Building my own PC. Here's what I have so far, please look over.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xander562, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    This is meant to be a wicked-fast gaming, video/photo editing PC.

    The motherboard will be an ASUS P8P67 Deluxe.



    I intend on editing extremely large RAW files in Lightroom and Photoshop as well as editing HD video in Premiere and AE. I want this machine to fly.
    I guessing the PSU is overkill, but it's the same price as a lot of 700w or 600w PSUs so is there any reason not to get this one? As well, I'm wondering about the HDDs. I need a lot of space so I chose these, but I've heard they have a high fail rate, should I opt for something like these and get more of them? I see this particular drive recommended a lot.
    I also Intend on triple booting Linux/OS X/Windows (for fun mostly) so suggest anything that might help me there.
    Any other suggestions appreciated!
  2. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    Looks nice :)

    why does the arctic silver cost $12?? you can get for like 6 on amazon :p
  3. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    Since you've already got a SSD for boot, I don't think you want the Caviar Blacks as data drives. More heat, noise, and cost than the Greens, for no particular benefit.

    Other than that, looks nice.
  4. nefan65 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2009
    I remember building PC's...can't say I miss it...? lol
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Looks decent. AMD 6970 might be a slightly better back for the buck but GTX 580 is a bit faster so if you want the extreme performance, then it is a good option.

    I might go with the Samsung drives as well. Caviar Blacks are pretty noisy from what I have heard and read so as data drive, they can be annoying. I have also heard a lot good about the Samsungs. Put couple of them in RAID 0 to increase the performance. Just remember to back up.
  6. akhbhaat, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2010
    IMO, you're spending way too much. After more than ten years of this, I've found that the sweet spot for the total build rests somewhere in the near vicinity of ~$1000. The very top of the line components typically represent a very poor value; a year from now there will be a $1000 PC that just about matches that machine and two years from now there will be $1000 machines that will comfortably outperform it. Meanwhile, today's $1000 price point will still build you a system that can comfortably handle just about anything you can throw at it for at least the next two years.

    If it were me, I'd knock just about every component down a notch or two (except the power supply; I'd upgrade that) and put the difference towards the next build--but that's me. :) Food for thought and all that.

    That out of the way, here's my critique:

    -That's a fairly crummy PSU. Forget raw wattage; get a high quality ~800W unit and it will last you through several builds (I've got a 620W modular Corsair piece that will be four years old soon and has at least one more build left in it--more even, if the power demands from tomorrow's components aren't substantially higher). It's worth it, especially if saves the rest of your hardware (e.g. from an unblocked surge) some day.

    -Drop the GTX580 and go with something cheaper. $300 has traditionally been the sweet spot for high end GPUs, and the same (mostly) holds true today--I say "mostly" because there are some new model GPUs around $200 that are actually very impressive (i.e. just as fast as last year's $300-350 parts). Right now, the Radeon 6970 looks like a great buy, being almost as fast as the GTX580 in virtually every game of note and well over $100 cheaper.

    -The rule on magnetic drives is this: buy it only when you need it. Reason being that they represent the one component above all else that has rapidly and consistently declined in price while simultaneously ramping up in capacity for several years running. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see drives equivalent to those 2 TB Caviar Blacks selling for that half that much in 18 months or even less. I think you'd do fine with two 1 GB drives in RAID 0 (or even independent) for now...

    -The system builder Windows 7 packages are a poor deal. The license can only be attached to one particular hardware configuration, which is an elaborate way of saying that you'll have to buy another copy if you ever perform a major overhaul of your system's internal hardware. This stands in stark contrast to the standard version which can be reinstalled as often as you'd like on any hardware configuration (though it can obviously only be activated on one machine at a given time). If you have access to an .edu email address (one way or another), you can get a normal license version of 7 Pro for $60 (occasionally MS even drops it as low as $30).

    -As noted, get the thermal compound elsewhere. Newegg has been gouging on AS5 for years. :)
  7. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Looks pretty good.

    PSU: I would switch to a better PSU that is 80 Plus certified which will save money in the long run on your power bill plus generate less heat, I would go with the 80 Plus Silver or better but just plain 80 Plus is fine.

    Hard Drive: As for the hard drives I would look at Hitachi or Seagate. All the WD's and Samsung's I have ever owned ran much hotter and louder. Stick with 7200RPM though for those large files and put them in RAID 0 or get a third drive for Parity with RAID 5. Either way it will help speed up saving changes to HD footage.

    Optical: Since you will be doing HD video. Perhaps you might consider a Blu-Ray burner they are getting to be quite reasonable.

    Backup: I see no external for backups.

    SSD: Is 60GB really enough to store all your programs, Windows 7 and updates? Games can take up quite a bit. I easily could hit 60GB with Win 7, Office Home, and just a handful of games. Currently I am using two 128GB's in RAID 0 they were refurbished at $140 a pop at Microcenter. Though they are out of stock at the moment.

    CPU: You can save $50 at Microcenter.
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I wouldn't put games to an SSD. SSDs still cost at least 1$ per GB, in most cases that is still close to 2$. A game can easily consume 10GB on its own. That is 10-20$ extra you are paying. With a decent collection of games, you could easily fill a 128GB SSD with just games. Moreover, the only pro is that your loading times will be faster. It won't affect your FPS as most of the stuff is loaded to RAM anyway.

    I agree that 60GB might be a bit small, especially if OP wants to have three OSs and all of them in the SSD.
  9. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    He does have a 2TB HDD on the list.. if you didn't see that. The 60GB SSD would just be for the OS.

    I'm a mac guy, but I would love to build a super awesome gaming PC.
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    To each their own I wouldn't have bothered with the SSD's in my rig if it wasn't for the quick load times for games and programs. For me that was the selling point so any program starts immediately. Which is what I would presume the OP was after. If not then the 60GB would be fine though a bit constrained with an Adobe collection, Win 7, other productivity software and possible use as a scratch disk. Of course I also don't know what the Ops game purchasing and playing habits are, I typically buy two games a year and get three months of use out of a title then rarely touch it again.
  11. mzeb macrumors regular


    Jan 30, 2007
    Lookin' Good, Two Tweaks

    Depending on how much video editing you're doing, you might want to scale back to slower storage drives and save $150. The motherboard you're talking about has plenty of connections for additional disks so you might want to get a cheap fast drive for the current video project and then some slower storage drives. In both video labs I've worked in the drive configuration was as follows

    1 small fast (SAS in my case) OS/Applications drive
    2 medium-sized mirrored current project drives (also SAS)
    2 large mirrored storage drives (these were sata)

    I don't know how many video projects you have going at once but if you only have one or two in flight at a time this works out well. You aren't putting as much wear on your storage drives since you're working off your project drives and you can save a little bit of cash ($30-50). The other thing we had at the office is a large slow NAS backup for the storage drives, I highly recommend this for any major video work :).

    The second tweak is with the video card. Your priorities listed gaming first so I'd say you're probably good with the card you've got, but ATI/AMD have been putting out much more solid drivers for their cards than nVidia has lately (like for the past 2-3 years). By that I don't mean they run faster but they're more consistent in terms of performance. That's far more important for video editing than raw speed. In my experience the consumer class nVidia cards were geared heavily toward games and balked at much else whereas the ATI cards were more general purpose. Scrubbing 720p video on a consumer nVidia card can hurt. That said, if you're doing a lot of video work the most consistency you'll get is out of the workstation class cards (AMD Fire Series and nVidia Quadro Series) but that would come at a small cost to your gaming and a big cost to your wallet.
  12. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl

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