New AMD photoshop/gaming build with dual monitors

I am ready to order a new system this weekend. This will be my first complete build but I have replaced PCU, GPU and added memory, HD, CD drives to my old Athlon 3800 system from ABS (which still works fine, but is very slow).
I do have a couple of key questions. For photoshop applications is there a big difference between 4 and 8 GB of RAM and also how will 8 GB of slower RAM compare to 4 GB of faster RAM. Also, do you have any monitor recommendations. I currently have a Samsung 22in at 1680 x 1050. It is a great monitor but it will stay with my old system which my wife will keep. I will initially probably buy a 24in but plan to add a second monitor in the future which could be 1920 x 1080 or 1680 x 1050. Will the 4870 1 GB be sufficient for dual monitors or do I need a 4890?
Any recommendations would be appreciated

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this weekend) BUDGET RANGE: US$1000-1200 (with 1 monitor)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: photoshop, multitasking, gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I need everything except a keyboard
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg but open to other sites
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD but am open to Intel
OVERCLOCKING: Not at first but would like to after it is running smoothly CROSSFIRE: In the future but not now
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 I would actually like to have a dual monitor set up with 24 and 22 in monitors up to 1920 x 1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am partial to the Coolermaster Storm Scout case.

Intial build from NE
Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
Item #:N82E16835233029
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $44.98
Nippon Labs 6 ft. USB2.0 A TO B CABLE
Item #:N82E16812816052
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $4.89
Item #:N82E16813128387
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $109.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136319
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $74.99
Sony Optiarc DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B
Item #:N82E16827118030
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy $29.99
SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA
Item #:N82E16820300608
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $12.99
SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support
Item #:N82E16827151188
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $31.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$60.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee
Item #:N82E16832116677
Return Policy: Software Return Policy $109.99
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
Item #:N82E16811119196
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $99.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
Item #:N82E16835100007
Return Policy: Consumable Item Standard Return Policy $6.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231189
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $79.99
Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier
Item #:N82E16835100010
Return Policy: Consumable Item Standard Return Policy $5.99
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
Item #: N82E16819103674
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

HIS Radeon HD 4870 H487FN1GP Video Card
Item #: N82E16814161269
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy -$6.00 Instant
-$20.00 Combo $350.98
CPU Mag Gift - 6 free issues of CPU Magazine
Item #:N82E16800995076
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $35.94
HIS Gift - Stormrise Game Coupon Bundle
Item #:N82E16800999372
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $29.99
Grand Total: $1,052.85
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    4 GB should be enough memory. More memory never hurts if you want to add it.
    With 8 GB you may need to add memory voltage, add Northbridge voltage and relax timings if you have problems.

    The 4870 is enough for two monitors. I suggest this monitor:

    ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
    With HDCP support
  2. How about an i7 build for $1,250.00?

    Motherboard: EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX X58 SLI LE Intel Motherboard - Retail

    Graphics Card: EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $140

    Processor: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail $200 (microcenter)

    Case: Antec 902 $130

    RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail $115

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $75

    DVD Burner: Sony Optiarc Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM $31

    Total cost about $1250
  3. Thanks for the response. For a while I thought no one would answer
    The monitor you mentioned looks good, I will keep that in mind. I don't want the speakers on the monitor but I guess I could just turn them off.

    I initially picked the PII X4 955 since it was a couple hundred dollars less expensive with good reviews and I need everything including operating system. I plan to buy Vista 64 now with an upgrade coupone for W7. In most reviews I have seen the I7-920 is better in every category relative to the 955 but not by that much and runs quite hot. Is it worth the extra $200-250. As you can see I tend to keep computers for a long time, longer than I should.
  4. Your Photoshop usage, is it professional or hobby?

    If professional, then I recommend you buy a Dell 2408WFP or HP 2475W at the very least.
  5. The motherboard and RAM in your original build aren't compatible. The motherboard requires DDR2 RAM. I would swap the motherboard for the AM3 version and keep the DDR3 RAM.

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $126.99 - $15 MIR
  6. Thanks for the catch on the GB X vs XT motherboard. I missed that.
    With regards to photoshop it is my hobby, not professional. I do a fair amount of photography with the goal of larger and larger prints. Some of the files are 60 MB as raw and upon manipulation get much larger and I like to have many open at any time with music, email, and browser all open at the same time. I just want a decent quality 24 in monitor and a graphics card that will easily handle a second monitor in the future (perhaps around Christmastime)
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