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New PC's - Supplier Recommendation?


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Hi Folks,

 

We need one, probably two new PC's. One as a media PC the other for office work and photo and video editing. Our current ones are maybe 10-15 years old.

 

I'm completely out of touch. Are there any recommended online suppliers these days? (I used to use IT Estate in Sydney, but they've been closed many years now)

 

Cheers,

Peter

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I don't know about MSY in your neck of the woods, but we get great stuff from them here in Vic. My wife has a laptop from them and I've got a desktop (which I'm using now).

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I frequent Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi etc, but truth be told you should be able to find what you need online.

Thinking of mWave and Scroptec that sells own and various brands.

Then Apple, Dell, HP etc all sell directly online - there are many specials running at the moment.

For photo and video editing you need power and a good graphics card although the new mac minis - M1 and M2 appears quite powerfull. Apple Monitors are fantastic but expensive. Look at Dell.

Media PC - depends on what you want to do: HD, 2K, 4K etc. Are you going to stream or use a NAS or have inernal hard drive/s?

Lots of info on the net.

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MSY are ok for buying IT accessories eg; monitors, routers etc, but you have to know exactly what you want and do your own research beforehand. Don't bother asking them for advice on anything though, they are just a sales shop. Don't think I would go to them for a PC.

 

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56 minutes ago, emesbee said:

MSY are ok for buying IT accessories eg; monitors, routers etc, but you have to know exactly what you want and do your own research beforehand. Don't bother asking them for advice on anything though, they are just a sales shop. Don't think I would go to them for a PC.

 

 

The faster they go bust the better.

They cruelled the whole small PC business by not paying GST.

 

 

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MSY were ok when I was heavily into pc's, about 15 years ago. Their name went down hill a bit though. Do your research first into what you want power wise and features. Then look at brands and reliability through paid and customer reviews. And then look for the best price for the model you want but check out the stores rep for service and warranty claims before going ahead. 

 

Bit of work involved but it pays off and it's your hard earned cash. As a laptop I went for the Asus Zenbook and it's been amazing so far after 12 months.

Edited by blakey72
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20 hours ago, Hilltop Hippy said:

Hi Folks,

 

We need one, probably two new PC's. One as a media PC the other for office work and photo and video editing. Our current ones are maybe 10-15 years old.

 

I'm completely out of touch. Are there any recommended online suppliers these days? (I used to use IT Estate in Sydney, but they've been closed many years now)

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

If you don't know what components you want/need for a particular PC, but you do know that you want a PC for a specific purpose, I suggest you contact PC Case Gear.

Just tell them the same thing you have put in this post, and they will advise, give you options and pricing, then build and ship it to you.

https://www.pccasegear.com/

 

You will need to know/tell them what software you will be running [apart from Windows] on the Media PC and if you want a separate soundcard or you quite are happy just using the USB/Optical/HDMI outputs from the motherboard.

Most Intel CPU chips [Not all, you need to check ] have quite powerful integrated graphics built in these days [Can do 4k], so you might not need a graphics card in the media PC....depends what you intend to play. back.

You would only need 8GB of RAM for the media PC, which would cost around $50, 16GB would cost around $120 but I doubt you would use that much TBH, but it is always nice to have.

The speed [ Mhz ] of the RAM is what differentiates them, fast = more $$

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/186_1782/memory/all-ddr4-memory

 

I recommend you get the latest INTEL 12th Generation i5 CPU's for both PC's, which will give you some amount of future proofing, these range in price from $285 to $419, the Intel Core i5 12500 3.0GHz has integrated graphics and costs $319, again the sweet spot on performance and price.

https://www.pccasegear.com/products/56719/intel-core-i5-12500-processor

 

You will need a motherboard that supports the new Intel LGA 1700 CPU socket if you go for a 12th gen Intel CPU, again these range in price, it depends if you want WiFi and what type of RAM you intend using [We are in a transition stage with RAM ATM, the newest type RAM is DDR5, and you are currently paying extra for motherboards that support it] what controller chip is used on the motherboard, either B660 or Z690 also effects the price.

 

I'd stick to DDR4 type RAM, its cheaper and plenty fast enough.

 

The MSI brand is a good bet, well priced and good features for a B660 type MB....The MSI MAG B660M Bazooka DDR4 Motherboard at $249 and it has WiFi

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/138_2179/motherboards/intel-1700-12th-gen

 

For a Z690 chipped MB the MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Wi-Fi D4 is basically the same as the one above at $379

https://www.pccasegear.com

 

The difference between the B660 and Z690 chips is explained in the link below.

https://geekawhat.com/z690-vs-b660-motherboards-what-are-the-key-differences/

 

When it comes to specing a PC for photo and video editing, the most important parts are the amount of RAM the PC has [RAM is cheap now days, and I'd recommend you get 32GB of RAM for the video editing PC, would cost around $200 for 32GB of DDR4 RAM ], and how high the CUDA points are on the Graphics card........explanation on what CUDA is in link below.

https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-faq

 

You can spend a ridiculous amount on a Graphics card [Several thousands of $$ ], and it can often be the most expensive component in a PC, but it doesn't need to be if you know what your needs are, and what you DON'T need.

I'd recommend a NVIDIA based Graphics card in the RTX line.

The current sweet spot among these cards would be the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 6GB [ $459 ], which should be plenty powerful enough to tackle any video editing you need to do [1920 CUDA score], while not going overboard.

https://www.pccasegear.com/products/54472/gigabyte-geforce-rtx-2060-6gb

 

On both PC's I'd recommend you have M2 type SSD hard drives fitted for the OS and your software [ A Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1 TB =$170, the 2 TB = $300 ]

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/210_902/hard-drives-ssds/solid-state-drives-ssd

And then a couple of reasonably fast standard disc drives for storage, which have become ridiculously cheap for the amount of storage you get......I'd opt for Western Digital over Seagate brand.

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/210_344/hard-drives-ssds/3-5-hard-drives

 

If your current PC's are 10 to 15 years old you will find a HUGE jump in speed using these computers.

 

 

 

Edited by Tweaky
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@Hilltop Hippy @Tweaky

Great post from Tweaky

 

I have been posting as I am in the market myself for a PC and monitor.

 

Great advice to go for Intel 12th generation.

I think computers are like cars - you buy an average one new every three years or you spend big upfront and keep for longer 😆.

 

Anyway good advice from the posters here.

 

A few tips, based on my experience and mistakes:

  • Graphics cards: you can go for say a 2060 (I would not go lower than that) and later upgrade and sell the old one
  • Motherboards and CPU's: get a "flexible" motherboard ( I dont mean bending :) ) one that has opportunity to be fitted with a faster CPU at a later stage, ample slots for hard drives, graphics card, extenders, RAM etc. The motherboard is the "hart".
  • RAM: if you don't want to spend too much upfront on RAM - get something where you can add RAM later, e.g if the motherboard has 2 slots that can take 32 GB RAM, dont buy 2 GB RAM, buy one 16GB RAM, because you can then add another 16 GB RAM. Even better get a motherboard that can eventually take 64GB. Reason I am saying this is that as Tweaky said - the more RAM the more speed.
  • WiFi: Get as fast as possible inbuilt WIFi if you need to use it - the latest is WiFi 6.
  • USB: make sure there is ample USB C, USB 3 ports
  • Display ports: You need HDMI and Display ports. And possibly USB/Thunderbolt ports too.
  • Keyboard and Mouse: You cannot go wrong with Logitech. My advice it to go to HN, JB etc and test them. Amazing what is on the market nowadays.
  • NOISE: I am allergic to fan noise and graphics cards can be noisy. My advice is to go for as big as possible case and silent as possible fans. That is do not go for a mini ATX case ( I speak from bitter experience.)
  • Bells and whistles: At the moment you will see the craze is for lights and seethrough cases - you dont need that.
  • Hard disks: - the "handbrake" in many computers - you can have the biggest ram and the fastest processor, but at the end of the day the programs sit on the hard drive. I agree with Tweaky - get at least 1TB SSD or NVME. Make sure the motherboard/PC is setup as such that you can add more now/later. Add conventional hard drives for data storage.
  • Backup: The Elephant in the room. Very important. Best is to have a backup in the cloud/somewhere else. Pain in the butt, but well worth it. Alternatively invest in a good NAS/DAS or extra disks in the PC's for backup. You dont need SSD for that just conventional hard drives that are now as cheap as chips.

All the best with your research and decisions.

 

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Wow, thanks so much guys. This has been extremely helpful.

 

We have a good NAS so that is sorted.

 

I think our current PC has a 256gb SSD, which is woefully inadequate. I've been installing/uninstalling things on other drives etc, its a slow rubbish experience.

 

I too am anti-fan noise, I hadn't considered a larger case would mean more space for passive cooling options. I'll look into it.

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Whats the budget?

 

I just built a new gaming rig, Intel 12th gen etc.

 

Monster Noctua D15S. Cool that Intel. Zero RGB lights. Replaced all fans.

 

 

20220517_174251.jpg

Edited by Bengineer
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When it comes to RAM, and expand ability, pretty much every Motherboard these days come with 4 RAM slots.

 

You have several options when fitting RAM, you can use one single RAM stick, or two or four of the same size [Not three]

 

BUT, when adding a RAM stick, each RAM stick HAS to be the same size [gb] and clock speed [Mhz], otherwise the motherboard won't recognize it.

 

Even if you have the same size and clock speed, if it's a different brand you still can have problems with a Motherboard not recognizing it, so best practice is to ALWAYS get a Identical RAM stick to the one you already have installed if upgrading RAM.

 

Also you need to make sure that your Motherboard supports the specific RAM you are choosing.

If you visit the website of the motherboard manufacturer, and enter in the model number of the Motherboard, it will have a list of all brands / speed and sizes of RAM that motherboard has been tested to work with.

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That's healthy.

 

What size tower you want? I went with the Fractal Meshify 2. Its a fairly large case, but heaps of room to build, good cable management, and plenty of fan space. So I have them all running quite slow and quiet.

 

I'd be aiming for with an Intel build;

 

Intel LGA12700

Z690 motherboard

32GB DDR5

M2 SSD size you want (Samsung 1TB 980 in mine)

Overspec the PSU with a good brand, and it'll run passive most the time

GPU to suit use case

 

You can change to a AMD Ryzen build, uses a lot less power (and less heat) for the same money. 5800X3D for example.

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27 minutes ago, Hilltop Hippy said:

 

I guess a couple of grand for the PC maybe three at a pinch

 

If you are just going to build one PC to cover both duties for Media playback and a Photo/Video editing, you might as well go for DDR5 RAM, and a suitable Z690 Motherboard that accepts DDR5 RAM.

 

Component changes from the list I gave above would be swapping the motherboard to a MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk Wi-Fi D5 Motherboard at $399

https://www.pccasegear.com/products/56410/msi-mag-z690-tomahawk-wi-fi-d5-motherboard

 

And RAM to 2 X 16GB DDR5 type......which I really wouldn't bother getting a higher clock speed than 5600Mhz, which would cost you $479

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/186_2181/memory/all-ddr5-memory

 

As Bengineer mention, a quality over spec'd power supply is recommended.

Power supplies are rated in order of quality by most manufacturers as Silver, Gold or Platinum, and come in two different types, ones with a bunch of cables already connected, and which you just plug into the motherboard and various components [which usually leaves you with a whole load of connectors that you don't use, cluttering up the case internals], or Modular, where you just attach the cables you need, and attach to the components the same way, making things a LOT neater, and airflow in the case a lot better.

 

GOLD level is what I would recommend.

 

I just used a PC power supply calculator, and a 650w GOLD level modular power supply would give you a lot of headroom for the recommended build, and have enough power to cope with a even more powerful Graphic Card if you ever wanted to update from the recommended Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 6GB [Graphic Cards are the power hogs in any PC build]

These all hover around the $150 mark.

https://www.pccasegear.com/category/15_535/power-supplies/all-models

 

Also as Bengineer mentioned, you could also opt for PC build built around using a AMD CPU, like the AMD Ryzen 5800X3D.

But, quite a lot of software is optimized to run on INTEL CPU's, so what you gain in less power draw and a slightly cooler running PC, you might lose out in performance.

 

This is highly dependent on the software being used, and they way it asks the CPU to distribute the processing load over the various CPU cores.

 

 

 

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For the PC - Photoshop mostly, some video editing, and some pretty heavy excel models.

 

Media PC - that'll need to do 4k. I've not got my head around how we're going to do that yet. Presently we use an old mini Dell PC thing (only 1080p output), with an external Soundbalster Xfi card I think its called. Optical out of that, into the receiver. I need to get my head around all the new sound and video formats. Presently we play most stuff with VLC, which I think has some sort of pass through function to send the multi-channel audio into the receiver. My current receiver (which is going to be replaced) doesn't do HDMI anymore, so its a total crap-show of various cables etc

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Really don't need huge power to do editing. These days most the grunt is in the GPU, reflected in their pricing. Lucky for you the prices have dropped considerably last few months. Phew.

 

Check the program you intend to use and see its recommended specs and we can go from there.

 

Media PC - Pushing 4k video smoothly is pretty easy, so this mostly comes down to having the right fucntions and connections, and being real silent.

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Any thoughts on monitors? I think that might actually be my problem (at least the PC one)

 

I've got a 30" Dell. It was the bees knees when I got it.  Their current crop looks pretty good, but I see Samsung and LG are in the game these days.

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7 hours ago, Hilltop Hippy said:

For the PC - Photoshop mostly, some video editing, and some pretty heavy excel models.

 

Media PC - that'll need to do 4k. I've not got my head around how we're going to do that yet. Presently we use an old mini Dell PC thing (only 1080p output), with an external Soundbalster Xfi card I think its called. Optical out of that, into the receiver. I need to get my head around all the new sound and video formats. Presently we play most stuff with VLC, which I think has some sort of pass through function to send the multi-channel audio into the receiver. My current receiver (which is going to be replaced) doesn't do HDMI anymore, so its a total crap-show of various cables etc

IF you need 4k at 120Hz you may need a vid card with HDMI 2.1, if a higher refresh rate is needed.

 

Refer to screen specs.

 

Edit: if 60Hz is OK then disregard.

Edited by muon*
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11 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Whats the budget?

 

I just built a new gaming rig, Intel 12th gen etc.

 

Monster Noctua D15S. Cool that Intel. Zero RGB lights. Replaced all fans.

 

 

20220517_174251.jpg

That is a COOLER! Love Noctua.

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