Need Advice on Where to Spend My $$ on New System

I am finally ready to build a new system to replace my old desktop that has been upgraded too many times over the past three years.

I want advice on where to spend my money and where I can skimp based on my needs. Besides the usual home computing use this machine will serve two primary purposes (1) video/music editing (2) playing simulation/strategy games such as Football Manager 2010 and Civilization 4 (and Civ5 come the fall).

I want opinions on the imporatance of the CPU vs GPU vs Ram vs other items to build the best possible machine for $800-1000 without Monitor, Keyboard, etc..

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. Video/music editing- Heavily CPU dependent.

    Gaming in general- Heavily GPU dependent, though strategy games require more CPU power.

    I'd recommend going i7-860 and a 5770. Should be doable for around $850, lemme know if you wanna full build.
  2. I agree with Banthracis, an i7-860(P55) or i7-930(x58) system with a 5770 will be best for your uses and price range.
  3. Here is a system I put toegether on Newegg quickly. Let me know if you think I made some less than perfect choices and/or where the most improvement can be made for the fewest dollars. Note: the RAID configured HDDs are a big help in editing large Video files.

    GIGABYTE GZ-X7BMDX-400 Black Computer Case
    Item #:N82E16811233049


    GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #:N82E16813128405R

    GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5570 GV-R557OC-1GI Video Card
    Item #:N82E16814125315

    SYBA SD-SA2PEX-1E1I PCI Express SATA II Controller Card
    Item #:N82E16816124004

    COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W Power Supply
    Item #:N82E16817171046

    Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
    Item #:N82E16819115214

    OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
    Item #:N82E16820227346

    (2X) Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #:N82E16822136319

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    Item #:N82E16827135204

    Grand Total: $798.90
  4. a few suggestions:

    switch out those WD drives for a samsung f3 spinpoint 1tb. if you need more storage, add another 500gb spinpoint. they are faster, more reliable, and run cooler than the WD.

    that video card has to go. i would suggest a 5770 for the features and power, and it will also fit easily within your budget. a 4850 (for around $100) would also be a better option.

    since you're still $200 under your maximum budget, i will also suggest that you upgrade your case. either a cooler master cm690 II or HAF 922 would be good choices, as are several lian li options. if you spend about $100 on a case, you'll get a ton of features and polish you won't find on a $35 gigabyte budget case, and it will make your build much easier.

    another upgrade you might look into is your power supply. the psu you picked will work, strictly speaking, but almost every TH regular and system builder will tell you that good clean power from a name brand company is very important.

    good luck!
  5. Why do you have a sata II controller card? The onboard has a sata controller that will raid 0. Is the card's controller that much better?

    You might look at the faster/cheaper Samsung F3 500GB/1TB or seagate 7200.12 500GB/1TB drives instead of those old caviar blacks. The higher drive density will mean large files get handled substantially faster.

    The RAM is a bit slow, you should get DDR3-1333 Cas7 or 8 RAM. Needs to be 1.65V or less.

    The 5570 is fairly weak. Given how much you are spending, I would hate to see it have sluggish gaming graphics. The 5770 for $80 more is close to 3 times as fast and will let you play any game you want well. If you dont think you need that much, at least get a 5670.

    You might look at the followng cases:
    Antec 200
    Antec 300
    Coolermaster CM 690
    Coolermaster HAF 922
    Coolermaster Storm Scout (if you move it alot).

    They are all $50-$100 gaming cases that have good airflow to keep your system cool.
  6. Rather than the 640 GB WD drives, you should look at the 500 GB or 1 TB versions of Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12 drives. The 500 GB drives are about $55, and the 1 TBs are about $85-90. Alternatively, if you want to stick with WD, you could look at the WD1002FAEX 1 TB drive. All of the mentioned drives use newer 500 GB platters, which is faster and cooler than the 640 GB drives you're looking at.

    What do you need the SATA card for?

    This G.Skill RAM is somewhat faster at $25 more (with free shipping).

    EDIT: Beaten to the punch. Twice. Oh well. :)
  7. Based on your feedback here is my second build. Let me know if you still think I can get more bang for my buck. I went for a better Case/Power Supply and Video Card. I swapped out the RAID configured dual drives for a single 1TB SATA 6.0gb/S drive and compatible Motherboard.

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS

    GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5770 GV-R577UD-1GD Video Card

    Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case
    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W Power Supply
    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Grand Total: $953.92
  8. The caviar black 1TB may still an older model (three platters). The Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung F3, and the ONE WD model WD1002FAEX are all fast twin 500GB platter drives.
  9. $120 is the price for the WD1002FAEX, and SATA 3 (6.0 GB/s) also is specific to the FAEX. The FALS model is $100.
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