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Low to mid priced photo editing and blu ray movie machine

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June 4, 2009 8:32:56 AM

Hello,
I am thinking about building my first PC, and would greatly appreciate comments on this potential build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE
: within the next couple of weeks

BUDGET RANGE: Ideally under $1000, but up to $1500 is doable if it means a major increase in performance

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 1) photo editing DSLR images: Lightroom/Photoshop; 2) watching blu ray movies; 3) internet/general use (no gaming)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, but receptive to others

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am leaning towards quad core Intel, and am strongly leaning towards a Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe; SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (quiet is a plus)

Here is what I've found at Newegg so far:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail AND
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM COMBO ($340)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($120)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail AND
Antec earthwatts EA380 380W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail COMBO ($90)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail ($110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail ($110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100272L Radeon HD 2400PRO 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail ($30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM ($50)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DELL ULTRASHARP 2408WFP
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr... ($490)

This comes to a total of $1440.


I am comparing this to a Dell setup:
Vostro 420 Tower
PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9400 (2.66GHz, 6M, L2Cache, 1333FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM: FREE Genuine Windows Vista® Business Bonus w/ XP Professional downgrade
HARD DRIVE: 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
MONITOR Dell 24 inch Widescreen 2408WFP UltraSharp™ Digital Flat Panel Display
MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 4DIMMs
OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 6x Blu-ray Disc TM (BD) Combo Drive (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)
VIDEO CARD 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 -supports DVI,HDMI,VGA Connections
for $1029 with a coupon
plus a newegg hard drive for $100
(before tax)

I have three main questions:
1) Have I picked a reasonable level of system for my requirements? (my budget is slightly flexible, though cheaper is always better)

2) does my build look like it would work? (especially for playing blu ray movies)

3) Is there anything I can do to get the Newegg setup to be a similar cost to the Dell one? I realize that I have selected a few slightly better components in the Newegg build, but as far as I can tell if I downgrade all of those (PCU, RAM, mobo) to what I have in the Dell build, the Newegg build would still be $150 more expensive. I like the idea of having a more expandable computer, but if it costs $150 more and the parts are not even guaranteed to work together, I may have to go with the Dell.

I am also open to suggestions on overclocking.

Thank you very much for your help.
-Adam
June 4, 2009 9:11:08 AM

And you can get better offers on the Mobo from www.ewiz.com and offers on i7 from microcenter - Heard they offer i7 for cheap rates for in-store pickup...
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June 6, 2009 2:54:25 AM

Thanks for the ideas, though I am thinking that the i7 may be overkill for me, and so I would rather save the money. I would really like to stick with a non-TN monitor, since I will be using it for photo editing and watching movies, so the cheaper monitor suggestion doesn't work for me.

So, the question is, can you guys think of a way to improve on the Dell system I described above, without spending extra money? (that means a total of ~$680 before monitor; I will likely buy the 2408WFP from Dell)

June 6, 2009 5:00:49 AM

Your video editing will see a large increase in performance going with the i7.

What kind of monitor are you looking at? Just VA panel monitors?
June 8, 2009 4:31:24 AM

^ +1 Video and photo editing would see a considerable performance increase with the i7...

And here is a 27" monitor from Dell though the same resolution, is about $5 less than the 24" rate advertised...
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/pr...
I had given a build that included the Dell 24" monitor, i7, BD for around $1400...
!