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Mac Pro user building a new PC for the first time since 2004, need suggestions.

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November 26, 2013 12:06:59 PM

I switched to Mac in 2007 because PC gaming got too expensive, I had consoles, like the OS, etc. I currently use a 2008 Mac Pro 2.8GHz (8-core) w/ 10GB RAM, SSD boot, etc. I also own a 13-inch MBPr, and I use an older (read: slow) Drobo w/ 4x2TB drives for mass storage.

I am not too wooed by the "next-generation" consoles, and have decided to come back to PC gaming, and possibly to using a PC as my my main desktop (though I will still continue to use my Mac Pro until it dies or runs away). What I need are some hardware recs.

If I build the system purely for gaming, my current plan is:

i5 4670K/8GB RAM/Asus mobo (partial to Asus)/Asus GTX780 3GB/500GB SSD/Blu-ray drive

I initially wanted a Radeon, but after researching the issues with the R9 series, I'd rather just pay a little but more for stable drivers and cooling.

I currently use my Mac Pro for heavy multitasking (mainly research related), working in Windows and Linux VMs, and I rip lots and lots of CDs/DVDs/BRDs. If I replace the Pro with a PC, I want it to be at least as fast if not faster at ripping, encoding, etc. I know if I go for full-on (not just gaming) everyday use, I will probably go with 16GB, simply for the breathing room. I also know that the newer drives will rip discs faster than the one I currently use... I guess the main question is the processing power.

On my MP, it takes about 5-6 minutes to encode from a DVD image, a little longer from BRD image. Would the i7 be more beneficial for these types of tasks? Would an extra 8GB of memory make any difference?

Any and all suggestions are welcome. So much has changed since I stopped building PCs, I feel like an old man.

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November 26, 2013 12:56:01 PM

Its against the terms of service to discuss piracy so be careful as a note about talking about ripping. Backing up is okay I suppose but its something I'd be careful talking about. Furthermore, you are fine with your setup idea. I'd go in though realizing this that if you get a blu ray drive you will want blu ray playback software of which I'll make my recommendation as the best you can get.
http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/featur...

Also, given the amount of money you are putting into your system I'd get something like a Noctua NH-D14 as a cooler for your CPU. Be sure to get a Z87 board and also to note I wouldn't spend more then 150 dollars on a motherboard at this point unless its something slightly higher for example the MSI Z87 GD65 which is a excellent board. Mainly because motherboards are becoming less and less unique as most of the items are handled via the CPU.
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November 26, 2013 3:33:10 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Its against the terms of service to discuss piracy so be careful as a note about talking about ripping. Backing up is okay I suppose but its something I'd be careful talking about. Furthermore, you are fine with your setup idea. I'd go in though realizing this that if you get a blu ray drive you will want blu ray playback software of which I'll make my recommendation as the best you can get.
http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/featur...

Also, given the amount of money you are putting into your system I'd get something like a Noctua NH-D14 as a cooler for your CPU. Be sure to get a Z87 board and also to note I wouldn't spend more then 150 dollars on a motherboard at this point unless its something slightly higher for example the MSI Z87 GD65 which is a excellent board. Mainly because motherboards are becoming less and less unique as most of the items are handled via the CPU.


Valid point on the ripping. I guess I should have stated that I rip so much because I don't buy digital. I go to Movie Stop every week and pick through the sales, etc. and then make my own digital copies for Plex streaming.

Any idea how fast Handbrake encodes would be on i7 vs i5? Will RAM make much of a difference?

Thanks!
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November 26, 2013 6:11:02 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Ah I gotcha so watch your content via from your computer to your TV makes sense.

With encoding a i7 would be the stronger choice. Let me ask you do you live near a microcenter if so check out their mobo, cpu deals they hard to beat.
http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/intel-processor-...


Yes, I have a Microcenter about 90 miles from here. Gonna hit it when I go see my sister next month.
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November 26, 2013 6:42:59 PM

Yup that is the best way to go at it. I have a newegg perferred card so its debatable. With my newegg card I get 6 months financing with orders over 250 when I spend over 500 its a year. If you are okay forking out a little more for the i7 I don't see the harm in it. But I would say that the i5 suffices just fine.
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