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Under $1000 Photoshop System (No Monitor)

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January 8, 2010 6:26:33 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week or so BUDGET RANGE: less than $1000 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop, surfing the internet, office work, gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Tigerdirect.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None, just good parts

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: reliable, long lasting

Here is what I have found on Tigerdirect:


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64BIT OS $109.99
Intel Core i5 750 Processor $199.99
Asus P7P55D Motherboard $159.99
Kingston HyperX DDR3 4GB 1600MHz (2 x 2048MB) (Fry's) $99.99
Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 1GB PCIe DDR5 Display/HDMI $149.99
WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 32MB/SATA-3G $109.99
Ultra LSP550 550-Watt Power Supply $49.99
NZXT GAMMA Mid-Tower Case $44.99
Ultra ULT40123 MD3 Media Dashboard $34.99
LG 22X SATA DVDRW (Fry's) $29.99

Total $989.90



Main concerns are: Correct RAM for motherboard/Processor
Sufficient Power in PSU
a b C Monitor
January 8, 2010 6:37:14 PM

RAM: You did get compatible RAM. However, (and this may be an assumption) you seem to have only gotten 2 x 1 GB sticks. Photoshop is a memory hog, so you probably want more than that, especially with a 64-bit OS. I highly recommend getting some G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 set(s). On Newegg, they're $100 a pair, with free shipping.

GPU: There's a 5770 on Newegg for $5 more. Get that.

HDD: WD is behind the times. Pick up a Samsung Spinpoint F3. 1 TB is $85, 500 GB is $55.

PSU: I'm not sure about that PSU. Stick to the major brands (Corsair, Antec Earthwatts, OCZ), or risk failure. 450W should be enough though. Right now, there's an OCZ StealthXStream 700W (overkill by far) on Newegg for $50 after rebate.

Rest is fine.
January 8, 2010 6:45:29 PM

it seems like the ram is just 2 gigs, based on price and name, so atleast get a 2x2 set. case isnt very good, the psu is decent, but this is much higher quality, and plenty of wattage:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

if you are willing to buy from newegg, look into this build:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

final price is 946.90$, and it is considerably better :D 

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January 8, 2010 6:53:39 PM

nah, id get eco, lower voltage is just better, not really worth the 5$ of shipping to get the other version

Best solution

January 8, 2010 6:58:54 PM
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Hi. I built a very comparable computer a month or so ago. I'll add my vote for more RAM - I went with 8 GB which is probably overkill but I think 4 would be a minimum. My RAM is similar to the one MadAdmiral recommended.

I also agree with going with a name brand PSU. A bad one can cause all kinds of problems, so go with one that you can trust.

I have exactly the same motherboard, Win7 and the i7 860 - your choices are good.

I've heard a lot of good things about the Spinpoint, but I went with a SSD for my boot drive/Photoshop/Lightroom, and keep all my photos on separate HDDs. Man a SSD is fast! I can run Lightroom and Photoshop at the same time with no decrease in performance, either one boots up and is fully ready to go in just 3 seconds. It will take you over budget - but I think it will be money well spent, and the computer would last you longer. I had someone twist my arm to buy one, and I'm very glad he did! Every other computer I use now seems slow in comparixon.

Good luck!
January 8, 2010 7:01:29 PM

wait whos choices were good, and also i wish every budget build could have a ssd in it :lol: 
January 8, 2010 7:10:46 PM

Since you list gaming last I assume it is not a high priority...you might consider getting a 4850 which newegg has right now for $99. It performs about equal to the 5750 for $50 less....of course it does not have DX11 support or eyefinity, but if you don't need those it is a great card for the price.
a b C Monitor
January 8, 2010 7:12:19 PM

Yeah, there's really no room in a budget for a SSD until you get above $1,800 for the tower. It's an unnecessary part that can be added later.
January 8, 2010 7:14:32 PM

think he should go with the 5770 in my build, since it is probs the best budget card out there.
January 8, 2010 7:15:43 PM

If you aren't gaming then you could easily save $100 on the video card, and that would lessen the load on your PSU too.

If you aren't getting more than 4GB of ram, why not go with the 32 bit version of the OS?
January 8, 2010 7:19:55 PM

why would you get a 32 bit os if you have a 64 bit cpu, and have 4 gigs. i can think of any possible reason to get 32 bit. and i think he should stick with the 5770.
January 8, 2010 7:29:34 PM

Oops, my bad! I meant to get 4Gb of ram.

How about this:

OCZ Fatal1ty Dual Channel PC10666 DDR3 1333MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) $106.99

for an update total of 964.90?

Also, one of the reasons for going Tigerdirect is free shipping at this time, plus I think there is some advantage to getting the complete system from one source.
January 9, 2010 2:03:17 AM

ares1214 said:
wait whos choices were good, and also i wish every budget build could have a ssd in it :lol: 


I mean that bikerbrent's choice of the mobo, win7 and cpu were good

Yes, I know this is a budget build. However, if you're using Photoshop (and I was assuming this means CS4), it can slow your computer right down. So, the SSD was just a thought - I wasn't considering it either until someone pushed me in that direction. I believe a 30 gb (enough for a boot disc and Photoshop, probably?) is pretty reasonable these days?

I agree that it could be added later if desired.
January 9, 2010 2:14:08 AM

Your actually way overkill for photoshop. Enjoy!!!
January 9, 2010 3:10:43 AM

daship said:
Your (sic) actually way overkill for photoshop. Enjoy!!!


Way overkill? Uh.....no. You obviously haven't had Lightroom, Photoshop CS4 and a couple of other programs running at the same time. Then try editing several images in RAW at once and you'll see what these programs demand! If you're just using Photoshop Elements and doing a little levels adjustment on a 2 MB jpeg image then yes, it would be overkill. It all depends on what you're doing with your images, and I don't know what BikerBrent has in mind, but it looks like he's on the right track.

Good Luck and let us know what you decide with your build.

January 9, 2010 9:23:59 PM

Well, I pulled the trigger on this system:

MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM $109.99
INTEL Core™ i5-750 Quad-Core 2.66GHz, LGA1156, 4.8 GT/s, 8MB L3 Cache $199.99
ASUS P7P55D, LGA1156, Intel® P55, DDR3-2133 ATX $159.99
Kingston HyperX DDR3 4GB 1600MHz (2 x 2048MB) - Fry's $99.99
Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 1GB PCIe DDR5 Display/HDMI $149.99
WESTERN DIGITAL 1.5TB WD Caviar® Green (WD15EADS), SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache $109.99
Ultra LSP550 550-Watt Power Supply $49.99
NZXT GAMMA Mid-Tower Case $44.99
Ultra ULT40123 MD3 Media Dashboard $34.99
LG 22X SATA DVD RW - Fry's $29.99

Price $989.90

Note that I just purchased the RAM locally since I got it for $99.99 and Tigerdirect wanted 179.99 for the same RAM. I also purchased the DVD drive locally to qualify for the free shipping at Tiger Direct.

Thank you all for the helpful comments.

Brent
January 9, 2010 9:42:02 PM

Looks good!

Let us know how everything goes with it.
January 18, 2010 11:17:04 PM

I placed the order with Tigerdirect on Sunday, Jan. 10 and was told to expect delivery by Friday, Jan. 15. All of the parts arrived on Friday, before noon. Everything arrived in good condition.

I assembled the computer and wired up all of the major components. My first concern, since I was familiar with using the beep codes for power-up troubleshooting, was that the ASUS motherboard did not come with a system (beep) speaker (only a connection point for an external speaker). Nor was a speaker provided with the case. Since the motherboard did provide some LEDs to aid in power-up troubleshooting, I decided not to worry about a speaker at this time.

I had originally planned to install the Media Dashboard in the upper slot, but since the case had an overhang and the CPU would be located on a stand next to my desk, I decided this would not be the best location to view the temperature display. So I relocated the unit to the next slot down and put the DVD drive in the top slot. This lead to my second issue, the Media Dashboard has a plastic case which only allowed for one screw to be used on each side. The screw on the left side partially stripped out and now I cannot tighten it as much as it needs. As a result the unit is not as secure in the case as I would prefer. I may try a little silicone sealer on this screw to see if that will help. If not, I may try a slightly larger screw unless someone else has a better idea of how to handle this.

I completed the major assembly Friday evening and did a power-up. It booted up the first time!! Admittedly, this is not the first computer I have built, but I did breathe a big sigh of relief. Another minor problem I encountered was for a while I did not think the Hard Drive LED was working, but it turns out it is just not very bright. This is really a minor problem since I need to make an effort so see the light anyway. I installed Windows 7 and the next day I completed assembly and did some wire management. I did have an issue for while where I thought the front panel headphone jack was not working, but this turned out to be a setting that I had to make in the BIOS. Everything that I can test in the system appears to be working. At this time I don't have any e-SATA or Firewire devices, so can't test these, but since everything else is working, I don't expect a problem.

Now I have the big chore ahead of me of learning the ins and outs of this new motherboard and Windows 7. Any suggestions for a good Windows 7 book? I have installed some of my applications and must say I am very impressed with the performance of this new system. My best benchmark to date is performance of seti@home vs. my old PC. It is at least 10 times faster on doing a work unit! I am somewhat disappointed to find out that some of my old software just will not run, even playing with the compatibility mode. I wonder if an upgrade to the Windows 7 Pro version to get the XP emulation mode would be worth while in this regard, since everything did run on my old Athlon XP system. Any comments on this from anyone? I did spring for the update from Photoshop CS2 to CS4, based on reviews I have seen, and it does appear to have improved performance but I just installed it and will have to work with it awhile before I can make a definite determination of how much difference there really is. It is interesting that my old Office 97 software appears to be working, despite it being declared incompatible by Microsoft. I understand Office 2010 is coming soon and I would rather wait for this than get Office 2007.
!