APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week
BUDGET RANGE: around 800$
SYSTEM USAGE : 2D Photoshop CS3/CS4, home video editing, Office, video encoding
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No gaming. Would prefer a quiet system. Would like Firewire (not that important).
Very important: would like a RAID configuration of 1T for storage. I am not sure if it is better to set the OS on a different (smaller) drive.
Do I need a graphics card, or an onboard will do it?
a lighter-end GPU will be beneficial. Something like the HD 4670 or 4650 would not be money wasted, and both cards can be sold with fanless heatsinks.
From adobe's website:
GPU Accelerated Features in Photoshop CS4 and Bridge CS4
Below is a list of the Photoshop CS4 and Bridge CS4 features that are accelerated by a GPU. To read more about these features, see "GPU accelerated features in Photoshop and Bridge CS4" (TechNote kb405745).
OpenGL/GPU features in Adobe Photoshop CS4 are:
* Smooth Display at ALL Zoom Levels
* Animated Zoom Tool
* Animated Transitions when doing a One Stop Zoom
* Hand Toss Image
* Birdseye View
* Rotate Canvas
* Smooth Display of Non Square Pixel Images
* Pixel Grid
* Move Color Matching to the GPU
* Draw Brush Tip Editing Feedback via GPU
* 3D GPU features include:
o 3D Acceleration
o 3D Axis
o 3D Lights Widget
o Accelerated 3D Interaction via Direct To Screen
I've realized 800$ is not realistic. If to add 250$ to the budget, should I spend them on a (small) OS drive and a graphics card? If so, what will be a good choice?
BTW, the i7-860 seems to support only DDR3-1066/1333, so why buy DDR3 1600?
You shouldn't get the DDR3 1600 anyway. There isn't hardly any performance gain over the slower RAM, and its more expensive. I would still recommend the Ripjaws, just not the 1600 version (1333 version cuts $20 off the costs). An $800 build is pretty realistic, we did get within $5...
You don't really need to have an OS drive or a bigger GPU. The F3 is already pretty fast, and you don't see to be doing much intensive graphics work. This build accomplishes what you need it to. Maybe the only thing that would be a good addition would be a quiet aftermarket CPU cooler, but that wouldn't be too much more.
Yes, in truth you do not see a whole lot of performance increase from DDR3 1333 to DDR3 1600. Tom's hardware benchmarks the i7's with DDR3 1600, but since we're on a budget, 1333 with tight timings will be fine.
Use the ram MadAdmiral linked.
$800 is not unreasonable at all. When I get a free moment I will give you 3 complete builds. One around $800, one around $900, and one around $1000. We can get the core "guts" of the system for ~$800 no problem. $200 extra will give you some additional goodies (better case, more RAM, better heatsink for quieter performance).
Getting a small OS/Apps drive isn't a bad idea, but to see any real performance boost you're going to want to go with a 10,000 RPM HDD or an SSD. Both are expensive, and not really within your budget window.
To be honest, my favorite build of the above is the first one. The only change I would make is swap in the OCZ PSU, but I'm just not a fan of Antec power supplies.
Any one of those builds will give you some room to expand and upgrade in the future, which IMO is one of the most important qualities of a budget build (or any build).
Editted The OCZ Fatal1ty is a more efficient, better-designed PSU. 550W is overkill, but at $40 you can't beat it.
You could spend the extra $200 on a lot of different things. I chose to invest in a better heatsink (quieter operation), 8 GB of RAM (can be useful with large video editing), and upgrading the GPU to a HD 4670. You could also drop these additions in favor of an i7-920/X58 setup, or you could sink the money into a cheap SSD, or into a Blu-Ray burner, or whatever your heart desires. Naturally, I think my setup will give you the most of what you want; however, there's a lot of good ways to spend that money.