Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Desktop for Movies and Some Gaming


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 zerch

zerch

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:00 PM

Posted 27 November 2009 - 02:07 PM

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here at Bleeping, but I have been poking around the forums to see other people's builds and found very great advice from the peers here.

Likewise, I would like to build a desktop computer and would like some advice. I do some photo and video editing (with Photoshop Elements and Premiere). I also rent a lot of movies to watch. My current desktop isn't able to watch the ever so popular Blu-Ray format, so I would generally like to build a computer that can let me experience Blu-Ray. I also do some gaming and the recommended specs usually aren't more extreme than:

* Microsoft Windows® XP SP2/ Vista
* Dual Core CPU 2.0GHz or equivalent
* 2GB RAM
* NVIDIA® 6800 with 256MB RAM / ATI® Radeon® x800 with 256MB or higher
* DirectX® 9.0c (6/2008 update)


My budget is around $500 -$600, I know gaming builds can run up to $800, but I am just a seasonal gamer during summer breaks, so I just want to know what options I have for what I can shell out. I will practically be starting from scratch, since not even my monitor is HDCP compliant for the Blu-Ray. I guess the only thing I have that I can transfer over is a wireless PCI card. Lol.

I won't be building anything until next year, so I will take down any suggestions and pray that this weekend of Black Friday or next year would have something comparable.

Thank you. I hope I won't take too much out of your time. Happy Thanksgiving shopping!

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 DJBPace07

DJBPace07

  • BC Advisor
  • 4,869 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:01:00 PM

Posted 27 November 2009 - 05:40 PM

$600 for a PC that can play Blu-Ray and get a monitor that is HDCP compatible along with power to do video editing is most likely not going to happen. For instance, a good monitor will be $150 or so, the Blu-Ray drive can be $60 to $150, the operating system will be $100, the CPU another $100, RAM about $70-ish, and the case about $50. This is before the video card, motherboard, and power supply. Since you're not going to be building this thing for a while, specific suggestions are pretty much a waste, though with some parts it can be helpful.

Monitor: To get the full 1080p of Blu-Ray, you need a monitor capable of xxxx x 1080 resolution, like the SAMSUNG 2494SW Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor. I also suggest using HDMI or DVI. Know that HDMI can transmit audio but few monitors have good speakers.

CPU: This is a cheap (price wise) build so you will be going with AMD. Given what you're going to be doing, any of AMD's Phenom II X2 line would work, though I suggest getting one that has a clock speed 2.8GHz. or higher, like the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz.

RAM: Prices change all the time for DDR3 RAM, but good brands are OCZ, Kingston, Patriot, Crucial, and Corsair. You will want a 4GB kit.

Power Supply: I would say a 550W PSU like the CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W is a good choice. Other brands to consider include OCZ, Silverstone, and PC Power.

Case: This depends on what you want, I would go for a mid tower case. Aluminum cases are best, in my opinion, with steel cases coming in next.

Hard Drive: There are plenty of choices here, any Western Digital hard drive would do well.

Optical Drive: Since you want Blu-Ray, you can either get a BD-ROM drive that only reads Blu-Rays, and then purchase a standard DVD burner to burn DVD's. Or, you can buy a Blu-Ray burner that can read and burn both Blu-Ray's (The 40GB discs are useful for backups) and standard DVD's and CD's.

Video Card: Not much is needed here, you could go for a Radeon 5750 or with one of the older Radeon 4-series cards.

Motherboard: You're not much of a gamer, so a standard ATX motherboard that can handle AM3 CPU's is all you need. I do suggest the 770-series chipset since it is inexpensive, but if you want on-board graphics, the 785G series is a nice alternative. Good brands include, Asus, ASRock, XFX, eVGA, and Gigabyte.

Operating System: This won't change, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. You need a 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of RAM. Also, I don't believe Windows 7 comes with Blu-Ray movie software included, so you may need to buy that if it isn't included with the drive.

3939.png

 


#3 zerch

zerch
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:00 PM

Posted 27 November 2009 - 11:07 PM

Thank you very much for your suggestions, DJB.

I've never touched an AMD system before, so it was very helpful that you listed which graphics card I should go for and what matching processor I should try. Believe it or not, keeping it general was a lot more helpful to me especially because you explained your choices so I don't have to sit there and ponder why I can't choose X over Y.

I'm mainly bargain hunting now that it is Thanksgiving weekend. Newegg currently has a monitor sale, so among the sea of monitors, I found a few HDMI LCD monitors. But I was wondering, if I buy a monitor now, but don't have a system built for the HDMI yet, could I still turn the monitor on by connecting it to my computer via VGA and power adapter only? It's important for me to make sure the monitor isn't damaged or missing pixels, but if the only way to turn it on is by connecting it to HDMI and/or other variants, I guess it's best to wait till I actually start building to buy a monitor.

If it helps, the monitor I am looking at is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16824009179

Thanks again!

#4 DJBPace07

DJBPace07

  • BC Advisor
  • 4,869 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:01:00 PM

Posted 28 November 2009 - 12:36 AM

I stay away from Acer monitors, I figure, their PC's aren't so good so their monitors shouldn't be either. I like Asus monitors myself, the ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI is a great monitor with a fast refresh rate, perfect for fast action. AMD systems aren't any different from Intel, both need their own compatible motherboards and a CPU. AMD usually costs less with Intel leading with performance or newer technologies. There are exceptions, such as with x64, but that is usually how things work with CPU's. You can test drive a monitor by connecting it via VGA, just to see if there are any stuck or dead pixels. You, obviously, don't want to use VGA if you're going to be doing high def or want to use the higher resolutions.

3939.png

 


#5 zerch

zerch
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:00 PM

Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:18 PM

DJB,
Okay, I dropped that from my list. It seems I'll have to go to Best Buy or Circuit City to see the quality of monitors before I go online and buy them.

So far this is what I have ordered.
Motherboard: Gigabyte 770G motherboard
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit

The rest I'll have to hunt down.

I'm a bit confused about the video card. I'm used to seeing $100+ graphics cards that it seems almost unreal that I would find one for $40. Then again, I realize that a lot of the graphics cards out there are made for extreme gamers. Could someone give me an opinion of the video card I ordered -- it says it is low profile - is there anything about low profile cards that I'm not aware of? Do you think this $40 card is enough for blu-ray viewing purposes and for low end

I also ordered the 600W PSU. I'm probably never going to use that much power, but hey, it was on sale :thumbsup:

#6 DJBPace07

DJBPace07

  • BC Advisor
  • 4,869 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:01:00 PM

Posted 01 December 2009 - 03:00 PM

Low profile cards are meant for SFF (Small Form Factor) PC's, those with tiny cases. The 4350 is very low end, but if you're not gaming it will do. The 4350 is slow with a small memory bus, so there is little performance there to be had. A better performing card in the sub-$100 range is the HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB. If you want a single-slotted version of that card, the XFX HD-467X-DDF2 Radeon HD 4670 1GB can be used, though it is a bit hotter.

3939.png

 


#7 zerch

zerch
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:00 PM

Posted 11 December 2009 - 11:37 PM

Hey DJB,

Hope everything's going well for you. I just have a very quick question. I have gotten the rest of the pieces to assemble my system (except for a blu-ray drive and a HD monitor). I plan on using my old computer's IDE DVD writer/reader and a new SATA hard drive to install the operating system.

Would this IDE-SATA combination work? Is it okay to leave the jumper on Master on the IDE drive?

Another question -- my Antec Two Hundred case gives me two Front Panel audio: Hi Def and AC'97. Is it really an "option' which I plug in to the motherboard or is there something I need to look into?

Thanks again!
Best wishes

#8 DJBPace07

DJBPace07

  • BC Advisor
  • 4,869 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:01:00 PM

Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:27 PM

You can use IDE and SATA, though IDE is slower. Note that the Blu-Ray drive is SATA. I haven't used IDE in years, but since you're using the hard drive with SATA, you shouldn't have to worry about jumpers. The front panel audio is a feature, it keeps you from having to plug things into the back of the PC. If your main speakers are plugged into the back anyway, then it really isn't much of an issue. If you use headphones and your speakers don't have headphone jacks, then the front audio panel may be useful. You have to plug in a cable from the motherboard to the case to get it to work. There should be instructions in the motherboard manual.

3939.png

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users