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Photoshop Computer Build

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July 16, 2009 4:17:09 PM

Hi,

So my last computer seems to be terminally ill. I need to build a new one for about $1000-$1500. My main use will be Photoshop CS4, and I work with some big files as I scan 4x5 negatives and slides on a Screen Cezanne scanner. (The scanner is run with a Mac G4 in OS9.)

Things I will reuse:
Monitors (Dell 24", Westinghouse 19" for palettes)
Wacom Intuos4 Tablet
Keyboard
Mouse
Case (This was a recommend case on Sharkyextreme a long time ago. Probably had "Tornado" in the name." The case currently contains an MSI K8N Diamond Plus motherboard, just to give you an idea of it's size.
Power Supply Seasonic SS-430HB (I realize that I may need a new one)
NEC DVD Burner
Three Hardrives, all less than a year old. 2-Seagate 250 gig 7200 rpm Sata drives (currently used in a Raid 1 array for my Photoshop scratch disk.) 1-Seagate 160 gb 7200 drive, which is currently my system drive.
Datacolor Spyder 3 Elite (for profiling a monitor)
Datacolor Print Fix Pro (a spectrophotometer for making ICC profiles from prints.)
An Epson R2400

Starting files from 4x5 scans are in the 1 gig neighborhood, and so a lot of ram would be nice, which probably means a 64 bit operating system. While fast is nice, I value stability more. I won't be doing any gaming with this rig. I've had good luck dealing with Newegg, but I'm willing to look elsewhere if needed. Suggestions?
July 16, 2009 4:36:16 PM

Please read "How to ask for new build advice" under new system build. Then I will try to assist you.
July 16, 2009 5:25:53 PM

Here's a build that would work great for your intended use:

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $479.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 - $10.00 MIR

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM (Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $179.98 (HD + OS combo)

I would get a new HD even though you currently have some you can use from your old computer. HD technology has advanced recently and the new HD's are considerably faster than models made just a couple years ago. In fact, you might consider picking up a couple of these drives.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500D 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

I wouldn't quite trust an older 430W PSU with this system.

XFX HD-485X-YDFC Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

I know you won't be doing any gaming, but this GPU is on Adobe's list of tested graphics cards for GPU acceleration in Photoshop CS4 - http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/405/kb405711.html This card also expels hot air out of the case to help with case temps.

Total - $959.93 - $10 MIR

I would also consider getting a SATA DVD burner so you can completely rid the system of big airflow-blocking IDE ribbon cables.

SAMSUNG SH-S223L 22X SATA DVD Burner Black Drive Retail
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $31.99
Related resources
July 16, 2009 5:30:59 PM

Sorry about that. I did skim the "how to ask for new build advice", but I should've read more carefully.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:Within the next month.
BUDGET RANGE: US $1000-$1500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop CS4, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom 2, web browsing, email. No games.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:

Things I will reuse:
Monitors (Dell 22" 2209WA [http://accessories.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/produ...], Westinghouse 19" for palettes [ http://www.westinghousedigital.com/details.aspx?itemnum...) ]

wacom intuos 3 ptz-630 pen tablet [ http://www.wacom.com.au/price/intuos3/intuos3_A5.html]

Keyboard-microsoft

Mouse Logitech Laser

Case (This was a recommended case on Sharkyextreme a long time ago. Probably had "Tornado" in the name." The case currently contains an MSI K8N Diamond Plus motherboard, just to give you an idea of it's size. Sorry, it doesn't have a label anywhere.

Power Supply Seasonic SS-430HB [ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...] (I realize that I may need a new one)

Three Hard drives, all less than a year old. 2-Seagate 250 gig 7200 rpm Sata drives (currently used in a Raid 1 array for my Photoshop scratch disk.) 1-Seagate 160 gb 7200 drive, which is currently my system drive.

Datacolor Spyder 3 Elite (for profiling a monitor)

[http://spyder.datacolor.com/product-mc-s3elite.php]

Datacolor Spyder 3 Print (a spectrophotometer for making ICC profiles from prints.)
[http://spyder.datacolor.com/product-pp-s3print.php]

An Epson R2400

[http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail....]

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: New Egg, but I'm flexible.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None really. Ok. Not Apple.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: While I'm willing to overclock, I'll only do so if the system is rock solid. I'm about 3 feet from the computer, and so it'd be nice if it was quiet, but it doesn't have to be silent. I edit scanned files in Photoshop that start off at 1 gig. Hence, lot's of usable memory would be good. Thus, I probably need a 64 bit OS.
July 16, 2009 5:41:53 PM

Ok so go with shortstuff_mt's build but double the amount of ram to 12GB, and get a Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 cooler.
July 16, 2009 8:13:14 PM

Thank you, Folks. I really appreciate the advice. I agree about getting rid of IDE cables. The next step is to talk to my superior :) 
July 16, 2009 8:20:57 PM

LOL - Good luck with that! Let us know how it goes. At least my build comes in at the bottom of the $1,000 - $1,500 budget range so you might have a chance. :) 
July 16, 2009 9:18:02 PM

You should use an nVidia card as CS4 benefits from CUDA acceleration. Otherwise I'd go with the rest of shortstuffs suggestions.
July 17, 2009 2:00:28 AM

Is it an advantage to have programs on a different hard disk then the system disk?
July 31, 2009 1:33:21 AM

Ordered the system today. When with the Noctua cooler. Added a CM 922 case. I appreciate all of the advice!
!