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

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June 30, 2010 8:43:44 PM

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.
June 30, 2010 9:07:46 PM

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=N82E168...

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=N82E168...

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?Ite...

12GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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.
July 1, 2010 4:06:29 PM

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
Related resources
July 1, 2010 4:17:59 PM

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.
July 1, 2010 4:58:25 PM

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




July 1, 2010 5:51:53 PM

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.
July 1, 2010 6:28:40 PM

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)

July 1, 2010 7:33:55 PM

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.
July 1, 2010 9:07:45 PM

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.
July 7, 2010 7:36:29 PM

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!
!