Final checklist - and need vga advice - for graphic/fashion designer

Hi everyone!

I do graphic/fashion design and am building a new system. I asked for everyone's advice a few days ago, and I got such great help, I really appreciate!

Based on your advice, I'm about to buy my system today or tomorrow. I just wanted to get your thoughts before, if there's problems, improvements, better prices, etc...

... and especially on what video card, as that's been a pesky little thing for me! ;-)

(I'm starting a new thread as the old one had gotten long... hope I'm not violating any etiquette rule. I just like to be tidy! :)

My usage needs:
heavy use of Adobe: Photoshop (mainly), Illustrator (moderate), Premiere and After Effects (low)
light use of 3d (Maya)
normal general use (music, internet, etc)
no games

I want to upgrade because rendering/filtering on Photoshop is very long, multitasking takes time, and (to a lesser extent as I don't do it so much) 3d work is nightmarishly long.

Proposed system (with so much of your help, thanks!)

CPU: Intel Q6600, tigerdirect $290

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R, newegg $130
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R

RAM: 4gb, i.e. 2 x Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300), $83 each = $166

PSU: Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W, $100 newegg[/ur l]

Drive: Western Digital Raptor, $205 newegg
(seems pretty expensive for a 150gb drive...? you all recommended it for speed, tho, i guess? so i'll go with that...)

(plus transfer over my existing 2x160gb raid setup)

OS: XP32
(Don't want vista... and I decided XP64-bit isn't worth it. No huge advantage on Photoshop (as per the company's own internal blogs) and just way too many compatability issues with drivers for things I plug in).

Video Card:
I read so much about cards, my head is spinning. Turns out Photoshop & Illustrator don't really need video cards, they're all CPU-dependent. With Maya and other 3d apps, the makers recommend and certify only Quadro and FireGL, but from lots of 3d forums I found that the gaming cards work decently for 3d apps (especially as my usage is relatively low - I'm not making the next Shrek... and heck, I even get by now on my current 3-year old system). The only caveat is to avoid the 8x series geforce, as it apparently has Maya compatability problems.

So I was all set to buy the EVGA 7900gs which Emp recommended... and then I saw from many customer reviews that it's very noisy, even when not being used at full capacity. Quiet is more important to me than a bit more power (I don't play games, after all), and I'd really rather not have to deal with "aftermarket coolers" and such (sounds too complex for a non-tech'er like me!).

Any recommendations for quiet and compatible video card around $125?

You've all been so great... I'd love to thank Emp, foxrocks, knight_runner, solariscs, rsetter1, zingers, jtt283, and adamj for all their help!
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Everything's looking great, but personally, I'd still go with Corsair 520HX power supply over Antec, even though there's supposedly nothing wrong with NeoHE series. Here's the link:

    Video card I'd suggest getting is a 100% silent 8600GT, enough power for whatever you need and it doesn't make a sound:

    Goo d luck!
  2. I have an eVGA 7900GS with the stock cooler and it is not noisy at all, even playing games; audible, but not at all obnoxious. The x1950xt is supposed to be the howler.
    With 32-bit XP, you'll only see 3.2-3.5GB of your RAM, but that may not be a big deal. If it is, get XP64.
  3. get DDR2 800 and ALSO Look at a MAC system.
  4. Agree with Dior - 8600GT silent would be great, as would the ATI 2600XT slient... I'd worry about noise more than anything.
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