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New PC build recommendations?

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Hi, Looking for recommendation on a new desktop build. Currently I have a gigabyte motherboard with intel i3 540 with 8gb ram. I've been running it since 2010 and really could do with a better b… Read More
Dan__ Avatar
6m, 2w agoPosted 6 months, 2 weeks ago
Hi,

Looking for recommendation on a new desktop build.

Currently I have a gigabyte motherboard with intel i3 540 with 8gb ram. I've been running it since 2010 and really could do with a better build. Still got it housed in my ancient Thermaltake X case from 2005! lol So yeah you can tell I need a upgrade.

Looking to get an i7, decent mid range mother board, ram and need a recommendation for the best graphics card to get for watching HD/Bluray/4K movies that can run with the best settings using MadVR.

Just to add I don't do gaming no more on pc, I prefer console nowadays but I would still like to get an i7 and something decent as I do a lot of multi-tasking, always have 2 browsers open with at least 20 tabs on each side and given my current spec I am running it to its limits and can tell sometimes get a bit of a lag or the odd rare crash. I also have other apps running and open alongside with 2 open browsers, so I do put my system under quite a load. I know I need to add more Ram and that will help but sadly my motherboard is kinda screwed and the other 2 Ram slots do not work. I could swap the current ram out with larger size ones but I might as well just do a full proper upgrade. Want to treat myself.

Also would like a recommendation on a good case. Would prefer Full tower but might consider a Mid tower or something else if its nice enough to my liking. I have been eying up that Phantom 820 case by NZXT. Price has hardly budged on their cases but for full tower that is the only nicest one I have been able to find.

Also as its nearer the time for black friday and cyber monday, does anyone know which store/retailers tend to have the best motherboard deals going on in the UK? I checked last year and wasn't great, only decent thing I seen was that Asus were giving cashback on motherboard purchases from their site.

Anyhow, here's hoping some of you may know whats best out there.

P.S - My budget is around 300-400 for an intel i7, motherboard + decent or best HD graphics card for movie playback

Thanks
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Dan__ Avatar
6m, 2w agoPosted 6 months, 2 weeks ago
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#1
I would consider picking up an i7 8xx off ebay for <£100 and drop it in. It is about the same as a top end current i3/low end i5. If your main/motherboard has all the connections you need.

For 4K probably GTX960. Even a GTX750 can do 4K.

Get a new case to repack it.
#2
Go for a e-atx case. Small cases aren't manly enough. http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00002562
#3
Check out this website

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/
#4
Dan__
need a recommendation for the best graphics card to get for watching HD/Bluray/4K movies that can run with the best settings using MadVR.

What can you afford?
https://wiki.mikejung.biz/MadVR

Dan__
P.S - My budget is around 300-400 for an intel i7, motherboard + decent or best HD graphics card for movie playback

Uh... The cheapest i7 is around £300 alone, a mid-range motherboard is conservatively £60-70 and the latest generation of graphics cards start at £100 (RX 460/GTX 1050)

You need to revise your budget or drop your sights a bit.

In terms of cases I don't remember a Thermaltake X and searching doesn't turn it up, but they were using an X logo and X in a lot of their names at that era. Was it one of the Xaser series? Given that and your mention of the Phantom 820 I guess you're after the sort of curvy style that was popular mid-nourties styling rather than the current trend for blacked out cases or glowing stealth bombers.

If that's the case then as well as Thermaltake and NXZT, Aerocool would probably be the first ones I'd look at. Or Alienware of course, but you'd have to buy a complete system.

kester76
Go for a e-atx case. Small cases aren't manly enough. http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00002562

But when was the last time you saw an EATX motherboard? Most of the big ones seem to be using SSI CEB and SSI EEB these days.

Edited By: EndlessWaves on Nov 06, 2016 23:08
#5
EndlessWaves
Dan__
need a recommendation for the best graphics card to get for watching HD/Bluray/4K movies that can run with the best settings using MadVR.
What can you afford?https://wiki.mikejung.biz/MadVR
Dan__
P.S - My budget is around 300-400 for an intel i7, motherboard + decent or best HD graphics card for movie playback
Uh... The cheapest i7 is around £300 alone, a mid-range motherboard is conservatively £60-70 and the latest generation of graphics cards start at £100 (RX 460/GTX 1050)
You need to revise your budget or drop your sights a bit.
In terms of cases I don't remember a Thermaltake X and searching doesn't turn it up, but they were using an X logo and X in a lot of their names at that era. Was it one of the Xaser series? Given that and your mention of the Phantom 820 I guess you're after the sort of curvy style that was popular mid-nourties styling rather than the current trend for blacked out cases or glowing stealth bombers.
If that's the case then as well as Thermaltake and NXZT, Aerocool would probably be the first ones I'd look at. Or Alienware of course, but you'd have to buy a complete system.
kester76
Go for a e-atx case. Small cases aren't manly enough. http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00002562
But when was the last time you saw an EATX motherboard? Most of the big ones seem to be using SSI CEB and SSI EEB these days.

Thanks for the reply everyone :)

Sorry, my current case is the Thermaltake Xaser III in silver. I like alienware but you can't buy their cases, its ashame as they are missing a trick there. I like the phantom case because it is full tower and has many useful features. I like to have space inside a case as it gives you space to add more things when needed and easier to do so when there is more room to move around inside. But I wouldn't rule a mid tower case out if it was something really cool. I will have a look at Aerocool and see what they have.

E-ATX? hmm not heard of these ones. I have been off the scene with whats new etc in motherboard, etc.
So rather than going for a normal full size ATX, you recommend E-ATX?

as for the i7 yeah I will have to expand my budget if need be.

Do you guys reckon that there will be any decent deals coming up soon? Any particular online store or a national retailer to keep an eye on? I only ask as it is near the time of the madness.

Also had a look at the MadVR link above, I have seen this before and its mostly just recommendations on settings and his results on diff machines.
Is it really worth me forking out over a 100 quid for such a high end graphics card if I don't really intend to do any gaming? Is there a second option that you or anyone would recommend? Maybe something mid range that will just do a good enough job?
#6
Dan__
EndlessWaves
Dan__
need a recommendation for the best graphics card to get for watching HD/Bluray/4K movies that can run with the best settings using MadVR.
What can you afford?https://wiki.mikejung.biz/MadVR
Dan__
P.S - My budget is around 300-400 for an intel i7, motherboard + decent or best HD graphics card for movie playback
Uh... The cheapest i7 is around £300 alone, a mid-range motherboard is conservatively £60-70 and the latest generation of graphics cards start at £100 (RX 460/GTX 1050)
You need to revise your budget or drop your sights a bit.
In terms of cases I don't remember a Thermaltake X and searching doesn't turn it up, but they were using an X logo and X in a lot of their names at that era. Was it one of the Xaser series? Given that and your mention of the Phantom 820 I guess you're after the sort of curvy style that was popular mid-nourties styling rather than the current trend for blacked out cases or glowing stealth bombers.
If that's the case then as well as Thermaltake and NXZT, Aerocool would probably be the first ones I'd look at. Or Alienware of course, but you'd have to buy a complete system.
kester76
Go for a e-atx case. Small cases aren't manly enough. http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00002562
But when was the last time you saw an EATX motherboard? Most of the big ones seem to be using SSI CEB and SSI EEB these days.

Thanks for the reply everyone :)

Sorry, my current case is the Thermaltake Xaser III in silver. I like alienware but you can't buy their cases, its ashame as they are missing a trick there. I like the phantom case because it is full tower and has many useful features. I like to have space inside a case as it gives you space to add more things when needed and easier to do so when there is more room to move around inside. But I wouldn't rule a mid tower case out if it was something really cool. I will have a look at Aerocool and see what they have.

E-ATX? hmm not heard of these ones. I have been off the scene with whats new etc in motherboard, etc.
So rather than going for a normal full size ATX, you recommend E-ATX?

as for the i7 yeah I will have to expand my budget if need be.

Do you guys reckon that there will be any decent deals coming up soon? Any particular online store or a national retailer to keep an eye on? I only ask as it is near the time of the madness.

Also had a look at the MadVR link above, I have seen this before and its mostly just recommendations on settings and his results on diff machines.
Is it really worth me forking out over a 100 quid for such a high end graphics card if I don't really intend to do any gaming? Is there a second option that you or anyone would recommend? Maybe something mid range that will just do a good enough job?




e-atx is the biggest boards you can get. The core x9 takes 2x 200mm fans on the front that produce a good flow rate. Not much not to like about this case it is massive and highly moddable. I would always recommend spending on a good case as it will outlive 2 full upgrades atleast.
#7
Dan__
E-ATX? hmm not heard of these ones. I have been off the scene with whats new etc in motherboard, etc.

E-ATX is pretty old, it's been around since before 2005. It's just a high end standard with an extra expansion slot and more width to allow for dual and quad CPU boards and quad crossfire/SLI setups. As I say if you actually wanted to buy that sort of high end/workstation board you'd want something with the SSI CEB and SSI EEB mounting holes as they seem to be more used these days.

For a mid-range motherboard it's not worth worrying about. You don't see those form factors until you're spending several hundred on the motherboard alone.

I think Kester pointed out the case because the board is mounted flat (parallel to the floor) and has lots of room around it, rather than because of the motherboard compatibility. If you like that style then Lian-li do some ATX models like that as well.

Dan__
Do you guys reckon that there will be any decent deals coming up soon? Any particular online store or a national retailer to keep an eye on? I only ask as it is near the time of the madness.

In Brexit Britain? I doubt we'll see much in the way of good deals for at least the next three years on imported stuff.

Dan__
Also had a look at the MadVR link above, I have seen this before and its mostly just recommendations on settings and his results on diff machines.

If he's discussing which settings work best on a £300 card for 1920x1080 then you can be sure you're not going to max it out on anything remotely near that price, especially as I guess you're scaling up further if you're also watching 4K videos.

Dan__
Is it really worth me forking out over a 100 quid for such a high end graphics card if I don't really intend to do any gaming? Is there a second option that you or anyone would recommend? Maybe something mid range that will just do a good enough job?

£100 is entry level in terms of dedicated graphics cards these days, those are the cheapest recent cards that AMD and nVidia produce. With the exception of a couple of outgoing models at £80 everything below that is 2012-2013 technology.

The new cards offer a couple of big advantages over the older ones. They provide dedicated HEVC decoding hardware which substantially cuts down on CPU use for videos in that format - great if you have them playing in the background. They also support HDMI 2.0 and much more commonly feature DisplayPort 1.2/1.3/1.4 and you'll need one of them for your 4k display.

Integrated graphics are a quite different prospect than they were back in 2009-2010. Now that they're part of the CPU rather than part of the motherboard chipset they're bang up to date and they're also a lot more powerful. The HD 530 in the i7-6700 is roughly equal to an R7 240 or GT 730 so you're looking at the next model up, the R7 250 or GT 740, to get double the performance. That's £60+

The options that make most sense are integrated graphics or a 460/1050. Anything between that is lacking in technology support and usually overpriced for it's performance (the RX 460 is around 2.5x the performance of an R7 250 for 1.6x the price).
#8
EndlessWaves
Dan__
E-ATX? hmm not heard of these ones. I have been off the scene with whats new etc in motherboard, etc.
E-ATX is pretty old, it's been around since before 2005. It's just a high end standard with an extra expansion slot and more width to allow for dual and quad CPU boards and quad crossfire/SLI setups. As I say if you actually wanted to buy that sort of high end/workstation board you'd want something with the SSI CEB and SSI EEB mounting holes as they seem to be more used these days.
For a mid-range motherboard it's not worth worrying about. You don't see those form factors until you're spending several hundred on the motherboard alone.
I think Kester pointed out the case because the board is mounted flat (parallel to the floor) and has lots of room around it, rather than because of the motherboard compatibility. If you like that style then Lian-li do some ATX models like that as well.
Dan__
Do you guys reckon that there will be any decent deals coming up soon? Any particular online store or a national retailer to keep an eye on? I only ask as it is near the time of the madness.
In Brexit Britain? I doubt we'll see much in the way of good deals for at least the next three years on imported stuff.
Dan__
Also had a look at the MadVR link above, I have seen this before and its mostly just recommendations on settings and his results on diff machines.
If he's discussing which settings work best on a £300 card for 1920x1080 then you can be sure you're not going to max it out on anything remotely near that price, especially as I guess you're scaling up further if you're also watching 4K videos.
Dan__
Is it really worth me forking out over a 100 quid for such a high end graphics card if I don't really intend to do any gaming? Is there a second option that you or anyone would recommend? Maybe something mid range that will just do a good enough job?
£100 is entry level in terms of dedicated graphics cards these days, those are the cheapest recent cards that AMD and nVidia produce. With the exception of a couple of outgoing models at £80 everything below that is 2012-2013 technology.
The new cards offer a couple of big advantages over the older ones. They provide dedicated HEVC decoding hardware which substantially cuts down on CPU use for videos in that format - great if you have them playing in the background. They also support HDMI 2.0 and much more commonly feature DisplayPort 1.2/1.3/1.4 and you'll need one of them for your 4k display.
Integrated graphics are a quite different prospect than they were back in 2009-2010. Now that they're part of the CPU rather than part of the motherboard chipset they're bang up to date and they're also a lot more powerful. The HD 530 in the i7-6700 is roughly equal to an R7 240 or GT 730 so you're looking at the next model up, the R7 250 or GT 740, to get double the performance. That's £60+
The options that make most sense are integrated graphics or a 460/1050. Anything between that is lacking in technology support and usually overpriced for it's performance (the RX 460 is around 2.5x the performance of an R7 250 for 1.6x the price).

Thank you very much sir for your detailed reply, I appreciate you taking the time out to tell me that :)

Okay all of the above makes sense and I am now deciding to change my mind. I have also been told that i7 would be overkill especially since I wont be gaming and I was told that it's mainly best for people who do a lot of video editing, again I don't do that either. To be honest if I did go all out full shabang then yeah I might test the odd 1 or 2 games to see how it is but doubt I would get into it cause I left PC gaming mainly because of the constant upgrading then there's the lengthy installing etc.

I am now considering perhaps go for an i5 which prob be more suitable for my needs and means I won't have to or need to spend more than I need to. Any good recommendations on which i5 I should get that will have the decent integrated graphics that you speak of?

Also a good recommendation for a motherboard to go with this cpu? I'm thinking standard ATX will do fine as I won't be running any dual graphic card setups or be installing any extra fans etc. I will just use the fans that I get with the case and if anything then I will change the stock CPU cooler as they are pretty rubbish.

As for the deals, damn! I wish I had ordered that Gigabyte ultra gaming board + SSD deal on the weekend when I seen it lol hopefully more of them deals will pop up or with free ram then even better.

Thanks again

Edited By: Dan__ on Nov 07, 2016 14:18
#9
Dan__
Okay all of the above makes sense and I am now deciding to change my mind. I have also been told that i7 would be overkill especially since I wont be gaming and I was told that it's mainly best for people who do a lot of video editing, again I don't do that either.

Even the i3-6100 is comfortably faster than the typical i7-6500U that you find in a £1500+ laptop. None of the desktop CPUs can be called slow. Trying to pin down how much power is enough is a tricky business.

Dan__
Any good recommendations on which i5 I should get that will have the decent integrated graphics that you speak of?

All of the desktop CPUs except for the Celerons and one Pentium model get the same GT2 (HD 530). That's actually the second weakest of the four GPUs intel do but the GT3 and GT4 models are only available in the laptop and embedded chips.

Well, Intel did launch the GT3 equipped i5-5675C and i7-5775C chips just a couple of months before launching the 6th generation. The latter is still available, but rather expensive.

If you do opt for the integrated graphics option and you're not in any hurry then you may want to wait a few months for Intel to launch the desktop version of the current 7th generation chips as that adds Main10 profile support to the HEVC decoder:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Kaby-Lake-Core-i7-7500U-Review-Skylake-on-Steroids.172692.0.html

You won't get stutters on the more powerful desktop chip, but it will use more CPU power.

Dan__
Also a good recommendation for a motherboard to go with this cpu? I'm thinking standard ATX will do fine as I won't be running any dual graphic card setups or be installing any extra fans etc.

What features do you want from it and how many of the expansion cards in your old system will you be transferring over (and what slot do they use)?

Dan__
As for the deals, damn! I wish I had ordered that Gigabyte ultra gaming board + SSD deal on the weekend when I seen it lol hopefully more of them deals will pop up or with free ram then even better.
Thanks again

Prices have been rising faster than the exchange rate so there will be discounts, but don't expect anything like the prices we saw last year. A good deal will be something going down to the undiscounted price it was five months ago.
#10
EndlessWaves
Dan__
Okay all of the above makes sense and I am now deciding to change my mind. I have also been told that i7 would be overkill especially since I wont be gaming and I was told that it's mainly best for people who do a lot of video editing, again I don't do that either.
Even the i3-6100 is comfortably faster than the typical i7-6500U that you find in a £1500+ laptop. None of the desktop CPUs can be called slow. Trying to pin down how much power is enough is a tricky business.
Dan__
Any good recommendations on which i5 I should get that will have the decent integrated graphics that you speak of?
All of the desktop CPUs except for the Celerons and one Pentium model get the same GT2 (HD 530). That's actually the second weakest of the four GPUs intel do but the GT3 and GT4 models are only available in the laptop and embedded chips.
Well, Intel did launch the GT3 equipped i5-5675C and i7-5775C chips just a couple of months before launching the 6th generation. The latter is still available, but rather expensive.
If you do opt for the integrated graphics option and you're not in any hurry then you may want to wait a few months for Intel to launch the desktop version of the current 7th generation chips as that adds Main10 profile support to the HEVC decoder:http://www.notebookcheck.net/Kaby-Lake-Core-i7-7500U-Review-Skylake-on-Steroids.172692.0.html
You won't get stutters on the more powerful desktop chip, but it will use more CPU power.
Dan__
Also a good recommendation for a motherboard to go with this cpu? I'm thinking standard ATX will do fine as I won't be running any dual graphic card setups or be installing any extra fans etc.
What features do you want from it and how many of the expansion cards in your old system will you be transferring over (and what slot do they use)?
Dan__
As for the deals, damn! I wish I had ordered that Gigabyte ultra gaming board + SSD deal on the weekend when I seen it lol hopefully more of them deals will pop up or with free ram then even better.
Thanks again
Prices have been rising faster than the exchange rate so there will be discounts, but don't expect anything like the prices we saw last year. A good deal will be something going down to the undiscounted price it was five months ago.

Thank you!

I had a look at some i5 prices and looked at the one you mentioned which was out a good while ago yet the price for that is so expensive, doesn't make sense? Why would someone pay £380 for that when you can get the i5-6600 for £200? And this is newer and 6th gen. What am I missing here other than the fact that the older i5 model you mentioned has a better integrated graphics card? Strange.

Motherboard features I am looking for is good or high SATA bandwidth and latest features all round. Or just a well balanced full ATX board. I normally do use expansion slots but I won't be bringing them over. I wanted to ask, is it worth getting a seperate sound card? I have always done this to reduce load on the cpu and board. Always bought creative sound cards. Am I right in thinking that I am just wasting money here and that there is no point unless I am a musician and plan to plug in instruments to record? lol
Also do you or anyone use network cards? I've always used the onboard gigabit ethernet port, just wondering if I should get a seperate card for it or again if it is pointless then just leave it?

Only thing that I may install is a graphics card if I am not happy with the intel 530 HD graphics card. If you say it is the 2nd weakest of the 4 then I guess it shouldn't be too bad. Wanna know what I currently have? A saphire ATI Raedon HD 4300 - 512mb. Yeah it is ancient. Paid around £30-£40 for it at the time. So yeah I didn't invest in a great graphics card but I thought it would be able to handle HD movie playback no problem. It still can play movies and things fine. But because I am a film and tv nut, I appreciate high quality. It doesn't stutter at the moment, plays smooth but then again I haven't maxed out my settings on MadVR, I've kept it minimal and video quality still looks decent.

I also had a look at aerocool cases and I am converted! I was looking at the phantom cases again and I got put off after reading reviews with people saying how the paint easily comes off, some bits are stiff inside that you need to open, led lights going, old style fan connectors. I'm thinking I'm spending a £100 here so I could do without all this hassle or taking a chance. Anyway, I really liked the aerocool DS 200 and the 230. The 230 only thing is that there is no external 5.5 bays. I only need the one but I am thinking I could do without it as I very rarely burn a cd these days. The DS 200 on the other hand has external bays. Although I read mixed reviews where folk said it heats up too much inside cause theres only one vent at the back and then the top. One guy modded his slightly and says it runs perfect his way. You heard of these models, any input on these my man?

Yeah you are prob right about the price thing. To me if I see a reasonable priced bundle and if it gets decent heat on here then I would say its good.



Edited By: Dan__ on Nov 08, 2016 17:01
#11
Dan__
Thank you!
I had a look at some i5 prices and looked at the one you mentioned which was out a good while ago yet the price for that is so expensive, doesn't make sense? Why would someone pay £380 for that when you can get the i5-6600 for £200? And this is newer and 6th gen. What am I missing here other than the fact that the older i5 model you mentioned has a better integrated graphics card? Strange.

It was released alongside the 4690k, not the 6600k and was around £50 more expensive rather than the £80 it is now. The GPU is often the biggest thing on these chips. Doubling it's size and adding the additional L4 cache (crystalwell) means they are much more expensive to produce.

Dan__
Motherboard features I am looking for is good or high SATA bandwidth and latest features all round. Or just a well balanced full ATX board. I normally do use expansion slots but I won't be bringing them over.

SATA is an outgoing standard. If you have a use for high storage bandwidth then you need to be looking at newer PCI-Express based options like M.2.

You'd pay several hundred to get a motherboard tricked out with all the latest features. It's usually more sensible to just go for those you will use or are very likely to use and then add any others you need with expansion cards.

Based on what you've said so far I'd say a DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0 output is needed and you can discount any that feature PCI slots, everything bought new is going to be PCI-Express now.

Dan__
I wanted to ask, is it worth getting a seperate sound card? I have always done this to reduce load on the cpu and board. Always bought creative sound cards. Am I right in thinking that I am just wasting money here and that there is no point unless I am a musician and plan to plug in instruments to record? lol

After the change in the Windows audio system that Vista brought in 2007 there sadly hasn't been much support for hardware sound processing. Additionally a lot of people are now using the HDMI audio device provided by the GPU or an external USB device rather than the sound card.

If you're using the analogue or S/PDIF outputs then it may be worth paying attention to the quality of the sound card/motherboard sound chip and what processing options it offers, although the latter are usually more attractive to gamers than video people.

Dan__
Also do you or anyone use network cards? I've always used the onboard gigabit ethernet port, just wondering if I should get a seperate card for it or again if it is pointless then just leave it?

Nobody does. There are a few people that want Intel ethernet controllers instead of Realtek ones on their motherboard but generally it's something that just works.

Dan__
I also had a look at aerocool cases and I am converted! I was looking at the phantom cases again and I got put off after reading reviews with people saying how the paint easily comes off, some bits are stiff inside that you need to open, led lights going, old style fan connectors. I'm thinking I'm spending a £100 here so I could do without all this hassle or taking a chance. Anyway, I really liked the aerocool DS 200 and the 230. The 230 only thing is that there is no external 5.5 bays. I only need the one but I am thinking I could do without it as I very rarely burn a cd these days. The DS 200 on the other hand has external bays. Although I read mixed reviews where folk said it heats up too much inside cause theres only one vent at the back and then the top.

I can't speak for quality or specific models. I've not looked at Aerocool very closely as they mostly do larger cases (I prefer compact ones), but they seemed the sort of style you were after.

I don't know how much hardware your current system has ended up with, but most things are fairly low power these days. An SSD is 2-3W on a bad day and most expansion cards are limited to 15 or 25W. You'd have to add a lot of hardware to approach the heat output of even a single mid-high end graphics card (150-250W). I can't see heat being a problem for your new system in any full tower.
#12
EndlessWaves
Dan__
Thank you!
I had a look at some i5 prices and looked at the one you mentioned which was out a good while ago yet the price for that is so expensive, doesn't make sense? Why would someone pay £380 for that when you can get the i5-6600 for £200? And this is newer and 6th gen. What am I missing here other than the fact that the older i5 model you mentioned has a better integrated graphics card? Strange.
It was released alongside the 4690k, not the 6600k and was around £50 more expensive rather than the £80 it is now. The GPU is often the biggest thing on these chips. Doubling it's size and adding the additional L4 cache (crystalwell) means they are much more expensive to produce.
Dan__
Motherboard features I am looking for is good or high SATA bandwidth and latest features all round. Or just a well balanced full ATX board. I normally do use expansion slots but I won't be bringing them over.
SATA is an outgoing standard. If you have a use for high storage bandwidth then you need to be looking at newer PCI-Express based options like M.2.
You'd pay several hundred to get a motherboard tricked out with all the latest features. It's usually more sensible to just go for those you will use or are very likely to use and then add any others you need with expansion cards.
Based on what you've said so far I'd say a DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0 output is needed and you can discount any that feature PCI slots, everything bought new is going to be PCI-Express now.
Dan__
I wanted to ask, is it worth getting a seperate sound card? I have always done this to reduce load on the cpu and board. Always bought creative sound cards. Am I right in thinking that I am just wasting money here and that there is no point unless I am a musician and plan to plug in instruments to record? lol
After the change in the Windows audio system that Vista brought in 2007 there sadly hasn't been much support for hardware sound processing. Additionally a lot of people are now using the HDMI audio device provided by the GPU or an external USB device rather than the sound card.
If you're using the analogue or S/PDIF outputs then it may be worth paying attention to the quality of the sound card/motherboard sound chip and what processing options it offers, although the latter are usually more attractive to gamers than video people.
Dan__
Also do you or anyone use network cards? I've always used the onboard gigabit ethernet port, just wondering if I should get a seperate card for it or again if it is pointless then just leave it?
Nobody does. There are a few people that want Intel ethernet controllers instead of Realtek ones on their motherboard but generally it's something that just works.
Dan__
I also had a look at aerocool cases and I am converted! I was looking at the phantom cases again and I got put off after reading reviews with people saying how the paint easily comes off, some bits are stiff inside that you need to open, led lights going, old style fan connectors. I'm thinking I'm spending a £100 here so I could do without all this hassle or taking a chance. Anyway, I really liked the aerocool DS 200 and the 230. The 230 only thing is that there is no external 5.5 bays. I only need the one but I am thinking I could do without it as I very rarely burn a cd these days. The DS 200 on the other hand has external bays. Although I read mixed reviews where folk said it heats up too much inside cause theres only one vent at the back and then the top.
I can't speak for quality or specific models. I've not looked at Aerocool very closely as they mostly do larger cases (I prefer compact ones), but they seemed the sort of style you were after.
I don't know how much hardware your current system has ended up with, but most things are fairly low power these days. An SSD is 2-3W on a bad day and most expansion cards are limited to 15 or 25W. You'd have to add a lot of hardware to approach the heat output of even a single mid-high end graphics card (150-250W). I can't see heat being a problem for your new system in any full tower.

Again thanks for your help and advice.

Thanks for clearing up the difference on the i5 chips. Hmmm well I am happy to go with the cheaper i5 that I mentioned as its newer and seems like it will do my needs. If anything then I can go out and buy a GTX graphics card. What you think of the cpu that I have selected? also I noticed there is an Intel Core i5-6600K for a tenner more. Whats the difference with the K? Which i5 would you recommend or get for yourself if you had to keep it say below the 220 mark?

Motherboard, any specific brand or board to go for or look out for? Yeah I have PCI express on my current board and I imagine newer ones will all have them too. With what you have told me, I won't be adding any PCI cards straight away unless later down the line I decide to add something. Most or if all motherboards I presume would have 7.1 sound cards, should be decent enough to do the job? Currently the way I have my speakers connected is analogue. I can use HDMI audio which would be easier but then I lose the control over the output settings with my current soundcard so I don't use hdmi audio. I have my machine connected to a samsung 32" tv. I have the speakers connected to the back of the tv using rca adapters, they are a bit tempermental as there is a loose connection so sometimes one speaker goes out and I need to fiddle about with it. I ordered new cables but they are the same. Can't find any good quality ones so have to make do. An optical sound system would be ideal, but they are expensive. Will look into it later. And I have my TV connected via HDMI to DVI cable and resolution running at 1080p 60. With the new build I will just use hdmi, I got myself some new gold plated hdmi 2.0 cables sitting here, not even opened them yet to test.

To be frank with you, I have money saved up and sitting here. I could go out today and splash out crazy money on all the high end chips and hardware that you and others have mentioned but I need to be sensible here and not get carried away lol If I was still a PC gamer then I would go all out totally.

My new system will mainly consist of a few HDD at least as I need storage and I like to have backups. As you know, you can't rely on spare drive for backup, you never know when these things go bust and its a pain when you lose data that you will never get back. Will also have at least 16GB ram, if there is a good deal on then I will put more in.
Prob buy a couple of extra 120 or 140mm fans for my new case. Also considering buying the Corsair H60 Water Cooler or the H90 maybe, are they good? Apart from that, I will be looking at getting a new screen too but I will get to that later.



Edited By: Dan__ on Nov 08, 2016 20:06
#13
Dan__
also I noticed there is an Intel Core i5-6600K for a tenner more. Whats the difference with the K? Which i5 would you recommend or get for yourself if you had to keep it say below the 220 mark?

The only difference between the models is a couple of hundred megahertz either way.The 6400 runs at 3.1Ghz CPU, 950Mhz GPU, the 6500 at 3.3Ghz CPU, 1050Mhz GPU and the 6600/6600k at 3.6Ghz CPU, 1150Mhz GPU.

They're such small differences in the grand scheme of things that it's very difficult to say one is any better than the other. The 6600 is the fastest but are you ever going to notice the 15-20% improvement over the 6400?

I'd personally provisionally go for the 6400 and then revisit the decision when all the other components were decided. If I'd ended up spending enough that the extra cost was pocket change or it brough it up to a nice round number then I might go for the 6600.

Dan__
Motherboard, any specific brand or board to go for or look out for? Yeah I have PCI express on my current board and I imagine newer ones will all have them too.

Quite a few boards, particularly ATX ones, still provide PCI slots for older expansion cards. Stuff like Thunderbolt 3 and PCI-E SSDs will need more bandwidth so keep an eye out for boards with extra 4x/8x slots too.

Brand-wise ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte and Asus are the most popular four. Biostar and EVGA also make boards but it's generally reckoned that the UEFI software isn't quite as polished.

Hardware.fr publish six month returns rate for a major french retailer which is usually a good way of spotting problem boards. The most recent one didn't any highlight any major issues but they're due to publish the next one any day now:
http://www.hardware.fr/html/articles/index.php?annee=toutes&type=tous&dcat=7

Dan__
Most or if all motherboards I presume would have 7.1 sound cards, should be decent enough to do the job?

While integrated sound is ubiquitous, not every motherboard provides 7.1 analogue outputs so it's definitely something to check.

Dan__
Currently the way I have my speakers connected is analogue. I can use HDMI audio which would be easier but then I lose the control over the output settings with my current soundcard so I don't use hdmi audio.

What output settings do you want control over? Media players are getting better at providing that sort of thing these days.

Dan__
I got myself some new gold plated hdmi 2.0 cables sitting here, not even opened them yet to test.

The cable standards didn't change with HDMI 2.0, so that's a bit of marketing on the part of the cable seller.

Dan__
My new system will mainly consist of a few HDD at least as I need storage and I like to have backups. As you know, you can't rely on spare drive for backup, you never know when these things go bust and its a pain when you lose data that you will never get back.

Yeah, a good backup system with drives you can keep elsewhere should be a high priority purchase for everyone.

Dan__
Prob buy a couple of extra 120 or 140mm fans for my new case.

More fans = more noise. I'd stick with 1-2 or whatever the case comes with. You can easily add more afterwards if you're unhappy.

Dan__
Also considering buying the Corsair H60 Water Cooler or the H90 maybe, are they good?

Water coolers are bought for the coolness factor. There's a lot less to go wrong with an air cooler, any failure is less serious and it performs just as well.

Well, to be fair a water cooler might be a little more shock proof as it's case rather than motherboard mounted but as you're looking at full towers I guess you're not going to be moving the system regularly.

Stick to a £20-30 air cooler.
#14
EndlessWaves
Dan__
also I noticed there is an Intel Core i5-6600K for a tenner more. Whats the difference with the K? Which i5 would you recommend or get for yourself if you had to keep it say below the 220 mark?
The only difference between the models is a couple of hundred megahertz either way.The 6400 runs at 3.1Ghz CPU, 950Mhz GPU, the 6500 at 3.3Ghz CPU, 1050Mhz GPU and the 6600/6600k at 3.6Ghz CPU, 1150Mhz GPU.
They're such small differences in the grand scheme of things that it's very difficult to say one is any better than the other. The 6600 is the fastest but are you ever going to notice the 15-20% improvement over the 6400?
I'd personally provisionally go for the 6400 and then revisit the decision when all the other components were decided. If I'd ended up spending enough that the extra cost was pocket change or it brough it up to a nice round number then I might go for the 6600.
Dan__
Motherboard, any specific brand or board to go for or look out for? Yeah I have PCI express on my current board and I imagine newer ones will all have them too.
Quite a few boards, particularly ATX ones, still provide PCI slots for older expansion cards. Stuff like Thunderbolt 3 and PCI-E SSDs will need more bandwidth so keep an eye out for boards with extra 4x/8x slots too.
Brand-wise ASRock, MSI, Gigabyte and Asus are the most popular four. Biostar and EVGA also make boards but it's generally reckoned that the UEFI software isn't quite as polished.
Hardware.fr publish six month returns rate for a major french retailer which is usually a good way of spotting problem boards. The most recent one didn't any highlight any major issues but they're due to publish the next one any day now:http://www.hardware.fr/html/articles/index.php?annee=toutes&type=tous&dcat=7
Dan__
Most or if all motherboards I presume would have 7.1 sound cards, should be decent enough to do the job?
While integrated sound is ubiquitous, not every motherboard provides 7.1 analogue outputs so it's definitely something to check.
Dan__
Currently the way I have my speakers connected is analogue. I can use HDMI audio which would be easier but then I lose the control over the output settings with my current soundcard so I don't use hdmi audio.
What output settings do you want control over? Media players are getting better at providing that sort of thing these days.
Dan__
I got myself some new gold plated hdmi 2.0 cables sitting here, not even opened them yet to test.
The cable standards didn't change with HDMI 2.0, so that's a bit of marketing on the part of the cable seller.
Dan__
My new system will mainly consist of a few HDD at least as I need storage and I like to have backups. As you know, you can't rely on spare drive for backup, you never know when these things go bust and its a pain when you lose data that you will never get back.
Yeah, a good backup system with drives you can keep elsewhere should be a high priority purchase for everyone.
Dan__
Prob buy a couple of extra 120 or 140mm fans for my new case.
More fans = more noise. I'd stick with 1-2 or whatever the case comes with. You can easily add more afterwards if you're unhappy.
Dan__
Also considering buying the Corsair H60 Water Cooler or the H90 maybe, are they good?
Water coolers are bought for the coolness factor. There's a lot less to go wrong with an air cooler, any failure is less serious and it performs just as well.
Well, to be fair a water cooler might be a little more shock proof as it's case rather than motherboard mounted but as you're looking at full towers I guess you're not going to be moving the system regularly.
Stick to a £20-30 air cooler.

Cool, I will try to see if I can get a hold of a K model for that.

Motherboard, already had an idea of the good names just figured if you knew any specific good models to recommend or maybe some that you are looking at for yourself that you like? If not its cool, I will just pick something with good features and look at reviews online.

Soundcard, will check that on the motherboard. Thanks for pointing that out.

Sound control in media players yeah I could use them but the only reason I am doing it this way is so that I get the best out of my soundcard as it has its own software and has numerous settings which you can control from its own control panel that I like. Most media players or windows software will just provide the basic or usual settings. But I won't have to worry about this no more as I am not looking to get a seperate sound card for the new build now, will just have to check if the new motherboard has analogue, should do but will check.

HDMI 2.0, from what I seen it was listed to support higher frame rates and 4k. But from what your saying, the 1.3 or 1.4 version cables should still support 4k and high frame rates? I didn't pay over the odds for the cables that I bought anyway, got a good web only deal on them. Was peanuts what I paid. I needed more cables anyway that's why I bought them, not to change my current cables.

Agree with you on the fans, right now I have 9 fans running in my system lol. All on low setting. I only turn a few of them up during the summer time cause of the heat. The noise is very low as I have added noise dampening material in there. I will only add in more fans if temperatures begin to get too much inside.

I was looking at getting the corsair water cooler simply because it would cool the cpu better, would be an easier fit and not take up too much space compared to these other huge fan heat sink ones. Also the noise wouldn't be too bad either. But cool I might just go for what you suggested a 20-30 cooler.

Currently I've got a hyper 212+ cooler on my i3, it is huge lol I've got a push n pull setup on it with 2x 120mm fans, again they are not even running on full, one is controlled by the motherboard and the other has its own switch that I have set to low. The other 7 fans are the case fans that came with the case. They are 90mm fans I think. They are the most noisy ones so thats why I have them all running at the lowest setting by default.

Thanks again bud
#15
Dan__
Cool, I will try to see if I can get a hold of a K model for that.

The K model is identical to the 6600 with the exception of having an unlocked multiplier.

That's for overclocking the chip. Overclocking is tweaking the speed of the chip to run it faster than Intel has tested it for. Back in the days when motherboard chipsets were made by different companies to CPUs overclocking was a way for enthusiasts to get free performance but these days it's become incorporated as part of Intel's range so they only allow you to overclock with the most expensive Z170 motherboard chipset and Intel only sell them close to the maximum clockspeeds they're capable of.

It might be worth going for the 6600k if you end up with a Z170 board due to other factors.

Dan__
Motherboard, already had an idea of the good names just figured if you knew any specific good models to recommend or maybe some that you are looking at for yourself that you like?

The software interface is mostly common across the range and they have effectively no performance impact so it's mostly just features, although sound quality may have an impact on your choice.

Last time I had a serious trawl through all the model listings was last year and it was fairly disappointing for Skylake boards. I'm sure they've released better ones by now though, so I can't suggest anything specific.

Dan__
HDMI 2.0, from what I seen it was listed to support higher frame rates and 4k. But from what your saying, the 1.3 or 1.4 version cables should still support 4k and high frame rates?

I'm saying there's no such thing. The version numbers are for source and display devices. The HDMI spec defines 'standard speed' and 'high speed' cables but as the standard speed ones are only good for 1366x768 they're not very common. The high speed spec hasn't changed but will handle all the HDMI 2.0 stuff.

Dan__
Currently I've got a hyper 212+ cooler on my i3

That's still a popular cooler today, you could always reuse it, maybe with some new fans if the old ones turn out to be a little noisy in the new, quieter system.
#16
EndlessWaves
Dan__
Cool, I will try to see if I can get a hold of a K model for that.
The K model is identical to the 6600 with the exception of having an unlocked multiplier.
That's for overclocking the chip. Overclocking is tweaking the speed of the chip to run it faster than Intel has tested it for. Back in the days when motherboard chipsets were made by different companies to CPUs overclocking was a way for enthusiasts to get free performance but these days it's become incorporated as part of Intel's range so they only allow you to overclock with the most expensive Z170 motherboard chipset and Intel only sell them close to the maximum clockspeeds they're capable of.
It might be worth going for the 6600k if you end up with a Z170 board due to other factors.
Dan__
Motherboard, already had an idea of the good names just figured if you knew any specific good models to recommend or maybe some that you are looking at for yourself that you like?
The software interface is mostly common across the range and they have effectively no performance impact so it's mostly just features, although sound quality may have an impact on your choice.
Last time I had a serious trawl through all the model listings was last year and it was fairly disappointing for Skylake boards. I'm sure they've released better ones by now though, so I can't suggest anything specific.
Dan__
HDMI 2.0, from what I seen it was listed to support higher frame rates and 4k. But from what your saying, the 1.3 or 1.4 version cables should still support 4k and high frame rates?
I'm saying there's no such thing. The version numbers are for source and display devices. The HDMI spec defines 'standard speed' and 'high speed' cables but as the standard speed ones are only good for 1366x768 they're not very common. The high speed spec hasn't changed but will handle all the HDMI 2.0 stuff.
Dan__
Currently I've got a hyper 212+ cooler on my i3
That's still a popular cooler today, you could always reuse it, maybe with some new fans if the old ones turn out to be a little noisy in the new, quieter system.

Cool thanks for all your help and advice. I now have an idea of what to get just have to keep my eyes peeled for any deals in the next few weeks.
Yeah was going for K as I do tend to overclock and tweak settings a little.

I would use the current cooler but it would all depend on it fitting my new case and my current case is a full tower case and it only just fit in, I had to pull out and remove the inner panel that had the fan mounts facing the board in order for me to get it to fit so I could close the side panel of the case.
So I will have a look around on some coolers. I'm sure I could re-use the 120mm fans from the cooler, will just need a good clean.
#17
netjock
I would consider picking up an i7 8xx off ebay for <£100 and drop it in. It is about the same as a top end current i3/low end i5. If your main/motherboard has all the connections you need.
For 4K probably GTX960. Even a GTX750 can do 4K.
Get a new case to repack it.

im looking at graphics cards and I am seeing that some 960 cards are more expensive than the gtx 1050?! doesn't make sense.
I am deciding to go for either a 960 or 750 as at the end of the day I won't be gaming, just want a good graphics card for movie playback.

Any good recommendations or deals you seen?


Edited By: Dan__ on Nov 28, 2016 18:17
#18
EndlessWaves
Dan__
Cool, I will try to see if I can get a hold of a K model for that.
The K model is identical to the 6600 with the exception of having an unlocked multiplier.
That's for overclocking the chip. Overclocking is tweaking the speed of the chip to run it faster than Intel has tested it for. Back in the days when motherboard chipsets were made by different companies to CPUs overclocking was a way for enthusiasts to get free performance but these days it's become incorporated as part of Intel's range so they only allow you to overclock with the most expensive Z170 motherboard chipset and Intel only sell them close to the maximum clockspeeds they're capable of.
It might be worth going for the 6600k if you end up with a Z170 board due to other factors.
Dan__
Motherboard, already had an idea of the good names just figured if you knew any specific good models to recommend or maybe some that you are looking at for yourself that you like?
The software interface is mostly common across the range and they have effectively no performance impact so it's mostly just features, although sound quality may have an impact on your choice.
Last time I had a serious trawl through all the model listings was last year and it was fairly disappointing for Skylake boards. I'm sure they've released better ones by now though, so I can't suggest anything specific.
Dan__
HDMI 2.0, from what I seen it was listed to support higher frame rates and 4k. But from what your saying, the 1.3 or 1.4 version cables should still support 4k and high frame rates?
I'm saying there's no such thing. The version numbers are for source and display devices. The HDMI spec defines 'standard speed' and 'high speed' cables but as the standard speed ones are only good for 1366x768 they're not very common. The high speed spec hasn't changed but will handle all the HDMI 2.0 stuff.
Dan__
Currently I've got a hyper 212+ cooler on my i3
That's still a popular cooler today, you could always reuse it, maybe with some new fans if the old ones turn out to be a little noisy in the new, quieter system.

Is this a good graphics card for movie playback? Or would you recommend going with a 950 GT or 1050?

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing-accessories/components-upgrades/graphics-cards/evga-geforce-gtx-950-sc-graphics-card-10139471-pdt.html
#19
Dan__
im looking at graphics cards

The integrated graphics didn't prove satisfactory?

Dan__
I am deciding to go for either a 960 or 750 as at the end of the day I won't be gaming, just want a good graphics card for movie playback.
Any good recommendations or deals you seen?

I don't see any mileage in going for the older cards for video playback.

I recently discovered the german site Computerbase.de benchmark the video decoders of cards. There's a test here that includes the GTX 950, RX 460 and GTX 1050:
https://www.computerbase.de/2016-10/geforce-gtx-1050-ti-test/4/#diagramm-videos-abspielen-h265-codec-lav-filters

The RX 460 offers the same frames per second but at 20W less, while the GTX 1050 offers double the frames per second. There's not much high frame rate UHD content around to mean you're ever going to exceed the 100FPS the GTX 950 is capable of, but the newer cards at the same price are clearly more capable in that area.

Unless you've found information that MadVR's post-processing works better on the GTX 950 I don't see any reason to go for it.
#20
EndlessWaves
Dan__
im looking at graphics cards
The integrated graphics didn't prove satisfactory?
Dan__
I am deciding to go for either a 960 or 750 as at the end of the day I won't be gaming, just want a good graphics card for movie playback.
Any good recommendations or deals you seen?
I don't see any mileage in going for the older cards for video playback.
I recently discovered the german site Computerbase.de benchmark the video decoders of cards. There's a test here that includes the GTX 950, RX 460 and GTX 1050:https://www.computerbase.de/2016-10/geforce-gtx-1050-ti-test/4/#diagramm-videos-abspielen-h265-codec-lav-filters
The RX 460 offers the same frames per second but at 20W less, while the GTX 1050 offers double the frames per second. There's not much high frame rate UHD content around to mean you're ever going to exceed the 100FPS the GTX 950 is capable of, but the newer cards at the same price are clearly more capable in that area.
Unless you've found information that MadVR's post-processing works better on the GTX 950 I don't see any reason to go for it.

I would happily go with integrated but you recommended to get the few models that have the better graphics card which is expensive. The other ones come with intel 530.

I can still cancel this if need be. I am just going with advice that you and everyone have given me.
#21
Dan__
EndlessWaves
Dan__
im looking at graphics cards
The integrated graphics didn't prove satisfactory?
Dan__
I am deciding to go for either a 960 or 750 as at the end of the day I won't be gaming, just want a good graphics card for movie playback.
Any good recommendations or deals you seen?
I don't see any mileage in going for the older cards for video playback.
I recently discovered the german site Computerbase.de benchmark the video decoders of cards. There's a test here that includes the GTX 950, RX 460 and GTX 1050:https://www.computerbase.de/2016-10/geforce-gtx-1050-ti-test/4/#diagramm-videos-abspielen-h265-codec-lav-filters
The RX 460 offers the same frames per second but at 20W less, while the GTX 1050 offers double the frames per second. There's not much high frame rate UHD content around to mean you're ever going to exceed the 100FPS the GTX 950 is capable of, but the newer cards at the same price are clearly more capable in that area.
Unless you've found information that MadVR's post-processing works better on the GTX 950 I don't see any reason to go for it.
I would happily go with integrated but you recommended to get the few models that have the better graphics card which is expensive. The other ones come with intel 530.
I can still cancel this if need be. I am just going with advice that you and everyone have given me.

I was just giving you the information about it, pointing it out as a possibility. I didn't intend it as a recommendation.

Most places will offer free delivery on a £100 item like a graphics card so I'd just leave it out. As long as you buy before the prices go back up after Christmas you're not going to lose anything by trying integrated graphics first.

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