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1st build for amateur video/photo editing under $800

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January 6, 2013 4:22:48 AM

Hello everyone.

Can I please get some feedback on the following build? I consider this my first real build.

This is for my old man. Aside from general home office use, he likes using Roxio Creator for making video slideshows for his grandkids for their birthdays. That's the extent of the "amateur video editing". As for the "amateur photo editing", we're talking about the auto-editing features in Picasa. Hehehe. Anyways, what's important to him is having reliable storage for all the photos and videos he snaps with his new DSLR and to be able to do his version of amateur video/photo editing. From my perspective, I'm trying to satisfy his wishes and also build him a reasonably fast and responsive machine that should last a while. He's almost 70 and about to retire and I'd rather he be able to spend his time on the computer doing what he wants to get done and not waiting for slow, unresponsive software.

I'm a research scientist and use macbook pros and linux boxes for scientific computing/programming that have come prebuilt. I've tried my best to inform myself and I now have a first class, Wikipedia-level education and understanding of the various computer parts. But I'm not a gamer and am generally ignorant when it comes to hardware. Before listing the parts, here are my general questions/concerns:

a) I opted for no video or audio card. Based on the research I've done, the integrated video in the i5 should be sufficient.
b) The idea with the 1 solid state and 2, 1 TB drives is to have the OS (Windows 7) and the software all installed on the SSD, the data on one 1 TB drive, and to use the other 1 TB drive for local full system backups. I had been considering setting up a RAID 1+0 or 0+1 system (which would require minimum 3 drives), but am not sure it would be worth it here. Any opinions on that?

Here are the parts I've priced out:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($91.33 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($91.33 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($72.45 @ B&H)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.71 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $729.75
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-06 00:56 EST-0500)

Best solution

January 6, 2013 5:05:22 AM

I would get the i5-3570k because it has intel hd 4000 graphics, as opposed to 2500. This would be more important since you're not adding a graphics card. Then get an Asrock Z77m motherboard (also $90) to take advantage of the unlocked k processor. Personally I would opt for a bigger SSD instead of two 1tb drives, but he may need the two. Crucial M4s are a good choice, I have an AsRock motherboard as well. Good part picks, I would just go with the 3570k for the better graphics even if he doesn't intend to overclock. If you do stay with the 3570, the Asrock H77m is a cheaper board ($69) and has everything needed, the main difference being a maximum 16gb RAM.
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January 6, 2013 11:59:45 PM

Thank you both for your feedback. I combined your suggestions and we settled on the following parts list:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wgS0
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wgS0/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wgS0/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($204.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.71 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($30.95 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $670.59
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-06 21:01 EST-0500)

We decided that 1, 2TB hard drive was sufficient and we'd use an existing 2TB USB external drive for local backups combined with off-site backups at Crashplan. Going from the 64GB to 128GB SSD also made sense. I had missed the fact that the i5-3570k included the upgrade to intel hd 4000 graphics, so thanks for pointing that out. I'm really happy with how this turned out and look forward to putting it together. And all for about $725 after taxes and shipping and all (pcpartpicker doesn't quite get the shipping estimates right). Thanks again!
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January 7, 2013 12:00:01 AM

Best answer selected by bigwhaledork.
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January 7, 2013 2:45:11 AM

I almost forgot, you will want to get a cpu cooler also. They are optional for non overclocked cpus (I still prefer them over the stock fans intel provides) but with the 3570k it's a good idea to get one, they're just $30 at Amazon. Here's the updated part list with the cpu cooler. Glad I could help, enjoy building the computer!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.71 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($30.95 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $665.57
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-06 23:41 EST-0500)

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wiAq
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