Hi all - I'm very intrigued by building my own computer. If I go down this path I think I want a Core i5 750 or thereabouts.
I am NOT a gamer. I am looking to upgrade from an early 2005 Dell 9100 with Pentium D dual core, running XP with 1.5gb RAM. I mainly do internet and video editing. I want a system that will speed up video editing and will allow me to do AVCHD editing in the future if I get an HD camcorder (just using SD now). BluRay burner perhaps in the future, but prob won't invest in that today.
I currently have twin WD Caviar Black 1TBs running in a non-RAID backup (meaning I did a complete disk copy to the second one so its bootable, and now I just backup pix and videos by hand to the 2nd drive).
Main reason I am intrigued about DIY is ability to choose specific components.....ie I can use 1 or both of those existing HDs, and I can make sure my MOBO has lots of SATA ports, maybe get USB 3.0, etc.
I can keep waiting as my OLD 2005 computer still surfs just fine, so if I should wait another 6 mos for a new set of Intel processors to come out, or for USB 3.0 to become widespread, etc, I can do so.
Will I pay more doing a DIY for a roughly equivalent system to getting a Dell or HP on sale, because I have to buy Win7, etc, or can I get a better all-in system for same price???
I'll be reading, reading this site but just wanted some quick upfront advice to see what I'd be getting into.
First off my main PC uses are for video/graphics editing and surfing the net, I work for a television company as a editor/Production manager. Basically I built a i5 750 based system for my office PC at my work because I had told my boss I could build a edit system for fraction of the price it would be compared to buying something pre-built from HP or Dell so he agreed. Now keep in mind the build I did was about 8 months ago. But it wasn't anything crazy but at the same time it was still a solid well built system that is still be used by me (at work) and is totally able to run every single program that came with Adobe CS5 Production Premium. I edit some stuff in HD and other stuff in just standard Def it really depends on the client anyways though, I ended up paying about $950.00 for all the parts of my build including the Windows 7 Professional Operating System. (price didn't include the CS5 Obviously lol...)
Anyways here's a list of the parts I went with. As I stated I bought the i5 750 CPU because at the time it offered pretty much the best bang for your buck in that price point IMHO. Anyways though now days they have the i5 760 which is a notch faster than the i5 750 for roughly the EXACT same price. Also the i7 860 that used to cost near $300 USD back when I was making my editing build, is now selling for about $269.99 USD but here's where things get straight up insane, the Intel Core i7 870 which used to be around 600USD on some sites is selling on NEW-EGG.com right now for just $279.99USD. This CPU still uses the 1156 socket so the MOBO price won't become insane or anything as long as you stick with the P55 motherboards. 3
Here's the great news though the i7 870 CPU is hand's down faster than a i7 920 or i7 930 in MOST cases. The great thing is it's also cheaper than the i7 920 or the i7 930 as well on new-egg... Anyways the i7 870 actually sticks neck and neck with Intel's Core i7 950 in most video rendering benchmarks. So if I was you I'd go with the i7 870 and build something based off that or if I was you I'd be tempted just to go ahead and go a little bigger and buy a i7 950 CPU and build a PC using the 1366 Socket... But really it's up to you, the i7 950 is actually fairly affordable now days.
Its selling on new-egg for 294.99 or something like that. Anyways though if did decide to go with that CPU you have to remember that the MOBO's for the 1366 socket type do cost more than the 1156 socket type MOBO's either way though you could do a build using either the i7 870 CPU for about $999.00USD with the OS and EVERYTHING included or you could go with the i7 950 and complete the build for about $1150.00USD. So really it comes down to budget. Anyways though just so you know and to also attempt to answer your question doing either of the builds I just mentioned on dell's site or HP's site would cost about $1400.00USD (roughly) for the i7 870 build and the i7 950 build would cost about $1750.00USD so doing the build yourself really does save pretty large chunks of money. If you let me know what you're wanting to spend budget wise, I'd be happy to make part suggestions for you to help you get the best bang for your buck. Just let me know bro
Then again you should also really consider AMD if you're wanting to do a budget build that will still be great for video editing. I had to do a AMD based build quite recently for a co-worker because they where wanting to buy a new computer so they could work on some stuff at home. So I picked out AMD's Athlon Propus 635 Quad-Core CPU which is actually under $100USD anyways using AMD CPU's you can make a rig that can run CS5's editing programs like after effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator,Media Encoder, Adobe Encore Etc. ... AMD has the best quality type CPU's on the market in my personal opinion so if you're on a tight budget I'd go with AMD hand's down every single time. Because with them you simply get more cores per dollar than you do with Intel. Keep in mind that if you're using mostly single threaded type apps though you don't really benifit from the extra cores but if most video editing programs do seem to favor CPU's with more cores. So like I said man if you're on a budget then go AMD if you want to spend around anywhere from 800-1000 go Intel (Most of the time)
I think like much of the populace, I've just been trained to think that Intel is better. That AMD was the compromise in performance to save a couple bucks.
I just was taking a look at that Phenom II X4 that Pizza suggested, and the great reviews, and the price, and now I'm thinking that I need to do a brain wipe and reconsider AMD's options. The reality is, if I'm still living fine with a 2005-era Pentium D (not even Core 2 Duo), a $140 AMD quad core is gonna kick some arses. I'm probably just as interested in making sure the overall system is scalable and current vis a vis USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 (although I guess this would only help for a future SSD right?), plenty of SATA ports for various HDDs, card readers, optical drives, etc.
I am a value man in life.....I seek out best performance at best dollar compromise.....I don't like paying up for bleeding edge things that give me that last .005% performance at 2x the price of the next option down....sounds like maybe I'm an AMD man and didn't realize it.
I appreciate any other opinions too - thanks for your help. Any major reason to wait 6-9 more months? I realize in tech that there is always the "wait 6 months and it will be better and cheaper", so my question is more, is there any breakthrough next wave of product capabilities coming soon that would make it silly to invest in something like an AMD quad today? I generally am a 4-5 yr desktop buyer, not an every 18 months upgrader to get the next best thing......
Mr Pizza - question - why would I ever go for the 945 if its only $5 more to get the 955? Is there a positive to having it be a 95W chip vs 125W in the 955? 945 requires less cooling or something? Just wondering. I'll keep reading too. Ughhh, now I can foresee the next 2 weeks of constant Googling and reading and learning.....my wife hates these obsessions that come along.....