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$500 Photoshop, video editing, and general use machine

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January 10, 2010 5:59:15 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week, possibly today BUDGET RANGE: $500 or less

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD video editing with Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, music, movies, internet, gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, OS, monitor, speakers, video card (I will either reuse my HD2600, or use integrated graphics)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I like Newegg a lot, but I'm open to any site that is reputable and has good prices. Also, there is a Micro Center near here; I know that they sometimes have good deals on things.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Quad-core CPU (most likely the Athlon X4 620), 8GB of DDR3, socket AM3 mobo with 4 RAM slots, and an integrated video chipset, and a large hard drive

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (nothing too extreme; I want this machine to last) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280 x 1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: An eSATA port on the motherboard would be nice.

Here's what I've come up with; it totals $488 after rebates and shipping:

http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

If that link doesn't work, then here's a screenshot:



Thanks in advance!
January 11, 2010 9:21:19 AM

That set of RAM has gone out of stock on Newegg, which is too bad, as that was by far the best price I've seen on 4GB of DDR3. Also, does the motherboard that I've selected look okay?
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January 11, 2010 1:47:15 PM

You are probably not getting responses because neither of your links work and people are not going to spend a lot of time trying to view your selections when you are too lazy to take the time and post easy to use links.
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January 11, 2010 6:44:47 PM

rockyjohn said:
You are probably not getting responses because neither of your links work and people are not going to spend a lot of time trying to view your selections when you are too lazy to take the time and post easy to use links.


Does the screenshot I posted not work either? I'd be happy to post links; I just didn't have the time to do it when I created the thread yesterday.
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January 11, 2010 7:27:47 PM

Alright, here's what I've got so far:

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

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

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

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

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

Any suggestions for a power supply and RAM? I was looking at the Corsair 400W, or an Antec EarthWatts, but I have no clue about the DDR3. In terms of video card, I'll just reuse my HD2600, but I want a PSU which would let me add a better card later. I don't need a CrossFire/SLI compatible PSU.
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January 12, 2010 1:39:36 AM

From what I've read Photoshop is designed to work best/fastest with the Intel based cpus.
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January 12, 2010 2:04:38 AM

This would be good RAM - DDR3 1333 with reasonable timings at 8-8-8-21 (note that memory with any faster speed - such as 1600 - will only work with one channel so I suggest not going faster than this one)


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail - $97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Corsair is an excellent PSU but you can get others with excellent quality for a lower price, I recommend one that is 500w in case later you want to add a capable graphics card:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $40 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The following review, put together over the course of several years with many contributors, ranks the above PSU at the same level as the Corsair - tier two:

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

The other items you selected look fine - taken together that gives you a pretty nice system for $409. It should handle routine tasks like internet and movies without a hitch. but that its relative weak spot is video editing - and here the faster the cpu the better. Also note Premiere can download some computations to the graphics card to make it faster - another reason to add a good card. But if you have room in the budget I would get the better CPU now- up to spending an additional $66 for this beauty:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail - $166
5x Winner of Customer Choice Award - Processors - Desktops
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 12, 2010 3:09:15 AM

rockyjohn said:
This would be good RAM - DDR3 1333 with reasonable timings at 8-8-8-21 (note that memory with any faster speed - such as 1600 - will only work with one channel so I suggest not going faster than this one)


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail - $97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Corsair is an excellent PSU but you can get others with excellent quality for a lower price, I recommend one that is 500w in case later you want to add a capable graphics card:


Alright. I think I'll change the case to the Antec Sonata III:

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

It comes with a 500W Earthwatts PSU, it's $110, and it ships for free. Also, there's no mail-in rebates to worry about.

In terms of CPU, the 965 isn't fast enough to justify the price increase. Looking at Tom's CPU charts, the 965 completed the Premiere CS4 benchmark in 136 seconds, versus 172 for the 620. I can spare 36 seconds, and either CPU will blow my current single-core Athlon 64 out of the water. Also, I believe Premiere's GPU acceleration only supports nVidia Quadro cards using CUDA; I'm not sure if there's a plugin for ATI's CUDA equivalent yet (isn't it called Stream?). I'm happy to wait a while for GPU video rendering to mature and buy a card then. I'll stick with the 620.

In terms of RAM, are you sure that DDR3 1600 will force single channel? Because, in the specs for that ASRock board I selected, it says that the memory standard is DDR3 1600. Also, how does this MSI board compare to the ASRock one I previously selected? The MSI is a 760G chipset, and the ASRock is a 770 chipset. I'm drawn to the MSI because it has integrated graphics, eSATA, and some additional features. Are there any other good AM3 boards you'd recommend? 4 RAM slots are a must.
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January 12, 2010 3:19:01 AM

Also, in terms of hard drives, I'm conflicted between the Samsung F3 500GB, the Samsung F1 750GB, the Western Digital 640GB Black, and the Western Digital 750GB black.

The Samsungs are $55 and $70, respectively; the WDs are $75 and $80. I know that Samsung and Seagate haven't exactly been known for their quality lately, but I understand that the Samsung 500GB in particular is very fast, and $55 is very reasonable.

It seems that, the more I look at parts, the more undecided I become :( 
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January 12, 2010 1:02:27 PM

Have you seen the Antec Sonata case you selected? I don't like the glossy finish - to me it looks cheap. If you want the Antec PSU - which is a good one, I have that one - I would pay about $10 more to get this combo:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power
Combo Cost- $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The 955 CPU is 17.4% faster with Premiere, 19.3% with Photoshop, and 20% with video transcoding. If you spend just 10 hours per week doing them, then the savings, using the lower rate for Premiere, would be 90 hours in a year - equivalent to having two more weeks vacation from work. I would pay $67 for that. It works out to about 75 cents cost per hour saved and I figure my time is worth much more than that. And then you get the bonus time for free each year after that for the life of the CPU.

Regarding memory on the ASRock board - just go to their website and look at the specs and you will see that it says one channel for the DDR3 1600 memory. But it is a good board at low cost. The only other option I would recommend as a replacement in your budget range is:

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $70 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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