I posted a thread about this a while ago, some time has passed and the build has changed a fair bit, so here it is, submitted for your comments:
Cabinet Antec Three Hundred Cooling paste Arctic Silver Arctic Silver 5 Mobo Asus P5Q Pro Power Corsair TX 650W CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 Optical Nec AD-7203S HD Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB SATA2 (4 of them for RAID 10) CPUcooler Thermaltake Blue Orb II Graphics Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 RAM Corsair Dominator TWIN2X8500C5D 4096MB, DDR2,2x2GB
Questions and comments:
Am I good to go with RAID10 or will I have to buy something extra?
I'm investing a bit in the graphics card due to the work Nvidia did with Adobe for CS4 - does this mean I'll be better off with a card from Nvidia?
There are no prices listed because I'm buying this in Norway, but it'll cost around 9000 NOK, which, according to google, is about 1300 USD.
I've messed around with computer-guts before, but this is my first complete build, so be kind
Just for the record, I'm not looking to spend more money here - I'm already spending more than I was planning.
I'm not sure I understand the comments about the RAID setup, am I better off just saving money by just buying a fast HDD (because the onboard controller isn't all that great) and spending some more on the better CPU?
Matrix Array sounds fancy and complicated - is it?
2 faster, larger HDDs should be cheaper than the 4 you mentioned.
as the onboard controler might not give you that much of a speed bonus for raid 10, a raid 1 made of bigger faster HDDs might give comperable performance.
1 great big one should be even cheaper.
I've never used matrix arrays. Its an Inel thing. my desktop is AMD
my understanding is that you break up the HDD into partitions, then raid 0 i partion from each drive and raid 1 another partition from each drive.
not all Intel southbridges do this, not sure about the one you listed.
the best way to save money would be to downgrade to DDR2 800
2 ways, intentionaly slow portions of the system and see how much it affect the performance doing what you want
or just look at the individual vista scores.
obviosly the first one is better and the second one is easier, but your whole system will probably give 5.9s.
I realy don't think your bottlenecking for your intended task. for gaming, your a bit high on CPU and a little low on GPU.
I think the q9550 is a good move for you. the only other possible consideration would be upgrading to 8 gigs of system memory if CS4 is optimised for 64 bit. but I've never looked into the heart of the Adobe Creative Suite.
you might want to find some adobe forum to ask about the memory and vid card.