Author Topic: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?  (Read 2198 times)


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Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« on: June 25, 2013, 02:43:39 AM »
Similar notion to GMCbrewskis thread about building a new desktop, but looking for some more specific advice.

I do a heap of work with the entire Creative suite (work with a heap of images in PS more than anything)

I've also just grabbed a GoPro Hero3 Black edition and want something that can hack some HD video editing (Looking at Adobe Premiere Pro at the moment)

I also dont want to be upgrading the thing for the next couple years.

I dont do any gaming on the PC (Im a console gamer) so thats not part of the equation, but graphics wise, something that isnt going to struggle with anything I want it to do.

I'd like the option of using it as a media centre kind of thing from my TV/lounge room if I can figure out how to make that work too.

I havent put a case together for over 10 years (I think I was running a super fast 64mb of ram and windows 98 was still awesome...)

and I really havent paid attention to the whole computer scene to know whats good and whats bad.

So please please please, can someone point me in the direction for the following-

It was always like "computer rice" when I was playing with them, cheap was just as good as expensive (given that they both would work with your setup) is this still the case?

Power supply-
I always just used what I had raided from other towers and never actually bought one even when I was building. What do I need to look for in a power supply? Whats the difference? What should I be spending?

I'm gobsmacked at the choices out there, when I stopped playing, onboard graphics were a new thing and everyone was in love with it for a basic PC. So whats good out there these days and again, what should I be spending? Do I start with the motherboard and work from there?

I've done a little bit of reading and figure the I5 Quad core is probably more than enough processor for everything I think I want to do. something like this-

The I7 processor is about $100 more expensive, but Im wondering if its worth biting the bullet?

What are AMD like? they were the "next big thing" at one stage, but it seems their pricing might reflect their popularity (cheap and nasty?)

Obviously I need somethign that is going to work ok with HD film from the gopro, but it doesnt need to be super super great as I wont be playing games on the PC (barely get time to do that on my PS3! not to mention the PS4 I'll be buying!)

I;ve read alot about how cheap RAM is. Whats the latest carnation of RAM and is it worth buying as much as I can in my budget to help out wiht the processing of graphics and movie files?

Sound card???

What else am i missing here?


I'm budgeting 600-1000 for this, (rather than buying a semi-decent laptop)

I'm also open to buying stuff from the states, this is probably the cheapest australian computer gear retailer-

and comparatively, it seems expensive (let me know if that thoughts right?)

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 04:18:10 AM »
Get it done soon though. The Aussie dollar is starting to plunge hahaha
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Re: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 08:07:21 PM »
yeah, just missed that boat hey!


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Re: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 12:04:18 AM »
I'd pick the mobo last, you have to know what you want to install on it before being tied to a certain layout.

Case: Recently it seems that cases are worth splurging a little on, cable management, modular bays, cooling options, all make building, maintaining, and upgrading your PC easier. That being said, I'm running a cheapo Thermaltake case and just deal with the issues. I like mid size towers, but full size gives you lots of room.

Power supply: I've been running a Corsair power supply, the HX650. It's modular and reliable, last I checked it had excellent ratings. Basically stick with known good brands and get one with enough power to run your machine. Newegg and other sites have a power supply calculator that will give you a ballpark estimate based on power supply, cpu, etc.

CPU: If you're serious about video editing, you don't want to skimp out. An i5 is fine for gaming as so far there's no benefit with i7, I dunno how much a difference it would make to go for an i7 for editing. I'm running an i7 3770k only because Intel was selling them for $150 as a Christmas special if you work for a participating company and do a bunch of their training courses. It's a pretty fast processor though.

AMD offers great performance for the price if your software can take advantage of the CPU. AMD's solution for computing is cram the most cores possible on a single chip, programs get no benefit from 8 cores if they can only use 1 of them. The highest performing AMD CPU, the FX8350, is an 8 core that can be had for $200 and competes with some of the higher end quad core i7s, though benchmarks have the 4th gen i7s are definitely a step ahead.

Graphics: You're not gonna want to skimp too much here. Video editing uses video cards and CPUs. They will complement each other. I use Nvidia and know nothing of Radeon cards, but 600 series cards have lots of power and prices are dropping since the 700 series is taking over the enthusiast market. The GTX 660 is around $200 right now and offers far better performance than my 560ti which still runs most games at 1920x1080 fine. Dunno how that translates to video editing m but generally, more power= better.

DDR3 RAM: It's cheap. Get as much as you want. 8 Gb is overkill for gaming... for now. I've never done video editing I assume more is better once again. It's cheap... I'd get an 8 gb stick and call it a day, you can easily add more later if you want.

Sound: I have no problems with onboard sound, I've heard more complaints about discrete sound cards than onboard. Any decent Mobo includes HD audio.

Mobo: Get one that will fit everything you want on it, and has extra SATA/USB/RAM/expansion slots if you ever hope to upgrade. Make sure you get an Intel 1155 socket if you want to use an Intel 1155 socket CPU. If it says DDR2 on the box don't get that. Read reviews and complaints. I'm running a $140 Gigabyte Z77X-U3dH and the USB ports stop working occasionally, requiring a restart, usually right before a save point or nearing the end of a long post (I jinxed myself... shit..). I'm looking at an Asus Sabertooth now. No board is perfect. If you're going Intel, I'd find a Z77 chipset, I don't think anything better is out yet.

Fans: They're cheap... Get a few. 120MM fans spin slow and are quiet and keep my rig cool enough to make me happy, I'm running 3 of them.. top, back, front. You want air to move bottom to top, that's the way convection flows, don't fight it. It makes a trivial difference, but you might as well go with it.

CPU cooler: Of you'll be overclocking, get a decent cooler. If not, the stock one that comes with the CPU is quiet and reliable.

Hard Drive: Most go with a couple terabytes for storage and an SSD to install the operating system to. 64 Gb is plenty for a windows install, I'm running a 128 just so I can install the more demanding games and laugh at the split second load times.


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Re: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 01:47:47 AM »

thats the sort of info I definitely needed to read!

Now I need to do some price comparisons between newegg + a friend shipping to me in Aus and then compare with aussie prices.


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Re: Need to build a new desktop- haven't for years... help?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2013, 12:58:23 PM »
Since you're not doing any gaming, I would do more research into the GPU. Some video editing software requires certain technologies. For example, older versions of Premiere Pro support Nvidia's CUDA architecture, but not OpenCL. Also, many video cards are designed for quickly rendering 3d for gaming, thus aren't well designed for efficient and precise video editing and encoding. For editing, you defintely want to put money into the processor. Definitely go the SSD route. I put a 120Gb boot SSD in my build and installed all of my photo and video editing software on it as well for better perfomance.