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Advice on a ~1100 gaming/media pc


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#1

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Budget Range: $1100~$1200 (can probably stretch a bit if it's worth it but would like to keep cost down)

System Usage - Most to Least Important:Gaming, 2d design, media storage/playback. I have a pretty big media collection that's currently at around 2.5tb and will only be getting bigger.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Parts Not Required:kb, mouse, speakers, optical drive, OS
(have a spare case but if you know of a super neato one for like ~70 I'd probably consider it)

Preferences: a good graphics card and at least 3tb storage, USB 3.0 somewhere

Overclocking: Probably GPU, almost definitely not on the CPU

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (if it was somehow cheaper)

Right now I'm looking at:
Intel i5 3470 ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=1276588 )
Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=1165809 )
Corsair Value Select DDR3 CL9 8GB ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=1180122 )
Antec VP-550P ( https://pricespy.co....ct.php?p=913500 )
Gigabyte GTX 660 ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=1408211 )

I've got no idea about hard drives. The stuff above is about $850 all up, leaving about $250 for storage (that could stretch a bit but would like to get best bang for buck). I was thinking something like a WD black 1tb ( https://pricespy.co....ct.php?p=555314 ) for a boot drive and one of those seagate 3tb or 4tb drives for extra storage? I'm also aware the psu might be on the soft side.

Any suggestions would be welcome!
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#2

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:33 PM

I've designed my pc build around a FX-6300 and it's under a thousand. Would you consider like an 8320? I always thought that design work loved cores so it'd be good. AMD is also getting better slowly in terms of core support especially with mantle and console stuff coming in.

You could use the saved cash on a better card or faster ram or maybe some WD Reds!

#3

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:49 PM

I'd highly advise against an AMD cpu... not because i use Intel myself (i have AMD's as well), but because it's an inferior product at the moment. An i5 quad is definitely what you want as a cpu. Maybe up the 660 to a 760 for about $80 more? Future proof and a bit faster, although it does use a bit more power. I'd go for two 4gb's instead of one 8gb of ram. Cpu and mobo socket 1150 to be a little bit more future proof and more resale value if you want to sell the parts when you upgrade. For PSU i'd get a 650 FSP raider (80plus silver) or an Antec HCG 620W (80plus bronze)...they're about $110 or for $20 less the HCG 520 (should be enough - these are Seasonic units so they are great and very quiet). OS i'd definitly get a 120GB SSD (Samsung 840 maybe?) Media drive, since you have 2.5TB (That's a 3TB drive filled) you'd have to go 4TB or a mixture of two drives (two 3TB's? to give some room for expansion?) Mobo you can pretty much get away with anything these days as long as it has the features you want like USB3. You could go Mini ITX in a Bitfenix Prodigy case? or Micro ATX in a Silvertsone PS08 ($50!) ?
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#4

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:59 PM

I'd highly advise against an AMD cpu... not because i use Intel myself (i have AMD's as well), but because it's an inferior product at the moment. An i5 quad is definitely what you want as a cpu. Maybe up the 660 to a 760 for about $80 more? Future proof and a bit faster, although it does use a bit more power. I'd go for two 4gb's instead of one 8gb of ram. Cpu and mobo socket 1150 to be a little bit more future proof and more resale value if you want to sell the parts when you upgrade. For PSU i'd get a 650 FSP raider (80plus silver) or an Antec HCG 620W (80plus bronze)...they're about $110 or for $20 less the HCG 520 (should be enough - these are Seasonic units so they are great and very quiet). OS i'd definitly get a 120GB SSD (Samsung 840 maybe?) Media drive, since you have 2.5TB (That's a 3TB drive filled) you'd have to go 4TB or a mixture of two drives (two 3TB's? to give some room for expansion?) Mobo you can pretty much get away with anything these days as long as it has the features you want like USB3. You could go Mini ITX in a Bitfenix Prodigy case? or Micro ATX in a Silvertsone PS08 ($50!) ?


why so much hate on amd? yeah sure it's inferior but like are you comparing a fx4130 to a 4670k? amd gives intel a run for its money in multithreads applications which is pretty much what OP is going for right? not only that but they are cheaper as well
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#5

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for the input!

Processor-wise, I don't think I'll be using enough multithreading to justify it, and i5s have really nice single threaded performance AFAIK. CS6 will make up for it with it's increased GPU usage anyway. Not sure I really need a 1150 processor, but, well, is there any difference between the similarly priced 4440 ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=2106873 ) and the 3470? (apart from the .1ghz clock difference). http://www.cpubenchm...h_end_cpus.html would suggest the 3470 is actually a bit better...other suggestions?

Currently I have a 250gb partition for my OS and it's nearly full all the time because I hate uninstalling games - 120gb for a boot drive just seems way too small for me :/ I'm fine with having my media across two drives (that's what I have now anyway)

Thanks for the PSU suggestions, and the silverstone case looks cool!

side note damnwebsite, what else is in your build, and how well does it run? Just haven't owned an amd in forever, so got no experience to go off...

#6

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:07 PM

why so much hate on amd? yeah sure it's inferior but like are you comparing a fx4130 to a 4670k? amd gives intel a run for its money in multithreads applications which is pretty much what OP is going for right? not only that but they are cheaper as well


Sorry wasn't hating on AMD, was just stating a fact. Sure an AMD will be fine, but why limit yourself? Which AMD cpu and motherboard combo would you recommend?

#7

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the input!

Processor-wise, I don't think I'll be using enough multithreading to justify it, and i5s have really nice single threaded performance AFAIK. CS6 will make up for it with it's increased GPU usage anyway. Not sure I really need a 1150 processor, but, well, is there any difference between the similarly priced 4440 ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=2106873 ) and the 3470? (apart from the .1ghz clock difference). http://www.cpubenchm...h_end_cpus.html would suggest the 3470 is actually a bit better...other suggestions?

Currently I have a 250gb partition for my OS and it's nearly full all the time because I hate uninstalling games - 120gb for a boot drive just seems way too small for me :/ I'm fine with having my media across two drives (that's what I have now anyway)

Thanks for the PSU suggestions, and the silverstone case looks cool!

side note damnwebsite, what else is in your build, and how well does it run? Just haven't owned an amd in forever, so got no experience to go off...


i dont use amd (or to be specific right now), i have a 3930k lol... but yeah, if you arent going to be using much multithreading apps, both amd and intel are still fine, i went for a 3930k because i used to go through craploads of VM's but now that i dont/cant use it anymore i have no use for it and im wasting it away by playing counter strike on it >.>

oh and, the 100mhz speed difference is probably what makes the 3470 'better', but id go with haswell anyway just because it's newer and power whatever blahblah marketing new generation blah
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#8

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:09 PM

Thanks for the input!

Processor-wise, I don't think I'll be using enough multithreading to justify it, and i5s have really nice single threaded performance AFAIK. CS6 will make up for it with it's increased GPU usage anyway. Not sure I really need a 1150 processor, but, well, is there any difference between the similarly priced 4440 ( https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=2106873 ) and the 3470? (apart from the .1ghz clock difference). http://www.cpubenchm...h_end_cpus.html would suggest the 3470 is actually a bit better...other suggestions?

Currently I have a 250gb partition for my OS and it's nearly full all the time because I hate uninstalling games - 120gb for a boot drive just seems way too small for me :/ I'm fine with having my media across two drives (that's what I have now anyway)

Thanks for the PSU suggestions, and the silverstone case looks cool!

side note damnwebsite, what else is in your build, and how well does it run? Just haven't owned an amd in forever, so got no experience to go off...


The 8320 is trading blows with the i5 and you could get it for less, the 8 cores are great for multithreaded programs too. It's totally up to you but I would recommend it. The Haswell isn't worth it, they didn't change much except power consumption, if you're sticking with intel stick with the ivy bridge.

Good idea with the black drive for boot but if you can an SSD will be better but totally up to you. I would personally spend it on a better go but that's just me and I wouldn't be buying secondary storage so I would probably get an SSD w/e idk.

Check out some benchmarks for the 8320 or 8350 and see if it does anything for you.



#9

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:13 PM

CPU - i5 4570 - $275
Mobo - 1150 Motherboard (A few choices within this price bracket, all fairly similar) - $100
RAM - 2x4GB (Ripjaws, Hyper X Beast) - $120
HDD - 3TB Barracuda - $180
PSU - Antec High Current Gamer 520W - $100
Graphics Card - HD7950/GTX760 - $400-425
Total = $1200 (incl. shipping)

You could cheap out on the PSU and go for Antec's VP series instead of the HCG, but I'd pay the little extra to get a better quality unit.

If you're after a cheapo case, the Silverstone PS08 is a nice choice at $60. If you want something a bit fancier/bigger, then look towards the Corsair 200R, which is $100.

I wouldn't waste time with using a WD Black purely for a boot/OS drive, if you want performance, use an SSD for that.
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#10

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:17 PM

The 8320 is trading blows with the i5 and you could get it for less


http://www.anandtech...fx4300-tested/5

I don't call that trading blows... plus the 8320 is only $35 less than the i5. I'm checking some other reviews now too.

Not to mention how much less power the i5s use!

#11

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

https://pricespy.co....?l=86653&view=m

This is a list i put together ... It's just under $1400, but has a nice prodigy case, GTX760 and a 120GB SSD with one 3TB drive for now. You'd only have your OS and main apps installed on the SSD. I guess and most frequent played games (can copy them to/from the secondary drive when required). A SSD is probably the part that will make the most perceived performance difference for day to day use.

#12

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:38 PM

Hmm looks interesting... is the performance diff between 660 and 760 enough to justify the extra $90-$100?

If I was to go SSD I'd probably end up going 250gb or so, 120 just seems so small....and then it's like, $250 bucks which I could get like 4tb of storage with.... having trouble balancing all this :D

#13

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

http://www.anandtech...duct/783?vs=854

I would say yes it is worth it, but then again it depends if you want to spend that extra $90 on a graphics card. I'm still getting by on a $250 AMD 7850 :P You won't know about SSD's until you're used to it. I got by with a 60GB SSD. About 25ish GB for windows 7. 25GB for BF3 and then some apps. Downloads and stuff can go to the other drive. People get too carried away with wanting all their stuff on a SSD. At the end of the day it's all about what you want though. We're just giving our personal advice based on our experiences.

FYI http://www.anandtech...duct/830?vs=854 the GTX760 and GTX670 perform about the same
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#14

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:17 PM

I'd definitely recommend having an SSD for windows + apps, secondary drive for games, and tertiary drive for media and data. Thats the setup I have and its really good. You dont need to worry about running out of space, everythings got some basic organisation, games and media can run at the same time with no HDD based stuttering and having an SSD with your OS + apps on it speeds things up alot.

The SSD is just for your OS and applications. Its there to give you a huge speed boost, while having separate drives for games/media handles that side. Putting games on SSD's is generally not recommended - mostly because the only benefit is quicker load times whereas you get much more noticable benefits having your OS/apps on it. Of course, if theres one game that you play all the time or one that you have heavily modded then chuck it on the SSD to smooth it out and quicken the loading times.

Edited by TomSahz, 06 October 2013 - 05:02 PM.
spelling

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#15

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:44 PM

Get a 120gb (or 128gb) SSD as a boot drive, WD blue 1TB (if you want a 1tb drive) https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=1282059
More games are heading down the multi threaded route now, so picking up an AMD CPU may not be as bad as you think.
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#16

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:01 PM

So when you say OS/apps, what kind of apps do you mean? How difficult is it to set up your games to be installed on a separate drive from your OS? (I've never done it)

#17

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:27 PM

Any application that takes a while to load. Something like Photoshop or Matlab would be good examples. It's very easy to install games on different drives. You just select the other drive as the install location. Steam also has the ability to track several game libraries across different drives.
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#18

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:31 PM

So when you say OS/apps, what kind of apps do you mean? How difficult is it to set up your games to be installed on a separate drive from your OS? (I've never done it)

As easy as installing them on your main drive. Just make sure you select the other drive during installation and your good to go.
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#19

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

Steam also has the ability to track several game libraries across different drives.


I've always used a 3rd party app to do this, but i do see they have that built in now! Nice :D

#20

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 05:04 PM

Ok then, if I was to go for a 120gbish SSD, what's best? Something like the samsung 840 EVO? https://pricespy.co....t.php?p=2074412 There are a whole bunch of samsungs for roughly the same price and I can't really tell what the difference is...

#21

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 05:05 PM

So when you say OS/apps, what kind of apps do you mean? How difficult is it to set up your games to be installed on a separate drive from your OS? (I've never done it)


Every application - browser, media player, skype etc. The only app I put on a hard drive is Steam (just cos its easier, I'm aware you can make separate libraries on different drives). Its not difficult at all. Either install steam onto a HDD, or install it onto your SSD and choose different directory when installing your games. For non steam games just specify during installation.

Yeah 840 regular or 840 EVO are top notch. I went with the standard.

The only hting to watch, is making sure that you only connect your SSD during windows installation. Then connect your hard drives once its installed and use as normal (for Win8 anyway, it just avoids Windows putting a small system partition on your HDD which means you cant format it).

Edited by TomSahz, 06 October 2013 - 05:08 PM.


#22

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 05:31 PM

Ok, thanks for the advice, I think I'm sold on the SSD, if the EVO is better ill probably get that :D

Edit: should I be concerned about the longevity of TLC NAND or will everything be dandy?

#23

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:12 PM

Every application - browser, media player, skype etc. The only app I put on a hard drive is Steam (just cos its easier, I'm aware you can make separate libraries on different drives). Its not difficult at all. Either install steam onto a HDD, or install it onto your SSD and choose different directory when installing your games. For non steam games just specify during installation.

Yeah 840 regular or 840 EVO are top notch. I went with the standard.

The only hting to watch, is making sure that you only connect your SSD during windows installation. Then connect your hard drives once its installed and use as normal (for Win8 anyway, it just avoids Windows putting a small system partition on your HDD which means you cant format it).

Some steam games can't be put on another HDD other than the one steam is on. (This used to be the case with some sources games) keep that in mind.

If you don't have an SSD any SSD will be a huge upgrade.
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#24

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:24 PM

FYI ...Playtech is selling demo i5 3330's with full warranty for $199 http://www.playtech....uctdetails.html

It is previous gen socket 1155, but still a good option if you want to save $50 and up the 660 to a GTX760 for example.
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#25

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:28 PM

Some steam games can't be put on another HDD other than the one steam is on. (This used to be the case with some sources games) keep that in mind.


Oh true. Havnt encountered that, probably is better to just install Steam on the HDD then.

Edited by TomSahz, 06 October 2013 - 06:29 PM.


#26

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:27 PM

Edit: should I be concerned about the longevity of TLC NAND or will everything be dandy?


Not unless you expect more than 19 years of use from it I don't think so...
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#27

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:54 PM

Sounds good to me! Thanks all!

#28

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:18 PM

Sorry... my last post on this: https://pricespy.co....st.php?l=103521

$1178 all from Alphacity, right in your budget with 120GB SDD, 3TB HDD and a GTX660.

#29

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:07 PM

Looks good thanks haha! I'll probably go for something somewhere between that and this https://pricespy.co....l=103672&view=m (in case I change it in the future, a 7870 which seems worth the small amount extra, and the slightly better SSD, and 2x2tb instead of 3tb, but undecided as it costs ~1350). Just need to see exactly how much of what data I have and how much storage I reckon I'll need in the future!

Will have to check if it'd run off the 520w, i have the 620 down and it seems like it's worth dropping the extra $30 for the extra headroom...
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#30

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:51 AM

I've designed my pc build around a FX-6300 and it's under a thousand. Would you consider like an 8320? I always thought that design work loved cores so it'd be good. AMD is also getting better slowly in terms of core support especially with mantle and console stuff coming in.

You could use the saved cash on a better card or faster ram or maybe some WD Reds!

Most 2D design stuff isn't particularly intensive. Mainly just a few Photoshop filters that would be.

The 8320 is trading blows with the i5 and you could get it for less, the 8 cores are great for multithreaded programs too. It's totally up to you but I would recommend it. The Haswell isn't worth it, they didn't change much except power consumption, if you're sticking with intel stick with the ivy bridge.

Good idea with the black drive for boot but if you can an SSD will be better but totally up to you. I would personally spend it on a better go but that's just me and I wouldn't be buying secondary storage so I would probably get an SSD w/e idk.

Check out some benchmarks for the 8320 or 8350 and see if it does anything for you.

I disagree. Haswell will have much better resale value in a few years, because it is newer. There isn't that much of a price difference, and there is no advantage to Ivy Bridge other than that (yeah, it might clock slightly higher, but Haswell more than makes up for that in IPC).

Looks good thanks haha! I'll probably go for something somewhere between that and this https://pricespy.co....l=103672&view=m (in case I change it in the future, a 7870 which seems worth the small amount extra, and the slightly better SSD, and 2x2tb instead of 3tb, but undecided as it costs ~1350). Just need to see exactly how much of what data I have and how much storage I reckon I'll need in the future!

Will have to check if it'd run off the 520w, i have the 620 down and it seems like it's worth dropping the extra $30 for the extra headroom...

That build looks great. It'll be just fine with a 520 W PSU.
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