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All-round (Student, Gaming, Multimedia Apps) $1000-1400

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December 9, 2010 5:18:34 AM

Alrighty. I know a bit about computers but nowhere near the amount of some people on this forum. Hence me asking for your help.

I don't speak very fluent Computer-speak so I know that my questions may have been answered before but there are so many articles on this forum that I can't read through them all before my brain complains of an information-overload :/ 

I just finished high school and I need a computer that will serve me properly for the duration of University (Bachelor of Media and Communication, 3 years). In addition, I want to be able to play games and do general video and photo editing. My current computer (built back in 2004) can't do anything and I've needed an upgrade for a while now.

Pretty much, I want to be able to overclock, play high-graphics games, and edit home-movies and the like without the computer exploding. Multitasking is a must.

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Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 weeks

Budget Range: AUD$1100 after rebates but I will pay around $1300 if I need to. I prefer performance over lower prices

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Multimedia,

Parts Not Required: I'll worry about keyboard and mouse later on once i've finalised this.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'll probably buy thru a dealer here and get it built by them. I'll use NewEgg as a guide and in case I do buy over the net.

Country of Origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: probably not.

Monitor Resolution: Probably up towards 1920x1080 but anything around the mark will do.



Additional Comments: I'm thinking of getting a TV as a monitor rather than a USB TV tuner. Thoughts? And how will this affect my choice in getting 5.1 Surround. I am leaning towards 5.1 computer speakers and then not worrying about the TV surround (coz when I play movies, it would still go thru the computer. but when I watch a TV program it would only be out of the TV speakers).

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I'm pretty much running off The Ars System Guide. I've read thru about 50 topics on Tom's hardware but I still reckon the Sept 2010 Hot Rod is the best.

CPU: I'm tossing up btwn the Intel i5 - 760 or the i7-875K . I also saw the AMD X6 1055T mentioned but you'll probably tell me that Intel is better for performance

Mobo: It has to have USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s. Ars suggested GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory: I assume 4GB will be enough for now, with the ability toi upgrade if needed in the future. So 2x2GB P55 RAM pieces will do. Can someone suggest something here? OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) or CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB)

Case: It's going to be under my desk in my bedroom which gets quite hot all year round. So the case needs really good ventilation. The best I've seen was the Antec 300 Black Steel . I've also looked at the Antec Solo but it seems to me that the ventilation is average.

Video: MSI Georce GTX 460 1GB

HDD: I have an external 1TB so space isn't really a problem. I'll probably go with a 640GB or 1TB from Western Digital, with the possibility of including SSD in the next couple of years.

Power Supply: I seriously have no idea about this. Somebody please help!! I'd assume something around 400W but I really don't know

OS: Windows 7. Is Dual OS (with Linux) just a waste of memory or worth the hassle?

Monitor: (I'm not counting this as part of the budget) either a 22" LCD LG TV or the suggested ASUS VW266H 25.5-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black

Speakers: Logitech Z506 or i'll look at this

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Seeing that in Australia, it is summer holidays, would it be wise to teach myself how to build this computer and do so in order to make future modifications easier? I'm the kind of person who enjoys understanding about computers and I'm quite capable of building things. I just never have the time to do so (thank God school is finished now!). So if I do teach myself, will building this from scratch be advisable??
December 9, 2010 5:38:46 AM

Yes you should watch youtube videos on how to pick hardware and how to build computers. There is hundreds of video tutorials on how to build a computer in-depth. You should build one yourself. It's not hard at all. If a 14 yr old can do it, so can you.
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