might want to change though:

- Do you plan on overclocking (don't get Z77 + a K series CPU if you don't want to overclock the CPU, the GPU is always overclockable)

- If so, how much? (a Noctua NH-D14 would be good if you really want to push the overclock)

- Would an i7 benefit your work usage?

- Would 16gb of RAM benefit your work usage?

- Is there a case out there you particularly like?

These questions will hopefully help you to mould the build to exactly what you want out of it :) 

All the best,

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