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Old 01-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

Hey guys (and girls), when I ventured out to build my first PC I found a bunch of antique sites, but was happy to find this one. I've been doing a lot of research and hitting other threads since then, but could use some suggestions for my machine, as 99% of the build threads are geared towards gaming machines. What parts differ greatly between a gaming build and media pc build?

I've done some simple work on my legacy machine from Dell (new sound card, additional HD, 3.5 external card reader, etc.) but I'm looking to build a new one myself.

I don't have a set budget, but am debating on where to go with the budget (e.g. i7 mid-range build vs. high end quad core etc.) My goal is a home theatre, media, multi tasking type PC. Main tasks involve web browsing, amateur photo and video editing using at most Photoshop CS and some simple video editing programs. Listening to music, downloading music, streaming audio and video to my TV, PS3 and storing about 1TB worth of files. I won't play games on it except Age of Empires II maybe I actually like games, but have never crossed from console play to PC.

So what should I do, spend a bunch on an i7 build and upgrade over time? Go with a core 2 duo or quad core and spend a bit more on other parts..video card, sounds card, HDD's, ODD's etc? WHERE IS THE BEST VALUE AND BANG FOR MY BUCK vs. performance?

On a side note I'm coming from a 6 year old Dell P4 that is on it's hands and knees.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

Welcome

Main difference gaming is focused on the graphics card, media centre is focused on excessive harddrive space.

Any size restraints?

I7 if you have the money to blow and with your media editting tasks it will really help basic idea of parts:

Cpu: I7 920
Case: You strike me as a lian li or silverston liker I think they are the best looking cases
Psu: 600W
Soundcard: asus xonar d2x
hdd: raid 5 array with 4 750gb drives with a 80gb windows partition
gfx: ati 4670
Ram: 6gb of ddr3
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

thanks for the suggestions, i dont WANT to spend a lot of money, just not sure on the best value vs. performance ratio. what do you mean by size restraints? those silverstone cases are sweet but expensive. the lian case was nice too and more affordable. you're pretty good at guessing what i'd like.. looking for something sleek/contempo modern for the HT setup...all i ever saw was that Antec recommended for all the gaming builds. #1 priority though is how quiet i can get it but making sure it stays cool at the same time (also a good newb case so i dont break something). how do i know if i need a Mid-Tower or Full-Tower case?
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

I help A LOT of people on here its nice to see a change from the standard builds I put together its mainly regurgation. Don't worry I don't reccomend parts that aren't good bang for buck and we can help you with tips and tricks to really get the most out of your pc.

I7 is the new standard and its 10-20% faster then the fastest old standard it however comes at a bit of a premium but its negligable given the speed increase. I can reccomend a cpu/mobo/ram combo which will come in under $400 or go I7 and do one which will come to $600 choice is yours.

You know what size case you need by looking at the amount of stuff you have to fit in it . I have a lian li A71A which is slightly old model now but still a good full tower it is really quite large and will handle all that you could ever need to place in a case, full towers are much easier to get into and generally build in as there is more space. I would say if in doubt go full tower now just pick one you like.

I7
Motherboard: Newegg.com - ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards $250
Cpu Newegg.com - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops $300
Ram: Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory $140 (after rebate)
hdd: 3 of these in raid 5 effective space being 2tb but you get data redundancy (backups) and is dynamic so you can add to it when you need more space Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
gfx:Newegg.com - POWERCOLOR AX4830 512MD3-H Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
psu: Newegg.com - OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
soundcard: Newegg.com - ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Sound Cards
Do you want blu ray playback to play hd films?
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

I dunno about the necessity of an i7. For a media center rig a lot of processing power isn't necessarily required, and I personally would only lean towards an i7 build if you are going to look to upgrade in the future on it. If you are basically going to build thing thing and add only if necessary (I.E. hard drives, ram, optical drives) then I think a good lga775 build would be great with a higher powered quad, like a q6600 or q9300. Coupled with 4gb of ram (with the option to add more down the line, most likely to 8) and large sized hdd's, you'll be fine.

I personally would shy away from i7 on a media center build because to be blunt a media center and your uses don't really require a TON of processing power. Granted if you find that making movies is something that you want to pursue more advanced video editing, like HD video, then an i7 would be good down the road because of its hyperthreading which allows it to work as if it had 8 cores. Also PS might take advantage of that, but not 100%.

So bottom line from my perspective is that if you want upgradability and higher possible performance down the road you can have that, but it will cost you quite a bit more than something that will work for what you want/need now, but won't give you the option to upgrade too much in some key areas.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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great suggestions... so ive never set up a RAID array before. do i basically adjust the jumper pins to do that? RAID 5 would basically eliminate the need to backup externally? (unless i lost 2 drives before one of the damaged drives was replaced?). and with 4 x 750gb. i would have a useable space of 2.25TB ?
i already have a 19' lcd that is nice, wireless keyboard/mouse, but all my old stuff in my legacy PC is IDE so i wouldn't be moving any of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter.Cort View Post
I dunno about the necessity of an i7. For a media center rig a lot of processing power isn't necessarily required, and I personally would only lean towards an i7 build if you are going to look to upgrade in the future on it. If you are basically going to build thing thing and add only if necessary (I.E. hard drives, ram, optical drives) then I think a good lga775 build would be great with a higher powered quad, like a q6600 or q9300. Coupled with 4gb of ram (with the option to add more down the line, most likely to 8) and large sized hdd's, you'll be fine.

I personally would shy away from i7 on a media center build because to be blunt a media center and your uses don't really require a TON of processing power. Granted if you find that making movies is something that you want to pursue more advanced video editing, like HD video, then an i7 would be good down the road because of its hyperthreading which allows it to work as if it had 8 cores. Also PS might take advantage of that, but not 100%.

So bottom line from my perspective is that if you want upgradability and higher possible performance down the road you can have that, but it will cost you quite a bit more than something that will work for what you want/need now, but won't give you the option to upgrade too much in some key areas.
i was leaning this way initially and appreciate the suggestion...

so with a LGA775 build i would be looking at a less expensive QC processor and not i7, but i would be using DDR3 RAM with the ability to upgrade to an i7 later?

btw - ill be going vista 64.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

with raid you have to have either a mobo that supports it, or a raid card. and you have to specifically set it up which can be difficult but it isn't ever that bad from when I've seen it done. Raid 5 with 4 drives at 750gb each would give you 2.25tb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delirium330 View Post
i was leaning this way initially and appreciate the suggestion...

so with a LGA775 build i would be looking at a less expensive QC processor and not i7, but i would be using DDR3 RAM with the ability to upgrade to an i7 later?

btw - ill be going vista 64.
You could take it a few ways. You could do lga775 quad and ddr2, or lga775 quad and ddr3. I would recommend c2q and ddr2 because on the lga775 quads they only have dual channel support, and ddr3 gains performance increases from use of tri channel. So with more expensive ddr3 you wouldn't gain much performance over the same speed and much cheaper ddr2. Also if you go 775 quad and ddr2, if you are even thinking about upgrading to i7 and ddr3 later, ddr3 prices will most likely be around the prices of ddr2 right now.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

While I love i7, you wouldn't really need it for this machine. I can't justify the costs for a media build.

But just like Peter said, the i7 is something you would want for HD video editing and such, because in the end, that processor would prove very useful. Also, upgrading it down the road will be easier since it's a newer chipset.

But if you're not going to be doing anything like that, I think just grabbing an E5200 or a Q6600 should be more than enough. Both are easily overclocked for extra performance too.

RAID 5 with 4x 750gb drives would equal out to 2.25TB usable space, yes.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
I help A LOT of people on here its nice to see a change from the standard builds I put together its mainly regurgation. Don't worry I don't reccomend parts that aren't good bang for buck and we can help you with tips and tricks to really get the most out of your pc.

I7 is the new standard and its 10-20% faster then the fastest old standard it however comes at a bit of a premium but its negligable given the speed increase. I can reccomend a cpu/mobo/ram combo which will come in under $400 or go I7 and do one which will come to $600 choice is yours.

You know what size case you need by looking at the amount of stuff you have to fit in it . I have a lian li A71A which is slightly old model now but still a good full tower it is really quite large and will handle all that you could ever need to place in a case, full towers are much easier to get into and generally build in as there is more space. I would say if in doubt go full tower now just pick one you like.

I7
Motherboard: Newegg.com - ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards $250
Cpu Newegg.com - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops $300
Ram: Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory $140 (after rebate)
hdd: 3 of these in raid 5 effective space being 2tb but you get data redundancy (backups) and is dynamic so you can add to it when you need more space Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
gfx:Newegg.com - POWERCOLOR AX4830 512MD3-H Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
psu: Newegg.com - OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
soundcard: Newegg.com - ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Sound Cards
Do you want blu ray playback to play hd films?
blu ray is another question im debating. i dont think it's worth it now (may upgrade later) with the future of blu ray adoption uncertain and i already have a PS3....the only use i could see if playing blu ray on my machine which i would rather watch on my tv anyway, or running hdmi out on the video card to the tv which i wont be doing... otherwise i could only see using it to store media...

anybody else have insight on getting blu ray?
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First post - First build - HT/Media/Multi-Task Build Reco's?

I'd say wait on it if you have a ps3
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