Building Another Photo-Image Processing Machine

I would like input on building a 64-bit Intel based Windows machine for use in my photography business. I did this about 18 months ago for a 32-bit machine and have had several issues that I hope to avoid. I have built three or four machines over the last ten years but I am not an aficionado and don't follow the technology ... hence the need for guidance.

After a cursory glance at technology I am leaning toward X58, i7, socket 1366 ASUS (I've had good luck with ASUS.) I need to drive two or three 30" monitors (not for games ... I don't need SLI, etc.) and a fairly robust disk farm ... three RAID arrays (RAID 1 for system, RAID 5 for data and RAID 0 for temp/scratch.) I'm leaning toward an Adaptec controller for RAID 5 and RAID 0 arrays.

I'd like guidance on:
(1) Motherboard - there are too many choices by ASUS. I don't need OC or SLI but don't mind the options. I need one that will support one or two Adaptec RAID controllers.
(2) CPU - I don't need the fastest.
(3) Memory - I guess I look this up after motherboard selection?
(4) Video - I have had lots of trouble running a pair of Gigabyte 8800 GTs in my current configuration. I don't spend much time on games so blazing speed isn't an issue but newer technology is useful with the Adobe products such as Photoshop. I have a Dell 3008WFP, Wacom Cintiq 21ux, EIZO CG241W.
(5) RAID - Probably Adaptec but I'm open. I'd like to run SAS for RAID 0 and SATA for RAID 5. Probably three drives each.
(6) Case - Maybe ten disks.
(7) Power Supply - To support two Video cards and maybe ten disks.

I'm starting to babble so I'll anxiously await any input.

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  1. I did what you did, just a little earlier.
    32bit XP gave me grief
    64bit Vista solved some issues but i still didn't like it.

    I decided to do what image pros seem to do an tried a mac, mini to be specific.
    That went so well i took the opportunity to get a 27" iMac. They are worth it for the monitor alone.

    A mac pro is more along the lines of what you need, but hold off. New units are on the way and if i'm right, the cheapest units will get i5/7's and SHOULD be ~$1,000 cheaper than they currently are.

    1. There ARE too many mobo choices. I've also had good luck with ASUS
    2. Any i5/7 is plenty.
    3. Don't skimp. 8Gb should be a minimum. Match speed to your cpu bus speed.
    4. GFX isn't too important. 5xxx series cards from ATI are pretty good atm. Get what you can afford. A triple monitor setup is easiest with 2 cards.
    5. I don't use raid. My mac automatically backs up everything every hour without me knowing. In addition i've got a NAS and firewire disks i store off site, along with online storage. Onboard RAID is pretty good from what i hear.
    6. ? Whatever can fit all of that.
    7. I like Corsair single rail units. In a good brand ~800W will be plenty. I always over-do the PSU. They run less stressed, cooler, quieter and last far longer.

    Look at the Mac option. I told everyone for YEARS how *** they are. I've now got 4 of them.
  2. Thanks, MrMez, but I budgeted getting a Mac for 2011 so it'll have to wait.
  3. I wound up getting an ASUS P6T Deluxe V2, i7-930, Intel 160GB SSD (for system), Adaptec 5805 Raid Controller w/battery backup, eight 2TB disks used as RAID0 (3 disks), RAID1 (4 disks) and 1 hot spare, 12GB TR3X6G1600C8D memory, Sapphire ATI 5850, Antec 1200 case with Antec CP-1000 PSU, ASUS DVD. Overall I am very pleased except that there are features of the motherboard that don't work, specifically the eSata support, but I have easy workarounds ... seems this is always a problem ASUS MBs. Win 7 64-bit has been excellent although there are features changed from XP that I don't like ... also to be expected.

    The system is VERY quick compared with anything else I've used. I am now trying to learn about boot features.
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