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New Computer Build - Photoshop CS2

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November 21, 2006 11:35:21 AM

Hello,
I am planning on my second build and am currently in the planning stage. I am planning on building this once Windows Vista is available.

The main use of the computer is for Photoshop CS2 with the secondary use of Premier Elements 3.0 and general computing. I do not plan on using the computer for games or CAD.

The current plans are:

Case: Lian Li PC 6070
Motherboard: Either Gigabyte GA-965-DQ6 or ASUS P5B Deluxe
Processor: Intel core 2 Duo, Conroe E6600
Hard Drive 1: WD Raptor 74Gb (System and Photoshop Scratch Disk)
Hard Drive 2: Undecided...probably WD or Seagate SATA
Misc other hardware to include Intertal DVD Drive and Card Reader

I have three questions:
1 - Memory - I plan on installing at least 2 Gb of memory with the future expansion to 4 or 6 Gb. In my previous build I used Crucial memory and it works fine. Should I consider different memory such as Corsair or something else?

In doing research Crucial recommends - CT2KIT12864AA80E, DDR2-800 while Corsair recommends Twin2x2048-6400CT, DDR2-800.
What should I choose?

2 - Video Card - Probably the one item I know the least about. What type of card should I choose for my system. Once again I choose Crucial for my previous build and the current thought is a Crucial Radeon x1600xt 256MP PCI Express card.
What should I select considering my main concern is Photoshop?

3- Power Supply and Processor Cooling
Not overly concerned with these based on what have have researched. However, how many watts should I plan on and should I get a different fan for the processor (Zalman) or use the stock fan?

Thanks for your time and responses. I know this was a lot for a first time poster but I did a lot of forum searching and never really found the answer.
Thanks, Tim
November 21, 2006 11:47:36 AM

alot of people seem to forget this, what your budget?
November 21, 2006 12:15:54 PM

Sorry about that...I am figuring on $1,500 to $2,000 for the budget. With the specs I had posted I figure:

Case - Already have waiting
Motherboard - $250
CPU - $300
Memory - $325
Hard Drive 1 - $175
Hard Drive 2 - $150
DVD Drive - $60
Video Card - $150
Windows Vista - $

The above is around $1,400 not including tax /shipping. I figure this is flexibe anyway.

Thanks for your help,
Tim
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November 21, 2006 12:40:57 PM

You'll really enjoy the system you just put together for PhotoShop. Concentrate on the memory because Photoshop will be using it and the processor more then any other items. Second would be the harddrives, and the raptors should do just fine. Caution, try not to put the photoshop scratch disk on the same drive as the operating system. photoshop will complain about that. As far as the video card, your choice will be fine.
November 21, 2006 7:42:42 PM

No reason to go past 4GB if all you are going to use is Vista, that is unless you plan on going with 64-bit. Everything else looks fine, but try to avoid a cheap motherboard. I don’t know much about the latest Intel boards, but you’ll want the most stable one. As for video cards, if you plan on doing HD quality video editing (effects) then you’ll want a somewhat more powerful card than the 1600. The 1900 series is getting cheaper by the day.

I run Photoshop CS2 alone with 2-3 other programs in the background (web editing & video ripping) and don’t even skip a beat with my 4400+ and 2GB memory so I know you’ll love the performance on yours.

Unless you have multiple controllers, it really does not matter where you put the Photoshop cache. Its not the machine that is the creator, its you. I know fantastic artists that make Photoshop sing and don’t have half the machine I do.
November 22, 2006 12:29:41 AM

You may want to do a couple of drives in raid 0 rather than spending the extra cash on a raptor. Unless you're going to be working on really massive files, You're probably not going to appreciate a raptor.

Also, another consideration is spending a bit of money on a second display; decent LCDs are getting cheaper and cheaper. Right now I'm using a 20 inch widescreen with a 17 inch 4/3. More screen space is a huge boost to productivity for me (one really nice thing is being able to have an image at 100% on one screen and your tools and a full screen zoom-out on the other).
November 22, 2006 2:04:09 PM

I guess I have some additional questions:
1. What brand Power Supply would you recommend and how many watts are required for the above system...I would also have an external HD and DVD writter added to the above.
2. What brand Video Card and any specific recommendations.
Thanks for your input ,
Tim
November 22, 2006 3:55:59 PM

For the PSU I'd go with a minimum of 400W; you don't need that much today, but it will leave room to grow. As far as the brand, I'd browse newegg and look at reviews. For the type of system that you're looking at doing, there isn't going to be much difference between a decent psu and a "high end" one.

For the GPU, you might want to get a 7600GS. I don't think you mentioned any gaming intentions so I think one of these would be an excellent choice for vista. Again, I refer you to Newegg. If you want to spend an extra 20 bucks on the card, go for one thats passively cooled and has 512MB of ram.
November 22, 2006 5:04:22 PM

The hiper is good but not the best available in that price range (although the design is great, professional, neat). But.. I might still recommend it if you're going with the P180. The reason is that the P180 mounts the PSU on the bottom and a lot of power supplies can't reach the top 5.25" bays. The Hiper comes with a ton of adapters/extenders of various lengths that should help you reach the top.

Oh, another thing about the Hiper. It doesn't come with any dedicated SATA cables. Instead you have to connect the included SATA adapters to a standard 4-pin molex. That irritates me because a modular PSU is supposed to have a clean look and I think this interupts that design.
!