Hey there Quite self-conscious about making a post here. I must confess my experience with hardware is pretty much nonexistent, but I've been reading a lot and trying my best to keep up with all the information. Even with the power of google, however, I believe I'm still rather lost, so I'd appreciate your help!
Approximate Purchase Date: Probably next week
Budget Range: Now, this one is tricky.. because these things get pretty expensive here in Brazil, and the amount/quality of things I can buy in here for US$1900 is no doubt much less than if I were to buy them in the US(which unfortunately, I'm not able to). The highest I can go is R$3500 (or around US$1900), but ideally I'd rather go lower than that.
System Usage: Can be quite varied. At this time it's mostly for Illustration(Photoshop, Illustrator, etc), InDesign, Gaming (Skyrim, GTA IV, for example), Watching Movies, Surfing the Internet, 3D Modeling, etc. Very little 3D Modeling so far (only using Rhinoceros) but that will increase this year, since I'll need to work with 3D Studio Max, Zbrush and might start working with Maya. Also, I often have to use a bunch of those programs at the same time (Usually InDesign + Illustrator + Photoshop + Rhinoceros + Music Player + Web Browser + Live Messenger are open at the same time, which my current dated computer doesn't handle so well). Also very soon, this New Computer will be used for quite a bit of Video Editing. The computer usually stays on for a long time (all day and all night for some days without intervals), too.
Additional Comments: For the reasons above and the desire of building a somewhat future-proof PC... the i7 2600K is the one piece of the build I'm not planning to change for an i5, for example. It'd be nice if the final build weren't too loud, but I suppose I can live with it if it does (I rather have it well cooled and stable).
------------- After much looking around, I managed to find a vendor that offers the following build for about $1500 (believe it or not, the cheapest vendor I could find):
CPU: i7 2600K 3.4GHz Overclocking: Yes (Only slightly, since the computer stays on practically 24/7 - Also given my inexperience, the vendor himself will be doing the overclock)
RAM: 16 GB of Kingston - DDR3-1333
Storage: Initially I planned to get a 60GB SSD for the OS and Software, along with a 1TB HDD, but since here the price of a 60GB SSD is about the same as of a 1TB HDD, and I've read quite a few stories of SSDs being a headache, I've opted for (2) 1TB HDDs instead (included in the price). I might opt for an SSD in the future(a year from now, perhaps) if the prices go down considerably.
Monitors: Currently using the native 1600x900 resolution of a LED monitor I have here, but I do plan to add a second (hopefully bigger) monitor to go along with it, just not so soon.
GPU: Another great dilemma of mine. An Nvidia GTX 560 Ti SC is included in the price, but a GTX 570 is also an option with an increase of about US$250 in price, which, despite looking at benchmarks and reviews, I still can't decide if it's worth it. I don't plan to SLI currently, because from what I heard the programs I use don't benefit so much from it.. and though I love gaming, work is still higher on my priority list. It might be interesting to have the option to, in the future but.. do you guys think it's worth buying a MOBO that supports that?
MOBO: The vendor gives two options for the same price, the ASUS P8H67-V and the Intel® DH67CL/VR/BL. If I didn't read wrong, the ASUS one doesn't support SLI, while the Intel one does, but I'm kind of in the dark here about the quality of Intel MOBOs... Is there a better (but not too much more expensive) option or is it a fine option for its price? Should I ditch the option of future SLI'ing altogether and go for a different MOBO?
Additional Comments²: As I mentioned before, my knowledge of hardware is pretty much nonexistent, so I don't plan on doing much tweaking on the system myself. In fact, the less I have to tweak it the better, to avoid potential disasters (another reason I decided not to buy an SSD, yet, if I had to fix it for some reason, I would be utterly lost).
PSU: 600 Watts (Hopefully enough?)
I have no idea about the case and cooling options, either. Certainly don't want anything to fry.
Sorry for the long post, I know it's a lot of stuff, but hopefully all relevant info I can give is there.
Any help/advice/opinion is very much appreciated!
CPU: Try to get this vendor (if possible) to sell you the i5 2500k instead. It is practically the same thing as the i7 2600k with a 0.1 GHz decrease in clock speeds. You'd be wasting (in the US) $80-100 on the 2600k compared with the 2500k.
RAM: More RAM is NOT better. Better speeds is better. Try getting 8 GB of G.Skill - DDR3-1600.
Storage: Good choice with getting a 2nd 1 TB Hard Drive. Get an SSD later if you feel you really need t. Otherwise, you'll be good.
Monitors: Would be a good idea to use some of the saved money on a 1080p 23 inch monitor.
GPU: Definitely, by all means, take the GTX 560 ti SC. The 560 ti has a GREAT price-performance ratio (much better than gtx 570). And yes, it IS worth buying a motherboard that supports SLI so that you can SLI two GTX 560 ti's when the time comes when you need more power.
MoBo: Neither of those motherboards supports SLI or even has more than 1 PCIe slot to begin with (where you plug your card in). Ask for a- Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3. It's a great motherboard and in the US it's only $22 more than that ASUS p8h67 motherboard you listed. It supports x8/x8 SLI (just means your cards will be running at very good clock speeds) and Gigabyte is a good company.
Here's a link just in case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Comments: Be sure you have a Disc Drive/Reader. They are usually very cheap ($20ish in US). Also, make sure the case you're getting is one you think looks ok. You'll be having this computer for a long, long time as it's very powerful.
PSU: 850 Watts is much more than enough. Hopefully that power supply is from a trusted company like Corsair, Seasonic, or Antec. I'd be careful if it isn't. Should be fine, though.
You don't have to worry about anything frying. You'll need a heat sync for that CPU to cool it down. Go with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus. A fairly inexpensive heat sync that functions very well (it's $20-30 in the US).
Here's a link (just in case): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
dont go with the i5 2500k that he recommended it has less performance because it doesnt support hyper threading which helps in photoshop, indesign, and 3d rendering. if only gaming its perfect for it but not photoshop and 3d rendering
and if you dont plan on overclocking go with the non-k variant but if so definitely get the k variant its unlocked for easy overclocking
16gb of 1333 ram is better then 8gb of 1600, it can help in demanding programs if you plan on running all your programs at once.
The 560 ti is perfect for what you plan on doing and for your programs you wont see more performance with 2 560 ti's but games you will
if you dont plan on sli'ing or going with 2 cards the 850w psu is overkill you could get away with a good quality 650w or maybe 750w if you plan on doing heavy overclocking.
if you dont plan on doing any mild overclocking you dont need an aftermarket cooler but if so get an aftermarket cpu cooler like the coolermaster hyper 212+
Thank you for the answers so far! You two successfully convinced me to buy the GTX 560 instead of the 570, and my pockets are also very thankful to you.
I'm rather adamant about keeping the i7 2600k, since 80% of the time the computer is going to be used for work(not games) and will suffer from lots of multitasking. I know currently a lot of programs aren't benefiting so much from hyper threading, but if that changes in the future, I imagine I'll be a little more prepared (I do plan to keep this new PC for as long as I can manage). Nonetheless, I've asked the vendor about the price difference. If the difference is too great, I might go for the i5 after all, but until he replies, I'll keep researching to make sure the i7 won't be a waste in my hands.
The GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 MOBO NeutralEnergy suggested does seem pretty nice, already asked the vendor about it and am now simply waiting to see if it's a MOBO he can get for me, hopefully it's a yes, but if not, I might come here to bother you guys again.
And as I was writing, he replied! If I were to follow NeutralEnergy suggestions, except for the i5 one.. apparently it would all cost R$ 4299,00, or the lovely bargain of US$2332. That's quite a crazy price jump! I believe the price of the 800W PSU wasn't included in the first post I made too, after all (damned details they hide in tiny letters ) but the one included for that first-post price would be the 600W PSU (a 800W one would increase it in around $125) so I think I'll follow chief7285's advice on keeping a humbler PSU. I'm also thinking of giving up the thought of any future SLIing and going with a simpler(cheaper?) MOBO instead, which brings me back to being lost in the multiple choices available at newegg(even though I can't buy them from there) again.
It seems a lot of the price increase was actually because of switching the 16GB of 1333 RAM for 8GB of 1600 RAM, too, so I'm definitely going with 16GB of 1333. x_x Now, the rest of the price jumps is quite a mystery to me. The price of the build I mentioned in the first post, with a GTX 570 was US$1844, so I don't see how the price could've gone that much higher. I will try to further inquire the guy about the individual prices.. but he hasn't even replied about the i5 yet. I'm having a feeling I'll have to stop trying to communicate with him online altogether and just drive to his store (which is in a nearby city) to ask him things more directly.
If you know any other decent cheap MOBOs, or have any opinions on those two I mentioned, I'd be more than happy to hear it.
It's my first time buying a non-pre-built computer and your feedback is giving me quite a bit of insight and guidance on what to do, so thank you again for the help.
I'll keep trying to research on my end and will keep you guys informed.