Hi everyone, I'm very new to this website, but I'm eager to look around and learn as much as I can. I'll start by saying I'm currently a Mac guy, and I have been for my last two computers. Way back when (about 9 years ago) I had an iBuypower PC, and that was the last Windows machine I've owned. Obviously a lot has changed since then, and I'm pretty unfamiliar with the current components on the market.
My Macbook Pro is at the end of its life, and I'm looking to replace it. I was debating going with a 27" iMac with an i7 processor, but I started to rethink buying another Apple machine. There are plenty of reasons for me to buy another, and there are just as many reasons for me to come back to the Windows world, but that isn't the discussion I'm looking to have in this thread... I'm looking for advice on a good system that meets my needs, wants and budget.
I've decided to look into the pre-built route again, and I've heard many good things about Puget Systems. I'm open to other companies as well, but Puget seems to have a great reputation backing them. I was also very happy with my iBuypower and they seem to have pretty low prices.
I'm looking to get some input as to which components I should go with. I'm definitely wanting to go with Intel processors, and I was thinking of an i7; I just don't know how to pick one that suits my needs.
Okay, my needs/wants are probably what you guys need to know first. Since I graduated college, I've stopped doing as much demanding work on my machines. I do some video editing, Photoshop work, I play a lot of music, and I definitely plan to use my computer as the main media hub in my house. It'll be used to play movies, Blu-Ray discs, TV shows, etc... I don't need a crazy gamer system, but I would like something a little beyond my needs, this way it'll last a little bit before I need to start upgrading. I'd also like to keep the price around the $2,000 mark or below (I'll definitely spend less if there's a build that meets my needs, I'm used to Apple's sky-high prices, and I don't know how much to expect to pay for a Windows build that meets my needs).
With that said, where would be a good place for me to start? What kind of components should I be looking into CPU wise, video cards, RAM etc.?
Thanks for the help, everyone. As I said, I'm very new, but eager to read around and learn as much as I can. There just seems to be so much out there in the PC world, and I'm a little overwhelmed with products, specs and information right now.
Mods, if this belongs in the "New Build" section, please move it, thanks!
An i5 processor will do the job fine for your mixed uses. Buying a prebuilt makes sense in a number of ways in that you get support, a warranty and have someplace to turn in times of need. Don;t underestimate that value. As for building your own you can get a great system for ~$1200 or so and that will cover everything you note you want to do. If you want to explore building yourself you can either outline and get comments or ask for suggestions. If you like a PB at Puget and want feedback provide the links here and people will readily share their thoughts.
Thanks for the reply, QuietPC. I do like the added value (for me) of buying a prebuilt system. I have little free time in my day to build my own (I'm up at 6am commuting to work and I don't get home until about 7:30 pm).
I'm going to research components a bit further, particularly motherboards, as this is where I have the most confusion regarding picking an appropriate part which suits my needs/wants.
Once I've done a bit more research, I'll post up some builds and get feedback from the community.
I tend to agree with you on buying the pre-builts. I've made plenty of my own computers but honestly sometimes it's just nice to have someone else do it and keep your free time.
Anyways it really doesn't take that much money to get a great computer these days
I would stick with a setup similar to this for now
CPU: i7-2600k or i5-2500k
Video Card: I would grab a Radeon HD 7950 or 7970 if you have the cash for it. They are two of the best gpu's on the market.
ram: 8gb of Corsair or Gskill 1600Mhz
hard drive: what ever you prefer really. Any Western Digital drive will do for a mechanical. For SSD's I recommend a kingston hyperx or any Corsair Force Series
Power supply: A Corsair 650+ Watt should do you fine.
That should run you around 1500. And If I have to recommend a place to buy it from I would go with any of these companies
digitalstormonline.com - always been a good company but getting awkwardly espensive. www.elifepc.com - Been following them on facebook lately. New company that seems really top notch and is still offering really cheap computers.
maingear.cm - Great computers, but super pricey. More of a for show computer, but atleast its quality.