We're beginning the process of designing our next PC, and I'm looking for opinions. This PC would not be used for gaming. Instead it would be used for Adobe CS4 (photos, graphics, and video) mostly. We don't update PCs all the time, but our current PC is maxed out at 4GB, and with Illustrator CS4 especially, we could really use a huge RAM boost. We want to put our next PC together that will last 3-4 years (perhaps).
So, if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear what you would build, and why. Which CPU, which motherboard, graphics card, etc. I know this question has been asked before, but they are usually for gaming/budget rigs. Your advice/opinion/information would be most appreciated. :-) Thanks for your time.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: heavy graphics, photos, video rendering, web site design, NO gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: case, keyboard, mouse, HDDs, optical drives, monitor, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: really like newegg, but not opposed to suggestions
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: well, that was the question, wasn't it?
OVERCLOCKING: Not likely
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, and at least dual-monitor support
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200, 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: needs to support at least 16GB RAM, want it to last for a while, as we don't upgrade every year - more when we need to. Using Adobe Master Suite CS4 for major design projects, just so you know our main software uses. Been big AMD supporters in the past, but I just want opinions (and why you have that opinion) on what would be best for us now.
If you can hold off a few months over your expected purchase date I would recommend that. AMD will launch the LEO platform. Its an enthusiast desktop platform with a new chipset and processor. Utilizing up to six cores on the yet to be released RD890+SB850 chipset. LEO will be released during the first half of 2010.
If you can't wait that long you will be best off with an 1366 platform. They are pretty solid but the upgrade path will no doubt be more expensive if you need a six core processor for all that work you will be doing. However, you may get away with using the i7 920's four cores but its a gamble that you may not want to take.
Since it's not used for gaming, intel's 1366 should suit you very well. Solid upgrade options and better at productivity applications than anything AMD has in its portfolio.
AM3 is as said above great too, affordable and again with good upgrade chances (even if you buy now).
If you want perfomance on the same level as the 1366 platform, but at a lower cost , get the i7-860. Very powerful, lower power consumption,... However, upgrading is something you can forget about (all new CPU's planned for the 1156 socket are budget offerings)
A little more than aford10's build, but the GPU is newer (uses DirectX11 and has Eyefinity which is useful for multiple displays), and the PSU is a little beefier (which you may need). Also, my RAM has slightly tighter timings (slightly better performance). You may wish to purchase a better cooler even if you don't plan to OC as this will allow your machine to run cooler and quieter.