Building a PC for rendering

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by kysg, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    I just wanted to ask about building a machine for rendering.
    I plan to get the parts in january

    Well 1st off I've been on the fence about building a machine or just cruising along with what I have. I want to go into lighting thats for sure. I also do Camera Tracking and Effects in houdini. Just now learning Nuke.

    Rendering has been slow though on my laptop and I'm just wondering how much I have to sink.
    I know for sure I'm going to be using CPU based renderer (mantra, Mental ray.)
    For the effects stuff probably gonna need a lot of RAM
    and lastly for camera tracking and compositing hard drive space.

    Software workflow - photoshop/gimp > matchmover > Maya > Nuke/Composite > Houdini if I need to do effects > lightworks for video editing.

    The renders I want to do are 1080P I know 2K and 4K renders aren't gonna happen not that I would need to do that anyways. So if I can get full 1080P renders done that would be great. Houdini is only exception to the rule.
    The monitor should be 24/25 inches or 27 if its a possibility.
    but I can drop to 23.6 if necessary.

    I plan to buy my parts off newegg. I've built 3 pc's from there. Buying out of california so yea there will be sales tax.
    No overclocking

    OS I plan to use is linux

    As far as budget I plan to go cheap on everything else except
    RAM: $75 - this should net me 16gb/32gb
    PROC: $130
    Mobo: $90
    HDD: $250 that should get 1 SSD and 1 HDD
    Vid card: $70 - I'm not sure if I want a mid/low-mid card - I'm lowballing this

    so looking at $605 just for base parts

    I'm just focusing on this stuff. I know I can drop about 1400$ if I need to, but I'd like to sit at 1000. I know that is low ball and should probably just grab a new lappy but I'm just not convinced to go with a new laptop.

    Right now I run
    an AMD A6 quad core
    8gb RAM
    128gb SSD
    2-500gb external drives for backup/project folder/vids on a USB3 enclosure.

    and if I went with a new laptop I'd be very inclined to get a higher gb SSD.

    Sorry for long post just had a lot on my mind.

    Thanks

    also these are other things I noticed while I was researching.

    if I'm going AMD its gonna be about how many cores are dropped in right?
    I saw the FM1 and FM2 chips and saw they seem to lag behind intel on single thread but on multithread they close the gap a little.

    on the intel side.
    It seems very clear cut I need to go sandy bridge/ivy bridge either i5/i7...especially since I'd be opting for quad cores.
    it seems like I have to go z77 I've done a little reading I saw comparison charts for
    Z77 Z75 H77 Z68 P67 H67
    and the specs seemed similar as they had USB3 and PCI express 3.0

    With intel I still feel like i7 is way out of range...I do builds and I hit the 800-700 range.
    I feel like the i5 might be the best decision.
     
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  3. a5uperman

    a5uperman Junior Member

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    CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB $160
    EVGA X79 SLI 132-SE-E775-K2 $90 after MIR
    Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor $499 after EMCJHHB23 discount code
    CORSAIR Hydro Series H80i Water Cooler $90 after CORSA1227 discount code and MIR

    There are lots of $100 cases and $100 power supplies $100 SSds and $100 TB HDs and $100 graphic cards on sale too.

    6 core 12 thread FTW!

    I'd find a way to afford this. 3 times better then what you're talking about. And it will last you a few years.

    Probably out of your range, but everything is a really good deal for this right now.
     
  4. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    This actually fits under your max of $1400 (but only before tax):
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.98 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: EVGA 132-SE-E775-K2 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.68 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $1321.55
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

    I don't know much about rendering though--you may actually benefit from a graphics card more than going from a 3770K to a 3930K. Dropping to a 3770K nets you $200 more to spend on the graphics card, meaning that there is room for a 7950 or a 660ti (or, if prices keep falling, a 670!)
     
  5. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    Hmmm yea thanks for the advice I will keep that in mind, but hmm

    I'm only going linux so that would save.
    and I wouldn't benefit much from the graphics card, maybe for use in the viewport but not for rendering as I'm opting for cpu based.

    Hell I may have to opt for an AMD build...
    but I will keep this in mind.
     
  6. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    I'm a little confused here. Is your budget $600, $1000, or $1400?

    As for AMD vs. Intel, you should go Intel all the way on a rendering machine. AMD used to be good and cheap, but their Bulldozer and Piledriver architectures only have one floating point execution block per every two cores. Since rendering is entirely based on floating-point math, half the cores in an AMD CPU are useless for you.
     
  7. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    I'm hoping to get the box built for 1000$ but I can top up to 1400$ so put the range at 1000 to 1400....if that helps you...

    Hmm didn't know about that problem with AMD piledrivers.... Hmm so the new trinity procs aren't even on the radar screen?

    and if it's intel territory I Assume its gonna be i7 sandy bridge, or i5 ivy/sandy bridge. I can't afford i7 ivy bridge. Can't even think of paying for i7 extreme 6 core version.

    I got 2 builds laid out - one intel and one amd

    Intel renderbox

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    Update Rosewill LINE-M Micro-ATX Mini Tower Computer Case, Dual USB 3.0, come with Dual Fans, Support up to 4 Fans, 12.5" card
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    Update Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
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    Item #:N82E16822236339
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    Note (Add) $109.99 -$30.00 Instant $79.99

    Update EVGA 01G-P4-3650-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
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    Item #:N82E16814130838
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    Note (Add) $149.99 -$10.00 Instant $139.99

    Update CORSAIR CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Model #:CP-9020060-NA
    Item #:N82E16817139048
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $79.99 $79.99

    Update Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM
    Model #:AS5-3.5G
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    In Stock
    Note (Add) $11.99 -$2.00 Instant $9.99

    Update Patriot Gamer 2 Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGD316G1333ELK
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    In Stock
    Note (Add) $63.99 -$4.00 Instant $59.99

    Update MSI Z77MA-G45 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
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    Note (Add) $119.99 -$10.00 Instant $109.99

    Update Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
    Model #:BX80623I72600K
    Item #:N82E16819115070
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    Note (Add) $309.99 -$30.00 Instant $279.99

    Update ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
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    Subtotal: $999.91


    AMD build

    AMD renderbox

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    Update GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 AM3+ AMD 760G USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
    Model #:GA-78LMT-USB3
    Item #:N82E16813128565
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    In Stock
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    Note (Add) $69.99 -$5.00 Instant $64.99

    Update PNY VCGGTX550TXPB GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Model #:VCGGTX550TXPB
    Item #:N82E16814133383
    Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate
    Note (Add) $109.99 $109.99

    Update CORSAIR CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    Model #:CP-9020060-NA
    Item #:N82E16817139048
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $79.99 $79.99

    Update AMD FX-8320 Vishera 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8320FRHKBOX
    Model #:FD8320FRHKBOX
    Item #:N82E16819113285
    Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $179.99 $179.99

    Update CORSAIR 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMV16GX3M2A1333C9
    Model #:CMV16GX3M2A1333C9
    Item #:N82E16820233270
    Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $67.99 $67.99

    Update Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Model #:WD10EZEX
    Item #:N82E16822236339
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $109.99 -$30.00 Instant $79.99

    Update ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
    Model #:VS248H-P
    Item #:N82E16824236153
    Return Policy:Monitor Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card
    Note (Add) $229.99 -$30.00 Instant $199.99

    Update Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM
    Model #:AS5-3.5G
    Item #:N82E16835100007
    Return Policy:Consumable Item Refund Only Return Policy
    In Stock
    Note (Add) $11.99 -$2.00 Instant $9.99
    Subtotal: $827.91
     
    #6 kysg, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  8. lehtv

    lehtv Elite Member

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    For rendering, Trinity? No. Trinity is good for decent integrated graphics which is not relevant since you don't game. And it wouldn't even be an upgrade over your A6.

    I would not get everything from newegg, ncix has too many nice deals on, and the monitor costs less on Amazon.

    CPU Xeon E3-1230 V2 $240 @newegg (4C/8T 3.3-3.7GHz Ivy Bridge)
    Mobo Asrock H77 Pro4/MVP $70 @newegg
    RAM GeiL 2x8GB 1600Mhz $60 @newegg
    GPU Zotac GT620 $44 AR @newegg
    SSD Intel 330 240GB $160 @ncix
    HDD Seagate ST1500DM003 $70 @ncix
    DVD Sony DVD-RW $19 @newegg
    PSU Antec VP450 $31 @ncix
    Case Bitfenix Merc Beta $30 @ncix
    Monitor Dell U2412M $300 @amazon ... This is temporarily out of stock, ask when and if they're getting more. It seems to be discontinued on newegg, maybe they're releasing a new version soon. Some of the marketplace sellers seem to still have it.

    = $1024 AR AP incl. shipping but not tax

    If you want the PC to make a bit less noise when rendering, replace the stock fan with a Hyper 212+ $20 AR
     
    #7 lehtv, Dec 29, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  9. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    Go with the server proc... Hmmm never considered that. Gotta do some research because I have no idea where Xeon's sit in comparison to opterons.
     
  10. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    Well just finished up pricing and this is where it stands


    i7 sandy bridge
    $955 shipped

    xeon renderbox
    $975 shipped

    amd 8core renderbox
    $899 shipped

    So yea right under 1000 bucks. I get a little bit of leway on the amd and the i7 because I can run IGP till I decide to invest in a card. The xeon I have to pay for a card.

    Prices can obvious fluctuate from here till middle of january.

    Some other questions
    for the mobo on the xeon
    I have B75 picked out - I have an alternative board with H67 and Z77.

    any advantages here??
    I know I can upgrade with the z77 to something better if I'm correct.

    and had a question about video cards

    for the amd8core I have a GTX 550 TI
    I couldn't find a comparable radeon chip so I think this the go to.

    for the Xeon I have a radeon 7750 picked out.
    Alternatives are the 7850 and a GTX 650 Ti which I was told if you don't get i7 3770k then you shouldn't be touching that GTX 650 ti but I'm not sure.

    Lastly there is Gt series but I think those but wanted some extra advice.

    So final thoughts
    On the AMD can only upgrade ram and hard drive

    the xeon depending on the board you can probably opt for some upgrades down the line depending on the board.

    with the i7 sandy bridge you can also opt for upgrades

    I'm leaning towards either the xeon or the Amd.

    Thanks


    I don't use vray, I use mental ray.

    for the hardware pretty clear cut

    PSU is corsair 500-600W
    Mobo will be gigabyte/msi/asrock
     
  11. lehtv

    lehtv Elite Member

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    Since you're using Linux, you'll want a discrete NVIDIA card anyway, their drivers are best for Linux.

    With the Xeon you can expect the performance of an i7-3770K. It's only 200Mhz or 6% slower. Compared to AMD 8-core, it is faster and consumes less much less power: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/697?vs=551. It's a no-brainer.
    B75 - no, you're not on that tight of a budget.
    H67 - won't support Xeon V2's out of the box
    Z77 - you don't OC, that is the only difference between H77 and Z77
    H77 - bingo, this is your chipset
    Unless you overclock, no. In any case, it wouldn't make sense to upgrade from Xeon to 3770K, that's more of a sidegrade. Either you go for Z77 and 3770K right now with plans to overclock, or you go for Xeon and H77 and forget about overclocking.

    I didn't see you mention gaming? Far as I can tell you only need a GPU capable of 1080p playback since your rendering is CPU based. Any low end discrete card can do 1080p playback.

    No, there aren't going to be any CPU upgrades in either case. The next generation Intel CPUs will be on LGA1150, not LGA1155

    That's way too powerful for a rig that consumes less than 150 watts fully loaded.
     
    #10 lehtv, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  12. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    ah glad you brought those up, I need to pay a bit more attention. Though I'm not to familiar with intels I don't have an excuse.

    so with that in mind H77 is the go to chipset to support the xeon

    For the vid card I would prefer the playback. I kept asking around ppl suggested the GTX 650 Ti...but I was wondering if I could step down from this card to something else.

    And if thats the case yea I guess a regular GT640 will be fine for the 1080P playback since I don't need to do any gaming.
    I guess the only thing going through my mind is if I had to work in the viewport in maya or do any further work in any program.

    The price difference going from GT6XX to GTX6XX is about 25 bucks to go to gtx TI so I could scale back to a gt 620 that would shave about 60 bucks off the price.

    ah so no cpu upgrades I thought I had it down when I was looking at chipsets.
    6core is on a different socket man I don't know why I was thinking I could go to that.

    yea yea no upgrade on CPU...

    so yea I can fix this. Thx for the help.

    I took the PSU down to 430W
    and changed out the board to H77

    I saved 15$
    $964 shipped.

    might be able to get cheaper PSU elsewhere.

    I'll have to compare prices between newegg and ncix
     
    #11 kysg, Dec 30, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  13. lehtv

    lehtv Elite Member

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    The GT620 I posted will do flawless 1080p playback. It's faster than Intel HD 4000, and even Intel HD 2000 does 1080p playback; it's just not that demanding.
     
  14. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    :thumbsup: Even if you had to fall back to completely software-based decoding, you're still talking about ~25% CPU utilization on an Ivy Bridge quad.
     
  15. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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  16. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Well, after taxes and shipping, but before rebate, it will be around $210. IPS is definitely the way to go for photo editing. Make sure you get an 8-bit IPS panel, not a 6-bit e-IPS with dithering. This is one area that I would not skimp on for imaging work. Get a $220 plus tax 1080p Dell (U2122HM) at least; I would suggest a 1440p Dell if you have the cash (there's a deal right now at Dell: $630 for a U2713HM).
     
    #15 Sleepingforest, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  17. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    I'm actually looking at the 22in ultra sharp and 23in, and I'm looking at a viewsonic, the ultra sharps got a higher response time 8ms, vs the ASUS but hmm I think that is negligible, the starting IPS's kick in at 400 bucks I think
     
  18. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    The lowly TN monitor you bought is definitely a mistake given this machine's intended usage, no matter what the other promos are.

    The IPS that you linked is much better, but it's e-IPS which isn't great for color-sensitive photo work. You will probably have to be happy with that though since a true 8-bit IPS is ~$400+.
     
  19. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Glad to help. :)
     
  20. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Response times are pretty much completely unnecessary for photo editing (and the response time is pretty arbitrary; you need an impartial 3rd party review to really know.) Seriously try the Dell IPS panels I listed; the latter, more expensive one is definitely full 8-bit color. The smaller panel (and it's close relatives, the U2312HM and the U2412HM) is 6-bit with dithering, but the color reproduction is good out of the box and excellent with some calibration according to TFTCentral. The 23" is floating around $260 on Newegg right now.
     
    #19 Sleepingforest, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  21. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    Yea I know. I actually bought this one

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824116581

    The speaker I honestly didn't want but they didn't make a model that didn't have them.

    I've owned 3 monitors for viewsonic, never had any problems, it was leaning on the ASUS but dunno. Just felt like viewsonic was the better brand when it comes to monitors.

    When I originally was thinking about this Asus wasn't really on my list but they were pushing good prices. Normally I look at samsung(slightly overpriced) LG's, Dell's(pricey for ultrasharp, other models seem not to compare) and BenQ but BenQ they don't make too many monitors or IPS for that matter.

    I'm sending the TN monitor back to newegg...whew at least fixed that.

    Edit: I'm gonna continue reviewing those ultrasharps, if this viewsonic looks bad, I'll move onto Dell, never owned a dell monitor but I'll give it a shot.
     
    #20 kysg, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  22. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    That monitor looks pretty good. I would still calibrate it after opening it (it's definitely an e-IPS variant with 6-bit sithering at this price point, so it may help tremendously to calibrate), but I think you've gotten pretty good value here. The Dell would be between $40-80 more, and it's only real advantages (without having detailed, objective reviews of both) are a better stand and potentially better out-of-the box calibration.
     
  23. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    Yea thanks for reminding me about the calibration, I know that is something I have to do.

    Speaking of that
    I swear I feel like something is wrong with this laptop monitor or maybe laptop monitors have horrible screens with the exceptions of macbooks. I felt like something was way off when I was checking gamma on my lcd monitor but it probably doesn't matter since I got the IPS on the way.
     
  24. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Well, good luck with the build and calibration, tell us how it goes!
     
  25. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Yes, your typical laptop has an absolutely horrendous screen. You should check out some reviews on the main site. The displays are shockingly bad, even a $200 Nexus 7 has a far better display than your typical laptop.
     
  26. kysg

    kysg Junior Member

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    man did I miss some crankin deals on RAM hopefully they have a special over the weekend.