The Digital Foundry PC article from a few months ago got me thinking to build my own PC instead of buying one built. But my budget can go above £300 so I'd like some advice.
I'd like to spend around £500 and will use it for video editing, possibly gaming, then surfing the net/general useage. I already have HDs, optical drive and wifi cards so I plan to buy:
CPU, mobo, RAM, PSU, case
I've been looking at scan.co.uk and their value bundles, and would prefer Intel and nVidia from what I've read, but happy to consider alternatives. At the moment I don't plan to overclock but if this really might be a benefit in the future then I'd consider factoring it in now.
I'm looking at either of these two bundles:
CPU - i5 3450, 3.1mhz
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D2V
RAM - 8gb Corsair DDR3 1333mhz
CPU - i5 3570, 3.4mhz
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
RAM - 8gb Corsair DDR3 1600mhz
I then plan to put it into the Fractal Design Define Mini case:
The last two things I would then need are the PSU and the graphics card. The PSU I can probably work out for myself, although it being quiet is a consideration. More importantly though, I want to spend around £100 on a graphics card - as I say, primarily this'll be for video editing.
Bearing in mind all the above, what would you recommend that I do? I just talked to someone at Scan, and they said that the video card doesn't matter and I should go for the most expensive CPU.. which I'm pretty sure is absolute horses**t
Thanks in advance for your expertise,
Edited by schnide at 13:35:33 03-09-2012
PC Build Help? Selecting the right CPU/GPU combination
dsmx 7,562 posts
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I'm sure dirtbox will come in and correct me on this but I'd side with the slower processor with the faster RAM as you can overclock the processor up to 3570 speeds.
"If we hit that bullseye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a a house of cards, checkmate." Zapp Brannigan
You can't overlock the Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPU unless it's a K series (3570K, for example). But CPUs rarely tend to be the bottleneck, so the marginally slower CPU + a faster graphics card would be a better bet. Edit: if you don't get a K series, you probably won't want faster-than-your-bus RAM (unless you want to fiddle with your timings).
I recently ordered this graphics card for a friend in the UK (use Amazon.co.uk as the seller, £100.98) - I challenge Dirtbox to find a faster card for under £101! (Which (s)he probably will do, as I found that card weeks ago)
AMD cards also offer brilliant price/performance, but unfortunately not brilliant drivers.
Your case link is for a mATX case, but only one of the motherboards you've chosen is mATX, so be careful. mATX is the small one. I'd suggest that unless you specifically want a small case (not mentioned in the OP), a larger one will give both you and your hot hardware plenty of breathing room.
I picked up a BeQuiet! PSU last year, as they review positively and are quiet and full of electricity. I'm not saying that you should immediately buy a BeQuiet!, but as they seem to be relatively unknown, don't immediately dismiss them, either.
Edited by PenguinJim at 08:30:25 04-09-2012
grey_matters 3,675 posts
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What kind of video editing?
I think the Scan guy might have been mostly right, the CPU is the most vital bit of equipment at this level. If you are editing 4K footage you would need an SSD probably (and I'd look at getting one anyway really). Not much difference between an £80 card and a £120 card for video editing as far as I know. Are you adding special effects? Compositing? Z-Brush or 3DSMax being used?
Edited by grey_matters at 08:52:30 04-09-2012
Zbrush has nothing to do with video editing and max is a bit of a stretch.
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Thanks for this dude, I'd realised when I left the office yesterday that there might be an issue with the motherboard size so I'd have to find an equivalent in a mATX size.
I really would like a small case, I've got an ATX at the moment and it just looks so clunky. What kind of cooling would I go for if I still wanted the mATX - would it be a CPU cooler or an extra fan?
I noticed that the review of that graphics card on Amazon says it's pretty noisy, but I'll also look into the BeQuiet! PSUs too.
The sapphire 7850 oc 2gb is 160 odd on amazon at the moment if you can stretch a bit
You should be able to get a 560ti for about £140 odd now and it's a lot faster.
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Thanks for the advice, I was thinking of getting a small, 'cheap' SSD for booting but to keep costs down I plan to use the two SATA 350gb HDs that I already have for main storage.
Special effects are a definite possibility in the future, but my friend and I are getting into amateur filmmaking so the kind of video editing would simply be editing in the traditional sense. So Adobe Premier and Pinnacle, initially.
But that said I'd still want to keep the options open for effects in the future, as well as being able to play any games for a good few years to come.
Edited by schnide at 10:46:03 04-09-2012
Surely it's not 30% faster than that £101 560 GTX? I thought the difference was ~10-15%? Although even having said that, I can't see a 560Ti for under £159 in the UK (even the 560 GTX seems to be hanging onto the ~£140 price point, which is why I thought that £101 card was a bargain). Edit: oops, actually, looking at the specs, that card is only a 560SE, which is ~10% slower than the 560 GTX(?). Sorry about that! Plenty for video editing and some decent gaming at 1920x1200 or lower, though, right?
If you're cramming an Ivy Bridge, a 560, a 2.5" SSD, two 3.5" HDDs, an optical drive and a wifi card into that, then you might find that you're full already? Not to mention hot (Ivy Bridges run hotter than Sandy Bridges). Was it the £145 3450 you were looking at? Scan have the Sandy Bridge i5-2500K for £167, which is probably worth shortlisting.
But in any case (har har), I'd still push you towards a ATX-format case. Just look at the dimensions and find a small(ish), svelte one. Or modify it yourself.
Edited by PenguinJim at 13:55:34 04-09-2012
superdelphinus wrote:The 7850.
@Dirtbox a lot faster than what?
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schnide wrote:Depends whether you're going to do any gaming with it or not. Video editing doesn't require much in the way of a graphics card as it's being rendered with a combination of the CPU and the RAM. Faster ram generally means faster rendering.
Thanks, I supposed the next question for you is.. would that be anywhere needed for my needs?
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FanBoysSuck 1,448 posts
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From a gaming standpoint the 7850 would be a better choice. For video editing on the other hand,I'd go with the geforce. I'm pretty sure those cuda cores make a difference in certain programs. Can't remember which one's mind, I just remember some of the programs my mrs uses advertising better performance with cuda equiped cards. It's the main reason I went for a quadro in her work machine over a firepro.
Although you could go for something cheaper if it's mainly for work. GPU doesn't make THAT much difference for the most part. I'm pretty sure Tom's hardware did a comparison between a low end 5 series and a 580 in cuda supported programs and it made zero difference.
Edited by FanBoysSuck at 14:11:59 04-09-2012
For the emperor!
@Dirtbox @FanBoysSuck @PenguinJim @superdelphinus @grey_matters @dsmx
Thanks for all your input guys, I think what I might do for the time being, given that I've no immediate gaming needs, is go for the i5 that can be overclocked, a mATX motherboard and the Define Mini case. That'll keep costs down and in the future if I do need to add a graphics card, I can spread out the costs and then look into finding the best way to keep it all cool.
Again, really appreciate your help and thanks again.
Edit: Screw it.. gone for the i7
Edited by schnide at 12:10:44 07-09-2012
I'm looking to buy a new pc to replace my current one but at a bit unsure of what to do. At the moment I'm a bit strapped for cash so was going to do it on finance which means I'm probably stuck on getting a pc built from me from either cyberpower or pcspecialist. My current setup is a old intel quad core 9950 4gb of ram and a gtx460 1gb oc. I was thinking of getting a good i5 base unit with 8gb of ram and keep my old graphics card until later next year. However when I price this up its still coming to 600/700 with the little extras for keeping it silent, my current pc is noisy as hell. So anyway is the i5 a good option or should I really go for the i7 ?
Are you sure you need a new pc?
Really, which games can't you run on a quadcore/460?
I'm asking because I have a similar system and stuff be running fine at 1080p.
....becasue I want a new shiny system lol. I may just leave it another 6 months or so
You got an SSD yet?
It's the most efficient speed boost that you can buy right now.
Yup got a ssd its awesome . Still need to get round to backing up the old 1tb drive I had and setting up as a media/install drive. After talking it over with you and my mate decided I'm not in the need for an upgrade at the moment. Going to buy a new case and a psu though as my current rig is noisy as hell and I think its the psu and cheap case that is the cause of teh noise.
andytheadequate 8,080 posts
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I've been looking at buying a pc. Found one with the following spec but not sure if its worth the money:
Chillblast Vantage Gaming Case
Intel Core i5 3570 "Ivy Bridge" Processor overclocked to up to 4.8GHz
Asus P8Z77-V LX Motherboard
16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
Chillblast Radeon 7950 3GB Graphics Card
120GB Corsair Force 3 SSD
2000GB SATA III 7200rpm Hard Disk
Samsung Blu Ray / DVD-RW Combo Drive
Chillblast 700watt EZCool PSU
Onboard High Definition Audio
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM
Asus VS247H 24" TFT Monitor
Logitech Cordless Keyboard & Mouse
Also considering building one myself using similar parts. How much would it cost to buy the parts (or similar) separately? And is there any obvious weaknesses with these parts?
I will be using the pc mainly for gaming. It doesn't have to be top of the range but don't want to have to upgrade in the next few years
Maturin 2,890 posts
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I recently priced up all the parts to build a very decent i7 machine, then created the same custom spec on PC Specialist. The latter was only £50 more for a lot less hassle. So I'm likely to get them to build it for me rather than do it myself. Their warranty is pretty good too, which takes more worry out of it.