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Old 01-10-2009, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

I'm building a new PC in a week or two. The primary use will be office and mulitmedia (i.e. watching and recording movies and TV), but since I'm building it, I'd also like the option of playing games without them looking like crap.

My budget is around $1000 up to $1400, but cheaper is always better (I'm a graduate student -- times are tough).

I've been on newegg, and it seems that the price/benefit of buying an i7 instead of a dual core set-up just isn't worth it for me. Is there any reason why I can't accomplish my goals with a dual core around 3.0 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, and a $160 video card? I already have Vista x64 prepared for the install, so I might as well buy the 8 GB RAM since it's cheap as **** right now.

Second question: what advice do you have as far as monitors go? I want HD resolution at a minimum, so I'm considering 1900x1200 native resolution. Also, the rig will be housed in my bedroom, so I don't need a 30 inch screen. However, 22-24 inches would be ideal. Is there any reason to spend $300-$400 on a Samsung when there are comparable monitors for cheaper?

Finally: My proposed build is below. Do you have any advice on how I can save money without sacrificing quality here? If not, how would you rate the build overall? Any concerns or areas for improvement? Thanks for your help!!
Be brutally honest!

Monitor -- Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support - Retail
Price: $340 after $20 savings

Case -- XCLIO A380BK Fully Black High Gloss Finish SECC 1.0mm thickness ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Price $109 (After $20 savings)

Power Supply -- CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Price -- $100 after $60 savings

Motherboard -- GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Price: $137

CPU -- Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail
Price: $188

Memory (x 2) -- G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail
Price: $100 for 8 GB

Video Card -- EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Price: $160

Hard Drive -- Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Price: $75

DVD/CD-ROM -- LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVDĪR DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail
Price: $120 after $15.00 savings

Speakers -- Creative Inspire T3100 2.1 2-way Speakers - Retail
Price: $46

Keyboard and Mouse -- Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard and Mouse - OEM
Price: $22

Mousepad -- XTRAC Ripper Optical Mouse pad - Retail
Price: $14

OS -- Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Price: $0 (Already own)

Total Price $1412
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

looks good, but get the 9800GTX+ if your going nvidia.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

Thanks philbar71! I updated the build per your recommendations -- the new final price is $1437. Can anyone else help? Thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

You can cut back the ram to 4gb
Get a cpu cooler like the sunbeam core contact freezer
where are you buying from prices seem a bit high?
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

I am buying from newegg..is there another website that is cheaper?

I was considering buying a cpu cooler, but the case I listed is supposed to be very cool on its own, and I don't plan to OC...is a cooler necessary?
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

well the core contact freezer is going to keep your cpu alot cooler than the crappy stock heatsink. i agree with salty 8gb is not nesscary for todays apps 6gb is still too much 4gb is the sweet spot for performance for the money, unless your doing something like cad or video editing. do you really need a blu ray drive?
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

Well, I don't NEED a Blu-ray burner, but I would like to be able to watch the high-def movies...I am after all paying for the other hardware...I think I'll look for a cheaper optical drive...good point!

Also, I will follow your advice and reduce the RAM to 4 GB... I can always upgrade later if I need too...

UPDATE: I got rid of the Blu-ray drive and replaced it with:

Pioneer 20X DVDĪR DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-116DBK - OEM
Price: $27

That saves me about $100. Thanks.

I'm considering upgrading the video card. The price on the one I have is $185. For $15 more dollars I can switch from

EVGA 512-P3-N879-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI ($185)

to

EVGA 01G-P3-N880-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail ($199 after rebate)

I don't know much about video cards, but an extra 512MB of DDR3 for $15 seems like a good deal. What do you think?

Also, any advice on the monitor. It is the most expensive component, and I don't know how I can save $ without sacrificing quality...thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

What reolution will you play at? 1gb onboard memory is only beneficial with resolutions higher then 1680x1200 which I think that monitor will be given its size. look at the samsung and dell offerings they are normally high quality and samsungs are competitively priced
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

Removed 4 GB memory and added suggested CPU cooler -- new price -- $1335
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Build for Movies, office, and gaming... be brutally honest!!

I would like to play at 1900x1200 as that is the native resolution. I feel that will keep things simple as possible.
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