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New Build - $1,500 Hardware Budget - Thoughts?

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January 2, 2013 10:26:28 PM

Since my 1TB data drives are about full and I am running an old Core2Duo E6750 computer, I want to build a new rig. I want to keep my hardware cost to $1,500 and don't need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. I'd like thoughts on this parts list. I'll try to follow the recommended template:

Approximate Purchase Date: Collect all parts before end of January 2013

Budget Range: $1,500 for the hardware (before tax/shipping)

System Usage (Most Important to Least Important):
- Photoshop CS6 working with Canon 40D and 7D RAW files (not a pro, just avid amateur)
- General office computing (MS Office apps, e-mail, internet browsing)
- Light video editing (home movie footage from Canon VIXIA HG20, Sony DCS-HX5V, Canon 7D)
- Gaming (would like to try Far Cry 3 at some point, but not an avid gamer as time does not permit)

Am I Buying A Monitor: No (will re-use current 1080P LCD display)

Parts to Upgrade: All except monitor, keyboard, and mouse

Do I Need to Buy O/S? Yes, will be buying Windows 7 64-bit (running XP Pro 32-bit on current PC)

Preferred Websites For Parts: Newegg, Amazon, NCIX U.S., B&H Photo

Location: Texas - Houston area

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, no preference on graphics cards

Overclocking? Maybe a mild overclock - nothing crazy. Stability and long-term reliability are more important as this is our main home PC.

SLI or Crossfire: Not needed as I'm not that much of a gamer and only running one monitor

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (it's an LG 32" LCD HDTV - I know, not the best for accurate color reproduction in photo editing but my wife likes it so we're not changing it until it dies)

Additional Comments: This will be our primary home PC, in our home office. Want quiet as much as performance, so planning for an aftermarket CPU cooler and a quiet non-blingy case. Would be cool to also use to stream pictures and home video content to our living room HDTV through our PS3 if possible, but haven't researched what additional hardware/software that might require.

Why am I upgrading? I have just about used up the 1TB data drive in the PC, and Photoshop is running really slowly right now - almost like there is a motherboard or RAM issue. The PC is now 5 years old I think (Core2Duo E6750), and I'd like to take advantage of speed upgrades an SSD O/S drive would provide, as well as upgrade to USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity for external data backup drives.

Here is the list of parts I have gathered and current prices accoding to pcpartpicker.com as of 1/2/2013:

CPU:
Intel 3770K CPU - purchased yesterday from local Micro Center for $229.99 before tax

CPU Cooler:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - purchased yesterday from local Micro Center for $29.99 before tax

Case:
Antec P280 ($93.50 before tax, free shipping)


or

Fractal Design R4 ($95.68 before tax, free shipping)


Power Supply:
Seasonic SS-650KM - 80 Plus Gold Full Modular ($129.99 before tax, $5.99 shipping)


Motherboard:
ASUS P8Z77-V Pro Thunderbolt ($227.99 before tax, free shipping)


System Memory:
Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0 16GB, DDR3, 2 x 8GB, CL8, 1.35V ($104.99 before tax, free shipping)


O/S Drive
Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD, 128GB ($134.99 before tax, free shipping)


Data Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black, 2TB ($159.98 before tax, free shipping)


Data Backup Drive
Same as Data Drive

External Data Backup Drive Enclosure
Icy Dock Blizzard MB080U3S-1SB USB 3.0 & eSATA External Enclosure ($71.99 before tax, free shipping)


Optical Drive
LG Black WH14NS40 Blu-Ray burner ($69.99 before tax, $4.99 shipping)


External USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader
Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader - UDMA 7 ($34.99 before tax, free shipping)


Total Cost (before tax, including shipping): $1,459.35

Yes you will note that there is no video card specified here. I thought that since I am not an avid gamer, and since I am only running a single 1080p monitor, that I could get away with the 3770K integrated graphics to start with and see how it goes. If I find I need an external graphics card, I can figure that out down the road.

Do you think I am making wise decisions with the above components? Am I missing any components?

Thanks in advance for your time and advices!

Golf Nut

More about : build 500 hardware budget thoughts

January 2, 2013 11:33:08 PM

I would spend less on the case and motherboard. Since you obviously won't do sli or corssfire, you will not need that expensive of one. I would look at the asrock pro4. That is probably all you need. By the way, you WILL need a gpu, it's not just an idea. Integrated will not cut it for almost any program, unless you enjoy crapping your night away on Photoshop because it won't render fast enough. Why are you spending so much on ram? You equal quality ram for half the price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Do you need a blu ray burner? I see no reason for you to have that unless you will watch movies on it. Why are you getting that wierd external enclosure thing? It seems like you are spending money to spend money. Sorry but this build is NOT worth what you are paying for it. It would not be hard to build a computer that outperforms this one in every aspect for $800. I would recommend you get a 660 or 670, since I think you need CUDA for the programs you run. Once again you will need a gpu. You can try without one, but good luck with gaming, photoshop, rendering, and using the web.
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January 2, 2013 11:40:01 PM

you could also save some money on ram. 1.5V cas 9 memory is $20+ cheaper and you wont notice any difference.
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January 4, 2013 10:16:54 PM

lt_dan_zsu said:
I would spend less on the case and motherboard. Since you obviously won't do sli or corssfire, you will not need that expensive of one. I would look at the asrock pro4. That is probably all you need. By the way, you WILL need a gpu, it's not just an idea. Integrated will not cut it for almost any program, unless you enjoy crapping your night away on Photoshop because it won't render fast enough. Why are you spending so much on ram? You equal quality ram for half the price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Do you need a blu ray burner? I see no reason for you to have that unless you will watch movies on it. Why are you getting that wierd external enclosure thing? It seems like you are spending money to spend money. Sorry but this build is NOT worth what you are paying for it. It would not be hard to build a computer that outperforms this one in every aspect for $800. I would recommend you get a 660 or 670, since I think you need CUDA for the programs you run. Once again you will need a gpu. You can try without one, but good luck with gaming, photoshop, rendering, and using the web.


Based on a 3770K processor, what would you buy to build around that processor for $800? Or at that price, are you looking at a different processor as well? I already purchased the 3770K because it was what I thought was a good price.

I'm not flush with cash that I want to throw money away, so I am open to alternate parts. My original post was just my best thoughts for quality parts.

Thanks in advance for your continued help!

Regards.
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January 6, 2013 3:22:59 AM

It wouldn't have an i7, it would probably have an i5 or 8350. Which would do everything better basically because you could still fit a good gpu in. I would go for cheaper ram, cheaper mobo, you could probably find a better price for a hard drive. All of that will probably cut of enough to almost get something like a 660.
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January 6, 2013 3:38:40 AM

You basically look like you are doing a build + adding a backup all in one.
Comments above are basically right that you are overspending on motherboard definitely, and case probably. The HD4000 on the 3770 will work great for all non-gaming usage, don't let them sway you about that, but you won't be playing any games more demanding than facebook, and certainly not far cry 3 without something like at least a 7770.

As far as what I would do it your shoes, it sounds to me like your #1 need is really more storage, so I'd focus on that first.

You can get 3tb seagate drives that are pretty much just as fast for the same price as those western digitals
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For your backups, if you are only getting one just get an external drive in the first place, you won't pay any more than you will for an internal drive (bizarrely - it has been like this since the floods in Thailand)
ie, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you were planning on swapping out multiple drives like I do, you can get a dock that is way easier to switch drives out of like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have probably 6 1TB drives that I cycle regularly into a media fire safe for backups.
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January 6, 2013 12:41:46 PM

Jacob, yes I am building the box as well as putting together an external single-drive backup solution.

Since I already have the 3770K and the Hyper 212 EVO (about $280 after tax), is it possible - with any combination of other parts - to build the box and backup solution for under $1,500? And that has quality parts that will last?

Components I need include:

Case
Power Supply
Motherboard
16GB RAM
SSD for O/S and apps
Two 2TB drives (data and external data backup)
Video Card
Blu-Ray Burner
Misc. Parts (thermal paste, cables, etc.)

Sorry if I am beating a dead horse. If it's just not possible to get all of this and build around the 3770K for $1,500, then just tell me. But if it is possible, I really would like to see your suggested parts list.

Again, thanks so much for taking the time to help me get this all sorted out!

Regards.
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January 6, 2013 1:04:57 PM

Here is what I came up with. I have the 3770k and the aftermarket cooler listed just for you to see what you are looking at for the whole package. You can add your accessories as need be (card reader and external drive bay). I added a video card as you said you are going to be doing video editing and casual gaming, so why not fit it in the budget. Really, with this rig you could do any gaming that you wanted to. Join the club, become and avid gamer. :D  I added two 3TB for less than the 2TB drives you proposed.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($88.53 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.60 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1357.04
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-06 10:03 EST-0500)
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January 6, 2013 1:13:57 PM

lt_dan_zsu said:
It wouldn't have an i7, it would probably have an i5 or 8350. Which would do everything better basically because you could still fit a good gpu in. I would go for cheaper ram, cheaper mobo, you could probably find a better price for a hard drive. All of that will probably cut of enough to almost get something like a 660.


For $229 the i7 is a great deal. Its not worth the extra 100 but id get it for an extra $20.
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January 6, 2013 1:21:23 PM

Yeah, the OP said he already had it but I just put it in so they could see the whole package. That's at Microcenter (in-store pickup only). I wish I had the money. I have a Microcenter about an hour away (and didn't even know it until a week ago!! Darn it :(  )
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January 6, 2013 1:25:38 PM

The cball build above me here is much more balanced. 7950 is a powerful card, so if you are looking to save money here you can switch that out (and then spend less on a power supply) for something less powerful and add more storage drives if you like. But as you can see $1500 is more than enough to do what you want and still have some cash left over.
IE, something like this would still be enough to let you game:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($169.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.60 @ NCIX US)
Other: Xigmatek Hard Drive Dock ($29.99)
Total: $1353.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-06 10:25 EST-0500)
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January 9, 2013 6:35:27 PM

Okay this is probably going to sound crazy, but I watched a video demonstration on ASUS' Fan Xpert 2 software that comes with the P8Z77-V ($184.99) and higher motherboards, and it seems like a really sweet way to control CPU and case fans for near-silent operation when temps are low inside. If I bought the P8Z77-V LK motherboard and save the $50, how would I control the CPU and case fans?

And would a SATA optical drive (DVD or Blu-Ray drive) only need a SATA 3GB/s connection? I ask because the 2 SATA 6GB/s connectors on the P8Z77-V LK would get used by the SSD and data drive, so the optical drive would have to get connected to a SATA 3GB/s connector.

As respects the hard drives - I don;t know a thing about the Barracuda 3TB drives, but the reviews on Newegg are not inspiring. I am still tempted to go with the 2TB Caviar Blacks for what seems, to me at least, to be more reliable drives over the next 3-5 years. Am I really missing the boat on this? Is it worth saving $20 a drive if the quality/reliability is lower?

And I don't think I can find a Samsung 830 drive in stock these days, can I?

And would I really only need a 450 watt power supply?

Again, thanks to all for your patience with me. Sorry if these are basic newb mistakes...
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January 9, 2013 6:42:56 PM

One more question - I assume that for Photoshop and video editing, I would want an Nvidia card with CUDA cores - as opposed to an AMD card? Or does it not matter?
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January 9, 2013 6:59:28 PM

there are some features that require CUDA but amd cards can use OpenCL in photoshop.
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January 9, 2013 7:01:53 PM

1) All the motherboards listed in this thread so far support fan control via the BIOS. It just probably isn't as fine grained and there probably aren't as many 3 pin connectors as on the more expensive board. If you buy quiet fans you may have no need to lower fan speed or control it at all.
2) Only the SSD will come even close to needing SATA 6GB/s - all other devices including your data drive will see no difference on 3GB/s
3) I personally have 4 of the Seagate 3TB drives with no issues. And as for speed, they are faster than blacks (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wd4001faex-4tb-revi...). Edit to add, newegg reviews in particular are suspect- they don't pack their drives as well as amazon does, from experience with both.
4) You can pick from a whole bunch of different SSDs with very little difference. It does seem the 830 is out of stock today.
5) Yes, a quality seasonic built 450 watt like that is actually more than enough unless you get a far beefier graphics card.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1924/9/
221 watts max for the system (at the *wall*) with integrated graphics *fully overclocked*
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Club_3D/HD_7850_Roya...
130 watts max for a 7850 (in DC, not at the wall).
Given that 221 watts at the wall might be 190 watts DC with an extremely efficient supply + 130 watts for the card = 320 watts DC. Power supplies are rated based on DC wattage, not AC, so a quality *350* watt power supply would be enough to run the system at full benchmark load. They usually recommend not running over 80% load continuously which is 360 watts for the 450 watt supply - so more than enough for 24/7 benchmarking or folding@home; normal gaming usage would not pull that much.
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January 10, 2013 3:32:38 PM

Okay, I think what I have decided to do is forego a video card for now. If I look in the mirror, the cold truth is that I probably won't be gaming on this computer at first. If, down the road, I decide I want/have the time to game on it, I can purchase a video card at that time. I'm going to trust that the 3770K's integrated graphics will get me through on the light Photoshop CS6 and video editing needs I have. It has to be better than my Core2Duo box with 2GB of RAM and no video card that I am using now!

In addition, for some reason I just can't get myself to go with the Seagate hard drives. So I am back at the WD Caviar Black 2TB drives.

So here is what I am looking at now:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($137.00 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($79.60 @ NCIX US)
Other: ICY DOCK Blizzard MB080U3S-1SB USB 3.0 and eSATA external enclosure ($71.99)
Total: $1316.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-10 12:29 EST-0500)

Am I missing anything besides the sundry items like thermal paste, cables, and software?
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January 10, 2013 3:52:17 PM

Nope, you have everything you need. SATA cables will come with the motherboard. The hyper 212 comes with decent thermal paste too, although you can buy better.
I don't particularly like that power supply at that price - if you think you might buy a 680 or something later it is fine, but you can get a seasonic or seasonic built XFX higher quality supply for less money, ie
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1650snlb...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seasonic-power-supply-s12i...

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January 10, 2013 8:57:28 PM

I still feel like you need a gpu. I don't think you realize that a gpu makes literally everything faster. What are you spending $1300 on a computer for, if it can't even surf the web that well?
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January 10, 2013 9:03:34 PM

intel hd 4000 are plenty good enough for 99% of people who aren't playing AAA games. ive used them for a while and there is nothing on the internet that will it cause it problems. could they use a video card for some gpu acceleration in photoshop? yes but they will be fine without one and can always add one later on.
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January 10, 2013 9:41:19 PM

I just don't understand how you could spend so much on a pc that can't do anything well.
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January 10, 2013 11:58:57 PM

lt_dan_zsu said:
I just don't understand how you could spend so much on a pc that can't do anything well.


I guess we just have different views of what defines well. Remember, I am coming from a PC with a Core2Duo E6750, no GPU, 2GB of RAM running 32-bit Windows XP Pro. And it cost more back then, than this build today.

I think the 3770K with its integrated graphics and an SSD for the O/S and apps is going to be plenty fast for 90% of what the computer is used for. For the other 10%, while it will be "slow" by discrete graphics card standards, it will still be faster than what I have now.

Maybe I am missing the boat and over-spending, but it will serve me well for a good while. Then when I get a graphics card, I get another speed bonus.
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January 11, 2013 1:15:17 AM

But you are just spending so much on everything.
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January 11, 2013 1:47:43 AM

no you will be fine. if you don't game its not a big deal if you don't get a video card. i have a friend who doesn't play games on the pc and he is using the 3770k and HD 4000 and is perfectly happy. plus you can always buy a video card later.
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January 11, 2013 1:47:56 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
But you are just spending so much on everything.


Maybe. Can you put up a listing of the parts you'd recommend I build around a 3770K, and show me where I'm overspending? I haven't seen a parts list from you in my thread yet... :D 

Trust me, I'd like to spend less. But I also don't want my wife bitching at me when a part I cheap'd out on craps out and our only home PC dies. I need reliability and no hassles, as I am the tech support when the *** hits the fan. That's the downside of not buying a pre-built box from a lace like Dell, right?
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January 11, 2013 2:28:48 AM

yea i didn't even notice your build above. i do have to agree with dan you could do much better. do you really need 3-4TB of hdd space? the asus board doesn't have esata but that enclosure also uses usb 3.0. are you using the enclosure so you can take your hdd's to work? never mind i changed it to the extreme4 so it has esata.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($83.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Other: ICY DOCK Blizzard MB080U3S-1SB USB 3.0 and eSATA external enclosure ($71.99)
Total: $1308.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-10 23:32 EST-0500)
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January 11, 2013 2:51:50 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
You would be fine with a $90 motherboard.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You could also get cheaper hard drives, still by WD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That case seems needlessly expensive.
There is no way you would need more than 300w, but you could get 450 in the event you want to get a gpu.
You still haven't said why you need that external eSATA enclosure.


Would those WD Red hard drives work okay in a non-RAID, non-NAS environment like I will have?

The external hard drive is for the second 2TB hard drive and is my local data backup solution. I suppose I could go with the Xigmatek docking station that jacobsta811 spec'd up for $29.99, that would save me $40...

Not familiar with ASRock motherboards... It looks like not all the chassis fan headers are 4-pin like on the P8Z77-V LK board... so not as sophisticated case fan control as on the Asus board with all 4-pin fan headers and likely better fan control setup in the BIOS. Also no DVI connection which I need for initial build and stress testing until ready to put in service... it just doesn't feel like I will be happy enough with the ASRock board limitations to save $50.

So I could save $86 total on hard drives by going with Reds versus Blacks, and $40 by going with the Xigmatek dock instead of the Icy Dock. Until I know for sure that using reds in non-RAID is reliable, I'd rather be safe and go with the Blacks.
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January 11, 2013 2:59:43 AM

Please reconsider, not taking a video card. If you are worried about the pricing, you can easily cut back on motherboard, ram, power supply and such to make room. I am not saying go out and grab a $300 card either. $100-$150 would make a far greater impact then what you are cutting back on with mobo, ram, etc.

Photoshop and Video Editing is very reliant on video card. Rendering will happen so much faster with even a base card compared to integrated. I can't even fathom getting a machine like that only to not put a video card in.

All in all its your decision though. JonJonJon's last reccomendation puts you under the budget with a nice card.
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January 11, 2013 3:08:48 AM

WD Reds are going to be *more*, or at least as, reliable than blacks, whatever your environment. They are built with longevity in mind instead of speed (although are still 7200 RPM). The "RAID" features are basically firmware changes like TDLR - where they will fail quickly if they can't read a sector, which keeps them from dropping out of an array and rebuilding a good drive. They probably also avoid some of the "green" features like excessive head parking & spinning down often that you wouldn't want in an enterprise/server type drive. In non RAID/NAS they are still totally fine and will work just like a regular hard drive.
Are you planning on specially buying 4 pin fans ? I'm not sure I've ever seen a case that comes with 4 pin fans, generally only the one on your CPU cooler is going to have the 4th wire. Not that 4 pins are necessary for fan control - 3 pin fan control works just fine by varying the voltage.
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January 11, 2013 3:16:42 AM

extreme4 comes with a 4pin and 2 3pin.
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January 11, 2013 3:41:14 AM

jonjonjon said:
yea i didn't even notice your build above. i do have to agree with dan you could do much better. do you really need 3-4TB of hdd space? the asus board doesn't have esata but that enclosure also uses usb 3.0. are you using the enclosure so you can take your hdd's to work? never mind i changed it to the extreme4 so it has esata.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($83.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Other: ICY DOCK Blizzard MB080U3S-1SB USB 3.0 and eSATA external enclosure ($71.99)
Total: $1308.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-10 23:32 EST-0500)


I appreciate you putting this list together. I want 2TB drives as the 1TB drives I have now only have 51GB of free space left. I'd rather have the 2TB drives and not worry about filling them up any time soon.

That case doesn't look like it will be very quiet. Not looking for a side-mount fan - I'd rather have insulated panels for quiet... plus that case only has one fan at the back, so if I need more fans I have to buy them, meaning added case costs...

Power supply is intriguing, though not modular so cable management could be an issue.

Typing this response, it seems to me that I am just a bit high-maintenance on what I want. I guess I just have to pay more.

You guys have been so awesome to be patient and keep offering options. At this point I feel I am beating my head against the wall and I just need to dive in and get what I want. I will take a day or two to consider all you have offered, and then pull the trigger.

Here is where I think I am now:

CPU: Intel 3770K ($229.99 @ Micro Center - already purchased)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($29.99 @ Micro Center - already purchased)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X 16GB DDR3-1600 ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: WD Caviar Black 2TB ($152.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: WD Caviar Black 2TB ($152.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Twin Frozr Radeon HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 ($329.99 @ Tiger Direct and comes with 3 games)
Case: Antec P280 ($99.98 @ NCIXUS)
Power Supply: Corsair HX650 ($101.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK Blu-Ray Burner ($79.60 @ NCIXUS - out of stock @ Newegg currently)
Other: Xigmatek USB 3.0 Black Hard Drive Dock ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1,575.48

Going to sleep on this and then pull the trigger tomorrow...
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January 11, 2013 3:52:12 AM

the case can only be so quite. its more about the fans on the case and cpu/video card. you are definitely over spending on the ssd, hdd's and psu but its your money. and i would take the extreme4 over the asus any day.

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