PC Build Help? Selecting the right CPU/GPU combination

  • Deleted user 3 September 2012 13:34:20
    Hey all

    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

    ..for 234


    CPU - i5 3570, 3.4mhz
    Mobo - Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
    RAM - 8gb Corsair DDR3 1600mhz

    ..for 312

    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
  • dsmx 3 Sep 2012 13:40:55 8,242 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.
  • grey_matters 4 Sep 2012 08:48:55 4,376 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
  • Dirtbox 4 Sep 2012 08:53:22 90,318 posts
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  • Deleted user 4 September 2012 09:48:02

    Thanks for the reply on this, as Jim has said you only overclock the K series chips but I'm not sure if the relative improvements would be worth it for the extra 80. It's a shame there doesn't seem to be an easy way to tell.
  • Deleted user 4 September 2012 09:49:59

    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.
  • superdelphinus 4 Sep 2012 10:07:04 9,792 posts
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    The sapphire 7850 oc 2gb is 160 odd on amazon at the moment if you can stretch a bit
  • Dirtbox 4 Sep 2012 10:12:30 90,318 posts
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  • Deleted user 4 September 2012 10:25:35

    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
  • Deleted user 4 September 2012 10:36:05

    Thanks, I supposed the next question for you is.. would that be anywhere needed for my needs?
  • superdelphinus 4 Sep 2012 10:48:20 9,792 posts
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    @Dirtbox a lot faster than what?
  • Dirtbox 4 Sep 2012 13:50:05 90,318 posts
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  • Dirtbox 4 Sep 2012 13:52:22 90,318 posts
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  • FanBoysSuck 4 Sep 2012 14:09:27 1,640 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
  • Deleted user 5 September 2012 15:14:12
    @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
  • superdelphinus 5 Sep 2012 16:44:02 9,792 posts
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    @Dirtbox really? Every direct benchmark I've seen between the 7850 oc one and the 560, puts 7850 ahead in every single test, bar a couple where they are identical
  • munki83 30 Sep 2012 18:59:11 1,847 posts
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    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 ?
  • Fake_Blood 30 Sep 2012 19:24:48 8,538 posts
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    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.
  • munki83 30 Sep 2012 20:09:58 1,847 posts
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    ....becasue I want a new shiny system lol. I may just leave it another 6 months or so
  • Fake_Blood 30 Sep 2012 20:56:10 8,538 posts
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    You got an SSD yet?
    It's the most efficient speed boost that you can buy right now.
  • munki83 30 Sep 2012 22:01:04 1,847 posts
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    Yup got a ssd its awesome :D. 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 4 Oct 2012 13:15:52 8,980 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

    Included Peripherals:

    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
  • Deleted user 4 October 2012 13:23:14
    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.
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