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Advice on PC build for CS5 Photoshop and casual gaming?

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August 12, 2013 7:39:02 PM

Hey guys! I've been looking into building my own PC for the first time. My main motivation is to get a solid performance on a teensy budget. I'm splitting the costs between me and my roommate, and I'm at 400$ right now... so you can imagine how budget I'm trying to be. My goal isn't to have top performance, but I'd like it to be able to do Photoshop editing with CS5, and light casual gaming (game titles include Amnesia, Braid... maybe Diablo 3? But I'm not pushing for it)

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1rgl1

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A8-3870K 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($85.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: MSI A55M-P33 Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($47.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Grey 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.51 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($38.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($47.97 @ Outlet PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $400.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-12 22:27 EDT-0400)

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible. (deadline by the end of the month)

Budget Range: 300 - 500 After Rebates/Shipping/All Parts & Accessories

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop, casual gaming (Amnesia, Braid... maybe Diablo 3? But I'm not pushing for it)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes (need advice)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (pref Windows 7, Win8 makes me want to kill myself)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca (I'm a canuck)

Location: Montreal, QC

Parts Preferences: No real preference, though I'm leaning towards AMD because it's generally better bang-for-buck at low cost, and the integrated graphics are supposedly better too.

Overclocking: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: That's part of what I want to know: What is the best resolution I can expect for a monitor with this build, and what's the cheapest one I can get without it looking like total garbage?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Because I'm still using a laptop from 2008 wth.


Additional Comments: So I'm pretty pleased with keeping the price of the main components around this price. There are things I'm not sure about, like whether I need the cooling fan, if getting the AMD Phenom is better, and a dedicated Graphics Card is necessary or not. I've browsed a couple of other PC Builds listed around here, that goes for 370-500$. Perhaps I'm under the naive perception that I can fulfill my needs with an even cheaper build combo.

Input is much appreciated! Thanks.


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a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2013 6:35:28 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.34 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ECS A780LM-M2 Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($39.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Wintec Value 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GT 630 2GB Video Card ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec VSK-3000 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $456.23
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-13 09:35 EDT-0400)
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August 13, 2013 5:52:09 PM

Hey! Thanks for the reply.

I get that this build is cheaper, but there's a couple of caveats with your choices, in that if I ever felt that I need some more juice, I chose for example the NZXT Source 210 so that I could add a dedicated GPU, etc, and having the APU means I can still go for a dedicated gpu later on if I feel I need it.
Admittedly, most of the parts I chose were recommended by Lifehacker's guide, so I can imagine they might be better quality and not as-cheap-as-possible. But judging from some of the reviews for the CORSAIR CX430 for example, there's a lot more DOAs.

I'm still not sure what would be good for a monitor though. Is there any particularly good, yet cheap monitors that would work with my build?

Also, I'm thinking of swapping the 1TB storage for a 64GB SSD: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-internal-hard-driv...

I own external harddrives that would hold most of the storage, and as I understand it the gains from the Crucial M4 in terms of speed would be a great.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 13, 2013 6:43:28 PM

Yeah. You can modify my build however you like.

The CX430 is a fine, quality PSU. Don't listen to others. Plus, if it is DOA, Corsair's RMA is as fast as heck.
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