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Help Building a Powerful PC ($1200)

Last response: in Systems
April 9, 2012 7:31:30 AM

1) Can anyone recommend a good place that can custom build a PC for me?
2) Xeon or i7-2600 or i7-3930. I honestly do not know the differences except these are the most talked about
3) What type of motherboard? Chipset?
4) What type of fan that is good for cooling and quiet
5) A great video card that can allow me to have 3 monitors
6) What about HD tuner. There are so many out there. Is there advantage of external vs internal?
7) Sold State Drive... any recommendations?
8) RAM... any recommendations
9) What is a good WiFi and network card?

This machine is going to be used for, personal business, video and graphics editing. Not so much gaming.

Something else to consider....
Is it worth it to have a a machine with dual processers? is it even possible to have a motherboard that can have 2 processors but only have 1 processor for the time being and the second later?

It would be helpful to also know: The best, second best, third best, etc. In this manner, I can prioritize where to spend the money on.

More about : building powerful 1200

April 9, 2012 7:40:06 AM

What I recommend you to get is Ivy Bridge in 2 weeks with a PCIe 3.0 video card(GTx 680) and Z77 chipset... 8GB RAM @ 1600MHz+... get a motherboard with built in WiFi like Asus Z77 DELUXE...
April 9, 2012 10:23:03 AM

with computers you have home level parts and server level parts. what you need the computer to do and how little or how much down time or errors is depending on if people spend 1000.00 or a pc or 4000 or a server set up. a pro editor would be looking at 2000-3000 for a server/workstation set up. software like maya 2012-2013 would be looking for a higher end video card then a 200.00 retail card. people who make or build servers expet them to run for years with just a power supply or a drive swap. most time servers or workstations are not turned off unless something fails. I stay with intel it easy to follow. with intel there three level of cpu and there matching chipsets. the server level chips now using the newer c206 chipset. it the big brother to the x79 that used on high level sandy bridge cpu. the sandy bridge 1155 cpu's would be the home and work pc of today as you could scale a pc to the 300-400 price for a pc that you see someone at a bank use. these are the x77 and x68 chipset. under these main numbers are subset of the chipsets...depending on what the user is looking for and cost. I would look at two pc one can be a standard dell or hp or ibm pre built. this would be for entry...I have a network drive or one connected to usb 3.0 ports to do daily back up to. then have a online backup account to send your monthy biz data too. (also use a usb stick to back up any daily or weekly stuff and take it home with you.) or put it in a fire proof safe. I seen many of home fires take out the hard drive and the small biz had no back ups.. depending on the size of the video and what your doing with it you may be able to do a poor man server build. x79 and a ssd as the boot drive and two standard hard drives one for the data and one backup. with a high end video card. workstation or server mb as you seen can have more ram and sometimes another cpu slot for more power. if you have a local collage or grafic art studio i would walk in and ask them what they use for set ups.
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April 9, 2012 2:07:18 PM

Thanks for the response, but actually not the answer I am looking for.

I would love to see recommended Spec.
April 9, 2012 5:38:38 PM


1. There's a lot of boutique builders out there, the good ones I've heard of - XoticPC (NE), Origin PC (FL) (former Alienware), Digital Storm (CA).
However, I must advise you that those places all come at a premium and will limit you in your choices of hardware to the ones the stock. If you can find a friend or a local place that would be willing to put the hardware toghether for you for a flat rate I think that would be a better solution.

2. afaik, Xeon are for server applications, if you must get a good consumer CPU an i7 should do you well. The 3k series CPUs are better than 2k series but they are quite a bit more expensive, I don't think they would fit into $1200 budget.

3. There are newer motherboards just out today, so you could go for z77, but I doubt P67 would do any worse for you. Wait for some more input on this topic, I'm not an expert on mobos.

4. Type of fan, there's only one type of fan you can get for cpu cooling, axial, centrifugals require special "accommodations", which is why you only see them on GPUs with enclosures. As far as sound is concerned, I hear noctua makes pretty good fans if you don't run them too high of rpm. Quieter alternative is to consider water cooling.

5. I believe the latest AMD 7000 series cards allow for 3 monitors freely, but seeing how you want video processing power/etc I'm not sure how powerful a card to suggest. my guess 7850.

7. Crucial M4 has been recommended on these boards far and wide for months.

8. Doesn't really matter all that much as long as you get it from a decent manufacturer and it works with your CPU and mobo.

6. and 9. I don't know.
April 10, 2012 5:12:17 PM

Im liking the way the Z77 mobos are looking. (they support processor socket LGA 1155)- ~$200
CPU socket LGA 1155 CPU (either the i7-2600K or i5-2500k)~$320/$220
RAM 1600 DDR3 ( I'd say 4 to 8 gigs) ~$20-$40
Power Supply Unit or PSU (750W, I would guess)~150
CPU cooler I like the hyper 212+ (Push pull dual fan, the only way to go)~35
Graphics card or GPU ( I like the 7850 right now or a 560ti-448 but new nvidia cards are due out any time now mayish, I would wait) ~ 250 for a 7850

This all adds up to(going with best parts listed): $995 that should leave you enough for a case, cd drive, and maybe windows 7

You will still need a monitor though!

Feel free to criticize, tare apart and redo my build ideas
April 10, 2012 5:19:59 PM

Oh and in my opinion don't use CyberPower build it yourself much more fun!!! And you will stretch your dollar more usually. But sometimes they do have sales that are good. I just don't use them because of the price they charge to ship to Alaska.
April 11, 2012 3:31:34 PM

ASRock Extrem4 Gen3 Mobo
Corsair 850w V2
Kingston HyperX 4gb x 2 @ 1600 mhz
Coolermaster EVO 212 CPU Fan

At least a 128gb SSD, a 1tb regular HDD, and finally a video card. i'm not sure what is good for video editing (more for gaming), but that i would have to defer to someone else, especially for the fact you want 3 monitors...