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System for Digital Art and Design

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June 16, 2009 5:09:13 AM

Hey all, another newbie to building a new computer here. I want to upgrade from my 15" laptop so I decided to look into desktops. I ran into the Dell Studio XPS and wondered if I could build something similar for less money.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I can. One question. If I buy parts to build my own computer, is there any discount for me when Windows 7 comes out? I do like the fact that Microsoft is bringing back the upgrade program but Dell hasn't said a word yet so I'm holding off on buying from them.

BUDGET RANGE: Around $1,000. (Not including the monitor at this point) I think I can go cheaper though.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop, Painter, general browsing, listening to music, other future design apps (Illustrator)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have about $150 in credit from Best Buy which I will get a keyboard, mouse, and speakers from. (Was thinking Logitech Illuminated keyboard, MX Revolution, Logitech - Z-2300)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: i just looked at Newegg.com, I have no preference.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Never built a computer before so I don't have a preference.

OVERCLOCKING: No - I don't feel like it's needed for the work I'll be doing.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No - same as above.

MONITOR: I'm split on this, I have two options - hook up the computer to my JVC 42" LCD tv or get a nice 20 - 24" monitor. I'm leaning towards the monitor though, I don' know about the quality the tv would display. I've been deciding between these two: Dell S2209W 22-Inch LCD and Dell 2408WFP UltraSharp 24-inch.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I just need a computer powerful enough to run design apps flawlessly which shouldn't take too much. I want a fast computer that will last me for years to come. For this build I'd like a simple black case, I don't want anything fancy. I like simple, minimal design.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Case 500W

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512I Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

Koutech IO-RCM620 USB 2.0 3.5" Card Reader

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

LITE-ON Black SATA DVD Burner

Again, I am completely new to this so if I did anything wrong, after laughing please tell me what is bad with the above setup.

More about : system digital art design

June 16, 2009 7:27:26 AM

Everything looks ok on my end. If you're planning to use Photoshop though, consider getting another drive. PS works best when you assign its page file to a drive other than the one it's running on.

Also, do you really need 6GB of RAM? Are you running a 64-bit OS?

Regarding your display, since you're looking for color accuracy, you may want to stay away from HDTVs like the JVC. Consider getting a Spider Express to help you sort out the colors when you finally consolidate your build.

Hope this helps!
June 16, 2009 7:39:54 AM

If color accuracy is important then use a LCD monitor, not a HDTV. Also the Dell S2209W uses a TN panel which notorious for poor color accuracy.

There's the Dell 2209WA monitor which uses an e-IPS panel that can truly produce 16.7m colors, if you want to keep costs down.
Related resources
June 16, 2009 10:05:41 AM

@Gamer nice build...And +1 for jaguarskx suggestion of the Dell 2209WA...
I have few suggestions too...

1. If there are any Microcenter stores within your accessible limits, then get the i7 from there for about $230 as they have only in-store pick-up.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

2. Change the RAM to a faster one...
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Get the WD Black 640GB, it will be a tad faster...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 16, 2009 4:55:02 PM

TonCharr28 said:
Everything looks ok on my end. If you're planning to use Photoshop though, consider getting another drive. PS works best when you assign its page file to a drive other than the one it's running on.

Also, do you really need 6GB of RAM? Are you running a 64-bit OS?

Regarding your display, since you're looking for color accuracy, you may want to stay away from HDTVs like the JVC. Consider getting a Spider Express to help you sort out the colors when you finally consolidate your build.

Hope this helps!


Yeah, I remember reading that somewhere a long time ago. No, I don't think I NEED 6GB, but with Ram being so cheap these days, why not? And yeah, I'll be using the Windows 7 RC in 64-bit until it gets released. I tried looking up the Spider Express. Is that a calibration tool for monitors?

jaguarskx said:
If color accuracy is important then use a LCD monitor, not a HDTV. Also the Dell S2209W uses a TN panel which notorious for poor color accuracy.

There's the Dell 2209WA monitor which uses an e-IPS panel that can truly produce 16.7m colors, if you want to keep costs down.


Thanks for the advice! I searched for the S2209WA and found many great things about it and also some bad points about black levels. But for the price and mostly positive reviews it seems like a worthy buy. I'll forget about hooking up my tv to my computer.

gkay09 said:
@Gamer nice build...And +1 for jaguarskx suggestion of the Dell 2209WA...
I have few suggestions too...

1. If there are any Microcenter stores within your accessible limits, then get the i7 from there for about $230 as they have only in-store pick-up.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

2. Change the RAM to a faster one...
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Get the WD Black 640GB, it will be a tad faster...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I found two Microcenters somewhat nearby. I might stop in if I get the chance. Thanks for the other two suggestions.
June 18, 2009 4:04:34 AM

That DVD burner you have lised is an IDE...get a SATA drive...Thinner cable - less clutter...
But the case and PSU is very good...But the case has only 3 3.5" internal bay...So it can't take more than 3 harddrives...
If you want more bays, then for$10 more, you can go for this...It has 5 bays...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 19, 2009 3:48:39 AM

^ Good... :) 
And yes that DVD is better...
June 20, 2009 7:30:00 PM

Alright, here's the final build. I just got two questions. Should I buy two hard drives and use one for a scratch disc? Or just go with one drive at 7,200rpm or one at 10,000? Also, I think I might upgrade from a 4350 to a 4670.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now that I think about it, I might go back to some games that I wasn't able to play before. And it's not that much more for the upgrade. So right now it's:

Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2 Hard Drives - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'll be getting the Core i7 920 from Microcenter.

Total - $945.91

I'll see if I can find the Dell for a lower price than $270. Maybe I can negotiate with a Dell representative. Thanks a lot for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
June 22, 2009 8:39:09 PM

gkay09 said:
Here is a better 4670 deal...
$69 with Free Shipping and has $10 Mail-In-Rebate...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Is there really no need to go from GDDR3 to GDDR4? I actually had the HIS in the first place but swapped it with the Sapphire.

Oh, and one last thing. Since the hard drives and burners are OEM, doesn't that mean I have to buy separate cables too? Should I get three of these, two for the hard drive, one for the burner?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 23, 2009 3:59:02 AM

Yes for your usage, there would not be much difference going with GDDR3 vs GDDR4...either would do...maybe check the reviews of both and see which card is silent and get that as the graphic cards are one of the noisiest components in the PC...
And yes you would have to buy cables separately...but I think you would get some with the mobo and the image suggests that too...
!