TOYZ TOWER MULTI-MEDIA PRODUCTION AND GAMING PC
I have been involved in the multi-media business for over 20 years. Prior to editing and publishing magazines, we published music and in fact, we still publish and produce videos from time to time, so the needs of multi-media entrepreneurs are quite familiar to us. In addition, many of the people who work with us are entrepreneurs who range from photographers and videographers to web developers, graphic designers, system builders, game developers and directors who are above all else, some of the most discerning in terms of multi-media content. With this in mind, we set out to build an ultimate production rig with a budget of less than $1,500. The rig was to have superb gaming capabilities, video editing capabilities and music production capabilities in addition to productivity, communication tools and superb multi-media sharing and streaming capabilities. Needless to say, we had a tall task. David and the entire team at Kingston were able to help us get started with critical components like the V300 240GB SSD drive, the engine that would drive our system. All of our software and operating system would be on this drive so speed and durability were critical.
Components of the Toyz Tower Multi-Media Production and Gaming PC:
Intel Core i5-4590 Processor $199.99
Kingston V300 240 GB SSD $133.99
Kingston HyperX FURY Red Series 16GB 1866MHz Kit $159.99
Corsair CX600M ATX Power Supply $69
MSi GTX 960 $249
GIGABYTE Intel GA-Z87X-UD4H Motherboard $160
GIGABYTE GC-WB867D-I Dual Band Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 Network Card with Intel 7260 Adapter inside $33.99
Microsoft Windows 10 $99.99
Seagate Barracuda Desktop Kit 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6Gb/s $99.99
Thermaltake Versa H22 Special Edition
Mid-tower Case $49.99
LG 16X Blu-ray Disc Burner $49.99
We also got a pair of 8GB HyperX FURY Red memory sticks, giving us 16GB of RAM with a max clock speed of 1866MHz. Both components performed admirably while the ability to perform multiple functions simultaneously was critical as was speed. We chose an Intel i5-4590 as our processor which has a clock speed of 3.3GHz and 6MB of cache. It is a 4th generation Haswell with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4 cores and the ability to overclock to 3.7GHz.
For our motherboard, we used a GIGABYTE GA-Z87X-UD4H. Our concerns were for the availability of expansion ports, the ability to display 4K, sound quality, output and most of all durability. With over 10 USB 3.0 ports and Gigabyte’s well-earned reputation for gaming, we were thrilled. Speaking of gaming, we used an Msi GeForce GTX 960, one of NVIDIA Maxwell architecture’s latest graphics cards and ran with 2GB GDDR5 support for 4 concurrent displays and integrated game streaming. This card is capable of playing all the latest games such as Call Of Duty: Black Ops III and Titanfall at the maximum setting.
With so much computing power, a power source becomes imperative and for that we went with a Corsair CX600M which has 600W of power, more than enough for our rig. I especially found the multiple power ports helpful and perfect for our motherboard, which allows for more expansion later. For all of these components we needed a case, so we went with the Thermaltake Versa H22 Special Edition Mid-tower.
Fans were important, as were durability, ease of assembly, slot expansions and drive bays. We added our own fans and went with blue LEDs for a great effect. Then came our networking needs and we went with GIGABYTE GC-WB867D-I which has Intel 7260 integrated along with Dual Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. With Intel we also got Wi-Fi Direct that allows for screen sharing which is great when you have connection speeds of up to 867 Mbps. Finally, we added a Seagate 2TB drive with 64MB of cache and 7200 RPM speed with 6GB/s. This allows for great performance and storage for files and games. We also added an LG 16X SATA Blu-ray burner.
From a pricing standpoint we were able to get to our targets, but pricing is only one part of the equation. The real objective is performance and in this category our rig excelled. Running Titanfall at max specs while simultaneously running Photoshop on another screen was a breeze. With this you can have someone running Steam on a mobile device. In fact, we were able to test a device my son is prototyping and play Call of Duty while doing photo editing on another screen on the system. For a small business this means you can do things remotely, share screens, and even watch movies and game simultaneously while on the same system. That capability is a new paradigm that is transformative.
With Microsoft Windows 10 as our operating system we used a variety of production software from Art Age to Serato to the Adobe suite of tools. Video editing was also easy and I will give a more detailed review of Corel. Building around Kingston was really the catalyst for the project, actually making it possible. 16GB of RAM and an SSD with 450 Mbps provided the multi-tasking capabilities and the speed to reach our goals and the components Kingston supplied got the process going. We took 8 weeks to find all of our components and build our system. We are considering doing 100 systems for $1,500 each depending on reader response. If interested, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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