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New Build - Multitasking PC

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February 5, 2011 5:18:51 AM

Hi Everyone,

I've been looking over the forums for a few days and decided I'd like to get some specific advice from anyone willing to offer it.

My last build just recently died on me and instead of trying to figure out what broke I figured I'd just do a complete rebuild.

I mostly use the computer for photo editing, some very basic design work, and the basics (music, internet, office). No real gaming right now but that may change when Diablo III is released. But the real focus for me is photo editing.

Here's what I've been looking at:

CPU: Intel i7 950
Motherboard: EVGA X58 SLI 3 or Asus Sabertooth X58
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX
GPU: EVGA GTX470 (not sure about this yet)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB

I'm planning on getting everything I can through Amazon, and the RAM from Newegg. I'll take any suggestions on the video card, but I'd prefer to keep it around $200-$250 if you think I even need that.

What I already have:

Case: Antec 300
HDD: 150GB WD Velociraptor (boot drive), and a few 1.5TB and 2TB drives for storage and backup.

I'll be upgrading to Windows 7 Professional at this time as well.

I considered going with an AMD setup for budget purposes but it seems that the Intel "upgrade" is worth the extra money.

I was hoping to wait for Sandy Bridge but I have no computer right now and don't think I want to wait a few more months, I think a setup like above could last a couple of years?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or opinions!

More about : build multitasking

February 5, 2011 6:23:03 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums
For basic photo editing and design,12GB RAM is overkill.Go with 6GB instead.
Also,if you aren't planing to play games,consider a cheaper VGA like GTS 450 or
HD 5770
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February 5, 2011 7:00:36 AM

Thank you very much for the reply. I was under the impression that for photoshop, the more RAM the better? If I watch movies on the PC would that make a difference on the card I choose?
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Related resources
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2011 7:08:16 AM

Well PS5 does use a lot of RAM, but you don't need 12 gbs. I use 4 gigs and I'm fine, most of the results will come from a faster CPU. And if you watch movies it will depend on the quality. I actually find ATI/AMD the advantage in video quality IMO. Are you going to watch things in Blu-Ray? Or in Hi-Def? If so seek here for reference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hqv-2-radeon-geforc...

As for your thing about editing and design, I actually find that the 955 does a pretty good job. Course I'm not a guru though. So if you did want a budget build, anything incorporating a 955 would be alright too. My personal rig has a 955 in it at 3.6 and it runs PS5 just fine.

Uhhh, since your only playing Diablo III, even a GTS 450 or 5770 as Maziar said would work. If you want a little more umph or kick to the GPU, the next option would be the GTX 460 (768mb/1gb) or the 6850 (I personally would pick the 6850 but that's just me). The 460 SE is terrible don't get that.
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February 5, 2011 9:03:33 AM

More RAM helps but like I said 6GB is fine.Going to 12GB won't give you a huge boost in performance.
And no,all of today's cards can handle videos just fine
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2011 9:51:23 AM

element192 said:
I was under the impression that for photoshop, the more RAM the better? If I watch movies on the PC would that make a difference on the card I choose?
More is better, like going from 2GB to 4GB. 6GB is plenty. I don't believe you will be limited by not having 12GB. (and this is always something you can add more of later, very easily).

I think we like the Asus Sabertooth X58 over the EVGA. Do you plan on ever adding a 2nd video card?
Lets take the video card to GTX 460, PSU to Corsair 650TX and RAM to 6GB.
Consider putting the savings toward a SSD boot disk OCZ Vertex 2 120Gb 3.5" $230 and $20 rebate or OCZ Vertex 2 90GB $180 & $20 rebatein place of the WD Velociraptor which goes to being your scratch disk.
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February 5, 2011 6:43:18 PM

Thank you all for your input. Sounds like I'll go with triple channel 6GB if I stick with Intel or maybe 2x4GB (total of 8GB) if I go with AMD.
I don't think I'll ever upgrade to a two-video card configuration because I am not much of a PC gamer. I believe that's all it really helps with, right?
As for the SSD that's actually what I really wanted to do, but I bought the raptor because I had planned on sticking with XP originally and I know SSD's get along better with Windows 7. Maybe I'll get a small SSD for the OS and use the Raptor for apps? I actually haven't even used the Raptor, maybe I can just return it and go with an SSD for all of it.

As for the power supply, is 650W strong enough? I have a few hard drives so I want to be sure I have enough juice, I have a fear that my current 500W is what killed my existing system.

I'll look into all of your suggestions. Does it sound like I should stick with the i7 950 or is that overkill right now? Would I be better off with the AMD 1090T?

Thanks again.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2011 6:50:10 PM

CrossfireX or SLI - dual video cards is pretty much a gamer's gambit for extra power.
And your graphic card(s) basically determine the power requirement.

That excellent 650W PSU will run ANY single GPU video card out there. And have plenty left over to load up the case with HDDs, SSDs, Blu-Ray drive, TV tuner, audio card, etc etc.

Any of the options you're looking at will work VERY well for the stuff you want to do. You wouldn't be limited in any respect going with a budget friendly option.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2011 6:52:24 PM

If you can return the Velociraptor for a refund and use that to help pay for the SSD I think your coming out ahead in the shuffle.

What screen resolution is your monitor? That can have a bearing on what video card you'd want.
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February 5, 2011 7:36:47 PM

I'll see what I can do with the Velociraptor, SSD really is the way I want to go.

Right now my monitor is 23" with a recommended resolution of 1920x1080.

It sounds like I have a pretty good direction to go in, I just need to decide if I want to spend the extra $100 or so on Intel over AMD. I think that's what I'm leaning towards.

Thanks.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 5, 2011 7:44:36 PM

I'd lean the same way too.
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February 5, 2011 8:02:28 PM

Great, thank you!
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February 7, 2011 6:22:31 PM

Okay, after adding up all of my numbers and thinking more about what I'll be using the computer for I've revised my build to be more budget-friendly. What do you guys think? Anything I've skimped too much on?
CPU: Intel i5 760
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E, Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3, or Intel DP55KG (decent deal on Amazon)
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX
GPU: EVGA GTS450 or EVGA GTX460 (it's a $65 price difference)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB for boot drive. Is this too big? would a 60 or 90 work? I just don't want to be paranoid for space all the time.

The other previous setup I had considered was the i7 950 with Asus Sabertooth, EVGA GTX460 and 6GB of RAM (triple channel) and is about $180 more expensive than the above configuration. Just for reference.

Thanks again everyone.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2011 9:05:30 PM

60gb would work for just a boot drive. My laptop runs on a single 64 (60 once formated) SSD. I like to boot fast for stocks =P But yeah, it's fine for just booting. Still haven't filled up half my space yet. You already have a main drive so 60gb is good enough.
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February 7, 2011 9:17:45 PM

aznshinobi said:
60gb would work for just a boot drive. My laptop runs on a single 64 (60 once formated) SSD. I like to boot fast for stocks =P But yeah, it's fine for just booting. Still haven't filled up half my space yet. You already have a main drive so 60gb is good enough.


Thanks for the reply. I'll keep that in mind, I've still heard of people running out of space after installing too many programs. I never really looked at how much space I took up on my last OS drive but now that system is dead so I can't check...

What do you think about the rest of the build? Is that more budget-friendly setup worth saving a couple hundred on? I'm still slightly tempted to wait for SB but I don't think I can be without a desktop for that long. The more I think back on my last build I am realizing that I don't think I ever had a game other than Diablo II installed... That is what is making me lean towards downgrading my video card. I typically use my PS3 or Xbox if I want to play games.

It would be ideal for me to keep the budget a little on the lower end so I can feel better about building a new system sometime in the next couple of years but I don't want to build something "junky."
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2011 9:19:04 PM

Looking good.
60GB SSD will be fine for your boot drive, your photo editing programs and a fave game or three.
If you do go with the GTS 450 you can grab a decent ~450W class PSU. Something like the Antec Earthwatts 430 (eco-friendly = no included power cord)
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2011 10:56:55 PM

Well like WR2 says.

A 60gb SSD formated and installed w/ Win7 would give you 50gb of space left. That should fit at least several large sized (7gb games) and Photoshop (I believe PS5 is 3gb with all the programs + Bridge included). So I think it'll work out just fine.
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February 8, 2011 1:03:00 AM

Anyone have any opinions between those three motherboards I referenced? They all have good reviews, I don't know enough about the details to know which is better...
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 8, 2011 1:08:55 AM

Uhh well.... Here is some SSD basics.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/07/08/ssd...

The info is dated so don't follow the buyers guide, but the info should give you basics on the SSD world. IE: Controllers/Speeds/HDD vs SSD

As of now the best controllers/most consistent are the Sandforce/SF controllers. SATA III controllers are coming out soon and the next SF controller will be the SF-2000. The current SF controller is the SF-1220 I believe. Gotta check on that. The SF-2000 boasts 480 Writes and that's faster than the SATA III C300 which is so much more expensive.

OH btw, the SSD I recommend and that most people do is the Vertex 2, really though all SF controller'd SSDs perform the same.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 8, 2011 1:12:48 AM

They all are good boards. Asus/Gigabyte/Intel is how I'd rank the choices.
First two have the best OC'ing potential.
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February 8, 2011 1:27:59 AM

WR2 said:
They all are good boards. Asus/Gigabyte/Intel is how I'd rank the choices.
First two have the best OC'ing potential.

Okay, good to know. Thank you again for all your help.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 8, 2011 1:32:17 AM

Let us know how everything works out for you.
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February 16, 2011 2:25:58 PM

Okay, here's the update. I've had all of the parts for about a week now, except the processor which just came yesterday. Here's what I went with:

CPU: Intel i5 760 (with Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus)
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX
GPU: EVGA GTX460
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2x4GB)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB for boot drive.
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB for all of my general data storage and applications I don't want install on the SSD.
OS: Windows 7 Professional (System Builder)

I got everything put together yesterday inside my Antec 300 case, booted up right away! If anyone is up for them, I did have a couple of questions now that it's built.

I have both sticks of RAM installed and when I check the system it says 8GB of RAM (4GB usable), what does this mean and how am I supposed to make all 8GB usable?

I'm trying to keep the PC a little on the quieter side so I'm using some sound dampening foam on the case to keep some of the noise locked in. I was really just planning on using it on the side panels. I do not have a fan on the side (and one wouldn't even fit now with the huge heatsink I have), is it okay to cover that opening with the foam? Or I should I leave that open?

I have 4 Antec Tri-Cools already installed: 2 front, 1 rear, and 1 top.

Thank you all for your advice, I can't wait to start playing with it!
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February 16, 2011 2:47:59 PM

I just skimmed back up to the top, and I didn't see. Did you get Windows 7 32 or 64 bit? 32bit will only use 4gb, (3.25gb actually if I recall), but it will show all 8gb of ram.

Toms had an article on how to use more than 4gb with a 32 bit OS by using the rest as virtual memory, but Id change to the 64 bit OS now rather than later.

If you have the 64 bit version, then..... hopefully somebody else has an idea.
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February 16, 2011 2:51:50 PM

someone19 said:
I just skimmed back up to the top, and I didn't see. Did you get Windows 7 32 or 64 bit? 32bit will only use 4gb, (3.25gb actually if I recall), but it will show all 8gb of ram.

Toms had an article on how to use more than 4gb with a 32 bit OS by using the rest as virtual memory, but Id change to the 64 bit OS now rather than later.

If you have the 64 bit version, then..... hopefully somebody else has an idea.


Sorry, I forgot to put that. It is the 64 bit version. Thanks for the reply.
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February 17, 2011 2:51:46 PM

Just as a follow up, I re-seated the RAM and now all 8GB are recognized and used. Go figure.
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February 17, 2011 5:34:18 PM

I'm happy to see you went with the 8GB option. If you're like me and you wind up with 30 images open in Photoshop and iTunes playing while 20-odd tabs are open in your web browser, you'd find 6GB of RAM a little lacking.
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April 13, 2011 1:27:31 PM

Now that you have had time to play with the OCZ Vertex 2 60GB, how are your benchmarks coming out? Over a month and some say it will degrade fairly quickly on the random R/W 4k. I also went a budget rout, but went with AMD and a 965 Phenom II 125w that OC'd to 4.0 without a sweat. My mobo has all the bells and usb 3.0 and sata III 6.0 and have been waiting on the new controllers for these ssd to get settled down. Which controller does yours use and is it still proforming as good as day one? I have been reading all I can about the SSD's and OCZ's have the fastest on the market, but a bad return rate. So... how is your rig holding up?
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