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I need help reducing the price and optimizing an art/design and video editing PC

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June 27, 2014 5:08:06 AM

Hello,

I'm working on getting all the parts for my first ever PC but I need help designing it, because I don't know where to appropriately cut prices and where it matters most to go really high end. I would like to get the total price down to $2000 if possible, but even lower would be amazing. I can also go higher if I absolutely have to, but I want to be budget friendly. This is what I have so far.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($367.60 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK2 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($206.10 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($163.83 @ Memory Express)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($163.83 @ Memory Express)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($101.68 @ NCIX)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($226.67 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital BLACK SERIES 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($226.67 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card ($418.07 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Zalman Z11 ATX Mid Tower Case ($90.38 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($169.48 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($17.84 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($122.34 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor (Purchased For $307.63)
Monitor: Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor (Purchased For $307.63)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($45.05 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $2934.80
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

I filled out the questionaaire too.

Approximate Purchase Date: The sooner the better
Budget Range: $2000 total but I can be a bit flexible
System Usage from Most to Least Important: 2D art/photo editing and rendering, screen capturing, 1080p video rendering, 3D modelling, 2D animation rendering, 3D amimation rendering
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Tiger Direct, NCIX, Canada Computers (I won't complain if there's a good deal from a site other than those)
Location: Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Parts Preferences: Intel and Nvidia (I heard AMD and Radeon run loud and hot, I would like cool and quiet)
Overclocking: Maybe (depends on if I need to or not)
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (if I ever get into hard core gaming)
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 dual monitor setup

Additional Comments: I would like this thing to be quiet and cool with air cooling, and it would be nice if it could be black with purple cords/fans/lights and silver parts. I would also like a RAID 1 in it so I never have to deal with data loss and recovery. I'm trying to make this PC last as long as possible because I have the cash now, and sooner or later I'm going to be a broke college student and will need this rig to still be good until I'm done and have a job.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop can't cut it when it comes to video editing and even Photoshop gets slow.

I hope I've provided enough info, I've been scanning the internet for over a month on/off trying to get this together but I need a little help. Thanks in advance for even taking the time to read this, I appreciate all the help I've gotten here. :) 
a b à CPUs
June 27, 2014 5:19:34 AM

Nevermind I see you are already on pcpartpicker with this BUT...I did just check pcpartpicker and find the same CPU for $60 less. Also Dominator Platinum is a huge waste of money. If you're on a budget don't waste money on flashy stuff.

I will try to make a list real quick and help you out here! Give me a moment.
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June 27, 2014 5:20:25 AM

The CPU is good, the hyperthreading will really help out with video editing more than it would in other applications such as games.
The motherboard is very durable and will last a long time as in your additional comments, however it is a tad on the expensive side and this could be a place to make some improvements in price.
Dominator Platinum is pretty expensive, look into other brands such as Kingston or cheaper Corsair.
Storage is pretty good, red drives are RAID optimised and cheaper so they may be an option for you. The SSD is great, a few of my friends have them and they easily outperform my Kingston SSD and the RAM caching feature works wonderfully.
770 is good, but you may want to look into a 760 to see if the price difference is really worth it in your particular situation.
Power supply is good and cheap and more than enough to run your configuration.
The rest of it is pretty standard, not much room to improve here. Normally these days the optical drive can be cut out but for $18 who cares anyway?
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June 27, 2014 5:20:58 AM

The Kasafist said:
I want to start by saying check the same parts list on www.pcpartpicker.com it might help you find the best prices for all those parts. I saw the same CPU for like $60 less!

This is a pcpartpicker list. He's in Canada so stuff costs more.
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June 27, 2014 5:26:38 AM

Jason Light said:
The Kasafist said:
I want to start by saying check the same parts list on www.pcpartpicker.com it might help you find the best prices for all those parts. I saw the same CPU for like $60 less!

This is a pcpartpicker list. He's in Canada so stuff costs more.


Yea I realized that too little too late LOL! I feel at this point you would be better help for him haha!
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June 27, 2014 5:37:51 AM

Sorry, something I miss here:
- firstly the amout you plan spend on ram is absolutely huge. Are you sure you need 16GB? If I were you, I would take 8 and eventually plan to upgrade later. And, as Jason says, I do not think you need to take that kind of expensive RAM (could stick to 1600Mhz, also)
- secondly, what do you need your graphics card for? Do you use programs that are written to use the graphics cards power, or games? If not, I would stick to a 750Ti, can handle pretty much any game in FHD (with medium-high settings) and will not hurt your ears or your budget, or your PSU...
- Talking about PSU... that seasonic certainly is great, but it is to big in my opinion. That PSU can handle an overclocked 6 core and 780Ti OC. It is MUCH to big (meaning 450W would be enough) if you take a 750Ti. If noise is an issue, take a BeQuiet Dark Power Pro for example: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/be-quiet-power-supply-b...
- If noise is an issue, you might need an aftermarket CPU cooler like
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhu9b...
as well...

I know, I hate noise...

Cheers
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a b à CPUs
June 27, 2014 5:47:33 AM

Smallfilou said:
Sorry, something I miss here:
- firstly the amout you plan spend on ram is absolutely huge. Are you sure you need 16GB? If I were you, I would take 8 and eventually plan to upgrade later. And, as Jason says, I do not think you need to take that kind of expensive RAM (could stick to 1600Mhz, also)
- secondly, what do you need your graphics card for? Do you use programs that are written to use the graphics cards power, or games? If not, I would stick to a 750Ti, can handle pretty much any game in FHD (with medium-high settings) and will not hurt your ears or your budget, or your PSU...
- Talking about PSU... that seasonic certainly is great, but it is to big in my opinion. That PSU can handle an overclocked 6 core and 780Ti OC. It is MUCH to big (meaning 450W would be enough) if you take a 750Ti. If noise is an issue, take a BeQuiet Dark Power Pro for example: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/be-quiet-power-supply-b...
- If noise is an issue, you might need an aftermarket CPU cooler like
http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhu9b...
as well...

I know, I hate noise...

Cheers


Video editing can run a lot faster on a faster GPU from memory, particularly encoding. Especially if "Art" might expand into 3D modelling and stuff the faster GPU will be a good investment. I do still recommend looking into a 760 though it is very fast, to put it in perspective it is faster than the 580, the flagship from only a few years ago and easily fast enough for modern games in 1080p as well as providing ample CUDA performance. I'll get my friend with an OC 4770K and 760 to do some encoding and send you the results soon.
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June 27, 2014 5:55:21 AM

Of course, Jason, you are right...
Still I would downgrade the PSU severely, even more so if non-k cpu.
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June 27, 2014 6:20:42 AM

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/ZFkQf7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/ZFkQf7/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($284.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Performance ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($104.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($164.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: PNY XLR8 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($114.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Red 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($262.96 @ Amazon Canada)
Case: Zalman Z11 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($15.79 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) ($108.27 @ DirectCanada)
Monitor: Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor (Purchased For $307.63)
Monitor: Dell U2414H 60Hz 23.8" Monitor (Purchased For $307.63)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($39.87 @ DirectCanada)
Total: $2090.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Okay so here is my list. I changed a lot.
The intel xeon processor is an i7 without integrated graphics or overclocking ability.
The motherboard was a good h97 motherboard, any of those will work.
The ram is a good price and has good performance.
This is a cheaper ssd and you will never notice the difference between the samsung.
wd red is better for raid than wd black. Look it up.
The 760 is good for dual screens, and enough if serious ultra gaming is needed,
The xfx 550w is a good power supply at a great price that will sufficiently power your build.
Any questions, concerns, feedback.
p.s tried to stay under 2000.
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June 27, 2014 1:55:49 PM

Wow thanks guys, I wasn't expecting so many replies!

Okay I can ditch the Dominator Platinum RAM, it was a bit more than I wanted to pay, I just thought it looked nice. I also went with the 1866 because I didn't want a RAM bottleneck and I honestly don't know how much I would need. After checking the system reqs for a bunch of programs that I either do use for sure, or that I might use, 8GB was the happy number so I figured I can't go wrong with 16 especially long term.

I went with that CPU over the i5 4690 because of hyperthreading, but when I benchmarked them the i5 was actually faster in some single core functions so I'm wondering if I could ditch the i7 as well to save $100? I know the processor is the hardest part to upgrade though, so I might just go for a nice CPU and upgrade other parts later on. I also decided not go Xeon because they are server grade and one of my PC gaming friends said that I won't get much benefit because of the RAM they use. I don't know if this is true, but personally I have nothing against Xeon. It's cheaper.

The motherboard is where I'm lost, I know so little about them. I picked it because it was recommended to me, but honestly it seems a bit over kill for my needs and I don't like the colour of it. I would just like a mobo that will last a while, maybe even a few builds.

The only reason I went 770 over 760 is because after checking some of the Open GL/Cuda info online I saw that the 770 has better support for GPU acceleration than the 760, but I don't know if it will matter that much since I'm primarily doing 2D art. Everything else I will be doing is just to benefit my 2D art, and once I'm in school I can use their computers for hardcore 3D renders.

The PSU is the one place I don't want to cheap out on because it can fry my entire build, so I went Seasonic due to them being the best from what I've heard. I know they sell to companies who rebrand too so I might just buy a rebrand, but this is the one place I have no problem getting pricey. The last thing I need is the PSU to tank or fry my machine.

I'm going to tweak and then post my new build and see what you guys think, thanks for the advice everyone!
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June 27, 2014 6:47:21 PM

That xeon listed is a special type of xeon that does not need a special motherboard or special ram to run. It is basically a great chip that can't overclock, and is just a little shy of an i7, but has hyperthreading and more ability than the i5 when the i5 is not overclocked heavily.
'
The motherboard for you is all based on preference. The 97 motherboard are new, the 87 are for before the refresh, both will work for most of the cpus, but check compatibility. the z prefix stands for overclocking capable, as well as some sweet features like sli.

Since the xeon doesn't overclock, you can go with an h 87, or h97. these do not overclock, and can not sli. But sli is not what you want, but the h87 and 97 still have a lot of good features of the h87 besides those two and are great.

For the psu, the xfx 550w is a rebranded seasonic power supply. IT is perfectly capable of using the 770 with the xeon without a hickup.

One last piece of advice, the wd black drives are not good for raid. The red is recommended for raid for information protection as well as the cost benefits. For the ssd, unless you are really pushing the ssd, almost all will be around the same speed. The pny is a great idea for this.

Source: Soon to be brother in law who built two systems, one with i7 and pny ssd . The other with i5 and samsung ssd. Let's just say the load time is indistinguishable for most items, as well as for performance at this time. Both were paired with a gtx 770.





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