Upgrade suggestions for Photoshop and multiple apps

I'm currently running Intel Pentium 4 - 3.0 Gig / Gigabyte GA-8I915PL-G / 2gig RAM / Geforce 7950 with 2 monitors/ 2 Sata drives but MB does not support SATA-2 / Soundblaster AUdigy - its a 3 years old machine and way overdue for upgrading

In the past couple of months the work I'm doing on it is pushing it past its limits and slowing me down - I need to reboot several times a day and it take 15-20 minutes to boot cause of all the apps I have installed

I multitask a lot- my main use is software development, compiling and testing applications, but I also might have other applications running, have both Firefox and IE open, run internet enabled news monitoring apps, have Photoshop CS2 running , Lightroom, Snagit screen capture etc. etc. I'm probably going to upgrade to PS CS4 and I might start learning 3dsMax. I don't do much gaming. Having both Snagit and PS at the same time, makes the machine almost unusable.I will be continung to run Win XP - I will be doing some video editing, but not a lot

I used to build all my machines and also build for customers, but I'm no longer on top of current hardware specs. I will build the new machine myself and re-use what I can, so I need suggestion on MB, CPU, RAM, and graphics card

I'm not sure whether to get parts from a local dealer who will have limited options on what he can get but will give me instant support if something fails or to get via mail order (and I'm in Canada where mail order is messier)
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  1. first question: why do you run IE and FF at the same time?

    in my honest opinion if you only multitask like that and you do not do serious encoding, a dual core will serve you for cheap. it does not sound like you are doing 'serious' multitasking, just above average. i can run folding@home and play fallout 3 on my pc no problem, so im sure it can handle what you run. the quad will necessary if the programs you use utilize 4 cores or if you do heavy media encoding.
  2. Budget? Thats always a good place to start

    Also, werxen...u kno F@H isnt exactly a good test for "multitasking". Those programs like that and WCG are idle programs and back off if another program uses whats needed. So if its the only thing it will take 100% (or w/e u have set to run) but as soon as something opens to run (like F3), it backs down and uses whats left.
  3. lol..? ur kidding right? my folding runs regardless of CPU usage, it is not setup to be optimally used. granted, i only have it running on a single core, not both.
  4. Umm...actually no, im not...
    Both programs run off unused processing power. WCG does the same thing. If I open a game while WCG is running, it backs off and takes whats left to ur specified limit.

    U can believe w/e u want, im just letting u kno
  5. To clarify

    I do some paid work requiring monitoring information using some software that only runs on IE- when I;m doing that work I have a lot of breaks so I can go do other things, and I since I don't like IE, I use FireFox for everything else.

    When I'm programming, some of the compiles take several minutes so I go off and do other things while that is happening.
  6. still need a budget $$$
  7. Need a budget for sure, but you do want a quad core, especially if you are running Photoshop. Photoshop will use as many processors or cores as you have to render images, and it you are working with large image files, a quad will make a huge difference over a dual core. Again, depends on how large of files you are working with, but minimum of 4 gig, and maybe even up to 8 gig of memory, and a single fast drive for the OS, and a second large drive for storage. If you really want to speed things up, put 2 large fast drives in RAID for storage. Just be sure to run a good backup.
    GPU, any midrange card would work if you are not a gamer.
    Now, this is the basic's for a PC ready to do some serious work. If you only "dabble" a little here and there, you could do with less.
  8. My budget for case, CPU, MB and RAM is around $500-700

    I can reuse the graphics card I have, I have more than enough spare SATA-2 500 gig drives I can use

    I thought I just read an article in here that seemed to say that more than 4 gig does not really get used- also my local supplier said the same thing

    Dual RAID is something I have in mind, but I run a WHS backup server that runs complete daily backups and I also have a utility that runs backups of critical data every few hours. I would like the capability but would do it later, since I need 600 gig storage and for RAID I would need dual 750 gig drives to get that, unless I do it with 4 500 gig drives

    I run two drives now, with OS and data split

    I generally am not using large files in PS< unleess I'm working on a retouching a photo that wil become a poster, but right now the rarely happens.
  9. Hi MDG, something like below from NewEgg would meet your requirements. Comes in at $638.95

    COOLER MASTER COSMOS S RC-1100-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811119150

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128358
    Case and Mobo combo deal - $294 (after rebate)

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80580Q8400 - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819115057
    - $184.99

    Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817371015
    - $99.00

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820231166
    - $58.99

    The Cooler Master case would give you plenty of room for extra Drives. Also it would be a good idea to invest in a good PSU which is why i've listed one for you. With Windows XP (32bit) you can only use 3Gb in a 4Gb memory setup.
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