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Help needed for photo editing + music production build

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February 2, 2014 9:45:22 PM

I am just a beginner who's been using 3 yr old sluggish laptop for photo editing. I decided to invest in a new build which I will be using mainly for photo editing(photoshop cs6, LR..) and music production (Nuendo, VSTs). I've been reading recommendations here and came down to the parts below. I already spent a lot on the monitor(Dell U3014) thus my budget's kind of tight. I am trying to keep it below $1800. I just wanted to confirm with you guys if my choices are okay and get some better input. I did not opt for graphics card for now but I might add GTX770 or 780 later on if necessary. I already have external USB midi interface. Thanks in advance!


CPU : Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics

MB : ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

RAM : G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

SSD : SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" 500GB SATA III MLC

HDD : Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

Power : SeaSonic X Series X-850 (SS-850KM3 Active PFC F3) 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD

Cooler : CORSAIR Hydro Series H60

Case :Corsair Obsidian 750D Black ATX Full Tower

Optical drive : LG Black 14X BD-R OEM

Total : $1597.91
February 2, 2014 10:42:09 PM

Couple of questions.
1. Do you plan on overclocking?
2. Is gaming a concern at all?
3. Do you really need 500GB of SSD storage?
4. Is a lot of CPU grunt particularly important for your work?
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February 2, 2014 10:54:33 PM

manofchalk said:
Couple of questions.
1. Do you plan on overclocking?
2. Is gaming a concern at all?
3. Do you really need 500GB of SSD storage?
4. Is a lot of CPU grunt particularly important for your work?


1. Not sure.
2. I might. But I wouldn't mind if I won't be able to play graphics-demaning games.
3. Yes. I have whole bunch to install. (Sequencer, VSTs..)
4. Not too much cause I am not a professional. But I'd rather have a smoother system cuz that's why I am investing in a new build.

Any suggestions? I might be able to go up to $2000s if I have to.
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February 2, 2014 11:05:48 PM

I was just asking to figure out where money should go, for instance if you werent overclocking then a Sabertooth board and K series chip isnt needed. If CPU grunt was very important, an X79 system is probably the better option than LGA1150.

This should be good for your usage.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($137.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($309.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($86.47 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1637.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-03 02:05 EST-0500)
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February 2, 2014 11:23:00 PM

manofchalk said:
I was just asking to figure out where money should go, for instance if you werent overclocking then a Sabertooth board and K series chip isnt needed. If CPU grunt was very important, an X79 system is probably the better option than LGA1150.

This should be good for your usage.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($137.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($309.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($86.47 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1637.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-03 02:05 EST-0500)


First I should admit that I don't know anything about overclocking.
1. Do you think it will help?
2. Will this system smooth enough for what I want to do?
3. Do I really need graphics card? They recommend investing in cpu and MB for my purpose. Thus I even considered getting 6 core i7 cpu without video card.

Sorry for too many questions. And thank you for quick response.

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February 2, 2014 11:28:44 PM

1. Whether overclocking will help depends on the answer to whether CPU grunt matters or not. Overclocking is entirely for the purpose of squeezing more performance out of it.
2. You cant get much better. 16GB of RAM thats upgradable to 32GB, fairly fast CPU and an SSD means that it will be plenty fast in daily usage. How fast it will work in your photo/music tasks really depends on how complex your going.
3. On a mainstream platform, no. All the CPU's have onboard graphics of some description so it will put out a video signal. If you go up to X79 you will need a graphics card since it lacks an integrated GPU, but doesnt need to be anything special. If you want to game at all, I recommend getting a graphics card.
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February 2, 2014 11:52:57 PM

Thank you so much. It was very helpful!
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!