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$500-$1000 Gaming/Photo Editing Computer

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April 6, 2012 2:58:44 AM

This is my first time building a PC. And after much research this is what I came up with. I simply wanted some input from the fine minds on this forum.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the End of the month (April 30th ish)

Budget Range: $500 to $1000 including monitor and keyboard/mouse (after rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photo Editing and Everyday use (surfing the web, word processing, etc)

Parts Not Required: I need the whole deal

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: The only preference is an AMD processor simply because they generally are a bit cheaper and deliver enough power

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 or 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'm looking for a mid-range budget PC. I will probably run Linux Mint 12 because I hate dishing out an extra $100+ when I don't have to. This does bring a few issues in terms of gaming however I have had success running games in Linux before but at a reduced FPS. I'm not sure what I should upgrade (CPU or GPU) to increase the FPS since it could be caused by the increased demand of the emulator.

Regardless here is the build thus far:

Wish List:
http://secure.newegg.ca/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?...

Components
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 645
GPU: HIS H679F1GD Radeon HD 6790 1GB 256-bit
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-M68MT-S2 AM3+ NVIDIA GeForce 7025/nForce 630a chipset Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: Wintec One 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 3OH16009U9H-8GK
SSD: Patriot Torqx 2 PT232GS25SSDR 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Case: IN WIN Dragon Slayer Black 0.6mm SECC MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
PSU: COOLMAX ZX Series ZX-500 500W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Monitor: Acer V233HAJbd Black 23" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 ACM 80000:1(1000:1)
Keyboard/Mouse: [http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...]Logitech Wireless Combo MK260 920-002983 Black 8 Function Keys USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse[/url]

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
April 6, 2012 5:15:57 AM

An anti static band lol they are not necessary if you keep touching metal and not assemble on carpet

my recommendation for your budget

intel i3 2120
Asrock z68 extreme3 gen3
corsair vengence 2x4gb 1600mhz ddr3 ram
sapphire hd 7870 ghz edition
wd carvier blue 500gb hdd
crucial m4 64gb ssd
pc power and cooling silencer mkii 750w 80+ silver psu
asus 24x dvd writer
cm haf 912

the keyboard and mice you choose
the same monitor should fit in this budget


If not fitting then reduce the gpu to hd 7850

intel is the way to go

i3 2100 beats fx 4100 @ 4.5ghz and phenom x6 1090t easily.

Hope this helps :hello: 
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April 6, 2012 12:29:16 PM

Thanks a lot for your input.

I do like that build a lot and seems like it would deliver everything I could ever need. However, even with the 7850 it's beyond what I can afford. I'm looking at a budget of no more then $1000 including Monitor and Keyboard and this build, including monitor and keyboard puts me at $1200.

Where can I reduce the cost?

And do I really need a 750W power supply? I don't want to SLI.

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April 6, 2012 2:39:43 PM

Thanks again for your help.

That new build looks perfect and a much better value:cost ratio then the one i had first posted.

Just out of curiosity, what is the advantage of the z68 chipset of the extreme3 mobo?

Also, I was thinking of going with a micro ATX. In your experience what are some of the major disadvantages?
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April 6, 2012 2:52:14 PM

Micro atx have very low upgradiblity and reliability.

If yo install 2 gpu then you can install any other thing.

Also due to this the usb connectors and various other things get blocked due to low space avability.

Z68 is p67 + h 67

It is best of both worlds.

You can oc as well as you can use the onboard gpu on the same motherboard.

Also it has features like intel ssd catching or quick sync which are not that usefull for a gamer. but usefull to people who do video editing and rendering.

Ssd catching is a method which uses a ssd < 64 gb and uses the ssd as a fast storage which your most used apps and folder resides on them increasing the speed.

This is used when one cant afford a bigger sdd but needs fater speed.

People usually buy 20-64gb ssd for ssd catching
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April 6, 2012 3:10:03 PM

In regards to Micro ATX: So you would highly recommend going with a normal full size ATX board.


SSD Catching: Does that mean I would need a SSD for Catching and one as boot drive? Or would 64 GB be enough for both jobs.

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April 6, 2012 3:15:31 PM

Get the normal full sized atx motherboard.

For ssd catching

use the ssd to ether install your os and some games or use it for ssd catching
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April 6, 2012 4:06:56 PM

I like serial's build, this should work well for you. If you have a dedicated GPU you could probably get by with a p67 mobo, but if the z68 fits in the budget then stick with it.

SSD caching is only useful in a small handful of situations. If you cannot afford anything more than a 60GB SSD, and already have a HDD that fits all of your programs then SSD caching will give you a nice speedup. Otherwise there are plenty of cache drives (like synampse) which do not require the z68 Intel RST technology in order to work. In general however you want to simply buy an SSD that is large enough for your use, and the way that SSDs are dropping in price these days it will not be long before you can get a good one for a decent price (I just snatched up a 240GB Agility 3 for $220 after rebate)

Quicksync is crap. It makes large files of marginal quality. Fine for an iPod or other low quality devices, but if you are doing any serious work then stay away from it. It is almost always worth it to just take the time to do a real render. Plus Virtu is a resource hog, and not all rendering software will even let you have access to quicksync in the first place.

If you are not in a huge rush then you may want to wait for Ivy Bridge to come out. It will have onboard video good enough for most production work and some gaming. This way instead of buying a dedicated GPU you would be able to purchase a better CPU (like an i5) which would be much better for productivity work than an i3. However, if you are big on gaming the onboard video may not quite be up to snuff for that...

And lastly, absolutely stay away from the mATX boards. There is nothing wrong with them in particular, but they do limit future expandability and upgradeability. If this was a "specific use" machine (like a HTPC, or a business machine) where you knew exactly what was going in the box, or you were limited on size, then mATX is perfectly fine. But for gamers and those who do productivity work there are any number of add-on cards that you may want to throw in there (SLi/xFire, extra USB3 ports, firewire 400/800, lightpeak/thunderbolt, better RAID controllers, PCIe SSD cards, extra Ethernet ports, wireless cards, 10gbps Ethernet when it comes out, etc), so you want to keep your options open for expandabilty.
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April 7, 2012 1:05:07 AM

I think I will have to go with the H61 Mobo to fit in my budget. I also downgraded the GPU to a 6870. But I'm not sure if that's a good idea because I would like a PC that is as future proof as possible. I realize that this GPU can run any game today but it most likely will not be up to snuff as long as the 7850.

Ideally I am looking for a good around PC that can edit and render large photos quickly enough, play the latest titles at high quality and last me a few many years before I feel I have to upgrade. In your opinion, would this PC do this or necessary to invest another $500 to get the lates components (i.e. i-5 or i-7, z68 mobo, HD 7870, etc...)
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