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$1500 Build for Media Editing/Creation (some gaming)

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December 6, 2010 2:36:35 PM

Hey all, I'm looking for any suggestions as to how I can improve my build without going outside of my budget. I want to get the most bang for my buck, and I have tried to find the "sweet spot" on all of these parts where I stop just before the point of diminishing returns in terms of price:p erformance.

Any advice is greatly appreciate


Approximate Purchase Date: January 2011... maybe sooner.


Budget Range: $1500 is my max including Monitor


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Media Editing/Creation (Photoshop, Final Cut, CakeWalk, etc), Gaming, general usage (internet etc)


Parts Not Required: Keyboard and Mouse


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I used amazon to put together the wish list, and so far haven't found better prices, but I'm very open.


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel/Nvidia, but otherwise don't know much about PC parts (I did about 8 years ago, but I've lost touch with the market)


Overclocking: Never done it before, but if it's easy/safe then I'll give it a shot.


SLI or Crossfire: Would like the ability to expand to SLI, but don't need it at the moment


Monitor Resolution: Well, the one on my wish list is1920x1080, I didn't even realize higher resolutions were available... 1920x1080 should be just fine.


Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC that stays cool, and I refuse to do liquid cooling (I'm not tech savvy enough to take that step). I also need 2 optical drives for easy DVD copying, one of them should have blu ray read capability.

Here is a link to the entire build via my amazon wish list:

http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/5B9IA2E8O4EI/ref=cm_wl_r...


Here is the breakdown:

Case - Cooler Master HAF 912
CPU - i5 760 2.8GHz 8 MB
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P
PSU - Cooler Master Silent Pro 700M
HDD - 2x WD Caviar Black 1TB in Raid 0
RAM - Corsair XMS3 2x4gb (8gb total)
GPU - Gigabyte GTX460 1GB
CPU Cooling - Cooler Master RR-910-HTX3-G1
Optical 1 - Samsung Blu-Ray w/ Lightscribe SH-B123L/BSBP
Optical 2 - Samsung 24X SATA DVD+/-RW SH-S243N/BEBS
Monitor - ViewSonic VX2439WM 24" 1920x1080
Additional fans - 4x Cooler Master 120mm (4-pack)
OS - Windows 7 Home Premium Retail (so I can just buy upgrade pack next time I build a PC)


Thanks for any input!
-Alex


December 6, 2010 2:48:32 PM

If you're buying in Jan, then wait for sandy bridge.

If you can't wait, you'll want something with as many threads as you can get. i5-760 is not it. Either up it to 1366 for i7-950 or get a xeon x3440 for 1156.

Get a better PSU. Best buy ATM is a XFX 650 for $65 after MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need so many fans, in fact, more fans=more sound.

If you want quiet, you'll want to balance RPM(fan spin speed) and CFM (airflow). Scythe S-Flex fans are the best bang/buck (that don't break in 4 months). Noctua's are probably THE best, but very overpriced.

I'd also swap out the WD's for 1tb spinpoint F3's, which are $20 cheaper for similar peformance.

Gigabyte p55 boards require USB 3/sata 6 to be disabled if you xfire or sli.

Not sure y u don't use newegg. Components are cheaper there.




December 6, 2010 3:57:55 PM

banthracis said:
If you're buying in Jan, then wait for sandy bridge.

If you can't wait, you'll want something with as many threads as you can get. i5-760 is not it. Either up it to 1366 for i7-950 or get a xeon x3440 for 1156.

Get a better PSU. Best buy ATM is a XFX 650 for $65 after MIR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need so many fans, in fact, more fans=more sound.

If you want quiet, you'll want to balance RPM(fan spin speed) and CFM (airflow). Scythe S-Flex fans are the best bang/buck (that don't break in 4 months). Noctua's are probably THE best, but very overpriced.

I'd also swap out the WD's for 1tb spinpoint F3's, which are $20 cheaper for similar peformance.

Gigabyte p55 boards require USB 3/sata 6 to be disabled if you xfire or sli.

Not sure y u don't use newegg. Components are cheaper there.



I can certainly wait until January. Thanks for the tip!

An i7 950 costs $100 more than the i5 760, about 50%. So, are you suggesting that I go with the $300 pricepoint on the new sandy bridge as well?

If so, that will likely also up the price of my motherboard and memory... where else can I cut costs to compensate for this, and is the increased performance equivalent to to the 50% increased cost?

Thanks for the PSU suggestion. Will 650w be enough for my system even if I go to SLI?

How many fans would you recommend? I can get 1 Scythe S-flex 120mm for the price of the other 4, would this be a sensible change?

I see the Spinpoints compared to the WD Caviar green, which I read was not very good at Raid 0 setups. Will the Spinpoint F3 do well in Raid 0, and also be easy to set up?

In regards to the Mobo... is there a better option? ie one where USB3/SATA 6 would not need to be disabled for SLI?

As far as Newegg vs. Amazon... I'll compare before I buy, but price seems to be almost identical.


Thanks,
-Alex

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December 6, 2010 7:10:21 PM

If you're willing to go up the price ladder then yes, the new sandy bridge CPU's should outperform the current i7-9xx's. However, if not, then go with the xeon x3440 as I mentioned. It's basically an i5-760 with hyperthreading for $25 more.

No, performance increase will not be 50% more going from i5-i7. But thats the price premium you pay for high end performance.

650W is fine for up gtx 460's in sli. Won't work for gtx 470's though.

Stock fans are fine for the HAF 912 really. Fan noise in those fans shouldn't be too bad, though the amount of airflow for the sound generated might not be too good.

If you really want max perform for the sound generated you'll want scythe S flex 800 RPM or 1200RPm fans.

Setup for any hard drive is the same, no diff.


Best choice would be Asus p7p55d-e Pro. However, sold out most places. Alternative is MSI P55A Fuzion LGA 1156
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

December 6, 2010 7:17:38 PM

I'm so glad you mentioned the Sandy Bridge. I can easily wait a few months, and it looks like doing so can get me into a Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 (or possibly a xeon as you mentioned) as well as moving me up to a GTX560 graphics card.

Looks like waiting 2-3 months will pay off in a computer that's 10-20% faster for the same price.

I'll just have to find a Mobo and PSU that will handle the newer generation CPU and GPU.

I've seen reviews on some of the new ASUS and GIGABYTE stuff, and it looks nice, but still waiting to see price range for them as well as to find out whether the new CPUs use dual or triple channel memory.



So, what exactly is the difference between a caviar black and caviar green then?

I'm leaning towards the spinpoint F3 anyways (reviews are excellent, especially for speed), I'm just confused as to why some HDDs are more expensive than others when they are identical in capacity and RPM.
December 7, 2010 3:34:13 AM

Caviar green is low power low performance drives meant for cheap storage/efficiency.

Blacks are the performance drives.
!