Critique my Photoshop CS4 workstation build

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next month, willing to wait for Black Friday deals

BUDGET RANGE: ~$1500 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Want to optimize for digital photo editing in CS4; computer will also be used for general PC stuff like surfing and Office apps, but no hardcore gaming. Would like it to be future-proof and provide a good platform for upgrading over time.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg, but willing to look for deals elsewhere
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US?

PARTS PREFERENCES: Just want a stable system

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not sure yet, but bigger is better

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Already have a 1.5TB HDD that will be part of build. Want SSD as boot drive and to run apps fast. Most desired input: what changes would benefit photo editing in CS4 the most? The Quadro is supposedly optimized for Photoshop, I don’t care about the lack of gaming support, would it be worth it to spend more on RAM/CPU/GPU upgrade? Worth it to run two cards in SLI for CS4? I think I’ve assembled a pretty well overclockable system, what do you think and where is a good guide to OCing? Also… I’ve never actually assembled a system from scratch before, am I missing any parts on my shopping list? I started with one of the pre-configured systems on this forum hopefully to avoid that.

Thanks in advance!
--------------------
Mobo: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359

CPU: Core i7 920 2.66
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202

RAM: OCZ 3x2gb 1600mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381

HSF: Dark Knight-S1283V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029

SSD: Intel X25-M 80 G2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167016

PSU: Antec CP-850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371024

GPU: PNY Quadro FX 580
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133273

DVD: Sony Optiarc 24X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030

Case: Antec 1200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043

Thermal: Arctic Silver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

OS: Windows 7 Professional
12 answers Last reply
More about critique photoshop workstation build
  1. Someone must have an opinion! No thoughts on the Quadro FX 580? I'm curious how much gaming performance I'll be missing out on if I go with the workstation card, thinking maybe it makes more sense to go with a mainstream card and hack the drivers to make it speed up CS4 like it's supposed to? CUDA or something?

    Slightly revised build, different case and memory

    mobo : Asus P6T LGA : $239.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131359
    CPU : Core i7 920 2.66 : $288.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202
    Ram : Corsair 3x2gb 1600mhz : $159.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145236
    HSF : Xigmatek : $44.96 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
    SSD : Intel X25-M 80 G2 : $289.00 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167016
    PSU : Antec 850 : $124.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371024
    GPU : PNY Quadro FX 580 : $189.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133273
    DVD : Sony : $27.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030
    Case : Antec P183 : $139.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129061
    Thermal : Arctic Silver : $6.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007
    OS : Windows 7 Pro : $29.99
    Total cost : $1,542.87
    ram rebate : $10.00
    case rebate : $25.00
    post-rebate cost : $1,507.87
    shipping : $10.98
    FINAL : $1,518.85
  2. You might want a storage drive too. I have the P182, it's an awesome case. I added 2 additional 120mm fans. The only thing I don't like is that if you have a large video card, you'll need to take out the middle hard drive cage, but in your case you're safe.
    It has great cable management inside the case.

    I have the Intel X25-M 80 G2 too. Photoshop/Illustrator/Premiere loads in seconds. You'll be happy with it.t
  3. Thanks. Yeah I have a 1.5TB Seagate for storage in my current build that I'm going to recycle for this. Really looking forward to not having to wait for PS to load- it's painful right now, as is running it with a Pentium 4.

    I thought about the Antec 1200 but I think it's too much case for me. The 183 is big enough!

    What video card are you using to run Photoshop? I'm still not sure what the best way to optimize is. I figure I'll get the most benefit by just making sure I can upgrade to a 6-core processor one day.
  4. Longshot said:
    Thanks. Yeah I have a 1.5TB Seagate for storage in my current build that I'm going to recycle for this. Really looking forward to not having to wait for PS to load- it's painful right now, as is running it with a Pentium 4.

    I thought about the Antec 1200 but I think it's too much case for me. The 183 is big enough!

    What video card are you using to run Photoshop? I'm still not sure what the best way to optimize is. I figure I'll get the most benefit by just making sure I can upgrade to a 6-core processor one day.


    I'm using a GTX 260 right now, but I play games on it as well. I had a ATI HD 3870 before and it ran fine.
    We use the PNY Quadro NVS 450 at work, and that runs CS4 just fine too.

    Right now only Photoshop is 64-bit. I don't think Adobe is planning multi-threading applications anytime soon. The last time I heard, they were planning to make 64-bit CS first before multi-threading.
  5. Thanks for the input. After doing some more research I think I'm going to go with the GTX 260. Great performance for the price and I think it will actually be just as good as (if not better than) a Quadro FX 580 for speeding up Photoshop since I only work in 2D.

    Briefly considered upping the ante to a 5850, but they are nowhere to be found...
  6. I am putting together parts for almost the same build. Someone also suggested a Radeon HD 4850 and this was one of the recommended cards here.

    I am thinking baout this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125258 Out of stock right now at newegg though. :??:
  7. @OP: For CS4 you don't need a workstation card. A cheap 4670 will do the job fine. You'll need a workstation GPU mainly if doing CAD/renderings.

    For case, consider the HAF 932: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160&cm_re=HAF_932-_-11-119-160-_-Product
    $140
    or even a 922.

    As for TIM, AS5 is no longer the king of the hill. I recommend you getting IC Diamond or MX3 or Shin Etsu.
  8. Quote:
    mobo : Asus P6T LGA : $239.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131359
    CPU : Core i7 920 2.66 : $288.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115202
    Ram : Corsair 3x2gb 1600mhz : $159.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820145236
    HSF : Xigmatek : $44.96 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835233029
    SSD : Intel X25-M 80 G2 : $289.00 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820167016
    PSU : Antec 850 : $124.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371024
    GPU : PNY Quadro FX 580 : $189.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814133273
    DVD : Sony : $27.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118030
    Case : Antec P183 : $139.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129061
    Thermal : Arctic Silver : $6.99 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835100007
    OS : Windows 7 Pro : $29.99

    Excellent build. But do consider what I said above.

    Also since you are planning on running an SSD: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47212

    One more thing I forgot: Swap out cooler for the Core Contact Freezer: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004&cm_re=core_contact_freezer-_-35-207-004-_-Product

    and bracket: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207005&cm_re=core_contact_freezer-_-35-207-005-_-Product

    Total: $25 after MIR for both. Check out review here: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm


    Another thing: You can buy the Intel X25-M G2 at Tankguys for cheaper. Also, consider the Kingston M series drives which use the Intel controller with similer performance to the X25-M G2. See review here: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/965/1/ in most cases the 80GB M Kingston can be found for $230-280.
  9. Good stuff, thanks. Swapping out the AS5 for IC Diamond and the Xigmatek for the Sunbeam. Sticking with the 183 though, looks quieter and still should be enough ventilation for mild OC.

    Of course while I've been debating this, newegg ran out of the 80gb Intel G2 as well as the Kingston equivalent... looking into alternative vendors now.

    Still thinking I'll go with the GTX 260... a bit more expensive than the 4670 but probably worth it if I ever want to game.
  10. I too am looking at a very similar build with SSD and OpenGL video card for photoshop CS4. I plan on Windows 7 (64bit), 12 Gb RAM, eVGA Classified X58 motherboard, and 10,000rpm Raptor RAID 0 for data/scratch disk. Now the questions...

    Keep in mind: I plan to use the system for Lightroom and PS CS4 (CS5 when it comes out). Also will want to run multiple monitors w/HDTV tuning and possibly video editing, 3D graphics in the future.

    Video cards: Is there any advantage in running SLI/crossfire config with multiple cards or am I wasting money and resources? Same question when it comes to which card ...Geforce 9800 (cheap), GTX 295 (high end), or something in between? There's been some question as to compatibility between cards and Adobe ...at present GTX 260 is the only 200 series card Adobe shows as tested and compatible, anyone know of any issues with other cards or have another 200 series card working well under Adobe GPU acceleration with CS4? Haven't looked into the Quadro series, but if anyone has an opinion on these...?

    SDD: As I hear it, prices on these should be going down next year, so I plan on going with a smaller one (80 Gb or there abouts) to use as a system drive, then upgrade at a later date. I'm not totally up to date on quality with these things. Last I heard Intel X-25s were good. Any others I should look at or avoid? ...and will any/all of these be able to utilize the UltraRMA on the motherboard?

    Data/scratch drive: Here again, for sake of speeding up CS4 and minimizing costs, I'm looking to start with a pair of 150Gb Raptors configured RAID 0 and someday upgrading with 2 to 4 300Gb(600Gb -1.2Tb) raptors or 4 - 150Gb(600Gb). I have a 1Tb external drive that I plan to use for backup. I could go to a RAID 0+1, but that would take maybe 8 drives, a new drive bay, and lots more $$$. I also heard (not so sure it's true) that when you go to RAID 0+1 you lose all the write speed you gained from Raid 0 ...true or false?

    I'm loooking at a 1000-1200 watt power supply, a Asetek liquid CPU cooling system, a Thermaltake full tower, and an I7-920 2.66 Ghz CPU. I'm Trying to keep the build somewhere around $3K and upgrade later as I can afford and need. I think the power supply should handle just about any future needs I may have and with 13 bays, 3 case fans (with up to 6 more optional) in my tower, I should have plenty of room for expansion and upgrades. Anything else you think I might have missed?

    Thanks in advance,

    Gary
  11. ^Start your own thread.

    Quote:
    I'm loooking at a 1000-1200 watt power supply, a Asetek liquid CPU cooling system,

    You DO NOT need a 1kW PSU. The Asetek liquid cooling is a joke. Dosen't have enough rad to cool an OCed i7.

    Also, you don't need anything above a 4670 unless gaming.

    As for SSDs, the X25-M G2 is the best bet. There's just way too many good/bad SSDs to list. Check reviews.
  12. Andno on the raptors as well. Spinpoint F3 HDDs or Seagate 7200.12. Raptors are beat/tied by these.
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