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Is this build good for casual video gaming and video editing?

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January 28, 2014 9:17:57 AM

I am looking for a good PC that can be upgraded easily once I get enough money to get the parts. I want it to be able to play games like Skyrim, Steam games, and MMO's decently. I also want to be able to edit videos in Adobe After Effects. I live in the US. I am a college student on a budget and don't want to see anything higher than $1,000. Bottom line is that I want the cheapest build I can get for my needs and be able to upgrade everything in it once I accumulate the coin. I am not a big enthusiast so I'm not worried about waiting the extra 3 seconds for a loading screen to go by or play a game at the highest graphics setting as I probably won't know the difference.

Whoops, forgot to post the link! XD

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/AlexWirtes/saved/3zA3
January 28, 2014 9:26:57 AM

Do you need OS, do you need monitor/keyboard/mouse?? Any specific needs?, case preferences?, is gaming or system performance more important?
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January 28, 2014 9:39:42 AM

What build?

This should suit your needs fairly well.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($110.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($185.66 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.98 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $994.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 12:32 EST-0500)

- CPU is a locked (so cant overclock on it) Core i7, so you wont have much need to upgrade that unless your find that your going very professional, then you would want to bump up to the X79 platform (or its Haswell equivalent) as there is nowhere to really upgrade from there.
- 16GB of RAM, After Effects just consumes RAM so you got plenty of it.
- I decided to go with an ITX build on this, for some reason it seemed appropriate here. So a fairly good H87 ITX board and a Bitfenix Prodigy case.
- Dual 1TB Seagate Barracuda's. Reason why it isnt just a single 2TB is so you can distribute disk load. Have your OS, programs, personal stuff and media on one. Have your raw footage, project files and render output on the other. The more drives you can get the better. If you can stretch the budget I would look into getting an SSD for your OS and programs.
- XFX 550W power supply, in an ITX enclosure you will never need more than 550W.
- The GTX660 is a mid-range last gen card but its still a decent performer and it has CUDA, which the Adobe Suite can leverage for hardware acceleration. This would be the first thing to upgrade from a gaming perspective.
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January 28, 2014 9:45:02 AM

Why did you build an ITX rig? Am i just not seeing that requirement in his post?
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January 28, 2014 9:56:04 AM

Dunno, just felt appropriate.
A lot of College/University students live in sharehouses or rent, so ease of moving the thing is a concern. If he is living on campus they could have restrictions on what you can bring in to drain their electricity, and an ITX rig is a lot more discrete than a tower. You could probably pass off the Prodigy as a weird bit of furniture if you really had too :lol: . I imagine he might want to bring his computer on campus for collaborative work or something, its not as easy as a laptop but again easier than a tower.
That and I like the Prodigy, its an awesome case.
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January 28, 2014 9:59:38 AM

boosted1g said:
Do you need OS, do you need monitor/keyboard/mouse?? Any specific needs?, case preferences?, is gaming or system performance more important?


I only need a keyboard and a monitor.
I'd like the case to have the most upgradeability as it can possibly have for the future. (This goes for the whole build.)
I'd like to play games decently but I want the entire PC to run fast.
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January 28, 2014 10:00:37 AM

manofchalk said:
What build?

This should suit your needs fairly well.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($110.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($185.66 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($79.98 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $994.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 12:32 EST-0500)

- CPU is a locked (so cant overclock on it) Core i7, so you wont have much need to upgrade that unless your find that your going very professional, then you would want to bump up to the X79 platform (or its Haswell equivalent) as there is nowhere to really upgrade from there.
- 16GB of RAM, After Effects just consumes RAM so you got plenty of it.
- I decided to go with an ITX build on this, for some reason it seemed appropriate here. So a fairly good H87 ITX board and a Bitfenix Prodigy case.
- Dual 1TB Seagate Barracuda's. Reason why it isnt just a single 2TB is so you can distribute disk load. Have your OS, programs, personal stuff and media on one. Have your raw footage, project files and render output on the other. The more drives you can get the better. If you can stretch the budget I would look into getting an SSD for your OS and programs.
- XFX 550W power supply, in an ITX enclosure you will never need more than 550W.
- The GTX660 is a mid-range last gen card but its still a decent performer and it has CUDA, which the Adobe Suite can leverage for hardware acceleration. This would be the first thing to upgrade from a gaming perspective.


this is my build: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/AlexWirtes/saved/3zA3
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January 28, 2014 10:02:07 AM

manofchalk said:
Dunno, just felt appropriate.
A lot of College/University students live in sharehouses or rent, so ease of moving the thing is a concern. If he is living on campus they could have restrictions on what you can bring in to drain their electricity, and an ITX rig is a lot more discrete than a tower. You could probably pass off the Prodigy as a weird bit of furniture if you really had too :lol: . I imagine he might want to bring his computer on campus for collaborative work or something, its not as easy as a laptop but again easier than a tower.
That and I like the Prodigy, its an awesome case.


I actually go to a community college. I commute to my school and live at home as there are no dorms or any other means of housing. So size is not a problem.
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January 28, 2014 10:04:06 AM

boosted1g said:
Why did you build an ITX rig? Am i just not seeing that requirement in his post?


I actually want a full atx so that I can put as much stuff in it as possible. Once I get the coin to upgrade to the best of the best. Right now I'm looking at getting the best parts for my needs and have the ability to upgrade the machine over time.
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January 28, 2014 10:06:25 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($314.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Performance ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.97 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Best Buy)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($254.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS/I Snow Edition (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $1005.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 13:03 EST-0500)

this is what you want... trust me.. that build above is okay but since you're a gamer. you want to dump everything you can into the gpu. the 660 just wont cut it. add more ram/ssd later on down the line and you'll have a sweet system
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January 28, 2014 10:06:51 AM

i'm sorry ill find a full atx case for you.
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January 28, 2014 10:07:45 AM

actualyl you can figure out the case but thats basically it man.
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January 28, 2014 10:13:35 AM

Looking at your build, you'v sunk money where it isn't needed and skimped on where it really matters.
- The APU line of chips are for budget gaming, their of practically no use for video editing.
- You dont need a $70 water-cooler on this rig
- Mobo is fine, though for an FM2+ board you dont need anything special.
- 8GB doesn't go far in After Effects, believe me.
- Storage is fine, though I think that HDD is an older model.
- Case is meh IMO.
- The PSU is not where you cheap out on a build, its the one component with the potential to fry everything else, and generic/off-brand PSU's like that tend to die with a bang that bring everything else with it., and they die easily.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTVEtr14FEA
- Do you really need a Blu-Ray player?
- Including that you need monitor and speakers would have been good to start with.
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January 28, 2014 10:16:44 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2J6zI

CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7790 1GB Video Card ($129.98 @ OutletPC)
Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($57.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Acer S220HQLAbd 21.5" Monitor ($119.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $981.87 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 13:12 EST-0500)



Did a 600 watt PSU to support upgrades
SSD drive for overal system speed
If you can afford the difference I would get a GTX 660 over this graphics card but this kept me in your budget.
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Best solution

January 28, 2014 10:19:34 AM

Updated my build above to suit your preference for an ATX sized case and needing a monitor.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($100.66 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS229H-P 21.5" Monitor ($142.98 @ Best Buy)
Total: $1043.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 13:16 EST-0500)

I think you should keep the Haswell i7 and 16GB of RAM rather than downgrading that to get a beefier GPU. Its a lot easier to throw in a beefier graphics card down the line than it is to do a platform upgrade, and you express that gaming is of secondary importance here.
The Monitor is an IPS panel, so it has better colour accuracy than your standard TN panel monitor.
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January 28, 2014 10:22:15 AM

As far as your build i agree with manofchalk.

APU line is crap if you want anything more then a $500 low settings gaming rig that will not be upgraded
Dont skimp on PSU
Water Cooling is unnecessary if not doing extreme overclocking
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January 28, 2014 10:24:40 AM

He is a college student with a $1000 budget for the entire rig with OS and Monitor

Yes, your i7 build with a 760 is clearly better, but not within his budget
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January 28, 2014 10:28:32 AM

emj said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($314.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Performance ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.97 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Best Buy)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($254.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS/I Snow Edition (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($64.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ TigerDirect)
Total: $1005.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 13:03 EST-0500)

this is what you want... trust me.. that build above is okay but since you're a gamer. you want to dump everything you can into the gpu. the 660 just wont cut it. add more ram/ssd later on down the line and you'll have a sweet system


manofchalk said:
Updated my build above to suit your preference for an ATX sized case and needing a monitor.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($100.66 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS229H-P 21.5" Monitor ($142.98 @ Best Buy)
Total: $1043.55
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-28 13:16 EST-0500)

I think you should keep the Haswell i7 and 16GB of RAM rather than downgrading that to get a beefier GPU. Its a lot easier to throw in a beefier graphics card down the line than it is to do a platform upgrade, and you express that gaming is of secondary importance here.
The Monitor is an IPS panel, so it has better colour accuracy than your standard TN panel monitor.


Does this have any expansion cards / networking on it?
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January 28, 2014 10:30:03 AM

Motherboards have had Gigabit Ethernet ports installed in them for a fairly long time.
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January 28, 2014 10:34:25 AM

Since you are a college student you most likely have access to an MSDN subscription through your college and thus would have access to a free copy of microsoft windows.
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January 28, 2014 10:37:39 AM

manofchalk said:
Motherboards have had Gigabit Ethernet ports installed in them for a fairly long time.


Okay, thank you a lot for that! XD
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January 28, 2014 10:39:02 AM

boosted1g said:
Since you are a college student you most likely have access to an MSDN subscription through your college and thus would have access to a free copy of microsoft windows.


I can't get a free one from my college although the price is reduced. I already have the OS I want on my flashdrive. Windows 7 Ultimate.
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January 28, 2014 11:16:22 AM

find a used monitor for like 50$ to work for now. dump everything you can now into your i7/gpu
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January 28, 2014 11:19:04 AM

Since you already have windows7 then manofchalks build with i7 and 16gb of ram is good for needs, I would swap out the 2x 1 TB drive for 1 SSD and 1 1TB HDD.
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January 28, 2014 11:29:42 AM

at the end of the day it's your decision but I will tell you you will be disappointed if you don't invest all you can into your gpu now.
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January 28, 2014 5:39:58 PM

emj said:
dump everything you can now into your i7/gpu


Think about it this way, its a lot cheaper and easier to throw in a new GPU, than it is too buy cheap on the other components and have to replace/upgrade all of them down the line. Especially when going all in like you suggest only nets you a mid-range graphics card on a rig thats primarily for video editing.

Also if your going at this from, the graphics are what matters, why would you buy a $50 monitor and ruin that?
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