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Help me build a multimedia machine, please

  • Homebuilt
  • Multimedia
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Last response: in Systems
March 15, 2011 12:20:38 AM

Sister is a multimedia major and does graphics intense work on her several year old laptop. It's simply not powerful or fast enough to do what she needs done. She just got a new job and she wants a desktop computer. She was looking at package deals, but I told her she'd be better off building one herself. If she buys all the goodies, I'll put it together for her.

So, as ya'll've helped me before building my gaming rig, help me build one for multimedia from the case up to the operating system (which, by the way, will more than likely Windows 7 Ultimate)

I'm gonna' say that the budget is $2,000 for now. Can't say yet if that price includes peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, etc. I'll try to narrow some things down after I get a better idea of what she needs PC-wise.


More about : build multimedia machine

a b B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2011 1:33:54 AM

if she only has a laptop, she will need everything.

Not giving pricing here, some parts haven't been priced yet:

an I7-2600K is the starting point for the HD3000. Overclock optional.
a Z68 Motherboard so she can use a discrete GPU and Quick-Sync, should be out in the next few weeks.
8 or 16 GB of RAM
GTX 560 ti or 570 for CUDA
2 TB HDD for storage
90, 100, or 120 GB SSD as boot drive and main work drive
blu-ray burner
decent $40-100 case with good cooling.
550-650W PSU

this is your main tower, about $1200.

add a decent keyboard & Mouse(about $25), a scanner, good quality inkjet printer, a 23" monitor, maybe a WACOM tablet, and you're set.
March 16, 2011 11:04:32 AM

ScrewySqrl, thanks for the suggestion.

This is something I worked up in a few minutes (before I saw your post....I couldn't wait, I got excited!). It'll need some tweaking. For instance, I threw in the same keyboard and mouse that I have, but she really won't have a need for them. i.e. she can make do with something much less expensive. Also, it's the same case that I have. Not sure she'd want the same one or really need it. I think I should note that I really have done no research on GPUs, but this is one I had added before I saw your post. I saw a couple of graphs comparing power, etc. and the nVidia was a little bit higher than the 6950. I've actually got an ATI Radeon HD 5770 brand new that's just sitting around that I could sell to her cheap to save her some money, but she could do a lot better by today's standards...But then again, maybe she could get a smaller, less expensive case with the smaller card...?

Anyhow, it's a start...

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case


Antec CP-1000 1000W Continuous ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply Exclusively for - Twelve Hundred(1200)/P183/P193/DF-85


Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K


ASUS EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity


Western Digital Caviar Black WDBAAZ0020HNC-NRSN 2TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5" Internal Hard Drive


Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue SSC-D0128SC-2100 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM


LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM


LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM


CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model CMD8GX3M4A1333C7


APC BR1500G 1500 VA 865 Watt 10 Outlets Power Saving Back-UPS RS 1500


SAMSUNG P2770FH ToC Rose Black 27" 1ms Full HD HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 70,000:1 (1,000:1)


Logitech G19 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard


RAZER DeathAdder Precision Optical Gaming Mouse - 3.5G Infrared Sensor


Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM



No motherboard yet.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 16, 2011 12:28:22 PM

you can definitely trim down the case, keyboard, mouse, PSU, hard drive,RAM, SSD, any why do you have *two* blu-ray burners? Also, because many multimedia programs use CUDA, I'd suggest an NVidia card

Rosewill Destroyer case: $49.99
(cases are very subjective, have her pick out a decent mid-tower) My personal choice is never spend more than $80 towards a case.

Logitech Keyboard/Mouse: $24.99

XFX 650W PSU: $89.99 w/ $30 rebate

Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB drive: $89.99, but w/ $15 discount ending today

OCZ Agility 2 3.5" SSD: $204.99 w/ $20 rebate
a little less expensive and faster than the WD

G.Skill 8 GB DDR3-1333: $79.99
Most Intel boards only use 1333, so..

Galaxy GTX 570 GPU: $339.99 w/ $40 rebate
Gigabyte GTX 560 ti: $244.99

MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 P67 motherboard: $124.99
no expansion, but relatively inexpensive.