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Multi-purpose PC Parts list help

mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640

I'm looking to put together a 'multi-purpose PC' (details below), but realizing it's been 10+ years since I've done so, I've realized I'm completely out of touch. I've (slowly) been working on getting myself up to speed, but in the interest of time, relative to potential holiday sales, I was hoping you guys could provide some guidance.

Borrowing from the format monochrome19 used in his thread:

 

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.

Gaming (Firefall, TUG, Planet Explorers, Final Fantasy XIII series, Skyrim and some older games)

Adobe Lightroom, MS Office

Virtualization (either MS or VMware)

Video streaming (Netflix, Hulu, etc)

 

What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?

$800

 

When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.

Within the next week.

 

What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (Tower/OS/monitor/keyboard/mouse/etc)

Case and all internal hardware.

 

Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?

PA, US. No to Microcenter.

 

Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?

Not intending to overclock. The flexibility to would be nice, but not if it significantly impacts budget.

 

Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)

(want) SSD drive.

 

Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-tower/full-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?

mid-tower or smaller. No color preference.

 

Do you need a copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference for one or the other?

OS prices seem fairly static and have already accounted for this separately. Will likely end up on Windows 8.1 in case that has any impact on part selection.

 

Extra info or particulars:

Gaming is pretty light with maybe 1 hour/day with possibly a bit more on the weekends. Not terribly concerned about running "everything on ultra", but would like to run current gen games with mid-to-high settings if budget allows.  

Photo editing: Primarily done with Lightroom working with Canon RAW files. This is only used a few times per week for a couple hours at a time.

Virtualization will entail running roughly 3 Windows 2008/2012 VMs for lab/scripting/educational. These will be spun up on demand and not constantly running. Realizing this may require a decent amount of RAM, as more VMs are running, I have no issue sacrificing some RAM at time of build, and upgrading later, to keep initial cost within budget.

Video streaming: Would like to occasionally hook it up to the TV (LCD, 1080p) for Netflix playback (or even Steam BigPicture)

Other: 

kids (7 and under) may use the computer for some gaming/educational.

This PC will be in the main living area and the quieter/less noticeable, the better.

Not married to any particular brand or vendor for anything. Would prefer to be able to have everything shipped and avoid "in store pickup" deals.

 

Let me know if there is an additional info I can provide and thanks for taking the time to look at this. :)

-mklinic

"There's a point I think we're missing.
It's in the air we raise our fists in."
-from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135
    Originally posted by Saneless

    video card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=750ti&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    ssd 

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=840+evo&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    processor

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116896&cm_re=processor-_-19-116-896-_-Product

     

    These three things are kinda pricey, but would be a good start for a good build.

    You seem to be listing random parts that you like while ignoring the budget.  And not especially sensible parts, either.

  • SanelessSaneless Member UncommonPosts: 42
    I was giving him ideas, Not to mention those parts are great and in my 850 pc i built. Dont really see how they are random parts, they are the most important pieces to the system. The mobo, psu, and case can all be bought very cheap. Also i am assuming he already has a keyboard, monitor, mouse, ect.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    Here you go:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1991486

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131570

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148694

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130679

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182073

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129204

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136276

    That comes to $709, including shipping and before $65 in rebates.  Some parts ended up cheaper than I expected, so you could bump something up, such as a faster video card or getting the 16 GB of system memory that you might well need if you want four copies of Windows running at once.

    I didn't include an OS, but if you're going to be heavily using virtualization, you're already doing something weird there, so I'll trust that you can handle that yourself.

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640

    Regarding the processor: I see that the i5-4690k is only about $10 more (Amazon). Would that be $10 well spent even if I never bother overclocking? The non-K version actually seemed to be priced higher at the moment so that is the reason I ask about the 4690k specifically.

    edit: was posting same time as Quizzical. Will look at those parts now, thanks.

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135
    Originally posted by Saneless
    I was giving him ideas, Not to mention those parts are great and in my 850 pc i built. Dont really see how they are random parts, they are the most important pieces to the system. The mobo, psu, and case can all be bought very cheap. Also i am assuming he already has a keyboard, monitor, mouse, ect.

    Just because you bought something a year ago doesn't mean it makes sense to buy now.  Or that it made sense to buy then.

    The processor, in particular, is a bad idea.  You pay most of the price premium to go with Intel rather than AMD, while giving up a considerable fraction of the extra performance by going with a lower clocked version of it.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135
    Originally posted by mklinic

    Regarding the processor: I see that the i5-4690k is only about $10 more (Amazon). Would that be $10 well spent even if I never bother overclocking? The non-K version actually seemed to be priced higher at the moment so that is the reason I ask about the 4690k specifically.

    edit: was posting same time as Quizzical. Will look at those parts now, thanks.

    On a CPU, the choice between Intel and AMD is mostly one of budget.  AMD gives you more, slower cores for cheaper, while Intel gives you fewer, faster cores.  You'll pay a lot more for a motherboard with Intel, too, and likely would want an aftermarket cooler (AMD's FX-series processors ship a much better stock cooler than any of Intel's modern CPUs) so on net, going with Intel costs you about an extra $150.  On your budget, you could reasonably go either way, depending on whether you want to dedicate more of the budget to the CPU or put money elsewhere.

    If you're going to go Intel, then you want to get at least a Core i5-4690 (or 4690K), or possibly a 4670K if it's considerably cheaper and you're going to overclock.  Going with a lower clocked version means you don't save much money, but do lose a lot of the performance advantage over going with AMD.

    If you go with AMD and aren't going to use integrated graphics, I'd typically recommend an FX-6300.  Depending on prices, sometimes an FX-6350.  Today, the FX-8320E happened to be cheap, so that's what I linked.  If you were going to use integrated graphics (as only makes sense on a budget up to about $600 including the OS), you go with an AMD A-series APU.

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    On a CPU, the choice between Intel and AMD is mostly one of budget.  AMD gives you more, slower cores for cheaper, while Intel gives you fewer, faster cores.  You'll pay a lot more for a motherboard with Intel, too, and likely would want an aftermarket cooler (AMD's FX-series processors ship a bunch better stock cooler than any of Intel's modern CPUs) so on net, going with Intel costs you about an extra $150.  On your budget, you could reasonably go either way, depending on whether you want to dedicate more of the budget to the CPU or put money elsewhere.

    If you're going to go Intel, then you want to get at least a Core i5-4690 (or 4690K), or possibly a 4670K if it's considerably cheaper and you're going to overclock.  Going with a lower clocked version means you don't save much money, but do lose a lot of the performance advantage over going with AMD.

    If you go with AMD and aren't going to use integrated graphics, I'd typically recommend an FX-6300.  Depending on prices, sometimes an FX-6350.  Today, the FX-8320E happened to be cheap, so that's what I linked.  If you were going to use integrated graphics (as only makes sense on a budget up to about $600 including the OS), you go with an AMD A-series APU.

    Thanks for the explanation. I've seen a lot of back and forth regarding the price vs performance of Intel vs. AMD so this is useful in helping me understand the choices you listed.

    Based on discussions here, along with misc. articles/posts/etc, it sounds like software like Lightroom would benefit from more cores whereas gaming would benefit from fewer, faster cores. I hadn't really thought about something like VMWare or Virtual PC (Hyper-V in Win8 now?), but my initial thinking would be that these would benefit from more cores. This is just a hunch, so going to see if I can find any literature to back that up...

    edit: My initial thinking seems like it might be off: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/Selecting-CPU-processors-and-memory-for-virtualized-environments

    This article references ESXi a number of times, but I found this portion interesting as I would run 3-4 VMs concurrently at max and more likely 1-2. Going to see if there is any more info more specific to the 'workstation' level virtualization products, but thought I'd share if anyone found it of interest.

    "In some situations, however, dual-core rather than quad-core CPUs are preferable (if you don't plan on running more then six to eight VMs on hosts, for example). The faster CPU MHz of dual-core hosts increases speed to the VMs running on it. In addition, if you plan on assigning VMs a single virtual processor, dual-core processors can be a better option, because single vCPU VMs are easier for the hypervisor to schedule than multiple vCPU VMs."

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,657

    Your aren't going to get quiet with a cheap case. Look at the Fractal Design R4 $70.00 case or any others that come with sound deadening material. 

    That case with a good PSU with low fan noise and a CPU cooler like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    You'll also want to look at non-reference graphics card manufacturers that design their own cooling. You'll hardly hear the thing. Liquid cooling can be as noisy as most air cooling if you buy cheap. In the end there are still fans and fan noise involved. 

    With no budget, warranty be damned and quiet being the top priority you'd want to look at mineral oil aquarium setups.  http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

     

    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135
    Originally posted by mklinic
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    On a CPU, the choice between Intel and AMD is mostly one of budget.  AMD gives you more, slower cores for cheaper, while Intel gives you fewer, faster cores.  You'll pay a lot more for a motherboard with Intel, too, and likely would want an aftermarket cooler (AMD's FX-series processors ship a bunch better stock cooler than any of Intel's modern CPUs) so on net, going with Intel costs you about an extra $150.  On your budget, you could reasonably go either way, depending on whether you want to dedicate more of the budget to the CPU or put money elsewhere.

    If you're going to go Intel, then you want to get at least a Core i5-4690 (or 4690K), or possibly a 4670K if it's considerably cheaper and you're going to overclock.  Going with a lower clocked version means you don't save much money, but do lose a lot of the performance advantage over going with AMD.

    If you go with AMD and aren't going to use integrated graphics, I'd typically recommend an FX-6300.  Depending on prices, sometimes an FX-6350.  Today, the FX-8320E happened to be cheap, so that's what I linked.  If you were going to use integrated graphics (as only makes sense on a budget up to about $600 including the OS), you go with an AMD A-series APU.

    Thanks for the explanation. I've seen a lot of back and forth regarding the price vs performance of Intel vs. AMD so this is useful in helping me understand the choices you listed.

    Based on discussions here, along with misc. articles/posts/etc, it sounds like software like Lightroom would benefit from more cores whereas gaming would benefit from fewer, faster cores. I hadn't really thought about something like VMWare or Virtual PC (Hyper-V in Win8 now?), but my initial thinking would be that these would benefit from more cores. This is just a hunch, so going to see if I can find any literature to back that up...

    edit: My initial thinking seems like it might be off: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/Selecting-CPU-processors-and-memory-for-virtualized-environments

    This article references ESXi a number of times, but I found this portion interesting as I would run 3-4 VMs concurrently at max and more likely 1-2. Going to see if there is any more info more specific to the 'workstation' level virtualization products, but thought I'd share if anyone found it of interest.

    "In some situations, however, dual-core rather than quad-core CPUs are preferable (if you don't plan on running more then six to eight VMs on hosts, for example). The faster CPU MHz of dual-core hosts increases speed to the VMs running on it. In addition, if you plan on assigning VMs a single virtual processor, dual-core processors can be a better option, because single vCPU VMs are easier for the hypervisor to schedule than multiple vCPU VMs."

    The article you link there is very, very old.  I'm not sure when the last dual-core CPU for a multi-socket system was released, but my guess would be around 2008.  Today, if you're getting a multi-socket system, you're probably getting at least 6 cores per socket--and could easily be getting 12 or so cores per socket.

    In addition to being much cheaper, an FX-8320E will handily beat a Core i5-4690 in workloads that scale well to eight cores.  The Core i5-4690 is only faster in workloads that don't scale so well.  Admittedly, that includes nearly everything.  Virtualization often scales well because different instances can readily run on different cores, but an instance that is sitting there and not doing much wouldn't put much of a CPU load on anything--though it may still eat up a lot of system memory.  If Lightroom is trying to do heavy graphical computations on a CPU, that's basically trivial to scale to as many CPU cores as you care to.  If it's only using the GPU for the heavy lifting, then that's not so relevant.

    But what really matters is only workloads that would be meaningfully held back by one CPU or the other.  And there aren't that many of those.  Solitaire is presumably single-threaded, so someone could probably create a benchmark showing it running better on a Core i5-4690 than on an FX-8320E, but it will be so fast on either one that synthetic benchmarks would be the only way to tell the difference.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061


    Originally posted by mklinic
    Regarding the processor: I see that the i5-4690k is only about $10 more (Amazon). Would that be $10 well spent even if I never bother overclocking? The non-K version actually seemed to be priced higher at the moment so that is the reason I ask about the 4690k specifically.

    If you never bother overclocking, it's $10 wasted. The ability to overclock is the only difference between a K and non-K edition for Intel.

    While it's possible to get a Core i5 into a $800 build, it will stretch your budget elsewhere.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061

    For your CPU loads - your right in that most media creation software benefits from more cores, while gaming benefits from faster cores.

    FOr virtualization - it's the exact same thing - it depends on what you are virtualizing. Mostly virtualization the CPU load gets passed straight through with little overhead. Disk access is a bit slower, and graphics are much slower. The biggest constraint for virtualization is RAM - you need enough for the host OS, plus enough for each VM you intend on running simultaneously, and the RAM requirements can add up quickly. If you start hitting the swap file on the VM, that will dramatically slow down your VM (so you want to make sure you allocate enough RAM to your VM) - and if you hit the swap file on the host OS, you will slow down everything drastically.

    CPU load under a hypervisor though - if your just running things like Office/email/light apps, you could conceivably run multiple VMs on the same core and not see any real slowdown. Most VMs give you the ability to designate how many cores you expose to a VM as well, so you can reserve cores for your host OS or other VMs as well - hypervisors and most host OSes (while idle) use extremely little CPU power, it all just depends on what your running on top of that.

    ESXi is overkill for what you are thinking of doing, unless it's learning VMWare's heavy industrial vSphere lineup - which is intended for data centers running hundreds/thousands of VMs across an entire suite of servers. For work at home, VMWare's Workstation line is what they push for low level use (up to 4 VMs on a single machine is even light for Workstation) VMWare's Player works well enough (and is free!) if you already have the VM's created or can use basic templates to create them.

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    If you never bother overclocking, it's $10 wasted. The ability to overclock is the only difference between a K and non-K edition for Intel.

    While it's possible to get a Core i5 into a $800 build, it will stretch your budget elsewhere.

    The $10 difference was between the 4570 that Sameless linked and the 4690k. I only referenced the non-K version to explain that, based on current pricing the K version was cheaper then non-K. Sorry for not being more clear on that.

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The article you link there is very, very old.  I'm not sure when the last dual-core CPU for a multi-socket system was released, but my guess would be around 2008.  Today, if you're getting a multi-socket system, you're probably getting at least 6 cores per socket--and could easily be getting 12 or so cores per socket.

    In addition to being much cheaper, an FX-8320E will handily beat a Core i5-4690 in workloads that scale well to eight cores.  The Core i5-4690 is only faster in workloads that don't scale so well.  Admittedly, that includes nearly everything.  Virtualization often scales well because different instances can readily run on different cores, but an instance that is sitting there and not doing much wouldn't put much of a CPU load on anything--though it may still eat up a lot of system memory.  If Lightroom is trying to do heavy graphical computations on a CPU, that's basically trivial to scale to as many CPU cores as you care to.  If it's only using the GPU for the heavy lifting, then that's not so relevant.

    But what really matters is only workloads that would be meaningfully held back by one CPU or the other.  And there aren't that many of those.  Solitaire is presumably single-threaded, so someone could probably create a benchmark showing it running better on a Core i5-4690 than on an FX-8320E, but it will be so fast on either one that synthetic benchmarks would be the only way to tell the difference.

    Yeah, that's a good point. I completely glossed over the date of the article. Reading more discussions on this, at least anecdotally, the difference between AMD and Intel seems negligible. In my use case, I don't see that the load would be enough for either one to be a clear winner. 

    That said Solataire performance is a pretty high priority.... :)

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061

    I had edited this in up above, but will post it here since again since I probably should have put it in a different post to begin with and I noticed you mentioned ESXi:

    ESXi is overkill for what you are thinking of doing, unless it's learning VMWare's heavy industrial vSphere lineup - which is intended for data centers running hundreds/thousands of VMs across an entire suite of servers. For work at home, VMWare's Workstation line is what they push for low level use (up to 4 VMs on a single machine is even light for Workstation) VMWare's Player works well enough (and is free!) if you already have the VM's created or can use basic templates to create them.

    Also free, with the ability to create custom VMs (which VMWare's Player lacks), is VirtualBox. It isn't as fast as Workstation, but it has nearly all the same features with 75-90% of the speed, and at no cost.

    Microsoft's hypervisor I don't have a lot of experience with, other than I thought Hyper-V was tied into Server (except for that hokey Windows XP virtualized compatibility layer you could get with Windows Professional)

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by Grunty

    Your aren't going to get quiet with a cheap case. Look at the Fractal Design R4 $70.00 case or any others that come with sound deadening material. 

    That case with a good PSU with low fan noise and a CPU cooler like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

    You'll also want to look at non-reference graphics card manufacturers that design their own cooling. You'll hardly hear the thing. Liquid cooling can be as noisy as most air cooling if you buy cheap. In the end there are still fans and fan noise involved. 

    With no budget, warranty be damned and quiet being the top priority you'd want to look at mineral oil aquarium setups.  http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

     

    Thanks. I'll check out that and other sound dampening case options.

    I wouldn't say being quiet is a top priority in this build so much as "it would be nice if...". If the fan noise can be reduced for a few bucks without sacrificing something else in the build to achieve the budget, then I'm all for it.

    Regarding non-reference graphics cards, how do you tell if a card is non-reference.  For example, the card Quizzical linked: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131570. At first glance, I don't see anything in the product description that specifies one way or the other. 

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    I had edited this in up above, but will post it here since again since I probably should have put it in a different post to begin with and I noticed you mentioned ESXi:

    ESXi is overkill for what you are thinking of doing, unless it's learning VMWare's heavy industrial vSphere lineup - which is intended for data centers running hundreds/thousands of VMs across an entire suite of servers. For work at home, VMWare's Workstation line is what they push for low level use (up to 4 VMs on a single machine is even light for Workstation) VMWare's Player works well enough (and is free!) if you already have the VM's created or can use basic templates to create them.

    Also free, with the ability to create custom VMs (which VMWare's Player lacks), is VirtualBox. It isn't as fast as Workstation, but it has nearly all the same features with 75-90% of the speed, and at no cost.

    Microsoft's hypervisor I don't have a lot of experience with, other than I thought Hyper-V was tied into Server (except for that hokey Windows XP virtualized compatibility layer you could get with Windows Professional)

    Thanks again. The ESXi reference was just due to the fact that I was only finding the AMD/Intel discussion in reference to that product. I certainly would not be running ESXi on this machine.

    Previously, I had used VMWare Server which has since been discontinued. At that time VMware Player was a very limited product so will take another look at that. As for MS' offering: Under Windows 7 I thought this was VirtualPc which has since been changed to Hyper-V in Windows 8. 

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

  • GruntyGrunty Member EpicPosts: 8,657

    A reference graphics card is made to the basic specifications of NVidia or AMD. This includes just enough cooling to allow the card to work properly.  GPU designer/manufacturers have a distinct production advantage over third party manufacturers.

    To keep it competitive and allow them to sell more chips to third party manufacturers NVidia and AMD limit themselves wjem making cards, if they make any, to minimum requirements. Minimum requirements usually call for minimal, cheap, and thus loud cooling. Some third party manufacturers will also offer cards that meet minimal but loud requirements for their cheaper card versions.

    The best way a consumer can compare noise from graphics cards is to read reviews about the cards they are looking at. Which ever cards you look at based on a specific GPU like the AMD R9 270 then also take into consideration their noise comparisons when deciding.

     

    I have tinnitus. That somehow increases my sensitivity to droning noise. With my system using the case and CPU cooler I mentioned above the noisiest piece is the GPU card. That is only noticeable when I try to listen for it. Compared to my previous build in a Fractal Design R3 case my newer build is silent.

    Fans are the biggest noise producers in PCs. That noise comes from the fan blades and the vibration the fan produces. Look for fans with low noise to airflow ratios. They'll cost more but are definitely worth it.

    Most sound deadening material found in PC cases does not absorb sound as much as prevent it. It adds weight to the sheet metal and significantly reduces the sound caused by vibration. 

    "I used to think the worst thing in life was to be all alone.  It's not.  The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone."  Robin Williams
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by mklinic
    Regarding the processor: I see that the i5-4690k is only about $10 more (Amazon). Would that be $10 well spent even if I never bother overclocking? The non-K version actually seemed to be priced higher at the moment so that is the reason I ask about the 4690k specifically.

     

    If you never bother overclocking, it's $10 wasted. The ability to overclock is the only difference between a K and non-K edition for Intel.

    While it's possible to get a Core i5 into a $800 build, it will stretch your budget elsewhere.

    If we're comparing to the processor that Saneless linked, it's not a Core i5-4690K versus 4690 non-K.  It's a 4690K versus a 4570.  And there, the difference is 300 MHz, even apart from overclocking.  Is an extra 8% performance worth paying 5% more?  If it's not, then you probably shouldn't be shelling out for an Intel CPU.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    When AMD and Nvidia launch a new video card, they usually (but not always) release a reference card with it.  Basically, instead of just saying, here's some GPU chips, go ahead and build your own cards around them, they'll also build their own cards.  The cards designed by AMD and Nvidia are "reference" cards, and their partners can buy the complete cards, add their own packaging, and sell the cards to you.  Alternatively, they can buy GPU chips and sometimes GDDR5 memory from AMD or Nvidia, go buy or build the rest of the components (PCB, VRMs, heatsink, etc.) to build a video card elsewhere, and assemble their own card.  The latter are "non-reference" cards.

    A non-reference card isn't intrinsically better or worse than a reference card.  It's just a question of whether the card was designed directly by AMD or Nvidia, or whether they only designed the GPU chip and not the entire card.  There are a handful of reference cards that I'd recommend avoiding (e.g., GeForce GTX 590, Radeon R9 290 and 290X), but those tend to be off the market pretty quickly after launch.  If board partners are happy with the reference cards that AMD or Nvidia designed, they may keep selling them a year after launch.  For example, with the Radeon R9 295 X2, AMD put in the work to make a really nice reference card, and I'm not sure if anyone ever made a non-reference version of it.

    The advantage of reference cards is that you can bring the product to market faster, as AMD or Nvidia can design and build cards around what they expect the GPU to be like, rather than having to wait until they have working chips in their hands to start the design.  Of course, if what the GPU chip is actually like doesn't match what AMD or Nvidia expected it to be like, that can get you into trouble, which I think is what happened with the GeForce GTX 470 and 480.  A few months after the initial launch, the time to market advantage is long gone.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061

    Most video cards are reference cards - very rarely will you find a card that deviates from the reference design - there are a few, but they are usually only in really high end or exotic products (or very low end products you want to stay far away from).

    Reference coolers are what everyone is really talking about here. If you start shopping for graphics cards, you'll see a lot of reference coolers - these are usually just plastic shrouds with a single blower-style fan, and the stickers will be about the only thing that sets them apart. AMD and nVidia both have a pretty distinctive reference cooler design.

    nVidia's reference cooler isn't too bad since it was overhauled a couple of years ago. AMD's reference cooler is adequate, but it's a nearly 5 year old design now, and it shows it's age on the higher end, higher heat products.

    Non-reference coolers are things like Twin-Frozr, Strix, Double-D, DirectCU, etc -- these designs usually have multiple fans, much larger heat pipes, and can be (but not always) more effective than the reference design - in terms of cooling, noise, or both.

  • SanelessSaneless Member UncommonPosts: 42
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Saneless
    I was giving him ideas, Not to mention those parts are great and in my 850 pc i built. Dont really see how they are random parts, they are the most important pieces to the system. The mobo, psu, and case can all be bought very cheap. Also i am assuming he already has a keyboard, monitor, mouse, ect.

    Just because you bought something a year ago doesn't mean it makes sense to buy now.  Or that it made sense to buy then.

    The processor, in particular, is a bad idea.  You pay most of the price premium to go with Intel rather than AMD, while giving up a considerable fraction of the extra performance by going with a lower clocked version of it.

    Amd is cheaper, but not faster. Being a year old does not mean the item is not still good. It just means its cheaper and mostly likely still performs nearly the same as some of the new processors.

    Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Mine nor yours is wrong.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,254
    I am pretty sure his specific needs makes AMD the superior choice in this area. In virtualization you will more than likely see performance parity clock for clock with either AMD or Intel. The difference will then be cores where AMD has 8 verse 4. The main difference will be in heat and electricity. Thats not gonna be a big deal for one machine. In addition it makes less sense to pick the more expensive Intel Option that will likely not perform in the productivity tasks as well as an AMD. You would not be looking at an i5 to compete here, but an i7.
  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    Originally posted by Cleffy
    I am pretty sure his specific needs makes AMD the superior choice in this area. In virtualization you will more than likely see performance parity clock for clock with either AMD or Intel. The difference will then be cores where AMD has 8 verse 4. The main difference will be in heat and electricity. Thats not gonna be a big deal for one machine. In addition it makes less sense to pick the more expensive Intel Option that will likely not perform in the productivity tasks as well as an AMD. You would not be looking at an i5 to compete here, but an i7.

     

    If the PC is to be used for gaming, Intel is the better choice if it fits in the budget.   It sounds like we need to know more about the VMs and how much load they will place on the CPU and RAM. I went back through the thread and he mentions only running two VMs at a time, but we don't know if those VMs are running CPU-intensive applications which scale well to multiple cores, or how much RAM they need.

    This could easily be a $1200 PC if the OP needs good performance and a lot of RAM for the VMs.

  • mklinicmklinic Member UncommonPosts: 1,640
    Originally posted by syntax42

    If the PC is to be used for gaming, Intel is the better choice if it fits in the budget.   It sounds like we need to know more about the VMs and how much load they will place on the CPU and RAM. I went back through the thread and he mentions only running two VMs at a time, but we don't know if those VMs are running CPU-intensive applications which scale well to multiple cores, or how much RAM they need.

    This could easily be a $1200 PC if the OP needs good performance and a lot of RAM for the VMs.

    The VMs will be used for running a "lab" environment that would usually consist of 2-4 machines. Up to 2 of those would be Active Directory Domain Controllers (2008(R2) and 2012(R2)) and any other servers would be 2003-2012R2 member servers or *NIX machines. The most resource-intensive thing I would run in VM would be a SQL server, but it would only be hosting small DBs.

    That said, there is a distinction to what I will be doing at time of purchase versus a few months from now. For example, on the initial build, I wouldn't expect to be running 4 VMs without issue. The motherboard Quizzacal specified had 4 RAM slots and supported up to 32 GB of RAM though, so I have plenty of room to build that out to capacity. Running a few VMs on either the i5 or AMD processor shouldn't be a big issue. Otherwise, these VMs are for lab/dev and not a production environment of any sort so not worried if the VMs run a bit slow when all running concurrently. If I reach a point that I am running too many VMs for the proposed system, then I suppose that means work is keeping me busy and I'll have little cause to complain. :)

    The VMs would not run consistently, but instead I would spin them up as needed. As a result, the virtualization would not be competing with productivity apps or games (aside from disk space perhaps).

    I do get that a build for the purposes I specified could easily cost more. That's part of the reason I posted. :) I've seen any number of threads where people have asked for advice on fairly restrictive budgets and the conversations that resulted. I do realize that a tight budget may mean sacrificing in one area or another.

    Anyway, hope that clarifies the VM usage a bit. The rest of the machine uses are listed in the OP, but if there is anything I can elaborate on, let me know.

     

    -mklinic

    "There's a point I think we're missing.
    It's in the air we raise our fists in."
    -from Behind Closed Doors by Rise Against

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