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New Haswell build for Photoshop CS6/Lightroom 4 work. Need your opinion

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June 8, 2013 5:37:08 PM

Hi,

I am planning to replace my 4 year old HP desktop with a custom build. I went Fry's near my home and got the following configuration.

I use the system to mainly use Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 extensively like stitching Panoramas that are 1 to 2 gigs in size. I don't do any video or any advanced 3D stuff on Photoshop. So my guess is that I won't be needing a graphic card. I don't plan to over clock either. Instead I decided to load up on RAM. I am going with 32GB RAM and 256GB SSD to make file saves and load faster in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Here is the config I got from Fry's:
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/motiver/saved/1Js8

I already have the OS. So it is not a concern.

Is that a good build that will get me at least 4 years? Any suggestions would be great to make it better. I am ok with going a couple hundred dollars more if needed.


Thanks!
June 8, 2013 6:24:47 PM

Well, according to Adobe specifications for Photoshop, 3D effects are disabled if you have less than 512MB of video RAM so if that's not something you need then a card is not absolutely necessary.

However it appears that PS *does* take advantage of a video card to speed rendering of 2D components as well (as a quick investigation of the CS 5.5 preferences seems to indicate) so you might find investing in one to be to your advantage in regards to workflow. I don't know how strict Photoshop is regarding card compatibility, although a safe bet would be to use a card that is also compatible with Adobe Premiere (since they sell them together in the CS master bundle and I don't think they'd recommend hardware that was not compatible with the whole package); I do know that some of the cards compatible with Premiere aren't outrageously expensive. For example the Radeon HD 6770 is a relatively cheap card that is compatible with Premiere, so it will likely work fine for Photoshop.

Are you also going to have another drive for a scratch disk or just the one drive? A dedicated scratch drive for the larger resolutions you appear to be operating with may also be of benefit.

Aside from that, I can't think of anything wrong with your build as a long-term solution.
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June 8, 2013 6:28:44 PM

thats a pretty bad configuration. without the GPU it will hinder your system by a fair bit. if you are completely out of the 3d part and will not use GPU acceleation at all, then the GPU plays a less important role

also, the fact that you dont have a i7 will also slow you down. in your usage, a i7 will perform at least 35% faster since photoshop will use up as much threads as possible

although it does cost a 100 dollars more, id definitely spring for it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14riH
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Related resources
June 8, 2013 6:34:23 PM

I will say that the power supply you chose (650W) is a bit overkill if you don't have a video card, although the Antec GreenWatts is a solid line. The XFX BigTroll submitted would be a better fit wattage-wise, even with a midrange card added in. You should investigate Hardware Secrets though and see what they have to say about it first though.
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June 8, 2013 8:14:26 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. I thought about scratch disk but I heard the newer versions of photoshop don't use it. I updated my config to include an i7 4770K. Assuming I don't spend money on the processor (I might get it as a birthday gift :) ) so I have about $300 freed up. I am considering buying a Graphics card. So could you suggest a graphic card for my needs that is not super expensive?

Thanks.
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June 8, 2013 9:34:32 PM

LordHaHa said:
I will say that the power supply you chose (650W) is a bit overkill if you don't have a video card, although the Antec GreenWatts is a solid line. The XFX BigTroll submitted would be a better fit wattage-wise, even with a midrange card added in. You should investigate Hardware Secrets though and see what they have to say about it first though.

Yeah right.
http://techreport.com/review/24897/the-big-haswell-psu-...

The firm adds that its XFX Pro Series 450W and 550W units are not Haswell-ready. However, XFX is "working closely with Seasonic to develop a new 550W Gold Pro Series PSU that will be compatible later this year."

Quote:
So could you suggest a graphic card for my needs that is not super expensive?


I think any GTX 650 or better will work just fine.
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June 8, 2013 9:41:28 PM

TheBigTroll said:
thats a pretty bad configuration. without the GPU it will hinder your system by a fair bit. if you are completely out of the 3d part and will not use GPU acceleation at all, then the GPU plays a less important role

also, the fact that you dont have a i7 will also slow you down. in your usage, a i7 will perform at least 35% faster since photoshop will use up as much threads as possible

although it does cost a 100 dollars more, id definitely spring for it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14riH


It's Fry's. They know jack **** about the PCs and PC parts they sell. This would be a much better use of $1300:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($60.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($167.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($128.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($204.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1253.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-09 00:41 EDT-0400)
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June 8, 2013 9:43:58 PM

I think all computers without integrated GPUs need a GPU...
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June 8, 2013 9:54:17 PM

How much faster is this build or if you take that GTX 650?
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Lets see. If you look Adobe Premier CS6 Total Benchmark time the GTX 660 is not much faster than GTX 650.
They are about the same.
If it is a bit faster it do not make it a bit better for this kind of build. More important is take good SSD + HDD set.
Than more GPU that you do not need in this kind of work.

g unit posted this psu: Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)

and here you can see what others say about it:

Seasonic
Seasonic lists these units as "ready for Intel's Haswell processors," although it doesn't go into much detail beyond that:

X-series: 560W, 660W, 760W, 650W, 750W, 850W, 1050W, 1250W
X-series Fanless: 400W, 460W
Platinum Series: 660W, 760W, 860W, 1000W, 1200W
Platinum Series Fanless: 400W, 460W, 520W
G-Series: 360W, 450W, 550W, 650W
M12II Bronze: 650W, 750W, 850W

I do not really know what works with hasswell or what do not. But maybe better be sure it works?


And hasswell do have that usb 3 problem in motherboards. Is that fixed already? I think the fix comes out in 3 or 4 months.
Then out will be also new GTX 760Ti or something like that.


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June 8, 2013 10:21:29 PM

To quickly speak on scratch disks, you can set one up in Photoshop CS5.5. Unless they've removed it extremely recently, it should still be there.

As far as a video card, it depends on what are you looking for. Usually NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FireGL cards are tailored for use with things like Adobe products, but those are not cheap parts.

What I would look for is a card that is listed as compatible with Adobe Premiere. While I know you are not working with video, I am very mindful on this point as my observation of Adobe regarding CS5.5 is that they are somewhat finicky about what video parts are compatible with their products. Maybe less so with Photoshop, but I would suggest using a card that is listed by Adobe as compatible with Premiere, as it will certainly be compatible with Photoshop and other CS package software, and also a part that is rated for a more demanding application like Premiere should be more than adequate for your needs with Photoshop. A list of cards that will certainly be friendly to Adobe products at the present time is below.

http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

I don't know if you have any preferences to NVIDIA or AMD, so I will list my possibilities for you to consider among consumer-level cards from that list.

On the AMD side, I would recommend the AMD Radeon HD 6670. It is about $100 at the moment on Newegg, and offers 1GB of video RAM, which is what Adobe recommends for Photoshop. It scores very nicely on power consumption as well in Anandtech's 2012 benchmarks; here's consumption under a normal load (a game), consumption under a OCCT stress test, and idle power draw. In these cases it performs farily well. Fan noise of the card is not on this list for some reason, without further information it's probably between the HD 5770 and the HD 7770 on that list. As far as performance, I do not see a "Retouch Artists" test where we could directly measure PS performance but I would suggest it would be about "middle of the road" for your kind of application. If you are willing to spend $20-40 more the HD 7770 would also be a good pick as it would likely have somewhat better compute performance with similar thermals, noise and power characteristics.

Now NVIDIA is a little more established with Adobe than AMD as using CUDA with CS programs has been possible longer than AMD with OpenCL. OpenCL performs well though, and I am considering the "red" path next time I do a video upgrade if their next few releases can compete with NVIDIA when it comes to Adobe products as they have recently. However presently I am using a NVIDIA GTX 580 for my copy of CS5.5 and have been pleased with it for both Photoshop and Premiere but unfortunately those cards are 2 generations old and are thus largely to be found on the aftermarket these days. For a new purchase - excluding the GTX Titan due to it's cost, and also seeing that Adobe has not vetted the GeForce 700 series yet due to its "youth" - I would suggest a GTX 680 at the present time if you wish to use a NVIDIA product. Since the new GTX 770 is almost the same as the GTX 680 internally, I think that card and the GTX 780 will be whitelisted as compatible as well, but I hesitate to recommend something not on Adobe's whitelist at this moment. Furthermore, since the GTX 770 is so similar and is lower priced than the GTX 680, there are rebates and other deals being applied to this card presently to make it attractive to buyers.

Please take your time to compare cards on the Anand Bench, and compare scores in both the 2012 and 2013 section the benchmarking section to make your final determination. I personally would think the HD 7770 would suit your particular needs, but you may find some other variable that attracts you to a different card that I have not suggested.
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June 8, 2013 10:33:23 PM

Well here is benchmarks for Adobe Photoshop CS6 GPU Acceleration



Hope it makes easier to make choice.
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June 8, 2013 10:43:03 PM

AxlFone said:
g unit posted this psu: Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)

and here you can see what others say about it:

Seasonic
Seasonic lists these units as "ready for Intel's Haswell processors," although it doesn't go into much detail beyond that:

X-series: 560W, 660W, 760W, 650W, 750W, 850W, 1050W, 1250W
X-series Fanless: 400W, 460W
Platinum Series: 660W, 760W, 860W, 1000W, 1200W
Platinum Series Fanless: 400W, 460W, 520W
G-Series: 360W, 450W, 550W, 650W
M12II Bronze: 650W, 750W, 850W

I do not really know what works with hasswell or what do not. But maybe better be sure it works?


And hasswell do have that usb 3 problem in motherboards. Is that fixed already? I think the fix comes out in 3 or 4 months.
Then out will be also new GTX 760Ti or something like that.


"Haswell ready" is a bunch of marketing BS. There's nothing that would differentiate one PSU from another being completely "Haswell compatible". Only a very poorly manufactured power supply (say something from Coolmax or Apevia) would not be Haswell ready. But a Seasonic, Corsair, Antec, XFX, etc would certify that your PSU is Haswell compatible.
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June 9, 2013 12:07:47 AM

You said second chain of the 550w power supply you need at least an Intel processor contains four cores.
Here is waht super flower say about 450w golden green:
http://www.super-flower.com.tw/products_detail.php?clas...
★Supports all Intel and AMD Dual Core and Quad core and its compatible Motherboards, ATX/BTX compliant.

★Supports Intel Core i7-980X / Core i7 / Core i5 / Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Duo &AMD Phenom II X6 / Phenom II X4 / Phenom II X3 / Athlon 64 X2series chip set.

And I did show you how bad corsair TX ir (how much in one store they have had RMA send backs of them.)
Is it still a good PSU? I think not.

Here is other site that is doing that hasswell PSU ready search:
http://www.logicalincrements.com/haswell/
They say this:
We are all waiting for Haswell, Intel's latest CPU offering. One of its features is that it can go into very low power states, which is of more benefit to laptops than desktops, but does have implications for desktop PSUs. At the lowest power states, Haswell will only need 0.05A from the PSU, and not all PSUs can deliver such a small amount of power. For a more detailed look on this issue, read the relevant articles at Bit-tech, Tomshardware, or Xbitlabs.

What does that mean for you? You need to check whether your PSU can support Haswell's lowest power states. If your PSU does not, then you need to disable these states (rumours are that most mobo manufacturers will deliver their mobos with this feature disabled by default). The good news is that most high-end quality PSUs (and some mid-range PSUs) are already compatible with Haswell's low-power states. The bad news is that there is very little data available on this issue for the consumer to look up, so it is not easy to tell whether the PSU you have (or are intending to buy) will support Haswell's low-power states.

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June 9, 2013 12:16:25 AM

AxlFone said:
Well here is benchmarks for Adobe Photoshop CS6 GPU Acceleration

*snip*

Hope it makes easier to make choice.


It seems from this list that Photoshop is not tied to the same restrictions that Premiere has. To the OP, this does significantly increased the number of choices you have in regards to video cards. That said, it looks like mid-range to upper-mid-range cards (640-660 for NVIDIA, 7750-7850 for AMD) offer will all complete the job in roughly the same time (18-20 sec). Going further to high-end units you get diminishing returns; sort of the same for the very high-end professional cards but they do offer an extra degree of precision (although they are still outside our proposed price range). You only really start seeing noticeable deviations at the far low end of the discreet range, though, so maybe looking downward is also an option to a certain extent. Certainly pretty much anything you choose that is a fairly recent part is going to be better than integrated Intel graphics (Plus ça change...).

As far as that power goes, a supply around 550W would be pretty safe in terms of power consumption, using of either an HD 7770 or a GTX 660Ti (which would be my target cards, although using more frugal cards would mean you could choose a less powerful - and therefore less expensive - supply).

Hardware Secrets is very studious in their review of power supplies and you can observe their awarded units here. Of course you should also observe user reviews of these units as well on those sites that sell these products.

In general I've personally had good experiences using Antec and Corsair supplies, and based on their reputation it would be very unusual to go wrong with a Seasonic unit. Look for a good price, but do not cheap out (there's a lot of badly designed/essentially fraudulent supplies out there that go for pennies on the dollar).
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June 9, 2013 12:26:51 AM

I do not think you need 550w
New cards take so much less power than old ones.
This picture is from finland but sure you can see how much watts you really need with 3770k and new video cards.
This is how much whole build will take out of wall socket.

So seasonic g450w gold or rosewill 450w gold psu is fine choice. They are both good psu with long warranty and good efficiency.
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June 9, 2013 5:26:13 AM

motiver said:
Thanks for the quick reply. I thought about scratch disk but I heard the newer versions of photoshop don't use it. I updated my config to include an i7 4770K. Assuming I don't spend money on the processor (I might get it as a birthday gift :) ) so I have about $300 freed up. I am considering buying a Graphics card. So could you suggest a graphic card for my needs that is not super expensive?

Thanks.


there isnt the need of a 4770k if you arent overclocking but then if you want to, i can pull something together
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June 9, 2013 5:27:18 AM

AxlFone said:
I do not think you need 550w
New cards take so much less power than old ones.
This picture is from finland but sure you can see how much watts you really need with 3770k and new video cards.
This is how much whole build will take out of wall socket.

So seasonic g450w gold or rosewill 450w gold psu is fine choice. They are both good psu with long warranty and good efficiency.


yeah it will supply enough power. just dont pull another one of those "i can run 2 780s off of a 550w again"
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June 9, 2013 7:54:43 AM

TheBigTroll said:
motiver said:
Thanks for the quick reply. I thought about scratch disk but I heard the newer versions of photoshop don't use it. I updated my config to include an i7 4770K. Assuming I don't spend money on the processor (I might get it as a birthday gift :) ) so I have about $300 freed up. I am considering buying a Graphics card. So could you suggest a graphic card for my needs that is not super expensive?

Thanks.


there isnt the need of a 4770k if you arent overclocking but then if you want to, i can pull something together


Thanks for a great discussion and awesome suggestions. I am learning a lot here. As I mentioned I am getting the 4770K for free. I cannot say no to it :)  So the $300 is not included in my budget. I update my list with all your suggestions and also removed the CPU to see a realistic price. Here it is: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/motiver/saved/1Js8
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June 9, 2013 8:00:56 AM

Wow. I woke up this morning and saw this awesome discussion. You guys rock. I am learning a lot here, especially for my first build. I updated my list to this one: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/motiver/saved/1Js8

I purposefully removed the CPU as I am not spending money out of my pocket. I am getting a 4770K for free. So I just need to buy the remaining stuff to complete a build. Also Fry's seems to be a tad cheaper compared to other online stores. Do you think I would be better off with newegg or microcenter even if I was offered comparable price/options at Fry's?

The reason i ask is, i live just a bock away from Fry's and I can get the stuff the same day versus waiting for my online order to arrive. Especially, when it is costing me the same or even a bit less money.

Also, what other stuff (tools) do I need to assemble myself? I used to do it but that about 12 years ago (during the intel pentium 3 days) but I lost touch with all the stuff. Any suggestions on that front too?


Thanks a lot.
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June 9, 2013 8:23:41 AM

i wouldnt get anything in the list you put up
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14B3l

-cheaper ram that performs the same
-much better motherboard
-the m5s is fast enough that you cant tell the difference between the 2 in real life. why spend the extra?
-the black drive has nothing to offer over the blue drive other than warranty. but if you are going to have a defective drive, its almost certain that its going to fail within the first year
-way better case for cheaper
-better psu for cheaper
-cheaper dvd drive
-at the least id get a 660

nothing much needed other than time and a phillps screwdriver
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June 9, 2013 9:01:20 AM

TheBigTroll said:
i wouldnt get anything in the list you put up
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/14B3l

-cheaper ram that performs the same
-much better motherboard
-the m5s is fast enough that you cant tell the difference between the 2 in real life. why spend the extra?
-the black drive has nothing to offer over the blue drive other than warranty. but if you are going to have a defective drive, its almost certain that its going to fail within the first year
-way better case for cheaper
-better psu for cheaper
-cheaper dvd drive
-at the least id get a 660

nothing much needed other than time and a phillps screwdriver


Thanks for the recommendation. This looks really close to what i want. Also, I was wondering about the case. So this case that you suggested is a mid tower. Will there be enough room for airflow? Also, do I need a cooler if I am not over clocking?

Thanks.
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June 9, 2013 9:10:31 AM

a mid tower has all the room you need and more.

if you are not overclocking at all, drop the i7 4770k, drop the z87 motherboard, and drop the cooler
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June 9, 2013 9:25:48 AM

TheBigTroll said:
a mid tower has all the room you need and more.

if you are not overclocking at all, drop the i7 4770k, drop the z87 motherboard, and drop the cooler


Thanks for the suggestion.

Also, do you know if shopping at Fry's vs newegg or any other retailer makes any difference?
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June 9, 2013 9:57:30 AM

there isnt a major difference however i do tend to get everything at ncix (or us.ncix for you) as they have very good customer service and price matching
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June 9, 2013 10:43:59 AM

TheBigTroll said:
there isnt a major difference however i do tend to get everything at ncix (or us.ncix for you) as they have very good customer service and price matching


Great. Also, I was wondering the suggestions you made, price wise there isn't much difference from what I originally had. I am trying to understand the rationale behind your suggestions. I am convinced on the Gigabyte mobo though.
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June 9, 2013 11:18:45 AM

ill explain them again

-there is no reason to get more expensive ram when the cheaper options perform the same and are the same
-even though in a benchmark the 840 pro performs a lot better, in real life you cant really tell the difference so why pay the extra cash. just like how people have raid 0. in benchmarks, they perform twice as well, but in real life usage, it does not do anything
-the black hard drive has nothing over the blue drive worth paying for
-the fractal case is built just as well if not better and is cheaper
-the xfx 550w is a seasonic unit. the earthwatt is also probably from the seasonic lineup but then again you dont need that wattage
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June 9, 2013 11:25:16 AM

TheBigTroll said:
ill explain them again

-there is no reason to get more expensive ram when the cheaper options perform the same and are the same
-even though in a benchmark the 840 pro performs a lot better, in real life you cant really tell the difference so why pay the extra cash. just like how people have raid 0. in benchmarks, they perform twice as well, but in real life usage, it does not do anything
-the black hard drive has nothing over the blue drive worth paying for
-the fractal case is built just as well if not better and is cheaper
-the xfx 550w is a seasonic unit. the earthwatt is also probably from the seasonic lineup but then again you dont need that wattage


All right. I will get my CPU in about a week's time. I will get other stuff in the mean time. I will keep you updated.

Thanks for all the help.
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June 9, 2013 11:34:36 AM

motiver said:
Wow. I woke up this morning and saw this awesome discussion. You guys rock. I am learning a lot here, especially for my first build. I updated my list to this one: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/motiver/saved/1Js8

I purposefully removed the CPU as I am not spending money out of my pocket. I am getting a 4770K for free. So I just need to buy the remaining stuff to complete a build. Also Fry's seems to be a tad cheaper compared to other online stores. Do you think I would be better off with newegg or microcenter even if I was offered comparable price/options at Fry's?

The reason i ask is, i live just a bock away from Fry's and I can get the stuff the same day versus waiting for my online order to arrive. Especially, when it is costing me the same or even a bit less money.

Also, what other stuff (tools) do I need to assemble myself? I used to do it but that about 12 years ago (during the intel pentium 3 days) but I lost touch with all the stuff. Any suggestions on that front too?


Thanks a lot.


I seriously dislike Frys because most of their salespeople know nothing about the products they sell. Plus they have a notoriety for putting just about anything returned to them back on the shelf without explaining what the product was returned for. I live in the Los Angeles area and I have access to a Fry's and Micro Center, but I would much rather buy from Newegg given the opportunity.

Quote:
-the xfx 550w is a seasonic unit. the earthwatt is also probably from the seasonic lineup but then again you dont need that wattage


Some Earthwatts are rebranded Seasonic units but others are made by Delta Electronics: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...
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June 9, 2013 11:46:59 AM

well to be fair they are both good companies and i wouldnt have a problem buying their power supplies
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June 9, 2013 11:53:34 AM



Quote:
I seriously dislike Frys because most of their salespeople know nothing about the products they sell. Plus they have a notoriety for putting just about anything returned to them back on the shelf without explaining what the product was returned for. I live in the Los Angeles area and I have access to a Fry's and Micro Center, but I would much rather buy from Newegg given the opportunity.


Wow. I didn't know Fry's does this. In that case I will order my stuff from newegg/amazon where ever I get a better deal. I also have Amazon Prime so shipping delays shouldn't be that bad.


Thanks for tip about Fry's.
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June 9, 2013 12:24:24 PM

motiver said:


Quote:
I seriously dislike Frys because most of their salespeople know nothing about the products they sell. Plus they have a notoriety for putting just about anything returned to them back on the shelf without explaining what the product was returned for. I live in the Los Angeles area and I have access to a Fry's and Micro Center, but I would much rather buy from Newegg given the opportunity.


Wow. I didn't know Fry's does this. In that case I will order my stuff from newegg/amazon where ever I get a better deal. I also have Amazon Prime so shipping delays shouldn't be that bad.


Thanks for tip about Fry's.


Yeah Fry's is definitely a dirty dealer. My boss refers to them as "Fry Me's". :lol: 
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