$1,200 modelling, photoshopping pc

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the week

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: AutoCAD, adobe illustrator and photoshop, rhino and 3dsmax modelling and rendering programs. gaming not "important," but i would like to be able to.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: i have a mouse and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: intel to use RAID

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
this is my first computer build, so i am not an expert by any means.

i want a windowed case to view my handiwork.

i will pay a little extra for parts from reputable companies.

i don't play a lot of games, but i would if i had the power for it.

i am settling on intel chips, because i would like to use the Intel RAID matrix system on my two hard drives.

i have posted before when i was whittling down my computer choices. this is what i think i will get, due to budget restrictions. after a lot of thought and many helpful posting, i decided against an i7 to put more money into the video card and the RAID drives, so please don't try and convince me to go that route.

a previous person suggested a workstation gpu, specifically the $150 ATI 100-505507 FireGL V3600 256MB. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195048
i do a lot of 3d modelling and rendering, which requires real-time panning and zooming and the whole deal. but - i'm also a student, not a professional, and currently i have friends with normal gaming cards that seem more than adequate. plus, i would like to play a game or two, probably an fps. any advice on the gaming vs. workstation card would be helpful.

i'm buying soon, so any help is much appreciated.

here's then build:

Antec 900
$109.00 - free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V
$100.00 - free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

Intel Q9400 Quad
EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB
$380.00 - free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.190528

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX
Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1066
$168.00 - free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.192127

2x Western Digital Cavair Black 640mb 7200 RPM 32MB cache
$75.00 x2 - $150.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
$25.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151175

ENCORE ENLWI-N IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n
$25.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833180052

Vista 64-bit
$100.00

Asus VW224U 22" black
$160.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236050

standard microsoft keyboard
$13.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109164
"Microsoft's keyboards and mice have long been a crowning jewel in their crown." thats pretty good!

total: $1,207
(does not include rebates, which i hear can be difficult to redeem)

note: i had a different build with an intel Q9550. downgrading to the Q9400 and using a few combos saved me enough to get to my pre-tax goal of $1,200. i am essentially trading a Q9550 and a Geforce 250 for a Q9400 and a Gefore 260.

thanks for the help!
4 answers Last reply
More about modelling photoshopping
  1. You said maybe to SLI/Crossfire but combined a Crossfire MB with a SLI card. There's no SLI and no Crossfire possible in the future with that combination.

    I don't like that GTX 260. It's not even one of the newer generation of GTX 260 cards (with 216 stream processors). It's one of the old generation with 192 processors.

    I don't like the Q9400 much either because they crippled it with the 6MB cache. A Q9550 has 12MB, for example.

    Can you afford an extra $120? Here's a combo for Q9550+HD 4890:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.186993
    That would improve both the CPU and the GPU a lot, and you get the Crossfire thing fixed too.

    Edit: fixed the link.
  2. BTW, you can save $40 with an Antec 300 instead of Antec 900.
  3. Here's another idea:

    Q9550 + P5Q Pro $350
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.190234

    Sapphire HD 4890 $205 with promo code
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102830

    G.Skill DDR2-800 4GB 4-4-4-12 $50
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231219

    Total $605 for CPU/GPU/RAM/MB. Your original combos cost 360+153=513. So, for $92 more, you upgrade the CPU, the GPU, and get the Crossfire option.
  4. thanks for the advice.

    i think i'm going to go with the:

    $175.00
    SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102810

    and the g-skill RAM you recommended.

    however, i still think i am going to go with the Q9400. it combos with the ASUS P5Q Turbo mobo and comes out about $50 less than the Q9550.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.190254

    i also generally leave out the prices of the rebates when figuring in cause sometimes they are hard to get from the manufacturer. that's just a personal thing.

    if upgrading to the 9550 from the 9400 is a significant boost for $50 i might be able to afford it, but as is i am at the top of my budget now. i looked at some performance charts and it looked like the 9400 is in a great spot as far as speed/money goes.
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