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Online HD Stream Only PC ---> Powerful 3-D Rendering Workstation

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April 1, 2011 8:52:35 AM

I am trying to build a strong base PC that is good for 4-6 years with the option to upgrade CPU, VGA, and memory card without wasting the motherboard, power supply, PC case, and probably cooling system. Of course, it has to be included the latest Intel's socket, 1155, from Sandy Bridge. I would assume it should be compatible for the future CPU to upgrade. I don't know how long the Sandy Bridge generation will last, but I hope it will be up to 4-6 years. Again, the most important parts that I wouldn't want to replace for 4-6 years are: motherboard, power supply, and box (or PC case).

Right now, I would use the PC for watching online HD stream (yes, I care a lot about picture quality - I want to watch HD online smooth, and high blu-ray like quality). I am a big fan of veetle.com, and hulu hd. I also like to watch sports HD streaming from mlb.tv, espn3.com, and NFL Live. The monitor I am using will be the 37" LED LCD HDTV. So, I guess I will have to find the required parts for the right price - low profile VGA, 4gb, dual core, etc. I wouldn't want to waste money for a powerful component that is unnecessary to only watch HD channel, and browse Internet. I am not a hardcore gamer, YET. However, I do really care about the picture quality. I hope it's good enough that I thought I have a HD cable channel, ya know what I mean?

For the future, I will probably use the crazy 3D rendering CAD software for my huge projects. I wouldn't want it to be choppy, and ugly. That is why I want to start the motherboard that has the capability to upgrade to the top-of-the-line i7 core. I will take care of the memory, hard drive, etc. since they're upgradeable and easy to install. Also, that is the time when I will decide to have a powerful gaming system with this computer.

Here's what I would like to do right now, but I am not sure if some of the parts are too extreme for my current need to only watch HD online, and internet browsing.


Source: newegg.com

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3 GHz (dual core) $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MB: COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $259.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PS: Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE ... $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
VC: HIS H467QR1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MC: CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD: ASUS Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A4/BLK/B/GEN $16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Fan: CORSAIR CAFA70 120mm Dual-Fan CPU Cooler $46.24
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Box: COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $993.16

Of course, it's out of my price range. I would hope to see between $400 to $600, but I don't mind to pony up for better quality. Also, I am not sure if a water cooling system is recommended for this current system.


Approximate Purchase Date:
Today, and this weekends (April 1st thru 3rd)

Budget Range:
$400-600, HOPEFULLY.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Read above.

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, audio system, and any accessory.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, frys.com, centralcomputers.com, bestbuy.com, and amazon.com

Country of Origin:
USA.

Overclocking:
Yes, in the future.

SLI or Crossfire:
Not sure.

Additional Comments:
I'd like my PC to be wireless. However, I HATE the USB Linksys wireless adapter. It looks ugly, and I always broke it. :pfff: 

More about : online stream powerful rendering workstation

April 1, 2011 9:06:02 AM

you dont need to spend that much on a case

Case: Antec 100
CPU cooler: Coolermaster 212+ hyper.

you dont need a 750 Watt powersupply.

a 450 Watt would be more than enough for what you are doing just look for 450 - 500 w 80+ powersupplies

you dont need an expensive motherboard either a H67 Asrock board would be more than enough for you
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April 1, 2011 10:12:07 AM

I don't like the way Antec 100 looks. Also, if I upgrade to i7 quad core sandy bridge in the future, I wouldn't want to throw the Antec 100 away for a better cooling case. That would waste money.

Are you sure 500 watt would be good enough for i7 sandy bridge quad core in the future? I hope you are right, because that would be cheaper.

A motherboard with H67 will limit my future i7, so I don't think I want to buy another motherboard for i7.

Anyway, thanks for your reply.
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April 1, 2011 1:11:53 PM

Intel's aging socket 1366 is still the only platform to support triple channel memory and hex-core CPUs. If you truly care about rendering and want the absolute quickest rendering times, you'll be eying one of Intels hex-core CPUs. That said... I'm not sure I'd want to plunk down $$$ on a platform that is over 2 years old.

Also, you want to pay particular attention to your video card selection. My girlfriend (an architect) uses Autodesk Revit and her new laptop's AMD/ATI GPU is not supported by that application. Her desktop's NVIDIA GPU is however supported. Revit (and I assume similar such applications) rely heavily on the CPU for rendering, but she's complained several times now about the smoothness of the walk-throughs (whatever that means) on her laptop... in spite of the fact that it has the superior GPU.
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April 1, 2011 3:47:34 PM

I was thinking about extreme i7 core for the future, but it only carries maximum 24mb. The sandy bridge one can take up to 32mb, and is the newest processor, so that is why I went for 1155. I already know about the graphic card supporting some 3D rendering software, I already looked up ATI FirePRo from a business HP laptop. I am still not sure which software, I will have to ask my school. I believe it has to be AutoCAD, or other that can be better than it (Solid Work, something).
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April 1, 2011 4:40:11 PM

Anyone? I hope to get a feedback, or suggestion before I leave to shop around in a couple of hours.
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April 1, 2011 5:00:49 PM

From what I've found of late, the difference in price of a 450W AND 600W PSU makes going for the latter a 'gotta do' if you wnat some future proofing.

A PSU that supplies 2 PCI-e deliveries also gives some future proofing.

The i5-2500-k or -i7-2600k are going to be outperfoming all the current competitors for a while and even when it's 'old' technology, will still give great performance for genaral 'office' users.

If you are building a 'custom rig', look to get get case and PSU that will survive the next MB/CPU upgrade.

Just my 2c worth
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April 1, 2011 7:16:06 PM

skygod12000 said:
From what I've found of late, the difference in price of a 450W AND 600W PSU makes going for the latter a 'gotta do' if you wnat some future proofing.

A PSU that supplies 2 PCI-e deliveries also gives some future proofing.

The i5-2500-k or -i7-2600k are going to be outperfoming all the current competitors for a while and even when it's 'old' technology, will still give great performance for genaral 'office' users.

If you are building a 'custom rig', look to get get case and PSU that will survive the next MB/CPU upgrade.

Just my 2c worth


I have to agree with you about the PSU, and case. I am still not sure about the motherboard, though. The i5-25000-k, and i7-2600k are nice, but they're probably being too powerful for my need to watch HD online stream lol. I will probably upgrade to i7 2600k in the next or more years later.

Alright, I'm off to shop around. Thanks for your reply!
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April 1, 2011 7:34:54 PM

I would get a Quad-core CPU today. It's not much more money and even though you don't need it now you definitely will when you get more into 3D graphics. Don't count on being able to upgrade CPU after - it just seems that CPU sockets change too often and during its life even if there is some CPU to upgrade to the performance increase is usually not high enough to be worth it.
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April 1, 2011 7:40:33 PM

I also noticed that you are shopping for low profile VGA card so I assume you are looking for a low profile case. Note that any powerful 3D card is not low profile and will not fit in a small case.
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April 1, 2011 8:07:03 PM

Yeah, that's why I chose the full tower sniper case. My other second favorite is the HAF. I would get either one of them depending on the discount deal.
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April 1, 2011 8:11:12 PM

joeschmoe007 said:
I would get a Quad-core CPU today. It's not much more money and even though you don't need it now you definitely will when you get more into 3D graphics. Don't count on being able to upgrade CPU after - it just seems that CPU sockets change too often and during its life even if there is some CPU to upgrade to the performance increase is usually not high enough to be worth it.


I thought the new CPU price will decrease monthly. I would assume next year, the earliest, I will attend my first college class that requires a 3D rendering software. I mean, it's going to be a year. The I7 2600k will go down a lot, I believe. The dual core i3 sandy bridge seems good enough for what I need right now, it's only $150. What do you think of the quad core i5 sb?
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April 1, 2011 9:03:35 PM

Yes, 2600K will get cheaper, but probably not by much within a year. But what will you do with i3 that you want to buy today? Resell on eBay? Check what a year old CPU (lower end) go for now. I haven't done this math but it just seems to be not worth the trouble. You would be paying for 2 CPUs as a result.

My logic in new PC buying is buy the best CPU available (I don't mean some Extreme Editions, today I would get 2600K). As far a memory goes if you don't max out your motherboard - make sure you have enough free slots to upgrade for your needs. Graphics card and HD are more flexible components.

FWIW I still use Pentium IV 3.6 GHz single core as my desktop at home. It is 6 years old but was a top of the line at the time I purchased it. 3GB RAM, 3x160GB HD. Runs Windows XP just fine and does everything I need (Internet, MS Office, Visual Studio). However, I don't care about gaming or 3D. As far as streaming goes it does Netflix just fine, including HD.

So my advice is to get top of the line without excesses like SSD and use it long term.
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April 1, 2011 9:18:45 PM

When would you be buying this? And can you just stick with what you currently have? As this will save you money.

CPU: just get the cheapest http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MB: You dont need to spend that much just for a x16/x16 when x8/x8 will get the job done for much less, especially since you dont even know if you want to sli/xf. They dont help in 3D software anyways. Id recommend the ASUS P8P67 Pro or the ASROCK extreme4 but they are out of stock, depending on when you buy it, you could wait for those are get a good Gigabyte or MSI board, theyre just as good.

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if you want 2 cards otherwise this will do http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Id suggest an Nvidia, CUDA helps more. But for now you can go with ATI, what you have is fine. Just make sure when you switch to clean out the drivers.

RAM: What you have is fine for now, or you can go with a 2x4GB so you dont fill up all 4 dimms later.

HDD: A SSD will not help right now. Especially in a year when it will possibly help, itll be much cheaper and faster. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: You dont want IDE, you want SATA. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF: You can stay with the stock fan. Get a HSF when you upgrade.

CASE: HAF would be a better choice. But even a cheaper HAF 912 or Antec 300 provides ample airflow.
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April 2, 2011 7:36:37 PM

joeschmoe007 said:
Yes, 2600K will get cheaper, but probably not by much within a year. But what will you do with i3 that you want to buy today? Resell on eBay? Check what a year old CPU (lower end) go for now. I haven't done this math but it just seems to be not worth the trouble. You would be paying for 2 CPUs as a result.

My logic in new PC buying is buy the best CPU available (I don't mean some Extreme Editions, today I would get 2600K). As far a memory goes if you don't max out your motherboard - make sure you have enough free slots to upgrade for your needs. Graphics card and HD are more flexible components.

FWIW I still use Pentium IV 3.6 GHz single core as my desktop at home. It is 6 years old but was a top of the line at the time I purchased it. 3GB RAM, 3x160GB HD. Runs Windows XP just fine and does everything I need (Internet, MS Office, Visual Studio). However, I don't care about gaming or 3D. As far as streaming goes it does Netflix just fine, including HD.

So my advice is to get top of the line without excesses like SSD and use it long term.


That post got me thinking for the half of the day yesterday. I figure that it would be better to wait for a month or so to save the money, and spend all for the better powerhouse.
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April 2, 2011 7:55:25 PM

psychicassassin said:
That post got me thinking for the half of the day yesterday. I figure that it would be better to wait for a month or so to save the money, and spend all for the better powerhouse.

Thinking is good. Also, if you do decide to get SSD - the one you selected (64GB) won't be enough for just about anything. IMO SSD is just not worth it at this time.
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