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Old July 27, 2011, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11
Default Budget Performance PC (Audio,Video and Gaming)

So this is my first time posting and I was wondering if anyone could answer a few of my questions.

Basically I started building a computer this summer for audio recording, video editing and some gaming. The main purpose is to record synthesizer tracks and some live audio as well and then mix it and such.I'll probably be using Fruity Loops, Audacity and Reason. I also might use this computer for converting some old videos into a more up to date format. Finally I figured that, while I am at it, I might as well make it capable for gaming.

In terms of overclocking I would like the ability to but I probably wouldn't do it until later down the road. My budget is under $1000 but I figured I'd probably be paying about $800. No brand preferences really except for the fact the my mother board and video card are spoken for as intel and nvidia respectively. Finally all of my components will be purchased in Canada

So far I have been playing it safe but only buying stuff when it come into a good price range. So far I have a few things that I purchased although I'm confused about what I should purchase.

Purchased Components:

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE
Buy the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE 1GB GDDR5 PCIe at TigerDirect.ca
Purchased for around $90 +tax with some instant saving and mail in rebates

ECS Black Deluxe P67H2-A2 SLI (B3)
Newegg.ca - ECS Black Deluxe P67H2-A2 SLI (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Purchased for around $100 +tax with instant savings and mail in rebates again

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
Newegg.ca - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL
Purchased for around $50

Yet to Purchase Components:

Hard Drive
I was looking at buying something at around 7200RPM and 6Gb/s SATA at a price range of under $100.
I noticed Hitachi Desktar drive came up with more features than western digital or seagate for a cheaper price. Although I'm not sure if Hitachi has the most reliable hard drive. Is there anything specific I should be looking for in a hard drive with my current setup? Also does anybody have any review of Hitachi to share or is it worth paying more for WD or Seagate?

Power Supply
This is my most troublesome area as I have the least experience in dealing with PSUs. On newegg.ca I noticed that there were a lot of brand names for PSUs and I couldn't tell which one to trust. With some searching I found out the RAIDMAX wasn't well trusted but other than that I don't know much else. Some names I keep seeing are OCZ, Corsair, Kingwin, Thermaltake etc. Can anybody provide some insight as to which of these manufacturers provide reliable PSUs.

In addition to determining a good manufacturer I am also curious as to what wattage of PSU is necessary for my system. Right now I have been looking at 700-800W power supplies because my graphics card and mother board seem to need a considerable amount of power. Also I am wondering whether a modular power supply is a good choice and how much of a difference does dual +12V make.

Specifically for the +12V rail thing I noticed this PSU had a lot of good feature and a cheap prices and was wondering if the single +12V is a bad thing. Buy the Thermaltake XT 775 Watt 80+ Bronze Modular PSU at TigerDirect.ca

For the case I don't need too much assistance because I'll probably pick it up in store but if you have any suggestions for a case under $75 let me know.

The processor is another area which I am having a lot of trouble deciding on. My two options are the i5-2500K and the i7-2600K. Basically my wallet tells me to buy the i5 because it is $100 cheaper and the only difference is hyper threading and MHz. However I am still drawn to the i7 because a lot of people say that hyper threading increases performance considerably when doing video editing and audio editing. Essentially my question is how much does hyper threading matter, more specifically for my purposes?

Finally I was wondering if anybody had recommendations on a monitor. I was thinking something fairly big so that it might also double as a TV. Is it better to buy a large monitor (27') or small TV (33')?


So basically that's my situation as of now and if anybody could provide some assistance it would be much appreciated. Feel free to tell me what's what :P

P.S. Take in account I'm on a little bit of a budget so I probably won't buy the most expensive components unless it is completely worth it.

Last edited by sstrucel; July 27, 2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Forgot some details
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Old July 27, 2011, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: mtl
Posts: 12,691

for a mechanical drive stick to wd. greens for storage,blacks for os. or a small ssd for os.

the i7 will kill the non hyperthreaded one if it is fully utilised by your software apps.

stick to a regular pc lcd, 24 or larger. which one? your wallet will decide :)

what power supply and case will you be using?

if you havent gotten them yet, look at the haf 912 and perhaps a nice seasonic or corsair? :)

500 watts and up.

ps no single rail is good, i guess to a certain point :)

ps2 dozer is some month or so away soo..

ps3 welcome a broad
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Old July 27, 2011, 03:14 PM
MARSTG's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,100

My System Specs


Hyperthreading does not help that much for video transcoding as the real cores, it will give you around 20% more boost than without HT, but the Core i5-2500K in 4 cores does the job in the same amount of time as the phenom II X6 with 6 cores. PSU : Corsair and XFX Core series are both manufactured by Seasonic so both very dependable, a very good option, or take something at least 80 plus bronze and single rail design. For case I would prefer a something that has the HDD cages oriented at 90 degrees to face the lateral panel of the case, not to impend with the 6pin connectors of the videocards : there are still a lot of manufacturers of videocards that put the connectors in the back instead of on the side which makes installation of cards to be a PITA, especially if they are the long version, 10.5" inches long, like the GTS 250 for example. Small TV for display.

Last edited by MARSTG; July 27, 2011 at 04:17 PM. Reason: clarifying
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Old July 27, 2011, 03:46 PM
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I think offhand that you'll get a more then 20% increase in performance with hyperthreading, especially with something repetitive such as video encoding. never mind that you and overclock the hell out of them anyways and beat the X6 more then likely. ( 2600k > x6 > 2500k ?) I'd hit up an X6 over a 2500k for rendering purposes. ( I think )

I'd highly recommend a small easy overclock if you're rendering video though, it'll definitely reduce rendering times.
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Old July 29, 2011, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11

Thanks for the input but I would like to clarify a few things that I think you guys said. Let me know if these are correct

1. Single +12V rail PSUs are just as good

2. Hitachi is not trustworthy in terms of hard drive and I should buy from Western Digital

3. Hyper threading is about a 20% increase on average and more when encoding video.
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Old July 29, 2011, 06:18 AM
PerryC's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Burton, NB
Posts: 722

My System Specs


For PSU look at XFX, Corsair, or Seasonic. Seasonic is the OEM for most of XFX and Corsair anyways. A single rail, one with a decent rating is more than sufficient for what you are looking for. Something in the 500w to 650w range wouldn't break the bank, and give you room to expand later. Maybe look at something modular to cut down on case clutter.

I personally prefer Western Digital hard drives, only because I have never had one fail, not that I have a lot of experience compared to some people on thses forums. One of my sons killed his laptop hard drive, by dropping the laptop on the floor...nothing the OEM can do about that (I think it was a Seagate). Now having said that I don't think there is a huge difference between OEM other than people's personal choice.

As dangtx said go with the HAF 912, plenty of room for you to work with. I am really happy with mine.
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Old August 2, 2011, 01:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16

The HAF 912 is a great case and has room for whatever you want to do. Plus it's like $60.

For a PSU i'm a fan of Corsair's builder series (CX) and Gamer Series (GS). More than 650 watts on an 80plus PSU will be seriously inefficient and you'll be throwing money away. Multi +12v rails are for redundancy. Corsair makes high quality units. Heck, just look at the reviews at Hardware Canucks on them :)

Get a Corsair H60 cooler. Even if you never OC your rig it'll make things much quieter. And if you do OC the CPU you will have the best bang for your buck cooler.

Go with the i5 unless you plan on video editting while listening to MP3's and having your anti-virus run a continuous scan.. then go with the over kill i7

Always go with Monitor over TV. Nothing a Monitor can't do that a TV can... unless you use rabbit ears for TV... But who doesn't have Digital Cable or Satellite these days?

HDD wise. sorry... never had a problem with one in 15 years... be it WD, Seagate or Hitatchi.
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Old August 2, 2011, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16

P.S. Your system really only needs a 400watt PSU... granted you'll be taxing it something fierce. The 775watt Thermaltake is just to much for your needs. You'll end up paying for the thing twice over in 4 years with the wasted electricity. 600-650watts is your target.

Just make sure your PSU has active PFC..not passive. Has enough PCI-E connections for your card (2), is 80+ certified and the TOTAL Amps across all +12v rails is 24A or more.

Last edited by czarnianq; August 2, 2011 at 01:42 AM.
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Old August 2, 2011, 03:49 AM
Top Prospect
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Windsor, ON
Posts: 244

You could get the Intel Xeon E3-1235, it's a server based LGA1155 quad core cpu with HT & graphics

NCIX.com - Canada's Premier Computer Store - Online PC Discount Store, Buy Computer Accessories

It's approx $22 more than the i5-2500K on ncix, worth it imo for the HT

Good luck with your build and enjoy the new machine
"What are you practicing to hold in your mouth? " Sagath
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Old August 2, 2011, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 11

Thanks again for your help guys. So what I'm hearing from you guys is that for my system a 600watt power supply would be best and anything more would be wasting electricity.

One thing I was thinking I might do down the line was buy another clone of my graphics card and hook them up in SLI, that is why I initially chose a bigger power supply. Therefore, another question I have is whether the PSU uses the wattage that is assigned to it 700W 650W or does it just use what it needs? Also how inefficient is a PSU when it is only sourcing components under the rated wattage?

In relation to those questions, would it be better to buy a bigger power supply now to be ready for SLI or start with a smaller one and buy a new one if I plan to upgrade to SLI?
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budget , build , hard drive , power supply

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