New Build ~ $1600 - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > New Systems | Building and Buying
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-17-2012, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
Bake a Pretty Cake!
 
Spit-wad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 904
Default New Build ~ $1600

Hey guys,

I could use some help selecting parts for a new gaming + streaming build. I plan to make use of whatever Black Friday deals I can find. Budget isn't strict - I want a powerful rig and am willing to pay for it, but I'm also interested in saving $ wherever I can. Realistically I'm expecting to spend between $1300-1800. Prefer to purchase from Newegg/Amazon.

Budget only includes the computer. OS + External devices are already taken care of. I'll also include my tri-monitor plans at the bottom of this thread, but monitors aren't included in the budget.

CPU+Mobo: i7 something.

GPU: Needs to support 3 large monitors (see bottom of post). Gaming is for Dota 2, Starcraft II, CS:GO, etc - nothing too intensive. I do not intend to play games across multiple monitors.

HDD: I think I only need a decent sized SSD. I'm planning to build a server for my media anyways. I have an extra 500GB drive I can throw in if need be.

RAM: ?

PSU: ?

Soundcard: I do some audio work. Don't need anything super fancy, but I'd like something better than onboard sound for a change.

Optical Drive: None? Is this acceptable now? I can't remember the last time I've used mine (and on the rare occasion I need to rip a CD/DVD I do have other computers to use).

Case: Open to suggestions. Nothing too flashy, but also not boring. Not Antec 900 because I already have one and I'm bored of it.


Could anyone get me started here?




Monitors: I want a 3-monitor setup where the sides are portrait and the dimensions match with the middle monitor.
Example: http://i.imgur.com/y2gV3.jpg

This picture uses a Dell Ultrasharp U3011 30" (2560x1600) and two Ultrasharp 2007FP 20" (1600x1200). When turned in portrait mode, they have the same 1600px height. These monitors are gorgeous and I love my current UltraSharp, but they are pretty expensive ($1400 + $430x2 = $2260).

Can anyone recommend a similar setup with a cheaper brand? I also want to make sure they are mountable on a tri-monitor arm, which I have no experience with so any arm guidance is also appreciated (something like this). Alternatively I might just try to wall mount all of them separately.
__________________

__________________
Spit-wad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
Super Techie
 
Mattmatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 251
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

You must have an optical drive in order to install everything, like windows and what not.
__________________

Mattmatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
ninja troll
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,019
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

i'll take a shot at it.

Newegg.com - Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - NZXT TEMPEST EVO Crafted Series TEVO-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Newegg.com - CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 (CWCH60) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K

Newegg.com - ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Newegg.com - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi Modular High Performance Power Supply

Newegg.com - XFX Double D FX797GTDFC Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - Operating Systems

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

$1289

case isn't crazy, but has some flash. appears to be high quality.

you might need to borrow a dvd drive to install windows at least.

you really probably dont need a soundcard.
__________________
Intel Core i5-2500K
ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68
Corsair 550VX
1Tb Samsung Spinpoint F3
1Tb WD Caviar Green
2Tb WD Caviar Green
8gb DDR3 Corsair Vengeance 1600
Sapphire Radeon 6870


jasonalwaysready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
Bake a Pretty Cake!
 
Spit-wad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 904
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattmatt View Post
You must have an optical drive in order to install everything, like windows and what not.
Can't I just install windows via usb flash drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonalwaysready View Post
i'll take a shot at it.
Thanks! A few questions...

1. Is there anything specific I should be looking for in a SSD other than size/brand? The specs look pretty similar across the board.

2. That case looks decent. I generally like what I see from NZXT and CoolerMaster. My main priority is cable management because I've never been able to wire my Antec 900 in a clean manner, although I think my PSU is partly to blame.

3. Won't an i7 give me better performance than an i5 (or is it not that simple)? I do some video encoding as well so I'm willing to drop some extra cash on a better CPU to speed up my encodes.

4. I know people tend to overbuy on the PSU, but is 650W really enough for this kind of build?

5. Any other options for the video card? GTX 670/680? Or is the 7970 generally accepted as the best value in that tier?

6. You're right, I probably don't need a soundcard. But I have heard that a cheap soundcard can provide some extra options for audio work. Know anything about that? It seems difficult to find people who actually know about audio hardware, and most of what I read from google just confuses me more.
__________________
Spit-wad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
ninja troll
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,019
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spit-wad View Post
Can't I just install windows via usb flash drive?
Thanks! A few questions...

1. Is there anything specific I should be looking for in a SSD other than size/brand? The specs look pretty similar across the board.
it's my impression that at least for the latest generation, intel, corsair and ocz make some good drives. it's also my impression that intel has the least rate of returns for defective units.
Quote:
2. That case looks decent. I generally like what I see from NZXT and CoolerMaster. My main priority is cable management because I've never been able to wire my Antec 900 in a clean manner, although I think my PSU is partly to blame.
the psu that i linked to is the best of both worlds, semi-modular. the cords that you will definitely need are hardwired. all other cords are included and can be plugged in as needed.
Quote:
3. Won't an i7 give me better performance than an i5 (or is it not that simple)? I do some video encoding as well so I'm willing to drop some extra cash on a better CPU to speed up my encodes.
if youre gaming 95% of the time, then the value/performance probably isnt there. gaming will at most use 4 cores, but for 99% of the games out there just use 1 core. having another 4 threads from hyperthreading isnt doing anything for you. it's your computer, but i would rather use that extra cash to upgrade the gpu in 18 months.
Quote:
4. I know people tend to overbuy on the PSU, but is 650W really enough for this kind of build?
a high quality 550w will do it. 650 watt is a good place to be. anything more when you arent crossfiring is overkill.
Quote:
5. Any other options for the video card? GTX 670/680? Or is the 7970 generally accepted as the best value in that tier?
i think the 660 ti is at a great value point right now. i believe the 670 and 680 you are paying for early adoption.
Quote:
6. You're right, I probably don't need a soundcard. But I have heard that a cheap soundcard can provide some extra options for audio work. Know anything about that? It seems difficult to find people who actually know about audio hardware, and most of what I read from google just confuses me more.
i think bottom line is that if you dont have $1000 worth of speakers to plug into, you wont know the difference between the onboard and the card. ive heard both ways, though; that the cheapest of soundcards makes a big difference and that you only hear a difference once you pay over $100. i wouldnt bother with anything unless you are some sort of sound processing technician.
__________________
Intel Core i5-2500K
ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68
Corsair 550VX
1Tb Samsung Spinpoint F3
1Tb WD Caviar Green
2Tb WD Caviar Green
8gb DDR3 Corsair Vengeance 1600
Sapphire Radeon 6870


jasonalwaysready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
Build Guru
 
PP Mguire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 28,313
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

I agree on the CPU.

As for GPU, the 680 takes the cake hands down. It's your PC, but I personally would chose a 680 over a 7970 at this point.

The difference between SSDs is quality. Bout all I can say really without getting technical. Intel, Samsung, and Crucial make some of the best quality wise. OCZ have been stepping up their game with chip changes and such, but with their financial issues I wouldn't buy anything new from them.

Onboard sound is perfectly fine unless you have some seriously good cans or studio bookshelf speakers. If you need good inputs you can always buy a USB device for such things.

I know about the sound hardware, and the only thing different are the DACs and amps. Something that can't be heard with run of the mill audio equipment.

As for the USB thing, yea you can install Windows off a USB. You need an ISO and the Windows to USB tool to do it.
__________________
"Resolution is just a number." #Ubisoft
Origin/Steam = PP_Mguire Twitch = pp_mguire Instagram = ppmguire PSN = PP_Mguire

Access to my Plex PM me.
PP Mguire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 04:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
Bake a Pretty Cake!
 
Spit-wad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 904
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

I tend to build a new PC every 4-5 years without really upgrading in between. A minor $ difference between the 608 and 7970 isn't a big deal if it's truly better.

And yeah, I have a flash drive that I've installed windows 7 with already, so I think I can do without the optical drive. Thanks, PP Mcguire.
__________________
Spit-wad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
Build Guru
 
PP Mguire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 28,313
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

Tis be Mguire

A ton of people and sites are claiming the 12.11 drivers are putting the 7 series over the 600 series in performance. I just played with a 7870 last night and I call BS. The performance is slightly better, but not a game changer.
__________________
"Resolution is just a number." #Ubisoft
Origin/Steam = PP_Mguire Twitch = pp_mguire Instagram = ppmguire PSN = PP_Mguire

Access to my Plex PM me.
PP Mguire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
Bake a Pretty Cake!
 
Spit-wad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 904
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

How would I run 3 monitors? I notice the 7970 only has 1 HDMI + 1 DVI + 2 mini display port. I don't even know what a mini display port is - would I be using those?

Any thoughts on this case? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119265

Do I need an aftermarket CPU cooler if I'm not planning to OC?
__________________
Spit-wad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2012, 07:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
Build Guru
 
PP Mguire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 28,313
Default Re: New Build ~ $1600

Display Port is slowly becoming the new standard over current digital lines like DVI and HDMI. Slowly being the key word here. You would need to buy an adapter for your third monitor using one of the Display ports. The 680 on the other hand can handle up to 4 displays. 2 DVI and 1 HDMI would be your best bet there.

That case is super wide but getting good reviews. It's more so a test bench than anything.

No you don't.
__________________

__________________
"Resolution is just a number." #Ubisoft
Origin/Steam = PP_Mguire Twitch = pp_mguire Instagram = ppmguire PSN = PP_Mguire

Access to my Plex PM me.
PP Mguire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.