8 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2013 10:43 PM by mkudisch

    Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!


      Hey all,


      Been lurking around here for some time now and I must say it's been interesting. A bit of background before we get to the good part: I'm a freelance website designer (one that does a lot of graphic design), so my workhorses are Ps and Ai, but lately I've been getting more and more freelance film work. I've reached a crossroads as my current system struggles to handle the load in Pr, especially in AE. I've decided to build a kickass system that will hopefully improve my workflow enough to take me more down the film path (in addition to dominating my Ps and Ai needs). This will be my first build, so all advice is welcome and much appreciated. I've tried pretty hard to do some research before posting, and here's what I've come up with:

      The Build:

      CategoryMy ChoicePrice($USD)Comments
      CPUIntel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor569.99Is it worth waiting until the Ivy Bridge 4930K comes out? Looks like that won't be till the fall..
      GPUEVGA 04G-P4-3687-KR GeForce GTX 680 FTW+ w/Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card589.99Would you choose the 680 over the 580?
      moboASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard324.99I honestly know nothing about mobos.. should I be concerned that this is from 2011? Is this overkill?
      RAMKingston 64GB (4 x 16GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Registered Server Memory DR x4 Model 519.99Is Kingston a good brand? This seems like quite a deal.
      disks1x Samsung Pro 840 series 128GB SSD, 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3TB 7200 RPM RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive 420.97SSD for OS&programs, 1HDD for media, 1HDD for cache and exports. This is the area I'm thinking I might improve on as I'm a bit under budget. What additional disks/purposes do you recommend? Seems like I shouldn't bother with RAID unless I get more disks.
      PSUCORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC129.99Seems like a good PSU/cooling unit. Don't know much here though.
      CaseFractal Design Define XL R2 FD-CA-DEF-XL-R2-BL Black Pearl Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case149.99I like that this has 2 audio jacks. Has 8 internal 3.5'' drive bays, 4 external 5.25'' drive bays, and 9 "expansion slots", whatever those are. It does not mention 2.5'' bays, so I assume it has none. Does that mean I won't be able to mount my SSD? Should I go with a different case for that reason?


      So I'm a bit under budget. What do you think would be the best components to upgrade?

      I'm thinking I might get 3 more Barracuda 3TBs (or maybe smaller to cut the cost a bit), put 4 of them in RAID3 for media, keep the leftover drive for exports and scratch. Does that sound like a good idea? If I did this, I think I would also get this controller: Areca ARC-1213-4X PCI-Express 2.0 x8 Low Profile SATA / SAS 4-Port PCIe 2.0 External SAS/SATA RAID Controller. Coming in at 389.99, it's not cheap, but I am willing to go a bit over budget if it will make a big enough difference. With this RAID setup, I'd be looking at around $3300, which is pretty much my max. Thanks in advance for your help!!


      EDIT: Forgot to mention that I will be running CS5.5, probably going to go for the cloud upon release of CS???

        • 1. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Use the Power supply calculator http://extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp (the PRO version has more options) to determine your power supply needs


          My personal idea would be to buy a larger than needed power supply... a PS that is working below maximum capacity runs cooler and lasts longer

          • 2. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
            mkudisch Level 1

            Thanks John,


            I will definitely check that out. What do you think of the other components?

            • 3. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
              JEShort01 Level 4

              cpu - check
              gpu - check
              mb - check
              power supply - check
              RAM - get 8x8GB sticks and you will need non-ECC for your motherboard and CPU choice; G Skill is good RAM and well priced and their web site is good to find the exact RAM that is qualified for your motherboard
              cpu cooler - a must! Cooler Master 212 EVO for only $30 is pretty popular; Corsair H110 is a nice self-contained liquid cooler
              boot SSD - check
              drives - yes, more, get all matching; 3TB Seagate .14 choice sounds good
              Areca - your call here; provides a piece of mind for data loss, but it does add to the cost without adding to performance (with only 4 HDs that is)
              case - fine; could probably save here some if you wanted (i.e. Cooler Master HAF 932)





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              • 4. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
                mkudisch Level 1

                Thanks Jim. Just curious, though, what is the advantage of choosing 8x8GB over 4x16GB? And good call on the cpu cooler, had forgotten about those. On the subject of cooling, in addition to the 3 140mm fans that come in my case and the components mentioned above, do you think I should go for anything else in addition to picking up a cpu cooler?

                • 5. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  There are no 16 GB memory sticks compatible with that CPU. EOS.

                  • 6. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!

                    Mkudisch, it looks like a great PC you're going to build, it looks pretty much like the one i've built a couple months ago, I'm not a master pc builder but I would like to give you a little advice about the componenets:


                    CPU: Great choice, I have the same cpu.

                    GPU: it looks like a great gpu, just one thing if you plan to overclock it you should buy one with better airflow (at least 2 fans), I have an asus gtx 670 4 gb.

                    MOBO: great choice, probably you already now it, it is a 2011 model but if your saying it because the name says LGA 2011 it means that it is socket 2011 the one for sandy bridge-e cpus, (I have a P9X79 WS mobo)

                    RAM: probably I'm wrong but as far as I know all Asus X79 mobos will only take 8gbs sticks per slot and not 16 gbs ones, you should probably look for 8x8gbs quad channel, I have G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 8X8gbs and they're great, if you want search for any other brand model but first check if you mobo will take 16gbs sticks per slot.

                    Disks: great SSD, I've heard a lot of great things about samsung 840 PRO.

                    PSU: I think you should consider at least a 1000W PSU, in case you want to add another gpu or more hdds in the future you will be already covered, Corsair it's a great brand also stay away from any Rosewill PSUs I bought a 1300w lightning series and that piece of crap exploded 30 seconds after turning it on.

                    Case: don't know about that case but it looks like a great choice I have a HAF X 942.


                    Also you forgot about a CPU cooler, there's a lot of great cpu coolers, I would recommend you Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 that's the one I have (and it's great if you plan to overclock you i7-3930K) just make sure the cpu cooler you buy is compatible with you cpu, if you buy Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 make sure it will fit in you case because that cooler is HUGE!.


                    Well that's my advice like I told you before I'm not an expert or anything just another guy like you who built a PC similar to the one you want to build.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Seeking advice on my first build, $3000 budget, please critique. Thanks!
                      RjL190365 Level 5

                      As Harm stated, there are absolutely no 16GB modules that are compatible with any i7 CPU. In fact, that 4 x 16GB kit will not work at all with your chosen CPU because no i7 CPU supports registered RAM at all. (Sandy Bridge-E technically supports registered RAM, but that support is disabled at chip manufacturing level on all i7 CPUs. Only the E5 Xeons using that same socket support registered RAM at all.)

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