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advice on building a pc

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ms_khw, Apr 16, 2008.

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  1. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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    I would appreciate any help on the purchase and compatibility of the necessary components needed in building a pc. The PC will be used primarily in professional digital still photo editing. I work with raw images so ram, hard-drive and video card (DVI) are extremely important. My preference is intel. I'd like to use the Intel duo processor, a mobo that allows for suffienct memory, Sata hard drive-500 GB, possibly 4GB of Ram (or less but with the option to add to it later), at least a 256MB video card, a reasonable sound card, a DVD / CD burner/drive combo, a case and 400+ watt Power Supply. What would be a recommended mobo and what compatible components to go with it, and any other items that I might be overlooking. My budget is approx. $1200 from that I will have to also purchase a monitor.
    Thank you in advance, msk
     
  2. SOFwhitewolf

    SOFwhitewolf

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    MB-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121059
    PR-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115029
    Ram-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145194
    HD-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073
    Video-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150274
    Sound-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102017
    Burner-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106072
    Power-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153049

    Total $1086

    So room for improvement if you would like a better video card or anything els you want to add :)
     
  3. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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  4. Compiler

    Compiler

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    SOFwhitewolf : When pasting links to a message - put a SPACE between the object and the link so they work.

    ms_khw : Confused... Newegg is for ordering. They are generally cheaper than TigerDirect. For a system with a quadcore CPU, Newegg was $100 cheaper. But by your profile - you're in Canada so...

    The 600watt PSU is severe overkill for a non-gaming rig. The following PSU is cheaper and very well made.. I buy Thermaltake from time to time, but I'd take the one below for quality. Also since you're not a GAMER - you don't need a upper end EXPENSIVE video card:

    450watt PSU - $60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

    That Intel board is top-end, its made for gaming. A $100 board will not be any slower and the 975chipset is quite old. P65 is more recent... I'd go with another brand to get more features for the money. Intel doesn't actually manufacture their own boards anymore anyways. But if you wanna stay Intel, this one is

    $101 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121035
    Both of these intel boards are not designed (or originally) to run 1333Mhz FSB CPU like the on listed.

    But I'd rather get this one for $90, its newer and more features for the money:
    $90 mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

    The $184 CPU on this list is a 1333mhz CPU... the memory on the list is 800mhz - the $90 board should work with the CPU and with 1066Mhz DDR2 RAM.... like these:

    $140 - 4GB (2x2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145197
    $105 - 4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227289
    (both above out of stock - both are my first choices)
    $145 - 4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

    (Its easier to get 1GB sticks at this speed, but its best to go with 2 sticks to allow you to add another 4 later - especially if you're going with Vista and later to Vista/whateve 64bit)

    $ 90 - Hard Drive (WD, Seagate, etc) whatever...
    $ 80 - 512mb 3650 video card : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121237
    (since you're not gaming - this card has NO fan = no noise) But if you want a more performance gaming card, the $125 9600GT by Elite has no fan: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134040

    $0 - No sound card. The higher end Gigabyte board onboard audio will do. Less than 10% of PCs today use an audio card. With Vista, there is even less need... and you're not gaming. I've bought Sound Blaster cards all the time in the 90s. Since 2001, I've yet to add an audio card to a PC - even for gamers and not for mine.

    $80 - Antec black case : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129018 this is a nice high end case. The white version for $150 with 500watt PSU. A good quality case will look professional, generate less noise with better engineering and parts. Look at Coolermaster ($80+ cases), Thermaltake and Silverstone.
    $31 - Pioneer DVD Burner (highest rated) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...05 1036506653 1038406820&bop=And&Order=RATING


    Total: $760 (with case)

    Only need to add an OS... XP or Vista.... (I prefer XP-MCE) - that is $100~150.

    Then a 24" monitor by Samsung for $400~500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001263

    Of course these prices are in US Dollars.
     
  5. rkowatch

    rkowatch

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    i don't know if your dead set on any of the options given already... but my last partial build was done through these guys: http://outletpc.com

    they have awesome customer support, shipping cost is lower (i tried getting next day through tiger direct for just a motherboard and they wanted $90 compared to OPC, who only wanted like $30) and on top if it all there prices are pretty decent, and they have special deals every week so... go ahead and check them out if you wish...
     
  6. SOFwhitewolf

    SOFwhitewolf

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    The reason for the power supply is beacause 8800Gt is known for not having enough power, the reason for video card "I work with raw images so ram, hard-drive and video card (DVI) are extremely important" also intel is very well put together and is very stable, also a differnt motherboard that has more extras wouldn't be necessary as im sure you wouldn't be overclocking. And when it comes to power supply it is always better to be safe then sorry, dont want a power failure or a short because of a faulty power supply. Corsair is a decent brand but they are more wide spread of products, Thermaltake is quality and definitely worth the little extra.
     
  7. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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    Oh my I hope I haven't started a war of opinions. I'd like to restate something that may have created some confusion in my post. When I referred to Intel, I was making reference to the processor, not the board. I've used Asus in the past and was content with it, but I wanted the experience and knowledge of someone, thus came here.

    As for overkill, I don't know if putting together whitewolf's system recommendations is or isn't. But he does get the idea of what I need. As I said I work with raw images so ram, hard-drive and video card (DVI) are extremely important. I really like the option of being able to increase my ram to 8 GB when needs demand. I just noted that the board only has 4 usb, that could prove to be a problem. I'm certain that I'll need more.

    I will look into the other ideas here, and must add that I really appreciate everyone's help, you have all been wonderful.

    A penny saved, although most importantly without sacrificing quality with my system would be supper because it would give me more dollar to shop for my monitor. ;) As for being in Canada I'm sure if I shop around I will find the suggestion parts, if not then I'll order them online.
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    SOF, video editing is cpu/ram intensive NOT gpu or video card intensive. You can do editing with just a basic video card and will have no problem.

    Next since you want 4gig or more of ram, you are going to need a 64bit os. I have been using vista 64bit for a while now with no problems at all; a very stable os for what you want.

    I would recommend one of the newer seagate hd with the 32meg cache and PRT. It is just about as fast as a raptor drive with a LOT more space than a raptor. Also a little quieter and runs cooler.

    I agree that unless you are going to game or listen to a LOT of music, the onboard sound is fine. Onboard sound has come a long way from a few years ago.
     
  9. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info on the hd, I will look into it. As for the board was I correct about there being only 4 usb? If yes, any other suggestions. I know with this system that I'm using, (which is about to retire) I have 2 on front & 8 on back. 2 of which I've added because I needed 2.0.
     
  10. Compiler

    Compiler

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    SOF - Photo editing and video will be NO DIFFERENT on a $50 video card or a $500 card. A high quality 400watt PSU can handle a 8800GT... But I'd recommend a 500watter for something like that anyways. But the OP didn't say a thing about gaming.

    There was still the problem of putting a most recent C2D CPU on a very old motherboard that was also $200+ that is DESIGNED for GAMERS with three PCIe 16x slots! What is he (or anyone else) supposed to do with a 3-slot gaming board that'll only work with Crossfire, but you put in a geForce card into the configuration? Putting in slower memory on a CPU with a higher FSB kind of invalidate the reason for getting a higher performance CPU.

    Intel sells more of a name than quality. Sure it's not a BAD board, but they aren't actually built by Intel anymore... I switched out an OLD featureless $200 board for a more modern upto date P35 that is rated HIGHER, is faster and only costs $90.

    Corsair is wide?

    Thermaltake sells/makes fine PSUs, I have sold some and I have one in my 3yr old son's Compaq (AMD64 / 1gb) and *I* do make recommendations for them for "Quality low-cost" PSUs. Having sold/built systems with both Corsair, FSP, PC P&C, Thermaltake, Antec - For the price, Corsair is a great deal and is better than Thermaltake in the same class. (IE: Don't compare a 450watt Corsair to a 800watt Thermaltake) - Being that the OP is doing more Productivity - having a QUIET computer is very important. I grew up with NOISY PCs like everyone else - but it got overboard by early the early 2000s with 4-8 fan cases, not including the CPU or video card. When a friend came over a few months ago, he was amazed about how QUIET my 2 year old desktop was. He swapped out his case fans when we upgraded the insides... Just as quiet. Having a GF8800GT - which is the quietest 8800, still makes noise.

    I recommend a PSU that is (A) more than enough to handle the job (Typical Dells, HPs come with cheap 300watt PSU units worth $30) (B) Half the price. (C) Better quality.

    ??? HUH?! Corsair sells Memory for Desktops, notebooks, servers, flash memory, powersupplies and an external water cooler. That's it, three types. Their six PSUs (450~750 watt) are of the same design. All of them are TOP notch. They are in the top 3 when it comes to quality memory, they earned that respect.

    Thermaltake sells about 20 different computer types. Cases (some are rebadged cases), PSUs (from several different suppliers) from low cost $30 units to high end $400 PSU. And at every price point, they are generally good to very good. I'd take one over an Antec and of course any generic junk. They also sell keyboards (huh), fans, adaptors, cables, Laptop accessories, water coolers, heatsinks for CPU, GPU, RAM chips (I do sometimes buy Thermaltake fans and heatsinks). I have sold / built systems with Thermaltake cases (not for myself, I prefer a non-gamer looking case) and have nothing bad to say about the cases I worked on.

    When someone is looking to get a computer - you need to see what they need for what budget. Top end systems are for gamers and serious Video rendering, which if they can afford to spend $1500~3000 for such a PC, so be it. For most people, a $600~1000 computer is more than enough. If using XP, then a $400~600PC is powerful enough. Your quote went over budget (didnt allow the purchase of a monitor) and when converted to Canadian dollars, even more so.

    For non gaming office systems, I go with AMD boards with onboard video/DVI ports that'll handle even Vista (which none of the intel boards can touch). The OP had the budget and for the extra performance - I recommended a video card for about $100 which will do excellent HiDef playback and still play games (more than my 2yr old 7600GT).
     
  11. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Don't worry about. We're all here to learn and share ideas. There is no war here. I wasn't confused by what you're asking. I'm still an AMD user, they are a bit slower - but horrible like the Pentium4/D or $1000 Extremes which were slower than bottom in AMD - in the past.

    I would NOT recommend ASUS at this time, they have been having quality control issues recently. Gigabyte makes better boards - they have allways been in my top 3 to choose from (ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and some ABITs now) - but looking at the parts on the board, Gigabyte and MSI are making better products. The last 3 NEW ASUS systems I attempted to build - were replaced with something else. It is sad... ASUS was pretty much 80% of what I sold.... but not today.

    Pretty much any modern $60+ video card has DVI... a $100 video card will not be any slower than a $500 video for your work. I had recommened a card that was fansless = NO NOISE and zero chance of failure (unless you're in dusty enviroment - so use a Can of AIR to keep the fins clean from time to time). HD, RAM - not a big deal... But I had recommened higher performance RAM.

    The $90 Gigabyte I recommened has 4 USB ports on the back, with optional 4 additional (standard) allowing you to attach 2 at the front of the case and another 2 in the back. It doesn't include Firewire.... if you need it, a Firewire card by Adaptec will costs $30. With todays new HDD-Cameras, Firewire becomes far less important thou ;)

    Otherwise, this $156 Gigabyte has 8 USB ports in the back and 2 Firewire ports and 3 eSATA ports: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128083

    Always use Newegg to shop because it has the best details (check out the photos) and info on products - and then look up the product from a Canada shop.

    Here are *MY* rules: Quality > Performance > Price You can spend $350 for a problematic ASUS board that has 100 features on it... or a $75 basic board that works reliable... In the real world, both systems will perform almost exactly the same - with the use of the same sub-parts (CPU, memory, HD).

    Why a $350 mobo is FASTER is because such users will spend extra $$$ for that bit faster memory, for that extra top end overclockable CPU, they'll spend weeks tuning that board and more. But in the real world, when you're rendering a 30minute video clip - the $3000 PC may take 10mins to finish while a $800 PC will do it in 10min and 20seconds. When playing a game, the $3K PC may get 100fps, the $800PC gets 80fps.

    I'll keep the $2200 for other things.

    My computer that I spent $400 to upgrade 2 years ago, will still run circles around 80% of the PCs sold today (Vista being the slower OS, is a reason as well as what I install on it).
     
  12. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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    I do have to lean toward Compiler's end dollar. It is more within my budget. But I do have a concern with that board. There is only one pci slot. I will be needing a 56k modem because I'll be moving shortly to the great Ontario North. And horrors! They only have dial-up. If I needed another slot I'd be out of luck.

    I'm a little confused about the video card. Some say it doesn't matter because the system is not for gaming. But I have to say that my brain is in a spin. I've read this statement here & elsewhere, but have also come across such statements as:

    Quote from professorshouse.com: "There are some other important things to remember when selecting a monitor. For starters, your video card is crucial to the overall picture quality of your monitor. A monitor that has a resolution of 1280 by 1024 but is combined with a lower quality video card with a resolution of only 640 by 480, then the result is going to be a picture of 640 by 480. If you do not have a top-end video card, then you would be wasting your money to buy a top-end monitor. However, if you have already spent a lot of money on a high performance video card, you should get a high quality monitor to take advantage of the video cardÂ’s performance."

    I don't want to find that my needs outgrow the system, I'd rather see it retire gracefully. I'd also like to have the option of bettering my monitor in the future. The issue's that I stated in my first post are on the top of my list-ram, hd, speed. But I still want to be sure that the board give me room to upgrade in the future as demands arise. So a few reasonable dollars more spent on the board wouldn't hurt my pocketbook too much.
     
  13. ms_khw

    ms_khw Thread Starter

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    Disregard my comment about the pci slots. I've read so much I must have been looking at the specs of another board. :eek:
     
  14. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Here is a link to a basic nvidia card. As you can see by the specs, it will support just about any res you want.
    Nvidia card
    You do not need a top of the line video card for editing. You can spend more money however it is not going to get you any better performance in your posted purpose for the card.
     
  15. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I agree you do not need a top of the line card for video editing but remember the attitude that a $50 card will have the same quality graphics as a $500 card is dead wrong. Compromise in the middle and do an 8600GT card rather than the more expensive 8800 GT so you get the best graphics.
     
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