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Advice on editing/video gaming comp, 1st build $1,200-1,500

Approximate Purchase Date: I will be buying in stages, over 3 weeks due to credit card cap.

Budget Range: $1,200-1,500.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: HD Video editing/animation, Gaming, Picture editing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: If they ship...

Location: Living in Vancouver, BC but shipping to Bellingham, Washington (no border fees if I pick-up in the States)

Parts Preferences: I think I'm going with Intel & nVidia, it's all I've ever used but open to suggestions.

Overclocking: Down the road, as a second wind.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (for future upgrades)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'm not super knowledgeable in computer hardware but I tried my best at a little research (approx 7 hours of reading reviews) before bothering anyone in the forums. I've got a bit of rational behind each part choice, and I'll put that beside the part. I will try my hand at overclocking but I might wait a year when my wallet's not so sore(I tend to break electronics when I mod them).

Why Are You Upgrading: I'm currently using a 6 year old laptop. It's sole purpose was to run Morrowind/Oblivion, with OK graphics, and to be portable. Needless to say it's out-dated. I had a lot of fun making & editing movies and playing with flash animations in high school, and I wanted to get back into that. Now, I'm a few years graduated I don't have access to the semi-powerful school equipment.

Full build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kvC7 $1,256.40 after MIR

Breakdown:
CPU: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k $215
-I chose it because it's powerful out of the box, and has been tuned up to 4.2-4.5

CPU Cooler: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhc14 $72
-Cheaper than the fan favourite(sorry for pun) Noctua NH-D14 but seems to out perform it.

Motherboard: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z77extreme4 $135
-The z77 are suppose to be good for overclocking and has lots of room for down the road upgrades(dual video cards if I can find a matching one cheap in a couple months, room for more ram and hard drives.)

Ram: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls2kit8g3d1609ds1s00 $80
-I wanted 2x8 in case I start doing longer videos, then I can jump to 32gb (might be overkill, but options are good). Thought I could save a bit not going for Corsair/G.Skill memory. Crucial has a positive following.

Storage: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-internal-hard-drive-ct064m4ssd2cca $80
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001 $90
-I'll have the small SSD for the OS plus some select programs, and the 2TB for everything else.

Video Card: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-video-card-012p32078kr $225
-I see a lot of following for Radeon so I'm second guessing myself on this one. It's powerful without getting into $400 territory and it's quite popular so I should be able to grab a second one in a few months when they drop in price.

Case: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-case-blackhawk $85
-Under $100 with good air flow(I'm hoping).

Power: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu750hx $110
-Overkill ATM but leaves room for dual video cards, more ram, overclocking, and breathing room after all that.

Monitor: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-monitor-vs239hp $165
-Trying for IPS, LED, 1080 without braking the bank. Also, it's 23' and I read a few good reviews.

I'm pretty set on all these parts but I'd like a second opinion because I'm no expert. I do have a little bit more money to play with but I still have to deal with cross border pick up fees and money conversion rates. Thank you for your help.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Not a bad build overall, but I have a few suggestions:

    First, you get 8GB of RAM for free if you buy that same motherboard from Newegg right now. You could just add another 8GB pair (for 16GB total) for ~$30. This would fill up all 4 slots, but it would save you $50 and I honestly would not expect you to start hitting the that cap any time soon. It's also inexpensive enough that it wouldn't be a heartbreaker to swap out if you ever do reach that point somewhere down the road.

    The 64GB SSD isn't a great value, you could bump up to double the capacity for a few dollars more. I've seen 120GB SSDs anywhere from $60-90 in the past few weeks, pretty easy to snag a good deal on a decent model these days.

    I wouldn't use a last gen GTX 560 Ti. If you stay with nvidia, which I generally prefer, I'd pick up a brand new GTX 660 with much better performance for about the same price. On the AMD side, the 7870 is a much better choice than the 560 as well and also in the same price range. Take a look at the average gaming performance benchmark (from this review) here:
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/T/W/352292/original/AVG%20Perf%20HIGH.png

    I'm a little skeptical about the Noctua C14 performing better than the D14, I'd be interested in seeing some benchmarks on that. Furthermore, you can still get a pretty hefty overclock using a less expensive cooler. You probably don't need to pay that much of a premium for your HSF unless you're planning to really push the envelope on your OC. You could also just stick with the stock cooler for now and just pick up the 3rd party cooler later, if/when you do actually decide to overclock.

    For your secondary storage, Tom's pointed out that you can get this Seagate 1.5TB for $50 today only, which is a pretty sweet deal. You could almost get 2 of them for the same price as that 2TB.

    There are a lot of options for cases, but the Blackhawk would probably be fine. I could link some other good choices if you want a selection. Someone else may have input on the monitor as well.


    So here's a pcpartpicker list with the changes I would propose:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Kingston XMP Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ CompUSA)
    Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1082.90
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    Add $50-100 for one or two of the 1.5TB Seagate secondary drives and you still end up spending less money for a rig with a more powerful GPU, twice the SSD capacity, and more secondary storage as well.
  2. Just a note: For an extra ~$40-50 you can get a very good Radeon HD7950
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-video-card-fx795atdjc

    And if that's out of stock - get the Sapphire version for a little extra.

    Also, with the SSD - I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend the Samsung 830 128GB SSD as well. Just something to consider along with the OCZ Vertex 4
  3. ckholt83 said:
    First, you get 8GB of RAM for free if you buy that same motherboard from Newegg right now. You could just add another 8GB pair (for 16GB total) for ~$30. This would fill up all 4 slots, but it would save you $50 and I honestly would not expect you to start hitting the that cap any time soon. It's also inexpensive enough that it wouldn't be a heartbreaker to swap out if you ever do reach that point somewhere down the road.


    I wouldn't recommend adding different RAM from a different kit, let alone a different manufacturer altogether. If anything, pick up another kit of the Patriot RAM that's included with the motherboard.

    Or, if you don't mind spending another ~$30, just get a full 16GB kit from G.Skill or Corsair. There's less chance of any memory instability by doing this.
  4. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.05 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.86 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($360.00 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($106.89 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
    Monitor: ViewSonic VX2370Smh-LED 23.0" Monitor ($195.90 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1525.64
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    goes a little bit over of course you can lower it if needed with either with combos or lowering some parts

    the asrock extreme3 is not that different from the 4 and still have 2 slots for an SLI/CFX

    has a i7 for the hyper thread that i5 does not provide. it helps with video editing and PS and stuff like that. if video editing is a minor thing(done only once in a while) then i would lower it down to an i5

    comes with an 670 which has CUDA, AMD also has openCL so you need to find the programs that support which.

    comes with a viewsonic IPS monitor(been a fan of viewsonic for a while since my old 1280x1024 still hasnt gone bad) it is also fairly priced for a 23" IPS monitor
  5. Evilqueens makes some good points all around. The 7950 is a good buy if you don't mind going the AMD route, and Samsung is a great brand for SSDs. And yeah, you might want to buy a matching pair of RAM sticks to go with the promo kit instead of mixing brands. Those can be found here for $10 more than the Kingstons, so you'd still be saving $40 and getting the same capacity vs. buying 2x8GB sticks.
  6. boulbox said:


    Good cards for sure, but this will definitely put the OP over budget.
  7. Well the first comment was a better build for $200 less, kind of embarrassing on my part :s and I was a little too slow for the cheaper hard drives deal :/

    So now I'm thinking:
    Scrap the aftermarket cooler and put that money towards a i7. Buy a better cooler later when I plan on overclocking. Get that Motherboard/Ram combo + another 2x4 of matching ram. Trade the Crucial SSD for OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" SSD and to fit that I'll need the Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (original case has no 2.5" slot for SSD). I'm going to be using Adobe CS5 or 6 and they seem to get a little extra kick with CUDA, and since there's room in the budget I'm considering the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card. Threw in a 650w psu instead of the 750w.

    for approx $180 more, it now looks like:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg) x2 with Motherboard deal*
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($359.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($106.89 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
    Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0" Monitor ($164.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1429.80
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    I feel like it's getting more bang-for-buck, thank! Any other tweaks?
  8. That build looks very good to me, nothing I can see that I would change :)


    P.S. Just so's ya know though, you don't explicitly need a 2.5" bay in the case. Most SSDs come with an adapter to fit into a normal 3.5" bay, including that Vertex 4.

    P.P.S. Use promo code EMCYTZT2366 for $10 off the SSD.
  9. Hey everyone! Sorry for bumping this dead tread, but I got my new computer all assembled and loving it. Handles all games like a dream and renders phenomenally fast. Just had to come back and say thanks!
  10. Best answer selected by FoxEhGamer.
  11. Hooray! :D
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