Build Advice Please


Limp Gawd
Sep 21, 2007
The PC that I built 3 years ago seems to be giving me problems so I have decided to build a new system.

My current system consists of:

Intel i5-750
G.Skill 8G Mem
Galaxy Factory overclocked GTX 480 1.5GB
1080p LG 32LD450 TV Monitor
SD for OS
Couple of HD for steam and pics/video storage

I will be using my new build for Gaming/Photo Editing and some video editing. I am not a professional photographer/videographer. Just looking for good performance for home use. However I do own a Nikon D800E and with its 36MP, it does slow down Lightroom.

I am also planning to use the 1080p LG monitor for now until Dell has the bugs resolved on its new 30 inch monitor. So until then I plan on using my GTX 480 which seems to do fine on the 1080p resolution. Once I upgrade to higher resolution on the dell, I can upgrade the Vdieo card as well.

so basically I am looking for a system which I can use right now but also one which is upgrade ready for the new Dell 20 inch monitor and a high end graphics card at a later date.

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Gaming/Photoediting/some video editing and Web browsing

2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
Budget is somewhat flexible. But lets start off with about $600-1000 range. I do no want to spend more if I do not have to.

3) Which country do you live in? If the U.S, please tell us the state and city if possible.
Boston, MA

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. The word "Everything" is not a valid answer. Please list out all the parts you'll need.
CPU, CPU Cooler, MB, Memory, SSD, HDD, PSU, Case

5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
I plan on resuing the 1080p 32 inch TV monitor and the GPU GTX 480 factory overclocked for now. As I said, I will be upgrading these two parts once Dell has the bugs sorted out on its new 30 inch monitor. I was also considering resuing my XFX Black Edition 750 watt PSU which is a very good quality PSU, but I have been using it for about 3 years now. Perhaps not advisable?

Monitor -

6) Will you be overclocking?

7) What is the max resolution of your monitor? What size is it?
1080p 32 inch LG TV/monitor. Will use it for now but later upgrade to a higher res monitor.

8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Asap? Within the next month or two at the very least? Unless I there is a high incentive in waiting because of a new release?

9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? USB 3.0? SATA 6Gb/s? eSATA? Onboard video (as a backup or main GPU)? UEFI? etc.
USB 3.0, STA 6Gb/s for sure. eSATA and SLi support would be nice but not necessary.

10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit?
Yes I do. I have a legit Win 7 64 bit software/key.
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Limp Gawd
Sep 21, 2007
I guess I should also add:

Should I get a Haswell CPU or an Ivy Bridge? I guess the price difference is not that much but is it going to better for my tasks (gaming, photo or video editing)?

I am thinking of using the following SSD/HDD setup:

128GB Samsung Pro SSD: OS only
512GB Samsung Pro SSD: Steam games and Lightroom and Video Editing software
2TB HDD: Photo and Video Storage

The above setup will definitely bump my budget up but if it speeds up my work then I will willing to spend on it.


[H]F Junkie
Jan 8, 2004
Head to Micro Center for the following:

$340 - Intel Core i7-4770K and MSI Z87-G41 combo
$30 - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (optional, recommended if you want to overclock)
$110 - Crucial Ballistix Sport 2x8GB DDR3 1600 (possible $20 discount when purchased with i7-4770K, call store beforehand)
$240 - Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (primary/OS drive)
$469 - Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD (Lightroom/Programs)
$95 - Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 2TB HDD
$16 - LG GH24NS95 SATA DVD burner (optional)
$90 - Antec HCG-750 750W PSU
$60 - Corsair 200R
$1004 - Total (including tax) of everything except HSF, ODD, and 512GB SSD
$1053 - Total (including tax) of everything except 512GB SSD

Micro Center has an in-store special on the i7-4770K and the i5-4670K paired with any Socket 1150 board. I picked the i7-4770K due to your mention of video editing, but if you're not using commercial software like Adobe Premiere Pro, you could get by with the cheaper i7-4670K. (Oh, and there's no reason why you shouldn't go with Haswell as it's faster clock-for-clock than Ivy Bridge.)

I like your idea of using two SSDs to separate the OS from the other programs. However, if you can afford to, I recommend going with the 256GB version of the Samsung 840 Pro for your primary drive as it's faster than the 128GB version. The 512GB version is the fastest in the series, but all SSDs (like HDDs) suffer from performance slowdown the closer they get to full capacity. The 512GB version isn't available in Micro Center, so you have to order it online.

I personally believe that it's better to get a new power supply when you're building a new system. But I don't know enough about your current PSU to say whether or not it needs to be replaced.

I also added a CPU cooler and a DVD burner as optional items for this build. With the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, you could overclock right away (or whenever you change your mind on the subject). I don't know whether or not you had an optical drive to reuse, but they're so cheap nowadays it may be easier to get a new one.
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