add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube

CAD, Photoshop, NON-gaming $600 Desktop. First Build.. Pls help!

sea2sky
  • 71 months ago

Hello!

I am almost at the end stage of building my first Desktop PC. Before this, I have only had laptops which have failed within a year or so. I play no games whatsoever.

My main high performance uses are: CAD 3D Design (Solidworks, CATIA), RAW Photo Editing (Photoshop), some 1080p video playback and editing (VLC,etc).

I know it is difficult, but I am on a very tight budget. Hoping to spend as little as possible for a good, long lasting computer to meet my needs. My build below is about $600 without monitor, and I would like not to exceed this too much. I would appreciate EVERY bit of help, tips, recommendations, advice, and/or changes towards my first built computer here:

Question:

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/sea2sky/saved/xbgQzy

-Having trouble deciding btw the Corsair CSM 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply and the Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply. I have found a deal where the 450W gold is about the same price as the 500W Bronze.

Do I need the extra wattage, or is the 450W okay?

-Do I need a CPU Cooler at first, or will it just add to noise?

-I don’t want to spend much on the case. Can I just use an (very) old one from a friend of mine, or could there be problems? -Are there any compatibility issues? -Will the System be good enough for student-use of CAD Software? (Not heavy professional, just intermediate.) -Is it too good, and I could cut some prices anywhere? -Any other things I should watch out for, change before ordering the parts?

Thank you so much for your help! n00b here clearly. ;/

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/sea2sky/saved/xbgQzy

Comments

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello there :-)

I'll start answering your questions, and then get on to my own recommendations afterwards.

450W is fine for the build you have listed here. The wattage of your components is shown in the top right of the parts list - and as you can see, you're only just over 300W. You should always make sure the power supply is a bit over the needed wattage - but 450W is plenty.

You do need a CPU cooler - otherwise your CPU will crash and burn. However, there is one included in the box the CPU comes in - so you don't need to get an aftermarket one. The stock ones are often loud and inefficient, though, but it will certainly work to begin with - unless you're planning on overclocking.

You can probably use an old case, since the ATX form factor is a standard that has been used for many years. I think it started out in the mid to late 90's, so as long as the case is less than 15 years old, it'll probably work.

That said, though, I would recommend getting a modern case. They are so much nicer to work with - and airflow design has improved massively since then. You may also find the front USB and audio headers useful for headphones and external drives.

If I was to build this PC, though, I would go with an Intel CPU with integrated GPU instead. That way you don't need the discrete GPU and you can channel the funds from there into getting a stronger CPU. This obviously depends on whether you're relying on the GPU for CUDA/OpenCL processing or not?

I would probably go for something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $195.96 @ DirectCanada
Motherboard ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $79.99 @ NCIX
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $89.98 @ Newegg Canada
Storage Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $86.00
Storage Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $0.00
Case Thermaltake Versa H22 ATX Mid Tower Case $26.00 @ Vuugo
Power Supply Corsair CSM 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $68.98 @ Newegg Canada
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer Purchased For $0.00
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) Purchased For $0.00
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $546.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-07-25 04:22 EDT-0400

This will actually end under the $600 mark - even with the case.

If you do need the GPU for processing purposes, then you need to find out if you need CUDA, or if OpenCL is supported across all your applications as well. In the first case, you need to go with an nVidia card, whereas the second case opens up for AMD cards as well.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, thank you do much for the reply! You have already helped me a lot. A few more questions though.. Regarding the processor with the integrated GPU, I guess I haven't understood the difference btw the two types of processors. Would an integrated GPU not be weaker than two separate units, CPU and Graphics card? Or would I not notice the difference? And to Intel vs AMD, would the 3.9GHz Hex 6 core not be better than an intel 3.2GHz quad core? as for OpenGL vs CUDA, I think my 3D design software uses OpenGL, but I suppose I have to check. Does that reflect on the CPU, or the GPU needed? I appreciate your help! Thx

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

A discrete GPU in combination with a CPU is usually faster than a CPU with an integrated GPU. However, this mainly goes for gaming, where the GPU plays a crucial role in the experience.

In your case, a lot of rendering work is done by the CPU - and the GPU is only used to display the images, not actually calculating them (if that makes sense?). That's why you can benefit from getting a faster CPU at the expense of a discrete GPU.

Unfortunately, the CPUs from AMD these days are a lot weaker than the Intels - so much so that you often see even the 8-core AMDs struggle to keep up with the 4-core i5. This is down to a much stronger per-core performance from Intel CPUs - and the fact that not all tasks can be run in parallel.

A GPU will help you run some of the rendering - but if I was you, I would definitely spend the money on the CPU instead. If you then find out at some point that it's not enough, you can get a workstation graphics card such as this: https://pcpartpicker.com/part/ati-video-card-100505649

This type of card will blow any consumer card at the same price range out of the water when it comes to CAD applications etc. They're just not made for gaming, but that makes no difference to you as I understand :-)

Bear in mind that OpenGL and OpenCL is not the same. OpenGL is an API used to display the graphics on the screen, where OpenCL is an API used to use your GPU for computing purposes. Bitcoin mining is often done in OpenCL for example.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

great! thanks again so much for your help. okay, then I'll go with the Intel i5 with integrated graphics. I had a look at some othe intel CPUs and found the i5 4690 looks a little better than the 4460. What do you think about the upgrade?

http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/sea2sky/saved/YBVG3C

I've also found some ram from kingston thats quite a bit cheaper. The Kingston Hyper X 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory. It notes that its pnp ram, i cant really tell if it supports the Haswell refresh cpu.. and another thing i notice, is that it is DDR31866, where the board only supports 1600. Will this be a problem, or will the board just make use of 1600? Thats fine by me, i doubt i'll notice the difference... Or would you recommend upgrading the board then too?

ive also swapped out the crucial m500 for the mx100, which i dont think will lead to any problems..

thx again for any help!

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Good idea with the upgrade to the 4690. You get a 500MHz clock boost and a 100MHz boost on the integrated GPU - nothing can hurt there :-)

It'll most likely just run the RAM at 1600MHz instead - not much difference there. There might be an XMP setting in the BIOS - if so, you can enable it and let the RAM run at full speed. As long as the modules are the correct size (240-pin DIMM) - they fit in all DDR3 motherboards.

Can you send me a link to the RAM though? Memory speed is not only about MHz - the CAS timings are equally important. I think it's hard to beat the 2600MHz CAS 9 RAM from the list above at these prices - but it might not make a huge difference anyway.

Oh and the MX100 is definitely a better pick than the M500 - it's the newer version of the drive, so should be a little faster and perhaps more durable.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay Thanks again! As for the ram, I had it in my shopping cart at memory express for 49.99 this morning. Just tried to buy it now tho and it says product not found. :( yeah no problem tho, the g. Skill ram looks great too. One more thing, do I need a network adapter to get Internet? I'd only be working with LAN. No wireless. If not, she's ready to go, eh? Thx!

[comment deleted]

Sort

add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube