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Need Advice multimedia PC

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January 21, 2012 3:49:47 AM

Hello, I am looking to put together a new PC in the next month or so to use for Gaming and Video editing. I spend a lot of time with Adobe After effects however my current computer just doesnt handle rendering very well and although games are playable very rarely do I get to experience them in anything but low settings. I have put together a small list of what I am interested in purchasing however I am not sure if I am completely heading in the right direction or if I may have missed something in the compatibility area. anyway, anybody willing to take a look and help point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.

My idea was to have 2 hard drives in this machine one of them being an SSD to run the operating system, games, and after effects the other for storage, not sure if that is the right thing to do but from what I have read and watched it seems like that would help performance? I have never actually seen a computer running an SSD so its very new territory for me. here is what i have put together so far, im looking to spend about 1400-1500 dollars. prices I have on the items are from newegg

HD1 Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $189.99

HD2 Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $129.99

CPU COOLER ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler $34.98

DVD/CD ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $19.99

PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $229.99

MEMORY 2X CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 $99.98

GRAPHICS CARD EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video Card $249.99

MOTHERBOARD ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $209.99

POWER SUPPLY CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $119.99

OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99.99

CASE - Undecided

and to give an idea of what im looking to change from im currently running windows XP home on an intel Q6600 4 gigs of ram. Geforce GTS 250 graphics, 300 gig hard drive, a pioneer dvd,rw not quite sure on the rest.. would it be worth salvaging this hard drive and the dvd rw perhaps? im sorry I do not have the specifics on them but if I use the ssd for operating then seems to me the secondary hard drive wouldnt have to be anything special unless it somehow will affect the ssd's speed? anyway if your still reading this I appreciate you taking the time to help me out!
-Todd-


More about : advice multimedia

January 21, 2012 4:03:26 AM

Overall, you've picked extremely good parts.

First, get a 4x4GB RAM kit instead of two 2x4GB kits.

I would replace your P8P67 with a Z68 board. Normally it doesn't make a difference but Z68 does actually improve your rendering performance. Here's some data:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4...
The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 is a good choice for a similar price. If you want to save some money you can go with the ASRock Z68 Extreme3. Its the same (slightly better) performance but it's missing some of the bells and whistles.

As long as the old hard drive and dvd drive are SATA then you can salvage them.

Here are some case choices on a low budget:
Rosewill Challenger: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Gamma: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec 300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 21, 2012 4:08:29 AM

wow that was quick thank you for the great info! I will look more into the z68 boards that is admittedly the part of the computer I am least familiar with and most worried about at the same time haha
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January 21, 2012 4:14:46 AM

Some additional info we could use below. particularly the country/website as those spices seem way to high for the US.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country:

Parts Preferences:

Overclocking:

SLI or Crossfire:

Monitor Resolution:

Yes if the harddrive a DVD/rw are SATA you can reuse them. If they are IDE you need to make sure the board has it. Also risk of harddrive failure goes up around 3 to 5 years old, so keep that in mind. One other thought that motherboard has pretty poor reviews at the site I buy from... I'd look into it more
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January 21, 2012 4:28:53 AM

unksol said:
Some additional info we could use below. particularly the country/website as those spices seem way to high for the US.


The prices seem straight off of newegg to me. Everything is priced almost exactly what you'd expect disregarding sales.

unksol said:
Yes if the harddrive a DVD/rw are SATA you can reuse them. If they are IDE you need to make sure the board has it. Also risk of harddrive failure goes up around 3 to 5 years old, so keep that in mind. One other thought that motherboard has pretty poor reviews at the site I buy from... I'd look into it more


I'm pretty confident no Z68 drive is going to have IDE. If you want to reuse an IDE drive then you'll need to make special arrangements...but you shouldn't reuse an IDE drive.

I don't know which motherboard you think has poor reviews, but all of the boards discussed to this point are quality choices from top-end manufacturers. Motherboards have extremely unreliable reviews. Motherboards are hard to manufacture and you just sometimes get DOA boards. Even the highest quality boards are just DOA sometimes - it happens. People shouldn't give terrible reviews just because they happened to get one of the bad boards but they do. When you buy a motherboard, there's like a built-in 7% chance (or something) that you'll need to RMA it and there's no avoiding that. If you buy from a good retailer (like newegg) and a good brand (like ASUS but stay away from MSI) then the RMA process is easy.
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January 21, 2012 4:59:24 AM

I agree on the z68 board idea as it offers some tech that plays better with SSD's.

Also agree that if the old HDD is SATA, go ahead and reuse it as it will just be there for data storage. The SSD will be doing the power lifting. Just whenever you put everything together and get ready to install Windows, leave the old hard drive unplugged and add it only after everything else is up and running. You'll then want to install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver that will come with your motherboard.

Here is also a link to a good article on how to setup a SSD-HDD combo. The guy who wrote it has been messing with computers practically since their inception. http://www.pcworld.com/article/237496/the_best_of_both_...

I think you will be fine with 8gb of memory for gaming, but Adobe could use the extra if you go with 16gb. In either case, that Corsair stuff can cause issues with the aftermarket heatsinks due to it's height. Any of these Gskill kits would work just as well with ASUS or Gigabyte motherboards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...

And this cooler is a bit better priced and better in general IMO. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One more line of popular cases right now is the HAF series. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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January 21, 2012 5:31:36 AM

you guys freakin rock! really... you do thanks!
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January 21, 2012 6:01:36 AM

The Hyper 212 is a good choice. However if you've got a smaller mid-tower and you have side panel fans then a 120mm cooler is not going to fit. The 92mm Freezer 7 will fit in anything.

I missed the heat spreaders on the RAM - good catch tlmck. Corsair Vengeance is fine as long as you get the low profile version.

To be clear, when you're reading about using an SSD and HDD together you're going to come across articles about using the Z68 motherboard and Intel Rapid Storage Technology to make the SSD a cache drive. That's *not* what you want to do.
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January 21, 2012 6:30:27 AM

danraies said:
The Hyper 212 is a good choice. However if you've got a smaller mid-tower and you have side panel fans then a 120mm cooler is not going to fit. The 92mm Freezer 7 will fit in anything.

I missed the heat spreaders on the RAM - good catch tlmck. Corsair Vengeance is fine as long as you get the low profile version.

To be clear, when you're reading about using an SSD and HDD together you're going to come across articles about using the Z68 motherboard and Intel Rapid Storage Technology to make the SSD a cache drive. That's *not* what you want to do.



Oops. The way I wrote it "is" a bit confusing. I also misread the OPs SSD size.

I really meant the above SSD advice as an either or. scenario. If the OP had a 64gb SSD, he could use the Rapid Storage method, but with the 128gb, the second method I posted would be better.

Having said that Intel Rapid Storage Technology does have other uses as well. I am using it with a single HDD right now, but eventually will be going to the SSD cache method. http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-020784...
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January 21, 2012 5:37:59 PM

so after reading what you guys had to say Ive made some tweaks to the build and actually lowered the price quite a bit in the proccess. heres what im looking at now

HD1 Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $189.99

HD2 Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $129.99

CPU COOLER COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler $29.99

DVD/CD ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $19.99

PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K $229.99

MEMORY G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL $89.99

GRAPHICS CARD EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video Card $249.99

MOTHERBOARD GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $159.99

POWER SUPPLY CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply $119.99

OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99.99

CASE -COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.99


As far as windows 7 is there any reason I would want to purchase anything other than the home edition? ive looked at comparisons and it doesnt seem like there are any features in the ultimate or pro version that would benefit me but maybe there is something I dont know

Also this is my current HD SEAGATE BARRACUDA 7200.10 - HARD DRIVE - 320 GB - INTERNAL - 3.5" - SATA-300 - 7200 RPM - BUFFER: 16 MB I did check the cables first to confirm it was sata would the drive I have listed above be much of a boost over this one for storage other than capacity? I am a little concerned about what the gentleman above said about the lifespan of the sata hard drives. should the fact that I am approaching my current drives 5 year mark be of high concern?
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January 21, 2012 6:34:51 PM

Mostly the home edition is limited to 16gb ram. If you ever wanted to go beyond that, you would need professional or ultimate. The other two have features that are mostly not related to home users. You can go over to the Microsoft site and do the compare versions thing.

I have had hard drives for 10 years in some cases. I often re-purpose machines as Linux test boxes. The thing you will get out of the new WD is slightly better performance(not a lot but noticeable), and you get a new 5 year warranty with the Black assuming they have not changed it to 3 already. If you keep your data backed up, you could live with the old drive as performance will not be as critical in the new setup.

Other than that, the rig looks good. I would build it.
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January 21, 2012 7:33:10 PM

The 7200.10 is a good drive. I personally do not think you will notice any performance difference between that and a new WD drive when used for storage. If it were your boot drive then maybe, but not for storage. That being said, 5 years is a long time. I've had drives last longer than that but if it were me I wouldn't want to put a drive that old into a new build. It's up to you, though.

Don't worry about which copy of Windows to get - home premium is fine. Tlmck is right in that for your standard user the only difference is that home premium is limited to 16GB of RAM but you'll need a new machine before you need more than 16GB of RAM.
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