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Multimedia/Gaming desktop, can somebody help?

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Last response: in Systems
March 14, 2011 11:20:02 PM

Hey guys, gonna help a friend build a desktop, but need to start ordering parts soon so hope you guys can help. Thanks in advance.

Approximate Purchase Date: Gonna start ordering parts this week or asap.


Budget Range: $700-$800


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Music - some mixing (he is a musician), video (movies), gaming (diablo), photo editing, surfing


Parts Not Required: monitor, keyboard, mouse


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, pricewatch, will take advice on other sites


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: prefer Intel as far as processor, but other parts i'm open to suggestions


Overclocking: Yes


SLI or Crossfire: no


Monitor Resolution: Video card needs to be able to do high resolution, will buy monitor later, have one for the time being.


Additional Comments: Need full tower due to upgrading later and good cooling with plenty of fans to cool it down. I'm open to everyones suggestions on parts. Need good speed and video to process some editing.

More about : multimedia gaming desktop

March 15, 2011 12:07:49 PM

Honestly nobody can help me with this?
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March 15, 2011 2:12:33 PM

Firstly i'll need to ask, do i need to factor an audio interface into this? Also, does 'he' do any recording with mic's? If so the PC must be extremely quiet. I can suggest a PC that will do the job if the answer to both of those is no.

If multimedia and gaming are both important i would suggest an i7 setup such as this:

Intel Core i7-2600k - $328.99
BIOSTAR TP67B+ - $129.99 (Or any other P67/1155 Board, this was one of the few in stock)
Palit GTX 460 1GB - $149.99 (+$25 Rebate)
Corsair XMS3 2x4GB 1333Mhz - $94.99 (+$20 Rebate)
Antec 300 - $54.95 (+$10 Rebate)
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W - $39.99 (+$10 Rebate)
Seagate Barracuda 500GB - $39.99

Total - $838.89

-$65 rebates = $773.89

I chose an i7 because they seem to do everything brilliantly so long as you pay the steep price. The 'K' models overclock like crazy too. I chose 8GB of RAM because audio editing software can be very RAM hungry at times. The Antec 300 is a case which makes a comprimise between noise and cooling instead of being too geared toward either one. The graphics card (which i have myself) is massive overkill for Diablo (which would play on onboard graphics i suspect) but it is pretty good with high resolutions and overclocks quite well. Should last a while too because i am yet to find a game i cannot play on ultra high settings with it. I chose that board because P67's are better for overclocking and buying that CPU and GPU would be a waste if you werent going to overclock (although you may want to add cooling before doing so.)

Hope my suggestions were worthy, good luck.
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March 15, 2011 2:59:59 PM

jmsellars1 said:
Firstly i'll need to ask, do i need to factor an audio interface into this? Also, does 'he' do any recording with mic's? If so the PC must be extremely quiet. I can suggest a PC that will do the job if the answer to both of those is no.

If multimedia and gaming are both important i would suggest an i7 setup such as this:

Intel Core i7-2600k - $328.99
BIOSTAR TP67B+ - $129.99 (Or any other P67/1155 Board, this was one of the few in stock)
Palit GTX 460 1GB - $149.99 (+$25 Rebate)
Corsair XMS3 2x4GB 1333Mhz - $94.99 (+$20 Rebate)
Antec 300 - $54.95 (+$10 Rebate)
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W - $39.99 (+$10 Rebate)
Seagate Barracuda 500GB - $39.99

Total - $838.89

-$65 rebates = $773.89

I chose an i7 because they seem to do everything brilliantly so long as you pay the steep price. The 'K' models overclock like crazy too. I chose 8GB of RAM because audio editing software can be very RAM hungry at times. The Antec 300 is a case which makes a comprimise between noise and cooling instead of being too geared toward either one. The graphics card (which i have myself) is massive overkill for Diablo (which would play on onboard graphics i suspect) but it is pretty good with high resolutions and overclocks quite well. Should last a while too because i am yet to find a game i cannot play on ultra high settings with it. I chose that board because P67's are better for overclocking and buying that CPU and GPU would be a waste if you werent going to overclock (although you may want to add cooling before doing so.)

Hope my suggestions were worthy, good luck.



Awesome thanks for the reply. Ok, just checked and yes he would like a audio interface to plug in instrument and a mic to record some things. Do have a few questions. Did you price this at newegg? If so, thats great. Second, is the Biostar board the one you recommend over others or do you prefer another one? Reason I ask is you said that one or any other P67 board, just wondered what was preferred on brand name. Last, since we will overclock it, lets go ahead and add a little cooling in there, whats your preference? Thanks again. Can you still help even though I need interface and mic? Also, what if we didn't overclock, could you find enough power and speed to do what he would need to do along with saving a few dollars?
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March 15, 2011 5:28:08 PM

I would probably drop to the 2600 (save $30), and apply this to a more quiet tower
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March 15, 2011 7:25:08 PM

With the audio interface it entirely depends on what you need. If you just need low latency Jack and XLR input then you could take a look at the E-MU 0202, thats the one i have and it works perfectly, iv'e never had a problem with it. As for the mic, again it would depend what you want to do with it and how seriously you take it. For acoustic guitar, vocals and most classical instruments most people would use a condenser microphone. These pick up a wider range of complex frequencies. (also bad for picking up fan noise) They are also pretty delicate and require an interface with phantom power. Personally i think a recording/gaming hybrid PC isn't likely to be quiet enough to be able to use a condenser and the alternative (dynamic) is in no way worse, it's just different. I would reccommend a Shure SM-58 (dynamic), theyre excellent. Also, if it's electric guitar being recorded most people would suggest one of those anyway, i even use them for vocals sometimes.

Back to the computer, the reason i said that about the biostar board was that most people prefer ASUS/MSI/Gigabyte etc. I'm sure the Biostar one is fine though. Since you want to save some money here and there to put toward cooling and some audio equipment i can suggest a few things you could save on. Most of that PC is massive overkill for what you asked, it would just last a long time. So trimming a few dollars here and there really wont matter too much. I would suggest changing the i7-2600k for an i5-2500k, think it's at least $100 less and you probably wouldn't even notice the difference for at least a few years. You could also get 4GB instead of 8GB of that same RAM and again, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. I think that should save you around $150 which should get you a relatively basic audio interface and a decent microphone. You could then just leave overclocking until you have the cash to get some quiet aftermarket coolers/fans etc. As for preference on quiet cooling, i must admit i don't know a huge amount about it to be honest, i think as far as gaming cases go, the Antec 300 is supposed to be pretty quiet. The only other thing i could suggest is that fewer, larger fans will be better than lots of smaller ones. Smaller ones have to spin faster and therefore make a lot of noise. Something else you could try if you can afford it is to get a case where every fan is controllable and just turn them up for gaming and back down again for recording.
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March 15, 2011 7:28:23 PM

Just to add too, yes i did price that at Newegg.
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March 15, 2011 8:11:09 PM

jmsellars1 said:
With the audio interface it entirely depends on what you need. If you just need low latency Jack and XLR input then you could take a look at the E-MU 0202, thats the one i have and it works perfectly, iv'e never had a problem with it. As for the mic, again it would depend what you want to do with it and how seriously you take it. For acoustic guitar, vocals and most classical instruments most people would use a condenser microphone. These pick up a wider range of complex frequencies. (also bad for picking up fan noise) They are also pretty delicate and require an interface with phantom power. Personally i think a recording/gaming hybrid PC isn't likely to be quiet enough to be able to use a condenser and the alternative (dynamic) is in no way worse, it's just different. I would reccommend a Shure SM-58 (dynamic), theyre excellent. Also, if it's electric guitar being recorded most people would suggest one of those anyway, i even use them for vocals sometimes.

Back to the computer, the reason i said that about the biostar board was that most people prefer ASUS/MSI/Gigabyte etc. I'm sure the Biostar one is fine though. Since you want to save some money here and there to put toward cooling and some audio equipment i can suggest a few things you could save on. Most of that PC is massive overkill for what you asked, it would just last a long time. So trimming a few dollars here and there really wont matter too much. I would suggest changing the i7-2600k for an i5-2500k, think it's at least $100 less and you probably wouldn't even notice the difference for at least a few years. You could also get 4GB instead of 8GB of that same RAM and again, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. I think that should save you around $150 which should get you a relatively basic audio interface and a decent microphone. You could then just leave overclocking until you have the cash to get some quiet aftermarket coolers/fans etc. As for preference on quiet cooling, i must admit i don't know a huge amount about it to be honest, i think as far as gaming cases go, the Antec 300 is supposed to be pretty quiet. The only other thing i could suggest is that fewer, larger fans will be better than lots of smaller ones. Smaller ones have to spin faster and therefore make a lot of noise. Something else you could try if you can afford it is to get a case where every fan is controllable and just turn them up for gaming and back down again for recording.


Ok, lets do this, he wants to keep the i7 and ram where it is, wants to keep it for quite a few years so that should last him a while. He said he can buy a dynamic mic later to help with the noise and buy the audio interface later also. He said the price right now is not that big of a deal, should be fine. Now, lets start with questions. Will the sound card on the P67 boards work well with the audio interface you recommended? Since you record audio also, you think 500 GB is big enough for his recording and mixing? He will not overclock it yet until he can buy some bigger cooling/heatsinks for the cpu and gpu. Do you recommend the stock headsink/fan on the cpu that comes with it? But I do want a good motherboard so I don't know which brand is preferred or which one has had problems and such, i will take recommendations on them. So just let me know if there is anything you would add to the part list or upgrade and I will take your recommendations. And you have had good luck with that brand of video card? Thanks again.
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March 15, 2011 9:03:01 PM

An audio interface works as a seperate sound card so you wouldn't actually be using the one on the motherboard, also i think 500GB should last a while, if not just buy another drive when you need it, theyre cheap enough. As for stock heatsinks/fans, yes they are completely fine if youre not overclocking yet, when you do come to overclock i would suggest researching some quiet coolers/fans instead of ones too focused on cooling. Or find some sort of comprimise because low rpm = low cooling and low noise, high rpm = high cooling and high noise. Also remember as i said earlier, larger fans get more airflow in a lower rpm. As for the motherboards, personally i think any P67 board of that price range would suit and i can't think of any brand i would stay away from, most reccomend ASUS though. Lastly, this card has been great for me but apparently the cooling is better on the Gigabyte or Gainward models although they cost a bit more. Another problem with the Palit is that hardly any aftermarket coolers will fit on it but unless youre doing some serious overclocking on it, it really shouldnt matter.
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March 16, 2011 12:15:24 AM

I know it works as a separate sound card but didn't know if it worked with the other one at all or not. Ok, I'll go with the 500 GB drive. We won't overclock for a while so no hurry on that. Are the fans good in the Antec case? Just wondered about that. I will look at a ASUS board for sure. Last, the video card, the Palit may not work if we want to overclock it so thats why I'm concerned about it. Should I go with the same model in the Gigabyte as the Palit? Last, if you want to change anything on it, let me know. Thanks again.
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March 16, 2011 1:21:28 AM

Yeah the Gigabyte is probably better for overclocking. Probably better off spending the extra $10 or so on it. Make sure to get the 1GB model if youre playing in high resolutions. Also for a case of that price range i hear the Antec 300 has great cooling and build quality.
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March 16, 2011 2:27:28 AM

If you don't mind me asking, there are several of the ASUS boards, which one of those do you prefer? I can't tell a big difference other than DDR speeds. Thats another thing, should I go with faster DDR or no? I know it costs more money. And are the 6.0 gb/s hard drives worth going to? I know the Seagate 6.0 gb/s is only $10 more or so.
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March 16, 2011 2:47:44 AM

You could probably just go for the cheapest P67 board because the better ones just mean USB 3.0, SATA 3 and better PCI-e slots. (x8/x8 etc) USB 3.0 MAY be useful. SATA 3 on the other hand is pretty much useless unless youre going to use a Solid State Drive. The sockets are just there ready for SSD's which are way too expensive for most people to be thinking about at the moment, i think it is going to be years before they get affordable ie. 500gb for $100. The x8/x8 PCI-e slots are great if youre going to go SLI/crossfire but it wont be necessary in your case. (in my opinion) I think you would be better off saving some cash because it also requires a decent (and expensive) PSU. As for faster RAM speeds it will make a minor, probably unnoticeable difference but it is only slightly more. You must decide whether its worth it.
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March 16, 2011 2:23:03 PM

So you don't think its worth paying an extra $10 or so to go up to a seagate 500 gb 6.0 gb/s drives instead of the 3.0 gb/s? Just wondering, I know you said its meant more for solid state drives so just asking, no biggie really. Newegg has a seagate 6.0 gb/s drive for $44.00 but no description of it, so don't know whats up with that. Thanks again man.

Is there an advantage over micro atx (besides being smaller) over the regular atx size motherboards in your opinion? I've built quite a few with both but always figured it was just a size issue. The antec 300 will hold either one. The cheaper asus board is a micro atx, for around $10 or so more the next one up is an ATX.

Last, been a while since I've looked at reviews on brand names of DVD/CD writer drives, recommend one?
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March 16, 2011 3:52:19 PM

Most games these days are more GPU hungry than CPU hungry (except WoW)
In my opinion, get a i5-2500k.If you are not going to do any serious video encoding and are just gonna watch/stream videos and play games then you don't need an i7 to be honest. The i5-2500k also an awesome processor and its 100 dollars cheaper. Get a good after market air cooler for overclocking (CoolerMaster Hyper 212+) and save the 100 bucks for a better graphics card, for example the GTX 560 which blows the suggested GTX 460 by a good margin.
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March 16, 2011 6:33:17 PM

Sync_nine is right, like i said you probably wouldn't even notice the difference going down to an i5. The upgrade to an i7 wouldn't make a huge difference in games it would be more in the audio editing side and the i5 would eat those programs for breakfast anyway. I was just thinking of overkill futureproofing. There are a fair few CPU hungry games though, supposedly games like BFBC2 etc. (the i5 would still cope fine though) You could then save some cash for your audio equipment or the suggested GTX 560.

The thing with those motherboards is that ATX ones tend to have more space for extra USB slots, expansion slots and coolers etc.

With DVD drives i always just buy the cheapest one that does the job and in nearly 10 years of PC building it has never gone wrong for me.
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March 17, 2011 12:08:00 AM

Thanks guys, I was looking at the GTX 560 also. He is wanting a HDMI port so he can hook up to his HDTV also. Looks like the 560 Ti is a super overclock and I don't know if its worth another $20 over just the 560, what do you guys think? I was also looking at the difference in the i5 and i7, that i7 is strong but you guys might be right, might be a bit overkill right now so I could switch over to the 560 videocard. I really appreciate all of your input. I will probably go with the atx asus board whenever it comes back in stock , the one that is $144 I think. Anyway, I still like the i7 though, up in the air on whether or not I need to get it or the i5.

Guys if I go with the GTX 560, think I need to move up on the power supply? Looks like the GTX requires two 6 pin power connectors and that power supply only has one. And is the Antec case big enough for the GTX card and big enough for something like the coolermaster heatsink? Hope somebody can help with that, that has done it.
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March 17, 2011 9:20:33 PM

I couldn't really comment much on the GTX 560 as i don't know a huge amount about it to be honest. If youre comfortable with overclocking though it seems like you could save $20 by doing it yourself. Also i think any card after 200 series or something will come with a HDMI port so thats no worry. (VGA/DVI can still carry HD video signal by the way) As for the PSU i don't think you need a more powerful one for 1 GTX 560 but you probably will if you ever want to upgrade to 2. (not reccomended on a motherboard without PCI x8/x8.) Just find a 600W PSU with the right connectors and i think you should be ok to be honest, possibly even a bit overkill.
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March 17, 2011 11:49:46 PM

jmsellars1 said:
I couldn't really comment much on the GTX 560 as i don't know a huge amount about it to be honest. If youre comfortable with overclocking though it seems like you could save $20 by doing it yourself. Also i think any card after 200 series or something will come with a HDMI port so thats no worry. (VGA/DVI can still carry HD video signal by the way) As for the PSU i don't think you need a more powerful one for 1 GTX 560 but you probably will if you ever want to upgrade to 2. (not reccomended on a motherboard without PCI x8/x8.) Just find a 600W PSU with the right connectors and i think you should be ok to be honest, possibly even a bit overkill.


Well looks like the antec 300 will hold the coolermaster 212 and the video card, well from what I've been told. Now the only question is, the two fans that come in the antec 300 be sufficient enough air for the heat coming from cpu and video card. Now on to the PSU.

You prefer antec or coolermaster as as PSU goes?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So just the PSU to decide on, then ready to order.
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March 18, 2011 12:49:17 AM

Well both are reliable enough brands, just go for the one with the sockets you prefer or the cheaper one. As for the case i think it just comes with the top and back which i think are both exhausts, i'm sure they do enough to cool the case nicely but if it were me i'd get a fan for the side too so you got some air coming in. Make sure to get one aimed more towards being quiet though because you want to be recording with a microphone. Or you could just get controllable fans and get a fan controller to turn them up during gaming and down for sound recording.
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March 18, 2011 1:17:47 AM

Ok thanks, do you konw if the ASUS P67 boards have the 4 pin connectors on the board for the internal fans that come with the case? Can't see them in pics. I'm not sure which ones I gotta have. I want to add a side fan but wondering if it will fit with the video card and the big heatsink? Thats the last thing I have a question about. The side fan is a 80 mm so hoping it won't touch the parts. Those two PSU's look like they will work for what I need? Thanks man, going good.
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March 18, 2011 8:28:59 PM

Both have the right connectors and both are modular which is a big bonus and like i said, both are reliable enough brands, just go for the one with the sockets you prefer or the cheaper one. As for the side fan, maybe you should just buy it and build it first, see how the temps are then decide if you need a side fan and see whether it would fit. To be honest i'm sure the temps will be fine without, im just a bit OCD about airflow sometimes. :)  Lastly, with the fan connectors i dont own and have never owned an ASUS p67 board or the Antec 300 but you will have no problems connecting those fans to something, even if it is the PSU.
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March 27, 2011 5:24:21 PM

Anybody else wanna recommend a combo for me? I wanna go with the ASUS P867 board ($144) but i wanna go with an aftermarket cpu cooler and reviews say it won't fit, touches the RAM. Anybody else experience this? Give me your other reviews or configs.
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