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Critique My Build Before I Pull The Trigger

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January 16, 2012 2:43:24 PM

I am preparing to do my first build and want to be sure I dont do something stupid. :)  Objectives for this computer are as follows:

1) Edit HD video taken by my 1080pm camcorder.
2) Serve that video through my Blu Ray player to my HD TV.
3) There will probably be some other minor word processing, internet browsing and "non-graphics intensive" games but I'm assuming any build that will accomplish 1 and 2 will do fine for #3.
4) Do it on a pretty limited budget. I don't need state-of-the-art but don't want it to lag for 5-10 seconds while it executes an edit - if you know what I mean.

After pulling together various opinions from these forums and elsewhere I've come up with the following build. Two big questions: Will it work (i.e. are all the parts compatible) and, secondly, am I doing anything silly?


MOBO MSI A75MA-G55 AMD A Series Socket FM1 Motherboard $85
Processor AMD HDT55TFBGRBOX Phenom II X6 1055T Processor - Six Core $160
RAM (need 2 - 8GB) Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 4GB DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz, 4096MB $80
SSD OCZ Vertex Plus 120GB 2.5" SATA II SSD $119
Case Thermaltake VM54521N2U V2 ATX Mid Tower Case $70

You'll note there's no HDD - I have a 1TB external drive I figure I'll use until HDD prices come back down. Also, no DVD burner - I have an old one I can install but don't see myself burning a lot of DVDs anyway.

Thanks for your thoughts!!

More about : critique build pull trigger

January 16, 2012 3:02:16 PM

You couldn't find an 8gb kit for ram? you can get 8gb for around $50

SSD is not sata 3, but I understand you're on a budget so that should be fine
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 3:16:06 PM

I agree that the RAM is way overpriced - you should be able to get RAM for less than $50.

But if you're going to be editing video (and working with large files) you should skip the SSD for now and go for a 500GB mechanical drive - 120GB will not hold very much, and it will fill up pretty quickly and you'll regret not having the extra space.

You're also using a Llano motherboard with an X6 - the X6 won't work with the A75 chipset. Maybe go with a Phenom II X4 and a AMD 970 board, but then you'd also need a video card which would defeat the purpose of the budget.

Try something like this:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And then get this for the case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 16, 2012 3:43:07 PM

Thanks for the helpful answers. I was wondering about the MOBO and CPU being compatable - I was doing a little mixing and matching. Thanks for straightening me out on that.

A few follow up questions for either or both of you if you have time If not then you've already been helpful and have my thanks:

- I've had some input from some that felt I should skimp a bit elsewhere and try to get 16GB of ram since I'd be doing a lot of video editing. Any thoughts?

- g-unit1111, you mentioned I should skip the SSD for now. I mentioned that I have an external 1TB drive I was planning on using for the time being (not sure if you saw that or not) so, to your point, I wouldn't be putting many files on the SSD. My thought was put Windows, the editing software, and, perhaps, the files that I am currently working with on the SSD. Move completed projects to the external HDD. Does that make sense or do you still feel I'd be better off with the 500GB mechanical drive than an SSD? (PS - thanks for the specific links for alternative components - looks good!)

- I've got mixed feedback on a video card. Some have said I don't need it for video editing (just for gamers mainly). Sounds like you feel I'll see much improvement with a graphics card, huh?

- Do I gain much incremental benefit from six cores vs. four?

Thanks so much!

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January 16, 2012 3:58:17 PM

Why do you have a socket FM1 for an AM3 Phenom 2? As far as I am aware that cpu and that mobo has different sockets, they need to have the same socket.
Also while Phenom 2s are great price/performance cpus, make sure you get an AM3+, so you can use an older phenom 2, while later being able to use future bulldozer cpus.
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January 16, 2012 4:09:39 PM

An ssd is very nice to have, I feel gunit just overlooked your comment about the hdd you already have.
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January 16, 2012 4:12:47 PM

Max1s said:
Why do you have a socket FM1 for an AM3 Phenom 2? As far as I am aware that cpu and that mobo has different sockets, they need to have the same socket.
Also while Phenom 2s are great price/performance cpus, make sure you get an AM3+, so you can use an older phenom 2, while later being able to use future bulldozer cpus.



Thanks for the reply.

Yes, one of the earlier responders also caught that issue about the sockets. That's the kind of problems I was hoping someone would catch.

.....and thanks for the thought on the AM3+ motherboard and the upgrade potential.

I posted a few followup questions (earlier in the string) to some earlier comments. I'd appreciate any input on those questions you might have if you have the time.

Thanks again!
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January 16, 2012 4:14:20 PM

Cripple13 said:
An ssd is very nice to have, I feel gunit just overlooked your comment about the hdd you already have.


Thanks! I've heard some wonderful things about SSDs!
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January 16, 2012 4:16:02 PM

Yes they are at the point where if you don't get one you're already behind the rest of the world haha. It all comes down to budget though because they are expensive. If you can afford one it is stupid not to get one, but if you can't, you should still try to get one later on down the road
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 4:19:11 PM

First, where is your power supply?

If money's tight, try it with 8G of RAM and see if it drags. Just try to get sticks that will allow you to add more, in other words, don't fill your DIMM slots with the 8.

I think your plan for the SSD is good. It just speeds things up in general and makes the whole PC experience sexier.

As for video cards, many video editing programs, like Adobe Premiere Pro, use the CUDA in Nvidia cards to great advantage. Here is an article from 2009. Google is your friend.

There are applications that use six cores. Here's what a hexi does for Premiere Pro CS4.
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January 16, 2012 4:47:43 PM

Cripple13 said:
Yes they are at the point where if you don't get one you're already behind the rest of the world haha. It all comes down to budget though because they are expensive. If you can afford one it is stupid not to get one, but if you can't, you should still try to get one later on down the road



Thanks! I think I'll try to squeeze it in if I can. I just want to try to avoid "budget bloat" - I'm already tempted!! LOL
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January 16, 2012 4:51:19 PM

Yes it's very hard to resist, especially on here when everyone is giving you suggestions of how to pinch every last dollar, but they all list different components so you end up thinking about an entire new build lol
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January 16, 2012 5:03:44 PM

Petrofsky said:
First, where is your power supply?

If money's tight, try it with 8G of RAM and see if it drags. Just try to get sticks that will allow you to add more, in other words, don't fill your DIMM slots with the 8.

I think your plan for the SSD is good. It just speeds things up in general and makes the whole PC experience sexier.

As for video cards, many video editing programs, like Adobe Premiere Pro, use the CUDA in Nvidia cards to great advantage. Here is an article from 2009. Google is your friend.

There are applications that use six cores. Here's what a hexi does for Premiere Pro CS4.



Thanks for the input.

Unless I'm missing something the case comes with a 450W PSU. You might argue that it's not a GOOD PSU but I believe it's at least there.

I get your point about the RAM. I was thinking about the same strategy - i.e. seeing how it goes and then going for another 8GB when money becomes available or if the 8GB just isn't doing it.

I followed your link to elitebastards. Pretty technical for me but I think I get the point - sounds like a GPU takes over a lot of the work from the CPU, thus, improving performance (just like in the old days). Would it stand to reason that I might do better with a 4 core CPU and a lower end graphics card then 6 cores without one?

And, by the way, I'm thinking I'll be using a simpler editing program - probably something like a Premiere Elements 10. That's probably more my speed than something like a Premiere Pro. Maybe that makes a difference in your thinking?

Thanks again!
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January 16, 2012 5:05:41 PM

Cripple13 said:
Yes it's very hard to resist, especially on here when everyone is giving you suggestions of how to pinch every last dollar, but they all list different components so you end up thinking about an entire new build lol



Yes, I'm already in quite a different place than I was 2 hours ago when I first posted! LOL

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Best solution

January 16, 2012 5:15:08 PM

SCIGuy:

Your mobo and processor doesn't seem to be compatible. Here's a link about your Mobo Socket: http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket%20FM1.html

Your CPU is not on the list.

Also, why AMD?

It's been proven again and again that Intel processors dominate. From what I've calculated, your budget is just a bit over $500 correct?

If video editing is your primary objective, then based on the following reviews:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...

and

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recom...

You would want an Intel CPU (i5 2500K for best bang for the buck) a Z68 or H67 mobo for QuickSync capability for boosted video encoding processing speed, and a NVIDIA graphics card for CUDA video editing capability.

So a better build would be this (I'm choosing the cheapest options keeping your budget in mind)

Mobo: ASUS P8Z68 V-LX $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i5-2320 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Geforce GTS 450 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeanch $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Any SSD that fits your budget will do. Z68 mobos should provide better performance with SSDs. Make sure it is SATA III for 6gb/s transfer speed to take advantage of your mobo's capabilities. It is said that Intel SSDs are more reliable but not as fast as the other Sandforce based SSDs. I have an OCZ Vertex 2 that I had to RMA 3 times in 6 months. The other 2 died on me randomly. I would say to stay away from OCZ but their customer service was prompt and nice and they never charged me a penny (i live near their warehouse so i picked up the replacements myself).


Oh and your questions...

6 cores vs 4 cores... really depends. Cores are mostly for multitasking and many software are not programmed to take advantage of more than one core. iTunes for example only uses a single core. The answer to your question depends on what video editing software you're using, but again, tests have shown that even though AMD has 6 cores, they still can't beat Intel's i5/i7 4 cores in processing speed and power. They're just that much more efficient.

Video cards are for gamers and you don't NEED it for video editing but you would WANT it lol. A decent video card will handle the video processing faster than your onboard video but if you want to save the +$100 of the video card, the onboard can do it.

Don't skip the SSD. It makes everything so much faster. Seriously faster. It's the way of the future... now. Especially with video editing and all of the loading of big files involved, it makes work so much more... enjoyable? No more annoying wait times? It's only advantageous if you put your OS on the SSD, so if you get it later, you will have to reinstall Windows on it again... the pain in that itself is good enough reason to get the SSD now. Use it as your "work bench" per se, edit the videos on it, then transfer the final product to your external HDD. Make sure you have a USB 3.0 External too to take advantage of the double speed that the mobo can do.

With regards to RAM, the more the merrier in your case since you'll have many big files loaded but budget is always a concern. You can get the 8GB now and then get another 8GB later. You should have 64bit Windows where 8GB is now the new "sweet spot" of RAM capacity to have. I had to upgrade from 6GB because my BF3 was a RAM whore.


Hope this helps a bit.

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 5:30:12 PM

Quote:
- g-unit1111, you mentioned I should skip the SSD for now. I mentioned that I have an external 1TB drive I was planning on using for the time being (not sure if you saw that or not) so, to your point, I wouldn't be putting many files on the SSD. My thought was put Windows, the editing software, and, perhaps, the files that I am currently working with on the SSD. Move completed projects to the external HDD. Does that make sense or do you still feel I'd be better off with the 500GB mechanical drive than an SSD? (PS - thanks for the specific links for alternative components - looks good!)


I didn't see the part about the 1TB hard drive.

If you're going to get an SSD you should definitely not get the Vertex 3 - OCZ is really hit or miss when it comes to SSDs and I wouldn't trust your data to that drive just for that reason. The mechanical drives are far more reliable and they'll need fewer replacements. If you insist on getting the SSD I'd definitely recommend doing a bit of research before settling on the brand that's the cheapest.

Quote:
You would want an Intel CPU (i5 2500K for best bang for the buck) a Z68 or H67 mobo for QuickSync capability for boosted video encoding processing speed, and a NVIDIA graphics card for CUDA video editing capability.


I think a lot of posters in this thread didn't realize that OP was on a budget - if that's the case then the 2500K would NOT be the best choice as it's quite a bit more expensive than the comparable AMD CPU is (and Newegg has been jacking the price to astronomical levels for some reason). If you insist on Intel then maybe go with an H67 and an i3-2120 - that would be a better bang-for-your-buck solution and it would enable you to use the onboard video until you're able to afford a dedicated GPU like a 6850.

Quote:
Video cards are for gamers and you don't NEED it for video editing but you would WANT it lol. A decent video card will handle the video processing faster than your onboard video but if you want to save the +$100 of the video card, the onboard can do it.


I'll actually disagree with this one as the onboard video puts a huge strain on your CPU. If you were going with something like, say a Llano which has dedicated cores for graphics proccessing, yeah, you would benefit there. But You don't want to spend money replacing your CPU every year by overloading it to the max it can handle.

Quote:
Yes it's very hard to resist, especially on here when everyone is giving you suggestions of how to pinch every last dollar, but they all list different components so you end up thinking about an entire new build lol


Yeah it's very tempting, I'll agree with that. :lol: 
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 5:31:18 PM

sciguy said:

Unless I'm missing something the case comes with a 450W PSU.


Ah. I clicked on the one recommended by our illustrious friend and member g-unit1111. If you do get a graphics card, we'll have to circle back to this.

Quote:
Would it stand to reason that I might do better with a 4 core CPU and a lower end graphics card then 6 cores without one?


Good question. I don't know, but that never stopped me from offering an opinion before. Depends on the program, I guess, and exactly what you end up doing with it, but, probably. But from what I could find out by briefly googling without caring very much, Elements doesn't use CUDA.
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January 16, 2012 5:52:04 PM

Quote:
I'll actually disagree with this one as the onboard video puts a huge strain on your CPU. If you were going with something like, say a Llano which has dedicated cores for graphics proccessing, yeah, you would benefit there. But You don't want to spend money replacing your CPU every year by overloading it to the max it can handle.


And I'll have to disagree with that... but not out of spite. You make CPUs sound really delicate and fragile when they really aren't. My old 486 computer still boots (I can't bring myself to throw it away... memories...). I've been running my i7 920 overclocked to 3.6GHz for over a year and it's fine (knock on wood). You don't need to fear having to replace CPUs every year because you make it "work". They're designed to "work". If by "strain" you mean that your system may lag a bit, or be a little slower... then I may agree a little bit, but of course it will be slower than if you were using a dedicated graphics card.

Bottom line: Onboard graphics are put there to be used. If they kill CPU's.. they wouldn't put them there.
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 6:10:08 PM

djridonkulus said:
Quote:
I'll actually disagree with this one as the onboard video puts a huge strain on your CPU. If you were going with something like, say a Llano which has dedicated cores for graphics proccessing, yeah, you would benefit there. But You don't want to spend money replacing your CPU every year by overloading it to the max it can handle.


And I'll have to disagree with that... but not out of spite. You make CPUs sound really delicate and fragile when they really aren't. My old 486 computer still boots (I can't bring myself to throw it away... memories...). I've been running my i7 920 overclocked to 3.6GHz for over a year and it's fine (knock on wood). You don't need to fear having to replace CPUs every year because you make it "work". They're designed to "work". If by "strain" you mean that your system may lag a bit, or be a little slower... then I may agree a little bit, but of course it will be slower than if you were using a dedicated graphics card.

Bottom line: Onboard graphics are put there to be used. If they kill CPU's.. they wouldn't put them there.


That's why I generally tend to recommend even a low cost GPU. You don't want to drop even $1K on a new system and then have it lag anywhere. I try to build my systems as lag-free as possible with the budgets I'm given.
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January 16, 2012 7:13:58 PM

djridonkulus said:
SCIGuy:

Your mobo and processor doesn't seem to be compatible. Here's a link about your Mobo Socket: http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket%20FM1.html

Your CPU is not on the list.

Also, why AMD?

It's been proven again and again that Intel processors dominate. From what I've calculated, your budget is just a bit over $500 correct?

If video editing is your primary objective, then based on the following reviews:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...

and

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recom...

You would want an Intel CPU (i5 2500K for best bang for the buck) a Z68 or H67 mobo for QuickSync capability for boosted video encoding processing speed, and a NVIDIA graphics card for CUDA video editing capability.

So a better build would be this (I'm choosing the cheapest options keeping your budget in mind)

Mobo: ASUS P8Z68 V-LX $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i5-2320 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Geforce GTS 450 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeanch $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Any SSD that fits your budget will do. Z68 mobos should provide better performance with SSDs. Make sure it is SATA III for 6gb/s transfer speed to take advantage of your mobo's capabilities. It is said that Intel SSDs are more reliable but not as fast as the other Sandforce based SSDs. I have an OCZ Vertex 2 that I had to RMA 3 times in 6 months. The other 2 died on me randomly. I would say to stay away from OCZ but their customer service was prompt and nice and they never charged me a penny (i live near their warehouse so i picked up the replacements myself).


Oh and your questions...

6 cores vs 4 cores... really depends. Cores are mostly for multitasking and many software are not programmed to take advantage of more than one core. iTunes for example only uses a single core. The answer to your question depends on what video editing software you're using, but again, tests have shown that even though AMD has 6 cores, they still can't beat Intel's i5/i7 4 cores in processing speed and power. They're just that much more efficient.

Video cards are for gamers and you don't NEED it for video editing but you would WANT it lol. A decent video card will handle the video processing faster than your onboard video but if you want to save the +$100 of the video card, the onboard can do it.

Don't skip the SSD. It makes everything so much faster. Seriously faster. It's the way of the future... now. Especially with video editing and all of the loading of big files involved, it makes work so much more... enjoyable? No more annoying wait times? It's only advantageous if you put your OS on the SSD, so if you get it later, you will have to reinstall Windows on it again... the pain in that itself is good enough reason to get the SSD now. Use it as your "work bench" per se, edit the videos on it, then transfer the final product to your external HDD. Make sure you have a USB 3.0 External too to take advantage of the double speed that the mobo can do.

With regards to RAM, the more the merrier in your case since you'll have many big files loaded but budget is always a concern. You can get the 8GB now and then get another 8GB later. You should have 64bit Windows where 8GB is now the new "sweet spot" of RAM capacity to have. I had to upgrade from 6GB because my BF3 was a RAM whore.


Hope this helps a bit.



Thanks!! Sorry for the delay in responses - I've been reading all of the links and trying to process the info and opinions everyone is so graciously providing (apparently my brains needs an upgrade to an Core i7 too! LOL)

A million questions/comments are running around in the brain but let me try to limit them to a few and address them somewhat in the order of your comments:

- yes, a couple of folks have already pointed out the incompatability in the MOBO and CPU but I still appreciate that you confirmed the concern. :) 

- I hear you on Intel vs. AMD. I have never seen much disagreement with your point of view of Intel superiority but was going with AMD for budgetary concerns (value for the $). Thanks for your alternative suggestions (FYI - I don't see a case suggestion - I'll need to add that cost in there too)! If I were to bite the bullet and go with Intel how do you feel about this build - seems like it might be a little cheaper and gets your preferred CPU?? I hope the link works! (I'd switch out the 500GB HDD for a 120GB SSD and also forego the DVD writer):



My guess is that you'll feel the MOBO is the weak link. I know I'm asking for a value judgement but is spending the extra $40 for the board you're suggesting going to make a noticeable difference?

- Your thoughts are right in line with what I was thinking about how to use the SSD. I'm glad that it seems I'm at least thinking about that right. :) 

- Sounds like there is "loose consensus" among all who have responded that a video card is helpful - some just seem to feel the boost will be more noticeable than others. FYI - I'm just planning on using Adobe Premiere Elements 10 (unless someone has a better suggestion for the same price point) so I'm not going high end on software either.

- I haven't reach hard resolutions on direction yet but, based on everyone's feedback, I AM pretty sure I'm going with 8GB RAM and no graphics card to begin with and reserving the option of adding them if I'm not happy with the performance.

Thanks so much for the input! If you don't have time for these questions I COMPLETELY understand!! I know everyone has day jobs! LOL
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January 16, 2012 7:19:15 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
- g-unit1111, you mentioned I should skip the SSD for now. I mentioned that I have an external 1TB drive I was planning on using for the time being (not sure if you saw that or not) so, to your point, I wouldn't be putting many files on the SSD. My thought was put Windows, the editing software, and, perhaps, the files that I am currently working with on the SSD. Move completed projects to the external HDD. Does that make sense or do you still feel I'd be better off with the 500GB mechanical drive than an SSD? (PS - thanks for the specific links for alternative components - looks good!)


I didn't see the part about the 1TB hard drive.

If you're going to get an SSD you should definitely not get the Vertex 3 - OCZ is really hit or miss when it comes to SSDs and I wouldn't trust your data to that drive just for that reason. The mechanical drives are far more reliable and they'll need fewer replacements. If you insist on getting the SSD I'd definitely recommend doing a bit of research before settling on the brand that's the cheapest.

Quote:
You would want an Intel CPU (i5 2500K for best bang for the buck) a Z68 or H67 mobo for QuickSync capability for boosted video encoding processing speed, and a NVIDIA graphics card for CUDA video editing capability.


I think a lot of posters in this thread didn't realize that OP was on a budget - if that's the case then the 2500K would NOT be the best choice as it's quite a bit more expensive than the comparable AMD CPU is (and Newegg has been jacking the price to astronomical levels for some reason). If you insist on Intel then maybe go with an H67 and an i3-2120 - that would be a better bang-for-your-buck solution and it would enable you to use the onboard video until you're able to afford a dedicated GPU like a 6850.

Quote:
Video cards are for gamers and you don't NEED it for video editing but you would WANT it lol. A decent video card will handle the video processing faster than your onboard video but if you want to save the +$100 of the video card, the onboard can do it.


I'll actually disagree with this one as the onboard video puts a huge strain on your CPU. If you were going with something like, say a Llano which has dedicated cores for graphics proccessing, yeah, you would benefit there. But You don't want to spend money replacing your CPU every year by overloading it to the max it can handle.

Quote:
Yes it's very hard to resist, especially on here when everyone is giving you suggestions of how to pinch every last dollar, but they all list different components so you end up thinking about an entire new build lol


Yeah it's very tempting, I'll agree with that. :lol: 



I appreciate the additional input!

Sounds like most are in agreement about OCZ. Even assuming I get something from a more reliable supplier it sounds like the tradeoff one makes for an SSD is some reliability in exchange for vastly increased speed, right?

And per the comment I just made above it sounds like everyone agrees that graphics cards are a good thing - some may just feel more valuable than others for video editing. :) 
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January 16, 2012 7:21:21 PM

Petrofsky said:
Ah. I clicked on the one recommended by our illustrious friend and member g-unit1111. If you do get a graphics card, we'll have to circle back to this.

Quote:
Would it stand to reason that I might do better with a 4 core CPU and a lower end graphics card then 6 cores without one?


Good question. I don't know, but that never stopped me from offering an opinion before. Depends on the program, I guess, and exactly what you end up doing with it, but, probably. But from what I could find out by briefly googling without caring very much, Elements doesn't use CUDA.



Thanks!!

Soooooooo, a program that doesn't take advantage of CUDA means less value in having a graphics card? Is that how I should interpret that? :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 10:33:21 PM

sciguy said:
Soooooooo, a program that doesn't take advantage of CUDA means less value in having a graphics card? Is that how I should interpret that? :) 


That's what I was driving at in an attempt to answer your question when I don't really know. I'm a gamer type. We all have mammoth graphics cards and don't grok other byteforms. You maybe should post in a video editing forum on the relative importance of CPU and GPU, and study the available software to determine whether CUDA cores will speed things up for you.
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2012 10:51:58 PM

sciguy said:
I appreciate the additional input!

Sounds like most are in agreement about OCZ. Even assuming I get something from a more reliable supplier it sounds like the tradeoff one makes for an SSD is some reliability in exchange for vastly increased speed, right?

And per the comment I just made above it sounds like everyone agrees that graphics cards are a good thing - some may just feel more valuable than others for video editing. :) 


Yes. On SSDs you pretty much have to factor in reliability vs. capacity vs. drive longevity. Some SSD vendors are really great (Intel, Samsung, Crucial, Kingston Hyper X, Mushkin, and Plextor). Some are decent (Corsair, G.Skill, ADATA, Sandisk) and others are questionable reliability at best (OCZ, Wintec, Zalman, and the rest).

Graphics cards are indeed a good thing but even a smaller one will more likely to assist with your overall system performance vs. not having one at all. Even something like a 6450 will take some of the load off of your CPU without putting a massive strain on it.
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January 16, 2012 11:34:43 PM

Petrofsky said:
That's what I was driving at in an attempt to answer your question when I don't really know. I'm a gamer type. We all have mammoth graphics cards and don't grok other byteforms. You maybe should post in a video editing forum on the relative importance of CPU and GPU, and study the available software to determine whether CUDA cores will speed things up for you.



Fair enough. Thanks for the thoughts!
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January 16, 2012 11:38:37 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yes. On SSDs you pretty much have to factor in reliability vs. capacity vs. drive longevity. Some SSD vendors are really great (Intel, Samsung, Crucial, Kingston Hyper X, Mushkin, and Plextor). Some are decent (Corsair, G.Skill, ADATA, Sandisk) and others are questionable reliability at best (OCZ, Wintec, Zalman, and the rest).

Graphics cards are indeed a good thing but even a smaller one will more likely to assist with your overall system performance vs. not having one at all. Even something like a 6450 will take some of the load off of your CPU without putting a massive strain on it.




Thanks, until these postings I probably wouldn't have spent much time thinking about the reliability of the SSD.

The comments on the graphics card takes me back to where I was originally a couple of weeks ago but had about been talked out of it. Sounds like the weight of the opinion is more "FOR" than "AGAINST".

Thanks again!
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 12:46:02 AM

sciguy said:
Thanks, until these postings I probably wouldn't have spent much time thinking about the reliability of the SSD.

The comments on the graphics card takes me back to where I was originally a couple of weeks ago but had about been talked out of it. Sounds like the weight of the opinion is more "FOR" than "AGAINST".

Thanks again!


Reliability is probably *THE* most important factor of all when choosing an SSD. You don't want to get the wrong one and then wind up having to buy the same drive twice.

Even a cheapo graphics card like a Radeon 6450 or a GTX 520 would be a better choice over using the onboard video, especially when planning a video editing system.
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January 17, 2012 1:55:17 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Reliability is probably *THE* most important factor of all when choosing an SSD. You don't want to get the wrong one and then wind up having to buy the same drive twice.

Even a cheapo graphics card like a Radeon 6450 or a GTX 520 would be a better choice over using the onboard video, especially when planning a video editing system.



I get ya.

It also sounds like there's no harm in waiting on the graphics card until the budget looks a little better, though. I know the cheap ones are.......well, cheap.......but I'm having to watch the pennies a bit for now.

Out of work right now so have to be a bit careful - it means some free time to edit video but, on the downside, not much money available for the hardware.

Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 9:34:44 AM

If you intend to get a graphics card later, you might want to ensure that the power supply you buy now won't have to be replaced with a somewhat heftier one when the time comes. If you can decide what level of card you will want, you can look them up at AMD or Nvidia and see what the PSU requirements are. For example, your 450W supply will be adequate for a GTX 450, but a GTX 480 wants 600W.
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January 17, 2012 2:37:23 PM

Petrofsky said:
If you intend to get a graphics card later, you might want to ensure that the power supply you buy now won't have to be replaced with a somewhat heftier one when the time comes. If you can decide what level of card you will want, you can look them up at AMD or Nvidia and see what the PSU requirements are. For example, your 450W supply will be adequate for a GTX 450, but a GTX 480 wants 600W.




Good thought. I had done a little calculating on the rest of the components and I was well under the 450W but I may be surprised at how much the graphics card will push up the requirements.

Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2012 3:43:27 PM

Mobo: 124.99$
MSI 990XA-GD55 AM3+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

it's well open for upgrade in the future if you ever think of getting some am3+ processors.

PSU: 79.99$ and with rebate 59.99$
pcpc 500w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or if you wanted more headroom and for future upgrade.

psu: 169.99$
corsair ax750w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

imo get the corsair ax750w, it's 80+gold and it gives you more headroom for upgrades and im sure it will last you longer for a couple more builds
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January 18, 2012 7:32:59 PM

Just when I thought I was really honing in on an answer Tiger Direct / CompUSA throws this barebones kit out there:

]http://www.compusa.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=1857703&sku=B69-0510]

(hope the link works)

It seems to accomplish a lot of what many of your folks have mentioned.......A AM3+, USB 3.0 capable, upgradeable to 16GB MOBO. A GeForce GT 520 based graphics card. A 600W power supply. A 2GB HDD. for $400!

For those of you who have been so helpful with prior suggestions on a build would you stick to your guns on your original recommendations or would you grab this deal - keeping in mind budget is important and build is going to be used primarily for HD video editing.

BTW, at this price I may still splurge for a 120GB SSD.

One concern - I see the HDD is only a 5900 RPM drive. Should I be worried about that for video editing? I've read some articles that say you need a 7200 RPM for video editing.

And, djridonkulus, I haven't dismissed your passion for Intel either. It's still in the mix for consideration.







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January 18, 2012 8:14:05 PM

Barebones are never a good idea. They typically bundle brands/components that don't sell well to push them out the door. You are much better off parting it out and building it yourself
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January 18, 2012 9:23:47 PM

Cripple13 said:
Barebones are never a good idea. They typically bundle brands/components that don't sell well to push them out the door. You are much better off parting it out and building it yourself


Thanks! And I'm guessing the assumption is those components aren't selling because they aren't any good?

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2012 9:35:23 PM

sciguy said:
Thanks! And I'm guessing the assumption is those components aren't selling because they aren't any good?


Yes. Most of the time they include a lot of junk hardware and the PSUs that are included most of the time are absolute, flat-out crap (built-ins, no-name brands, etc). You really want to watch out for some of the stuff they include in these systems. It may seem like a good deal at the time, but you get an exploding PSU and you might as well flush that money down the toilet. :lol: 

Quote:
If you intend to get a graphics card later, you might want to ensure that the power supply you buy now won't have to be replaced with a somewhat heftier one when the time comes. If you can decide what level of card you will want, you can look them up at AMD or Nvidia and see what the PSU requirements are. For example, your 450W supply will be adequate for a GTX 450, but a GTX 480 wants 600W.


I agree with this - you for sure want to check the power requirements of the graphics card(s) you intend to buy. All manufacturers put the minimum power requirements on their website. Alternately you can use this to calculate your needed wattage:

http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalculator/PSCalcula...
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January 18, 2012 11:05:55 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yes. Most of the time they include a lot of junk hardware and the PSUs that are included most of the time are absolute, flat-out crap (built-ins, no-name brands, etc). You really want to watch out for some of the stuff they include in these systems. It may seem like a good deal at the time, but you get an exploding PSU and you might as well flush that money down the toilet. :lol: 

Quote:
If you intend to get a graphics card later, you might want to ensure that the power supply you buy now won't have to be replaced with a somewhat heftier one when the time comes. If you can decide what level of card you will want, you can look them up at AMD or Nvidia and see what the PSU requirements are. For example, your 450W supply will be adequate for a GTX 450, but a GTX 480 wants 600W.


I agree with this - you for sure want to check the power requirements of the graphics card(s) you intend to buy. All manufacturers put the minimum power requirements on their website. Alternately you can use this to calculate your needed wattage:

http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalculator/PSCalcula...



That's a really cool site - should be very helpful! I'll probably be going with one of the "cheapo" cards that were mentioned earlier so I'll plug those into the calculations.

......and I would prefer to utilize the stock market for flushing my money down the toilet! ;) 

Thanks!

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January 19, 2012 9:09:27 PM

I'm almost there! I apologize for dragging this out.

In my continuing quest to get the very best value out of the limited budget a few questions:

1) Only one response mentioned a RAM recommendation at about $50 for 2X4GB. I'm wondering if one of these less expensive options would be a solid choice:

]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280&Tpk=ASRock%20970%20EXTREME3%20AM3%2b%20AMD%20970%20SATA%206Gb%2fs%20USB%203.]

(only $30 after rebate)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145315

($35 after rebate)


2) The cases that have been recommended don't include PSUs. Any recommendations on a reliable, but lower end, PSU? I haven't done the calculations yet but need either 450W or 600W.

3) I'm assuming PSUs are all compatible with any "modern" case. Is that a flawed assumption?


Once I resolve those two pieces I think I'm ready to pull a trigger.

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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2012 10:43:26 PM

Quote:
I'm almost there! I apologize for dragging this out.


No problem. :lol: 

I always say buying a PC is like buying a car in that you want to ask as many questions as possible about what you're buying before pulling the trigger.

1. That RAM is OK. Good choice on the motherboard though, I almost bought that same one but went with the Gigabyte instead.

This would be better RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. The main reason is because the PSUs that are included with cases for the most part are just flat-out junk (which is why the pre-bundled kits from Tiger Direct aren't a good idea). I'd recommend going with 600W just to be on the safe side and ensure that your system is future-proof. Try one of these:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Yes as long as they support the standard ATX form factor you'll be fine.
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January 20, 2012 2:27:42 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
I'm almost there! I apologize for dragging this out.


No problem. :lol: 

I always say buying a PC is like buying a car in that you want to ask as many questions as possible about what you're buying before pulling the trigger.

1. That RAM is OK. Good choice on the motherboard though, I almost bought that same one but went with the Gigabyte instead.

This would be better RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. The main reason is because the PSUs that are included with cases for the most part are just flat-out junk (which is why the pre-bundled kits from Tiger Direct aren't a good idea). I'd recommend going with 600W just to be on the safe side and ensure that your system is future-proof. Try one of these:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Yes as long as they support the standard ATX form factor you'll be fine.



Well, since you're the one who originally recommended this motherboard I'm glad you approve. Feel free to give yourself a pat on the back! LOL

That being said, though, I actually made a mistake and pasted the wrong link. I wasn't trying to show the motherboard, I was intending to paste two RAM options. Here is the other RAM option I was intending to ask about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104262

($30 after rebate)

Do you still like your suggestion better?

Thanks for your patience. I'm excited to execute my first build but I know just enough to be dangerous and not enough to avoid silly mistakes - I'm sure all of you have built multiple PCs and I've learned far more even than I expected to through this thread. And my personality type is one that wants to get the very best choices I can possibly make on my budget so I get into the nitty-gritty. :) 

That being said, any advice for a first time builder when it comes to actually DOING the build? Something I probably won't think about but that experienced builders would know? (Anyone feel free to chime in)

Thanks!




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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2012 5:30:46 PM

Quote:
That being said, though, I actually made a mistake and pasted the wrong link. I wasn't trying to show the motherboard, I was intending to paste two RAM options. Here is the other RAM option I was intending to ask about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820104262


Kingston is one of the top-tier RAM manufacturers on the market, they have one of the lowest fail rates of anybody. This is a good suggestion.

Quote:
Thanks for your patience. I'm excited to execute my first build but I know just enough to be dangerous and not enough to avoid silly mistakes - I'm sure all of you have built multiple PCs and I've learned far more even than I expected to through this thread. And my personality type is one that wants to get the very best choices I can possibly make on my budget so I get into the nitty-gritty. :) 


No problem. Buying a computer is something you don't want to do on a whim no matter what your budget is. You always want to get the best for what your budget allows and it never hurts to ask questions.

Quote:
That being said, any advice for a first time builder when it comes to actually DOING the build? Something I probably won't think about but that experienced builders would know? (Anyone feel free to chime in)


IMO - the hardest part to any build is hooking the tiny case connectors (I think only Intel uses these anymore but especially the +- voltage connectors) to the motherboard. Once you get past that part everything else hooks into place (but be sure to install your DIMMS in slots 1 and 3, boot drive to SATA-0, and then your video card in the x16 slot) , go into your BIOS, set the boot drives, format the HD and install Windows and you're set.
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January 20, 2012 8:07:32 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
That being said, though, I actually made a mistake and pasted the wrong link. I wasn't trying to show the motherboard, I was intending to paste two RAM options. Here is the other RAM option I was intending to ask about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820104262


Kingston is one of the top-tier RAM manufacturers on the market, they have one of the lowest fail rates of anybody. This is a good suggestion.

Quote:
Thanks for your patience. I'm excited to execute my first build but I know just enough to be dangerous and not enough to avoid silly mistakes - I'm sure all of you have built multiple PCs and I've learned far more even than I expected to through this thread. And my personality type is one that wants to get the very best choices I can possibly make on my budget so I get into the nitty-gritty. :) 


No problem. Buying a computer is something you don't want to do on a whim no matter what your budget is. You always want to get the best for what your budget allows and it never hurts to ask questions.

Quote:
That being said, any advice for a first time builder when it comes to actually DOING the build? Something I probably won't think about but that experienced builders would know? (Anyone feel free to chime in)


IMO - the hardest part to any build is hooking the tiny case connectors (I think only Intel uses these anymore but especially the +- voltage connectors) to the motherboard. Once you get past that part everything else hooks into place (but be sure to install your DIMMS in slots 1 and 3, boot drive to SATA-0, and then your video card in the x16 slot) , go into your BIOS, set the boot drives, format the HD and install Windows and you're set.



Thanks. Should a guy get one of those wrist grounding straps? I know they're cheap but I've also read opinions that today's modern components aren't as sensitive as they used to be and they're a waste of money.

Anyway, the execution sounds fairly straight forward - that's why I'm wondering if I'm missing something! LOL

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January 20, 2012 8:21:20 PM

OK, here's where I've landed. Speak now if you see any....

a) incompatibilities
b) bad ideas or....
c) I've forgotten any crucial components (heaven forbid!)

Obviously you all have different opinions and could improve on this with a bigger budget but, for the most part, I've followed your consensus or advice. Let me know if this looks good for about $500:

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HD96ZTWFGRBOX
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III PPCMK3S600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Power Supply


Remember that I have an external 1TB HDD that I'm going to use for a few months until HDD prices go down a bit. Also, I'll see how things go and then may spring for a GPU and/or more RAM.

I'll probably place the order this weekend unless I hear of some issues. :) 

Thanks!

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January 20, 2012 8:27:47 PM

sciguy said:
OK, here's where I've landed. Speak now if you see any....

a) incompatibilities
b) bad ideas or....
c) I've forgotten any crucial components (heaven forbid!)

Obviously you all have different opinions and could improve on this with a bigger budget but, for the most part, I've followed your consensus or advice. Let me know if this looks good for about $500:

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HD96ZTWFGRBOX
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR120GB 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III PPCMK3S600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Power Supply


Remember that I have an external 1TB HDD that I'm going to use for a few months until HDD prices go down a bit. Also, I'll see how things go and then may spring for a GPU and/or more RAM.

I'll probably place the order this weekend unless I hear of some issues. :) 

Thanks!




*********** STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *************************



Your mobo does NOT have onboard video. You kinda need that if you don't plan on getting a video card until later.

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January 20, 2012 8:33:05 PM

djridonkulus said:
*********** STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *************************



Your mobo does NOT have onboard video. You kinda need that if you don't plan on getting a video card until later.



Thanks for the quick response!

So, sounds like I either need to reconsider the mobo or go ahead and spring for the video card now, huh? Any recommendations on a budget mobo that would fit the bill?

I appreciate the help.
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January 20, 2012 8:49:20 PM

So here's the deal.....

Onboard video chips are usually ... well... "on board"... the motherboard unless it's integrated into the CPU... which in your case with the Phenom II X4 it is NOT.

So onboard video is either on the motherboard, or in the CPU... either way, you must check for it if u plan on using it.


Here's a replacement MOBO/CPU you can look at. I went the route with the integrated graphics in the CPU. This build is even CHEAPER than yours. I chose the components with the best and most ratings/reviews from newegg.

ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


This is the famous APU everyone is talking about from AMD that fuses GPU and CPU together. You do not need a video card, and if you get one later, the integrated GPU can assist in its operation.
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January 20, 2012 8:55:35 PM

PS.

Maybe you can put the savings towards more RAM.
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January 21, 2012 6:45:31 PM

djridonkulus said:
So here's the deal.....

Onboard video chips are usually ... well... "on board"... the motherboard unless it's integrated into the CPU... which in your case with the Phenom II X4 it is NOT.

So onboard video is either on the motherboard, or in the CPU... either way, you must check for it if u plan on using it.


Here's a replacement MOBO/CPU you can look at. I went the route with the integrated graphics in the CPU. This build is even CHEAPER than yours. I chose the components with the best and most ratings/reviews from newegg.

ASRock A75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3850WNGXBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


This is the famous APU everyone is talking about from AMD that fuses GPU and CPU together. You do not need a video card, and if you get one later, the integrated GPU can assist in its operation.



Thanks, djridonkulus!

Just a few questions (all responses are welcome!) Several on this string have suggested that I only go with an AM3+ board - primarily because of the flexibility for upgrading down the road. My understanding is the FM1 socket is older technology (I may be wrong on that) but new AMD CPUs won't fit it going forward.

1) First of all, am I right about all of that?

2) If so, I see I can still get the original MOBO I was going with (ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970) on Amazon for $90 - slightly less than your recommended board - is that a better choice if I can get it for essentially the same price as your reco?? Would your recommended CPU fit that board??

Unrelated question: If I decided to add another 8GB of RAM down the road is it essential that I get the same make/model as the original or will I be OK with another brand (assuming the specs match)?

Thanks again!



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January 21, 2012 7:18:39 PM

djridonkulus said:
PS.

Maybe you can put the savings towards more RAM.



One more quick question to add to the list:

If the AMD A8-3850 is the choice does it make sense to spend $5 more and get the AMD A8-3870K (.1Ghz faster and overclocking seems easier - if I should ever decide to take that plunge)?

Thanks!

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January 22, 2012 3:25:07 AM

Sure... it's only $5 more.

From the CPU's perspective, it's the same as the 3850, but it seems that it gets better GPU performance tho (just a little).

It's just $5 more....
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