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Movie multi-task build. new diablo when it comes

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January 11, 2010 3:32:11 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next Month BUDGET RANGE: $500-$1000 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 1080p movies for use with dual monitors (20in, 24in), while downloading via BT, and multi-tasking on the other screen (firefox, I know, almost negligable). I'd like to play the new Diablo when it comes out, but low settings are fine for me, I don't game much if at all

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors (both DVI), speakers, OS, hard drive (SATA), Windows 7

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, anything reputable. I do not want to preconfigure from dell/hp/etc. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Zero preference, zilch

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No?

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 & 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

So what I have right now is a dual core 3ghz (Pentium 4 925), 4gb memory (400mhz), on a GeForce 8600GT. I can do everything I want with it at the moment provided I watch 700mb movies (running BT, multi-tasking without gaming). If I go to 720p movies (mkv) it's choppy even when VLC is the only thing open (I've tried WMP, WMP classic, various codecs), 1080p movies (mkv) choke and aren't worth watching. I notice when it gets choppy with 720p there's usually a lot going on on the screen, and my CPU hits max for a second. My memory amount never seems to fill.

What I'd like is for this problem to go away. I want smooth video playback with my big honking screen (1920x1080 ) up to 1080p while downloading things (I have it restricted to 2 downloads, static amount of peers possible at about 30) and multi-tasking. The only game I foresee gaming is the new Diablo when it comes out, but I'm not a high res-junkie in that regard.

I've built computers before, but it's been a few years and new hardware I sort of look at like a caveman viewing a rocket ship. I was wondering if anyone could offer some suggestions that suit my needs. I'm also unsure what playing gigantic movies on one monitor and using the other entails as far as video cards are concerned. Should I be getting a quad core since I multi-task like mad? Should I be getting the super quick bus speed mobo and memory? Hopefully some kind soul can offer some help with mobo/cpu/mem/graphics config recommendations.
January 11, 2010 5:49:36 PM

I'm thinking so far.

MoBo - budget with a PCIE 2 x16 slot - $100
CPU - AMD Phenom IIx4 550 processor black ed. -$165
Memory - 4gb of DDR 1600 - $100
Case/PSU that's quiet - $100
Video card - $150
CPU Fan that's quiet - $50
Thermal paste - $5

So about $700 total?
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January 11, 2010 7:07:24 PM

Here's what I've got:

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 $165

Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $110 after rebate (has 2 PCIe 16x slots at 8x/8x, can save ~$20-30 if never Crossfiring)

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333mhz CAS Latency 7 $100 (not getting 1600 mhz at $100)

Case/PSU: Newegg combo: HAF 922 and OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $100 after rebate

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $85

CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 $30

GPU: Choice of HD 5770 ($155 after rebate), HD 5850 ($300) or HD 5870 ($410)

Total (by video card): $745, $890 or $1,000.

The HD 5770 will be workable at 1900x1080, the 5850 will be great, and the 5870 will be excellent. Basically, the 5770 might be slow in newer games with high detail, the 5850 will be good with newer games at high detail, and the 5870 will be great at new games at high detail for the next few years.
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January 12, 2010 6:30:18 PM

thanks for the options!
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January 12, 2010 7:01:00 PM

Oh, that combo's gone now. And the RAM's $5 more.

You really should narrow the budget down. Another option is using the i5-750, but the board (Asus P7P55D-E Pro) and CPU will cost $115 more.

Generally, a $1,000 build has an i5, a board with USB 3/SATA III support, and an HD 5850. A build under $800 generally uses an AMD CPU, but some slightly above that use AMD to afford a bigger GPU. So a lot of the configuration depends on if you're closer to the $500 budget or the $1000 one.
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January 13, 2010 3:42:14 PM

Yeah I suppose my main concern was just... does dual monitoring, multi-tasking, and displaying 1080p on a high res display chow down on CPU mostly, or is it video card? Or if I have a weak vid card does it chew up the CPU more than it would have?
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January 13, 2010 3:48:47 PM

GPU. Anything with graphics is the GPU. About the only time the CPU becomes a bottlenck is when it's done artificially for benchmarking and comparision purposes.

And that case/PSU combo's back at $10 more.
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