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Question on cost-effectiveness of my build...

Last response: in Systems
January 19, 2011 8:00:42 AM

Hi guys,

I'm about to start my first homebuild PC. Currently, I have a Dell w/ Intel Pentium D 2.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM which I used for SD video editing. Now I need a better faster computer for HD video editing.

Please note that I am not a gamer. The PC will be used primarily for day-to-day tasks as well as graphics intensive activities such as video encoding, ripping, 1080p HD video editing, motion graphics.

I live in the U.S., and am looking for a budget between $500-$800 without the monitor.

My planned configuration is as follows:

Intel i5-2500K 3.4 GHz CPU
ASRock P67 Pro3 Motherboard
6 GB DDR3-1600 RAM
DVD-RW Drive
nVidia GeForce GTX 460 Video Card (768 MB)
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Case
Ultra 650LSP 650W PSU

I found a good deal for a INTEL Core i5-2500k at my local microcenter for only $179.00 --- but the same store is also running a deal for the AMD Phenom II X4 965 for $150 plus another $50 for **ANY** AMD motherboard. To be honest, I am tempted at saving more money if I can take advantage of this deal.

Most AMD motherboards support DDR2 RAM as well as DDR3, but the Intel P67/H67 chipset for the Socket 1155 only support DDR3 from what I understand -- I have about 8GB DDR2 sticks sitting around at home, so buying the AMD has the additional advantage of being able to recycle my old DDR2-RAM.

From the cost-standpoint, buying the Core i5-2500k + Intel motherboard (1155) + DDR3 RAM will run me about $200 extra compared to getting the AMD phenom II x4 965 + AMD motherboard + DDR2 RAM (which AMD boards are OK with).

Tom's Hardware and a few other sites state that the new Sandybridge i5-2500k absolutely blows the socks out of the AMD quad core processors, but I know with serious overclocking it is aimed towards gamers, and since this is not my primary purpose, should I just save myself the $200 by switching to AMD? Or, is the upgrade worth it, albeit for serious video editing and graphics processing (like w/ Adobe After Effects). In otherwords, does overclocking help even these processes become faster?

So if you guys can do me the following big favors, I would greatly appreciate it.

a). Please comment on my config for my stated purpose

b). Provide me on your opinion about whether I should stay with the Intel system or go to AMD? I don't have a preference one way or the other (although my experience mostly has been w/ Intel CPUs).

Again, I am sorry if this is rather stupid. I am new to PC hardware so I am challenging myself with this project.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2011 12:04:54 PM

I would stick with the 2500k plans over any AMD rig.....; yes, it's $200 or so more expensive, but, benchmarks don't lie, and the 2500k will have an advantage in most assorted media encoding/decoding as well....
a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2011 2:55:33 PM

... recycle your old DDR2-RAM - snag something like the Giga-Byte GA-MA785GM-US2H (or the Asus M4A785-M) and a PhII x6 1055T (should total around $250)

Dump the single 2TB HDD. Optimally, you could run an SSD for your OS/Apps but in this case purchase 3 Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB HDDs TODAY! for $165

You don't need a GTX 460 (unless you know that it will optimize a specific major task in your work flow - CUDA optimizations generally associate with color correction). Don't think you need a 650w PSU --- snag a Corsair 430w to 600w unit for less than $50.

$250 + $165 + $50 + $70 + $20 = $550

A Radeon HD 5450 should work fine, keep your platform cost under $600, and reduce power draw at load (the Asus 785g should sleep at 2w and wake on command if that is of interest to you).

Use one Spinpoint F3 for your OS/Apps; use the second HDD for capture/scratch; and the third Spinpoint F3 for output (you may partition the OS/Apps drive - 100GB should do nicely - and use the remainder partition for storage/backup).
Related resources
January 19, 2011 9:30:41 PM

I think you want performance mostly from the CPU, RAM and storage since you are not doing gaming. I'd check threads and articles about video editing, eg. about how much RAM do you need.
January 20, 2011 1:47:42 AM

ebaying your DDR2 memory. Today is the perfect time to buy DDR3.