Ideas and questions for new PC - keyboard, CPU, mobo, TV among others

By Dredgy
Jan 23, 2014
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  1. Hi all, good to be a part of the forum!

    I am building a new PC that will not have to be replaced in the next couple of years. So first off I'll give you a brief of what sort of PC user I am:
    • Large media consumer. I watch lots of television shows and keep them stored on my hard drive. Also like to live stream TV.
    • Computer programmer. Will be running Notepad++ primarily, although Visual Studio and Adobe ColdFusion will feature as well.
    • Minimal gamer (if at all). I might load GTA IV on to the machine if I get bored. GTA V if it comes to PC. And MS Flight Sim.
    • Lots of data entry, using MS Access as a front end mostly.
    • Casual web browsing
    • High resolution (RAW) photo editing, HD video editing (Adobe Premiere/After Effects) and complex vector graphics.
    • Light CAD work and diagramming.
    • Impatient. Everything has to be fast. Fast load, fast read/write.
    • Use CompactFlash as external storage.

    I am not doing anything by halves on this build and as such I have no budget (okay, I very much have a budget, but it is not low). So this is the list of hardware I am looking at purchasing: http://pccasegear.com/sc/tmm

    My general thought process with the build:
    - Media hub is important, as I am constantly misplacing MicroSD->SD adapters, plus using CF cards.
    - Case design is important. I love the design of Apple Computers and fail to see why PCs can't look like that. However I am not limited to that case, so if you could recommend anything that looks just as awesome, please do so.
    - Need speed, particularly disk write/read.
    - Reason for multiple graphics cards is due to the large amount of monitors (4-6) that I will be attaching.
    - Yes, I know this is overkill. But I'm sick of having underkill.

    My primary questions:
    - What's a good CPU and motherboard? Large number of USB ports is plus for the mobo, and built in WiFi and Bluetooth is a huge advantage as well. Though I do have a wireless card I can use if I must. CPU just has to be super efficient and not strain under load. I know very little about this area.
    - What's a good way to do monitors? I would like to have 4 monitors. The 29 inch widescreen as shown on that page, my current 23.6" inch landscape and two portrait monitors. I would like to have the two landscape monitors mounted on top of each other, and the portrait monitors on either side. I do currently have a HP monitor that can rotate between portrait and landscape, as well as my Samsung 23.6". However I don't know how to mount a normal monitor into portrait or what a good monitor would be for a portrait monitor.
    - What's a good keyboard? I navigate by keyboard primarily, and do alot of typing. I'd also like a detachable (or separate) numpad for when I'm entering lots of numbers into a database. So any recommendations there? - Good TV tuner card? I have an AverMedia card at the moment and the software for that is just awful. And getting it to work with Media Center was a pain. Just want something that can plug right in and scan for channels essentially.
    - Sound card and speakers? I love good quality sound, and I currently have 2.1 speakers which are ****. I want a really rich, quality sound. I know sound cards are generally unnecessary unless you are a sound enthusiast (which I am not) but I do want the best quality I can get.


    Thank you all for any insight you can offer, it's a lot I know!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,074   +1,182

    Here is a great place to start.
    If you would like to start by listing a few parts, there are several members here that can help you tweak the list.

    You mentioned wanting built-in WiFi. I'm almost certain if you want a good motherboard, you would have to ditch that thought. A mPCIe slot is used for motherboards that come with Wifi, and they are usually only packaged with small form factor boards. I'm almost certain you don't want a small form factor for you build.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    Heyo fellow Aussie. :)

    Your shopping cart is not visible. Make a 'wishlist' on PCCG instead (a public one) and share that with us.

    I'd love to give you tips, but I think you're basing some opinions off this shopping cart that we can't see. A brief start:
    • CPU: i7 4770K
    • Some nice closed-loop water cooler.
    • Mobo to suit
    • 2x [2x 8GB RAM kit]
    • Graphics card... we'll get back to this one, but it may need to be NVIDIA
    • Sound card not yet required.
    • Storage: 2x Raptors in RAID0, 2x 120GB+ SSDs. Additional platters for mass storage as required. [SSD#1 for OS, programs. SSD#2 as scratch disk for your CAD stuff, editing, and storing of databases. Raptors for everything else not currently in production, but still used. Mass-storage platters for backups.]
    • Monitor: at least one DELL U3014 or equivalent.
    • Speakers: get some nice monitors like these.
  4. Dredgy

    Dredgy TechSpot Member Topic Starter

  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    • Use the CPU and mobo I said. LGA2011 is a dated platform and I wouldn't recommend anyone purchase it.
    • I'm sure you'd be aware of the limitations of 1080 vertical resolution monitor.... whic his why I recommended the U3014.
    • Why get 5.1 speakers if you're not playing games much, and watching (I assume pirated) TV shows? Get nice 2.1 or monitors.
    • 512GB SSD is nice, but you need more than one due to bandwidth limitations.
    Read my comments above and add to my bigger list previously.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,074   +1,182

    Even though the platform is dated, would it not still be better. I mean I wouldn't bother if I was going to settle for a quad core, but it does open the door for using 6 and 8 core CPU's. Not to mention quad channel memory vs dual channel on LGA1150. To be honest, I'm not even sure when triple/quad channel would be of benefit over dual channel.
  7. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    More channels means more peak bandwidth. Just like RAID0.

    I understand 6-8 core having a benefit, but it's up to OP. I personally wouldn't get it even with an open budget where I didn't have to pay.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. Dredgy

    Dredgy TechSpot Member Topic Starter

    Thanks man, let's go through this :)

    That's why I have 2. Would I set them up in RAID?

    No idea. I went for the "if in doubt, higher number is better" approach. If I should be getting a more cores to make the most of it I will, or if it is a worse architecture, I will look at the approach you suggested.

    I am not sorry. I just went for more available screenspace. Though research on the Dell definitely clarifies that is a better monitor and it is what I will be ordering, so thanks a lot for that recommendation. My hardware knowledge is absolutely abysmal.

    I have poor hearing :p. Plus they are only $20 more than the equivalent 2.1. I wouldn't mind a nice set with good bass, but my downstairs neighbour could get a bit annoyed. For the record, most of my collection is purchased and I have a sizeable amount on Blu-Ray and DVD too. A decent 2.1 would more than suit my needs though (as they currently stand).

    This bit scares me a little. I know nothing about watercooling and would have all sorts of doubts about doing it myself. Is it necessary?

    Excellent suggestion.

    Still looking for keyboards and TV tuners if anyone has recommendations.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,197   +555

    1. Yes, set up SSDs in RAID0 for the best bandwidth. Alternatively, (and preferably for you) just set them up normally and use #1 as C: drive, #2 as another drive. Use #1 to boot Adobe programs from, and #2 to have as the scratch disk, or where you store SQL databases etc. This means you have full bandwidth potential from both SSDs.
    2. LGA2011 is old and is lacking in new features (USB3.0 ports, etc) than the LGA1150 platform. However, 6- and 8-core CPUs are only on the LGA2011, so your choice. Dual-channel RAM vs quad-channel too.
    3. Monitors: also, dual monitors will get you more screen space and will be probably cheaper than a super-stretched monitor. :)
    4. Speakers: if you're watching blurays, sure, surround sound cant be beat!
    5. Water-cooling: it used to be scary, because you had to do everything yourself. Now, you can buy 'closed-loop' which comes pre-packaged and ready to pop in. Something like this. The risk of spills/leaks is a lot less than traditional water cooling. Performance is is better than air cooling. Difficulty to assemble is same as air, sometimes easier!
    6. I have a TV tuner, and it works great on Win8.1 although not officially supported. I can give you the model? For keyboard, I'd suggest a good mechanical keyboard, but check out the difference in switches first.


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