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Best desktop for the use

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  • New Build
  • Desktops
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Last response: in Systems
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December 14, 2011 10:36:28 PM

Hello,

I am planning to build a new desktop. I have seen some reviews and forums but i found they are most focused on gamers PC. I am not going to use this PC for gaming, but i would like to do this :
1. Very short boot times (not the 5 min with the laptop i have now !).
2. Il will be using Windows.
3. Be able to open or run multiple windows and/or applications : Ofice applications + web browsing + music or video playback + the antivirus tasks etc. at the same time.
4. Video streaming and playback in HD.
5. I was planning on using it as a media center too. Do not worry about the noise!

For the video streaming, the bottleneck is the internet service speed and not the CPU right ? could any one give me some numbers on that ?

I was thinking between the intel i5 and the AMD x4 or X6. All the reviews i have seen show results on high demand graphic games, but for my apps, is it necessary ?
In order to perform as a media center, do I really need a graphic card ?

Thankyou for the comments.

More about : desktop

December 15, 2011 6:49:34 PM

You left out the budget!!!

yes internet speed is the bottneck for streaming by alot.

here are my preliminary suggestions (i still need a budget)
grab a 2500k i5 or a phenom x4 (depending on budget, i5 is faster and will last longer but won't show too much difference in the next year or so)
a cheap mobo with usb3.0 but w/o integrated graphics (it can be micro atx or reg ATX)
a 128 or 256 gb ssd for fast boot times (128 is much cheaper and perfect if you don't install tons of programs and store your documents/pictures/music/videos/etc on the hdd)
500 to 1tb hdd (doesn't really matter which one)
a low end ~$60 gpu (it will make your life easier for hd video or the occasional game)
a decent ~300W psu (maybe an earth watts)
a nice big screen (maybe around 23")
a case that fits your preferance.

This would give you an awesomely fast computer for your needs. It would boot in under 30 seconds provided you don't install too many ugly programs McAfee or Norton (use nod32, much better). It would also last a while.

if you give me your budget and country, i can get you a sample list of parts.
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December 16, 2011 11:43:01 AM

slicedtoad said:
You left out the budget!!!

yes internet speed is the bottneck for streaming by alot.

here are my preliminary suggestions (i still need a budget)
grab a 2500k i5 or a phenom x4 (depending on budget, i5 is faster and will last longer but won't show too much difference in the next year or so)
a cheap mobo with usb3.0 but w/o integrated graphics (it can be micro atx or reg ATX)
a 128 or 256 gb ssd for fast boot times (128 is much cheaper and perfect if you don't install tons of programs and store your documents/pictures/music/videos/etc on the hdd)
500 to 1tb hdd (doesn't really matter which one)
a low end ~$60 gpu (it will make your life easier for hd video or the occasional game)
a decent ~300W psu (maybe an earth watts)
a nice big screen (maybe around 23")
a case that fits your preferance.

This would give you an awesomely fast computer for your needs. It would boot in under 30 seconds provided you don't install too many ugly programs McAfee or Norton (use nod32, much better). It would also last a while.

if you give me your budget and country, i can get you a sample list of parts.


Hi, thanks for the post. I guess i could do it under 1000USD. I am in east Canada. As i said, I want something that will last. What do you mean with the i5 lasting longer than the Phenom ? you mean quallity ? or been able to upgrade?
I have read some info on the i5 and the phenom, but i still can not make a desition, it seems the price is the only diference when it comes to performance. I mean, in some applications and benchmarks one is better but then in some others is the other way around..kind of confusing. Many comparisons have been made with games..so not much useful for me...
tks
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December 16, 2011 10:43:14 PM

$1000 for a non-gaming machine is a great budget, though you probably won't need to go that high (unless you include an expensive monitor).

An i5 performs better than a phenom II in both games and productivity but the phenom II likely has better performance per dollar (depending how you calculate that). AMD mobos are also cheaper with more features usually (looking around on newegg, i'm not sure this is actually true).

Because you're not running games, video-editing or anything else that requires heavy CPU power, I doubt you'd be able to notice too much difference between the two for at least a year, maybe 2. The i5 will last longer though because it performs better per clock and is on a newer platform, though AMD is quite backwards and forward compatible (so same upgradeability but better quality on i5).
here are some non-gaming benchmarks: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...

btw, do you want to overclock? Both i5s and phenoms oc very well (and easily) and boost value by about ~20% (without even playing with voltage). If you find that kind of thing interesting, I'd recommend it. but it's not necessary.

Here are some numbers:
-i5 2500k - overclocks $230 / i5-2400 - no oc $200
-AMD Phenom II X4 955 - oc $124.99 (there isn't one that doesn't oc that I'd recommend)
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December 17, 2011 1:16:47 AM

Ok here's a quick shopping list on newegg.ca, use it as a baseline and change according to your needs. There is no Mobo or CPU yet and based on the price so far, I think I'd recommend AMD's solution. The SSD really drives the price up.

I have no idea what size/look/etc you want so i just added one of the most common cases. You could go with a cheaper one easily.
Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case 69.99

Bleh, hard drives are expensive now. This is one of the cheaper ones. If you don't use much space you could go smaller. If you need more space i'd recommend waiting till they cheapen.
Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 92.99

It's possible you could get away with a cheaper card, but I know this would work. If someone else could give input on the minimum required card for playing hd movies, that'd be great.
XFX HD6670 83.99

Small, high quality psu.
Seasonic 300W 40.99

Ram is so cheap right now, you might as well get high speed and lots of it. Depending on the cpu, there are alternatives. Also, you could get away with 4gb but you'd only save ~$15, so yeah.
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 40.99

I chose a drive that can read blu-rays and burn dvds. You could save ~$25 if you don't want blu-ray capabilities or if you don't want burning capabilities.
LITE-ON Black Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo 65.99

This is my preference for SSDs. It has good performance and is very stable. The sale is a bit of a lie though cause it's been that way for months. I'd recommend this size but a smaller one would work. There are plenty of good SSD articles here on Tom's and they're not related to games much. Read them if you're interested.
Crucial M4 128GB SSD 204.99

This screen is the slightly larger model of my screen. It's a beautiful display. You could go smaller, bigger or with a different brand depending on your needs. I'd stay over 21" though.
ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23" 1080p LCD Monitor 169.99
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December 17, 2011 1:18:51 AM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD5176&v... - $196.67
Intel Core i5 2400 Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.1GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950BD6632&v...(B3)&manufacture=Others - $81
MSI H61MA-E35 (B3) H61 mATX LGA1155 DDR3 1PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 SATA3 USB3 HDMI DVI VGA Motherboard

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5211&v... - $41.93
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11230DR4284&v... - $115.72
Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 64GB 2.5IN Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14110AC5012&v... - $4.69
Scythe Bay Rafter 2.5 Rev B. 2x 2.5IN Hard Drive SSD 3.5IN Drive Bay Mounting Kit

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950AC0275&v... - $95.04
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5IN 16MB Cache SATA3 Internal Hard Disk Drive HDD

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC7918&v... - $40.46
Coolermaster Elite 360 Slim ATX Tower Case 2X5.25 1X3.5EXT 1X3.5 No PS Black

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950AC1394&v... - $39.69
Corsair Builder Series CMPSU-430CXV2 430W ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan *3 Year Warranty*

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950DR7068&v... - $17.93
Samsung SH-222BB 22X DVD Writer SATA Black OEM

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12850SW2113&v... - $98.70
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64BIT SP1 DVD OEM

Total: $731.83
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December 17, 2011 3:14:44 AM

If you prefer directcanada.com, that's fine. I use it alot, they have great prices and shipping but can be annoying with RMAs. Also, their site sucks, though I guess that cheapens the price.

Anyway, with a bit of looking around, it seems intel hd 3000 is sufficient for hd video playback. The i5-2400 only has hd 2000 though so upgrade to the i5-2500. Here's my source: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/intel...

Other than that, a 64GB ssd will be fine if you store documents/video/music/etc on the hdd. You may find it a bit annoying when it get's full, but you can always upgrade in a year or two when SSDs should be cheaper. Here's a guide for setting up an ssd as a boot drive: http://www.overclock.net/t/664738/how-to-setup-ssd-boot...

Also, if you want it for a media center you might want a blu-ray drive.
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