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Build Advice New PC for Video FX/Editting and gaming

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Palhil, 8 May 2012.

  1. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    Budget: £1500 to £1900

    Main uses of intended build: Video FX and editing with gaming as a sideline.

    Parts required: Full system

    Monitor resolution: 1920x1200 (24" Dell U2410 Ultrasharp)

    Storage requirements: 1-2TB

    Will you be overclocking: Possibly, but not essential

    Any motherboard requirements (no. of USB, Xfire/SLI, fan headers): External Firewire and eSATA ports

    Extra information about desired system: My day job involves creating FX, Animation and compositing work for TV. I work in a studio during the day but I'm increasingly becoming aware that it would be handy to have a better PC at home should I need to work out of hours. The last desktop PC I bought was about 8 to 9 years ago. I haven't really been keeping a close eye on all the advancements since then. I've never built a PC from scratch before, although I have replaced bits and bobs on existing PCs (Hard drives, graphics cards, memory, simple stuff)

    With that in mind I've been doing some research over the past few days to try and figure out what I need or even if I should just go for a prebuilt system. I set my initial budget at £1500. In my past experiences that always seems to be the amount needed for a slightly above average system. But as always I've become distracted by the shiny new things, so the latest processor and graphics card have pushed me up a bit. I am trying to stay away from the £2000 mark.

    I'll list what I've come up with so far. I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts. Some of it may be overkill. I want the system to last a few years without really needing upgrades. At the moment I've sourced everything from Scan as it was simpler. Once I know what I'm getting I may shop around.

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H, Intel Z77
    I have a couple of external Firewire and eSATA hard drives so the rear ports of this motherboard are handy.

    CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K
    Originally I was looking at the i5 2500k but I read that i7 is better for video editing. Then the new Ivy Bridge chips came out and I thought that I should go with that. As I said, I mostly do video FX and compositing but I may need to do some editing on occasions.

    CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Advanced BK014 CPU Cooler
    I have no idea about CPU coolers so I hope this one is okay.

    RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black LP

    GPU: 2GB POV GTX 680 Performance Boost 28nm, PCIe 3
    It's new, it's shiny, it's expensive. Perhaps it's more than I need. But I do want this PC to be a capable games machine for a few years as well. Or perhaps I should go for something cheaper and upgrade when the tech has come down in price.

    Sound Card: None
    I've opted to just use the onboard sound from the motherboard. I think that will be good enough.

    Hard Drive 1: 120GB Corsair Force Series 3, 2.5" SSD, SATA III
    For windows and other program installations

    Hard Drive 2: 2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 3

    DVD/Blu-Ray: LG 10x Blu-ray Writer, 16x DVD±R, 8x +RW

    PSU: 650W PSU, Corsair Enthusiast Series 650TXV2UK
    Again, I have no real idea if this is good enough.

    Case: Corsair 600T Graphite Series Black Mid Tower
    Really I only picked this because I liked the look of it. It's different to just a big black anonymous box but also isn't too flashy. I'm not sure if the control panel at the front would actually work with the other things I have. I suppose I could save some money if I down graded to perhaps the Coolermaster CM 690 II Lite, Black

    Monitor: 24" Dell U2410 Ultrasharp Widescreen LCD
    I use a slightly earlier version of this monitor at work. It seems to get good reviews as a prosumer choice. However, I'd be interested to hear of any ideas for an equally good but cheaper monitor. I know Asus may offer an alternative.

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
    I use Adobe After Effects mostly and I believe the latest versions require Windows 7 64 Bit.

    Total Price (Inc VAT & Delivery): from Scan £1,902.73
    That includes £51.82 Scansure which protects me from accidentally damaging anything when I put it together. I suppose I may need that since this would be my first time building an entire system.

    I have now just noticed that Scan have a new 3XS system that is similar to what I've just listed. In fact, with a few changes (Case, Motherboard, Sound, DVD, OS) I can get it almost identical. The price is £2049.25. So it's almost £150 more but I don't need to assemble it and they also do the overclocking. But going over £2000 just makes me think that I'm perhaps over egging things a bit.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    The first thing to cross my mind is that you're going to need more memory than that if you're doing a lot of video and FX work as Premiere and After Effects need a lot of memory, especially with 1080P. I's suggest at least 16GB.
     
  3. scott_chegg

    scott_chegg Active Member

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    Build it and overclock it yourself. Putting the rig together is simple and overclocking from sandybridge onward is easy enough. You'll learn alot about how your PC works from doing it all yourself. Some doubt has been cast over Scan's overclocked bundles on the forums recently anyway.

    I'd be tempted to up the PSU to a 750 watt model to furture proof it a bit.

    The Be Quiet is highly regarded among air coolers.

    You definately want 16 GB of RAM. It's mega cheap at the moment so it makes sense.

    Other than that it looks good. Very good in fact!
     
  4. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    Thanks guys. It's good to know I got it mostly right. I'll have to start looking round for the best prices. Although I don't imagine there will be much difference.
     
  5. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    Hello again. I still haven't got round to buying my system yet. I have now changed some of my selections. Could you take another look and see if it's all okay?

    Motherboard:
    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H, Intel Z77

    CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K

    CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Advanced BK014 CPU Cooler
    I'm still a bit bewildered by coolers. I did consider the Cosair H100 which looks neat. But I was worried about it being overkill and obviously costing a lot more. I'm not sure if I will be overclocking or not. So I hope the Be Quiet is good enough.

    RAM: 2X Corsair Memory Vengeance LP Arctic White 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop
    I've upgraded to two sets of these. Giving me 16GB.

    GPU: Gigabyte 2GB GeForce GTX 670 Windforce 3X
    I've changed this from the GTX 680 down to the 670 to save a bit of money. Again, there is a bewildering array of these cards so let me know if you think I've selected the wrong one.

    Sound Card: None

    Hard Drive 1: Samsung 128GB 830 Series SSD
    I presume I only need the basic version of this without the desktop fitting kit as the Cosair case is supposed to have mountings for SSDs.

    Hard Drive 2: 2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 3

    DVD/Blu-Ray: LG 10x Blu-ray Writer, 16x DVD±R, 8x +RW

    PSU: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 CMPSU-750TXV2UK 750W Power Supply
    As recommended, I've upgraded the PSU to a 750W

    Case: Corsair 600T White Graphite Series Mid Tower Case
    I've changed to the white edition just to be a little bit fancier.

    Monitor: 24" Dell U2410 Ultrasharp Widescreen LCD

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

    The total price from Scan is now £1,898.36

    Do I need to order anything else? For example thermal paste. I'm not sure if it comes with the CPU or cooler.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Itchy Rim

    Itchy Rim Member

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    If the video editing is a big part of the PC's use then I would think about going for a socket 2011 motherboard and CPU, specifically an i7 3930k. This will be better than an i7 "Ivy" CPU for video editing.

    If your video editing is at a hobby/enthusiast level then stick with the i7 "Ivy" as it keeps costs down but at lesser performance compared with the 6 core extreme CPU's.



    Itchy Rim
     
  7. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    I think I can probably live with the i7 on Ivy bridge for the sort of things I plan to do with it. It's not going to be an absolute work horse. I'll be doing effects work and animation. So there is not so much need for it to be playing back video in real time. It's more likely to be rendering. Which takes as long as it takes. Plus I've already pushed my budget further than I'd like.

    Would you still recommend the i7 Ivy over the i5? I've read people say the the i5 is a better value chip. But people also say the i7 is better with video stuff. I suppose it comes down to if the difference in performance is worth the money. It looks like there is about an £85 difference between the i5 3570k and i7 3770k at the moment.
     
  8. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    I'd swap the cooler to an Arctic i30 which is still a seriously good cooler but only £30. I'd also recommend a modular PSU rather than the captive one you have in there at the moment. It makes cable management so much easier as you don't have unnecessary cables hanging around. Something like this.

    Yes you will need thermal paste. I personally like Arctic Cooling MX-4 but any decent brand will see you right.

    If the programs you use are capable of using the 8 threads of the i7 then definitely get the i7. (Like Pookeyhead said, stuff like Adobe After Effects etc). It will give you much more raw power to do all that fancy stuff that I don't understand lol
     
  9. Itchy Rim

    Itchy Rim Member

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    Seconded, the 8 threads/4cores of the i7 will give better performance than the 4 threads/4cores of an i5.

    Is there any particular need to go "Ivy", there are some good deals around for "Sandy" and the i7-2600k is a nice friendly CPU for a bit of overclocking. It's just my personal opinion but if it were me I would go and get the top "Sandy" spec components within budget and build around that. For performance and value for money I think "Sandy" represents better value over "Ivy", others may disagree but that's what the forum is about :)


    Itchy Rim
     
  10. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    Okay so I'll stick with i7. After Effects is the main software I use.

    The reason I went with Ivy rather than Sandy was generally on the principle of newer equals better. Plus the Ivy Bridge motherboard reviews have been appearing in the magazines most recently so it was easier to read about them. The magazines seem to be saying it wasn't worth upgrading to Ivy bridge if you already handy Sandy but you might as well get Ivy if it was a new build. Don't the Ivy chips use less power? I thought that was one of the advantages.

    If I do go with Sandy Bridge, do you recommend a particular motherboard? I'd like it to have a Firewire port so I can connect a couple of external drives that I already own. An external eSata would also be handy.

    I got a bit lost with the PSUs when I was looking at them. noizdaemon666, that one you recommended is 650w. Do you think that is powerful enough if I did go with a sandy i7 and overclocked it?

    Thanks for all the help guys.
     
  11. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Computers.don't draw anywhere near as most think. My rig tops out around 250-300W at the wall. You'll likely draw the same if not less.

    I'd keep the Z77 board you were going to get as it will work with Sandy Bridge and offer you some sort of upgrade path.

    Sandy vs Ivy is a bit complicated. They do use less power but as soon as you pass 4.2GHz they get monstrously hot due to a few reasons. Someone will likely fill you in on this. Also they only offer a 10% improvement clock for clock over sandy. If you can get a deal on a 2600K I'd get that one :)

    Apologies for any typos and.the lack of info, I'm on my phone and.typing is very slow lol
     
  12. Itchy Rim

    Itchy Rim Member

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    If you wish to look at "Sandy" motherboards then the ASUS P8Z68 or MSI P8Z68 would be my starting point. In the ASUS range the P8Z68 V-Pro or P8Z68 Deluxe are good boards. In the MSI range I would be looking at the P8Z68 GD80 (B3) or (G3).

    You will need to look at the vendors web site for the spec to make sure they have the connectivity you need. Personally, I have used an ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe board and it is a very nice board, well built, good components and plenty of fan headers, USB headers etc.



    Itchy Rim
     
  13. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    I really appreciate all this info guys. Thanks.

    I'll have a closer look at the motherboards. The difference in price between the 3770K and 2600K is £24 from Scan. It's not a great amount.
     
  14. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

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    Why not stick with the Z77 board since it's backwards compatible?
     
  15. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    So stick with the motherboard I listed but go with the i7 2600k? I don't mind paying the £24 extra for the 3770k, unless you think it's really not worth it.
     
  16. matt_lumley

    matt_lumley You're only supposed to...

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    For the sakes of £24 i'd be tempted to stay with the 3770K, not only is it newer generation so the 10% increase clock for clock but also should sell for more later down the line. Have you thought about a closed loop CPU cooler such as the Corsair H100, really helps keep the heat down on those ivy cpus.
     
  17. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    I was considering the H100 as it does look quite neat but I thought I'd go for the more conventional cooler to save a bit of money.

    Now I've just looked in the latest PC Format magazine and seen great reviews for the Zotac GTX 670 Amp! Edition (overclocked) and the Cosair Performance Pro 128gb SSD. So I'm tempted to swap to those. But of course they are more expensive again. I'm terrible. I always want the best but I also want value for money. I'm trying to stay under the £1900 barrier. I'll need to look at other suppliers to see if I can get better prices.
     
  18. mikeyman198

    mikeyman198 Lets pretend this is hilarious.

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  19. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    580 is better gpu for video work for reference 7970 works also

    680 has pretty poor video capabilitys due to it missing the units that the 580 is

    680 is fastest of all 3 in games
     
  20. Palhil

    Palhil New Member

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    Interesting I didn't know about those differences between the 580 and 680. I'll take a closer look.

    Also, thanks for the suggested parts list, mikeyman198 :)
     

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