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Cheap, Gaming, Vid Editing, Photos (all Light Usage)

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Last response: in Systems
September 24, 2010 9:23:21 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a week or two

Budget Range: $500-750 (includes the purchase of Win7)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Working with photos in Picasa, maybe Lightroom (DSLR - 12MP camera: Canon t2i), Viewing and small editing of HD videos from digital camera (1080p - h.264 format), light gaming (specifically Civilization 5), iTunes, general productivity and surfing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: no preference

Overclocking: Maybe, but light

SLI or Crossfire: Unlikely

Monitor Resolution: I will be upgraded monitors from a 1280x1024 at some point(but not included in my budget range). I'm looking at something 1920x1080 like this -
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers

Additional Comments: I currently have a 1 yr old laptop that cannot play my HD files from my new camera. It's choppy and unwatchable, even for 10 second clips. My main goal of this system is to watch these files, light editing of these HD videos and also my photos. Additionally, I'm out of HDD space with 250GB on my laptop and my files are growing quickly with this new DSLR camera. I'm really just looking for best bang for my buck given these requirements and if I could spend less than my budget, that would be perfect because I don't need the latest/greatest. Upgradeability is a 'nice to have' but not a requirement.


Here's my initial thoughts after spending a little time researching -

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Motherboard (Didn't spend a lot of time researching this...)
$134.99 (-$10 MIR)

Video Card
HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
$69.99 (-$15.00 MIR)

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

HDD (Didn't spend a lot of time researching this...)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical Drive
LITE-ON DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Total $787.91

More about : cheap gaming vid editing photos light usage

September 25, 2010 2:05:14 AM

^Nice build, though there's some small changes I'd make:

I think he will appreciate a 2TB drive, the Samsung F4 for $95 is a pretty nice deal atm:

Then a combo that gives you a free eSATA adapter and shaves $5 off the 1055T:

Then this Mobo + OS Combo:

Saves him $15 for nothing much less.
Related resources
September 25, 2010 5:28:11 PM

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my proposed build. I took a look at your suggestions and made a couple of changes. What do you think? Based on what I'm using the computer for, do I need to spend this much or could I go with a cheaper processor, mobo, psu, etc.?

RAM - Read somewhere this is better RAM?
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231303

Burner - I'd like Lightscribe
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Item #:N82E16827106335

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
Item #:N82E16832116754

Case/HDD Combo - Slightly bigger HDD than 500GB. Would have like 1TB but seems pricey

Rosewill Blackbone Black Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811147023

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

-$30.00 Instant
-$20.00 Combo

Mobo/CPU Combo - went with original recommendation

ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131651

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor
Item #: N82E16819103851

-$10.00 Instant
-$25.00 Combo

Video Card/PSU Combo - went with original recommendation

GIGABYTE GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) GV-N450OC-1GI Video Card
Item #: N82E16814125341

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W Power Supply compatible with core i7
Item #: N82E16817341017

-$45.00 Instant
-$30.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

Grand Total: $734.91 (before MIR)
September 25, 2010 5:52:50 PM

That G.skill kit is pretty bad. For 1$ you could get the G.skill eco equivalent with the same speed/timing, but .3 lower volts.

PSU isn't the most awesome: It shut down twice when asked to deliver it's full 600 watt output, and it's ripple touched the limit of ATX spec.

For 30$ more you could buy the 450+a good Corsair 650 watt separately.
September 25, 2010 8:29:58 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

Am I'm missing something, that RAM kit has 244 reviews on Newegg with a 5 egg rating?

Any other comments on this build? I've got an itchy trigger finger and am ready to fire before the wife steps in and wonders why I'm blowing all our cash...
September 25, 2010 8:36:19 PM

go for it.
September 25, 2010 8:41:48 PM

Yes, that ramkit is 1.65 volts. It used to be a non-issue, but the newer 45nm chips with lower and lower Vcore have issues with higher ram voltage. Jedec spec actually calls for 1.5 volts anyways, but lower voltage means your CPU's IMC doesn't have to work as hard, so you can get a higher OC out of it

It has the same specs except for voltage and price -- it's 1$ more and .3 volts lower. It will pay for itself in power savings, and be nicer for OCing/using with increasingly smaller node CPUs.
September 26, 2010 3:28:34 AM

How Much Power Does Low-Voltage DDR3 Memory Really Save?,265...

It clearly doesn't make sense to go for a low-voltage memory product as the first (or only) step in reducing power consumption. We found differences of up to 1 W during idle and up to 4 W at peak. Although we used an AMD machine for testing, we also tried an Intel P55 platform with XMP support that allows for automatic memory configuration. The results were very similar. Exchanging the graphics card or the motherboard will likely have a larger impact on power consumption, so it makes sense to look at more power-hungry hardware first and optimize your memory last.

So dun fret about lower voltage RAM and waste $$ ^^

do I need to spend this much or could I go with a cheaper processor, mobo, psu, etc.?

Thing is you have increased cost a wee bit on the same performance with just a step up from 500-->640GB hdd hehe
September 26, 2010 3:46:12 AM

Yes, but for 1$ over the kit he's considering, it will definitely pay for itself, plus have better CPU overclocking/less risk of frying an IMC it's definitely worth it.
October 3, 2010 2:41:38 AM

Best answer selected by dpritcht.
October 3, 2010 3:33:31 AM

Yep happy building/shopping and cheers ^^