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Pure Photoshop build - Recommendations Appreciated

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October 10, 2006 2:55:30 AM

My sister is a semi-professional photographer and I am attempting to build her a PC which is geared toward photoshop/image processing.

She owns Photoshop CS2 and uses it 90% of the time for processing RAW images from a Canon 5D.

I just recently ordered a system(Should be here on the 11th!!!) for myself mainly consiting of
E6400
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 800
eVGA 7900GTO 512mb
Gigabyte DS3
etc, etc

While I was on a slightly tighter budget than she is I would like to get the most out of her money as she will be using this PC for a while.
Budget 1k without monitor. As I know the monitor is a very important part of this build I would love to hear any recommendations.
Max of $1600-1700 with monitor.

I was thinking for this particular build to go with an E6600 and slightly lower clocked ram, 667 x 2gb.
I doubt I will overclock the CPU even though I know everyone seems to be having great luck I have to make sure the system is rock solid.

Having trouble deciding on the motherboard. While I could use the DS3 I thought maybe dropping it down to a S3 or even attempting the vanilla P5B. Again stability is important.

Video card I am thinking to stick around $100-150 range as she will not be doing any gaming.

As for hard drive configuration I have been toying with a Raid 0 setup for OS/Apps. And another drive for Data/Photoshop Scratch.

Most boards seem to have 3 SATA ports and without investing in a seperate SATA card 3 seemed to be the hard limit.

I'm sure Raptors will come up and the question is, are they worth their price? I have never owned one and have only read benchmarks. The question is can you feel the difference?


Basically I haven't decided anything. It's one thing when you are using your own money, another when you are using someone else's.

I really could use help in suggesting a PURE photoshop build.

Thanks!
October 10, 2006 3:48:38 AM

The machine you bought for yourself is more than capable to run Photoshop on.
October 10, 2006 3:51:51 AM

The 2GB of RAM is good. You can even drop down to 533MHz RAM if you want. I saw an article where 667MHz there is a slight dip in performance (I believe because of the multiplier), so only get 667MHz if you are going to overclock to make it run at a better ratio.

You could use any integrated graphics for the computer, no need to get a discrete card.

Hard drive space is important also. I can't make any recommendations about the Raptors or not, but I know with my video editing I was more processor limited than HD limited. I don't think the RAID setup will gain you much speed. I do recommend using a HD for the OS/Applications, another for the RAW data files, and another for the scratch files. Having 3 HDs for video editing made it very smooth.

The choice on the processor is good.
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October 10, 2006 5:21:48 AM

As most ppl agree... gfx card is pretty much a waste of time for video/image editing. Focus on cpu, then ram, then hdd imo

As a 3rd gen photographer (95% of my work is action), despite what all the pros say to each other, NOBODY uses raw. I shoot on max rez, jpeg, either basic or normal. If u do studio work (boring!), then u are much better off with a Hasselblad 22MP or something like a FujiFilm slowarsewoteva. Or even better FILM SLR (yes, film) + good scanner will give MUCH better results than 8MP raw.

As for Canon vs Nikon... anyone who tells you one is better than the other has not used the other... they are both the same... really. So why do i shoot Nikon? One word... Nikkor lenses.

Oh also... keeping your media is SOOO important... back-ups i use...
1. data on hdd gets duplicated to 2x Hdds, one on my PC on on another pc.
2. backup to dvd
3. backup to web

Am i paranoid? Nah :twisted:
October 11, 2006 12:36:11 AM

Thanks for the info guys.

My initial concerns were basically that of choosing a decent video card with DVI that can handle colors accurately. I know the monitor is huge in this area and that will be a device that a large chunk of money will be put into.

On-board video is an option but using analog seems like a step backward as using a pure digital signal seems a bit cleaner.

Other than sticking a SCSI card in the box and running those overpiced wonders I was really interested in what people recommended in ways of performance drives. If the raptors were worth it, etc.

I may just do a Raid 1 for the data drive for instant backup purposes and of course use an external device to backup one of those drives. She is pretty good about backing up her images to DVD when she pulls them off of the CF cards so the Raid 1 setup may be overkill.

Any recommendations on monitors from some photographers out there?

From the THG CPU charts it seems that the E6600 does not appear to be worth the money for this particular system.
October 11, 2006 12:41:16 AM

nVIDIA Quadro NVS
October 11, 2006 1:03:01 AM

Hi NSH,

I'm on the same boat as your sister, I shoot the Canon 5D and mainly shoot raw images. It takes up alot of space on my Hard Drive. I have a thread that is currently running and you may want to read some of the info that has been posted there. I'll keep an eye on this thread so that I make the best descions. As for monitors check out shootsmarteruniversity.com, I went to this school and have become good friends with the owner. He has a smarticle on monitors, check it out it is a good read.
!