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Desktop for media serving, photo editing and general computing

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#1 dazza555


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Posted 04 March 2017 - 02:14 AM

Hi all

Currently I have an old Asus Netbook which is on it's last legs as it struggles to run a web browser. So the time has come to upgrade and I've decided I no longer need the portability of a netbook but would much rather the upgradeability of a desktop. Below I have listed my needs:

-Video media serving: Must be able to run something like Universal Media Server and support on the fly transcoding

-Photo editing: Must be able to run adobe photoshop and handle RAW high resolution photos

-Run VirtualBox: This one's a bit of nostalgia but I want to be able to run MAC OSx 10.5 in a virtual machine so I can play the old arcade game BOOM from my primary school days.

-Microsoft office: Of course the usual duties of a Uni students computer with 10 tabs in chrome open, Word and 10 pdf's and being able to instantly switch between windows.

-Upgradeable: This is my main concern, I want to be able to add more RAM if needed, upgrade the video card, replace the hdd, etc down the line and have the computer last 5 good years if not more.

- Price ~$1000: This is my rough budget for the computer itself

So what I'm asking is what specs do I absolutely need in order to get a computer to do these things comfortably. Feel free to recommend exact makes and models too and let me know if my budget is a bit unrealistic. I'm also interested in custom machines but I don't want to build it myself. If it at all helps I'm located in South East Melbourne and am close to MSY, PCCG and Scorptec.

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#2 dazza555

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:23 PM

I've had a little dig around on the DELL website and having had a chat with them I think the new XPS tower might fit my bill. I'm leaning towards the i7 version at $1599 which can be found here: http://www.dell.com/au/p/xps-8920-desktop/pd?oc=a210392au&model_id=xps-8920-desktop

It's about $100 more than what I want to spend but if it fits. My question now is if I were to look at other places such as MSY or PCCG am I likely to find something of similar specs but for less? Also I'm assuming the sales rep wasn't just talking s!%$ when they said this model would meet my needs so if anyone knows better pease speak up.

#3 MDD1963


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Posted 05 March 2017 - 06:32 AM

That is a lot of money for merely a base 7700 (not overclockable, a few less hundred MHz than 7700K) and such a low range video card. (video card is so low performing in games, I don't see why they bother to include one at all, as a 7700K and the right mainboard gives access to more than adequate integrated video for a desktop, and low /mid-res gaming on most 3-4 year old games at least.... (Perhaps if they were including some full install of Office 2016 Pro that might account for the $500 'too high' in price, I might understand)


I will leave out a GPU of the following build, you decide if having it is needed...


$49         Corsair 100R case

$56         Corsair CX600 PSU

$165       Asus Z270A Prime

$349       7700K

$89         Noctua DH15 (it does fit in the Corsair100R case with about 5 mm to spare!)

$108       16GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR4/3000 (you might opt for more if planning heavy workloads editing/rendering)

$250       500 GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVME


The above totals a tad over $1050, but you can save $100 or so by stepping down to the 7600K if needed, and, you can knock off $100 from storage by opting for an 850 EVO instead instead of the M.2 drive.....; be sure to allocate $92 for Win10 Home, unless running MInt18 for free, of course!. If you need an optical drive, pick one up off of Amazon for $30 or so....


(I have pretty much the same rig as above, but with 32 GB of RAM; my cpu runs at 23C while surfing and watching youtube, and, at only 59C under stress-testing with cpuburn and stresstest from within Linux. Win10 Pro is on order!)


Good luck whichever rig you choose....


(The Dell you chose would likelly work 'fine' work, it just seems under-equipped at that cost, IMO, but, that is typical of today's store-boughts; you could certainly assemble faster for less money)

Asus Z270A Prime/7700K/32 GB DDR4-3200/GTX1060

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