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1st Build for a Novice - Video Encoding & Streaming

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May 4, 2011 2:20:09 PM

I am looking to build my first pc and I have been reading these forums for advice. I want to build a pc around the CPU and Motherboard. I am looking to get the best parts but yet not go over the top on prices either. I plan on using it mostly for media streaming to my xBox and PS3, as well as ripping and encoding videos/movies. I don't need it to have tv recording software or it to be a HTPC since I will not be connecting it directly to any TVs, and I will use my TiVo Premiere to record my shows.

I have tried to put together a parts list. I'd REALLY like to get the cost down more if I could under $1,000 or so if it were possible. Please let me know your recommendations.

Approximate Purchase Date: Now to 2 months (buy parts as they go on sale if possible)
Budget Range: $800-900
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video ripping and encoding; Video Streaming; web surfing
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: see list below
Overclocking: Possibly
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1024x768 or 1280x1024
Additional Comments: Looking for a system that lets me easily exchange and add new parts as I need them.



Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
CPU Fan: Is one needed?
Computer Case: One that lets me mount the hard drives without having to use screws; and has good cable mgmt space
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
CD/DVD-ROM: ??? (Maybe two drives, one for regular DVDs read/write, and one for blue-ray read/write capability…)
Video Card: ???
Memory Modules: CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333



May 4, 2011 4:12:40 PM

After doing some additional research I wonder if I should look at the Gigabyte GA-P67X-UD3-B3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) motherboard instead. I am looking for additional Sata and USB 3.0 ports, as well as firewire inputs on the board. Which this board seems to have more of than the h67a board.
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May 4, 2011 5:52:17 PM

How many USB 3.0 devices do you have or think you will have in the future? Currently, only external hard drives are supported. Also, how many internal hdds or optical drives do you need to support. Only SSDs will utilize the bandwidth of the SATA III interface. Of course, any SATA II device is compatible. Also, are you going to have more than one firewire device hooked up at a time?

You won't need an aftermarker CPU cooler as you cannot overclock on H67 boards. That brings us to the next question...why a 2500k? I would go with the i5-2400.

That PSU is monster overkill for this build. Look at the Antec Earthwatts 430 for $55.

For a mechanical HDD, you can't beat the Samsung Spinpoint F3. It's currently $61 on amazon.com with free shipping.

I have a HAF 912 and 'haf' to say it's great for cable management and has a rail system for hard drives that is very slick. The stock cooling will be more than adequate and will be nearly (if not completely) silent.
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Related resources
May 4, 2011 6:02:33 PM

Forgive me, I forgot to address the optical drive question. Unless you are doing disc-to-disc copying, one drive will be adequate. Here's a Samsung Blu-ray burner for $80 plus $6 shipping. It doesn't say on the page whether it's OEM or not, but for that price I would assume it is. I would also assume you have software in mind that you would like to use so this should be a non-issue. If you need a DVD Burner also, expect to pay around $20-25 for an OEM model.

Don't limit yourself to newegg. I have often found amazon.com to have similar pricing and free shipping.
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May 4, 2011 6:05:56 PM

About the motherboard....would a microATX board be okay for you? They seem to be more popular for the H67 chipset. I would stay with H67 for Quick Sync.
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May 4, 2011 6:07:07 PM

You'll need a P67 if you want to overclock in the future. You'll want Corsair 800T case, its really good.

Your list is ok:

Motherboard: Asus P8P67-M Pro = 125
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor = 230
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 = 30
Computer Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 = 90
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX = 110
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX = 90
CD/DVD-ROM:LG Black 10X BD-ROM = 70
Video Card: GTX 460 = 160
Memory Modules: CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 = 94

Total $1000

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May 4, 2011 6:12:19 PM

nd is right, you dont need a cooler and a i3 2100 would be even cheaper for what you want. Also 4 Gb of ram is good enough. I dont know why I didnt though of that before, but I try to max the cap.
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May 4, 2011 6:37:17 PM

Here's what I would do, and it won't come close to $1000....

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99, free shipping

PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99, $2.99 shipping

Motherboard/CPU: Gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H/Intel Core i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$302.98, $7.87 shipping

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 CL9 1.5v
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$82.99, free shipping

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...
$60.85, free shipping

Optical: LG 10x Blu-ray Writer (The Samsung I listed earlier isn't a burner, my bad)
http://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-Blu-ray-Software-W...
$90.99, free shipping

Total, including shipping: $663.65
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May 4, 2011 7:47:33 PM

Thanks all for your suggestions...
I would prefer to stay with the regular ATX board. I want the ability to add video graphic cards and other PCI cards as my interests may change. I'd rather have the option to add cards than buying a new MOBO in the future...


  • only 1 firewire external
  • Not for sure how many 3.0 usb's, but maybe 3-5
  • I am going with the 2500K just so it is able to allow me to add components as my needs grow; plus it is at a good price point for its capabilities (especially for future proofing for the next 3-4 years...)
  • I will check Amazon as well. Thanks for the tip.
  • I will be doing disc to disc copying, so two optical units will be needed.
  • I plan on adding an SSD at some point to make as my boot up and with probably 3 Sata drives for backup and possibly Raid functionality.

    I will check your parts suggestions and get back to you later today.
    Thanks!!
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    May 4, 2011 8:15:55 PM

    The Intel® Core™ I5 2500K is a great processor and may be the best value for a gaming processor on the market. Now for your question on HSF, without overclocking the stock HSF will work fine. When you go to overclock the processor then you are going to want to change it out for a good 3rd party HSF.
    ATX vs. Micro-ATX most of the time what this comes down to is 1 PCI or 1 PCI-e slot. Also motherboard manufacturers are not generally placing SLI or Crossfire support on a Micro-ATX board. ATX is around 12.5” x 9.5”, while Micro-ATX is around 9.5” x 9.5” and since most boards today will come with on-board NIC and on-board sound. On a board like the Intel DH67BLB3 has 1 PCI-e x16 slot, 2 PCI-e x1 slots, and 1 PCI slot, so you should have plenty of expansion capacity even with a Micro-ATX board.

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
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    May 4, 2011 8:50:59 PM

    jbcheshire said:
    Thanks all for your suggestions...
    I would prefer to stay with the regular ATX board. I want the ability to add video graphic cards and other PCI cards as my interests may change. I'd rather have the option to add cards than buying a new MOBO in the future...


  • only 1 firewire external
  • Not for sure how many 3.0 usb's, but maybe 3-5
  • I am going with the 2500K just so it is able to allow me to add components as my needs grow; plus it is at a good price point for its capabilities (especially for future proofing for the next 3-4 years...)
  • I will check Amazon as well. Thanks for the tip.
  • I will be doing disc to disc copying, so two optical units will be needed.
  • I plan on adding an SSD at some point to make as my boot up and with probably 3 Sata drives for backup and possibly Raid functionality.

    I will check your parts suggestions and get back to you later today.
    Thanks!!



  • You're welcome.

    From the above list, it sounds like you might want to wait for a Z68 board (release date May 8 or 11). Z68 is basically a combination of the H67 and P67 chipsets. This will allow overclocking your CPU (P67) while using Quick Sync (H67) while a discrete GPU is installed.

    I think the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 will be the best board for your budget. It offers a total of 8 SATA ports for optical/hdd connections. It has two USB 3.0 ports and a firewire port on the I/O shield and comes bundled with a 3.5" drive bay with two more USB 3.0 ports that plugs into the header on the motherboard. I'm guessing it will be priced around $180-200.
    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extre...

    Let's assume $200 for the board, $7.87 for shipping, and $224.99 for the 2500k.

    Here's an LG DVD Burner for $20.99 with free shipping.

    You'll also want a beefier PSU if you plan on adding a GPU in the future. A quality 750 watt unit is a safe bet, even if you are going to Crossfire or SLI two cards (up to HD 6970 or GTX 570). It will be overkill for anything less, but just for argument's sake we'll add a Corsair 750HX for $139.99 and free shipping. It also has a $10 mail-in-rebate, but I don't like to consider those because they aren't a given. I'm 1/4 lately...

    Some quick math and a new total...

    633.65-302.98-7.87-54.99-2.99=264.82

    264.82+200+7.87+224.99+139.99=$830.67
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    May 5, 2011 2:53:28 PM

    This is starting to look pretty good. Okay, here are my thoughts and questions on the above suggestions:

  • I like the HAF912. I will add it to my list!
  • I will also swap the Corsair 750TX for the 750HX since it adds the modular capability.
  • WOW, That Asrock Z68 board looks sweet!!! I will be waiting till that one is released instead... Thanks for the heads up on that one!!
  • Since I am going with the Z68, I can look at larger memory according to its specs. So, after some additional research it looks like the Corsair XMS at 1600 is $95 before rebates. Is Corsair and G.Skill comparable in their quality? Both are about the same price so I was wondering if either would be better than the other...
  • Regarding the Samsung Spinpoint F3 when compared to the WD Cavier Black it has these numbers: 32MB vs 64MB cache and 3.0 Gb/s vs 6.0 Gb/s transfer speed. Is the $20 savings for the Spinpoint worth sacrificing the difference in cache and transfer rate?

    Thanks again.
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    May 5, 2011 3:54:02 PM

    jbcheshire said:
    This is starting to look pretty good. Okay, here are my thoughts and questions on the above suggestions:

  • I like the HAF912. I will add it to my list!
  • I will also swap the Corsair 750TX for the 750HX since it adds the modular capability.
  • WOW, That Asrock Z68 board looks sweet!!! I will be waiting till that one is released instead... Thanks for the heads up on that one!!
  • Since I am going with the Z68, I can look at larger memory according to its specs. So, after some additional research it looks like the Corsair XMS at 1600 is $95 before rebates. Is Corsair and G.Skill comparable in their quality? Both are about the same price so I was wondering if either would be better than the other...
  • Regarding the Samsung Spinpoint F3 when compared to the WD Cavier Black it has these numbers: 32MB vs 64MB cache and 3.0 Gb/s vs 6.0 Gb/s transfer speed. Is the $20 savings for the Spinpoint worth sacrificing the difference in cache and transfer rate?

    Thanks again.


  • What do you mean by 'larger' memory? Do you mean physically larger as in taller heat spreaders or larger capacity as in 16GB right off the bat? That Corsair memory you mentioned is 1.65v. It will work, I have it in my rig. It's a bit high on the voltage though, as Intel recommends 1.5v for Sandy Bridge. There won't be any noticeable difference between that and the Mushkin set that I linked, other than the initial price. For that matter, your could OC those Mushkin sticks to 1600MHz. As far as quality, I consider Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin, and Kingston to all be on the same tier.

    Yes, the WD has a higher cache and SATA III interface. I believe it will be a little bit quicker in small bursts due to the larger cache. No 7200rpm mechanical hard drive can utilize the full bandwidth of SATA II. I believe two striped (RAID 0) F3's come close. It would take four or more of those WD drives in RAID 0 to reach 6.0Gb/s transfer rates. The problem with that, besides the cash it would take to get there, is that if one drive fails, all of your data is gone. Four drives in RAID 0 equals four times the chance of drive failure. Save the $20 and don't look back.
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    May 5, 2011 5:35:27 PM

    Sorry for the confusion on the term "larger memory". Maybe what I should have said is faster/speed... Meaning that the options can now include memory at 1333, 1600, 2000, or 2133.

    In any case, I was looking at the specs for the memory support list on the Asrock Z68
    (http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme...), and it appears that there a few options available at any of the speeds. I was trying to stay with the dual 4gb sticks and then at the recommended 1.5v voltage and I am not finding any at the 1333 nor 1600 speeds. If I do go with the 1.65v rated sticks, what kind of problems can I expect from the Processor or board?

    Thanks for the info on the harddrive setup. I will stick with the Spinpoint as recommended.
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    May 5, 2011 6:08:15 PM

    There are plenty of 8GB sets available at 1600MHz that are 1.5v. Anything above 1600MHz isn't worth it in my opinion, as you will only get about a 1% increase in performance. The same can be said for 1600MHz CL7 memory (as opposed to CL9). Those speeds are also available on the P67 chipset. Anything above 1333MHz requires overclocking settings through the EFI/BIOS, which is very easy.

    Some people will argue that higher frequency/lower latency memory will improve encoding times, but it's pretty much only noticed in benchmarks. Is a couple seconds quicker (1-2%) worth $50+? I say no, but that's a call you'll have to make.

    Here's a couple different options for you. Note: these are all 1.5v 8GB sets. You can find more options at higher voltages. While they (1.6-1.65v sets) should work, I'm not going to recommend anything out of Intel's specs. My rig power cycles once before it boots when I turn it on, and I think it's due to the 1.65v memory. It's slightly annoying, but not enough to make me buy a different set at this time. Z68 board comes first :D 

    1333MHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Mushkin Enhanced Silverline CL9 $82.99 (I've used these and like them, the low-profile heat spreaders mean that they will work will all tower-style after-market CPU coolers if placed in the 1st memory slot)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--G.Skill Ripjaws X CL9 $84.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--G.Skill ripjaws x CL7 $104.99

    1600MHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair Vengeance CL9 $94.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Mushkin Enhanced Blackline CL9 $94.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--G.Skill Ripjaws X CL9 $94.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--G.Skill Ripjaws X CL8 $109.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair Vengeance CL8 $114.99

    1866MHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Ripjaws X CL9 $124.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--Corsair Vengeance CL9 $124.99
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    May 5, 2011 6:46:12 PM

    I did see these memory sticks on New Egg, however I was cautious because of what ASRock's spec sheet is recommending for their new z68 extreme4 MOBO that is supported... Should I not take that into consideration???
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    May 5, 2011 7:00:31 PM

    You mean the qualified vendor list? They don't have the time or means to test every single memory set being sold.
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    May 5, 2011 7:19:33 PM

    Okay. I just wanted to make sure since they were stating that these were the memory sticks supported and there were quite a lot of them across the range/speed levels. I will probably go with the Corsair as you recommended.

    Can't wait till they release that new board next week!!!!

    I will buy some of those other items that are on sale or still have rebates on them in the mean time...
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