New PC Suggestions

EncEnc A Fool with CompassionThe Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
edited January 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm looking at getting a new PC to replace my old one, and I'd rather not do the build it yourself thing again after last time. Ideally I need something that is about 6-900 a tower and can render graphics (photoshop, sketchup, worldbuilder, and otehr 3d rendering and painting tools) and games extremely well. I have no Idea where to begin.

Anyone have any suggestions? I really have no idea what I should be looking for in a prebuilt machine.

Enc on

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0146447MC/

    Maybe that?

    You generally want something that's i5 or higher (avoid AMD), at least 6GB (8 is better). But for $900 you're kinda limited on the 'is powerful and can play games extremely well' front with a prebuilt. Plus you have to deal with shitware on your PC.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Yeah, the issue here is I need to get two of them, which is what is limiting the price point. From what research I've done I need:
    • Intel i5
    • 225gb SSD+ along with a larger storage drive
    • 8GB ram
    • (some kind) of graphics card, this is where things get murky.

    I need the power to render things in photoshop and sketchup more than I need gaming capabilities. Mostly I play WOW and Skyrim, neither of which need all that much power to look fantastic. I'd like to be insulated for 3-5 years though so I don't have to upgrade again recently, which means I probably need to increase my options.

    Anyone know anything about the Alienware X51? I've seen good reviews but it is hard to know what reviews are paid for by Dell and which aren't.

    Honestly, aside from the form factor that seems to beat everything I can find. Thanks @Bowen ! I have some budgeting to do.

    Enc on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You're paying for brand name with alienware, you'd be better off just getting something like asus or lenovo.

    That $699 one is an i3, which is.. I mean it's okay, but you're probably not going to get 5 years out of it.

    I'd say 750ti is the lowest I'd want to go for wow and skyrim. Photoshop and sketchup can run on garbage GPUs, since they're used on things like the surface pros.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Photoshop can run on garbage GPUs, but it depends on what you're doing with it. Web graphics? Fine. High resolution and large format? Errrr..

    I'm not sure I'd buy into old Intel architecture at this point. Don't get blinded by the "i7" there. You're better off looking into Skylake, even with an i5.

    Why not ask in the Computer Build thread?

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Ah the page I left off on had him posting on too, hah.

    Yeah I'd honestly say you're going to get more bang for your buck with a home built. Intel is still wiping the floor with AMD, until AMD gets their new chips out from the engineer they fired (which is this year I think right?).

    Skylakes are okay as long as you're getting the comparable chip, though you're probably not if you're getting a skylake from a prebuilt.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Ah the page I left off on had him posting on too, hah.

    Yeah I'd honestly say you're going to get more bang for your buck with a home built. Intel is still wiping the floor with AMD, until AMD gets their new chips out from the engineer they fired (which is this year I think right?).

    Skylakes are okay as long as you're getting the comparable chip, though you're probably not if you're getting a skylake from a prebuilt.

    Also keep in mind that sticking to old chipsets means an old motherboard. So if there are plans to upgrade at all in the future, you'll be buying almost everything all over again instead.

    But yeah, I'd still go with a custom build. Even if you pay the $50-$100 to a computer shop to put it all together for you. What does Newegg charge to assemble for you? Can't be that much.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I built at home with the last two we had, and they worked great at budget, but I still have problems now where I have no documentation of what hardware or drivers I need to find on updates that cause one of our two machines no end to problems. I'd prefer something that will come as one package so I have less to worry about, and so the waranty will cover repairs within a given time-frame of getting the machine to prevent having to figure out what extactly is DOA. I just don't have the time to deal with that where I am in life.

    My graphics design is using very high resolution (3kx6k 600dpi) image files and rendering 3d objects at those sizes. Right now I do most of that on a Surface pro 3 up to an extent, but it just cant handle most of what I need to do for the finishing and rendering work, and it certainly can't do gaming (what it does do, it does very very well).

    How much a difference are we talking between what Bowen posted and something like the Alienware X51 (which does use Skylake from what I'm seeing)?

    Re: the build thread. I've tried posting there twice now in the last six months and got completely ignored, so I'm not really up to wading in there again.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    To get the x51 up to snuff you're probably going to add another $200-300 in components.

    Yeah they tend to ignore you unless you do the preliminary building yourself and go "hey what's your opinions on this?" then they'll tell you what to adjust.

    I can probably throw something together and figgy can look it over and do some replacements. Haswell still isn't a bad choice over skylake, but if you want futureproof I'd stick with skylake (USB-C might become a big deal).

    If USB-C becomes a big deal, that means you can replace components just by plugging them in (new video cards anyways).

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Don't bother building something at this stage. I think we are going to look at postponing a month or two to increase our budget power on this.

    You've all given me a bunch to think about. I'll come back once I can go all in on the top of the line stuff.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/NwN6YJ

    Things you can change to drop price: Cheaper case (more of a bitch to work with), cheaper CPU fan (you'll also probably need CPU paste which is like $2-5), Remove Windows and reuse your current licenses (saves you about $100), move the optical reader to your new PC (saves you about $50) or get a cheaper optical reader that doesn't support blu-ray (probably will save you $30)

    You can also not use skylake and go down to haswell and probably knock another $100 off the overall price.

    You can use the 750ti instead of the 970, that will save you about $100-150 as well.

    You could go AMD instead of i5-skylake and get some cost savings that way.

    If you didn't need to game, I'd probably recommend you use the nvidia quatro cards instead, they're powerhouses for rendering and modeling.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Enc
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Ah shit missed that, sorry!

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    In case you come back to this thread later, that build Bowen posted is decent. I'd go with a 6600 over the 6600K. If you're not into finding your drivers you definitely won't be into overclocking your CPU, so no use paying for an unlocked CPU (and that mobo wouldn't let you anyway). Then you won't need a CPU Cooler as the 6600 come with an acceptable one for normal use.

    And maybe ditch the optical drive. Honestly no need nowadays unless you're burning media.

    But waiting is probably a better bet. Your budget limitations don't mesh with your requirements for power.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
    Enc
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah I mostly just looked at the high reviews on pcpartpicker so it probably filtered out the 6600.

    You won't have drivers on a modern PC anyways, they preload it into a partition on the drive now, which kind of sucks in its own way.

    I just take my driver discs and put them in my safe/filing cabinets. Though lately I've just been keeping them on google drive.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Also when you get your budgets lined up, maybe USB-C will be more mainstream and will have a motherboard that has it cheaper than $300.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    Also, sorry you got ignored in the computer build thread. Sometimes that thread moves fast and people get overlooked. Everyone there is going to make sure you get the best for your money.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
    davidsdurions
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    8GB ram
    I have 16 gb and sometimes I feel even that's not enough for photoshop, particularly when editing a panorama stitched from raw files. It hasn't been annoying enough to upgrade from 4 x 4 gb to 4 x 8 gb, but it's come close.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    a good price-conscious approach (at least, from a gaming standpoint) imo is to skimp a bit on video card up front; you can often save 100-150 dollars by going with a good previous 'generation' graphics card (something like a 750ti or R9 380) rather than what's currently at the top of the market without really noticing a huge performance difference in current games. Then 2-3 years down the road you can upgrade the card to whatever's current at that point, maybe throw in a slight processor overclock (I mean with an i5, why not) and it's almost like having a whole new PC.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    ArcanisTheImpotent
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Ok, so reopening this thread after some time has passed. I'm now with a decent warchest and am looking for a prebuilt rig I can get two of for 2k or less.

    Anyone have some decent suggestions for the current market?

  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    Cyberpower or digital storm are the only two that I have had friends have dealings with. Both had excellent build quality and parts.

    Don't have anyone around you that is tech savvy and can just put parts together for you? You will save yourself a few hundred not getting a prebuilt, but no warranty except for the individual parts.

    Bloodycow on
    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    I bought a PC from Digital Storm nearly 4 years ago, and I haven't had any problems with it. In fact, I'm still using it to this day.

    That being said, I probably could've saved a lot of money if I bought the parts and put it together myself, but I didn't mind saving myself the time and hassle. In addition, their office is (relatively) local, which meant that I could guarantee the handling of the PC until it was hooked up. This is an important point, because frankly, without spending hundreds of dollars on S&H alone, there's almost no way you are going to be able to ship a fully-assembled PC and expect it to actually work by the time it reaches your doorstep.

  • l_gl_g Registered User regular
    Due to your budgetary constraints, choosing to build it yourself can actually make a significant difference in the power of your machine. Small differences like $50 might not sound like much, but it can be the difference between having 8GB of RAM and 16GB of RAM, which will make a very real performance difference when developing. Because you mention that you will be doing 3D graphics work, I strongly advise that you budget for more than 8GB of RAM. If it is the case that you want two machines for the sake of multiplayer game development/testing, it does make sense for the two to be capable of running whatever it is you're making. However, that also has the problem of both of them being specced for doing your development work, which on your budget might mean that your primary development machine is under-powered while your second machine is under-utilized.

    Does this budget include peripherals and display devices? Again, at the budget you are operating at, small amounts can make big differences.

    Cole's Law: "Thinly sliced cabbage."
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Most of the savings in building a PC yourself come from avoiding extra markup on parts and selecting the best individual parts based on bang for buck.

    Doing the actual assembly of it yourself often saves you very little. If you've got a local PC shop, having them order the parts in and assemble it for you will probably cost an extra $50 and it means you can pick it set up with windows installed and all.

    zepherin
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    So last time I built myself, and wasn't hugely happy with the results. Having to track down individual warranties during the first year was a huge hassle. My goal here is to get a prebuilt I can get a warranty on for the entire machine for the first year. We have all the keyboards, mice, and monitors we need. Just the towers are what I'm looking for suggestions on here (preferably specific configurations or units where possible). Our only local PC shop is a best buy, and I'd rather order online than give Geeksquad the satisfaction of a 500 dollar markup.

    Right now this is on my radar:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883230073

    Looks like something that would be a huge upgrade from where I'm at now, and could upgrade the ram on down the line when money and time are needed. Thoughts?

    As a note here, our current machines were built out of B grade parts in 2010 with the exception of our processors (which we got the best we could find at the time), so anything at this stage will be a huge improvement. I just want to get the best bang for the buck given my use case (graphic design and light gaming).

    Enc on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    did you need monitors/keyboard/etc?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Nope! We have all that we need (four monitors and some nice input devices). Just looking to upgrade the towers.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited August 2016
    The issue I'm seeing is the gtx950. It's a bit on the lower end (gtx-#50 cards usually are), so you're going to hit performance problems on a lot of games/software that are GPU intensive.

    I'd say if you can find a PC with a 1060 that's what you should shoot for (there's a few, but they're one of those things you have to watch like a hawk since they go out of stock quickly). And they're usually around $1000 a pop, so it's at the top end of your budget. But a 950.. you're going to replace it in 2 years versus 4+.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    The issue I'm seeing is the gtx950. It's a bit on the lower end (gtx-#50 cards usually are), so you're going to hit performance problems on a lot of games/software that are GPU intensive.

    I'd say if you can find a PC with a 1060 that's what you should shoot for (there's a few, but they're one of those things you have to watch like a hawk since they go out of stock quickly). And they're usually around $1000 a pop, so it's at the top end of your budget. But a 950.. you're going to replace it in 2 years versus 4+.

    From your perspective, is that chassi something you could flip out the card in two years on?

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    The issue I'm seeing is the gtx950. It's a bit on the lower end (gtx-#50 cards usually are), so you're going to hit performance problems on a lot of games/software that are GPU intensive.

    I'd say if you can find a PC with a 1060 that's what you should shoot for (there's a few, but they're one of those things you have to watch like a hawk since they go out of stock quickly). And they're usually around $1000 a pop, so it's at the top end of your budget. But a 950.. you're going to replace it in 2 years versus 4+.

    From your perspective, is that chassi something you could flip out the card in two years on?

    Yup, looks like you could even fit an extra long one in it.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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