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Researching for a first time build

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Last response: in Systems
April 17, 2012 11:15:25 AM

Hi people,

I recently decided that enough is enough and I needed to ditch my ageing desktop, but looking around I noticed the stock pcs
Are now just overpriced and really not suited for anything other than surfing the net, so I did abit of research and I really want to do a self build baring in mind I have NEVER done this before :??: 

I've joined this forum just to gather more info as obviously the more info the (hopefully) less I can mess up!
Please be gentle tho as unlike a lot of people on here it doesn't all come naturally to me!

I'm basically wanting to build a decent pc for photo editing and movie watching preferably blueray, I want a fast, responsive system but just don't know what to look for as everything I look at is aimed at gaming rigs and I'm no gamer, but this doesn't mean I don't want a fast responsive semi powerful machine :) 

I know I haven't put loads of info down but as I say I'm just gathering things at the moment but I would be really interested in what people suggest and would be really appreciative of any help given. Oh and I'm in the uk if that helps and won't have a massive budget maybe 6-700 max

Thanks

More about : researching time build

April 17, 2012 12:43:27 PM

It would really help us if you used the stickied thread at the top of this subforum: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

Edit your original post by clicking at the bottom right where the pencil and sheet of paper are. You don't have to delete what you already wrote, just fill out the "form" that is in the stickied thread.

Anyway... do you ever edit video? How often? Are you open to overclocking? I'd recommend it, so it's what I'll go with. Here's what I would suggest:

CPU: i5-2500k OR IB i5-3570k (depends if it holds up to expectations when it goes retail on the 23rd)

Mobo: Extreme3 Gen3 OR Extreme4 Z77 (both ASRock, the former with 2500k, the latter with 3570k)

RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 CAS9 1.5v. G.Skill is fine, but so is Crucial and Kingston. 16GB should be enough unless you do a lot of video editing.

Case: Really depends. A HAF 912 should be fine, maybe the Antec Illusion...

GPU: You don't need a strong GPU, but I'd still keep it good. An MSI Twin Frozr 6850 (if possible to get MSI, otherwise ASUS, Gigabyte, or Sapphire is good. XFX is okay, but sometimes is really loud on some models) should suffice... it can run just about any game on medium, so it'll last you many years of video-watching and the occasional game. It's also fairly cheap.

CPU cooler: Hyper 212 Evo. If you decide to overclock (I recommend it), you need more cooling than the stock can provide.

PSU: Antec 550W... I don't know what's available in the UK. A 500-600W max is plenty... look for something that's at least bronze rated. Corsair would be nice, but not necessary. Please have us verify your PSU so we can make sure it's good.

HDD: 1TB 7200rpm. It'll be enough for any pictures, bluray, etc. you want... 7200rpm also is fairly fast.

OS: I don't know if you need one. Windows 7 64-bit (the 64 bit is important)

Monitor: ? Do you need one? If so, the entire build is going to change because the monitor will take a huge chunk out.

Total: About 539 Pounds (don't have a Pounds symbol) without OS and monitor. That leaves room for some improvements, although if you're not gaming, you don't need any improvements. Oh, I almost forgot.... do you need a Blu-Ray optical drive? It'll add like 40 Pounds to the price... ish. So I think this is good enough... if you want, you can get a Crucial M4 64GB SSD for like 62 pounds maximum. That'll really speed up your system.
April 17, 2012 1:44:10 PM

Hi ddan49, thanks for your response, I tried to edit but it said I was unable to edit this post so I'll post it below


EDITED**


Approximate Purchase Date: tbc I understand parts change and constantly update still would help to at least know what Im looking at tho

Budget Range: £700 max hopefully under tho :) 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: hd/blueray playback photo editing movie editing (occasional)

Parts Not Required: monitor keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: well uk based probably Ebuyer unless anyone else has better?

Country: England

Parts Preferences: non really as I said above I'm new to this and i dont really know all the benefits of the different componants although I do want a case with various ports at the front ie USB 2.0 3.0 headphone, sd card reader (although could be added?)

Overclocking: Definatly interested, what are the benefits, just speed?

SLI or Crossfire: don't even know what this is :??: 

Additional Comments: don't need an OS WOULD LIKE IT AS QUIET AS POSS THO


Defiantly need the optical blu-ray and am interested in the ssd (do I use to boot os from that yet store pictures movies ect on hdd?)
Related resources
April 17, 2012 1:45:11 PM

Oh and thanks again loads of info there and some great stuff to look at thanks
April 17, 2012 1:56:40 PM

Parts required: mobo, processor, ram, case, graphics/sound card, hdd maybe ssd? Psu
April 17, 2012 6:51:39 PM

Yeah, so what I suggested is fine. A sound card isn't necessary unless you're an audiophile. I included an SSD in there, too. The build I suggested is perfect for what you're doing.
April 17, 2012 7:20:21 PM

If you're not gaming, and you're not a professional Autocad user or anything like that, I'd skip the following altogether: overclocking, a video card, a CPU cooler. (you can always add them later if you get bored and want to try a new hobby)

I would add, get one of the Intel CPUs that has integrated graphics in it, preferably the HD3000, and a mobo that supports it. The Intel 2500k is a phenomenal value with integrated graphics plenty for what you're doing. I played a bunch of games on the HD3000 just fine, and it is great for converting video formats. Google it.

Since you don't really need to overclock or get a video card, pick out a case that you like to look at because cooling it won't be an issue for you....therefore noise won't be an issue for you, so just find one you like and make sure its the same size as your motherboard (can't put a full size mobo in a micro case, but you can vice versa).

If you pick out a good mobo and CPU, you can add most anything to it later should you decide to get into gaming.

A 550w PSU by Corsair, Antec, Seasonic will be plenty for your needs.

April 18, 2012 2:21:40 AM

Eh... I dunno... I'd still recommend a GPU for bluray.If you don't want to overclock, I'd suggest this build:

CPU: i5-2400 (great CPU, no overclocking)
Mobo: ASRock Pro3 Gen3 (nice motherboard)
GPU: 6850. It will be WAY better than any IGP, but not that expensive. This isn't a high end GPU or anything, but if you want to play ANY game at any point, this will make sure it's playable. I'd really suggest a GPU... for BluRay, and also for the times when you need something stronger than IGP. MSI Twin Frozr is quieter.
Case: Fractal R3. Great case with great airflow, yet it's also very very quiet. Built for quietness/silence.
PSU: Antec 550W... stays the same. Seasonic and Corsair are also fine, catatafish.
RAM: Same
HDD: Same
OS: Same

Now, I'd recommend overclocking... it'll get a few more years out of your system when it starts to get outdated. If you do, the only thing I would change from the previous overclockable build I posted is to get a Fractal R3 as a case. Also, getting a quieter CPU cooler for the non-overclockable build (above) may be beneficial... but don't order it until you think you need it! (meaning... build the computer first, and if the CPU fan is an issue, get a quieter one). Put another intake into the Fractal above the included one, as well, to get airflow going well.

Also, for silencing your HDD, try out this article:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article8-page1.html

I'd suggest mounting instead of sandwiching, since sandwiching might cause heat issues. You'll most likely take up a 5.25 bay with a mounted HDD, as well. It's said to really cut down on noise, though.

Also, you may want to think about a Crucial M4 64GB SSD for boot (and some programs you want to run fast. Internet won't run faster, though). It's only like 50 pounds.
April 18, 2012 8:02:47 AM

This is all good advice with a variance of opinion that is only proper :) 

I'll show you exactly how I would build it, which in some ways is a compromise.

i5 2500K
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...
You won't be overclocking now, but you will have the option later.

Gigabyte Z68 MB
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68xp-ud3p-i...(x16)-atx
Everything you need. You can choose to run just the onboard graphics if you like, or take the low cost video card I will link... onboard will play Blu-ray fine, but a bit more GPU leaves you with more options.

8GB RAM
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-xms3-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-15v

Antec Sonata III case with PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-sonata-3-super-bla...
Quite nice and high quality PSU. Very quiet. Not suitable for gamers but adequate cooling for you.

AMD 6670 - optional. Anything more is massive overkill.
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6670-1600mhz-...

Crucial M4 64GB SSD
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/64gb-crucial-m4-new-slim...

Samsung F4 Spinpoint 320GB
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/320gb-samsung-spinpoint-...
Adequate little HDD. If you are ripping your own movies to HDD obviously you would need a lot more storage, but now is a bad time to buy that. Prices of HDDs will remain high for most of this year. Next year you can get 2TB drives for this price.

Win 7 64-bit OEM
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/microsoft-windows-7-home...

Down the road when you start to think about overclocking we can recommend extra CPU cooling.


April 18, 2012 2:30:48 PM

Yeah I don't really disagree with either of you.....I guess I'm just saying start off with the basics.....see if it works, then add things if it isn't performing to desired speed and quality. Good recommnedations to the OP all around. I never tried playing BluRay on my HD3000 iGPU so I'll take your word for it.
April 18, 2012 7:04:32 PM

Cheers people some fantastic suggestions gunna have a look at them all and weigh them all up defo gunna go with an ssd might just stick with that until next year when I can add a couple of tb of hdd at a more reasonable price I'm sure I can manage until Then :) 
April 18, 2012 10:04:57 PM

Wait... SSD and no hard drive? Well... if you're just surfing and stuff, you'll be fine. I'd suggest a 64GB Crucial M4 as a boot drive/program storage, but it won't be enough for anything more than that.

An SSD doesn't save a dying system, though... if it's slow, it's not going to do anything that much faster.
April 19, 2012 11:01:10 AM

ddan49 said:
Wait... SSD and no hard drive? Well... if you're just surfing and stuff, you'll be fine. I'd suggest a 64GB Crucial M4 as a boot drive/program storage, but it won't be enough for anything more than that.

An SSD doesn't save a dying system, though... if it's slow, it's not going to do anything that much faster.




Yeh I see what you mean, I'll have to bite the bullet and just go for a semi decent hdd aswell and wait till the price drops to go with the original plan, thanks all this info is invaluable To me.

Just a couple more things, it might not mean anything to my build but what's SLI? sandygate? And what's the deal with overclocking?
April 19, 2012 12:11:51 PM

SLI is having dual NVidia GPUs. You won't be using it. Sandygate? Maybe you mean Sandy Bridge, the current generation of Intel processors. Overclocking is using more cooling to push the processor farther than stock settings.
April 19, 2012 4:35:31 PM

Ha yes I mean sandy bridge, I see now what overclocking is thanks for that
April 19, 2012 6:10:19 PM

SLI is putting two graphics cards to operate at about 80% increased power (not 100%... it doesn't work that well). They can have problems, though, so they're usually used for multi-monitor setups. I don't know if I explained that well enough.

Also, overclocking is actually really safe, and it doesn't kill your CPU. Don't be put off just because you're going higher than recommended settings... a serving size of cookies might be one, but you're not going to eat just one, right? However, it doesn't really hurt you. I hope that analogy helped somewhat :) 
April 19, 2012 10:24:39 PM

ddan49 said:
SLI is putting two graphics cards to operate at about 80% increased power (not 100%... it doesn't work that well). They can have problems, though, so they're usually used for multi-monitor setups. I don't know if I explained that well enough.

Also, overclocking is actually really safe, and it doesn't kill your CPU. Don't be put off just because you're going higher than recommended settings... a serving size of cookies might be one, but you're not going to eat just one, right? However, it doesn't really hurt you. I hope that analogy helped somewhat :) 



Ha, yeh great analogy! :lol:  Definitely have no need or interest in SLI then that's for sure although over locking could be something to look at if it's a benefit to what I'm doing cant hurt I suppose
April 19, 2012 10:29:39 PM

It's not something to just do on your first build. Get comfortable with your computer, make sure it's working properly, and when you understand enough to do it you'll have the equipment needed.
April 20, 2012 2:12:52 PM

yeh your right proximon, thanks for the advice to yourself and everyone who has replied much much appriciated guys, ill let you know how i get on :D 
April 20, 2012 11:26:28 PM

Good luck!