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Trying to set up a $1000 rig, where am I going overboard?

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July 31, 2012 4:21:05 AM

I'm trying to set up a mid-range gaming/design rig for college – I'm majoring in computer sciences with a focus on games design, and intend to get into 3D modeling. I also record and need to edit a lot of videos.

Approximate Purchase Date: September this year

Budget Range: $1000-$1200, but less is definitely better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, .net homebrew, programming, 3D graphic design, video recording/editing, internet usage, word/powerpoint/etc.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg; I plan to assemble in the USA then ship the rig to germany to cut costs

Location: Munich

Parts Preferences: Whatever works. I am fairly inexperienced with picking parts

Overclocking: If necessary? Probably?

SLI or Crossfire: Don't have the cash for multiple cards

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: I'm slightly clueless, and I need to work out a rig that is reasonably powerful. Most of what I'm going to be using the computer for (beyond the obvious stuff like internet browsing and word processing) is going to be video recording/processing, 3D animation, coding, and gaming. So I figure I need some pretty beefy hardware. Me and a slightly more computer-literate friend have been working on it, and we got this far:

http://www.staples.com/Antec-KUHLER-H20-620/product_929... < liquid cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < motherboard (GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H Z77 intel)
One 1TB internal hard drive (don't know which yet, it's for storage of less speed-reliant stuff)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < SSD (for games and projects I am working on right now)
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt... < GFX card (GTX 670)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < disk drive (cheapo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < CPU (i5 3550 Ivy Bridget)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < RAM (32GB)

The key points there being the GFX card, the CPU, and the RAM. I have checked most things for compatibility. However, I'm still missing a PSU, keyboard (low-end), mouse (low-end), monitor, shipping costs, OS (Windows 7), and assorted pieces of software, and I'm already way over budget!

50 case
70 cooling
200 motherboard
~80 Hard drive
~80 SSD
400 GFX card
~20 Disk drive
230 CPU
189 RAM
= approx. $1319

So I have to cut somewhere. But where? Do I have too much RAM? Should I get a cheaper graphics card? Am I overdoing it on the CPU? Can anyone give me some pointers?

EDIT: Pardon, meant to post this as a discussion...

More about : set 1000 rig overboard

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July 31, 2012 7:17:05 PM

If you're doing heavy graphic design and video editing, you'll want the i7 3770k. If you have to, I recommend cutting back on the GPU in order to fit the cpu in the budget.

If you feel as though the i5 3570k will suit your needs, then get it along with the gtx 670. You'll want those cuda cores in rendering programs.

My question to you: What are you going to be spending the absolute most time with? Gaming? Coding? Video manipulation? List them from most to least prevalent.

If you're gonna be mostly gaming at first, I'd recommend you get the i5 3570k along with the gtx 670 for now. Afterwards, you can then upgrade your processor to the i7 3770k when you acquire the cash.

If you plan on doing more coding and what not first, get the 3770k along with a lower end nvidia card on radeon card such as the hd 7870 or gtx 580. Afterwards, you can then upgrade your GPU by selling the one you already have and adding the extra cash to get the gtx 670.

You can also save some money by getting the Hyper 212 EVO. You don't need the antec kuhler. the hyper 212 will perform just as well for much less.

Everything else looks like solid ideas. Hope this helps.
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July 31, 2012 7:21:07 PM

Oops, one more thing...

That gigabyte board is overkill and more expensive for no reason. Get the Asrock z77 Extreme4 instead.

You won't need 32gb of RAM. 16gb will be more than enough in video editing and 3d modeling. If you wish, you can add that as a later upgrade. Focus on the parts that matter...namely the CPU and GPU.
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July 31, 2012 7:42:36 PM

cut out the watercooler and get something simple like a hyper 212 evo at the least.

for the HDD get a Seagate HDD 7200 RPM, its about $70+ and will do the job, also make sure to update firmware for HDD and Crucial M4 to get the best out of them
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July 31, 2012 9:00:03 PM

MB is overboard, LC is not really liquid cooling (expensive too), the RAM is VERY excessive. At most 16GB is all you'll need honestly. I use 8GB for rendering and video creating and although it's not the 16GB I'm saying, 8GB is already pretty solid for some pretty heavy editing in PS5 and Premiere Pro 5.

IMO, Check out my $1100 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
Switch the 7950 for the GTX 670 or wait for the GTX 660 Ti on Aug 16th. The CUDA should help depending on whether or not you use apps that utilize GPU processing.
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August 1, 2012 10:10:58 PM

Thanks for the tips, guys. I've been looking into it, and I can hardly tell the difference between my choice of motherboard and your recommendation. That's an easy 100 bucks saved. ^_^ And the RAM... Yeah, swapping down to 16GB. That should be enough for me, at least to start. Another 100 bucks saved.

I honestly can't say that I know much about computer-building. I read up a little on CUDA cores, and they seem to be something that a computer built for editing and recording videos needs. So I guess I'll be putting a little more into the CPU, and getting an i7.

At that point, though, I'm not sure which is better... Ivy or Sandy bridge? I'm not quite technical enough to tell the difference, but I read an article here that recommends the Ivy Bridge to everyone other than hardcore overclockers. Is there anything else I should know about it? Is the difference considerable? Because it looks like a difference of around $50 for a similar GHz. EDIT: Oh wait. 3770 was specified. That's Ivy Bridge. Thanks! :D 

As far as GPU goes... I'm kinda clueless. However, I will say this: I have spent the last 4 years with an old Macbook and a Nintendo Wii. The time between "moved into my new house" and "started college" is going to be spent primarily on one thing: Steam. ^_^ So I think spending a little bit extra on the graphics card should be fine...

Also, I'm looking into an old (5-10 year old) tower case my dad has kicking around in the cellar... What're the odds that it'll fit my chips? EDIT: Nvm, apparently he threw it out.

@boulbox, thanks for the tip, but I have a severe personal dislike for Seagate. Any other brand recommendations? I've heard that I should avoid WesternDigital, and that I should wait for a while for the stuff in Tailand to settle down a little so the prices go back down (I can; the SSD will last me a month at least), but any other pointers in that direction?

Also, my budget just got upgraded by about $500, but the less of that I use, the better IMHO.
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August 1, 2012 10:26:32 PM

The only real reason you'd want ivy bridge is for PCIe 3.0. Although, I doubt it makes that big of a difference. If the price difference between the two is huge, just go with whatever is cheaper.
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August 1, 2012 10:31:40 PM

Quick sync is better with the newer IB chips. Also although it may not seem like it IB actually does get performance boosts out of it, not a whole lot but there is an advantage performance wise with the i7 3770.

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August 1, 2012 10:34:51 PM

Also, seagate makes great products. One of my friends has been using a seagate drive for nearly 3 years now; no hiccups yet. Western Digital also makes great products. Not sure who's telling you these things, but WD HDDs are among the best and most reliable out there.

I also recommend you buy a new case. Cases 5-10 years ago were made in mind for tech of that day. You're gonna want something that fits all your components, offers high airflow, and has good cable management. Try the COOLER MASTER HAF 912. It offers all those things at an affordable price.
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August 1, 2012 11:45:18 PM

Oh didn't see that. Yeah it's best to stray from bias. It'll lead nowhere. I'd say WD and Seagate are just as reliable. It's all dependent on the batch you get. Sometimes some are worse than others. The Samsung F3 has always been reliable. Seagate just recently acquired Samsung's HDD department but still nothing should be changed with the F3.

Also I'd recommend this case personally.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
With the 20% super affordable and great cases
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August 2, 2012 12:07:06 AM

i personally prefer i5 3570k since it is cheap and has will do the job even for video rendering.

i7 3770k is still good, it will boost up speeds for video editing and photoshop.

for case I'm more of a Corsair type of guy. Always gives me good products and i recommend you a 500R case which comes in white or black with some LED lights(has a on/off switch) and has great space(inside and outside)

if you want to wait for 660 Ti, you can if not i would recommend a 7850(saves some money) or a 670(great video card that will run any game on steam at the highest)

EDIT:

forgot to put inside the HDDs

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-h...

this is Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
i would say this is maybe one of the most reliable HDDs i have ever used(besides their VelociRaptor series)

this is more on the expensive side but the next HDD i recommend pretty much has the same speed and all you would have to do is update it's firmware

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM

great price(yes you can wait for a while since the price is dropping fairly quick) and it's just as much speed as Caviar black

i would recommend these over most other brands(maybe not samsung spinpoint f3)
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August 2, 2012 12:27:21 AM

DeusAres said:
Also, seagate makes great products. One of my friends has been using a seagate drive for nearly 3 years now; no hiccups yet. Western Digital also makes great products. Not sure who's telling you these things, but WD HDDs are among the best and most reliable out there.


The WD comment was from my friend, who has been advising me on the computer parts. I'll agree that that may not be the best advice. My dislike for seagate is not really product-based, but has to do with simple personal gripes. But I'll keep on the lookout for WD, I guess.

I also recommend you buy a new case. Cases 5-10 years ago were made in mind for tech of that day. You're gonna want something that fits all your components, offers high airflow, and has good cable management. Try the [urlExt=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233&Tpk=haf%20912 said:
COOLER MASTER HAF 912. It offers all those things at an affordable price.]I also recommend you buy a new case. Cases 5-10 years ago were made in mind for tech of that day. You're gonna want something that fits all your components, offers high airflow, and has good cable management. Try the COOLER MASTER HAF 912. It offers all those things at an affordable price.
[/urlExt]

Thanks for the tip. ^_^

Do any of you have any pointers as far as PSUs are concerned, given my current parts list?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < motherboard
One 1TB internal hard drive (don't know which yet)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < SSD
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt... < GFX card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < disk drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < RAM

(mostly the same, save for half the RAM, the i7 ivy bridge, and improved cooling)

I'm kinda worried about that part, as it seems to be the single most dangerous feature to get wrong...
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August 2, 2012 12:29:03 AM

Do not get the 670 for rendering! The computer performance is very subpar. Get the AMD 7xxx series. The 7970 even beats the 690 at compute.
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August 2, 2012 12:37:25 AM

^ Proof please? CUDA cores are pretty solid. CS6 has started to use more of CUDA though still it'd be less of a hassle to setup by using the CPU.
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August 2, 2012 1:54:33 AM

lemme help you out with that build of yours.

Assuming you only want 1 GPU(since your MOBO only has 1xPCI 3.0 slot)
i will get you something cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

now if this is not the case(meaning in the future you want to add another GPU) then get this for a few more bucks

(recommended)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

now for ram the ones you got is a little under the speed these will be better

if you want to save money/ not going to upgrade into 32 GB ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

now if you are going to upgrade to 32 GB in the future
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD burner:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B...
(just cheaper)

for case i would prefer a more air cooled case but if you want to save money or just want a low profile case that is a great option
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August 2, 2012 2:06:06 AM

Stagnant_01 said:
The WD comment was from my friend, who has been advising me on the computer parts. I'll agree that that may not be the best advice. My dislike for seagate is not really product-based, but has to do with simple personal gripes. But I'll keep on the lookout for WD, I guess.



Thanks for the tip. ^_^

Do any of you have any pointers as far as PSUs are concerned, given my current parts list?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < cooling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < motherboard
One 1TB internal hard drive (don't know which yet)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < SSD
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt... < GFX card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < disk drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... < RAM

(mostly the same, save for half the RAM, the i7 ivy bridge, and improved cooling)

I'm kinda worried about that part, as it seems to be the single most dangerous feature to get wrong...


As far as the PSU is concerned, you want to look for something that is manufactured by a trusted brand such as corsair or seasonic. You'll want to make sure it's 80+ certified. If you plan on doing SLI/Crossfire in the future, make sure the PSU puts out at least 750 watts. If you can fit it in the budget, look for modular capabilities. This PSU would be great...
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750M

One more thing, no disrespect was intended towards your friend. I'm sure he has his reasons as well. I've just never had a bad experience with WD before. They generally get great reviews...as well as Seagate.
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August 2, 2012 2:21:12 AM

boulbox said:
lemme help you out with that build of yours.

Assuming you only want 1 GPU(since your MOBO only has 1xPCI 3.0 slot)
i will get you something cheaper

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

now if this is not the case(meaning in the future you want to add another GPU) then get this for a few more bucks

(recommended)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Err... Those aren't GPUs, lol. That's motherboards+CPU, which does look to be a pretty good deal. I'll check that out, thanks.

now for ram the ones you got is a little under the speed these will be better

if you want to save money/ not going to upgrade into 32 GB ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

now if you are going to upgrade to 32 GB in the future
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... said:
now for ram the ones you got is a little under the speed these will be better

if you want to save money/ not going to upgrade into 32 GB ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

now if you are going to upgrade to 32 GB in the future
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Definitely want to be open for upgrades, but thanks for the pointer. How do you tell which one is faster with RAM? Like, what are the important comparative specs? Or is this just a brand thing?

CD burner:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B...
(just cheaper)

for case i would prefer a more air cooled case but if you want to save money or just want a low profile case that is a great option said:
CD burner:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B...
(just cheaper)

for case i would prefer a more air cooled case but if you want to save money or just want a low profile case that is a great option


Thanks for the tips! :D 

@Deus: thanks man! That looks like a pretty solid PSU. I'll add that to my list. And of course, no disrespect towards my friend, it's well-understood that different people have different opinions, haha.
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August 2, 2012 2:24:16 AM

RAM is almost all pretty much the same speed performance wise. It's hard to notice any difference at all from 1333 to 1600. Honestly the difference is small. But, most important for RAM speed in benches/performance is a lower CL and faster speeds like 1600 or something like that. However, with a lower CL means the ram is less stable when you overclock.

Don't spend too much money on a slight difference of CL7 vs CL9. It's not worth $15+ the premium.
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August 2, 2012 2:53:30 AM

Yes, it uses CUDA, and if you need CUDA, the 5xx series is better. The downside by getting the 5xx series is more heat/less gaming performance. So, I'd say stick with the 670 unless you know your program doesn't use CUDA, in which case, a 7970 is better.
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August 2, 2012 2:57:07 AM

obsama1 said:
Yes, it uses CUDA, and if you need CUDA, the 5xx series is better. The downside by getting the 5xx series is more heat/less gaming performance. So, I'd say stick with the 670 unless you know your program doesn't use CUDA, in which case, a 7970 is better.


How do you figure? The gtx 6xx series has way more cuda cores and better performance than the 5xx series. I don't understand your logic. :heink: 
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August 2, 2012 3:10:42 AM

^ That isn't the same as rendering and the enhancements that CS5/CS6 use. Both use CUDA to assist with faster renders for instance on picture editing filters. CS6 has 3D design which Adobe has always shown to support CUDA process. GCN doesn't have that support from Adobe.
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August 2, 2012 6:43:26 PM

also for PSU

this one is great. will do the job for 2xGPU(if planning to upgrade, also make sure that your MOBO will support SLI/CF)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT HALE82 HALE82-750-M
NOTES:
not really the best of the best brand but this one that NZXT made is a OEM of Seasonic which is very good(i mean all of Seasonic's OEMs/products are great)
it is fairly cheap and modular, you do have to pay shipping but you also get a 20% promo code
20% off w/ promo code NZXT727, limited offer
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August 3, 2012 9:54:40 PM

Does anyone know if I have to buy my own wifi cards? /formermacuser
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August 3, 2012 10:47:37 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ That isn't the same as rendering and the enhancements that CS5/CS6 use. Both use CUDA to assist with faster renders for instance on picture editing filters. CS6 has 3D design which Adobe has always shown to support CUDA process. GCN doesn't have that support from Adobe.



Ah. I see.
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August 3, 2012 10:48:27 PM

If you want to connect your computer wirelessly to your WiFi network, you will need either an external USB WiFi adapter, or PCIe expansion card for that.
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August 5, 2012 10:19:47 PM

Does anyone know of a good way to figure out if all my component parts will fit into the case? Is it fair to assume they will in most cases?
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August 5, 2012 10:22:01 PM

If it is a spacious mid tower, they will.
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August 6, 2012 12:06:23 AM

It will be fine. Most of the time it will, the only thing that wouldn't is probably the GPU but in your case the GTX 670 is a fairly short card.
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August 6, 2012 12:52:38 AM

Agreed, but the CPU cooler is also something to watch out for as well.
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August 6, 2012 2:19:03 PM

There's a little switch on the back that switches it to the voltage of the outlet.
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August 7, 2012 11:38:19 PM

That doesn't seem like a very solid PSU but as Obsama said, the red switch should be.
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August 9, 2012 1:15:24 AM


Thanks obsama.

aznshinobi said:
That doesn't seem like a very solid PSU but as Obsama said, the red switch should be.


What's wrong with it?
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August 9, 2012 2:05:17 AM
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August 9, 2012 2:30:59 AM

Looks quite solid, would have to say it all checks out!
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August 9, 2012 2:57:03 AM

If you're overclocking, might want to spring for a board with more power phases which will help in OC'ing. Otherwise, great build!
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August 12, 2012 3:05:48 AM

Best answer selected by Stagnant_01.
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!