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Gaming / Photoshop / Video Editing PC - Max Budget £1700 / $2700

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April 8, 2011 2:59:45 PM

I’m in the process of putting together a list of parts for my new build and I’d like to get some advice / feedback on certain components and configurations.

My budget is strict, I can't exceed £1700 / $2700 however spending the entire budget isn’t required (any savings are good by me :) )

The PC will be connected to 3 screens all 1920x1080 however i am not interested in using all 3 when gaming. I only use the middle one. I would like to be able to max out all current games and have a machine that will still be able to handle games in about 3 years time with semi decent graphics.
I use Photoshop a lot so a good processor and memory are a must. I also do a fair bit of video editing.

Here is what I’ve got so far:

---- CASE ----
Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced Black Mid Tower Computer Case : £71.96 / $115

---- POWER SUPPLY ----
I have absolutely no clue :(  any suggestions for a good quality power supply at a reasonable price that would comfortably power the rig would be great.

---- MOTHER BOARD ----
Asus P8P67 Pro R3 P67 Socket 1155 : £143.80 / $230

---- PROCESSOR ----
Intel Core i7 2600k 3.4GHz Socket 1155 : £238.05 / $ 380
I will be overclocking this to between 4.6 and 5GHz depending on what happens on the day.

---- GRAPHICS CARD ----
Again I haven't been able to choose. I don’t mind a single card or SLI / Crossfire configuration. I haven't been able to find the exact card I'd need to give me good performance now and also a little future proofing.

---- MEMORY ----
G.Skill RipJawsX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz X2 (16GB Total) : £159.98 / $255
If anyone can offer any advice on whether I should go with this RAM or perhaps go with a faster RAM (maybe 8GB of 2000MHz) please do so :) 

---- SOLID STATE DRIVE ----
Intel X25-M Gen 2 80GB SSD : £135.36 / $215

---- HARD DISK DRIVES ----
Western Digital WD20EARS 2TB Hard Drive X2 (RAID 0) : £130 / $210

---- CPU COOLER ----
Again i need some advice. I need a kit that is compact enough that it will comfortably fit into the Mid Tower case listed above, yet good enough to allow me to achieve a good over clock on the 2600K. I am open to both water cooled kits such as the H70 or a traditional air cooled kit.

---- OPERATING SYSTEM ----
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate - Complete package : £167 / $270


The total of this lot so far comes in at £973 (About $1560) leaving £727 (About $1165) for the rest of the components:
- Graphics Card/s
- Power Supply
- CPU Cooler
- Blue Ray Drive/s
- A card reader (and maybe a fan controller)
- Extra case fans
- And perhaps some better / more RAM


Any opinion / advice will be greatly aprechiated.

Thanks,
dsM

(Edit - Fixed Typo)
April 8, 2011 6:49:12 PM

The CM 690 II Advanced can take heatsinks up to 177m in height (-25 if you want to have a fan on the side panel). For the best of the best I would get the Thermalright Archon and forego the side fan.
£44
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/thermalright-archon-120-...

PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 2GB £280
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/256953
ATI/AMD is the only GPU manufacturer that allows more than two displays off one card (with the exception of the Nvidia GTX 590).
Chosen because it is one of the few 6970s available with a non-reference fan, which is likely to be quieter and cooler than the reference. If you want the option to install an aftermarket GPU heatsink or watercool the whole build at some point then you'd be better off with the reference cooler.
If you want to save some money you could get a 6950, which will still get nice high framerates. You could also have a go at unlocking it to a 6970, altho success is not guaranteed.

The power supply will depend on the graphics card primarily. So based on getting a 6970 with the possibility of adding another one or upgrading to another power hungry card I would recommend a good 750W PSU.
I would choose between these two:
XFX 750W Black Edition 80Plus Silver Modular $90
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-xfx-black-edition-m...

Seasonic X-750 80Plus Gold Modular £120
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-seasonic-x-series-m...

If you're only ever going to be running one graphics card then you can go down to a 650W or even a good 550W PSU.

Both bit-tech.net and techreport.com have done tests on the performance impact of RAM speed and quantity on Sandy Bridge builds, I've only skimmed through them. But what I saw was that the actual system performance wasn't impacted that greatly by the faster RAM, so you would really need those extra seconds to justify paying more. You will probably want to read them for yourself to make up your own mind:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/20377
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2011/01/11/the-...
April 8, 2011 7:23:18 PM

Well the CS5 / movie editing thing at least makes the GFX choice easier. Mark this page and then go looking for an NVidia card

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

I apologize for the newegg links but I just did this build for someone and it was handy :)  Came to $2642 w/ monitor, KB, Mouse which you don't have on your list. Only $2325 w/o those so ya could upgrade the GFX

Case - $175 - Antec P193 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $515 - Asus Sabertooth http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - inc - Intel i7-2600k included in above
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $145 - (2 x 4GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $145 Same
GFX - $215 - Gigabyte 900MHz GTX 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX $215 Same If needed
HD - $170 - Seagate XT SATA III 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - Later - Same
SSD - $300 - Vertex 3 2.5" 120 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $40 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $110 - Plextor 320SA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $140 - Win 7-64 Pro OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor $180 - ASUS VH238HE 23.6" LED http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - $105 - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - $32 - Logitech G500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the cooler, the current "top dog" is the Thermalright Silver arrow..... It's HUGE. On a triple SLI board, it won't ft in it's normal install position and must be rotated 90 degrees. But as the review says, it's way way overkill for the sandy bridge processors.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
I think the Silver Arrow represents the ultimate air cooler than can be built and still fit within the constraints of an ATX motherboard and a standard computer case. ..... It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling. Still, it wouldn't hurt, and as I noted earlier, there are still CPUs out there that can benefit from it.


The Scythe Mugen 2 has more than enough to cool any SB CPU to its OC limit.

The case was chosen to be suitable for a professional office with sedate rather than flashy looks. In a non Antec case, you'd need a ATX form factor PSU (CP series is CPX). XFX Black Editions get the same 10.0 performance ratings as the CP-850 at jonnyguru.com

For other GFX options, Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game) for the various options (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with the corresponding cost per frame in brackets.

6850 (371/634) [$0.42 - $0.49]
6950 (479/751) [$0.51 - $0.65]
560 Ti (455/792) [$0.53 - $0.61]
6970 (526/825) [$0.64 - $0.81]
560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) [$0.43 - $0.50]
570 (524/873) [$0.64 - $0.77]
580 (616/953) [$0.81 - $1.05]
6990 (762/903) [$0.95 - $1.61]
590 (881/982) [$0.79 - $1.43]


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April 8, 2011 8:12:58 PM

I think the 690 ii Advanced case already has a media card reader on the top of the case so you wouldn't need one if you use that case.
April 9, 2011 5:07:58 PM

Thanks for your opinions and comments guys, they have been helpful :) .

Quote:
I think the 690 ii Advanced case already has a media card reader on the top of the case so you wouldn't need one if you use that case.


The 690 II doesn't come with a media card reader. It has; eSATA, 2x USB 2.0, Audio In/Out and a hot swap HDD bay.
!