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Will the i3 Ivy do the trick?

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January 4, 2013 4:44:16 AM

Hello,

I'm doing my first build. It's a desktop that will serve as the main computer in my home network. It'll be doing hours of streaming to a tv each day, sometimes sharing data or movies with other computers, running office, surfing, and a little low level GIS data analysis. Sometimes it will be called upon to do much of this at once. I'm already dreading the reaction from the wife when she sees the hole in the bank account so I have to try to keep costs down. I've got my hardware chosen, but I'm concerned (probably w/o cause) that the Ivy i3 I've chosen won't always keep up. It's a fairly premium build w/ 8g 1600 Ram, nice Mobo, 60g SSD, 2 500g HDD's on a Raid 1 set up, SATA III, USB 3.0, and so on. My budget is shot now. Would a generation 1 i5 quad be better or am I fine with what I'm planning?

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January 4, 2013 4:49:25 AM

If you are not a heavy gamer.then i3 is more than enough.
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January 4, 2013 5:00:01 AM

That's really what I thought. I'm mostly nervous that other activities will interrupt the streaming to the living room TV. That would make me unpopular. I'm not very knowledgeable, but as I understand it streaming doesn't really take much CPU effort. Almost none actually.
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January 4, 2013 5:16:42 AM

It's best to get the "new" 3rd Gen Intel CPUs since they come with Ivy bridge which are pretty fast.

I would recommend...

i3-3220 ( or i3-3225 if you arent going to buy a graphic card )
i5-3570k
i7-3770k
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January 4, 2013 5:34:05 AM

I was going to get the i3 3240. I'll take a second look at my i3 options, though.
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January 4, 2013 9:26:06 AM

U can forget the ssd and use the leftover for a better cpu, it still not the best time to buy ssd around this month, especially 60gb model
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January 4, 2013 10:37:46 AM

Ceee9 said:
U can forget the ssd and use the leftover for a better cpu, it still not the best time to buy ssd around this month, especially 60gb model

Would disagree. From what OP described, it sounds a lot like a sort-of home media PC for general, non-gaming purposes. An Ivy-Bridge i3 is plenty for that and an SSD will give you a nice boost in start up times and program loading times. Performance-wise you won't see much of an improvement (for your described uses) if you were to splash out on a i5-3570k over an i3-3225 (or similar).
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January 4, 2013 12:33:50 PM

It will be a media center primarily. It'll also serve as a file repository (I'm a grad student involved in heavy research) and will be called upon almost daily to share files. It isn't that I'm doing any intensive computing, but that the simple things I'm doing can't interfere with a near constant live stream. My home is abandoning cable TV and we're going to Hulu and other on line resources and will save $25 a month even with an internet upgrade to 12mb/s. This is actually how I justified a new computer to my wife. By my reckoning a premium i3 surrounded by premium peripherals should get the job done flawlessly, though maybe only barely. The SSD isn't negotiable. OS speed is important to me. That alone has drove me (a self described IT illiterate) from Windows to Linux.

I have a Sandy i5 on a laptop and feel like I've never gotten my money's worth out of it.
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January 4, 2013 1:09:35 PM

Orait then, may mercy on u before ur wife xDDD
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January 4, 2013 1:15:45 PM

For a file server, even a 10 years old P3 or P4 would get the job done if you slapped a 1GbE NIC in it, though bandwidth would be somewhat constrained by PCI's ~132MB/s limit.

So even an i3 is going to feel overkill for that. The CPU load from streaming video at 10Mbps to other PCs/tablets probably won't even register on Task Manager... unless you use SSL, in which case it may hit 5-10%.
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January 4, 2013 1:25:25 PM

^^ Agreed. None of your mentioned applications are CPU intensive. The i3 is more than enough. You could save even more money if you went for something like a G860. I bought this for my brother's general-purpose/gaming PC and it does an incredible for the price. I would recommend that and get a 128GB SSD instead with the money you saved.
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January 4, 2013 1:29:38 PM

Thanks for the info everybody. I was a little unsure of how much cpu power would be needed for streaming. Now you've all got me wondering if I can get away with something less than an ivy i3. I'll pretend to myself that I can't though. This will be the most premium computer I've ever had including my i5 laptop (4 gigs ram/ 1000, sata II). I'm excited to get these parts in. I'll go over everything one more time to make sure everything is compatible and I'm placing my orders tonight. :) 
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January 4, 2013 1:42:53 PM

As far as the SSD goes I don't keep a lot of programs. I am a little worried about a 64gb drive, but when I review the things I actually use a lot I only come up with about 30 gigs including my OS. Most of the rest is just rarely used utility software and files. I've never used multiple drives either, though. I use a program called stellarium a lot. It is big. Will I have to pull it from my HDD over to my SSD to use it? I'm sure that is a noobish question, but my IT experiences are limited.
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