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Old 11-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default Building my first PC - Your thoughts on components

Hi, I am glad to join the forums...
I am going to build my first computer and have been surfing the web learning and becoming familiar with whatI may want and what I may need. I don’t really have a budget but am trying tobe cost conscience and pick components that I can live with for a few years.The system needs to be upgradable too.

To start with, I current amusing an HP M8330F desktop pc. It has an AMD Phenom 9500 2.2ghz quad core and4gb of DDR2 RAM. It’s WIN7 OS resides on a 7200rpm 320GB HD. Internally, I havea1TB WD Caviar Black and a 750GB removable HP drive. Connected to my pc viaesata is a Mediasonic four bay enclosure that contains one 1TB WD Caviar Blackand two 2TB Samsung Spinpoint drives.

I use my pc for music storage,HDTV and HD movie storage. I convert some to formats recognized for iPads andiPads.

I also will be using the newpc to convert and store 15 years of analog video to a digital format.

I am not a gamer.

Here is what I am looking at purchasing. It is not set in stone except for the monitors which were a killer deal so I have already bought them – 99.98 each at Staples.

Monitors – dual 23” HP 2311x

Case – I know it is large but I like the roominess, cooling and how the hard drives easily install and lot of room for them. I figured that for the future, it would be good to have USB3.0 too.


SSD – I want to run my OS from an SSD but I do not have a specific drive in mind. I want it big enough to hold MS Office and a few other programs. They are expensive but I don’t think a64GB would be big enough – your thought and suggestions and why??

Power Supply


Memory Card Reader

RAM – Is any more than 8MB overkill? Wouldn’t be much more to double this.

CD/DVD Drive

Video Card – would like a reasonably(as far under $200 as I can) priced card with two DVI out. Suggestions please and why???

Again, I am not currently a gamer but plan more on photo and video editing/encoding.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Old 11-14-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Building my first PC - Your thoughts on components

The cases you picked are fine cases, just pick one and go for it.

As for the SSD, 64GB SSDs are indeed big enough for the basics, but that really will be about it. I have a 120GB in my laptop and I'm using about 91.2 GB, but I have a couple of games installed as well.

Since you're not a gamer, and you are doing multimedia encodes, I'd like to offer a counterpoint to your choices on the CPU and motherboard.

Go AMD for the system. Why? AMD chips are, believe it or not, very fast for media transcodes, especially if you do x.264 encoding. And to be honest, if you have 15 years of video to encode, you'll never notice the difference, but your pocketbook might.

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

The other reason I'm suggesting this, is that the integrated video that comes with that motherboard doesn't suck, and you can pocket the $200 and put that toward more storage or a better capture device(s). You don't need a high end video card for the type of work you'll be doing. We use a very similar setup at work with integrated video, it does a fine job.

Everything else looks fine, so those are my only recommendations.

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Building my first PC - Your thoughts on components

I will focus on a 120GB SSD then.

The motherboard suggestion has only one DVI out. How do I run both HP 2311x monitors?
Also,do I need to count how many things need to be plugged in so I can see if the mobo has enough plugins?
I will have up to five internal HDs plus one SSD, a media card reader, dvd drive, and all the ports on the case (esata,UBS 2.0 and 3.0) plus all the internal fans to plug in.

Sorry to be a pain... and thanks for your thoughts on the the video. If a card really won't help me, I won't purchase one.

The integrated video will be good enough? My toshiba laptop has dual 4200/5650 Video.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Building my first PC - Your thoughts on components

You're better off getting a NAS device if you want to have that kind of data storage. Not to mention, you also have to keep the drives cool, and if you want to run them in a RAID setup, it can be messy with integrated controllers.

One DVI output on a motherboard isn't a concern. You can run a DVI and Analog from the board just fine, just use a converter cable if necessary for one of the monitors. At the resolution the HP 2311x's run, it's not a big deal.
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