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Building NEW Desktop soon. $1200 or less. Have parts, need advice.

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August 18, 2010 10:34:37 PM

Excuse the length. Sorry :(  Just need some advice in building a 2010 machine.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The next week.

BUDGET RANGE: $1-$1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Graphic Arts, Video Editing, Music Composition, Gaming, Movies
Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Sony Vegas Pro, Premiere, Encore, Soundbooth, Cubase 5, Virtual Instruments, Firewire camcorder transfer, live view photography shooting (NIKON D5000), high end gaming (but not a lot)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor (though I only have an old 19in standard), Sound Card

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A

OVERCLOCKING: Would and have with old machine, but not really a necessity as it used to be to me. Now I am more so looking for a stable beast. Not concerned with competing benchmark numbers.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Either.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Anything larger than 1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just want to spend money in the right places while getting good hardware. I have built a computer before and after many many "here and there" upgrades, I am looking to do the overhaul. I want a desktop that is relevant in today's technology, however my concern is not matching benchmark numbers. So I'll spend $200 on a good component, but I don't really want to spend $350 for a higher model that only gives a 5% increase that I'll never notice for the sake of it.

My main questions are here:

PC1600 vs PC1333
-8GB PC1600 RAM for $259.99 or 12GB PC1333 RAM for $279.99 - Will the difference between PC1333 and PC1600 concern me if I am not necessarily running benchmarks. Keep in mind that I do video editing, starting HD editing, graphics, use After Effects, music (loading virtual instruments), recording audio and gaming. I am coming from a DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) era on my old desktop.

POWER SUPPLY
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
-Is it worth saving a couple of dollars on less watts and a lesser brand?

CPU
Phenom II X4 vs Athlon II X4
-Between the best Athlon and the best Phenom, I can save anywhere from $30 and $100. Should I just buckle down for the $175 L3 cache high end Phenom II X4? Or $89 for the lowest end Athlon II X4? Not sure if L3 is in the stage of "you don't really need it at this time."

GPU
XFX ATI Radeon HD 5670 1 GB DDR5 - Is the card I am planning. I think I should be fine?

CASE
-I am considering using my full tower case that I have from my old desktop to save $70-$170 bucks. Is this usually considered a smart or not so smart idea. I guess the benefit if buying a new one is that I can keep my old computer in tact as a secondary "whatever".

OVERALL: My biggest concern is wanting good hardware, but not wanting to realize that I may have spent like an extra $300-400 on parts when my concern is not overclocking, the specifics of timing, the slightest ghz differences, benchmarking, maxing out Crysis, etc. Just want solid technology, speed, stability, but be able to handle the processes of the latest games, HD editing and motion graphics. If I am to utilize extra money, I'd rather use it for something else useful.

HERE IS MY NEWEGG.COM WISHLIST/CART:

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full
Item #: N82E16832116716
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy -$20.00 Instant
$199.99
$179.99


1 Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136073
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $54.99


1 ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131366
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$25.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$139.99
$114.99


1 CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$30.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$139.99
$109.99


1 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231314
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $259.99


1 AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDX945WFGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103809
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy $139.99


1 LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #: N82E16827106335
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $25.99



Thanks for any advice.
August 19, 2010 2:17:44 AM

Now I am interested in this $200 6-core

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT55TFBGRBOX
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August 19, 2010 2:47:40 AM

Psu - Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram-won't make much difference if you buy 1333Mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cpu-you're better off buying a X6 for the apps you listed
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo-get a newer design board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
Case-COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Related resources
August 19, 2010 2:55:35 AM

I say go for the 12gb 1333 over the 8gb 1600. You could always knock it up a notch.

http://www.outletdeal.com/product.php?eid=10164&ags=6&s...
MUCH cheaper than buying it on newegg. The prices on there skyrocketed for windows 7.

+1 for the 6core. You could always just get the an athlonx4 and wait for the bulldozer to come out and snag an 8 core If you don't NEED it now. 4 cores could hold you until then.
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August 19, 2010 3:06:13 AM

The X6 models are what you Really want. The X6-1090T is AMD's top processor right now, and runs about $279.

I'd stick with 8 GB of DDR3-1333. The difference between 1333 and 1600 is 1-2% at most. Not huge. If you can USE the 12 GB, go for that, but most high end games don't use more than 4 GB. 8 GB in the form of 2 sets of 2x2GB Dual Channel RAM at 1333 can be as cheap as $164!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the HD5670 is going to be seriously underpowered for what you want to do, a 58xx or 59xx, or a GeForce GTX 460/470/480 are what you want, possibly in crossfire/SLI if you can afford it.

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August 19, 2010 3:31:26 AM

The newest versions of Adobe After Effects and Premiere can get a big speed boost from Nvidia cards. If you're planning on using either of these programs with any regularity, I suggest getting a Nvidia video card. The GTX 460 is a great place to start.
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August 19, 2010 3:34:45 AM

Go with butachka, but upgrade the video card to a 1gb 460 and upgrade the processor to the 1090.
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August 19, 2010 3:38:37 AM

Negative
a. There are still the matter of pending approval by Adobe on its list of supported GPUs for the latest Fermi based GPUs
b. TS is just on a 19" LCD
c. 1050T + bang for buck aftermarket cooler = best solution for the $$
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August 19, 2010 3:39:45 AM

LordConrad said:
The newest versions of Adobe After Effects and Premiere can get a big speed boost from Nvidia cards. If you're planning on using either of these programs with any regularity, I suggest getting a Nvidia video card. The GTX 460 is a great place to start.

Nope, just MPE in Premier Pro, and its primarily OpenGL acclerations that ATI can do with a hack. Only a few parts are actually CUDA.
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August 19, 2010 4:06:24 AM

batuchka said:
Negative
a. There are still the matter of pending approval by Adobe on its list of supported GPUs for the latest Fermi based GPUs
b. TS is just on a 19" LCD
c. 1050T + bang for buck aftermarket cooler = best solution for the $$



remember, He wants to improve from his 1440x900 monitor. a decent 1600x1050 monitor runs $150-180
Here's a good one from BTech,. only $140
http://3btech.net/lgw222flpalc.html
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August 19, 2010 3:28:15 PM

davcon said:
Psu - Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram-won't make much difference if you buy 1333Mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cpu-you're better off buying a X6 for the apps you listed
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo-get a newer design board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
Case-COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thanks a lot for the recommendations. Looking into a more current motherboard that states it should support 6 cores. If I went to that motherboard, I should still be fine using PC1333 or PC1600 RAM correct? That PC2000 RAM gets a bit pricey for me.
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August 19, 2010 3:41:27 PM

batuchka - that OEM Windows 7 for system builders will only allow me to install it once right? I am a "reformatter" when it comes to cleaning out system and handling any virus issues.

So would I be able to use that same disc to reinstall/restore Windows 7 in the event of virus or whatever issues? Even if I change/upgrade certain pieces of hardware?
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August 19, 2010 3:42:54 PM

tyrantt316 said:
batuchka - that OEM Windows 7 for system builders will only allow me to install it once right? I am a "reformatter" when it comes to cleaning out system and handling any virus issues.

So would I be able to use that same disc to reinstall/restore Windows 7 in the event of virus or whatever issues? Even if I change/upgrade certain pieces of hardware?

It lets you install on one computer, so reformatting is fine.
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August 19, 2010 5:28:06 PM

I am still making adjustments based on all of your feedback. I thank you guys. I am "trying" to keep my purchases all through New Egg. Here is where I am currently at.



Keeping in mind that I may be able to use my old full tower case to eliminate buying a new one and I can afford to save about $100 on an item that's under $100 by using points I've accumulated at work.

This is the old case I bought back in '03 that I still have and could salvage?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 19, 2010 7:01:52 PM

you can't really use the triple channel RAM on this system.

You can save $100 by buying 2 sets of 4 GB (2x2GB) dual Channel ram for 8 GB.
There is 2x2GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 for $91/set and $94/set. Get 2 of those for $182-188 andf save $90


The 750W Power supply is probably overkill for this system, go for a 550 or 600W. Try this one, $64.99 ($49.99 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you can check what you need with this:
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I like to set this calculator to 20% capacitor aging, and set the usage for Power and CPU at 100%, and add 2 powered USB devices (not including keyboard/mouse) just as spare capacity. Thats generally the wattage you'll need for 3-4 years of use.
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August 19, 2010 8:23:37 PM

I didn't understand the three channel thing at first. I see what you guys mean now. Can't run dual channel mode with the three. I think 8 GB will be just fine and if I need to update later, I'll just duplicate the set I have.
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August 20, 2010 2:22:45 AM

tyrantt316 said:
Thanks a lot for the recommendations. Looking into a more current motherboard that states it should support 6 cores. If I went to that motherboard, I should still be fine using PC1333 or PC1600 RAM correct? That PC2000 RAM gets a bit pricey for me.

1600Mhz CL7 ram is always available at a good price and in some instances cheaper then 1333Mhz CL9.
Just stay away from low voltage kits under 1.5v they don't like AMD boards.:) 
The ram Timop linked is your best option.
As for the psu i won't argue that the Corsair isn't a great unit but the Antec is the same price after mir.
Both units have a 5yr warranty but the Antec is more efficient 80+ Bronze and offers better cable management since it features a modular cable package.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
Are you sure you need a HAF 932?
If you've ever seen one in person they're huge and looking at your build i don't think you need one.
The CM 690II is half the price and believe me it has more then enough room for your current build and future add-ons.
I have one and it's roomier then my Antec 902 and has better cable management.
Personnally i would save money there and buy a 1GB GTX 460.
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August 20, 2010 3:03:47 AM

Do yourself a favor and get a Dell u2211h or something.

Try to avoid spending more than ~120 on an AMD mobo. Especially as you're not crossfiring.
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August 20, 2010 9:44:26 PM

Ok guys, this is where I am currently at. Still well open for change. The total price is about $1065 right now. The hard drive I could get for free using points I've accumulated at work. Which would bring this system just under the $1000 mark before any other fees.

Let me know what you think! Keeping in mind:

-Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection (all of it, HD video, graphics, motion graphics, after effects, etc)
-Sony Vegas Pro, HD
-Cubase 5 - audio production, music composition virtual instruments, etc
-Gaming, but not much nor hardcore, but am always up for an impulse buy of the latest and greatest. I currently have Crysis, F.E.A.R and some older PC games.

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August 20, 2010 9:46:01 PM

The motherboard got covered up. It is:

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
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August 23, 2010 4:45:23 PM

Any thoughts on my latest configuration? Other than saving a buck or two here and there, it feels very powerful, yet not $2000-$3000.

I am going back and forth in my mind on saving money by:

1) Dropping 6-core to quad-core
2) 1TB HDD to 500GB HDD
3) Get a cheaper MB without onboard video
4) Possibly dropping the new mid tower case and using my old (from 2003) full tower case.

Then using that money difference to get the best video card I can.

Or should I be fine sticking with the "core performance" parts I have with the HD583?

Video card seem to change so often like cell phones. Even though that's how technology is, just don't want my computer to feel irrelevant in a month. Though I don't mind making upgrades, I don't want to have to change motherboards and major components.
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August 23, 2010 5:55:31 PM

tyrantt316 said:
Any thoughts on my latest configuration? Other than saving a buck or two here and there, it feels very powerful, yet not $2000-$3000.

I am going back and forth in my mind on saving money by:

1) Dropping 6-core to quad-core
2) 1TB HDD to 500GB HDD
3) Get a cheaper MB without onboard video
4) Possibly dropping the new mid tower case and using my old (from 2003) full tower case.

Then using that money difference to get the best video card I can.

Or should I be fine sticking with the "core performance" parts I have with the HD583?

Video card seem to change so often like cell phones. Even though that's how technology is, just don't want my computer to feel irrelevant in a month. Though I don't mind making upgrades, I don't want to have to change motherboards and major components.



I like your overall list. However, you might consider a NVidia GTX460 1GB which runs just a little more ($219-$229) and outperforms the HD5830. You can compare them at the Anandtech Bench:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU/88

You could trim a bit of money with a Gigabyte 880 chipset motherboard instead of the 890

I'd look for savings not in trimming parts, but with Newegg combos. Some careful searches through the combos can save $40, $50, $60 off your price ($10 here and $20 there adds up!)
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August 23, 2010 6:06:10 PM

Definitely don't get the 1 TB WD1002FAEX. The SATA 6.0 Gb/s does nothing for a mechanical hard drive. No consumer 7200 rpm hard drive can saturate SATA 2, much less need the bandwidth of SATA 3.

For $55, you should be able to get a 500 GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12. For $75, you can get 1 TB versions of those disks. They're just as fast as the Western Digital drive.

If you don't plan on going CrossFire in the future, you could just as easily get an 870 motherboard.
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August 23, 2010 8:45:22 PM

Thanks guys.

I think I am getting to "that point". That point being where 1000-$1200 seems like it WILL be my range for what I want. I feel I'd be sacrificing certain quality, performance & features that I want if I force it under $1000.

1) I notice that with the $25 instant rebate I have on the GSkill 2x4gb ram I have, it's about the same price as 4 x2gb. So taking advantage of that leaves me open to upgrade to another 2 x 4gb set in the future to max out the 16gb ram.

2) Concerning, the HDD and the 3gb vs 6gb, I am not savvy on what the difference really is and whether I'd notice a difference. I think I may take you up on your advice and save with the 3gb

3) Motherboard, I did the comparisons between the 890, 880 and 870. I've now selected the 880 based on the lower price and no major differences with the 890.

4) The NVIDIA 460, 1GB I had a while ago and agree to bring it back based on benchmarks.

5)PSU, looking into those HEC ones to consider more wattage. I'll have other devices hooked to the PC (USB & FW) as well.

6) Now I am considering throwing in the: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor with the additional savings.

With the monitor, I am currently at $1,240.90


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


At this point, any major money saving would come from:

1) Not getting the 23.6inch, HDMI, 1080p monitor and sticking with my square 19inch - 189.99
2) Using my current full tower case - 69.99
3) Using my current DVD/CD burner -$25.99
4) Getting something like the PSU through points I have from work -84.99
5) Going with the cheapest Quad-core Phenom II X4 vs the 6-core -65

Bringing the total down to : $804.94

Out of those savings, I'd most rather have the monitor which would balance out to: $994.93


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


So that's

$1,240.90 - for everything I want.
$994.93 - for everything I want without the 6-core, without the new case and without the new DVD burner.
$804.94 - for everything I want without the 6-core, without the new case, without the new DVD burner and without the new monitor.
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August 24, 2010 1:08:49 AM

The Zotac model is really loud compared to the Gigabyte version though.

Id say go: $994.93 - for everything I want without the 6-core, without the new case and without the new DVD burner.
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!