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$800 System: Great Multitasker, Decent Gamer, Great for Adobe Software

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July 20, 2012 12:10:45 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next month or two
Budget Range: No more than $800. I can flex slightly, maybe another $50-100 if I really want to, but don't want to.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing the Internet, Adobe Software Usage, Gaming, Homework, Watching Movies, Anything Else. (NOTE: It isn't unusual for me to have two adobe programs open, 30 chrome tabs, etc. while playing video games)
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Parts to Upgrade: All Parts. New Build.
Parts Not to Include In Cost: Speakers, Mouse, Keyboard
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEGG preferable, MicroCenter works as well (use the kansas city store in drop down)
Location: Kansas City, KS, USA (I live in a 15 mile radius)
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: No preference. Visually looks great for a relatively cheap/decent price.
Additional Comments: Most importantly I need this PC to handle multitasking really well. I want it to be able to handle my Adobe Creative Suite while having numerous browser tabs (anywhere between 10-40) without difficulties. Additionally, while I am not a heavy PC gamer, I want the option to have a PC worth gaming on. I don't need top of the line equipment specific to gaming. I just want a great PC in general. Also, although I'm good with a higher wattage requirement, please try and keep the required power wattage down without infringing on part quality and price.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop is crap and my summer job helped finance this.

Thanks guys for all the help! Please note my previous system I used was a 2GB 200 GB Athlon II Toshiba Laptop. It was kinda crappy and I want better.

Thanks again!
July 20, 2012 12:32:04 AM

Just one question...do you have a lcd flatscreen tv with hdmi input?

If so, I'd use that and save up for a decent 20+ inch monitor later. Right now, it seems you're in need of a decent workstation. Try something like this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czlq

If you can, step the graphics card up a notch to either a gigabyte or msi hd 7870. Those cards handle and overclock very well.
July 20, 2012 12:51:52 AM

I sadly do not have a good monitor. The closest I got is an old dinosaur that used to be my parents. My laptop has lasted me so long that I haven't needed a good monitor for a while now. I have to configure a monitor pretty much into the price.

As far as monitor, my space could work with a 21"-25" monitor. Keeping the idea of an $800 budget, it looks like I'd need to take out about $50 of your configuration. Where would be the best area to make cuts?
Related resources
July 20, 2012 1:03:36 AM

We'll begin by chipping away at the processor first.

Try something like this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cztk

This would be a great base build. After a while you'll be able to add upgrades to it once you get the cash.
July 20, 2012 1:09:13 AM

Yeah, I could handle that. $658 or so leaves me at least $150 or so for a monitor. What specs should I look at for one?
July 20, 2012 1:27:21 AM

jackattack923 said:
Yeah, I could handle that. $658 or so leaves me at least $150 or so for a monitor. What specs should I look at for one?


You'll want something like this...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1920x1080p resolution
under $150
decent brand such as Asus
5ms response time or less
built in speakers
led backlight
21.5" screen
July 20, 2012 1:33:51 AM

Thanks!

I'm going to leave this open for other's opinion.

EDIT: A friend of mine just sent me a configuration with a lot of similarities but a few differences. Would you have any prefrence to his versus yours? (I added your monitor in there btw)
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czBk
July 20, 2012 1:41:45 AM

If you can handle the weaker graphics card, that would be an ok build. keep everything else and replace the gtx 550ti with the radeon hd 6850.
July 20, 2012 1:45:26 AM

And that triple channel memory wouldn't be a good idea. that board is meant for a dual channel configuration. go with the 8gb i recommended.

try this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czFn

You're not gonna see a performance gain with 12gb vs 8gb of RAM.
July 20, 2012 1:54:46 AM

DeusAres said:
And that triple channel memory wouldn't be a good idea. that board is meant for a dual channel configuration. go with the 8gb i recommended.

try this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czFn

You're not gonna see a performance gain with 12gb vs 8gb of RAM.


You've been awesome help. Last question. Between Config A (your original) and Config B (the one in quotes above), which one would you prefer?
July 20, 2012 2:00:45 AM

jackattack923 said:
You've been awesome help. Last question. Between Config A (your original) and Config B (the one in quotes above), which one would you prefer?


For what you'll be doing with it, Config B for sure. It's a great multitasking build. And it'll run most games on high settings at comfortable frame rates, whilst having 30 chrome tabs open, lol.

Good luck! :) 
July 20, 2012 4:15:47 AM

Dual channel memory...either 2x4 GB or 2x8 GB.

Memory is cheap now. Also, HD 7770 is similar in performance to HD 6850.

Dave
July 20, 2012 6:17:09 AM

If you want decent 'adobe software' performance why are you crippling the performance in Premiere by putting in an ATI/AMD graphics card?
July 20, 2012 6:19:02 AM

Deus is completely wrong. Response time listed on the specs is most of the time incorrect. Monitor speakers are horrible quality and LED isn't a big benefit.
July 20, 2012 6:24:16 AM

LED is a big benefit- less power consumption and considerably less heat pumped into the room.
July 20, 2012 6:25:26 AM

Not always. The power consumption is easily remedied by using sleep mode.
July 20, 2012 6:27:43 AM

I find, after extensive experimentation, that sleep mode makes if difficult to use a system because if the monitor is asleep you cant's seem to see anything on it.
July 20, 2012 6:35:24 AM

Obviously I was talking about when not being used. How much of a power consumption saving is LED from CCFL then?
July 20, 2012 6:44:24 AM

About 25 w...
July 20, 2012 7:55:21 AM

azeem40 said:
Deus is completely wrong. Response time listed on the specs is most of the time incorrect. Monitor speakers are horrible quality and LED isn't a big benefit.


Are you going to offer an alternative? Or are you just going to sit there behind your computer and offer useless information...half of it being false. For his budget, my recommendations are more than adequate. If you have something better, by all means, please share it. Don't just simply bash other people's thoughts without offering an alternative. This thread isn't solely for debate rather we should be helping the person who started the thread.
July 20, 2012 4:17:51 PM

DeusAres said:
Are you going to offer an alternative? Or are you just going to sit there behind your computer and offer useless information...half of it being false. For his budget, my recommendations are more than adequate. If you have something better, by all means, please share it. Don't just simply bash other people's thoughts without offering an alternative. This thread isn't solely for debate rather we should be helping the person who started the thread.


This. I'm happy to hear cost effective alternatives.

Hey Deus I was having another thought just now. I was thinking about possibly adding a SSD drive in addition to my HDD so I could have much faster boot times on certain stuff such as my OS and Adobe Software. I know that would make me happier. Only problem is if I did this I'd need to make a few budget adjustments. I can't imagine making the system with this under $800, so if I can get it around $840 or so, that'd be okay.

Would these video cards be similar to the one preselected on the original build listed above? The all have 1 GB and around the same Core Clock. Or is this a no no?
(107.55) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(105.xx) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(119.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Additionally, if I bought myself a SSD for the system, do you think 60 GB will cover me enough? I just need enough to install several adobe programs, the OS, and maybe if I had enough space, I could do a few other things.
(60GB - $64.99) http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
(120 GB - $79.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 20, 2012 6:23:44 PM

Drop the gigabyte radeon hd 6850 and replace it with the sapphire radeon hd 6850. Then, if your budget allows, add either of those SSDs. If it doesn't work out, don't sweat it. You can always wait to save up enough money to get an SSD later. And I'm honestly not sure if 60gb will be enough for the OS and your adobe programs. I'm fairly certain 120gb would be enough.

Also, don't just look at core clocks and the amount of vram that a video card has, rather you should look at benchmarks.
July 20, 2012 9:20:46 PM

Okay perfect. I updated it to the Sapphire and added the 120 GB. I think I may of found one last area I can cut a few $10-$20, which would hit my budget.

My power unit is currently set to be $59.99 for 550. I found a few alternative psu units that are lower in price. Some even offer higher wattage/voltage. When it comes to power systems, will it use the full amount regardless if it needs to or not? Or will it use only what it needs?

($39.99 for 600W) http://pcpartpicker.com/part/ocz-power-supply-ocz600mxs...
($41.98 for 700W) http://pcpartpicker.com/part/apevia-power-supply-atxaq7...
($39.99 for 530W) http://pcpartpicker.com/part/raidmax-power-supply-rx530...

And also last question - does it matter what RAM I use as long as it is DDR3-1600 and is 2x4GB and are 240-pin DIMM?
July 20, 2012 9:44:36 PM

You need to be careful with your PSU selection. Keep in mind, this is what converts raw electricity into use-able power. You don't want to cheap out on this and get something that fries the rest of your components. The best way to remedy this is to make sure that the PSU you select is 80+ certified. PSUs typically use only what is needed. If 280watts of power is needed....that's what the PSU attempts to put out. Not always is it that exact amount....as stated above, this is where the 80+ efficiency comes in handy.

And no, it doesn't really matter what brand of RAM you use as long as it contains the specs you listed above. I'd suggest you go with a trusted brand. Make sure you read reviews. Those are generally helpful. Just be cautious of "fanboy" based reviews. These pretty much just offer biased information.

I'd even suggest you look into 1333MHz RAM. I'm not so certain the speed would even make that much of a difference for what you'll be doing. It may save you a few dollars. This way you won't be forced to cheap out on the PSU. :) 
July 20, 2012 9:54:31 PM

Alright. So stick with the current PSU?

ANd I bring up the RAM because MicroCenter had a good deal listed for my local store. ;) 
July 20, 2012 10:56:55 PM

jackattack923 said:
Alright. So stick with the current PSU?

ANd I bring up the RAM because MicroCenter had a good deal listed for my local store. ;) 


Yup, stick with the current PSU. And that's awesome. Wished I had a local Microcenter. That way I could get a huge discount on my processor. :) 
July 21, 2012 3:04:47 AM

If you're going to be using Premiere, and want it to be good for Premiere as well, drop the Radeon entirely and put in something like a GTX 560 (or other Fermi-based NVIDIA card)
July 22, 2012 5:49:27 PM

So I've kind of run into a serious issue with my summer job. It involves lawn mowing, and basically it is so hot here the grassi s fried and if I even cut I might kill grass. This may seriously have a big effect on my original budget plan.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cKNr

I managed to get it to $832 by downgrading the SSD to 64GB (I can work with it I think). Only problem, my budget still may be too severely affected by the weather that I may need to lower it more.

If I said I can only afford to pay $750 (more likely budget), what other build should I go for?

Draven35 said:
If you're going to be using Premiere, and want it to be good for Premiere as well, drop the Radeon entirely and put in something like a GTX 560 (or other Fermi-based NVIDIA card)



Interesting thought. I'll look into it.
July 22, 2012 7:37:55 PM

DeusAres said:
Are you going to offer an alternative? Or are you just going to sit there behind your computer and offer useless information...half of it being false. For his budget, my recommendations are more than adequate. If you have something better, by all means, please share it. Don't just simply bash other people's thoughts without offering an alternative. This thread isn't solely for debate rather we should be helping the person who started the thread.

There is nothing wrong with what I said. Response time doesn't have a definite means of being measured, so one monitor's response time won't be the same as another monitor's. Btw, I was not referring to your build advice. Rather, I was talking about how you claimed that 5ms or less response time is needed. At 60Hz, any response time below 10ms is unnoticeable to the human eye.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Response_time_%28technolog...

Input lag is more important of a factor than response time. Even a high response time, if paired with low input lag, is preferred for gaming.
July 22, 2012 9:55:43 PM

azeem40 said:
There is nothing wrong with what I said. Response time doesn't have a definite means of being measured, so one monitor's response time won't be the same as another monitor's. Btw, I was not referring to your build advice. Rather, I was talking about how you claimed that 5ms or less response time is needed. At 60Hz, any response time below 10ms is unnoticeable to the human eye.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Response_time_%28technolog...

Input lag is more important of a factor than response time. Even a high response time, if paired with low input lag, is preferred for gaming.


I wasn't exactly referring to it being "needed", per se, rather it should be something to pay attention to. Even with the monitor I recommended, I don't see where input lag would be an issue that's worth mentioning. I mean, shouldn't we be striving for both low input lag and low response time...that would be optimal.
July 22, 2012 9:58:50 PM

Most TN Panels have low input lag.
July 22, 2012 10:24:40 PM

And low color accuracy. There is a tradeoff involved.
July 22, 2012 10:58:01 PM

This isn't helping. I think if you guys would actually list some examples that fit the budget, it would be better.

The only way to get the features you guys are mentioning is to dump $200-300 or more into a monitor. This guy only has $150 or so to work with right now. I'm sure jackattack would appreciate it though if you guys chipped in and bought his monitor for him. :) 
July 22, 2012 11:08:13 PM

Sometimes it happens. We get off topic in the discussion.
July 23, 2012 1:15:14 PM

DeusAres said:
This isn't helping. I think if you guys would actually list some examples that fit the budget, it would be better.

The only way to get the features you guys are mentioning is to dump $200-300 or more into a monitor. This guy only has $150 or so to work with right now. I'm sure jackattack would appreciate it though if you guys chipped in and bought his monitor for him. :) 



Very true. And that's even pushing it. I dunno if I'll even afford my budget thanks to my summer job having some cuts with this hot weather and lack of lawn mowing.
July 23, 2012 5:26:40 PM

jackattack923 said:
Very true. And that's even pushing it. I dunno if I'll even afford my budget thanks to my summer job having some cuts with this hot weather and lack of lawn mowing.


Maybe try this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cPBb

I dropped the processor down a bit more. This time I put in an AMD Phenom II x4 965 black. It's a quad core with huge overclocking potential. Not sure how well it's going to handle your multitasking needs with only 4 cores. You should be fine. It'll be a big upgrade from a laptop, lol.

I'd recommend you just completely cut out the SSD for now. Add that as a later upgrade. Either that, or you can wait on the build entirely. Earn a bit more cash and grab what we originally planned (or something a bit better).
July 23, 2012 5:28:19 PM

Wow, who knew buying the above from newegg would jack up the price by $60. :o 
July 23, 2012 5:32:16 PM

Have you been waiting this entire time to say that? Obviously that will happen if you don't purchase particular parts where the deals are. That's the whole point in pcpartpicker. It finds the merchant that sells for less
July 23, 2012 5:38:26 PM

I will take it to PM.
July 25, 2012 12:29:36 AM

DeusAres said:
Maybe try this...
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cPBb

I dropped the processor down a bit more. This time I put in an AMD Phenom II x4 965 black. It's a quad core with huge overclocking potential. Not sure how well it's going to handle your multitasking needs with only 4 cores. You should be fine. It'll be a big upgrade from a laptop, lol.

I'd recommend you just completely cut out the SSD for now. Add that as a later upgrade. Either that, or you can wait on the build entirely. Earn a bit more cash and grab what we originally planned (or something a bit better).


I removed the SSD, as I'm sure regardless my PC will be much faster regardless from my laptop. However, I think I can still afford the FX-8120, as some of the prices readjust themselves. I may bump this up in August before I buy everything so I can see where the rebates will help me.

Last question: The case I have selected as some moderately priced shipping of the top site, and the more reasonable looking price for the case would be $65, or about an additional $15. Is this something I should just buy? Or are there equivalent cases that could match the one listed?
July 25, 2012 1:28:42 AM

jackattack923 said:
I removed the SSD, as I'm sure regardless my PC will be much faster regardless from my laptop. However, I think I can still afford the FX-8120, as some of the prices readjust themselves. I may bump this up in August before I buy everything so I can see where the rebates will help me.

Last question: The case I have selected as some moderately priced shipping of the top site, and the more reasonable looking price for the case would be $65, or about an additional $15. Is this something I should just buy? Or are there equivalent cases that could match the one listed?


I'd suggest you just go ahead and get the HAF 912 case. If you want, you can get a cheaper case...I'll list a few down below...

COOLER MASTER Elite 430
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-Cooler%20Master-_-11119227&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

NZXT GAMMA Classic Series
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-NZXT-_-11146061&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-NZXT-_-11146058&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Antec One Mid-Tower Gaming ATX Case
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67322&vpn=ONE&manufact...

Antec Three Hundred Mini Tower Gaming Case
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=29812&vpn=THREE%20HUND...

NZXT Source 210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-NZXT-_-11146076&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Rosewill Blackbone
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-Rosewill-_-11147023&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Rosewill CHALLENGER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Computer%20Cases%20-%20ATX%20Form)-_-Rosewill-_-11147153&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=57909&vpn=Z9&manufactu...
Anonymous
July 25, 2012 1:56:47 AM

i am going to tell you that after working with the adobe creative suite for several years you need a few things that are lacking in the suggestions.

you need a scratch disk or your hard drive will bottleneck like crazy when rendering.
you will greatly benefit from a fermi GPU (nVidia 5xx series) premiere's mercury playback engine can make use of the cuda cores.

and i have not seen a good adobe capable machine under $1000


good luck.
July 25, 2012 2:00:17 AM

Even if you're just using two hard drives... doesn't have to be an SSD. But yes, i wasn't even thinking about the separate scratch drive because i have had multiple drives in my machines for so many years...
July 25, 2012 2:23:57 AM

Anonymous said:
i am going to tell you that after working with the adobe creative suite for several years you need a few things that are lacking in the suggestions.

you need a scratch disk or your hard drive will bottleneck like crazy when rendering.
you will greatly benefit from a fermi GPU (nVidia 5xx series) premiere's mercury playback engine can make use of the cuda cores.

and i have not seen a good adobe capable machine under $1000


good luck.


At this point, the guy is looking for an upgrade from his laptop. I'm sure he's well aware that this system isn't gonna be cream of the crop in adobe programs. That being said, however, it will still perform better in those applications than his current laptop. He has a budget, and you guys aren't taking note of nor respecting it. HDDs are more expensive now than they have ever been.

I will +1 the nvidia based GPU recommendation, though. Cuda cores will help. Only problem is finding a decent card at his price point. The only cards that fit his budget is the gtx 560 or the gtx 550ti. The 550ti is just so much weaker in comparison to the hd 6850. And the gtx 560 significantly pushes the budget.
July 25, 2012 2:39:32 AM

For most of that you are doing in Adobe apps, you won't notice the difference much . They don't actually do *that* much using openGL. (For instance, for panning in Photoshop, you are essentially looking at a texture mapped onto a flat plane while panning...) You *will*, however, notice not having CUDA when rendering your transitions and color correction in premiere takes two and a half minutes instead of twenty-six seconds (that is literally the difference between CPU and GPU on this BOXX Technologies workstation I reviewed, and the CPU on this one as overclocked to 4.15 GHz.
Anonymous
July 25, 2012 2:46:01 AM

DeusAres said:
At this point, the guy is looking for an upgrade from his laptop. I'm sure he's well aware that this system isn't gonna be cream of the crop in adobe programs. That being said, however, it will still perform better in those applications than his current laptop. He has a budget, and you guys aren't taking note of nor respecting it. HDDs are more expensive now than they have ever been.

I will +1 the nvidia based GPU recommendation, though. Cuda cores will help. Only problem is finding a decent card at his price point. The only cards that fit his budget is the gtx 560 or the gtx 550ti. The 550ti is just so much weaker in comparison to the hd 6850. And the gtx 560 significantly pushes the budget.


first of all i posted to the OP and not you.

i am respecting the OP by telling him exactly what is needed. there is no need spend $800 for lackluster performance just because it is better than what they have now. call it tough love but it is not disrespect. if this is for a professional or semi professional needs then this is an investment. and the truth of the matter is for the OPs needs a 6850 will not perform as well as a 560/550ti when video editing; so calling them weaker is inappropriate. even a 440 would be better money spent.

this is a workstation not a gaming box. if you can't understand the difference . . . :pfff: 
July 25, 2012 3:27:24 AM

Anonymous said:
first of all i posted to the OP and not you.

i am respecting the OP by telling him exactly what is needed. there is no need spend $800 for lackluster performance just because it is better than what they have now. call it tough love but it is not disrespect. if this is for a professional or semi professional needs then this is an investment. and the truth of the matter is for the OPs needs a 6850 will not perform as well as a 560/550ti when video editing; so calling them weaker is inappropriate. even a 440 would be better money spent.

this is a workstation not a gaming box. if you can't understand the difference . . . :pfff: 


Interesting thought. Would this Card do?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, if I did decide to do some gaming on this, how would it go? I mean, would it be decent?

EDIT: Also got this recommendation. It is Radeon 7770 though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 25, 2012 3:40:39 AM

Here's a decent setup:
CPU: Intel i5 2400 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P67X-UD3-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: GeForce GTS 450($137 with Rebate) or GTX 560(both are Galaxy)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE: Rosewill REDBONE Black SECC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: APEVIA ATX CB700W($50)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Optical: ASUS DRW($20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Sagate Barucuda ST1000DM003($90)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: CORSAIR Vengence 8GB(2x4)@1600MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake 0598($22)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Added CPU Cooler since you said you will maybe OC.
If you want a ram cooler than use:
CORSAIR CMXAF1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!