prophetik music

I want to build you a computer

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if you want, i can price out a basic system. heck, i've got a spare case and PSU sitting around that might fit what you're looking for.

Thanks for the info. Yeah, I'd love to get a quote, though honestly I don't know how soon I could pull the trigger on it. Truth be told, I may have the majority of what I'd need to make one, just not in anything smaller than an ATX case, which kind of defeats the purpose of what I was asking.

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I need a new desktop machine for music and gaming. My current machine is pretty old and I'm still running a Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM. It's good for the day-to-day and most games but it's really starting to show its age. Looking to buy or build something that will last me a very long time.

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so i've got a few builds coming up - one from a customer and one for me! mine's sort of an accidental one - i'll be gutting my system and putting it in a new case, since the existing case wasn't big enough to fit my new graphics card due to some misrepresentation of the card info on newegg.

i'm using the carbide air 540, which is a cube case (very interesting design!). i'm out of town this weekend so i'll try to get it done sometime this week once the client build is done and out the door. i will post some pictures when it's done.

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so i built a new computer last night for a customer (pics of my new case and build coming later this week). here's some build pictures. imgur rotated them weirdly, sorry in advance.

-i7-5820K

-asrock extreme4 mobo

-hx850 psu

-MSI GTX 970 gpu

-16gb DDR4 2400 ram (ballistix)

-250gb samsung 850 evo ssd

-hyper 212 evo cpu cooler

-haf 922 case

first off, i gotta say - this case is awesome. it's freaking enormous (mostly steel, too, super heavy), and it has some really nice features that i never thought i'd like. you can see in the below picture that it has pushbutton releases for the DVD drives, which works remarkably well. additionally, they have a clever tray for HDDs that works pretty good. lastly, the amount of motherboard tray cutouts rivals any case i've ever built with. there's a ton of routing options in this case, and i love it as a result. the best part is the fans - it comes with two huge and quiet 200mm fans - one in the top, and one in the front. even cooler, every single fan mounting point has multiple size options for mounting holes, and the top fan can be removed for either two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator, complete with mounting holes and bumpouts as appropriate. it's really nice.

my only complaint was more of a generic thing. USB3 headers tend to be thick cables that are really annoying to get hidden. case manufacturers need to start making right-angle plugs for these, because it's tough to hide one that sticks out as much as this one did. i stashed it in the cords for the graphics card, but the cord's tight enough that i'm worried about it staying there long term if it gets jostled a lot.

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the motherboard was pretty good for the money as well. it's got a ton of plugs for everything you could want - even thunderbolt! my only real complaint was that there's no motherboards available for LGA2011-3 that aren't absolutely massive. this board's got more than most users would ever need, even for a big socket like this one.

i totally overestimated on the cpu paste, since the 5820K's so big. i was terrified i'd use too little and wound up buttering a ton off the side of the chip. took ten minutes to clean it up. this is only my second build with this socket so i don't feel too bad, but perfectionist me was annoyed :<

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here's the rest of the components, in a pile. the psu box was huge.

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here's everything installed. note that the graphics card looks puny in this case. remember how i said i needed to buy a new case because this same card didn't fit in mine? yeah, that's how much bigger this case is than mine, and mine was no slouch.

this picture you can see the fans and the extra mounting holes i mentioned pretty well. you can also see some of the cutouts - note the audio plug fitting loosely down there! the cabling in this case was so long, i had to coil it behind the motherboard. really well designed for the price.

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and here's the ones of my system, as promised.

i had to upgrade from my venerable storm scout (still one of my favorite cases of all time!) because my new graphics card was too long. i didn't realize this thanks to newegg listing the pcb length of the card, which is useless when the cooler hangs an inch over the end of that. i went with a corsair carbide air 540, which is a cube case with some interesting design choices that i really liked.

here's my old case. this was a working system so the cables aren't as nice as they were when i built it in early 2011 (thread here)

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here's a few pictures of the new case. note that the motherboard tray's in the middle of the case, as opposed to offset to one side. this allows the motherboard and associated cpu, cooler, and gpu to be on one side, and the psu, ssd tray, and optical drives to be on the other side. there's also two hotswap bays for 3.5" drives on the mobo side, which work pretty well. note the width and the bevy of customization options for fans and other sundries.

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here's my system in the case. note the USB3 and graphics power headers - they're just too thick to really route properly. if i get motivated, i'm going to remove the looming on the wires, spray the wires white, and route them cleaner with some wiring to train the wires to sit better. same with the USB3 header.

you can really see the cable management options here. it's amazing the room this thing has to fit any cable set you want.

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here's a few in-situ shots. i'm planning on getting a cool white light bar for the top of the case, or swapping my hyper 212 evo for an H100 or similar self-contained watercooling loop. i'd get more of the white-led fans that the case had if i do that.

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i've been really inspired by the design of this case. i've been meaning to paint my office for some time since the green in there is not particularly my favorite, and i'm thinking about doing the walls in white with a black stripe offset down the middle, like the case =) combine that with my recent storage acquisitions and i think it might actually look pretty good.

regarding the case, i am debating dropping my optical drives completely and replacing the 5.25" bay with either a monitoring window (like, a temp monitor) or a fan controller. if i go with more fans in the case, i'll likely do the controller.

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I'm interested in buying a new machine in the near future, I'm just waiting on getting a bit more cash to do so. In the interim, I want to know: how do you prefer to handle delivery of computers you've built?

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i use registered mail, via the USPS. it's pretty cheap, includes insurance, and is basically the safest form of transit i know of. everything gets bundled into a big package, and someone has to sign every time it's touched. this prevents the whole bootprint-on-the-side issue i used to deal with when shipping systems, and it's easier to claim damages on them as well since all corners are closed with paper tape.

 

a system to the east coast is about 40-50$ usually, depending on weight and if it's a weird box.

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mini-itx is fun, but you'll want to make sure that you're comfortable working in tight spaces. my first itx build was a mess because i hadn't really planned on making the space sacrifices requires to balance it out.

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Just ordered a computer piecemeal this Sunday.  Feels nice to make yourself a strong yet quiet gaming desktop for $1.2k.  (Of course, that's not including a monitor... but I'm still waiting for the G-sync / Freesync / 4k issues to work themselves out before I grab a new display.)

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Just ordered a computer piecemeal this Sunday.  Feels nice to make yourself a strong yet quiet gaming desktop for $1.2k.  (Of course, that's not including a monitor... but I'm still waiting for the G-sync / Freesync / 4k issues to work themselves out before I grab a new display.)

i recently upgraded to a 1440p monitor from Qnix. they included free two-day air from Hong Kong and the monitor arrived with zero busted pixels. got it for in the 425-450$ range. i'd recommend that route =)

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Hey Brad, you got any tips for reseating coolers using that special Arctic Silver thermal remover stuff?

I did it a couple weeks ago, because I needed to rotate the Hyper 212 (I put it in facing the graphics card in 2011 for some reason) to unblock the 4th RAM slot (and I was upgrading to 32GB, 4x8GB). I did it, but it was so frustrating that I needed a shower afterwards. Almost spilled the remover into the socket. It kinda dripped off a bit, but with a flashlight and folding some coffee filters, so I was able to dry it.

 

Definitely makes it on the list for most stressful experiences of my life, especially considering that I then had trouble reseating the heatsink with no room to maneuver in the case, and the fact that my RAM slots weren't snapping in the way they were supposed to. I was half convinced I just permanently fucked up my computer and it wouldn't turn on. Imagine my despair when installing CPU-Z made it crash horribly... but then I installed another temp program and it was completely fine (my idle temps were like 28-29, which is about what it was before, so the reseating was a success). I've been bombarding the computer with synths and sample libraries ever since, and so far it's chugging along happily.

 

All's well, but yeah, frustration and lack of AC made that whole upgrade a miserable experience. I had to make sure I wasn't sweat-dripping right into the motherboard... If I ever need to do that again, some advice for making it a smoother process would be welcome.

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uh, i wipe the old thermal paste off with a paper towel and lightly buff it with some high-grain sandpaper to remove residue, usually with a bit of isopropyl alcohol. if it's on the cooler, i do the same thing. i've never used any remover - it's just silver in goop suspension, so it's sorta pointless when the remover's just alcohol and a bit of detergent anyways.

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*facepalm*

GSO, I believe it's best that you read the OP's purpose / read replies before you even jump straight in with your first thoughts. prophetik is in to build other people's PCs, not do recommendations for pre-packaged PCs you want to get.

 

To answer your question though, if you're thinking of doing video editing on a laptop, I highly recommend that you find one with a stronger processor (2GHz multi-core at the minimum is my suggestion) and at least 4GB of RAM - main reasoning being that CSS 5.5, Vegas 10 and Final Cut Pro typically recommend these before you consider using them. If you have more money to burn, consider going towards a quad-core processor and doubling the minimum stated RAM for more intensive editing. Either way, they'll still degrade faster than a desktop PC due to their build.

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*facepalm*

GSO, I believe it's best that you read the OP's purpose / read replies before you even jump straight in with your first thoughts. prophetik is in to build other people's PCs, not do recommendations for pre-packaged PCs you want to get.

 

Except that he's been fine with recommending laptops to other people in the thread and has been doing so. :P

 

 

is there a real and specific need to game on the go on that laptop? if so, you're going to need to shell out a bit of cash, and make some sacrifices. a discrete graphics card, which you need for even some more basic games, uses a lot more power and definitely costs more bank than an integrated solution.

it sounds like you have a laptop now that works pretty well for what you're doing. so why replace that? use it as a mobile machine, and get a desktop. you can get twice the PC for the same price. or, if you're set on giving it away, distill what you use it for (probably browsing and stuff) and replace it with something that does that, like a tablet or cheap chromebook, and use the money you've not spent on a new laptop on that desktop.

if you're set on a laptop, you've gotta think about what you'll want a few years from now. things like hard drive space are easily expandable, so don't pay up-front for tons of spare space. along those lines, RAM is usually pretty cheap to buy aftermarket and install yourself, so don't pay a ton for whatever markup they put on it. focus on a big CPU, and if you plan on gaming, a decent graphics card. most games aren't multithreaded right now, let alone use a quad core to capacity, so focus more on getting a modern CPU with a high base clockrate (not turbo clockrate) rather than more cores. even a few years from now, i'd be surprised if fully multi-threaded games came out that used a slower quad better than a fast dual-core. additionally, dual-cores are much more power efficient and last longer on battery. also, in general, i prefer intel's CPUs but that's more personal lately than anything. in the past, they were just about always better than AMD, but AMD's mobile CPUs are making a comeback, so don't totally discount them.

regarding GPUs, i still use this as a good comparison. there's so many mobile versions now that it's difficult to keep track.

note that if you're not planning on gaming, a discrete GPU isn't really needed.

regarding brands, i prefer lenovo. beyond that...there's really a lot less difference between the major manufacturers than there used to be. in terms of build quality, you want an outer shell of either strong, solid plastic or metal, that features a solid hinge that hinges on the outside edges of the case (rather than a central hinge which is more stressful on the material) and doesn't flex much when you twist on the bias. you want a solidly-grounded power input with a large plug where it enters the computer, a keyboard that isn't dead-center on the laptop top (where it'll put your hand over a hot HDD or CPU), and a cooling system that uses both a sizable air intake on the bottom and a good-sized blower on the side. you'll also want a chill pad of some sort to set it on when you're not using it but it's on - anything that reduces the heat stress of the internal components is a good thing to have.

you'll likely end up with something like this in the long run. there are few options out there that pair a good CPU and a decent GPU (the 840M is surprisingly powerful for the size!) without having to also pay for things like a big HDD and a bunch of extra RAM. if you can find one with a smaller HDD and just replace it with a 120gb SSD, you're set for a long time.

 

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silly rexy, more than half my builds come from me commenting on what they've picked out =P also, never take CPU speeds for granted. the 4200U at 1.8ghz is roughly comparable to an i5-2450m on programs that fully utilize all cores (like photoshop can), which is clocked at 2.5ghz. now, in this case, the 4200U is pretty bad IMO, but it's not always the case. also the single-core [edit: real-time actual performance] speed is comparable to the i5-5200U's speed, but that's clocked at 2.2ghz. numbers are just pictures on a page and can say whatever people want them to say.

 

photoshop does use gpgpu technology, so your graphics card can be used to significantly speed up general processing. this doesn't really have one. i'd refer to this link for comparing GPUs, and then pick one out with a better graphics card. you should be able to do significantly better in that price range. i tend to look at maximum pc's daily deals articles, which often have killer 1200$ laptops for like 750$ if you're ready to buy. they had some awesome lenovo deals very recently like that.

 

edit: i should point out that you can do a comparable desktop build for less money than this, and have it perform better and last longer for a lot longer. if you do need a laptop for editing video on the go and you're not just combining a note-taking tablet with your workstation, then what i said above is your best bet. otherwise, consider a desktop.

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installing windows xp off of a cd used to take 40 minutes on lower-end machines. i just installed W7 off of a thumbstick via USB 3 onto anorax's new computer, and it took six and a half minutes.

 

welp.

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installing windows xp off of a cd used to take 40 minutes on lower-end machines. i just installed W7 off of a thumbstick via USB 3 onto anorax's new computer, and it took six and a half minutes.

 

welp.

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On a side note, did the parts arrive that fast? Wow.

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yeah, two days. must have caught the robots at a good time. took me two tries to configure the drives right (so the fast windows install was nice!) but it's cooking with gas now.

 

i forgot to unplug the 3tb drive when installing onto the SSD, and windows put the system partition on the 3tb drive. not a huge deal, but it requires that the drive be MBR instead of GTR, aaaaand that means you max out at 2.12tb per partition. also you can't delete the system partition from that copy of windows. i had to go back into the windows install program, use the formatter to remove the system partition, go out and disconnect the drive, install windows, go out and reconnect the drive, then go about the rest of the windows setup process. not a big deal if i'd noticed before 1 hour into system testing =(

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Got my new machine from Brad Saturday morning, and it wouldn't boot. Called him today and after an hour or so, we figured out that the RAM had become unseated and caused all sorts of mayhem when it attempted to boot.  Now it's up and running and working like a charm! Thanks Brad!

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good to hear all is well. i know at least one other person's system had a similar issue. this took a little more research but we were able to figure it out.

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Once upon a time in 2011 (I was merely a 10th grader), dear brad had helped me select parts for my first PC I'd ever built

On this day, this machine is still going strong, with many wonderful upgrades cast in over the years, like an OS SSD, GTX 970, and 32GB RAM. Tanks through the biggest and baddest Kontakt libraries and power synths, and with my new graphics card, 50-60's games like Shadow of Mordor and Fallout 4. Only a one part has ever failed (the mechanical hard drive, just last year). What's most surprising is this power supply has straight been in this machine for now ~4-5 years and is still stable. 600W modular OCZ.

My GTX 460 is sitting on my shelf looking for a new use. I might sell it, dunno. 

Thanks for all the great help back then! I refer people to you every now and again for good reason. Any time someone asks about getting a custom PC, I say "I know this guy on OCR, get it from him."

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