photoshop build

so...here's my first build.

i'm am a photographer and this will be used primarily, i'd say 75% for photoshop CS4. i also use illustrator and do 3-d modeling in autocad and some other programs.

i'm also toying around with the idea of using this comp as a media center.

i'd say there is a 99.9% chance that i will never play games on it.

i've read a bunch of threads and taking the advice given to others, shaped my build around that and what not, but with the way technology changes, i come to the forum to get up-to-date, real-world advice.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
EVGA 512-P3-N956-TR GeForce 9500 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800
Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

i'm looking at these power supplies primarily

Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V


i plan on upgrading to 16gb of ram at some point and, of course, adding 2-3 hard drives. i already have a case and the small things: fans, thermal compound, i will be picking up locally. i'd really like something that i won't have to do any major upgrades to for a few years.

my questions are:

1. is this a good set-up?

2. how much power will i need? ie what is a good power supply?

3. is the graphics card necessary? would a 1gb ddr2 be better? (the card i chose, i believe, is 59.99 after rebate)

i welcome and call upon all advice
thanks in advance team.
14 answers Last reply
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  1. My system below, uses about 470W according to an online wattage calculator. 500W would be a minimum as far as I'm concerned, since you plan to put a large amount of RAM in it, and will add more storage. Wouldn't hurt to go for the 650W PSU so you have some buffer room. Antec is a great PSU manufacturer.

    You have a good build for what you want to do there.

    On the off chance you ever wanted to do PC gaming, all you'd need is a better video card. As far as video memory goes, that really depends on your 3D modeling software, and what you'll be doing. The 1GB memory option may not be bad if you'll be doing large texture sizes, etc. I've never done 3D modeling so I can't really say more than that.

    Keep in mind the 9500GT is a budget card, and would be good for basic office use. Not a performance 3D/gaming card.

    Going Quad Core is a good idea for 3D modeling & photo/video editing by the way.

    EDIT: Oh by the way. That Xigmatek cooler is great! However, make sure your computer case is big enough!! It is a VERY large cooler.
  2. Do you have a special budget?
    I too am getting ready for a photoshop CS4 build, but I'm going to go Core i7.

    If you want maxinum performance you could pick up a Core i7 and fairly powerful NVIDIA card.
    Photoshop can gain a powerful boost using NVIDIAs CUDA to supply processing power from the video card to CS4.
    Just an option.
  3. Things to consider are:

    CS4 works better with a faster duo core CPU than a slower quad core. It can use Nvidia's CUDA for some things.

    3D modeling and CAD software works better with a quad core. It also uses the 3D hardware acceleration features of the GPU card (just like the latest games do). A 9500GT is not going to make the 3D rendering and CAD programs happy.

    So, given the above, I would get a Q9550 CPU and a GTX 260 video card for such a build.
  4. edit:more replies as i was typing.

    i think going with the 650w antec is a better idea.

    for my case, i'm using an antec tx1050B. i'm fairly sure the xiggy will fit. it's a primarily a soho case.


    as for 3-d modeling, i currently use autocad 2k6 and sketchup, occasionally use 3dstudio max, and seldomly use maya. in the rare occurrence i start doing a lot of CAD at home, i'd only imagine i'd need to step that up but i don't see that happening any time soon. (i work 45+hours a week doing CAD and 3-d modeling)

    would it be sufficient, say, for HD/blu-ray playback? also, would a 256-bit card be better? i have very little idea when it comes to gpu's.
  5. Why would you buy a $300 outdated CPU? The Core i7 920 is only $300 and out performs the Q9550. There is virtually no upgrade path for the Q9550 anymore.
  6. for budget, i'd like to keep it relatively cheap, in the lower end of 800-1000.

    i'd like to go i7 but i can't necessarily justify the extra $300-400.
  7. let's pull any idea of 3-d modeling/cad out of this equation all together.

    let's focus just on photo editting.
  8. lostinoside said:
    edit:more replies as i was typing.

    i think going with the 650w antec is a better idea.

    for my case, i'm using an antec tx1050B. i'm fairly sure the xiggy will fit. it's a primarily a soho case.


    as for 3-d modeling, i currently use autocad 2k6 and sketchup, occasionally use 3dstudio max, and seldomly use maya. in the rare occurrence i start doing a lot of CAD at home, i'd only imagine i'd need to step that up but i don't see that happening any time soon. (i work 45+hours a week doing CAD and 3-d modeling)

    would it be sufficient, say, for HD/blu-ray playback? also, would a 256-bit card be better? i have very little idea when it comes to gpu's.


    Both PSUs are fine, but your system will likely never use more than 300W of power and very likely rarely go above 200W unless you highly OC your CPU.

    The best current deal for you on NewEgg would likely be ...............
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

    Only $40 After Rebate.

    That being said, there are always deals going on.

    I just bought the Antec Solo III case w/500w Antec Earthwatts for $45 Shipped from NewEgg.
    (I think they had a Pricing error since they did not disable a PromoCoupon before dropping the price for a sale. The Window to get it at this price as only a couple hours :>> )
  9. geotech said:
    Why would you buy a $300 outdated CPU? The Core i7 920 is only $300 and out performs the Q9550. There is virtually no upgrade path for the Q9550 anymore.


    sure there is, buy the i7 on the discount rack in 12 months possibly less. :pt1cable:

    photoshop is more memory intensive than anything, even if this guy is playing games this system should fly, the i7 won't do much for photoshop IMHO.

    personally I would opt for the geforce 9800 GT and definately run a wattage check to make sure you get what you need in a PSU as already suggested.

    If you're heavily into photoshop, you might want to consider going to 8GB ram. The more ram you throw at photoshop the better.
  10. For i7 consideration you have to think about cost of mobo+CPU- the CPU's might be similarly priced but the i7 mobo's are higher. However if you are considering quad cores it makes sense to get the latest, which is the i7.

    For CAD use, I've read that you are better off with video cards designed for this, and even then it doesn't take a very powerful card. On autocad forums I've read that the ATI FireGL cards are good choices and that's what we have spec'd for our latest workstations.

    For storage have you considered external storage, such as a NAS? In any event for photos you want good backup strategies and some form of redundant RAID helps in this regards. The advantage of the NAS is that it separates your main storage from your computer, so as time passes and it becomes time to upgrade/replace one of these, you can do it without affecting the other. On the down side it adds a lot to your cost up front.
  11. so, i'm putting the i7 idea to bed. for me, at the time, it's just not a necessity.

    i am planning on putting 8gb ram (i forgot the 2x) and will eventually upgrade to 16gb.


    what benefit would i see from the 9800gt over the 9500 gt? looking at the specs, they are fairly identical and the price tag is $40 more for the 98. the 9500 offers 200mhz in core clock but has 32 stream processors as opposed to 122 in the 9800. i guess that is where the $40 comes in to play.
  12. i have a firegl v5600 in my work comp and it is very nice.

    like i said previously, if i start doing intense CAD work at home i'd upgrade to a CAD-specific GPU.

    i'm still trying to focus more toward photo editing primarily
  13. I think your original build looks fine. The one thing I would suggest is getting at least two hard drives. Photoshop likes having separate drives when rendering. Having source files on one drive and destination files on another drive will help a lot. You should also take a look at the new 640GB drives. The extra data density makes them considerably faster than the drive you linked in your original post. The 640GB drives are just as fast as the previous generation Raptor drives.

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 $74.99
  14. the 250gb was just to get me started, but i stepped it up to the 640 i have 2 externals right now. as is common with most editing systems, i'd eventually rig it up to 3+drives. data, scratch, apps.

    i'm still debating whether to go 9500 or 9800.
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