Need Advice on New Build for Work/HD Video/Gaming

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
This week; budget: 1300-1500, before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Raw photo post-processing, work (normal day-to-day business tasks, excel/word/multiple browsers & tabs open; web development; graphic design, flash/PS/AI; HD movie/tv; and Gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, monitors (using 20.1” dell ultrasharp & 24” NEC PA241W; both IPS panels)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
ALL from NEWEGG.com (united states)

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Intel CPU, ASUS mobo

OVERCLOCKING:
Overclocking: Sure, why not!

SLI/Crossfire: I understand this will require a second video card and possibly more power. no? I’d rather not take that route if it requires a power supply that won’t fit in the ANTEC 900 case. Of course, if it improves performance, is within budget, and does not require larger case, then I’m in.

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1) 1600x1200
2) 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
The other day I was experiencing serious lag watching the USA soccer game (muted in standard def), streaming pandora, and working within outlook/excel/word with multiple tabs open in firefox, chrome, and IE. All on two 20” monitors. This type of scenario, among other more resource demanding scenarios, happens often. I never want to run into that type of lag again. Additionally, Id like the pc to be an HD movie theater and Gaming machine.

**If one video card recommended, will need to be dual DVI
**Hard drive setup will be one 200GB or less 10,000 RPM for OS & APPS with one 720GB 7200 RPM for storage, etc. I have 720GB drive already. I added a 10,000 RPM drive that I like in the 'Parts Chosen' section below. However, advice here is welcome.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PARTS CHOSEN

CASE & POWER SUPPLY:
Combo: Antec 900 & 750W PS

SOUND CARD:
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer

HARD DRIVE:
Western Digital Velociraptor 150GB 10,000 RPM
*I have a 750GB 7200rpm that I’m going to use for storage.
9 answers Last reply
More about need advice build work video gaming
  1. You can afford an SSD, far faster than a platter drive.

    I recommend something in the 120GB range.... this Vertex is an incredible deal at this price:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227395

    If gaming is truly last on your list, then you don't really want to SLI/crossfire anyway.

    The type of work you do makes me think you might be a bit happier with an NVidia card, because they generally deal with graphics programs and such a bit better.

    GTX 470
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121372&cm_re=GTX_470-_-14-121-372-_-Product

    I7 930 and ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.428205

    12GB DDR3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231356&cm_re=12gb_ddr3-_-20-231-356-_-Product
    12GB might be overkill.... but then it might not given your usage. you could buy 6Gb and add another 6 later possibly, but this is a better bet.
  2. I very well might need 12GB of RAM, but I'm going to start with 8GB, then upgrade accordingly.

    Everything else looks great. I didn't consider an SSD in my purchase bc of price point a couple months ago. I'm excited to see the performance from it; thanks alot for the advice!

    The only downside -- cpu/mobo combo deal has expired :-( and I'm making the purchase today. Could have saved some money; I think it was $30 or $40. However, knowing newegg, that deal might pop-up again tomorrow. aahhh! maybe i'll wait.

    Thanks again for the help!

    JP
  3. jfpannone said:
    I very well might need 12GB of RAM, but I'm going to start with 8GB, then upgrade accordingly.


    The suggestion to go with 12 GB RAM is based on the i7-930 using triple-channel RAM. Ideally, you add RAM in groups of 3 sticks. If you add RAM in other configurations, you'll lose a little bit of performance. If you don't want to start with 12 GB, the best option would be to get 6 GB to start, and then add another 6 GB later.
  4. coldsleep said:
    The suggestion to go with 12 GB RAM is based on the i7-930 using triple-channel RAM. Ideally, you add RAM in groups of 3 sticks. If you add RAM in other configurations, you'll lose a little bit of performance. If you don't want to start with 12 GB, the best option would be to get 6 GB to start, and then add another 6 GB later.


    okay. I think i'll stick with 6GB for now then.

    I saw DDR3 1333 for $150 and 1600 for $155. $5 more for 1600? this is an obvious choice, no? I know the mobo proximon recommended can handle it . Maybe I'm overlooking something? see links below:

    DDR3 1333

    DDR3 1600
  5. The 2nd kit has slightly slower timings (CL 8 vs. the 1333 MHz CL7). Generally speaking, if they're about the same price, then yes, 1600 MHz with the same timings is worth it. For me, about the same is $15 or less. Other people, it might be $5 or $10.

    The timings (CL or CAS Latency) are generally more important than the clock speed (whatever MHz it's rated at). There's a crossover point, obviously, but at most mainstream speeds (1066MHz-1600MHz), lower CL is the way to go.

    This Muhskin kit is $7 more than the 1333 MHz G.Skill kit. It seems like a reasonably priced upgrade. (Disclosure: I have 2 sets of Mushkin RAM, had to RMA the first kit I got, but I've been satisfied with my purchase otherwise. No problems running them at rated speed/timings/voltage.)

    This G.Skill PI Series kit has the same timings and a lower voltage (which is a nice feature), but it's $20 more, which is right about the range where I would start to think about just sticking with the 1333 MHz kit.
  6. that makes sense. so G.SKILL DDR3 1333 kit kit linked to above would still be best for price then, no?

    timings are 7-7-7-18. I can't find anything better at that price ($150)
  7. The closest I saw at 1600 MHz was the Mushkin kit I linked.

    And yes, that G.Skill kit is the cheapest 6 GB 1333 MHz CAS 7 kit right now.
  8. Excellent advice. I want to be a bit clearer about why I said 12GB up front. Expanding a 6GB kit to 12GB can sometimes be a problem. We get a lot of posts from folks that are having issues once they try to populate all memory slots.

    Not that it can't be done. It usually just requires a lot of tinkering in the BIOS, loosening timings or increasing voltage.
  9. Proximon said:
    Excellent advice. I want to be a bit clearer about why I said 12GB up front. Expanding a 6GB kit to 12GB can sometimes be a problem. We get a lot of posts from folks that are having issues once they try to populate all memory slots.

    Not that it can't be done. It usually just requires a lot of tinkering in the BIOS, loosening timings or increasing voltage.


    Thanks proximon. Moderator's attention to small detail such as this is the reason why I love Tom's Hardware so much. I've compared the price of the build with 12GB vs 6GB and it's not that big of a difference. I've decided to go with the 12GB.

    Proximon & Coldsleep, your help is much appreciated. Going to purchase today.

    Cheers!
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