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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 13 Mar 2012 (Tuesday) 16:57
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Comment on new PC build?

 
Snydremark
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Mar 13, 2012 16:57 |  #1

I'm looking at joining the 'modern' computer age with my tax return this year; and I'm curious if anyone has suggestions or comments on my current, planned parts:

Motherboard: AsRock Z68 Extreme4 (external link)
Processor: i5 - 2500K (sandybridge) (external link)
RAM: 16 or 32GB (external link)
SSD: Plextor M3 128GB SATAIII (external link) For OS, Apps, temp/scratch drive
HDD: Seagate Baracuda XT 7200 RPM SATAIII 2TB - Data drive (external link)
Graphics Card: Completely in the dark here; I understand that for photo editing, video, etc that the sandybridge onboard driver ought to be plenty...but I'm lost as to where the various dedicated systems are these days.

TIA for any suggestions!


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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quiksquirrel
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Mar 13, 2012 17:09 |  #2

For photo editing and such, you will generally be fine with the onboard.
For heavier work and multiple monitors, a dedicated graphics card is desirable.

Basic questions. What do you want from a graphics card and what is your budget?




  
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Merlin_AZ
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Mar 13, 2012 17:20 |  #3

If you don't game, see how it goes with the onboard graphics.
16 Gigs of RAM is plenty.
If you want a card anyway, and you don't game, I'd recommend an nVidia 200 or low 400 series card. Should be inexpensive at this point.




  
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Snydremark
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Mar 13, 2012 17:34 |  #4

quiksquirrel wrote in post #14080311 (external link)
For photo editing and such, you will generally be fine with the onboard.
For heavier work and multiple monitors, a dedicated graphics card is desirable.

Basic questions. What do you want from a graphics card and what is your budget?

Merlin_AZ wrote in post #14080369 (external link)
If you don't game, see how it goes with the onboard graphics.
16 Gigs of RAM is plenty.

Gaming would be a secondary...maybe tertiary usage; as far as what I would want would be something capable of pushing pixels around a high res monitor (2560x1600) without turning off TOO many settings.

Price: Under $500; preferably, under $400.

I currently have a dirt old, AGP, nVidia 8500 GTX.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Merlin_AZ
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Mar 13, 2012 17:51 |  #5

You might not have seen the second part of the post above since we were typing at the same time.
"If you want a card anyway, and you don't game, I'd recommend an nVidia 200 or low 400 series card. Should be inexpensive at this point."




  
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Snydremark
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Mar 13, 2012 18:00 |  #6

Merlin_AZ wrote in post #14080556 (external link)
You might not have seen the second part of the post above since we were typing at the same time.
"If you want a card anyway, and you don't game, I'd recommend an nVidia 200 or low 400 series card. Should be inexpensive at this point."

You're right, I didn't see that :) I'll check them out, but will probably want something a little higher on the scale for games, since I'll want to run the full res on my monitor as much as I can for those. 30" @ 2560x1600 can't be easy on those guys...

Performance is more important than price in this instance.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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CactusJuice
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Mar 13, 2012 18:08 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #7

I like the ASUS motherboards better. I'll echo what the others said in terms of graphics. The onboard GPU will probably be fine for photo editing. You can always add a card later if you find performance lacking.

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ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Motherboard (external link)



  
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acousticdank
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Mar 13, 2012 18:17 |  #8

Snydremark wrote in post #14080456 (external link)
Gaming would be a secondary...maybe tertiary usage; as far as what I would want would be something capable of pushing pixels around a high res monitor (2560x1600) without turning off TOO many settings.

Price: Under $500; preferably, under $400.

I currently have a dirt old, AGP, nVidia 8500 GTX.

Based on price, just go with a ATI 6970
or
Nvidia 570 or 580
http://www.tomshardwar​e.com …s-card-review,3107-7.html (external link)

The other ones above them on the list are not worth the price / performance imo, but they will also be good.
You say gaming is "tertiary" however it looks like you want something with performance for a primary. Those cards I mentioned will do.

BTW what psu?


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quiksquirrel
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Mar 13, 2012 18:20 |  #9

Merlin_AZ wrote in post #14080556 (external link)
"If you want a card anyway, and you don't game, I'd recommend an nVidia 200 or low 400 series card. Should be inexpensive at this point."

If your gaming needs are not to extreme, I feel comfortable getting behind the above.

At the low end, the 210 can be had from $25,- in 512Mb and 1Gb versions. Not exactly a performance card, but very decent. Especially for the money.
They do 2560 x 1600 and will have no problem with a second monitor. And with VGA, DVI and HDMI ports, you should have all connections you need.

If you wan't to spend the whole budget, I would most likely be looking for a HD6970 or a GF580.
Both are very capable cards and start at less than $500,- .
My personal preference would be for the HD6970. Mainly just a matter of taste, but in my experience it scales better than the GF. That is a big bonus if at some point you need more power. Simply drop in another one like the first, and you have a setup that in many cases can outrun the more powerful 6990.




  
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Snydremark
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Mar 13, 2012 18:30 |  #10

acousticdank wrote in post #14080756 (external link)
Based on price, just go with a ATI 6970
or
Nvidia 570 or 580
http://www.tomshardwar​e.com …s-card-review,3107-7.html (external link)

The other ones above them on the list are not worth the price / performance imo, but they will also be good.
You say gaming is "tertiary" however it looks like you want something with performance for a primary. Those cards I mentioned will do.

BTW what psu?

quiksquirrel wrote in post #14080773 (external link)
If your gaming needs are not to extreme, I feel comfortable getting behind the above.

At the low end, the 210 can be had from $25,- in 512Mb and 1Gb versions. Not exactly a performance card, but very decent. Especially for the money.
They do 2560 x 1600 and will have no problem with a second monitor. And with VGA, DVI and HDMI ports, you should have all connections you need.

If you wan't to spend the whole budget, I would most likely be looking for a HD6970 or a GF580.
Both are very capable cards and start at less than $500,- .
My personal preference would be for the HD6970. Mainly just a matter of taste, but in my experience it scales better than the GF. That is a big bonus if at some point you need more power. Simply drop in another one like the first, and you have a setup that in many cases can outrun the more powerful 6990.

Excellent stuff; thanks both of you! I'll take a look through those cards...there are just SO many options out there now that I needed a narrowed field to start looking through.

As for PSU...I don't remember the specific model off the top of my head but IIRC it's a 750W or 800W unit.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Saxi
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Mar 13, 2012 18:30 |  #11

I would go with a Corsair Force GT, I have 4 of them. They are the fastest current SSD drives and dirt cheap on Amazon. There is a lot of gripe about Sanforce controllers but I haven't had issues.


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tim
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Mar 13, 2012 19:03 |  #12

I got an nVidia 520 1GB, cheap and just makes sure I have no problems. 16GB of RAM is plenty. Get a modular power supply to minimise cords inside the PC.


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quiksquirrel
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Mar 13, 2012 19:03 |  #13

Snydremark wrote in post #14080819 (external link)
As for PSU...I don't remember the specific model off the top of my head but IIRC it's a 750W or 800W unit.

Based on what your current component list, with one of the larger graphics cards and the basic that I assume will also be there (optical drive, case fans, cpu cooler etc.), you should actually be fine with just 500W.
Personally I would go with 750W-800W, as that would also be able to handle a extra graphics card and a few more HDD's, should the need arise. You might as well get a platform that you can upgrade in the future, with as few new purchases as possible.

Do not go cheap on the PSU. That is a very common mistake that people make and one that you will end up regretting.
Something like this would be a good place to start: http://www.newegg.com …aspx?Item=N82E1​6817139016 (external link)




  
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Snydremark
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Mar 13, 2012 19:04 |  #14

tim wrote in post #14081084 (external link)
I got an nVidia 520 1GB, cheap and just makes sure I have no problems. 16GB of RAM is plenty. Get a modular power supply to minimise cords inside the PC.

Thanks :) Yeah, the PS I currently have is modular; that part was pre-planned the LAST time I bought parts :D


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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Snydremark
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my very own Lightrules moment
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Gallery: 59 photos
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Mar 13, 2012 19:06 |  #15

quiksquirrel wrote in post #14081090 (external link)
Based on what your current component list, with one of the larger graphics cards and the basic that I assume will also be there (optical drive, case fans, cpu cooler etc.), you should actually be fine with just 500W.
Personally I would go with 750W-800W, as that would also be able to handle a extra graphics card and a few more HDD's, should the need arise. You might as well get a platform that you can upgrade in the future, with as few new purchases as possible.

Do not go cheap on the PSU. That is a very common mistake that people make and one that you will end up regretting.
Something like this would be a good place to start: http://www.newegg.com …aspx?Item=N82E1​6817139016 (external link)

Agreed; I did that when I bought the parts for the system I have now. It's a modular unit, specifically so I didn't have to worry about it when updating like this. :)


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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