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New multitasking & multi-media build advice

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August 2, 2012 5:26:29 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This month August 2012

Budget Range: sub $900 including store credit after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Multitasking i.e.- surfing the web (30-50 Google Chrome tabs) while burning/converting movies/music and running Spotify or watching videos. Would like to get into video, music and picture editing. Don’t do any gaming.

Plan to use Windows OS, but am unsure if I should wait until Windows 8 is released before buying.

Parts Not Required: Mouse (Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX Wireless Laser Mouse), Keyboard (Logitech K250 Wireless Keyboard), Monitor (HP 2310M), Speakers (built into monitor, will upgrade later)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I will have a ~$360 store credit to BestBuy (My previous laptop had the Black Tie Protection through them and when it broke that is what they valued it at) (plan was a complete rip off) other than that I am open to any reputable websites, and live fairly close to Microcenter

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Here I am torn. I have no brand loyalty, just want the best parts for what I will use them for. I have seen that AMD has 6 core processors for much less than Intel. Yet the Intel 4 cores whomp them in most tests. For my purposes I’m not sure if I would benefit more from the extra cores AMD provides or if I would see better results from the increased performance of the Intel chips. I am also confused about whether I should drop money into more RAM or a better CPU for the best results in multitasking and media editing.

Overclocking: Maybe, I have a friend that can set it up for me. I have never done it before and would not want to risk the durability of the CPU.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, don’t know that for my purposes I need either one (no gaming). Thinking I should atleast get a discrete graphics card.

Monitor Resolution: HP 2310M Native resolution 1920 x 1080. 23” diagonal. Has the following connection 1 VGA 1 DVI-D with HDCP 1 HDMI. Would also like to get a monitor arm mount to clear up space on my desk.


Additional Comments: I want to ‘future proof’ the computer as much as possible in my budget. I know this is a somewhat futile attempt. I mainly want a motherboard that will most likely accept future CPU’s (when 6 core becomes more popular) and other parts so that I won’t have any issues upgrading the parts as they wear out without doing a whole new build.

I am looking to have the computer run as quietly as possible (it stays in my bedroom) and have it emit very little light. I also want a case that will not let in a lot of dust and has some USB 3.0 ports and possibly a media card reader for multiple formats. I would prefer to have wireless built into the tower somehow (not sure if that is a given).

I would like to give SSD a try. Would I benefit from having just my programs on it and the media on a HDD? If I was editing or converting the media would I get the SSD speed or the HDD speed? Has anyone tried the hybrid drives by Seagate?

I would also like thoughts on getting an internal Blu-Ray burner. I have an external DVD/CD burner but would like to upgrade to Blu-Ray. I am wondering if I should wait until the price drops for the Blu-Ray burners, it’s looks to be about $80 more to get a Blu-Ray burner. I don’t plan to burn too many Blu-Ray movies yet, but would like to use the disks for data storage (Image boots discs and media backup).

In addition I am looking to get an external hard drive set up that can wirelessly sync between two plus computers in opposite rooms/houses. (I put this is because I may use the BestBuy credit for this and then order the parts elsewhere if it ends up being cheaper).



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For reference my previous laptop was Dell studio 14z (2009) connected to the same monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It ran so hot I had to lay it on it side to keep it from overheating. I also had a 10 USB hooked up to it to run a printer/scanner/fax combo, external CD/DVD burner and 2 500gb external hard drives for media storage.

Here are the specs from my old laptop:


http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/dell-studio-14z....

CPU 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
Operating System MS Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit with SP1)
RAM 3GB
RAM Upgradable to 5GB
Hard Drive Size 320GB
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm
Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive
Display Size 14.1
Native Resolution 1366x768
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Speed
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce 9400M G
Video Memory 256MB
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth
Mobile Broadband
Ports (excluding USB) DisplayPort; Dual Headphone; Ethernet; HDMI; Microphone; USB/eSATA
USB Ports 2
Card Slots 8-1 card reader; ExpressCard/34
Warranty/Support One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone
Size 13.2 x 9.0 x 0.8 inches
Weight 4.4 pounds


Sorry for such a long post but I have been trying to research this for the past month, and have gathered a lot of information but just not sure how to make sense of it all. I have been reading a bunch of build threads on here and thank you all for your input!

:hello: 

Best solution

August 2, 2012 6:27:53 PM
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Quote:
Additional Comments: I want to ‘future proof’ the computer as much as possible in my budget. I know this is a somewhat futile attempt. I mainly want a motherboard that will most likely accept future CPU’s (when 6 core becomes more popular) and other parts so that I won’t have any issues upgrading the parts as they wear out without doing a whole new build.


There's no such thing as completely future proofing a build. AMD FX 6/8 core CPUs are never a good idea when quad core Intels will run circles around them. It will be several years before games and other programs catch up to six and 8 core CPUs and when they do something else will come along that will be better. You have to keep that in mind.

Quote:
I am looking to have the computer run as quietly as possible (it stays in my bedroom) and have it emit very little light. I also want a case that will not let in a lot of dust and has some USB 3.0 ports and possibly a media card reader for multiple formats. I would prefer to have wireless built into the tower somehow (not sure if that is a given).


Any card reader below $20 is pretty much complete junk, and I wouldn't include ithat in the cost of the build. Most cases are made around what you want anymore.

Quote:
I would also like thoughts on getting an internal Blu-Ray burner. I have an external DVD/CD burner but would like to upgrade to Blu-Ray. I am wondering if I should wait until the price drops for the Blu-Ray burners, it’s looks to be about $80 more to get a Blu-Ray burner. I don’t plan to burn too many Blu-Ray movies yet, but would like to use the disks for data storage (Image boots discs and media backup).


Neither of those are really obtainable on your budget without cutting corners, which is something I never emphasize doing. You can always add BD-R or the card reader and things like that later.

Quote:
In addition I am looking to get an external hard drive set up that can wirelessly sync between two plus computers in opposite rooms/houses. (I put this is because I may use the BestBuy credit for this and then order the parts elsewhere if it ends up being cheaper).


I don't know of such a hard drive that exists yet, but I wouldn't include that in your system budget.

For $900 try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($132.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($103.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($97.49 @ B&H)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($119.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHES112-29 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $898.76
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-02 14:27 EDT-0400)
Related resources
August 2, 2012 6:35:57 PM

TheBigTroll said:
should be good for what you do. a discreet card isnt needed unless you are going to play games

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dGgg


I didn't include a super high-end one but there is a very noticeable difference between using a dedicated GPU and running a really slow or onboard video.
August 2, 2012 6:40:10 PM

hes just watching movies and doing multi-media stuff. nothing intensive but if you would like, a 6670 would be sufficent for all movies out there.
August 2, 2012 7:45:37 PM

Quote:
There's no such thing as completely future proofing a build. AMD FX 6/8 core CPUs are never a good idea when quad core Intels will run circles around them. It will be several years before games and other programs catch up to six and 8 core CPUs and when they do something else will come along that will be better. You have to keep that in mind.


So then I'm assuming as far as better multitasking ability the amount of cores is going to have little impact compared to getting more RAM?

Quote:
Any card reader below $20 is pretty much complete junk, and I wouldn't include ithat in the cost of the build. Most cases are made around what you want anymore.


I thought the card reader would make transferring media from camera/camcorder to computer easier. Should I just skip this and continue with the USB cord method?

Quote:
Neither of those are really obtainable on your budget without cutting corners, which is something I never emphasize doing. You can always add BD-R or the card reader and things like that later.


By cutting corners are you referring to buying a cheap burner that won't last long, or skimping on other build parts. BestBuy has this Blu-Ray burner for about the same price as the reader you listed.


Quote:
should be good for what you do. a discreet card isnt needed unless you are going to play games


I have heard mixed reviews about the new on-board graphics that come with Intel's new CPU's. Any thoughts on how much real world difference a discrete GPU would make?

Do you think the LGA1155 motherboard is going to be more compatible with future parts than say the LGA 2011? I had originally looked at the i7-3820 with the LGA 2011 but realized that the parts needed to compliment that setup would quickly out price my budget.


August 2, 2012 8:55:21 PM

Quote:
So then I'm assuming as far as better multitasking ability the amount of cores is going to have little impact compared to getting more RAM?


The amount of cores really isn't. Software is just now beginning to catch up to quad core technology despite that they've been around since 2007. As far as RAM goes unless you're doing hardcore video editing and rendering, you don't need more than 8GB. The motherboard I recommended makes it really easy to add more later.

Quote:
I thought the card reader would make transferring media from camera/camcorder to computer easier. Should I just skip this and continue with the USB cord method?


I've used a few and ones from brands like Rosewill never work and they won't read cards more than 2GB. This is the reader I suggest - I have two of these and they work great: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
By cutting corners are you referring to buying a cheap burner that won't last long, or skimping on other build parts. BestBuy has this Blu-Ray burner for about the same price as the reader you listed.


Some of the thriftier builders around here will cut corners by getting say - an H61 mATX board if it means getting a better graphics card. I always try to build my builds in terms of price / performance / longevity. If it means not purchasing something that's not crucial to the build (BD-R burner for instance) then you can always add one later on.

Quote:
I have heard mixed reviews about the new on-board graphics that come with Intel's new CPU's. Any thoughts on how much real world difference a discrete GPU would make?


I've used everything when it comes to video - and on a workstation I was using, I switched out the 1/2 size Radeon 5450 that was in it with a GTX 550TI and the difference was literally night and day. The Intel HD 4000 graphics on the Ivy Bridge CPUs (3570K and 3770K) are a massive improvement over previous versions, but even a low end dedicated GPU is always better.

Quote:
Do you think the LGA1155 motherboard is going to be more compatible with future parts than say the LGA 2011? I had originally looked at the i7-3820 with the LGA 2011 but realized that the parts needed to compliment that setup would quickly out price my budget.


X79 / LGA 2011 setups can be incredibly expensive when all is said and done. If video editing were your highest priority and you had a bigger budget then that would be recommended. But I don't know if IB-E is going to be a significant improvement over SB-E or not - that remains to be seen. Z77 is pretty much the end of the line for LGA 1155 - whether or not the 22nm CPUs will use it or not is up to Intel.
August 2, 2012 9:29:43 PM

g-unit1111 thanks for all your help.

Any experience with hybrid SSD?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I realize that a SSD is out of my budget now, but looking into the future, should i look to get an SSD just to hold my OS and programs? Or would i need to put the media I am editing on it as well to see the benefits?

If I don't need the media on the SSD then I think I might look into getting a larger HDD for everyday use, and only utilize the external drives I have as last resort backups (to clean up all the wires). Otherwise I will stay with the smaller HDD and just save for a giant SSD.
August 2, 2012 9:33:32 PM

you put os, apps, and possibly games on a SSD and everything else on a hard drive. thats how most people do it. 128gb is suitable for this task
August 2, 2012 9:42:46 PM

So if I am using a picture/video editor thats on the SSD but pulling the images/videos from a HDD I will not notice any drag?
August 2, 2012 9:51:36 PM

icebeast00 said:
g-unit1111 thanks for all your help.

Any experience with hybrid SSD?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I realize that a SSD is out of my budget now, but looking into the future, should i look to get an SSD just to hold my OS and programs? Or would i need to put the media I am editing on it as well to see the benefits?

If I don't need the media on the SSD then I think I might look into getting a larger HDD for everyday use, and only utilize the external drives I have as last resort backups (to clean up all the wires). Otherwise I will stay with the smaller HDD and just save for a giant SSD.


The Momentus XT are mainly meant for laptops where you don't have the option of secondary storage. On a desktop they're not needed and won't really offer that much of a performance increase.
August 13, 2012 12:05:16 PM

Best answer selected by icebeast00.
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