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  1. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: gold coast, australia
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    hey guys,
    finally going to get a new desktop...want to get one custom made this time over going into store and getting one already made in my price range.Was looking into getting an imac 27" but i use so many free windows programs not sure its wise
    what specs do you recommend ?( i want to be last as long as possible but not be ridiculously expensive.)
    i do the following
    *some video/audio/photo editing
    *extensive net use
    *extensive media use-watching dvds/blu rays, music, ipod, downloading, ripping, extensive converting etc
    * some game use
    *usually left on all day/all night
    Would like a large screen too, a good value for money one.
    any help guys?
    cheers
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: gold coast, australia
    Search Comp PM
    sorry should of added a few things.
    how much ram do i need?most seem to come with 4gig so obviously only need 16 gig if doing some serious editing..is 4gig enough or should i get 8? will windows 7 ( which i havent used yet) utilise over 4gig?
    for what i listed, which windows 7 should i get?
    playing some games, but by no means a game head, what sort of graphics card?
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  3. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    If you run a 32 bit OS, any 32 bit OS, you can only use a bit less than 4GB RAM. More won't really do anything. A 64 bit OS can use quite a bit more RAM. I prefer a 32 bit OS, but that's just a personal preference as most of my regular programs get little benefit from a 64 bit OS.

    I would suggest Windows 7 Pro, mainly if you want to run some older XP programs. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/windows-xp-mode If you don't need that option, W7 Home Premium would be fine. Ultimate is overkill for most users.

    For a CPU, I prefer at least a quad core, mostly AMD. I have a six core AMD at present and I do like it. Whatever CPU you end up with, ~3Ghz or more is helpful. Slower CPUs will give you slower encode times. A quad core will help greatly with some codecs, such as h.264.

    For video cards, quite a few should fit your requirements. The higher end cards do much better with intense gaming. Some cards can do hardware acceleration and encoding. At least the hardware acceleration is very useful, especially for high definition playback. I would get one with DVI and HDMI outputs.

    I prefer Gigabyte MBs, especially for AMD chipsets.

    For monitors, a 24", native 1920 X 1080 display seems a good choice, then no rescaling for HD video. LED backlights save energy and run cooler, so also a good choice. DVI and VGA are common connections, and some have HDMI.

    A Mac setup is one consideration, but there is less available software, and some of the payware can get expensive. I still have a Mac G4, but I rarely use it.

    Power supplies, ~500W is good. More if you use a high end video card, especially SLI types. Get a good name brand PS. If a cheap PS dies, it can take the whole computer with it. Not a good place to economize. Another good PS option is a modular PS, that way you have less unused cables to deal with.

    Other than that, I use a small, fast hard drive for the boot drive. I like the Western Digital Raptor 10K RPM, 150GB drives. The SSD drives are coming down in price and are very fast, but the main benefit is load times. Not much improvement in video software operations.

    I also add two additional HDDs, usually 500GB or larger to deal with video operations. RAID isn't really needed for anything unless you are processing raw video streams. The speed of most any hard drive is faster than most any video encoder. I also use a BD burner/ROM and a DVD burner. That's a total of five SATA connections. I usually add an additional eSATA connection on the rear of the PC for adding external drives.

    I'll let others give more specific details.
    Last edited by redwudz; 16th Jun 2011 at 13:35.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: gold coast, australia
    Search Comp PM
    thanks!!!
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: United States
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    If you have a Micro Center store nearby, they have some excellent AMD CPU/motherboard bundle deals at the moment: http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundlePROMO.html

    No end date listed (read into that what you'd like to) and it's been going for at least 6-8 weeks now.

    As far as RAM goes, I'd go with 8 GB (and thus a 64 bit OS) because the price difference is pretty minor in the grand scheme if things: $25 or so more than 4 GB of the same model for a nice boost and plenty of headroom.
    Last edited by Bix; 21st Jun 2011 at 01:37.
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