Looking to build in a few months

My buddy has the itch to purchase a new desktop for HD video editing (Pinnacle) and gaming (latest Half-Life). He's been emailing me new builds from HP's website almost weekly, but I think I've got him convinced to build it himself (with some assistance).

I've built a handful of machines for myself and friends, but it's been 4 years or so... The last was an AMD sytem, X2 4800... Any help in choosing components would be greatly appreciated.

The builds he's sent me have been ~$1500. He has decided to purchase a monitor separately, and has the other peripherals covered (mouse/keyboard/speakers). I told him we could probably build something for about $1200, could go a bit higher though.

I've spent some time reading posts on the forums, but it seems everyone is looking for something different, or flashy...

Boils down to the basics.

Case: Clean and efficient. No flashing lights or designs carved in the side, but still nice to look at
Motherboard: Recent enough to have USB3.0 and support the latest hardware, no overclocking/bluetooth features necessary
CPU: He wants AMD for cost reasons, but open to suggestions (again, won't be overclocked). HD Video editing in-mind
Cooler: efficiency over design
GPU: Best available within budget (should be able to handle HL2/3 easily..)
Audio Card: Is on-board sound sufficient? The last build I was sent included the X-Fi card, not sure how much it'd help
PSU: Seems a lot of people recommend a modular unit (~620w) from Seasonic, not sure which model however
RAM: 6GB, have no idea which brand/model to choose
HDD: ~1TB, possibly (1) SSD and (2) standard drives?
Optical Drive: Blu-ray Burner
OS: OEM Win7 from newegg...

It's difficult telling someone they should build a machine over buying one. I have no problem with a few compatibility issues here and there, but not everyone has the patience to work through these things. If he goes through with this, the components won't be purchased until July, giving time to work out any potential problems.

Thanks again for any help.
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Well, looks like multitasking will be important so I recommend a quad core. For gaming I recommend 2.4 Ghz at the low end, but 2.8-3.0 is better.

    Case I would look at a coolermaster centurion or maybe a Antec P180, P182 etc.
    I would look at a AMD X3 720BE or X4 955BE.
    I would look at the gigabyte 890GX motherboard.
    No overclocking? the bundled cooler should work just fine.
    Anything from an HD 4850 on up will be sufficient.
    Onboard sound is sufficient for these purposes
    Seasonics are good, so are Antec true power and Corsair TX and HX series
    6 Gb wouyld be good for an Intel i7 build, for AMD I would get 4 gigs DDR3 1600, cs latency 7
    The hard drive will really be up to personal pfreference. I would get a 60-80Gb SSD drive for a boot drive and 1TB for data

    I didn't see anything about speakers, jeyboard, monitoir, etc. But this build would be well under 1500 without peripherals.
  2. Since it's a few months off and used for video editing i'd lean towards the new AMD Thuban hex core, out April 26th i think. "Online retailer Provantage is taking orders for AMD's six-core Phenom II X6 1090T processor, which runs at 3.2GHz and includes 9MB of L3 cache. The chip, listed as a "Phenom" processor, is priced at US$318.50. AMD's logo accompanies the page."
    You have enough time to check benchmarks after it's released. 2nd choice at this time is an Intel LGA 1366 with the i7 930. For GPU i'd go with the 5770, but in a few months you'll probably have different options.
  3. Yeah, I'm very interested to see the performance of the 6 cores. You will have options in the near future. That is sound advice.
  4. Thanks for the replies. After sending him a link for the 1090, it's a go. Very impressive

    Are there any compatible motherboards without integrated video? Seems like a waste to pay for something that won't be used.

    As for the case, mine is an Antec P180. Doing it over again, I'd still choose it. I'm running 5 case fans. He thinks the case is too large/heavy, and I feel the Centurion cases don't have enough cooling (one rear fan)... Any suggestions?

    Would also appreciate suggestions on a particular brand/model for a video card. I'm running an Elsa card, but with 256 MB, it struggles with newer games like GTA4.

    thanks again for any help, have to keep the momentum going!
  5. Again you're a bit early, right now an AM3 790X would be a good choice, but the 890X should be out before you're going to build.

    770 with SATA3 and USB3

    790X with SATA3 and USB3

    If you buy a motherboard without SATA3 and USB3 the add on cards are pretty cheap.

    I like the XFX cards for their warranty, it's worth it to me for the peace of mind and some have a double lifetime warranties in case you sell it off as you upgrade.

    Antec cases are decently built and some like the 300 Illusion have good cooling stock.
  6. Thanks again for the suggestions, will keep an eye out for the 890x when it's available.

    Seems he's got his mind set on something like this for video...$$$

    As for memory, is there any reason not to fill the slots w/6 gigs?
  7. Yes, there's a big reason not to get a triple-channel RAM kit for a dual-channel system. Like buzznut said, the 6GB kits are for the i7 9xx systems that have a triple-channel RAM controller. Those kits will run in single channel mode on any other system. You want RAM in pairs for this system. Your options would be either 4GB (2x2GB) or 8GB (4x2GB).
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