I've finally allowed myself some budget to upgrade a PC for work purposes but I am so far out of the hardware game (about 3+ years now) that I don't even know where to begin in terms of what's good, bad or just plain silly so I am turning to the hive mind for some input.
In terms of what I have already:
Hard drives of various capacities that I'll turn into RAID 1 arrays
PSU (but I may upgrade if "the power isnae enuf cap'n")
What I'm after are new:
Motherboard (needs to be rock solid, with expansion potential - prepared to spend over the odds on this as a result)
RAM (8 - 16Gb ish)
Graphics (sufficient to run 4 monitors) preferably ATI as I'm used to it.
SSD drive (120 - 250gb) to minimise boot and maximise workflow (Any useful resources on organising/installing such a setup?)
...and as for specification/job-role I'm primarily after an office machine that capable of running Sony Vegas for video editing/rendition, Windows 7 64-bit, Office and general development software like Netbeans.
I get naff all time for games or similar so expenditure to allow cutting edge is pointless but I would like to make use of the GPU's to help with video rendition and multi-monitor so reasonably good graphics to handle that is a consideration.
The usual of plenty of USB and other ports, External SATA would be useful... Oh and it needs to be as quiet as possible without costing the earth to do so. The case is a good one in that respect.
Overall I want excellent motherboard, reasonable CPU, reasonable GPU and good RAM without needing to go overboard.
Budget overall is £600 max, but if I could keep it to around £400 then all the better.
This is what happens when you turn yourself over completely to the joy of inkjet printers but I hope you'll take pity on a lapsed tech and help with some suggestions. Thanks in advance..
Last edited by contink; 1st February 2014 at 02:54 PM.
Just built myself a machine so have been reading up, I went for a Q87 chipset MB as it is the business line, supports vPro, VT-d and stable image platform meaning it is rated for constant use for 5 years, 16gb of Kingston ram with heat syncs to extend their stable life, a nice passive psu for no fan noise and an i5 4570 as it was a good price point. Currently just using integrated 4600 gpu which has accelerated video transcoding and can do three monitors. Vpro means you can control it, see the screen, mount a DVD all over the network without an os in there.
I would go for a 4570s now just for the lower tdp so I could run a small completely passive CPU cooler to quiet it further and burn even less power.
Someone else will need to come in with gpu and ssd advice as NZ pricing already put me over $1200 just for that lot with a decent case so I stopped there for now.
GPU wise, the R7 250 is a nice balance between budget, performance, noise and power consumption. Not a gaming card, but should have enough horsepower for GPU accelerated applications. They're around £60.
RAM - 16GB is still pricey. Might be best to make sure your mobo has 4 slots (most Z87 and Q87 should) and buy 8GB, 8GB later when you need it. I suspect with the tasks you'll be doing that 16GB could be used up now, so spec fast RAM (don't go sticking 1333MHz RAM in a fast new build) with the lowest latencies at 1.5v. Synack's recommendation on the i5 is spot on.
An aftermarket cooler would be a good plan if quiet is desired. Decent models start at around £15.
SSD - Samsung 840 Pro or Evo, in a capacity that fits your budget. You won't go far wrong there.
Been looking at options and liking what I see so far... The budget is getting stretched a little due to the SSD but would be interested in your thoughts on the CPU cooler. Any recommendations on which to go with for reliability and low noise given the Q87 recommendation and CPU are as suggested?
save a few quid, Standard Intel cooler is more than adequate... had my i7 4770 doing some GPU mining for a few days to burn in, heat and noise wasn't an issue...
infact a cut down version of my esxi rig would suit you...
£194 i7 4770
£100 16GB (8GB x2)corsair DDr3
£95 ASROCK/Z87M/EXTREME4 (4 memory slots, 3x x16 PCIe slots)
£120 Samsung 240evo
Windows Experience was CPU 8.1, MEM 8.1, Desktop GFX 5.9, Gaming GFX 6.6 (CPU intelGFX) Disk 8.1 - when I added the 7750 the machine was fully built so couldn't install win 8 locally any more.
As for GFX? someone else would suggest something better than I could.... but for a ton there's quite a bit of video grunt to be had
my gear all went into an HTPC case and under full load stress testing including GPU (ATI 7750) LSi 2008 SAS card, 4x 3TB disks, 3 SSD's, managed NIC the loudest bit was the hard drives.
Heat issues were GFX, Raid card, hard drives, cpu - in that order
Last edited by mattpayne; 6th February 2014 at 11:30 PM.