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1st $1100 PC build, any suggestions for a multi-task/multi-media setup?

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August 7, 2013 4:50:33 AM

Good day/evening to all. I'm making plans for my first ever PC build marked on a $1100 budget, after having been stuck with pre-built desktops and laptops throughout my life. My last computer was a MacBook Pro early 2011, which unfortunately got caught in a water-related accident months ago. Ever since then, I've been stuck with an old laptop as my auxiliary until I can have a new one (preferably a desktop).

This build will be the center of my new 3-in-1 home-based workplace for home office, studio recording, and graphics workstation. That is why I specifically asked any opinions or suggestions about a multi-media and multi-task setup, a machine with good performance that could last for around 2-3 years maybe even 5. Gaming is also something to look forward, but I'm a casual gamer; I don't buy a lot of the graphics-intensive games. I only own a few, but I might do more gaming in the future if I have the time.
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Now for the 1st question: Which CPU is best preferred for optimal performance in multi-task and multi-media operations? I was, at first, looking at the FX and A series AMD which are cheaper, then I found out about the new Haswell series from Intel which I heard can perform more processes at the same time than its previous Ivy Bridge counterpart. Which among the two is also something to look forward to in terms of future-proofing the setup? Something that will last longer. I wouldn't want to invest in something that will just last 2 years or less and I'd have to buy again; it's annoying and not cost-effective at all. It's OK if I have to pay a little extra for the CPU, as long as it's a strong build with above average performance.

Next question: A 90GB SSD would be enough for a boot drive with a few extra programs like antivirus and office suite? I'm on a budget, so 90GB is all I can afford apparently. I think 90GB is all I need right?

Another question: Would I require a 1000w power supply if say for example my setup only requires 700-800w? Or is that overkill? Should I go EXACTLY 700-800w? What about extra wattage in case any upgrades or additional parts were to come by?

Last question: CPU cooling, what is your opinion on the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo? I'm afraid bigger heatsink fans would negate the opportunity for me to add more RAM. For water cooling, your opinion on the Thermaltake Performer? I can't build my own custom water cooling system, too risky since it's my first build.

Thank you to anyone who's willing to help me out or give out opinions or suggestions. These are the only things that are troubling me on my build, but the rest of the build I have it solved. Thanks once again, fellow tech enthusiasts! :D 
August 7, 2013 5:01:11 AM

Hi,well i have an old intel ssd with antivirus windows 64 bit ultimate and full of programms and its fine,infact i have 25giga free.If you want a beast in multitasking go for 4770k,good choise from what i hear is fx 8350.I 'm not an amd fan boy though.About psu 1000 is overkill 700-800 max is perfect i would suggest you corsair,coolermaster chose a brand name not a no name one,as for cooler evo is good choice,you will NOT have a ram problem.cheers.
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August 7, 2013 6:23:55 AM

CPU:

For your intended workload I think the i7 4770k haswell will actually be the best choice.

The FX 8350 is a beast, but a lot of multimedia apps favor some of the intel instruction sets and are optimized well for them. Also any apps that benefit from Hyper Threading will get a boost as well.

Check the apps you will be using and see if there are any benchmarks comparing the 2 platforms you are considering. That will help you decide if the performance increase and power savings is worth the extra cost.

PSU:

Unless you're going to do crossfire/SLI gaming a 650w PSU should be plenty to start with room to expand. Just get a good name brand. Seasonic and PC Power and Cooling are 2 of my favorite high-end brands, but plenty of others are good too. Antec, XFX, Corsair, FSP.

CPU Cooler:

The Hyper 212 EVO will allow you a moderate overclock. A Noctua NHD14 or Phanteks TC14PE would be better though if you plan to really push it. Something like an H100 if you absolutely, positively need to cool a small thermonuclear reactor on your mutherboard. ;) 

SSD:

60GB should hold your OS and apps as long as you're using something like a couple HDDs for all the data and media files. Also put your swapfile on the HDDs.
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August 7, 2013 6:29:39 AM

Frans97_Bords said:
Good day/evening to all. I'm making plans for my first ever PC build marked on a $1100 budget, after having been stuck with pre-built desktops and laptops throughout my life. My last computer was a MacBook Pro early 2011, which unfortunately got caught in a water-related accident months ago. Ever since then, I've been stuck with an old laptop as my auxiliary until I can have a new one (preferably a desktop).

This build will be the center of my new 3-in-1 home-based workplace for home office, studio recording, and graphics workstation. That is why I specifically asked any opinions or suggestions about a multi-media and multi-task setup, a machine with good performance that could last for around 2-3 years maybe even 5. Gaming is also something to look forward, but I'm a casual gamer; I don't buy a lot of the graphics-intensive games. I only own a few, but I might do more gaming in the future if I have the time.
-----
Now for the 1st question: Which CPU is best preferred for optimal performance in multi-task and multi-media operations? I was, at first, looking at the FX and A series AMD which are cheaper, then I found out about the new Haswell series from Intel which I heard can perform more processes at the same time than its previous Ivy Bridge counterpart. Which among the two is also something to look forward to in terms of future-proofing the setup? Something that will last longer. I wouldn't want to invest in something that will just last 2 years or less and I'd have to buy again; it's annoying and not cost-effective at all. It's OK if I have to pay a little extra for the CPU, as long as it's a strong build with above average performance.

Next question: A 90GB SSD would be enough for a boot drive with a few extra programs like antivirus and office suite? I'm on a budget, so 90GB is all I can afford apparently. I think 90GB is all I need right?

Another question: Would I require a 1000w power supply if say for example my setup only requires 700-800w? Or is that overkill? Should I go EXACTLY 700-800w? What about extra wattage in case any upgrades or additional parts were to come by?

Last question: CPU cooling, what is your opinion on the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo? I'm afraid bigger heatsink fans would negate the opportunity for me to add more RAM. For water cooling, your opinion on the Thermaltake Performer? I can't build my own custom water cooling system, too risky since it's my first build.

Thank you to anyone who's willing to help me out or give out opinions or suggestions. These are the only things that are troubling me on my build, but the rest of the build I have it solved. Thanks once again, fellow tech enthusiasts! :D 



I would go with a 4770 CPU. It doesn't sound like you have an interest in overclocking and since this will be a daily workstation I'm guessing you value stability, low noise (since you'll be recording), and no hassles over the absolute maximum performance while still wanting a PC that will handle anything you can throw at it.

An I7 4770 CPU with a good H87 motherboard in a noise-dampening case are a good platform to start adding other components on to in my opinion.

My suggestions for those are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($112.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $494.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-07 09:28 EDT-0400)

The one thing I'm not sure about is what types of additional cards (midi cards, sound cards etc) you might want for your specific needs and whether my suggested motherboard will support them.
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August 7, 2013 6:55:57 AM

angelfrost said:
Hi,well i have an old intel ssd with antivirus windows 64 bit ultimate and full of programms and its fine,infact i have 25giga free.If you want a beast in multitasking go for 4770k,good choise from what i hear is fx 8350.I 'm not an amd fan boy though.About psu 1000 is overkill 700-800 max is perfect i would suggest you corsair,coolermaster chose a brand name not a no name one,as for cooler evo is good choice,you will NOT have a ram problem.cheers.


+1 mate! Glad to hear the 212 Evo's got supporters. It's pretty much the ONLY good quality aftermarket heatsink fan I know of (and I can purchase in my region directly from store) that doesn't interfere with the DIMM's. I was also thinking of a 1000w psu to be overkill, I might be just getting over my head about not having enough for future add-ons to the build. I'll go look for a Corsair PSU then, thanks!

Lastly, the 4770k is too expensive in my region ($391). I don't know why, maybe high import taxes, it'll break my budget. :(  The FX-8350 isn't sold here as well... kinda sad. Again, I don't know why. :(  The highest performance cpu's I can buy (without having to go to Amazon, which I would have to pay for even MORE import and shipping taxes) are the i5 4570 ($220) and the FX-6300 ($134). I'm not sure which to get? Both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses...


maddogfargo said:
CPU:

For your intended workload I think the i7 4770k haswell will actually be the best choice.

The FX 8350 is a beast, but a lot of multimedia apps favor some of the intel instruction sets and are optimized well for them. Also any apps that benefit from Hyper Threading will get a boost as well.

Check the apps you will be using and see if there are any benchmarks comparing the 2 platforms you are considering. That will help you decide if the performance increase and power savings is worth the extra cost.

PSU:

Unless you're going to do crossfire/SLI gaming a 650w PSU should be plenty to start with room to expand. Just get a good name brand. Seasonic and PC Power and Cooling are 2 of my favorite high-end brands, but plenty of others are good too. Antec, XFX, Corsair, FSP.

CPU Cooler:

The Hyper 212 EVO will allow you a moderate overclock. A Noctua NHD14 or Phanteks TC14PE would be better though if you plan to really push it. Something like an H100 if you absolutely, positively need to cool a small thermonuclear reactor on your mutherboard. ;) 

SSD:

60GB should hold your OS and apps as long as you're using something like a couple HDDs for all the data and media files. Also put your swapfile on the HDDs.


Thanks for your opinion! :)  I am glad that many are suggesting the 4770, however it seems to be that the import taxes in my region are high and the price range of this badass cpu ranges all the way up to $391. It will definitely break my budget, though I have to admit the 4770 can eat through anything I throw at it may it be design programs or graphics-intensive gaming. How about something within the i5 level? The 4570? I've been hearing that AMD cpu's aren't as preferred in multimedia, and certain programs within that industry won't work well with AMD. I wonder why?

I'm not going for crossfire/SLI multi grpahics cards. Don't worry. Like I said, I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I've had my share of experiences back in the day. So I guess 700w is enough for me? Afterall, we are talking about Intel chips? Lower power consumption and such? FSP is something I actually have on my list, good to hear it's part of the trusted psu brands list. :)  +1

Yeah, the Hyper 212 evo is a good cooler. Simple, yet does the job well. And it doesn't interfere with the DIMM slots, as I've plans to add more sticks in the future. I'm not planning to overclock though; truth be told I don't know much about overclocking, this is of course my first PC build.

I have two 1TB HDD's at the ready, with of course the additional 90GB. So, it's alright to go down a bit to 60GB to save on the bucks? Afterall, it's just gonna be used for the OS boot drive as well as basic programs like antivirus and office suite.

THANKS again for your opinion! :D  I'll take that into perspective and look at it from time to time for future references. Geez, building a computer is easy I think, but the job of choosing the parts before assembly is the tough part, to be honest. :p 
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August 7, 2013 7:08:04 AM

I would go with a 4770 CPU. It doesn't sound like you have an interest in overclocking and since this will be a daily workstation I'm guessing you value stability, low noise (since you'll be recording), and no hassles over the absolute maximum performance while still wanting a PC that will handle anything you can throw at it.

An I7 4770 CPU with a good H87 motherboard in a noise-dampening case are a good platform to start adding other components on to in my opinion.

My suggestions for those are:

[urlExt=http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1pggH said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($112.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $494.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-07 09:28 EDT-0400)

The one thing I'm not sure about is what types of additional cards (midi cards, sound cards etc) you might want for your specific needs and whether my suggested motherboard will support them. ]I would go with a 4770 CPU. It doesn't sound like you have an interest in overclocking and since this will be a daily workstation I'm guessing you value stability, low noise (since you'll be recording), and no hassles over the absolute maximum performance while still wanting a PC that will handle anything you can throw at it.

An I7 4770 CPU with a good H87 motherboard in a noise-dampening case are a good platform to start adding other components on to in my opinion.

My suggestions for those are:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($112.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $494.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-07 09:28 EDT-0400)

The one thing I'm not sure about is what types of additional cards (midi cards, sound cards etc) you might want for your specific needs and whether my suggested motherboard will support them.
[/urlExt]

Yes, yes indeed my good man. I don't plan to overclock. Just gonna work around the base and turbo speeds of the CPU. In all honesty, this is my first build, so I don't know much about overclocking. And I've worked my way around other computers well enough without the use of OC, so it's fine for me in a way. Yup, I want a stable and quiet computer setup; something that will last for a long while and can keep up with me and my daily performance demands without the hustle and bustle. HUH!?! Are you psychic?

However, in my region the 4770 is too expensive. I'm not sure why, probably the high import taxes... (c'mon government!!!). I was thinking maybe of the i5 section of the Haswell isle? OOH! I like that mobo... taking into consideration.
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August 7, 2013 7:25:15 AM

OOh, another thing guys. I know the Haswell CPU's have the latest 4600 hd graphics integrated gpu installed inside. I've recently watched videos relating to this, and seems that the integrated gpu does fine. So does this mean I don't have to buy a dedicated gpu anymore? If so, I can just cross it out and that'll give me more space within my budget to work with.
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August 7, 2013 8:59:21 AM

Frans97_Bords said:
OOh, another thing guys. I know the Haswell CPU's have the latest 4600 hd graphics integrated gpu installed inside. I've recently watched videos relating to this, and seems that the integrated gpu does fine. So does this mean I don't have to buy a dedicated gpu anymore? If so, I can just cross it out and that'll give me more space within my budget to work with.


the integrated graphics on the haswell CPUs will be fine for everyday operations. You'll be able to play most casual games and even modern AAA titles if you turn the graphic settings down. However, you mentioned that this will be a graphics workstation. Depending on what you mean by that you may need a dedicated graphics card.

As for the 4770 being too expensive, that's a bummer that it's so much higher in your region. The i5 4670 is also a great CPU and you will have no problems with it.
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August 7, 2013 4:19:37 PM

iamthepieman said:
Frans97_Bords said:
OOh, another thing guys. I know the Haswell CPU's have the latest 4600 hd graphics integrated gpu installed inside. I've recently watched videos relating to this, and seems that the integrated gpu does fine. So does this mean I don't have to buy a dedicated gpu anymore? If so, I can just cross it out and that'll give me more space within my budget to work with.



the integrated graphics on the haswell CPUs will be fine for everyday operations. You'll be able to play most casual games and even modern AAA titles if you turn the graphic settings down. However, you mentioned that this will be a graphics workstation. Depending on what you mean by that you may need a dedicated graphics card.

As for the 4770 being too expensive, that's a bummer that it's so much higher in your region. The i5 4670 is also a great CPU and you will have no problems with it.



graphics workstation, meaning ill be doing video editing, audio recording, create some art and music. i might even do all of those applications at the same time to increase production while i have like a ton of browser tabs up and running, 1 or 2 ms office applications on, and maybe itunes to help me relax with music while i work. for gaming? like i said i dont do much intensive gaming, but i might open up some games while having other programs open behind it. may it be recording software, or skype, or something else.

it is expensive, the 4770. but thats why i asked about the performance about the inegrated hd graphics of haswell. cause if it can perform well enough on its own, i can save myself from getting a dedicated gpu and use the spare cash instead for a highend cpu likethe 4770. i mean, gpu investments are for gamers right? while multimedia enthusiasts like myself should focus in investing a higher end cpu? i think thats how it goes...
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August 7, 2013 9:35:52 PM

For reference purposes, here is my Intel-based build. This is marked on a $1100 budget, as I said.

Intel i7 4770. $352
Asus z87-K. $207
G.Skill Ripjaw 2x4GB. $85
NO DEDICATED GPU. WILL USE INTEGRATED.
Optical drive, Lite-On. $21
Corsair series 3 90GB SSD. $116
WD Blue 1TB HDD. $74
FSP Raider 80+ silver 750w. $82
CM Hyper 212 Evo heatsink cooler. $38
Raidmax Orion casing. $68

TOTAL TAG: $1,043

Preferred OS: Windows 8 64bit
Preferred GPU (for future add-on): Asus GTX660 dc2 2gb ddr5 192bit. $268

~~~0~~~0~~~

I'll buy a high-performance dedicated GPU in the near future once I've saved enough money, but for the meantime I'll just stick with the integrated HD Graphics 4600. I'm used to using Intel's integrated graphics, played a few games and performed a multitude of simultaneously-running programs with it too back when I had my macbook pro (though there were some hiccups here and there). So, having it once again won't be new to me. I'll also upgrade my ram to 16GB once I've had more money saved.

NOTE that all prices were converted from my region's currency to US dollars. Pretty sure they're more or less expensive in a way, damn high import taxes...
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August 7, 2013 9:59:00 PM

Frans97_Bords said:
For reference purposes, here is my Intel-based build. This is marked on a $1100 budget, as I said.

Intel i7 4770. $352
Asus z87-K. $207
G.Skill Ripjaw 2x4GB. $85
NO DEDICATED GPU. WILL USE INTEGRATED.
Optical drive, Lite-On. $21
Corsair series 3 90GB SSD. $116
WD Blue 1TB HDD. $74
FSP Raider 80+ silver 750w. $82
CM Hyper 212 Evo heatsink cooler. $38
Raidmax Orion casing. $68

TOTAL TAG: $1,043

Preferred OS: Windows 8 64bit
Preferred GPU (for future add-on): Asus GTX660 dc2 2gb ddr5 192bit. $268

~~~0~~~0~~~

I'll buy a high-performance dedicated GPU in the near future once I've saved enough money, but for the meantime I'll just stick with the integrated HD Graphics 4600. I'm used to using Intel's integrated graphics, played a few games and performed a multitude of simultaneously-running programs with it too back when I had my macbook pro (though there were some hiccups here and there). So, having it once again won't be new to me. I'll also upgrade my ram to 16GB once I've had more money saved.

NOTE that all prices were converted from my region's currency to US dollars. Pretty sure they're more or less expensive in a way, damn high import taxes...


If you have used integrated graphics previously and not had any problems with your workflow then you will be fine with the 4770 and no dedicated GPU. I would go with a different power supply. Personally I like XFX. If the cost is too high you will be fine with 650w even when you add the GTX 660 later on.
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August 7, 2013 11:24:53 PM

iamthepieman said:
Frans97_Bords said:
For reference purposes, here is my Intel-based build. This is marked on a $1100 budget, as I said.

Intel i7 4770. $352
Asus z87-K. $207
G.Skill Ripjaw 2x4GB. $85
NO DEDICATED GPU. WILL USE INTEGRATED.
Optical drive, Lite-On. $21
Corsair series 3 90GB SSD. $116
WD Blue 1TB HDD. $74
FSP Raider 80+ silver 750w. $82
CM Hyper 212 Evo heatsink cooler. $38
Raidmax Orion casing. $68

TOTAL TAG: $1,043

Preferred OS: Windows 8 64bit
Preferred GPU (for future add-on): Asus GTX660 dc2 2gb ddr5 192bit. $268

~~~0~~~0~~~

I'll buy a high-performance dedicated GPU in the near future once I've saved enough money, but for the meantime I'll just stick with the integrated HD Graphics 4600. I'm used to using Intel's integrated graphics, played a few games and performed a multitude of simultaneously-running programs with it too back when I had my macbook pro (though there were some hiccups here and there). So, having it once again won't be new to me. I'll also upgrade my ram to 16GB once I've had more money saved.

NOTE that all prices were converted from my region's currency to US dollars. Pretty sure they're more or less expensive in a way, damn high import taxes...


If you have used integrated graphics previously and not had any problems with your workflow then you will be fine with the 4770 and no dedicated GPU. I would go with a different power supply. Personally I like XFX. If the cost is too high you will be fine with 650w even when you add the GTX 660 later on.


Yeah, I think I'll go with the integrated graphics for now. Shouldn't be that bad; I'd expect some hiccups here and there, but maybe not severe. I'll just add the GTX660 whenever my work load increases or when my gaming becomes more frequent in the future. Thanks very much! :) 

And about the psu being 650w, does that include additional case fans and additional storage drives? Unfortunately, XFX psu isn't sold here. Or maybe they're sold, but somewhere else I'm not familiar with? I went with the CoolerMaster instead. 80+bronze; around $94. http://www.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/powersupply/...
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