Help Me Decide

Which option

  • 1

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • 2

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Other - please post below

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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Time to build a new(ish) rig. Budget is very tight though, so my choices are limited to the below.
Items in Bold Italics are yet to be purchased and have to be budgeted for under NZ$200. Keep in mind the purchase of the 120gb ssd is around NZ$75 and is critical to this new build!)

I have many CPU cooling options, as well as ATX, SFX and picoPSU power options available. Drive options, I have various 2.5" and 3.5" HDDs.

Option 1:
FX-8350 (undervolted)
Gigabyte 970A-D3P ATX motherboard
8GB DDR3 (single DIMM)
Gigabyte R7-360 GPU
FSP 300w SFX
Scythe Big Shuriken
120GB SSD
Custom ATX SFF Case (18-19L) which is a big task with the limited free time I have


Option 2:
FX-8350 (undervolted)
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 M-ATX motherboard
8GB DDR3 (single DIMM)
Gigabyte R7-360 GPU
ATX/SFX PSU
Scythe Big Shuriken
120GB SSD
Used M-ATX Compaq case or similar as board and SSD eat all of my budget

Option 3:
AM1 ITX board
Athlon 5350
120GB SSD

ITX case
PicoPSU
8GB DDR3 DIMM

My use:
Content production - image editing for articles, audio (podcasts), and video in future
Content writing
Gaming - GTA 5 and Minecraft mostly

Pick your option or provide a better option for me please :)
 

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Aug 7, 2015
112
53
If you're going to be video editing, use the 8350.
Do you really need the ssd? If you do, just get the cheapest ssd that's doesn't use the sandforce controller.
I would think 2 hdds in raid0 is more suitable for editing.
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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The SSD is mostly for quiet performance and small file loading. I did run dual 5400RPM 2.5" 250gb slim drives for a while and found the performance to be satisfactory so I may revert to that. (I have found in practise that 2.5" 5400rpm seek seems to be on par with 7200rpm 3.5" seek due to smaller disk size)

NZ$75 is the cheapest 120gb SSD new - OCZ Trion something. The cheapest Intel drives are ~$90!

I leave my system on 24/7, would a SSD be worth investing in for OS/Programs over Raid0 2.5" drives?
 

mitxlove

Average Stuffer
Jan 7, 2016
62
40
I'd vote for option 1 I would love to see you create a sff case for an ATX board!?!

Although I'm a fan of the 5350 (have used it in two builds, including my htpc) its a great hard working cpu but I don't think it'll do that well with content creation (video) or gaming..

Sidenote, and it might be crazy, but why not get a 60gb ssd to save money? It's enough to fit the os and your main content creation programs so they're fast, then just use the hdds for storage?
 
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jØrd

S̳C̳S̳I̳ ̳f̳o̳r̳ ̳l̳i̳f̳e̳
Digital Seppuku
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2. if its something u plan to use for SFFn podcasts and such then it looks like the fastest way to a functional machine, once its up and running spend some time thinking about mods w/out the pressure of having to get it done asap?
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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I'd vote for option 1 I would love to see you create a sff case for an ATX board!?!

Although I'm a fan of the 5350 (have used it in two builds, including my htpc) its a great hard working cpu but I don't think it'll do that well with content creation (video) or gaming..

Sidenote, and it might be crazy, but why not get a 60gb ssd to save money? It's enough to fit the os and your main content creation programs so they're fast, then just use the hdds for storage?

A big SSD is important for loading data quickly when editing a large sound/video file - plus I hate using multiple drives with a passion.

2. if its something u plan to use for SFFn podcasts and such then it looks like the fastest way to a functional machine, once its up and running spend some time thinking about mods w/out the pressure of having to get it done asap?

There was no rush - but I hit buy anyways on a couple of things.

Actually there was a small rush - my Win10/8.1/8 upgrade mess OS install is becoming unstable and I'd hate to install a fresh OS on my current drive only to decide on a SSD/ RAID0 array a few weeks later and have to reinstall.. again



Anywho, it seems that my decision was made by the missus and the following will be in my hands this weekend:

OCZ Trion 240GB SSD
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3

Thanks for your opinions folks :)
 

GuilleAcoustic

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As j0rd said, option 2 is the more versatie and still gives you the possibility to mod the case later when time and/or funds are available.

I've been using mATX for all my personnal build since 2008 and I think it is a sweet spot for a workstation. It is not much bigger than an mITX if you are using a common length dual slot GPU, while providing more RAM and PCIe slots, but still sensibly smaller than an ATX while not losing too much on the connectivity side.
 
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Josh | NFC

Not From Concentrate
NFC Systems
Jun 12, 2015
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I have a LOVE for MITX that is on the same level as my love for motorcycles and Jeeps. But I agree with Guille that mATX is a much more reasonable choice for a workstation.

Maybe your goals are different, but I need to swap cards ALOT even for video production...and you always have an extra slot available for a sound card or network card should your board components fail (it happens).

Now here is where I am going to get controversial and offer a strong opinion. Let me preface by saying that everyone on this board is an expert and I highly respect them all, and my opinion is in no way better than theirs.

I think going with a small SSD is crazy - especially if you plan on doing video in the future.

You can swap out every other part thanks to Windows 10's file structure. You can't swap out your O.S. drive. You can reinstall or you might be able to clone it, but both those are lengthy processes that eat up your valuable time you could spend in content creation.

If you are doing video, you need a fast drive to work from or your life will be miserable. Premiere and Vegas are pretty efficient programs for simple cuts as far as space, but when you get into even basic color grading or masking you are looking at optimizing/rendering out your media and the space they start to eat up is astronomical. When I use Davinci Resolve to work on just 4GB of video, the temp files can grow to ten times that amount VERY FAST. If you boat loads of ram (32GB on the low end) it really helps for some smaller edits and its easier to work from a platter drive, but with 8GB....that's just useless... you are going to be using virtual memory like crazy. Not to mention it takes a very long time to render out H264@15,000Kb/s to a drive you aren't working from, and for my archive stuff I render out at 80,000. Some of the projects I have working on aren't in 4k, and I want them not to look bad in the future when 4k @15kbs is YouTube common fair.

I might be over complicating this, but when it is all said and done I would MUCH rather compromise on stuff that is easy to add later as opposed to a reinstall and license activations, plugin installs, and material libraries to setup.

So how about this

The GA-78LMT-USB3 has built in video, right? It's lame yeah, but it nails half your gaming needs (minecraft) XD. Use the stock cooler on the FX-8350 and the motherboard graphics for now--that saves you ~$135. Now you have $225 to put toward a good SSD. I use the Samsung EVO and EVO Pro in large quantities with great success, which I can't say about other manufacturers, sadly. Intel's 730 series I've started to use and I like them, but they are much more expensive and given the reliability and performance of the Samsung EVO line, I'm not sure it is the right choice for you. With your budget, I would look at a 500GB Samsung EVO. This also puts $67 back in your account which you can put toward a GPU.

The Intel 730 drives might last longer...but they are too new and untested for me to make that claim, and realistically what is the lifespan you and I actually need for an O.S. drive? 2mil hours should be more than fine. I have many many many video encoders in the field that are running 24/7 with a mixture of the 850Pro and 850 drives and have not had any drive issues, so I trust them enough to recommend.

My 2c. Good luck! :thumb:
 

GuilleAcoustic

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I do agree on the SSD size point. I do have a Sandisk Extreme II 240GB and I trully love it. I often work with files worth a few GB at work and I battled hard to have our mecanical drives replaced with SSD because loading them was taking ages.

Can't wait for PCIe based SSD to drop in price, I'd really love one of the Intel 750 SSD:

 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
Original poster
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Jun 19, 2015
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sff.network
If you are doing video, you need a fast drive to work from or your life will be miserable. Premiere and Vegas are pretty efficient programs for simple cuts as far as space, but when you get into even basic color grading or masking you are looking at optimizing/rendering out your media and the space they start to eat up is astronomical. When I use Davinci Resolve to work on just 4GB of video, the temp files can grow to ten times that amount VERY FAST. If you boat loads of ram (32GB on the low end) it really helps for some smaller edits and its easier to work from a platter drive, but with 8GB....that's just useless... you are going to be using virtual memory like crazy. Not to mention it takes a very long time to render out H264@15,000Kb/s to a drive you aren't working from, and for my archive stuff I render out at 80,000. Some of the projects I have working on aren't in 4k, and I want them not to look bad in the future when 4k @15kbs is YouTube common fair.

So how about this

The GA-78LMT-USB3 has built in video, right? It's lame yeah, but it nails half your gaming needs (minecraft) XD. Use the stock cooler on the FX-8350 and the motherboard graphics for now--that saves you ~$135. Now you have $225 to put toward a good SSD. I use the Samsung EVO and EVO Pro in large quantities with great success, which I can't say about other manufacturers, sadly. Intel's 730 series I've started to use and I like them, but they are much more expensive and given the reliability and performance of the Samsung EVO line, I'm not sure it is the right choice for you. With your budget, I would look at a 500GB Samsung EVO. This also puts $67 back in your account which you can put toward a GPU.

The Intel 730 drives might last longer...but they are too new and untested for me to make that claim, and realistically what is the lifespan you and I actually need for an O.S. drive? 2mil hours should be more than fine. I have many many many video encoders in the field that are running 24/7 with a mixture of the 850Pro and 850 drives and have not had any drive issues, so I trust them enough to recommend.

My 2c. Good luck! :thumb:

Good points all round :)

I already have a GPU, which runs GTA5 nicely, so that is not an issue. Plus I have various coolers floating around so that side of things isn't an issue either. (thankfully, as the stock cooler that comes with the FX is LOUD, and not at all good when it comes to setting up a recording environment for podcasts)

As I posted above, I ended up buying:
OCZ Trion 240GB SSD
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3

Going to a 500gb SSD would have added another $100 to my budget ($200), which I blew either way, as the above two items cost me NZ$230! an extra 8/16/24GB RAM will come in the future, but right now the SSD and board were the priority.. now I can finally get rid of my ATX mobo!

Also a note, the IGP on the GA-78LMT-USB3 is not sufficient for Minecraft - I've been there before with that chipset/IGP in the past with the GA-78LMT-S2P board.

Regarding slots, very good points. I do have a PCIEx1 NIC and a PCI sound card (Sound Blaster 24 bit) that I like to use, so they can be used further :)
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
Original poster
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SFFn Staff
Jun 19, 2015
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sff.network
I play on a server that has had the same map since about May 2012.. I used to host the server myself on a dual socket system! I think I've put 10,000 hrs into that world..
 
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