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$2500 Budget, Build Me Some Awesomeness

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October 3, 2012 4:27:35 PM

So I have a budget of around $2500 for this build. I don't need to spend every dime of that to get a good system. If you think you can build a decent system that will last for 3-4 years for cheaper, let me know.

Approximate Purchase Date: Purchase date will be probably in early Novemberish.

Budget Range: $2500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Lightroom, Photoshop

Are you buying a monitor: Yes


Parts to Upgrade: Only part that will be carried over is a Samsung 830 SSD 256GB

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon and newegg prefered

Parts Preferences: Definitely Intel, maybe Ati with some convincing

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: Possibly 3 Dell 2412M or maybe 3 different monitors, so 5760x1200


So the big things are these: I am using this system to game and to do a lot of photoediting. I am wanting to get a 3 screen setup, maybe getting 2 more 2412's to match the one I have. The bezels are rather large which worries me at this point. Maybe I can get 3 new screens and add the 2412 as a fourth screen to do editing of photos on. I am using a Spyder4 Pro color corrector on it. I am hoping to use this PC for at least 3 years before I have to upgrade. I've been doing a little research and apparently 2 670's with 4GB of memory a peice are really good for multiple monitors. Let me guys know what you think.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 3, 2012 5:02:44 PM

Hi i made you a build.
It's pretty powerfull and has a lot of overclocking headroom you can use later on.It uses a Intel processor just as you asked but the graphics cards are made by ATI (AMD).The reason for that is because AMD (ATI) cards perform a better at high resolutions and since you'll be gaming on a triple monitor setup that's a big plus.They also bring a lot better compting performance then their Nvidia competitors which makes them a much better choice for you.
(Just so you know i was comparing them to GTX 670's)

Also the monitors i included are just a LOT better then the ones you mentioned.They have better image quality and response time.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.77 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($55.54 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($387.86 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($387.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: OCZ Z Series Gold 1000W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus PA248Q 24.1" Monitor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2388.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 3, 2012 5:14:51 PM

Sorry I should have said this before, monitors do not need to be figured into this build. Those I am going to purchase separately.

Also I picked out the 2412 very specifically for it's color accuracy, I do not know much about the Asus but Asus never comes up in idscussion about photoediting, usually Dell's are the best you can get before spending over $1000 a monitor for ultimate accuracy. And if I were to get 3 new monitors I would get something with very thin bezels, the Asus's look very thick.

And finally is there a reason to not go to LGA 2011?
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Related resources
October 3, 2012 6:05:13 PM

I'd suggest going ivy bridge with the i7-3770 and gain a few improvements over the sandy bridge platform. Also, if monitors are not factored in max the memory out on any board you get and even consider a server board that takes two physical chips.
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a b C Monitor
October 3, 2012 6:32:17 PM

i5 3570k
hyper evo 212+
Gigabyte UD5H
8 GB G.Skill 2133Mhz
2TB WD Black HDD
Corsair AX 750
2X 7950 crossfire
3X Hannspree By HannsG SL231DPB monitors
Corsair 400R


about 2 grand
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October 3, 2012 6:57:13 PM

I figure since I a spending this much money, I am going to go ahead and get the LGA 2011, no sense in getting last years tech. EDIT: Well actually i just noticed that the 3820 is Sandy, not Ivy. How much better would Ivy be in practicality, even though it's not the newer 2011 form?

Case: Thermaltake Armor Revo
Mobo: ASRock Extreme4 X79
CPU: i7 3820
Graphics: 2x 670 FTW
memory: 32G (8GBx4) Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1600 low profile
PSU: Seasonic x850 gold
Zalman Cooler
G700 mouse

All this clocks in around $2100.

I dont see the point of those cheap HansG monitors, especially with their huge bezels. Also don't need HDD's. and 8GB of RAM for photo work is seriously lacking. So good job on not reading anything I wrote.

I am slightly torn between the 7970's and the 670's. I have never been wronged by Nvidia, and am so familiar with how they work, I may just stick with them for the sake of not having to learn AMD's software stuff. Also performance between the two is realistically negligible.

And finally mobo's, I may do a little OCing but in reality I won't do much, and it's hard to tell what differentiates the $300+ mobo's and the cheaper ones like the ASRock I picked out.
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October 3, 2012 7:53:30 PM

Raylon said:
I figure since I a spending this much money, I am going to go ahead and get the LGA 2011, no sense in getting last years tech. EDIT: Well actually i just noticed that the 3820 is Sandy, not Ivy. How much better would Ivy be in practicality, even though it's not the newer 2011 form?

Case: Thermaltake Armor Revo
Mobo: ASRock Extreme4 X79
CPU: i7 3820
Graphics: 2x 670 FTW
memory: 32G (8GBx4) Crucial Ballistix DDR3 1600 low profile
PSU: Seasonic x850 gold
Zalman Cooler
G700 mouse

All this clocks in around $2100.

I dont see the point of those cheap HansG monitors, especially with their huge bezels. Also don't need HDD's. and 8GB of RAM for photo work is seriously lacking. So good job on not reading anything I wrote.

I am slightly torn between the 7970's and the 670's. I have never been wronged by Nvidia, and am so familiar with how they work, I may just stick with them for the sake of not having to learn AMD's software stuff. Also performance between the two is realistically negligible.

And finally mobo's, I may do a little OCing but in reality I won't do much, and it's hard to tell what differentiates the $300+ mobo's and the cheaper ones like the ASRock I picked out.

If you are not going to take our advice then dont come here asking questions. Amd has better high resolution gaming performance and is also better at computing. If you dont want to believe us then why come here in the first place? Dont attack someones post because they didnt see something.

Btw if you can fill 32gb of ram with your editing id be impressed. Also why do you want a 3820 which is a quad core that is slower then a 3770 on a more expensive platform. A platform that has the advantage of more ram and quad channel ram but you dont even have the max ram supported? See where im going?

Ps a 1k computer will be faster then this one in 3 years so spending 2.5K now doesn't make it future proof.
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October 3, 2012 8:57:22 PM

cbrunnem said:
If you are not going to take our advice then dont come here asking questions. Amd has better high resolution gaming performance and is also better at computing. If you dont want to believe us then why come here in the first place? Dont attack someones post because they didnt see something.

Btw if you can fill 32gb of ram with your editing id be impressed. Also why do you want a 3820 which is a quad core that is slower then a 3770 on a more expensive platform. A platform that has the advantage of more ram and quad channel ram but you dont even have the max ram supported? See where im going?

Ps a 1k computer will be faster then this one in 3 years so spending 2.5K now doesn't make it future proof.


I didn't attack him, he didn't even read my post basically.

I can easily do 32 I imagine. I run Lightroom while batch processing while editing pics on Photoshop while running music in the background. This on top of other random programs running. A little headroom is never bad.

Yes a 1k computer will be faster than this one that is how computers work. I built a PC 4 years ago that I spent $800 on and it's still running pretty well, I am not a ridiculous person who upgrades every year, I use PC's for 3-4 years before I upgrade again. I finally have a decent amount of money I will build something pretty good that will be able to run games on high for a while.

I am taking you advice, but I am questioning the ATI cards. Yes they may give better performance, but exactly how much?

Also about the ram, I can see a need for 32, but for 64? I don't think so. I run some intensive programs, such as Solidworks and other cad programs also, so I don't see why I shouldn't go ahead and go for the platform that offers the faster ram. And the processor may be slower, but I can't imagine by much. I purchased a $65 CPU when I built my last computer, and it has run fine this long. Sure I may have had to turn down some settings in some games, but most things still ran pretty fine.

I don't know, maybe I am looking at this all wrong, but I don't really see the advantage in going backwards on things.
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Anonymous
October 3, 2012 9:23:37 PM

Display is always the most important in a build to me. So start with the best get a 30" 2560 x 1600 IPS display. Then a good card to push it, 4gb gtx 680 then a i7 3730k, a 256gb/512gb SSD for your OS and games. 2 or 3 tb drive for backup purposes. A good z77 mb and a corsair liquid cooler for the cpu. Good stable DDR3 ram 1600 speed. Good PS of 800w or above. Phantom NZXT case add some led fans and your good to go.
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October 3, 2012 9:32:44 PM

Anonymous said:
Display is always the most important in a build to me. So start with the best get a 30" 2560 x 1600 IPS display. Then a good card to push it, 4gb gtx 680 then a i7 3730k, a 256gb/512gb SSD for your OS and games. 2 or 3 tb drive for backup purposes. A good z77 mb and a corsair liquid cooler for the cpu. Good stable DDR3 ram 1600 speed. Good PS of 800w or above. Phantom NZXT case add some led fans and your good to go.


Well I really want a 3 screen setup, I do a lot of racing games and flight simulators, one screen just won't cut it. So then a single 680 may work but SLI of something would probably be better. Got the SSD already. I like 24" screens, they are just the right size.

So I guess the real question is 2011 or 1155. Got a couple voters saying 1155. If realistically I'm not gunna see a huge performance drop going to 1155, I will go with it.
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a b C Monitor
October 3, 2012 10:47:06 PM

Raylon said:
So I have a budget of around $2500 for this build. I don't need to spend every dime of that to get a good system. If you think you can build a decent system that will last for 3-4 years for cheaper, let me know.

Approximate Purchase Date: Purchase date will be probably in early Novemberish.

Budget Range: $2500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Lightroom, Photoshop

Are you buying a monitor: Yes


Parts to Upgrade: Only part that will be carried over is a Samsung 830 SSD 256GB

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon and newegg prefered

Parts Preferences: Definitely Intel, maybe Ati with some convincing

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: Possibly 3 Dell 2412M or maybe 3 different monitors, so 5760x1200


So the big things are these: I am using this system to game and to do a lot of photoediting. I am wanting to get a 3 screen setup, maybe getting 2 more 2412's to match the one I have. The bezels are rather large which worries me at this point. Maybe I can get 3 new screens and add the 2412 as a fourth screen to do editing of photos on. I am using a Spyder4 Pro color corrector on it. I am hoping to use this PC for at least 3 years before I have to upgrade. I've been doing a little research and apparently 2 670's with 4GB of memory a peice are really good for multiple monitors. Let me guys know what you think.



First off let's settle up the monitor situation.

You can:
1. Buy one 2560 X 1440/1600 monitor
2 Buy two more 2412's
3. Buy 3 different monitors

For gaming, you may want to consider 3600/1920 for a more realistic aspect ratio. That would be my choice, add two more 2412's

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c... $600
That leaves me with about 2k

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jhkk

Good Luck!
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October 3, 2012 11:07:48 PM

mastrom, thanks for the build, I really like it. I will take the advice and go with 1155 and ATI. Also I will plan on just going with 2 more 2412's. I took off the hard drives and picked out the larger fractal design case and added 16GB more of the memory chosen.

So here is where it is at:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jhrX

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October 3, 2012 11:29:37 PM

Raylon said:
Well I really want a 3 screen setup, I do a lot of racing games and flight simulators, one screen just won't cut it. So then a single 680 may work but SLI of something would probably be better. Got the SSD already. I like 24" screens, they are just the right size.

So I guess the real question is 2011 or 1155. Got a couple voters saying 1155. If realistically I'm not gunna see a huge performance drop going to 1155, I will go with it.



jeeze lol you are really adding to the things you do. So to get this straight you will be doing all of these things on this computer:

gaming
photoshop
lightroom
racing games(which ones?)
flight sims(FSX?)
solidworks(not demanding)
other cad programs?

sorry if my earlier post came off as attacking.

my point with the ram is that ram is cheap especially in a 2.5k budget. you can get it for under 300 dollars but quad channel isnt really all that much better from what i have seen. it might be a little bit better but i dont think you will notice the difference. also the difference in speed from a 3770k compared to a 3820 will be much bigger then the memory bonus from the lga 2011.

it is generally accepted that as the resolution gets higher that AMD does better. that will not be the case for every game nor will it normally be a big margin but better is better.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1887/1/
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1455/pg11/asus-ge...

for amd to win the bf3 one is extremely impressive to me as bf3 is a huge nvidia land slide win normally.
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October 3, 2012 11:34:21 PM

cbrunnem said:
jeeze lol you are really adding to the things you do. So to get this straight you will be doing all of these things on this computer:

gaming
photoshop
lightroom
racing games(which ones?)
flight sims(FSX?)
solidworks(not demanding)
other cad programs?

sorry if my earlier post came off as attacking.

my point with the ram is that ram is cheap especially in a 2.5k budget. you can get it for under 300 dollars but quad channel isnt really all that much better from what i have seen. it might be a little bit better but i dont think you will notice the difference. also the difference in speed from a 3770k compared to a 3820 will be much bigger then the memory bonus from the lga 2011.

it is generally accepted that as the resolution gets higher that AMD does better. that will not be the case for every game nor will it normally be a big margin but better is better.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1887/1/
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1455/pg11/asus-ge...

for amd to win the bf3 one is extremely impressive to me as bf3 is a huge nvidia land slide win normally.


Haha no it's fine. Yea I'm an engineer who does photography for side jobs and gaming as a hobby. Yea this PC is gunna get used for a ton of different crap. Solidworks an get demanding with a large object with many poly's. Other CAD programs include microstation and 3DS studio max.

Racing games are mostly iRacing, which doesn't require a great PC but does basically require 3 screens.
Flight sims I love the DCS series, A-10, P-51, and Black Shark. FC3 coming soon also.

Gotcha the 3770k will do much better than a little ram speed boost.
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a b C Monitor
October 4, 2012 12:12:59 AM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jhUa

Swapped to GHZ edition cards as you had the funds left over.

Are you sure that you'll be able to fit all your files on a 240GB HD?
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October 4, 2012 12:41:58 AM

mastrom101 said:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jhUa

Swapped to GHZ edition cards as you had the funds left over.

Are you sure that you'll be able to fit all your files on a 240GB HD?


I have 2x750 GB set up in a RAID 0 and then 2x2TB for extra space. So yep I got plenty of space available.
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