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Old 02-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
dawks
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Question New build

I'm looking at doing a new build of a mid-range gaming/workstation rig running Windows 7 and need some advice. I'll be running a few VM's, doing some Photoshop, and occasional video encodes and want all around good performance. I'd like to have 16 or even 32gigs RAM if reasonable. Some gaming (I dont need to max out Crysis or anything crazy, kinda looking to keep video card at $300 max). I've built a bunch of computers in the past, but I've been out of the game for a few years and I'm not up on the latest in Cases/PSU's, Motherboards, RAM or Video cards.. I'd prefer to stick with nVidia.

Whats the time frame on Video card releases? Seems like the GTX 680/690 is kinda the king of the hill for nVidia, but it feels like its been out a while.. Is there a new release coming this spring? I have a low-end OEM card laying around that could cover me for a few months if this is the case (then hopefully a current top end card would drop in price). No SLI for me.

Suggestions on a good video card for under $300?

So far I have a Core i5-3570 in mind, $229 (http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX40052). Whats the fastest RAM (or reasonably priced RAM) I can pair with this CPU?
Looking at a ~240gig SSD.. Started with the Intel 335 series, but the Samsung 840 looks pretty promising. How does it stand up under 'heavy' usage? (OS install, some big apps, and a few big games)
Whats a good motherboard? Any reasonable boards with Thunderbolt? Do they all pretty much have the same Realtek sound chip?
Whats a good QUIET and easy to use case?
Whats a good efficient PSU? 500w should be enough? (will add 1 2tb HD - a drobo might be in my future, hence the thunderbolt).

Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
lehtv
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Quote:
Whats the time frame on Video card releases? Is there a new release coming this spring?
Yeah but it's still a ways out. Just get a card now and when it's too slow, sell & upgrade.

Quote:
Suggestions on a good video card for under $300?
Well if you must have NVIDIA, GTX 660 Ti is the way to go

Quote:
Whats the fastest RAM (or reasonably priced RAM) I can pair with this CPU?
Depends on the motherboard. Super fast RAM doesn't really improve anything, you won't notice the difference between 1600mhz and 2133mhz, for instance.

Quote:
Samsung 840 looks pretty promising. How does it stand up under 'heavy' usage? (OS install, some big apps, and a few big games)
Well, that's not heavy. That's normal. In terms of the number of write cycles, it will last a decade in normal use.

Quote:
Whats a good motherboard?
Since you're not interested in uber hardcore gaming, you don't need a SLI board. If you're not an overclocker, you won't need the Z77 chipset either. Are you an overclocker and if so how much are you planning to OC?

The cheapest thunderbolt board is usuallyan MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt but it may be way overspecced for your needs apart from that. Could get away with $50 less if you didn't want Thunderbolt

Quote:
Do they all pretty much have the same Realtek sound chip?
No. They seem to vary between ALC662 in B75 boards to ALC898 in some Z77 boards. If you're enthusiastic about it though you should get a dedicated sound card.

Quote:
Whats a good QUIET and easy to use case?
Fractal Design Define R4.

Quote:
Whats a good efficient PSU? 500w should be enough?
Yeah, 500W will be enough, even if you OC the CPU and GPU. Can't really find any highly efficient 500w units at a good price at the moment. You'd probably have to settle for Bronze for best bang for buck.
Quote:
(will add 1 2tb HD - a drobo might be in my future, hence the thunderbolt).
What's a drobo..?

Finally: Sticky: NOTICE - PC builders, when asking for input on YOUR projects Please Tell us...
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Last edited by lehtv; 02-01-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
Sleepingforest
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Drobo is a kind of NAS. It's really slow, go with a Synology instead.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
mfenn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepingforest View Post
Drobo is a kind of NAS. It's really slow, go with a Synology instead.
It's NAS or DAS depending on which one you get. Their automagic RAID stuff works well for optimizing capacity, but it adds enough layers such that performance sucks.

I certainly wouldn't fork over for extra Thunderbolt on Windows. The whole ecosystem is hideously immature. You can suck a Drobo 5D dry in terms of performance with just USB 3.0.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
dawks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
It's NAS or DAS depending on which one you get. Their automagic RAID stuff works well for optimizing capacity, but it adds enough layers such that performance sucks.

I certainly wouldn't fork over for extra Thunderbolt on Windows. The whole ecosystem is hideously immature. You can suck a Drobo 5D dry in terms of performance with just USB 3.0.
The old Drobo's have traditionally been very slow, but the Drobo 5D is supposed to be much faster. I've been waiting to see some actual customer benchmarks for a while (Anand said its on his list). Found a site that has a few tests on it, and while not fully scientific, the numbers look promising. According to what they've found, the 5D on USB3 is horribly slow, compared to Thunderbolt..


Looking at a few mobos I think the extra $25-35 for a Thunderbolt board may be worth it for me, just for this reason.

Forgot to include the link to the full article I guess.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/revie...erbolt-storage

Last edited by dawks; 02-05-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
mfenn
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Hmm, they must have a really busted USB 3.0 implementation, that or the reviewer didn't test with UASP. <400MB/s is well within the capabilities of the USB 3.0 interface.
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