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Need Help: $1000 Light Gaming/Video Editing/General Use Build

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August 19, 2012 1:28:48 AM

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to decide between buying a prebuilt system or putting together my own build (first time). I've looked around the forums and the general consensus seems to be that building a system should land one with better components for a cheaper price. I was looking at this [http://www.dell.com/ca/p/xps-8500/pd?oc=dxps8500_f_4e&m...] XPS 8500 from Dell for $980 (+tax) and trying to price a comparable DIY system through Newegg or NCIX, but for some reason I end up with roughly the same price, maybe even more.

Is this just a good deal from Dell, or am I doing something wrong? I'm new to this whole thing so off the bat pardon my ignorance.

I'll outline my needs below:

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP
Budget Range: $1000 *before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Video editing, some gaming, everyday web browsing etc.
Parts Not Required: SSD - picked up a 120GB OCZ Agility 3 on sale for $75 (have 2 weeks to return if you guys recommend something different)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anyplace that ships in/to Canada
Country: Canada
Parts Preferences: Not sure...
Overclocking: Never tried -- is this necessary/desirable/safe?
SLI or Crossfire: Not sure...
Monitor Resolution: Not sure...

I'm really just trying to put together a decent system for day-to-day tasks that would be fairly future proofed. I'm not a power-user (by a long shot), but might need to do some video editing in the future so figured I might as well account for that.

Thanks in advance for your time and help :) 

Cheers!


August 19, 2012 7:04:12 AM

hey there,

the ssd you picked is a good one no change in that but even though it would be better if it was a crucial ssd.

overclocking is a method to improve performance of your pc and remove every bit of power which is been locked by the makers.

of overclocking or oc you need an unlocked cpu and a overclockable motherboard.

by you needs you wont need a high end graphic card but a good processor like i5 or i7.

i assume you will work on a full hd monitor.



here are the specs which i recommend ,

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000

$344.99

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

$79.99

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

$127.99

OR

ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

$129.99

OR

GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

$129.99

Asus VE248H Black 24" 2ms Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 10,000,000:1

$189.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM

$94.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$69.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

$34.99



total = 945 ( on newegg).

i just gave the list basted on newegg because i have got used to it.

you can buy from any sight you want and feel the are better and sale cheap.

this build is to just give a layout of you build and the price may vary.




if you are primarily a games and is a student for the video editing i.e. no a pro the reduce the i7 3rd gen to i5 second gen.

if you dont plan on oc then downgrade the mobo to a non z series motherboard a.k.a h series. nad a non k or locked cpu.

and add a gpu like

radeon hd 7770

radeon hd 6870

radeon hd 6950

radeon hd 7850

radeon hd 7870

or geforce gtx 560

geforce gtx 560 Ti

geforce gtx 660 Ti (new)


the above gpu will play games at full hd at mid to high garphics for the next to years.


if you are a professional and play games just to enjoy or to time pass then the integrated intel HD 4000 graphics is more than enough.

i didnt included a hdd as you have a ssd.

if you wan to lower the cost then a cheaper mobo a 2nd gen i5 , a cheaper and smaller monitor would reduce the cost around 50-100 cad.



any questions can ask freely.

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August 19, 2012 5:21:28 PM

Hi Serial Killer,

Thanks so much for your thorough reply!

A couple of questions:

1. How does your build stack up against the XPS deal from Dell?

2. Are there any downsides to overclocking (i.e. does it drive the components harder than they're meant and thereby reduce lifespan or anything like that?)

3. How significant is the increase in performance b/w an overclocked and non-overclocked CPU? (say an i7-3770 vs. i7-3770k?)

4. Also, how significant will be the practical difference in performance of an i7 over an i5? (I imagine it's something that will come into play mostly in rendering, but is it a matter of waiting a few extra minutes or a few extra hours?)

5. Will an i7 be more future-proof than an i5, or not necessarily? (how about Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge?) The i7-3770 and i5-​3570K got the best Smart Scores in the comparison below, but I'm not sure how they arrive at that.

http://processors.findthebest.com/compare/122-775-778-8...

6. Just so I don't keep coming back with a 'What do you think about THIS particular item' questions, would you mind giving me a few pointers on what to look for in every key component?

7. Beyond clearly listed attributes like speed etc, are there other factors I should keep in mind when considering compatibility between parts?


** This might be silly, but how can I insert a hyperlink when posting a reply (man I feel like a newbie ;) 

Thanks again!!!

This forum is awesome :) 
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Related resources
August 19, 2012 5:25:09 PM

Oops -- never mind about the links, guess the first one didn't work because of those [square brackets] :) 
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Best solution

August 19, 2012 5:37:09 PM

This one smokes the XPS. If you don't OC to 5GHz or such and stay at 4.5GHz, you should be good. It does reduce the lifespan if you aren't careful and stress the CPU a lot. It's pretty significant. Helps a lot in CPU-limited tasks. The i7 is a lot faster than the i5 in rendering. But again, if you're just a student or aren't doing a lot of rendering, downgrade to the i5-3570K. In rendering, yes the i7 is a lot more futureproof. In gaming, there is very little difference between them, so in that regard, they're both going to last the same amount of time.

Go with serialkiller's build, BUT, go with the ASRock Z77 Extreme motherboard. That PSU is good and modular, but $80 for 520w is a lot, when the Corsair 600W is $63 @ Amazon. Just search it up. The GPU in the XPS is a 7570, which is really weak. The 7770 and 7850 will kill it in rendering.
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August 19, 2012 6:43:26 PM

obsama1 said:
This one smokes the XPS. If you don't OC to 5GHz or such and stay at 4.5GHz, you should be good. It does reduce the lifespan if you aren't careful and stress the CPU a lot. It's pretty significant. Helps a lot in CPU-limited tasks. The i7 is a lot faster than the i5 in rendering. But again, if you're just a student or aren't doing a lot of rendering, downgrade to the i5-3570K. In rendering, yes the i7 is a lot more futureproof. In gaming, there is very little difference between them, so in that regard, they're both going to last the same amount of time.

Go with serialkiller's build, BUT, go with the ASRock Z77 Extreme motherboard. That PSU is good and modular, but $80 for 520w is a lot, when the Corsair 600W is $63 @ Amazon. Just search it up. The GPU in the XPS is a 7570, which is really weak. The 7770 and 7850 will kill it in rendering.


Thanks for the info!

If it's the i7-3770 (not unlocked) for $290 vs. the i5-3570K for $220, which would you go for?

What makes you choose the ASRock mobo over the others? What should be the deciding factor/s? (they seem pretty similar in the types and number of ports they offer. What else do you look for?

NCIX.com seems to offer the best prices, so I think I'll be buying there. I'll try to post a link to my Shopping Cart or a parts list when I finish compiling in.

Thanks!
How can I measure how much power/how big of a PSU I will need?
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August 19, 2012 6:54:28 PM

The i5-3570k.
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August 19, 2012 7:03:18 PM

Even with a 680/7970, a 600w should be sufficient.
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August 19, 2012 10:09:08 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for your help so far!

Below is the build I've so far assembled on NCIX.com. I'm hopping to pull the trigger by this evening and would be awesome if some of you can share some feedback beforehand.

Total including Shipping and (I hope) Taxes: $1023.59 (minus $55 in rebates)

http://secure1.ncix.com/cart/?mode=savedcarts&id=10139

A few more questions:

1. I can get a GTX 560 Ti instead of HD 6870 for an extra $20. Is it worth the difference?

2. Do I really need extra cooling if the case I'm getting has 4 internal fans? If so, there's this combo deal for case + liquid cooling, is it better than what I've got in the cart?

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=75583&promoid=1043

3. Will I notice a difference if I get 8GB of RAM instead 16GB? (could save $40-$50)

4. Is there much difference b/w 1333 and 1600 MHZ RAM? I can get 1600 for $10 more. Is it worth it?

Thanks again guys -- can't wait to order all the stuff!!!
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August 19, 2012 10:20:13 PM

Sorry -- apparently only I can view that shopping cart link... Here's the list:

Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA3 64MB Cache 3.5IN Internal Hard Drive
In Stock 66010 $89.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=66010&promoid=1043

LG E2242C-BN 21.5IN Widescreen LED Backlit LCD Monitor 1920X1080 5MS 5M:1 VGA VESA Mount Black In Stock 74827 $109.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=74827&promoid=1043

NCIX Bundle Deal Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Processor & Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H CrossFireX Motherboard $339.99

1 x Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail
1 x Gigabyte Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Z77 DDR3 3PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 HDMI CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
1 x FREE Gigabyte PCIe Expansion Card Bluetooth 4.0 and IEEE 802.11 A/B/G/N WI-FI *Promotion Only*

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=71608&promoid=1043

LG GH24NS90 24X SATA Internal DVD Writer Burner DVDRW M-DISC Compatible Optical Drive Black OEM $14.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=66853&promoid=1043

Corsair Builder Series CMPSU-600CXV2 600W ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan *3 Year Wrty* $69.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60330&promoid=1043

XFX Radeon HD 6870 900MHZ 1GB 4.2GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI 2x Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Video Card $169.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62756&promoid=1043

OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5IN SATA3 6Gbps SandForce SF-2281 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD $74.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=59354&promoid=1382

Patriot G2 Series Division 2 16GB 2X8GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 1.5V Dual Channel Memory Kit $69.99

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=64298&promoid=1382

Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS W/ Fan Controller & Temp Display $49.99
1 x FREE NCIX.COM $15 Gift Card *Pre Activated*

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57910&promoid=1043


Thanks again!
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August 20, 2012 2:12:24 AM

The 560Ti is quite a bit better. Go for it. Don't need any more cooling. Most games at max, use only 2GB. A game, with Windows, and a browser with a few tabs open will only use 4GB probably. 8GB is plenty. Don't get 16. Overkill. There isn't much of a difference between 1333 and 1600. For a few dollars more, no reason to go with 1600, but for $10, stick with 1333.

TL;DR-Get 8GB of 1333 RAM, and the 560 Ti. Cooling is sufficient.
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August 20, 2012 4:32:07 AM

obsama1 said:
The 560Ti is quite a bit better. Go for it. Don't need any more cooling. Most games at max, use only 2GB. A game, with Windows, and a browser with a few tabs open will only use 4GB probably. 8GB is plenty. Don't get 16. Overkill. There isn't much of a difference between 1333 and 1600. For a few dollars more, no reason to go with 1600, but for $10, stick with 1333.

TL;DR-Get 8GB of 1333 RAM, and the 560 Ti. Cooling is sufficient.


Thanks again for the follow up.

Placed an order -- here's hoping all goes smoothly!

Kinda annoying how they charge taxes on the total amount (before rebates) PLUS shipping...oh well, what can you do-- death and taxes :non: 

But now I'm :bounce:  to put it all together!

Thanks again for the help and input, you guys are the best ;) 

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August 20, 2012 12:00:32 PM

This might just be an instance of buyer's remorse-- BUT...

I just went back and looked at the Dell New XPS bundle I started from:

http://www.dell.com/ca/p/xps-8500/pd?oc=dxps8500_f_4e&m...

Am I really getting a better value with the individual components?

With the Dell bundle I get a larger monitor (24" vs. 21.5"), a faster processor (i7-3770 vs. i5-3570K), and more RAM (16GB vs. 8GB)

The only inferior part I can see is the Graphics card--but I imagine I could maybe use the difference to simply update the graphics card on my own?

I'm not sure which Mobo and PSU comes with their system, but can find out. I imagine it should be comparable.

My order for components, once accounting for OS, shipping, and taxes-- minus rebates-- comes to roughly $1200.

The Dell setup comes to $1026

Please let me know what you think guys-- I can still cancel my NCIX order and get the XPS!

Thanks again!
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August 20, 2012 1:17:44 PM

You can always OC your CPU, and beat out that i7. Like I said, for light editing, they're pretty much the same. Even though the i7 is faster, doesn't mean the i5 is slow by any means. That GPU in it is weak. You'd have to upgrade both the PSU and GPU in it, because Dell puts 300w-400w PSU's in their units. That's about a a $240 upgrade, making it more expensive than your computer. Dell and other OEM's use custom-made mobos from ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI. You can't buy them, and only used in OEM PC's. With the Dell, you don't get the SSD, though. You can always return your monitor and get a bigger one. You can always upgrade your RAM. Try out 8GB. If you feel like you need more, either get 8GB more, or, return your current kit, and get 16GB. While running your video editing program, open the Task Manager, and see how much RAM is being used. If it's near 8GB or is pegged at 8, you might want to get 16.

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August 26, 2012 5:25:32 PM

obsama1 said:
You can always OC your CPU, and beat out that i7. Like I said, for light editing, they're pretty much the same. Even though the i7 is faster, doesn't mean the i5 is slow by any means. That GPU in it is weak. You'd have to upgrade both the PSU and GPU in it, because Dell puts 300w-400w PSU's in their units. That's about a a $240 upgrade, making it more expensive than your computer. Dell and other OEM's use custom-made mobos from ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI. You can't buy them, and only used in OEM PC's. With the Dell, you don't get the SSD, though. You can always return your monitor and get a bigger one. You can always upgrade your RAM. Try out 8GB. If you feel like you need more, either get 8GB more, or, return your current kit, and get 16GB. While running your video editing program, open the Task Manager, and see how much RAM is being used. If it's near 8GB or is pegged at 8, you might want to get 16.


Thanks for the response and sorry for the delay. Ended up ordering as per my above list, only with the 560Ti Hawk instead of the HD 6870 and minus the RAM. Instead I ordered a Windows 7 OS with 8GB Crucial RAM from Tiger Direct for $150 with a $40 mail-in rebate, which seemed like a good deal.

Now waiting for all the part. Probably won't get down and dirty with putting it all together until next weekend. Will update on how it's worked out.

Thanks again for all the help guys!
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August 26, 2012 5:30:46 PM

Best answer selected by mgrosman.
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