Need Assistance with PC Specs

Started Jun 13, 2013 | Discussions
Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,114
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Chris Noble wrote:

I think you are incorrect. The 80 Plus Efficiency ratings are at 20%, 50% and 100% load, not just "peak".

He's absolutely right ...

Your 80%, 1200W PS generates 240W of heat powering your 150W system.

...except for this part.   An oversized power supply is wasteful, but not this wasteful.

theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

teseg wrote:

theswede wrote:

If you wish to contend this, please provide a link to one of those magically cheap machines.

Jesper

As an example:

From last week to this week, this Sale has been reduced by $50... it was $679.

Cheap machine

2 x USB3, 1GB Radeon HD 7670, i7 3770 (Ivy Bridge, yuck!), DVD burner. OK. And since you add SSD and RAM after those will not be included. Let's go for your $679, and I will spend a maximum of thirty minutes locating parts.

Motherboard $69.99, Intel with USB3 ports.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121508

i7 3770 $289.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116502

Gigabyte case $24.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233064

The HD 7670 is a rebranded HD 6670. $89.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121442

Gold 80 high efficient PSU, probably overkill for this build. $59.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182066

Grand total: $534.95

Add in the SSD and RAM from your selection and we saved $140. No HDD, if we wish to add that:

HDD 1TB 7200RPM $79.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148321

Bringing the savings down to $60 or so. But we get superior parts, and there are coupons and codes on several of the parts I listed which I have not counted, bringing the savings up further.

So, you got me, a week ago a system with upgrade cost ~$1050 (including tax and shipping). Now it costs $1129... and I am throwing out 10GB of purchased RAM in the OEM system.

$534.95 + $79.99 + $170 + $230

$1014.94 at present prices, to get the same specs but better PSU and motherboard. No saving in sight from better deals for the OEM manufacturer, no magic pricing, no lower price at all. Even if counting the 10GB of RAM the price will not be higher than the OEM box. Which you claimed it would be.

My key point is I located all this with about 1/2 hour of research, 1/4 hour of web price shopping and <1 hour to execute the upgrade (1/4 hour to install parts and 3/4 hour to migrate OS/applications to SSD).

I located this in under half an hour of research, and assembling this kind of simple system is about an hour. So comparable time.

For my first computer build I am certain I would spend days trying to determine what I really would need to do and a half day to assemble, and then hope it all works.

Why? Just start with a system you know will do what you want, and locate equivalent parts. In this case though, you bought too much. The GPU is completely unnecessary; you could just omit it and run on the Intel GPU, saving you money. That would bring the price down by $89.99.

And you are vastly overestimating the difficulty in assembling a modern system from parts, possibly from experience dating from sometime before the Black Death, when computers were difficult beasts. These days they snap together pretty much like legos. I built my latest one in two hours because I used a very complex, tiny custom case. Most of the time was spent fiddling with cable channels. That's not an issue on a midi tower or larger case.

Jesper

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theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

Ah yes, I did forget the DVD burner (mostly because I do not use those these days). $17.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

That does cut into the savings. But why would you buy one?

Jesper

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teseg
teseg Senior Member • Posts: 2,208
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

theswede wrote:

teseg wrote:

theswede wrote:

If you wish to contend this, please provide a link to one of those magically cheap machines.

Jesper

As an example:

From last week to this week, this Sale has been reduced by $50... it was $679.

Cheap machine

2 x USB3, 1GB Radeon HD 7670, i7 3770 (Ivy Bridge, yuck!), DVD burner. OK. And since you add SSD and RAM after those will not be included. Let's go for your $679, and I will spend a maximum of thirty minutes locating parts.

Motherboard $69.99, Intel with USB3 ports.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121508

i7 3770 $289.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116502

Gigabyte case $24.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233064

The HD 7670 is a rebranded HD 6670. $89.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121442

Gold 80 high efficient PSU, probably overkill for this build. $59.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182066

Grand total: $534.95

Add in the SSD and RAM from your selection and we saved $140. No HDD, if we wish to add that:

HDD 1TB 7200RPM $79.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148321

Bringing the savings down to $60 or so. But we get superior parts, and there are coupons and codes on several of the parts I listed which I have not counted, bringing the savings up further.

So, you got me, a week ago a system with upgrade cost ~$1050 (including tax and shipping). Now it costs $1129... and I am throwing out 10GB of purchased RAM in the OEM system.

$534.95 + $79.99 + $170 + $230

$1014.94 at present prices, to get the same specs but better PSU and motherboard. No saving in sight from better deals for the OEM manufacturer, no magic pricing, no lower price at all. Even if counting the 10GB of RAM the price will not be higher than the OEM box. Which you claimed it would be.

My key point is I located all this with about 1/2 hour of research, 1/4 hour of web price shopping and <1 hour to execute the upgrade (1/4 hour to install parts and 3/4 hour to migrate OS/applications to SSD).

I located this in under half an hour of research, and assembling this kind of simple system is about an hour. So comparable time.

For my first computer build I am certain I would spend days trying to determine what I really would need to do and a half day to assemble, and then hope it all works.

Why? Just start with a system you know will do what you want, and locate equivalent parts. In this case though, you bought too much. The GPU is completely unnecessary; you could just omit it and run on the Intel GPU, saving you money. That would bring the price down by $89.99.

And you are vastly overestimating the difficulty in assembling a modern system from parts, possibly from experience dating from sometime before the Black Death, when computers were difficult beasts. These days they snap together pretty much like legos. I built my latest one in two hours because I used a very complex, tiny custom case. Most of the time was spent fiddling with cable channels. That's not an issue on a midi tower or larger case.

Jesper

I do use DVD (to install some programs, recovery disc etc) so $1014 goes to $1032... and...ah.. the Operating System? (Windows 8, which I happen to love) ... $99: grand total: $1131.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416550

Power cord? Ok, I won't get too knit-picky.

And as to quality: a quote about the case:

“Made of weak metal
Worst design for securing pci cards ever, flimsy and bends easily, does a poor job of holding cards ...”

And don't forget, the OEM actually put the off-the-shelf version all together for me, so there is labor cost involved.. which is what allows me to do my 2 simple upgrades in an hour.

Ok, so now I am going overboard... point being is there are a lot of little things to think through building your own system. For some, that is the fun part... but if you have an oversight? If that is not my hobby?

In my mind our banter (and cost analysis) have proven if you are a computer enthusiast along with your photo hobby, building a system from scratch can be rewarding and you are assured of the quality. We can debate quality of off-the-shelf systems (that come with warranties), but certainly the price of comparable performance is similar. If you are not an computer enthusiast, there are descent system deals and simple upgrades to create the performance to take advantage of the latest photography software and hardware simply, for today and tomorrow.

EDIT: I was just looking at the motherboard.. says it supports 2nd generation Intel CPU, the off-the-shelf supports 3rd generation... does that matter? Maybe not, but I would not buy this, because I do not know any different.

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kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,624
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

teseg wrote:

I do use DVD (to install some programs, recovery disc etc) so $1014 goes to $1032... and...ah.. the Operating System? (Windows 8, which I happen to love) ... $99: grand total: $1131.

This was a key oversight by theswede, though I suspect he often is not installing windows on a new system.  But this is the one item where the DIY person usually pays substantially more, as much as 200% more.

And as to quality: a quote about the case:

“Made of weak metal
Worst design for securing pci cards ever, flimsy and bends easily, does a poor job of holding cards ...”

I generally spend $100 on a case, and sometimes more.  But...the cases used by the cheap off the shelf computer is usually a $30 case as well.  I think here is one of the more tangible upgrades you can make when you select parts.

We can debate quality of off-the-shelf systems (that come with warranties),

someone here gave an interesting point on this aspect.  The system comes with a one stop warranty, which can be a big time saver (though not always great for resolution time), but it's usually one for one year.  But individual parts can have warranties for up to 5 years.

EDIT: I was just looking at the motherboard.. says it supports 2nd generation Intel CPU, the off-the-shelf supports 3rd generation... does that matter? Maybe not, but I would not buy this, because I do not know any different.

ignorance is rarely a valid argument to use.

Haswell (third gen) was released in the last month.  Not always a great idea to be the first wave of QA, I mean customers, for new hardware.  Performance difference is negliable for cpu, potentially substantial on internal video.  Slightly more power efficient.

Motherboards are another spot where I spend more than listed here, or would be spent on your cheapie system.  I'm usually going $120-150 here. In particular, I don't want to see any fans on the MB.  Most of my decisions are aimed at a quiet operating system.

teseg
teseg Senior Member • Posts: 2,208
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

kelpdiver wrote:

Haswell (third gen) was released in the last month. Not always a great idea to be the first wave of QA, I mean customers, for new hardware. Performance difference is negliable for cpu, potentially substantial on internal video. Slightly more power efficient.

FYI, Haswell is 4th generation. The I7-3770 (3rd generation) that comes with the system in question has been out since early 2012 based on Amazon review dates (and maintains a 5 star review with 94 reviews).

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/processor-numbers.html

http://www.slashgear.com/haswell-4th-generation-intel-core-launch-set-for-june-4th-01284519/

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i7-3770-Quad-Core-Processor/product-reviews/B007SZ0EHE/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_link_10?ie=UTF8&pageNumber=10&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

I don't know enough about computers to know what "generations" means in the context of motherboards. What I do know in the New Egg description of the "proposed" motherboard:

"It supports the 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors, Intel Core i5 processors, and other Intel processors in the LGA1155 package."

Can different generations all use the same motherboard?

Stuff like this is the exact reason I do not build my own system. In fairness, trying to decide on the right RAM brand and model was not slam dunk simple (for me).

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plantdoc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,325
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

Would opt for bluray burner if you want to work with HD video. The extra cost is small

Greg

kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,624
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

teseg wrote:

Can different generations all use the same motherboard?

Stuff like this is the exact reason I do not build my own system. In fairness, trying to decide on the right RAM brand and model was not slam dunk simple (for me).

You're trying to make it more difficult than it really is.  It's pretty easy to pick a cpu, and then see - will this MB support this cpu?  Generations don't matter.  Again, you're feigning ignorance to make your argument.

to me, it's Sandy Bridge, IvyBridge, Haswell.   Some might insert SandyBridge-E in between, but that was a substantially different design, both in cpu pinout form and in the memory architecture.

SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Not entirely true.

At 20%, 50%, 100% load efficiency stays (supposed to) at 80% but at higher loads efficiency drops, below 80%. You calculations are based on full load and are correct but I am no where close to it. BTW I stated incorrectly 24W (I wish) at idle for a whole computer.  24w is for CPU. For the whole computer is 176w at idle. But during RAW conversion it goes up to 400W for the computer.

And, I let it go to sleep in 10 minutes, so I never shut it down. It draws 7w in sleep mode.

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Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,036
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Sean Nelson wrote:

Chris Noble wrote:

I think you are incorrect. The 80 Plus Efficiency ratings are at 20%, 50% and 100% load, not just "peak".

He's absolutely right ...

Your 80%, 1200W PS generates 240W of heat powering your 150W system.

...except for this part. An oversized power supply is wasteful, but not this wasteful.

20% of 1200W = 240W. Efficiency is measured as % of rated (i.e. peak) load, not of actual load.

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kelpdiver Veteran Member • Posts: 3,624
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Chris Noble wrote:

20% of 1200W = 240W. Efficiency is measured as % of rated (i.e. peak) load, not of actual load.

A killawatt quickly disproves that the waste factor is 240W, or even 100W for a 500W PS.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,036
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

kelpdiver wrote:

Chris Noble wrote:

20% of 1200W = 240W. Efficiency is measured as % of rated (i.e. peak) load, not of actual load.

A killawatt quickly disproves that the waste factor is 240W, or even 100W for a 500W PS.

Interesting... how? A killawatt measures the total input load, not the output efficiency. You need to measure the output DC loads at the same time as you are measuring the input AC load to measure the "waste factor".

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theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

I do use DVD (to install some programs, recovery disc etc) so $1014 goes to $1032... and...ah.. the Operating System? (Windows 8, which I happen to love) ... $99: grand total: $1131.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416550

Ah yes, there are still people using Windows out there. Mea culpa.

Power cord? Ok, I won't get too knit-picky.

Included.

And as to quality: a quote about the case:

“Made of weak metal
Worst design for securing pci cards ever, flimsy and bends easily, does a poor job of holding cards ...”

About the same as the OEM case. Which is why I do not buy OEM systems.

And don't forget, the OEM actually put the off-the-shelf version all together for me, so there is labor cost involved.. which is what allows me to do my 2 simple upgrades in an hour.

Which is the same time an assembly would take, making your time saving, lemme see, one hour minus one hour - zero!

Ok, so now I am going overboard... point being is there are a lot of little things to think through building your own system. For some, that is the fun part... but if you have an oversight? If that is not my hobby?

Then that is a completely different point than what you started out with, namely the claim that it is impossible to build a system from parts as cheaply as it is to buy an OEM one.

EDIT: I was just looking at the motherboard.. says it supports 2nd generation Intel CPU, the off-the-shelf supports 3rd generation... does that matter? Maybe not, but I would not buy this, because I do not know any different.

No, it does not matter, and 30 seconds of googling will tell you that and explain why.

Jesper

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theswede
theswede Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Chris Noble wrote:

kelpdiver wrote:

Chris Noble wrote:

20% of 1200W = 240W. Efficiency is measured as % of rated (i.e. peak) load, not of actual load.

A killawatt quickly disproves that the waste factor is 240W, or even 100W for a 500W PS.

Interesting... how?

If the input load ever goes below 240W then the waste factor can not be 240W.

Jesper

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,114
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Chris Noble wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Chris Noble wrote:

I think you are incorrect. The 80 Plus Efficiency ratings are at 20%, 50% and 100% load, not just "peak".

He's absolutely right ...

Your 80%, 1200W PS generates 240W of heat powering your 150W system.

...except for this part. An oversized power supply is wasteful, but not this wasteful.

20% of 1200W = 240W. Efficiency is measured as % of rated (i.e. peak) load, not of actual load.

No, it's not.

SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Regardless, I will never exceed 60% most likely.

I did burn 750w (rated) one rail PS few years ago hence I bought 1200w. 
Since this PS only becomes inefficient (slightly) at almost full power and I will never reach it I am happy.
At least I know I have a capacity and my computer keeps working.

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Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,036
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

SushiEater wrote:

Regardless, I will never exceed 60% most likely.

"Most likely"? Your max clock operating load won't vary unless you reconfigure your system with new or different components.

I did burn 750w (rated) one rail PS few years ago hence I bought 1200w.

So now you use a 1200W PS in a 150W system... costing you more every year in wasted electricity than the cost of a correct PS, generating a lot of heat and fan noise?

Since this PS only becomes inefficient (slightly) at almost full power

Actually, the maximum efficiency is at 50-75% load, which is what power supplies are designed for. Efficiency drops above 75%, and drops a lot below 50%.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Bronze = hotter, Gold = cooler

Chris Noble wrote:

SushiEater wrote:

Regardless, I will never exceed 60% most likely.

"Most likely"? Your max clock operating load won't vary unless you reconfigure your system with new or different components.

It is not components, it is software I am running.

I did burn 750w (rated) one rail PS few years ago hence I bought 1200w.

So now you use a 1200W PS in a 150W system... costing you more every year in wasted electricity than the cost of a correct PS, generating a lot of heat and fan noise?

First of all it is not 150w system. During load (but not full load) it is actually 400w system. CPU draws 150w by itself.

According to Power Supply Calculator it should use 400w and according to Kill-A-Watt that is what it is using. So where is the waste?

You are also forgetting that most power supplies drop their wattage in a year by as much as 20% so now my power supply is more like 950-1000w. And if I run 3d video processing I will be using close to 650w.

Since this PS only becomes inefficient (slightly) at almost full power

Actually, the maximum efficiency is at 50-75% load, which is what power supplies are designed for. Efficiency drops above 75%, and drops a lot below 50%.

75% maybe at full load. 50%?????????? Must be very bad PS.

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gottria Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

WatsonPhoto wrote:

Here is an update, after considering all of the recommendations provided. I placed the order yesterday.

BitFenix mini ITX case

Corsair CX600M power supply

LG Optical drive (still need to load some software)

Intel i7-4770 CPU

Asrock Z87E-ITX motherboardPatriot Viper 3Mamba black 16 gb memory

Samsung Pro series 256gb SSD

Samsung Pro series 512gb SSD

Windows 8

Notes:

I didn't order the USB3 card as the motherboard has 6 USB3 and 6 USB2 ports.

Video card was not ordered either, going with the integrated graphics on the i7 Haswell series

Although some may not agree with the choices above, bottom line was I didn't want a huge PC case taking up room in my den. The second SSD was also needed to facilitate my future change to my processing workflow.

As with every PC build there are choices and tradeoffs to be made, but I am reasonably confident I will have a machine that will last me the next 5 years.

So how did the build go? I'm looking at the same stuff you just bought except I don't need 2 SSD drives. I mostly use Lightroom for light editing cropping and exposure adjustment stuff. Thinking of going i5 instead.

-- hide signature --

Greg
www.CVphotography.net

OP WatsonPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 270
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

Update on new PC:

- one of the first things that I recommend people do before an upgrade is to review the size of their Lightroom cache, workflow, backup and archive strategies. This is important when you have a very large number of images. If you only have 5-10 K of images not much of a concern, but 50k of images with large size previews in the cache is a concern. You can quickly have a 256 gb cache. Especially if you shoot with a large mp camera.

- think about the use of the DNG lossy compression option for your 1 or 2 stars pictures and using the full dng format for your keepers. Recommend a workflow review when getting a new pc and selecting options that works best for him/her?

- for those who are doing a pc upgrade and moving to windows 8. I highly recommend you purchase Start8 from Stardock. This will bring back the start button, menus, etc. Apart from the user interface issues on windows 8 it is a very good operating system and very secure from a code perspective. As I work in information security it is my choice for an OS. Fanboys will give a jaded opinion on operating systems. I don't have a bias as I have to work with them all.  Every operating system has its warts and blemishes.

- the startup speed and application start times are very impressive on the new pc. I am still doing software installs so I haven't done any image processing just yet. Soon.

- as for the discussions about 1 or 2 ssd's or i5 or i7. I would say that an upgrade in one area can reveal a bottleneck in another area. For a user with a smaller catalogue/images a 256 gb ssd mated with an i5 processor would make for a good user experience.  Using any extra dollars would best be put towards a monitor calibration unit, better monitor or photographic education.

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