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#1
Buddierdl

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Hi all,

 

I would like a little advice on this computer I'm building. This will be for my sister who is taking an online graphic design course at a university. We don't want to spend too much money yet, start small and add on if necessary.
 

She has CS6 student edition, and will mainly be using Illustrator and InDesign, and a little Photoshop. No gaming.

 

Parts will be purchased from local Microcenter.

 

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590S 3.0GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor -> stock cooler

 
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H LGA1150 mATX Intel Motherboard
 
RAM: Cheapest 2x4GB set at the store
 
VIDEO: No card for now, will stick with Intel HD graphics, with possible upgrade in future
 
HD: Will probably use a 1TB Western Digital for now. No SSD yet.
 
PSU: Corsair CS or RM series. Not sure if I should go for 550, 650, or 750 W? I want to provide for a possible video card in the future. Is the RM series worth the price increase over CS?
 
CASE: Will choose at store based on cooling and looks
 
Will run a copy of Windows 7 retail that I already own. 
 
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

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#2
ranchhand3

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You've done a good job choosing your components for a medium power setup. Just a couple of suggestions:

>Remember this is a Micro ATX mobo, so there will be limited physical room for expansion. For example, adding a video card later may take up the slot next to it as well room-wise, so bear that in mind.

 

RAM: Cheapest 2x4GB set at the store

Be very careful about this; what you save in money you may make up for in sweat and curses later with cheap memory. I am not suggesting you go out and buy the most expensive name-brand, but memory is the single most worked component besides the CPU. Even the hard drive spins down occasionally and rests.

>For what you are building and what it will be used for, 550 Watts is fine. Purchase higher if you can afford it. Most units are far over-powered now, and this unit will not be used for extreme functions. What I would be more concerned with is how many actual power cables are available for peripherals. I have seen power supplies with only four (4) power connectors. Two (2) I will use for the HD and DVD. Now, I want to add two internal hard drives and one extra DVD drive. Well, I can't because I only have 4 power cables, so I am forced to start adding splitters, etc.

WHY would I need 2 extra internal hard drives, someone asks? Because I have one for backup for all my project files so that it saves automatically to that drive every so many minutes (many graphics programs can be configured to do this), and I have Windows8 on the other drive because I want to learn it and there are features I like.

And why an extra DVD drive? Safety check. DVD drives have a bad habit of suddenly failing without warning. So....I am working on a project due tomorrow morning and my instructor does not accept late turn-ins. My DVD drive suddenly will not read my clipart and photo collection and I need 4 more to complete, and it is 11:30PM. So all I do is pop the CD out of the bad drive, and slam it into the other drive and continue on to finish my project.

 

Other suggestions:

>Compare your retail store prices with Newegg.com. Here are links to a couple of your component choices for price comparisons:

CPU:     http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116992&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&PageSize=10&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo 

MOBO: http://www.newegg.co...8-718-_-Product

CASE:   http://www.newegg.co...s/Category/ID-9

             http://www.newegg.co...N=-1&isNodeId=1

              BTW: Bang for the buck, I have found Rosewill and Apevia products are well made and reasonably priced. The only annoyance with Apevia is that they install the USB ports upside down. I don't know why.

Be sure to read the users' reviews, it can give you fore-warning if there are common problems with a certain component. You can use Newegg for this even if you don't decide to buy from them. Amazon is the same thing. Some of these may have free shipping (you will have to wait a few days but...free is good) and no tax, depending on where you live. Pretty hard to beat that. I have been using Newegg for years with not one problem. You usually have 30 days to decide if you don't want it. FYI.....call their toll-free number and speak to a rep if you have a legitimate problem (eg: a component tests bad), and they always waive any restocking fee and usually email you a prepaid shipping lable. I do it all the time. No, no, no, I don't work for Newegg. :D

If you are interested, Here is a link to a pinned post that I set up on building with the least amount of headaches.

WIsh you the best!


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#3
iammykyl

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Gday.

I think, that in a years time, you will regret not going for higher specs.   Graphic/photo/video processing is very dependent on

The CPU, fastest multi-core you can afford.   RAM, 16GB+, CPU native support.   HDD setup, Min of 2 to start, fast spinners perfectly OK, then depending on software, multiple drive configuration. 

i5-4590S 3.0GHz no Hyper threading,  $200.  i7-4790K 4.0GHz, $279.99 at Micro Centre.

the  i7-4790K/ASRock Z97 Extreme 4 Bundled deal is $364.98  http://www.microcent...or-bundles.aspx

 

I have not included a case, would recomend the GX700 http://www.newegg.co...00002-_-Product

 

Please consider the build, > http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MfNGhM


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#4
Buddierdl

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You've done a good job choosing your components for a medium power setup. Just a couple of suggestions:
>Remember this is a Micro ATX mobo, so there will be limited physical room for expansion. For example, adding a video card later may take up the slot next to it as well room-wise, so bear that in mind.


I don't foresee adding any cards except a video card, so I think µATX will be good.
 

RAM: Cheapest 2x4GB set at the store

Be very careful about this; what you save in money you may make up for in sweat and curses later with cheap memory. I am not suggesting you go out and buy the most expensive name-brand, but memory is the single most worked component besides the CPU. Even the hard drive spins down occasionally and rests.


Do you have any experience with DDR3 modules at higher speeds than 1600 MHz? Is there enough performance boost to justify the extra cost?
 

>For what you are building and what it will be used for, 550 Watts is fine. Purchase higher if you can afford it. Most units are far over-powered now, and this unit will not be used for extreme functions. What I would be more concerned with is how many actual power cables are available for peripherals. I have seen power supplies with only four (4) power connectors. Two (2) I will use for the HD and DVD. Now, I want to add two internal hard drives and one extra DVD drive. Well, I can't because I only have 4 power cables, so I am forced to start adding splitters, etc.


Any advice on a Corsair RM series over a Corsair CS?
 

Gday.
I think, that in a years time, you will regret not going for higher specs.   Graphic/photo/video processing is very dependent on
The CPU, fastest multi-core you can afford.   RAM, 16GB+, CPU native support.   HDD setup, Min of 2 to start, fast spinners perfectly OK, then depending on software, multiple drive configuration. 
i5-4590S 3.0GHz no Hyper threading,  $200.  i7-4790K 4.0GHz, $279.99 at Micro Centre.


I think you made a mistake, as the i5-4590S is $169.

I am trying to keep the price down for now. CPU could be upgraded later if necessary. Is hyper-threading really critical here? How about the i5-4690, which has HT? (We won't be doing any video editing on this machine.)

Thank you all for the helpful information.
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#5
ranchhand3

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Do you have any experience with DDR3 modules at higher speeds than 1600 MHz? Is there enough performance boost to justify the extra cost?

You will hear a huge amount of discussion about memory speed on gamers' forums, where these guys try to squeeze every extra iota out of every component in their boxes. I am trying to stay within your parameters of cost, which I appreciate is a very important factor, especially for a person in school. For what your sister needs, putting out extra cash for faster memory isn't going to make a discernible difference. If you are going to decide where to spend the extra money, go with a faster CPU if you can afford it. Iammykil's CPU suggestion above is a good one if you can afford it. BTW, do not go any lower on memory amount than what you have spec'd already, memory and graphics are married to each other. For example, once long ago I had Photoshop just shut down on me several times on a project when I activated the wand selection tool; couldn't figure out what was happening until I shut down CorelDraw and another program running. Then I shot through that part of my project with no problems. Photoshop just ran out of memory and crashed. Your sister may eventually have several programs open at the same time and with adequate memory she will be fine. If you can afford more, get it (or maybe later).

It was mentioned that video rendering was one of the possibilities. You said nothing about video work so I did not include it in my appraisal. If your sister is getting into video work, she will need something a lot faster than what we are discussing, as well as a serious card with CUDA. I was in to graphics big time at one of my jobs, and I worked for a pro AV company for 10 years, so I know what I am talking about.

If you want a smoking hot base-computer (minus monitor and peripheral goodies), give me $1800 and I will build you one that will make you the envy of the neighborhood. However, you don't need a Ferrari to go to the store and back.

 

Any advice on a Corsair RM series over a Corsair CS?

Your choice, depending on your budget. Again, I suggest Newegg, and read the users' reviews. If you can, try to find out how many SATA and power cables you are getting, but these manufacturers are long on adjectives and short on details. RM is the latest and greatest and a better warranty, so if it fits in the budget go for it. There is nothing wrong with the CS model, it will give you years of service.

I hope this helps.


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#6
iammykyl

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Sorry about that, Yes,  you are right, I gave the price from Neewegg, It is available at Macro Centre, pick up only, $169, > http://www.microcent...sktop_Processor

The i5 4590 does not have Hyper Threading, > http://ark.intel.com...-up-to-3_90-GHz

Photoshop/Illustrator will use Hyper Threading where it is faster than using a single thread, not sure about InDesign, other programs running will use threads not being used by the main programs.

 

I do understand trying to keep the costs down but upgrading the CPU later would mean a total spend of aprox $449.00. 

 

Tanchhand3

 

 

do not go any lower on memory amount than what you have spec'd already, memory and graphics are married to each other. 

Agreed, The HD 4600 shares the system memory.


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#7
ranchhand3

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Iammykil has a good point, and in addition to that, we all know how fast computer technology is evolving, so by the time you think about upgrading your CPU you may find that socket on the motherboard is no longer made, so CPUs for that socket are also no longer made.


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#8
Buddierdl

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Thank you all for the advice. I bought the parts yesterday and decided to go with the i7. I've always wanted to see an i7 run. :)
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#9
iammykyl

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That's good news.   At the speed you are going, hope not to late with some tips.

 

You will find it much easer to install the CPU/cooler and RAM outside the case, (put the MB on the empty box), then install in the case, taking care that the number and pattern of the stand-offs match exactly the screw holes in the MB, no extra ones.

If you are using 2 or more HDDs, ensure only the OS Boot drive is connected for software install, connect the other drive/s when finished.

 

Good luck. 


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#10
ranchhand3

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Congrats, Dude!  Did you use a retailer or online for parts?

Iammykyl's suggestion about installing the CPU before mounting the mobo is spot-on.  You might want to re-read my link in my first post about building and checking your components before installing in the box. Please post back when done and let us know how it went!  :spoton:


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#11
Buddierdl

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That's good news.   At the speed you are going, hope not to late with some tips.
 
You will find it much easer to install the CPU/cooler and RAM outside the case, (put the MB on the empty box), then install in the case, taking care that the number and pattern of the stand-offs match exactly the screw holes in the MB, no extra ones.
If you are using 2 or more HDDs, ensure only the OS Boot drive is connected for software install, connect the other drive/s when finished.
 
Good luck.

 
Have already put it together, but that is just what I did. I made the mistake before of installing the motherboard first (that was no fun trying to install the cpu cooler without bending the motherboard   :prop: ).
 

Congrats, Dude!  Did you use a retailer or online for parts?
Iammykyl's suggestion about installing the CPU before mounting the mobo is spot-on.  You might want to re-read my link in my first post about building and checking your components before installing in the box. Please post back when done and let us know how it went!  :spoton:


I bought them at my local Microcenter. The larger online retailers charge tax anyway, and I like the ease of returns if something goes wrong.

Just have to load up the OS now. She POSTs fine. :)
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#12
iammykyl

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Thanks for keeping us updated.   Always satisfying to see that successful POST, and a sigh of relief.

To help others who may read your topic, please give the final parts list and your feelings about the initial performance.

 

Thanks. 


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#13
Buddierdl

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Final parts:
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor -> stock cooler
  • MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H LGA1150 mATX Intel Motherboard
  • RAM: Crucial 2x4GB set
  • HD: 1 TB WD blue
  • PSU: Corsair CS650M
  • CASE: Thermaltake V3
  • OPTICAL: OEM DVD-RW
Just installing the OS now.

EDIT: I noticed in BIOS that I can set the RAM for the onboard graphics. It is currently set at 64MB and can go to 1GB. Should I increase it for better performance?
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#14
ranchhand3

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At this point I would leave it; you are running only 8Gig of memory (minimum for what you need) and that is being shared already by your integrated GPU. Your graphics programs are going to require large memory commitments. Unless you go into video editing or anything that has to do with video, the GPU is not going to come into mainstream play.

Your processor choice is a good one. :thumbsup:


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