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Media center/dual monitor PC halp plz

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December 2, 2012 9:02:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Dec. 15

Budget Range: 350-650ish, would prefer on the lower end of that

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 1. Connecting an external hard drive and plugging my TV in via HDMI to watch 1080p video from said hard drive. It absolutely has to be able to handle HD video without issues. 2. Work on Chrome as a sports writer, with 10-30 tabs open, possibly with video playing in one. 3. Be able to use dual monitors. Both are 24'' HDTV/monitors. I need to know if I can get something with two HDMI ports and if that works - if it doesn't, is one vga and one is HDMI? Please guide me on this as this is VERY IMPORTANT for me, as I've found my productivity drops seriously with one monitor.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon prime is preferred, but Newegg is just as fine

Location: Dayton, OH

Parts Preferences: Nothing from Seagate, and future proofing is important to me. At some point I'd hope to upgrade to a gaming machine without having to replace every single part in this.

Overclocking: Not really

SLI or Crossfire: Not really

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Have: keyboard, mouse, ram (8GB, two 4GB sticks), monitor, windows. Would like a quiet case, but one that is cool as well - I don't want to have to buy extra fans. USB 3.0 is obviously a must at this point. The dual monitor thing is very important for me, but I need guidance. Right now I use my laptop with my monitor plugged into HDMI. Next I will use my desktop with two monitors.

If spending a little more can get me in the range of running, say, Skryim on Ultra (like 800ish), then I'm all for it, so long as it's worth it. Have always wanted to play a fully modded out Oblivion, too.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Laptop is dying, need a desktop for streaming.
December 2, 2012 10:10:21 PM

Wait... You are trying to get a machine that'l handle 2 monitors, 1 with 30 tabs open, the other playing a game, for under $650? It's possible, but won't perform the greatest.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Apex SK-393-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($18.36 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $602.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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December 2, 2012 10:30:45 PM

BreadWhistle said:
Wait... You are trying to get a machine that'l handle 2 monitors, 1 with 30 tabs open, the other playing a game, for under $650? It's possible, but won't perform the greatest.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Apex SK-393-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($18.36 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $602.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
wat? no. The gaming stuff was "oh hey if this machine can also play this game, that'd be rad." But if it pushes the cost up by $150 or more I don't want it.

EDIT: Oh and I'm sorry for the confusion!

So did you make this with being able to play that game in mind, or just to like, be a media center PC? Because I'm totally in at around $600 or even a little bit more (not much) if I can play me some modded Skyrim/Fallout.

Dual monitors would be one having my business chat up on the left, post I'm working on as well, the right monitor will have a boxscore and a source article. So four tabs up at once, splitting the screen 50% each. I just don't know how to do it - would one be VGA and one be HDMI?
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December 2, 2012 11:38:10 PM

I put this together as an all-in-one PC for all of your needs. A Quad-Core CPU for both business & gaming. H77 Mobo for limited overclocking, and 7870 for gaming & streaming. To drop the costs I'd either grab a 7850 or a GTX 660. It will save you about $40 for the 7850 and $10 for the 660 :p 

And I'm not sure, though the 7870 has 2 displayport plugs on it. I'm currently only using a single monitor and I have no idea how to get 2. But I've "heard" That you just plug in the 2nd monitor and tweak some windows setting and it works.... Something like that....
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December 2, 2012 11:49:36 PM

I agree with breadwhistle. To put in my 2 cents ill say that im not overly confident on the future-proofness of this type of system. With the setup he proposed itll work, and itll last, but as he also said, itll be moderate performance. For current games like skyrim, however, the 7870 can do ultra.
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December 3, 2012 1:45:53 AM

The 7870 will run Skyrim on Ultra? If that's the case then I have no issues with it at $600!
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