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First Build, Photoshop/Movie/Gaming PC $1500 Budget

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November 7, 2012 7:49:58 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Black Friday / Xmas (whichever gives better deals)

Budget Range: $1400-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop CS6, Watching Movies, Gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes.

Preferred Websites: Microcenter, Newegg, Amazon

Location: Edina, MN (~15 minutes from Microcenter)

Overclocking: Yes (CPU).

SLI or Crossfire: No.

Monitor Resolution: 2560x1440

Why Are You Upgrading: Laptop not sufficient for my photoshop/entertainment needs.

PARTS I HAVE DECIDED ON:
Monitor: AURIA EQ276W 27" 2560x1440 IPS LED Monitor ($400 @ MC)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R White Steel structure ATX Mid Tower ($100 @ Amazon)
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K ($170 @ MC)


PARTS I AM DECIDING BETWEEN:
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 vs Gigabyte Z77X-D3H (both $115 @ Newegg)
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO vs Corsair Hydro H100 ($30 vs $115 @ Newegg)


PARTS I NEED SUGGESTIONS FOR:
$200 GPU: Must support monitor resolution, OpenGL/OpenCL, and moderate gaming.
$100 HDD: For Photoshop files, music, documents. Reliability more important than speed.
$100 SSD: For Windows 7/8, PS CS6, couple games. Read-speed more important than write.
$ 75 RAM: 16GB/32GB (maxing RAM instead of using scratch disk for photoshop)
$ 75 PSU: ???
$ 50 Opt. Drive: ???
$100 Windows OS: Windows 7/8 (current student w/ .edu email, any discounts available?)

Monitor + Case + CPU + MOBO + Fan = $815 ($900 with liquid cooling)
That leaves me $600-700 for everything else (cash left over is ok too)

Additional Comments: I was initially planning on ASRock & H100 combo, but may need to wait on the liquid cooling for budget reasons. Was thinking Nvidia Geforce GTX 470/570 for the wider memory interface (320-bit) and CUDA support, but that may be overkill (plus I am fond of AMD's power-efficiency). I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I do enjoy games like SC2, D3, Dragon Age, etc. If playing at lower detail means saving big $$ on a GPU, then I'll consider it in light of my budget. New to OC'ing, but plan to OC my CPU (will probably keep GPU/RAM at stock). HDD preferably 2TB, but 1TB if good savings (can add more later). SDD not critical, but would be nice if it can fit in my budget as i'd like to boot OS/PS quickly. At least 16GB of RAM, but 32 if cost-effective. Not fond of MIR, but I am a current student with a working .edu email - any discounts available with that? Is windows 8 necessary? Thanks in advance!
November 7, 2012 8:08:50 PM

Quote:
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO vs Corsair Hydro H100 ($30 vs $115 @ Newegg)


Don't purchase an H100 - if you're using liquid cooling, use the real thing or don't use it at all. If you want to get something above a Hyper 212, go for a Noctua D14.

Quote:
$200 GPU: Must support monitor resolution, OpenGL/OpenCL, and moderate gaming.


$1500 rig and a $200 GPU? I wouldn't suggest that. Any IPS display is going to require a hefty GPU to back it up, and that's one area where you don't skimp on this kind of build.

Quote:
Was thinking Nvidia Geforce GTX 470/570 for the wider memory interface (320-bit) and CUDA support, but that may be overkill (plus I am fond of AMD's power-efficiency).


GTX 470 and 570 are obsolete. You want 660TI or 670, they have the same energy efficiency as the new Radeons do with CUDA support as well. The bad thing is that IPS monitor you chose will eat into your budget big time. If you're dead set on getting that monitor you might want to put that in a separate budget if you want a good system for Photoshop and things of that nature.

For this build I'd recommend something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($80.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1355.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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November 7, 2012 9:20:49 PM

Quote:
Don't purchase an H100 - if you're using liquid cooling, use the real thing or don't use it at all. If you want to get something above a Hyper 212, go for a Noctua D14

Will the Noctua D14 fit in my case with my current components, and is it necessary over the Hyper 212? Also, what about the Phanteks TC14PE?

Quote:
$1500 rig and a $200 GPU? I wouldn't suggest that. Any IPS display is going to require a hefty GPU to back it up, and that's one area where you don't skimp on this kind of build.

Keep in mind that gaming is absolutely last on my list of criteria. I really just need the GPU to support the monitor and resolution for photoshop and playing movies. If it plays games on medium-to-low settings, that's just icing on the cake. Any alternative out there that will satisfy below your suggested $370 GTX 670?

Quote:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($192.86 @ Newegg)

Why this motherboard? What does it offer over the cheaper -D3H or Extreme4, and do I need it for my purposes?
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November 7, 2012 10:02:43 PM

I'm currently finishing up a very very similar build for my brother-in-law, and here are my suggestions...

go for the i7-3770k. i know you said you've already decided on your CPU, but I still strongly suggest you pick this CPU up. When it comes to media processing, the i7 is the best in the biz, the benchmarks show that it has a significant increase in performance over the i5-3570k.

get an SSD. doesn't have to be huge, but at least 80GB.

get no more than 16GB of RAM. it will be handy for "future-proofing", but seriously, more than 8GB will almost never be used. ever.

get a GTX 670. Cuda support. OC'able to 680 levels.

don't need more than a 500W PSU, if that saves you any money. The Rosewill Capstone Series are my personal favorite.
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November 7, 2012 10:23:00 PM

Quote:
Will the Noctua D14 fit in my case with my current components, and is it necessary over the Hyper 212? Also, what about the Phanteks TC14PE?


Are you reusing an existing case? If so post it. I'd take the Noctua over the Phanteks - better quality heat sink and better fans. The Hyper 212 is good, if you want something more try the Noctua NH-U9B.

Quote:
Keep in mind that gaming is absolutely last on my list of criteria. I really just need the GPU to support the monitor and resolution for photoshop and playing movies. If it plays games on medium-to-low settings, that's just icing on the cake. Any alternative out there that will satisfy below your suggested $370 GTX 670?


Most sub $200 GPUs won't support the ultra high resolutions and refresh rates that IPS monitors require. I think a Radeon 7850 would handle it fine, but if not a GTX 660TI easily would be able to.

Quote:
Why this motherboard? What does it offer over the cheaper -D3H or Extreme4, and do I need it for my purposes?


I included this motherboard for Thunderbolt support - and if you're working with new cameras and large files it will come in very handy.

Quote:
don't need more than a 500W PSU, if that saves you any money. The Rosewill Capstone Series are my personal favorite.


That depends on what GPU you're running. If you're running a 7750 or 7770 yes. If you're running above that no.

Quote:
get no more than 16GB of RAM. it will be handy for "future-proofing", but seriously, more than 8GB will almost never be used. ever.


For a CS5 rig? You will need all the RAM you can get - there's a lot of CS5 / 6 programs that eat RAM like crazy. Gaming rig I'd definitely agree there. But for CS 5/6 you need more.
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November 7, 2012 11:03:31 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
don't need more than a 500W PSU, if that saves you any money. The Rosewill Capstone Series are my personal favorite.


That depends on what GPU you're running. If you're running a 7750 or 7770 yes. If you're running above that no.

Quote:
get no more than 16GB of RAM. it will be handy for "future-proofing", but seriously, more than 8GB will almost never be used. ever.


For a CS5 rig? You will need all the RAM you can get - there's a lot of CS5 / 6 programs that eat RAM like crazy. Gaming rig I'd definitely agree there. But for CS 5/6 you need more.


Sorry g-unit, but I really think you're wrong about the power supplies. you could run a 7750 on a 300W PSU if you wanted. I can guarantee it. I don't want to, but i can find the links to prove that a gtx 670 and a core i7-3700k can run on a 500W power supply. I ran an OC'd Phenom ii x4 955 and an OC'd HD 6870 on a 430W PSU for over a year without issue.

And as for using 32GB of RAM....idk man....if you want to spend the money on it, go for it.
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November 7, 2012 11:05:53 PM

Augray37 said:
Sorry g-unit, but I really think you're wrong about the power supplies. you could run a 7750 on a 300W PSU if you wanted. I can guarantee it. I don't want to, but i can find the links to prove that a gtx 670 and a core i7-3700k can run on a 500W power supply. I ran an OC'd Phenom ii x4 955 and an OC'd HD 6870 on a 430W PSU for over a year without issue.

And as for using 32GB of RAM....idk man....if you want to spend the money on it, go for it.


Yeah you can run both on that kind of PSU but you'd really be stretching it. It doesn't hurt to have more wattage than you need, but having less actually hurts you.

The 6870 doesn't use that much power which is why you can run it on a 430W. If you have a really good 430W (like the one from Seasonic) then it's not an issue at all.
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November 8, 2012 1:29:47 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah you can run both on that kind of PSU but you'd really be stretching it. It doesn't hurt to have more wattage than you need, but having less actually hurts you.

The 6870 doesn't use that much power which is why you can run it on a 430W. If you have a really good 430W (like the one from Seasonic) then it's not an issue at all.


the max tdp of a 6870 is 151W, and the GTX 670 is 170W. so that's maybe 30W more than my GPU in real use, but then you get to subtract roughly that right back when figuring the total rig power usage since it's a 95W TDP CPU instead of 125W TDP like the Phenom II x4. and i really don't think it's stretching it. Tom's even did a build that was eerily similar to mine about a month after i built it, and they did more aggressive OC'ing than i did.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...

i don't mean to be a butt g-unit, but, idk, i just feel like so many people overestimate power usage and needlessly spend too much money, you know?
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