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Did I pick the right parts for a $500-$600 Photoshop/internet pc

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January 18, 2010 5:50:01 AM

Sorry for the re-post, I hadn't gotten a single response and thought it may be because I didn't provide links.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon This 1.3p4 with 1gig memory is dragging me down.

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$600 Before or After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Digital Photography(photoshop), Internet surfing, DVD Burning, Very little dvd authoring( home movies)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I don't need anything outside of the case, I however do need a case, and currently have a Thermaltake W0146RU PS(will this work?)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Well known and respected COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Where I live??? USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have heard that asus mobo's are great, but just want something that is well made, seems that AMD is cheaper than intel, and I am okay with that.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Don't think so??? Not sure what it is.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 is what I am currently running at, and seems adequate for what I need(am I wrong?) . Eventually would like to add a second monitor, but that is down the line, and if needed a new graphics card can be purchased then.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Nothing fancy really, I have 2 250GB Ide hdd that I could re-use, just not sure how ide works with the newer sata mobo's. I will probably run xp pro sp3, not a fan of vista, and windows 7 would kill the budget right now. I also would need a sata dvd burner. would prefer 4gb memory. I would like to have the ability to add more hdd space later on. Would also like to add on a internal card reader(but does not have to fit into the budget at this time) Also not sure if ddr2 or ddr3 is the way to go. I have heard that some motherboards support both.

Here is what I have in my newegg wishlist, not sure if I made the best choices though.

<DVD>
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

<Case> - Want a sturdy case, with room for extra hdd's and optical drives.
NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - $36.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

<MOBO>
ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

<CPU>
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 - $175.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

<MEMORY>
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail $93.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

<HDD>
Western Digital Caviar Green WD10000CSRTL 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Retail $94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...


Total cost as shown: $555.94



Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Best solution

January 18, 2010 7:05:10 AM

^ Here are some options to make that build better...

1. CPU + RAM
There is not much significant difference between the C3 and the C2 revsion of the 955...And also as you wont overclock, you wouldnt notice any difference...
x4 955 + OCZ AMD Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

2. Mobo - Even a 785G mobo would suffice for your needs...
ASUS 785G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
but if you want a 790GX board, then this would also be good...
Gigabyte 790GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. HDD - Definetly this one...
Samsung F3 1TB - Cheaper and better...
EDIT - Link corrected...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. CASE - This would be a good option...
Antec 200 - After rebates this will be cheaper...and also has extra fan...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 18, 2010 4:47:06 PM

^+1

I agree with gkay's suggest improvements.

The timings on the memory will make it faster than what you selected.

I suggest going with the less expensive mobo - the 785G - because it has faster on board video. You should also seriously consider adding an inexpensive nVidia graphics card when you can as Photoshop can use it to supplement CPU processing. A small card can have a significant impact.

You should also consider overclocking down the road as that CPU can easily be OC for a 10% to 20% performance increase - approximately saving 5 to 10 minutes for each hour you are doing heavy photoshop processing. And it costs nothing to do - other than a little time.
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January 18, 2010 9:37:49 PM

I have made all the changes, but haven't decided on a mobo yet.

suggestions on a lower cost gpu?? is one pci express x1 enough for future additions???
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January 18, 2010 9:55:53 PM

tayl0124 said:
I have made all the changes, but haven't decided on a mobo yet.

suggestions on a lower cost gpu?? is one pci express x1 enough for future additions???


How anxious are you to get the GPU? Since one of the important uses would be to improve processing of Photoshop, I recommend an nVidia card. They are coming out with a major new series of cards this quarter and I suggest waiting to see what they offer if you are in no hurry. Not only willl you likely have better options, but the prices on the old cards may go down and there may be specials on some. Did you read this article/:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gf100-fermi-directx...

If you don't want to wait - pick a card from these and then look for a good brand on sale - or let us know which and we can help you find the particular brand (unfortunately these are reviews as gaming cards and don't really address other applications like Phototshop):

GeForce GT 240: Low Power, High Performance, Sub-$100
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-240,2475...

GeForce GT 220 And 210: DirectX 10.1 And 40nm Under $80
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-220,2445...

BFG - my preferred vendor with cards that carry a lifetime warranty - has some good prices on those cards:

BFG Tech BFGE210512D2E GeForce 210 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail -$30AR + $6 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BFG Tech BFGEGT2201024D2BE GeForce GT 220 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail - $50AR with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unfortunately BFG does not have a GT 240 listed on the most popular sites so I would go with this one:

ASUS ENGT240/DI/1GD3/A GeForce GT 240 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail - $85 AR plus $6 shipping (only 3 year warrant)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which level you go with is a budget decision only you can make.
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January 18, 2010 10:14:44 PM

tayl0124 said:
is one pci express x1 enough for future additions???

You also have 3 PCI slots and 1 PCIe X16 slot at X4 speed.
The question is what might you want to add later that requires a slot?
Perhaps an add-in card for USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 - which I would put in the extra X16 slot at x4 speed.
A TV tuner? Could use PCI slot.
What else?

But if you do think you will add a graphics card soon - so you won't be dependent on the onboard video for too long - then go ahead and get the 790GX board listed above. It is only $10 more and does have the advantage of more x1 slots as well as the second PCIe x16 slot will work at x8 speed - making it fast enought to handle any graphics card you are likely to get. So if you wanted to drop in a second graphics card in a year or two you could - provided your PSU is large enought to accomodate that.

Speaking of which, what are your plans for PSU and operating system?

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January 19, 2010 1:15:48 PM

I am not real sure what I would want/need to add later down the line. I however like to be prepared though. I never thought that I would fill up my current pci slots on my mobo, but I had to replace my nic(because on-board crapped out), Had to add usb2.0, had to add firewire, used a dedicated audio card. I just like the option of being able to do those things, and not be limited. And as far as graphics card. for my purpose would I be better off getting a gpu that supports dual monitors off the bat, or get 2 cards later down the line? (or use one onboard, and a card).

As stated in the initial post I have a Thermaltake W0146RU PSU(450w), and for the time being will be running xp pro, hence only going for 4gb ram. I would go to Win7 but that just isn't in the budget right now. Which brings up another topic. Will these boards boot off of my ide drives?? Because at some point down the line I will upgrade to win7, but will also have to be able to dual boot to win xp for my pro tools software/hardware. I would prefer to keep my 2 os's on separate drives.
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January 19, 2010 3:12:51 PM

Yes I understand what you are saying about add-ons - so go with the 790 mobo to provide the most room for future add-ons.

As to GPUs for 2 monitors, it depends on the sizes and whether you are using them for 2d or 3d (gaminng) activities. Displaying 2d (movies, internet, etc) is not that demanding on GPUs. Even the small GT 210 listed above supports multiple monitors according to specs, but I am not sure what size.

http://www.bfgtech.com/bfgr210512d2e.aspx

Here's the monitor size detail from that above link:

http://www.bfgtech.com/CMDocs/BFGTech/monitor_size_210....

I recommend trying to get one card for the two monitors - leaving the second slot open in case later you want to add more processing power.

Sorry I forgot your note about the PSU in your first post. That PSU is large enough for one graphics card, and maybe two SMALL ones. But it is not one of the recommended brands so I recommend replacing it when you can and definitely before adding a second graphics card. With time to plan, you should be able to find a nice sale or rebate on one of the better brands like Corsair, Antec, or OCZ. Here is a list showing brands in tiers:

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

Get a 650w PSU to provide for 2 graphics cards up to mid range. If you want to allow for 2 higher-end cards then go with approximately 700w-750w. You can come back and ask for help on specific cards when you are closer to purchase and you have a better idea of requirements.

Yes the boards will support and boot off up to 2 IDE HDs. You should also upgrade to a fast SATA drive when you can - todays SATA drives - you can get an excellent 500 GB drive for about $55 - that will run circles around an old IDE drive - some are as fast as the old RAPTOR drives. Your HD could easily end up being the bottleneck on your system.
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January 19, 2010 3:45:11 PM

Yeah the PSU I had to buy quickly because my old one died. And therefore had to go to best buy and try to find one without spending a lot on it. I don't game on my computer so I am not too concerend with haveing the latest and greatest gpu's. Mainly the second monitor would be used mostly when running photoshop. One for all the tools and one for the image basically. Monitor sizes will be roughtly 19- 23" non widescreen. I like my 19" sammy but can't seem to find one that is not widescreen and doesn't cost a ton. However my uncle may have a 23" that he might want to get rid of. I will have to hit him up for that.
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January 19, 2010 4:37:29 PM

In that case I think the BFG GT 220 linked above would be an excellent choice to run 2 monitors doing Photoshop and could handle light gamining on one monitor should you ever wish to do it.

I don't use Photoshop but I assume you can find some articles about using a graphics card to accelerate it.
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January 20, 2010 2:57:44 AM

seems like the rebate for the case is over, any other suggestions??
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January 20, 2010 3:28:55 AM

If you mean the Antec 200, it looks like they are switching links for some reason - here it is for $30 AR +$10 shipping on the index page but higher on the direct link - you might talk to newegg and see if they will give it to you for the summary page listing price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Edit note: link corrected after error pointed out below)

I have never seen this kind of discrepancy before.
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January 20, 2010 3:49:54 AM

rockyjohn said:
If you mean the Antec 200, it looks like they are switching links for some reason - here it is for $30 AR +$10 shipping on the index page but higher on the direct link - you might talk to newegg and see if they will give it to you for the summary page listing price:

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

I have never seen this kind of discrepancy before.



it shows up for me at $49.99, and the second link is a mobo.
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January 20, 2010 3:52:05 AM

I do however see that if the rebate is no longer good I can get it from amazon for 44.99 +9.55 shipping.


Bought case from amazon, all other parts from newegg. no gpu at this point, but hopefully that will be a few months down the line.
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January 20, 2010 4:44:11 AM

tayl0124 said:
it shows up for me at $49.99, and the second link is a mobo.


The summary listing in the first link shows it as $30 AR + $10 shipping. I corrected the second link - which you also get to by clicking on the first link - but it shows it at a different prce, as $50 + #15 shipping - or $25 more than the summary page.
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January 20, 2010 5:23:52 AM

strange, now it shows like you said. I swear it wasn't like that earlier. However the rebate expired on the 18th, but the $15 savings and only $10 for shipping would be nice. Oh well. I ordered it from amazon. Looking forward for friday or saturday. It will be like christmas. Thanks for all your help. Anything special I am going to have to do in the setup for this system?? I went with the gigabyte mobo.
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January 20, 2010 3:38:31 PM

A. During installation run memtest

After installing PSU, motherboard (with CPU and HSF installed), memory, and video card and connecting monitor, test memory with memtest, a free utility found that you can download with instructions from:

http://www.memtest.org/

You want to run memtest for 8 hours without any errors to prove memory is stable. If ANY errors are reported, you trouble shoot the problem. Note that if you find memory issues, it is best to solve them right away before other components are added that might create new issues and complicate trouble shooting.

First try to run 10 passes of the test with all memory installed to get an intermediate level of assurance of reliability. If it passes, you can either proceed to immediately try the 8 hour run, or if more convenient, go ahead and continue with assembling the PC and later do the 8 hour run overnight.


B After installation

First go into your BIOS (see your motherboard manual for instructions on how to do this and what windows to see) and check your CPU idle temperature. It should be around 30 degree centigrade. If much more than this, then you may have HSF installation or case fan issues. Then, usually on the main menu, select “load optimized defaults”. This should have been done at the factory, but sometimes not so best to be sure.

Next download Prime95, another free utility, and instructions from this site:

http://majorgeeks.com/Prime95_d4363.html

And Speedfan from this site:

http://download.cnet.com/SpeedFan/ [...] 67444.html

Run prime95 for an hour or two (some suggest up to eight is better) to burn in system and test it under load. Run selecting CPU test. While running that test, monitor temperature using Speedfan rates to ensure no issues

If everything is operating well, I suggest going to pcpitstop.com to test and benchmark your system. They have a set of free tests that will report common system issues, list outdated drivers you might want to update, and report basic benchmarks for common components. You can run it anonymously or log in and save results to compare with later benchmarks. Or you can purchase software that will you provide more extensive benchmarking.

Hopefully everything runs well and nothing needs tweaking.
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January 26, 2010 7:46:40 AM

Okay, so I got my parts Monday. Put everything together and I get no display. no lights lightup on my usb keyboard either. Any suggestions??
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January 26, 2010 5:51:44 PM

Please follow this link first:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

If you find the solution, please report back for the benefit of those with future issues.

Or, if you still have issues, please provide a complete list of components for the final build. Also explain if you are saying that absolutely nothing happens when you turn on PC or describe anything that does happen - lights, sounds, fans, etc.
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January 27, 2010 9:06:36 PM

It was the second power plug for the cpu. The one on the board was a 8 pin and psu had 4 pin. So I didn't think that it was supposed to go there. I feel slightly retarded.

I for the life of me can't figure out how to download speedfan. I believe I found it on cnet's site, but I cannot find a link for download.
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January 28, 2010 2:34:30 AM

^ Even though the board has 8 Pin, it is not necessary to have an 8 Pin to be plugged into that...Even a 4 Pin power connector will provide enough power to the CPU...but it must be plugged in though...
You would need to plug in an 8 Pin CPU power only when you want to overclock the CPU high, that is when the CPU would require the additional power...

And as for the Speedfan download link, you can find it here...
http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
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January 28, 2010 7:57:16 PM

What temps should I be seeing, or watching for?? my case only has one fan plugged into the board(cpu fan)
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January 28, 2010 8:57:13 PM

That case should have a 120mm fan in the rear, isn't that plugged in and working?

Since fans only cost a couple of dollars each, I suggest adding two when you can, one behind the side vents blowing air on the graphics card and another intake fan on the inside of the front of the case behind the hard drives. Scythe is a good brand to look for and you case manual should show where and how to install.

Sorry but I don't know the target temps for AMD CPUs.
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January 28, 2010 9:01:06 PM

there are 2 case fans, however they plug into the psu not the mobo(therefore rpm's not monitored). I believe it is one 140mm fan and one 120mm fan. Plus the cpu fan, and a rather large internal fan in the psu.
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February 5, 2010 2:36:53 AM

Best answer selected by tayl0124.
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November 27, 2012 2:46:18 AM

Time to upgrade power supply and ram. Purchased XFX R6770 Core edition vid card. want to add another hdd and optical drive.
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