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Purchase Template - Desktop - No Gaming - $850 max - lots of details


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#1 kwest12

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:59 PM

I'm sorry for the mega-post being my first post here; I haven't been concerned with my PC for a while, so I have just started looking around at PC forums.  This one seems great, and I have to start somewhere, right?  I appreciate any help that you guys can give me. Thanks!

 

General Info about me for context:

I’ve been around PCs for years, but I’ve not bought a computer (laptop or desktop) in 10 years.  I’ve done some reading, but I don’t have anything past general knowledge - “the current Intel processors are Haswell and the currently popular ports are USB 2, USB 3, Thunderbolt and HDMI”.

 

Approximate Purchase Date:   Next few months

 

Budget Range:

Up to $800, all said and done.  If my budget isn’t sufficient for my needs, please tell me: I’d rather save up for 6 months and get what I need than buy something I’m going to regret.

 

Parts to Upgrade:   All

 

Would you consider computers that are refurbished/redistributed?   Yes, if it’s worth it and advisable.

 

Do you need to buy OS:    Yes  -  I assume I should be getting Windows 8, right?

 

Do you play games? If so, what type of games? 

I do not game. I may hook up a Wii to the monitor now and then.  Probably not too often, though.

 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 

  • Downloading / Uploading – I’ll be leaving my computer on almost all of the time to download and upload torrents.  Most common file sizes are 350 MB up to 3 GB  (vast majority are between 350 MB  and  1 GB).  Occasionally I’ll grab smaller stuff or much larger stuff (up to 30 GB in size – that’s quite rare though and it’d probably be a series of 1 GB files).
  • Browsing - Daily multi-tab web browsing (social media, email, reading news and blogs, participating in forums, etc). 
  • File transfer / streaming – I’d like to frequently move files (or sync info) between my desktop, laptop and Android phone.  The ability to stream media between devices would be great.
  • Productivity – Calendar management. Word processing.  Excel spreadsheet work.  This will be relatively infrequent.

 

What software do you intend on using on the computer?

  • utTorrent
  • vlc media player – I don’t see any reason to install anything else, unless a different one would allow sharing or streaming between devices more easily
  • a music player – need to research these to find one that will provide everything I need without being too over-the-top
  • Browsers – chrome and firefox 
  • File transfer and streaming software – need to research
  • Microsoft office – Word, Excel, maybe Outlook, maybe PowerPoint
  • Image editor with basic features, but better than MS Paint – need to research
  • Anti-virus / Anti-Malware – need to research
  • Possibly firewall software – need to research
  • Android modding software like rsdlite and a light version of the sdk (rooting and flashing is all I really do – I just follow tutorials)
  • Possibly apps that bring news, weather, music, etc to my desktop
  • Ripping, encoding and burning software – I hardly use this stuff, so I may not even install this stuff

 

Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it? I leave a lot of programs running simultaneously.

I’ll have multiple browser windows open with multiple tabs in each.  I’ll have widgets going on the desktop.  I’ll have music playing while I browse or work.  I’ll have uTorrent running almost constantly (and probably uploading or downloading).  I’ll also have a program going that will let me remote in.

 

How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

I need lot’s of space to store downloaded movies, shows and music; 1 through 4 terabytes is probably appropriate.  I’ve read that a non-SSD harddrive will usually cause a bit of lag and bottleneck the system from being 100% snappy.  I’m wondering if it would be easy to run the OS and apps off an SSD and then have a regular, large capacity HD for files.  If this would provide smooth, snappy performance, I’d probably be interested in that.

 

Are you buying a monitor: Yes -

I need it to look great while playing video (see above) – I’ll usually be sitting back anywhere from 5 to 20 feet to watch video.  I’d also like to be able to use the computer for regular browsing while sitting up to 5 or maybe even 10 feet away (that’s not as big of a deal, though).  Viewing angle can’t be horrible – I’ll need to accommodate viewing angles of up to about 45% (thought that would probably be a rare case). 

 

Your Monitor Resolution:

Whatever is considered a good value for the price.  I just need it to meet my need as described.  I am thinking I’d probably want something 26” or bigger.  I’m not sure how quickly price rises and quality falls and the size goes up, so again, I’m open to recommendations here.

 

Other important factors:

  • Energy efficiency (if possible without sacrificing my other needs) – as noted, I’ll have this computer on all the time (the screen will only be on 1 to 4 hours a day)
  • Snappy performance – I haaaaate lag.  When I click or enter a command, I want the computer to do what I want quickly, without any stutter.

Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

Blu-ray and DVD player is desired.  Burning capability is nice, but not imperative.

 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:  Doesn’t matter

 

Parts Preferences:   No preference as long as they meet my expectations

 

Overclocking:  I doubt I’d need to, right?

 

Location:   Western NY,  USA

 

SLI or Crossfire:

I’m honestly not even sure what this is.  I guess, just let me know if you think it’d be important for me.

 

Additional Comments:

I’ve never built a PC, but I’d be willing to give it a shot if I can have a very high level of confidence what I’m doing will come out exactly as expected.   I’d want to know exactly how things go together, I’d want to know that all the parts I buy will work together very well and I’d want to know that I won’t run into any trouble and end up having to buy other parts or use workarounds to get everything to work seamlessly.  I figure I’d probably need some pretty comprehensive walk-through tutorials to accomplish this.

I hate bloatware, adware, malware, intrusive software, excessive utilities that aren’t needed at all, etc.  If the computer comes loaded with them and they truly aren’t needed, I’d want to get rid of them immediately.

I’d like the setup to last me at least 4 years, if possible.

 

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:

I just moved and my laptop from 2003 isn’t gonna cut it.   I’ll probably be buying a new laptop, tablet or convertible laptop/tablet soon after I get the desktop.


Edited by kwest12, 09 September 2013 - 01:01 PM.


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#2 killerx525

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:44 AM

Hi, based from the information provided, i can easily find a desktop with the maximum budget of $850 but when you mentioned about having a 26"+ monitor and a large hard drive capacity, this where it gets challenging. Most pre-built desktop do not have 4TB of space for storage nor do they have an SSD which makes the system snappy. My recommendation would be to purchase a custom built system from Maingear and then purchase a separate monitor. I have done a rough customization which includes a 3TB hard drive and a 120GB SSD and total price came to $928 but it does not include a monitor. A basic 27" monitor from Maingear will cost an extra $300, alternatively you can get a basic system from Newegg and purchase a 3TB hard drive along with a SSD and install it yourself.  

 


 


X-Cube [FM2] (system-XCUBE-stock-FM2) $928.00

Special Promotions:

$50 Instant Savings!

Chassis:

X-CUBE SFF Chassis - Black

Motherboard:

Asus® F2A55-M LE Featuring SATA 6G

Processor:

AMD® A10-6800K 4.1/4.4GHz APU with Radeon HD 8670 graphics

Processor Cooling:

MAINGEAR Certified AMD® Retail Cooler

Memory:

8GB Corsair DDR3-1333 Value Select (2x4GB)

Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator:

AMD® Radeon HD Integrated GPU

Hard Drive Bay One:

120GB Corsair® Neutron GTX SSD SATA 6G (w/TRIM) [555MB/s Reads]

Hard Drive Bay Two:

3TB Seagate® BarracudaT XT 7200rpm 64MB Cache SATA 6G

Power Supply:

430W Corsair® Builder Series 80 Plus Certified PSU

Optical Drive One:

24X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive

Audio:

5.1+2 Channel High Definition Surround Sound (Intel DP55WB)

Ethernet Adapter:

On-board Gigabit Ethernet

Keyboard:

Logitech Classic K120 Keyboard

Mouse:

Logitech M110 Optical USB Mouse

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit

Security Software:

Microsoft Security Essentials

The Final Finesse:

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http://www.maingear.com/boutique/pc/ReconfigureV2.asp?saved=0&idconf=44341&act=placeOrder&idproduct=1424


Edited by killerx525, 10 September 2013 - 02:48 AM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 dpunisher

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:15 AM

Just to echo above-- finding a really good 27" monitor, for a decent price is tough.  You can get a basic 27" monitor in the sub $300 range, and if you aren't used to quality monitors, they are impressive.  It is after you have lived with it a few weeks that the imperfections start to grind on you.  Crappy black levels, light leaks, and viewing angles, and big pixels can really mess with you. 

 

You can find "off" brand 27" stuff out there, but you takes your chances.  Some don't have HDMI inputs, some have rudimentary controls, and some just use really questionable 1080p panels, which in a 27", can be hard to take  when looking at text for any amount of time.  Something to bear in mind also, what is your onboard graphics capable of?  Can it drive a  2560 x 1440 panel that many 27" monitors use?   Around the $350 to $400 mark is where you can find decent 27" monitors you can live with. And that is just an opinion, what I can live with is different from what others can tolerate.

 

If you have a hard ceiling on what you can spend, look at quality 24" monitors first.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)





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