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Best bang 4My Buck $1500 - Graphic/Music Computer

Hi all! I want to build a system that will accommodate my graphics work (Mostly Adobe After Effects(Music Videos and Promos) & Photoshop) as well as my music production using software like (Nuendo 4, and Reason 5 My budget right now is 1500 but I may be able to squeeze a few more hundred if I need to. I'm hoping some of you pro's can help me get the most out of the money I have. FYI, I already have a pretty good sound card (E-MU 1820m). I've done some leg work on line and my wish list consist of (an i7 family chip, 4 to 6 cores and a SSD 80gb. I have a ATI Radeon HD 5750 Graphics card (do I need a different one for the new system)? Well there it is, render time is very important to me as well as ram. Thanks in advance for ANY help given! Also, I wont be gaming out on this system, strictly a work horse machine.
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  1. Best answer
    If that HD 5750 is sufficient for your needs it will be fine. Heres my reccomendation:


    I think at this budget, the i7-2600k is the only real option. No point in getting anything cheaper because this is great value anyway and the hyperthreading will really help.

    Intel Core i7 2600k - $314.99


    Again, you have a high budget and the more RAM the better so i'd put 16GB of something decent here.

    4x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws - $99.99


    The Z68 chipset helps with a lot of workstation tasks and it also has decent overclocking, no reason not to go with one at this budget.

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3-B3 - $99.99

    Boot Drive:

    I would go with a Vertex 3 120GB here because it is very fast and has been around a while as far as SSD's go. This should mean stable drivers.

    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB - $254.99

    Storage Drive(s):

    7200 rpm drives would probably be best especially for audio work. The Spinpoint F3 is a good proven drive. Get a couple of these if you need more than 1TB storage.

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $49.99

    Power Supply:

    I think 400-450W should be enough power, just be sure to go with something reputable such as XFX, Corsair or Antec.

    Corsair CX430 430W - $44.99


    I assume you will want something quiet and you don't need a huge amount of cooling so i would go for a case geared toward silence.

    Fractal Design Define R3 - $109.99

    CPU Cooler:

    Getting a CPU cooler would mean you can let that i7 perform where it wants to by overclocking, i would get a quiet cooler though.

    ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED - $58.24

    Optical Drive:

    A Blu Ray burner easily fits in your budget and may come in handy.

    LG BD-RW - $79.99

    Operating System:

    Windows 7 Professional - $139.99

    Total - $1253.15

    This comes comfortably under your budget and has everything youre ever going to need in a workstation PC. It should be quiet and is flexible (SATA 3, USB 3.0, Bluray etc.)
  2. ^+1

    jmsellars1 has built you an excellent pc. Usually I recommend the i5-2500K but the i7-2600K that jmsellars1 recommended is in your budget and the hyperthreading is perfect for the audio/video applications you're looking at.

    If you're going to go with the OCZ SSD line like jmsellars1 mentioned, note that there is almost no difference between the Agility and Vertex line. (They have different nand ram which you won't even notice) Sometimes one is $15 more than the other so just get whichever of the two is cheapest.

    Also, for you needs a quality monitor is probably a better investment than a video card upgrade (although I'm sure I'd get some debate on that) so if you've got the money, spend it on that.
  3. Wow guys, this was more help than I hoped for! Thank you both! I will start ordering the system this upcoming week.
  4. Best answer selected by Musicgrid8.
  5. musicgrid8 said:
    Wow guys, this was more help than I hoped for! Thank you both! I will start ordering the system this upcoming week.

    No problem, good luck! :)
  6. jmsellars1 said:
    No problem, good luck! :)

    Whats up bro. Quick question, the case and motherboard you suggested for my system are both out of stock. Do you have any suggestions for alternatives? I had no luck finding an ATX mid tower with the same features as the Fractal Design Define R3 - $109.99 you originally suggested(Now discontinued with New Egg). I did take a look at this MB, but I would still like your feedback. The original MB you suggested was the GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3-B3 - $99.99. Again thanks for all your assistance!
  7. That one looks a bit expensive, i would get this:

    That is a mATX board too, meaning you could just get the smaller version of the case i initially suggested.

    Alternatively you could go for one of these:
    (This one has a good 500W PSU so you could take yours out of the build)

    Those are some ideas, you could also have a look for the Coolermaster Silencio (can't find it anywhere.) Or, most Fractal Design and Zalman cases are meant to be quiet. Generally though, i would look for ones with no more then 2-3 low rpm fans (preferably 120-140mm.) Also look for the cases with noise absorbing material, as far as i know all of my suggestions so far fit this criteria.

    EDIT: Here is a suggestion for an ATX board if you prefer:

    EDIT2: Sorry the Sonata III doesn't have noise absorbing material, still meant to be quiet though. Possibly just shop around for that Fractal case.
  8. jmsellars1 said:

    Total - $1253.15

    This comes comfortably under your budget and has everything youre ever going to need in a workstation PC. It should be quiet and is flexible (SATA 3, USB 3.0, Bluray etc.)

    Great spec jmsellars1 - so good I am thinking of getting exactly the same spec!! Before I do is there anything i should modify in this spec given that 5 months has gone by?

    Also - Newegg are continuously displaying an "out of stock" message on the motherboard and not sure if it's because of a new board or it's highly sought after!!

    forgot to mention - i'm only using this for music studio stuff (no gaming)

    appreciate your help
  9. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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