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Graphic Artist/ Gamer with a $1200 budget

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November 5, 2012 1:18:41 PM

I am student working on a game-art and design degree and also use corel painter/photoshop a lot (corel 11 &cs5). I respect good graphics and sound in a game, and also have a ton of school work to attend to. I've wanted a rig for a long time, and am finally going to get one. If I could get some personal pointers, it'd be a great help.


I already have a power supply and a chassis:
Power Supply - [850w]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Chassis - [midsize 20"]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Approximate Purchase Date: If I am given links and part names I will purchase them as they are promoted. I don't need this thing assembled until February or so, so I will stalk deals until I have everything I need.

Budget Range: About $1200. I will stretch to $1500 if I absolutely have to

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Online Gaming
Gaming (Yes I made those separate)
CS5/Corel (I do a lot of digital art with a lot of taxing brushes and layers)
School work / Internet Browsing
Other media (e.g. movies, t.v.)

**I'm working on a game art degree and would like a system that can handle game art production
**I do a lot of multi-tasking. (ex, 30 tabs in chrome open, online game running, working on a drawing would probably be the extent of the abuse.)

OS : I probably need to buy one :(  I'll take Windows 7

Monitor: I have a couple of monitors, but none seem to have the resolution/color/lighting I need. They seem to be off. Though, I do do current work from a laptop and the dual screen, perhaps this is why the colors are distorted?
If there are any recommended displays for what I'll be doing with the rig, please post. Otherwise I don't need a new display right away.


Parts Preferences:
Processor: Intel (i5 and up. I don't know a lot about caches and speeds.)
Overclocking: Nah

RAM: Corsair (vengence) RAM. I would consider Ripjaws if they are recommended.
(I've read that 8gb is just fine for gaming, and I know that that's true. However, I run other graphically demanding clients at the same time, should I consider 12 or 16gb? It seems like overkill.)

Sound: Something with dolby surround. I have a $250 turtle beach headset that I was to use to its potential.

Graphics: I was looking at a nVidia 660 Ti like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: 1tb would do just fine
Type: SSD (if its cheap) otherwise I'll survive without one.
HD1 : SSD
HD2: Other
**Does anyone recommend VelociRaptor?

Internet Card: I don't have a wired connection near by, and I do a lot of online applications (as you can see)

Cooling: Case comes with fans. No water cooling please.

SLI or Crossfire: I like nVidia, so SLi. Though I probably won't have a second graphic card for a good while anyway.



I don't know a ton about motherboards or what would suit my preferences.
I will be putting everything together myself once I have all of the parts :) 

Any and all help is appreciated, Thank you!!! I hope I've given enough info ><
November 5, 2012 3:32:07 PM

For your needs, I think that you could utilize a fx-8350. They are fantastic for multi-tasking, and they do very well in games. Don't get me wrong, an i7 is better at alot of things, but the 8350 just has too many cores for it to compete for with heavy multi-tasking. I included a 7950 because they are better than the 660ti. I also included a very good high resolution monitor, an SSD, and even a wireless card.
If you have any questions, just ask.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBRR
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBRR/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mBRR/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($199.98 @ NCIX US)

Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3R 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.05 @ Amazon)

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)

Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($299.99 @ Amazon)

Monitor: HP LA2405x 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($249.99 @ Mac Mall)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.99 @ CompUSA)

Other: Wireless adapter ($18.00)
Total: $1167.97

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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November 7, 2012 8:46:09 PM

Thanks for your reply!

I bought the g-skill ares because they were under the shell-shocker deals on new egg.

Can I ask why you prefer g-skill to the corsair vengence RAM?

Also, not many people recommend an AMD processor over an intel one right now, do believe the 8 cores makes a difference. I have heard tat some of the cores can die or malfunction while the others still work. Have you heard of this?

I don't mind getting an ssd, but how do you think they compare to VelociRaptor?

Thanks again !!!
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November 7, 2012 9:05:48 PM

There is no real difference between the two RAM's. I recommended the ares because it happened to be $1 cheaper.

Also, not many people recommend AMD because not many people can utilize the AMD to the point were it would be better. If you do a ton of heavy multi-tasking, you can make use of all 8 cores, which would be better than even an i7 3770. Intel is better on per core performance by far, but they don't have any 8-core solutions, so I think that the AMD will be better for your needs. Additionally, I have not heard anything about cores dying, and CPU's rarely have issues. It is very uncommon to have a malfunctioning CPU.

Finally, and SSD will best a VelociRaptor every time. They are faster, and as long as you get a good brand, they are more reliable. I have an SSD in my laptop, and I absolutely love it. There is no going back.
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