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Help With Quiet Video/Non-Gaming Build

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October 16, 2011 7:33:12 PM

So after lurking for ages and gleaning much, I'm going to actually ask a question now. I've built 4 or 5 boxes in the past, and am looking to do another one in which I trim what I really don't need and concentrate on what I do.

I will not be gaming on this box - however, I'll be editing video (Vegas) and audio (Ableton Live), as well as doing Photoshop and Illustrator work. The rest is the standard stuff you'd assume - rip, transcode, basic productivity, streaming video, etc.

I currently run dual monitors, and will in all likelihood continue to do so unless I can spring for a new S-IPS 24" which is unlikely. So I run my 20"S-IPS as my main, with an aux TN screen as a holding pen.

I'm thinking of going i5-2400 as a nod to not grabbing what I don't need. I can overclock my current box, but generally do not, and have decided I'm getting a bit of a hard-on to run a quite and cooler computer. Thus, no extra fans etc.

I do need Firewire - but many of the budget boards no longer come with a FW header, or if they do they're using the VIA controller and not the TI - a non-starter for audio work, so assuming I can't find one, I'll just buy a card. Does anyone know if there's a downside to a FW card as opposed to an integrated solution?

I'll be running a minimum of three drives. If budget allows, I *may* run an SSD as primary Windows 7, but money is WAY tight right now, so I'll probably re-use my 500GB and 640GB WD blacks and add one more.

There's the set-up - I'm open to advice and pointers. Here are my questions and thoughts:

Q - I've been trying to find out if the iGPU on the 2500K would be sufficient for my needs, or if I should just bite the bullet and drop an ATI 5670 in the build; no Nvidia for me, as I've had bad luck with drivers crashing or creating DPC Latency. Of course, the $30 up-charge on the 2500k almost pays for one, and I'd get better performance out of a 5670 if I did play an occasional game.

Q - Assuming I go with a discreet card, what do I really need for editing HD video and watching films/streams? It seems like there are a lot of thoughts here, though I know I don't need to drop a c-note on a card.

Q - What's a solid MB that will fit my needs without being overkill? I'd like the ability to turn of speed stepping (or whatever the equivalent system is in an i5) as it caused major DPC latency on my current box (Q9500 with Gigabyte EP45-UD3R) that disabling it cured. I was thinking about a cheap z68, but for all I know an H61 would be fine.

Huge Dumb Q - Can you put a micro-ATX board in a full size case? I've only ever used ATX boards.

Q - Recommendations on a reasonably priced case/power supply? Again, I'm not going to run a ton - figure 3-4 drives max, one of which MAY now or in the future be an SSD.

Obviously, the big questions I have are around what MB I can get away with that's solid and cheap, and the graphics card issue. Also, any thoughts on getting quite and cool would be awesome.

As my initial thoughts, perhaps the following - but please pick it apart!:

MB - GA-H61M-USB3-B3 - $80 A/R (assuming no SSD)
Proc - i5-2400 - $190
Graphics - Saphire HD5670 - $57 A/R
RAM - 8GB of Corsair Vengeance or CMS3 - $50
CoolerMaster RS500 (eXtreme) - $35
Thermaltake V4 case - $40 (But I'm really looking for quiet here - dunno)
WD 750MB Black - $65
FW Card - Lacie 130820 - $15

Total - $552 before rebates, $532 after

SSD Alternate - GA-H67M-D2-B3 for $90 with
OCZ 60 GB SSD - $95

Alt Total - $572 After rebates






Thanks in advance - these boards are truly amazing.


October 16, 2011 7:39:44 PM

You should be using an H67 or Z68 motherboard

The onboard graphics should be fine for your purposes .
RAM must be 1.5 volt or less

The corsair CX 430 psu was $25 after rebate last time I looked and its way better quality
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October 16, 2011 7:46:58 PM

I've since found a z68 MOBO for the same price (GA-Z68P-DS3), so that's in, thanks.

Why is the 1.65v ram out (would delete CMS but allow Vengeance)

Corsair no longer on sale - but if it's better, it's worth another 10 bux - any idea if it's quieter?

And you think with the h2000 graphics I'd still be ok editing hd video? Main mon runs at 1680 x 1050 but I need to run 1920 x 1080 simultaneously


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October 16, 2011 8:04:04 PM

The very fine " wires" in the processor cant handle more than 1.5 volt . They get too hot and may burn up .
The RAM and the memory controller built in to the processor are two ends of the same circuit . If the mb feeds the RAM 1.65 volts its also over volting a small section of the processor .
Intel say this is not a good idea . I have to agree that burning up part of the cpu and turning it in to a door stop for a mouse cant be a good idea .

Yes you can put an m-ATX board into an ATX case .

Im unsure about a dual monitor set up and the integrated graphics . You could try it if the mb has compatible connectors [ a dvi and an HDMI ? ] , and if it wont work then consider a basic graphics card
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October 17, 2011 4:35:44 PM

I had no idea about that RAM voltage - I'm really glad I posted about it.

As for dual monitor, I'm assuming it will work to some extent - just wondering what the by products of it being underpowered would be. Is it just a matter of it being unable to display at a certain resolution or something else?

My question, I guess, is if the h2000 and/or h3000 in the 2400 or 2500k will display full HD video at the main monitor resolution without issues.

Come to think of it - I've wondered that for a long time; just what the symptoms of an underpowered card would be, aside from getting to pin the maximum settings in a video game. If you go to, say, the ATI site and put in your needs, they of course suggest a 5670 for HD video editing, but that's not surprising...
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