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Interesting Build - $2,200-2,500

Last response: in Systems
August 10, 2012 12:05:25 PM

Purchase Date: August 2012.

Budget Range: $2,200-2,500 USD before rebates

Priorities and System Usage:
1. Data storage/preservation (RAID 1 on HDD 1 & 2, Acronis to HDD 3, Network Camera to HDD 4).
2. Image review and processing (Lightroom 4).
3. Review and editing of home movies shot in 1080p (plan to do this, but don’t yet have hardware, software or know how).
4. Network camera recorder
5. Remote access to work (system will eventually need to support four monitors – will buy these at a later date – exclude from cost of build).
6. No gaming.

Do you need to buy OS: No. We have Win 7 Ultimate 64 and won’t upgrade to 8 until release of service pack.
Preferred Website(s): Amazon or Newegg.
Location: New Jersey
Overclocking: Maybe down the road if we feel that we need the performance. We would like to preserve this option.
SLI or Crossfire: No.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or higher

Additional Comments:
1. We are sick of tiny cases. This one will be huge.
2. The case needs to be reasonably child proof with no window and no light. The front panel should lock, and there should be no external features that are prone to physical manipulation (ie doors, covers, vents that open and close). Fans need to be well protected.
3. This system will run 24/7 (due to cloud backup) and be located in our bedroom. It needs to run quietly all the time. We would also like to limit the HDD access noise if possible.
4. We plan to run the OS from an SSD and possibly load frequently used programs on there too (Lightroom 4, MS Office).
5. Lots of internal and external USB 3.0 connections.
6. Needs a reliable USB 3.0 SD card reader for our Sandisk Extreme Pro 32gb cards
7. Depending on how much video editing we end up doing, we may decide to install a graphics card at a later date.
8. We replace our systems every four to five years, so this one needs to last.
9. Lower priority: We would like the ability to stream content to our Samsung TV (we’re assuming HDMI connection) and control the pc from the living room. Potentially run a 15-foot wire through the wall (no big deal) or figure out how to stream wirelessly.

LIAN LI PC-V2120X All Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)

ASUS 24X DVD Burner – OEM

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256B/WW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

4 Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CORSAIR HX Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

1. Are we better off with four dimms or two?
2. Do we need an additional RAID controller?
3. We’ve read that consumer grade drives are more frequently dropped from RAID due to extended error recovery process. Is this true? Do we need to consider (much more expensive) enterprise level drives?
4. Would replacing the stock fans that come with the case result in a quieter system?
5. What hardware would we need to eventually support four displays?
August 10, 2012 1:01:35 PM

no idea why you want large cases. mid tower should be fine for this usage

this case has a front door with silencing foam. ive used the case and the door is pretty robust. if you want a case that is a tank, you could get the fractal design define xl. warning you that the only difference is that it has more drive space. not to mention its 40 pounds empty

the pc will be very quiet. the CPU cooler can be run passively as long as you dont overclock (for the time being)

the hard drives ive used are the WD caviar red drives. they are NAS grade so they should be pretty reliable.
August 10, 2012 1:05:18 PM

im not too good with card readers since ive yet to use one
Related resources
August 10, 2012 1:16:42 PM

I'd suggest a 7970 to run 4 monitors. Has 3GB memory, and should work fine on 4 monitors considering you don't play games.

Someone could confirm me on this one though. Never been too experienced with multiple monitors.


For the RAM, go 2x8, not 4x4. You could add another 2x8 later on.


Keep in mind that you are spending A LOT on the case.


Purchase an aftermarket CPU cooler right away. They can be a pain to install after putting the motherboard in the case. The Noctua one TheBigTroll suggested should handle some pretty good overclocks. Go for that one.


RAID? Don't ask me ;) 
August 10, 2012 1:25:48 PM

the onboard should handle non-gaming tasks
August 10, 2012 1:32:11 PM

Consider a mid range ATI Firepro card or Nvidia Quadro board. They are not Desktop but Workstation cards.

They are very capable of to multiple displays.

This card is more then capable of running 4 displays at once. We use them all over for workstations in the office.


Best solution

August 10, 2012 1:39:41 PM

1. Better with two, you can expand in future (and less change having defective dimms)
2. No, the asus one is great. With 4 drives you can easily setup a Raid5. If you don't need hot swap in case of failure this build is great. Not sure why you want arconis to backup on a separate drive? With a raid you are already bullet proof and a cloud backup can save your work from lets say kids or fire.
3. Stick with consumer drive. If a drive start to fail, you change it. Enterprise drive faill too and cost to much (expect if you need hot swap, more performance, ...)
5. AMD Eyefinity is working good for me :
August 10, 2012 1:42:11 PM

dude, hes not gaming. intergrated should work fine. if not a cheap card can do it

@sirrius: WD has Red drives. they are NAS specific. they dont even cost that much more than regular drives.
August 10, 2012 1:45:29 PM

AFAIK iGPU only lets you use 1GB of VRAM. Not enough for 4 monitors?
August 10, 2012 1:47:42 PM

hes doing work. nothing more.... if he is gaming, then obviously get a dedicated card
August 22, 2012 1:19:16 AM

OK. Thanks everyone for your helpful feedback. Here's what we went with:

1. Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe mobo
2. Samsung 256GB SSD
3. Four 3.0TB WD Red drives (which arrived today).

The system (without the WD drives installed) is running great. As we will be running RAID 1 on two of the HDDs, those two drives should both be installed on either the Marvell or the Intel SATA6 connectors. Is there an advantage to running RAID 1 on Intel vs. Marvell controllers, keeping in mind that the SSD will be bumped to the other banded SATA6 controller? Also, is anyone aware if Acronis True Image Home 2012 would have an issue with the Marvell controllers?We understand that Acronis will recognize the Intel controllers as hardware based RAID, and thus support it.

Our proposed configuration is below.

1. SATA6G E1 (Marvell) - HDD 1 (RAID 1)
2. SATA6G E2 (Marvell) - HDD 2 (RAID 1)
3. SATA6 1 (Intel) - SSD
4. SATA6 2 (Intel) - HDD 3 - Acronis
5. SATA3 3 (Intel) - HDD 4 - Network camera recorder
6. SATA6 4 (Intel) - 2 - Empty
7. SATA6 5 (Intel) - 2 - Empty
8. SATA6 6 (Intel) - 2 - Empty

Any feedback would be hugely appreciated. Thanks again to all for your help.
August 23, 2012 7:04:48 PM

Best answer selected by JournalRange.
August 24, 2012 1:10:25 PM

Marvell have the "reputation" to saturate faster than the Intel controller (but i don't have any fact proving that). So your proposed configuration is perfect. Only a ssd can come close to saturate a sata6 anyway.