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Graphics Pc to compete with Mac

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  • Macintosh
  • Graphics
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January 20, 2010 4:26:19 AM

I am a freelance designer, about to give in and buy a mac. But I would rather build my own graphics PC. I have built my wifes and my gaming PC's in the past, but I think a designers PC would require a little different thinking.

So. I am thinking more CPU power and less GPU power right?

The Power Macs run dual CPU's. Would that be a viable PC build or am I better off getting one GREAT processor versus 2 good ones?

I could really use some advice and possibly a couple build ideas. I will be using Windows 7 as my OS. I just need speed when it comes to Photoshop, and multiple programs running at once.

I am trying to stay under $2000 if possible. I dont need monitors, I have that covered already.

Thanks in advance.

More about : graphics compete mac

January 20, 2010 12:57:07 PM

This question gets asked a lot. If you search the forums you can come up with a lot of threads to research, but basically for what you are talking about, you want a fast Quad Core, (I would lean to the Intel camp here) lots of memory, and a fast hard drive. A good mid range video card is all you need.
I would suggest an i7 platform, 6 gig of memory. Put your OS on an SSD, and then load your programs on a fast 1-2 Terabyte hard drive.
Now, for the video card, you don't really need much at all for photoshop, but if I build a rig like that, I would have to add a pretty high end GPU as well just to balance the system out. Never know, I just might want to play a game now and then.
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January 20, 2010 2:04:35 PM

Well first off, hardware wise, Mac's use the same stuff as PC's just with a few proprietary connections thrown in so you can't fiddle with it yourself.

As to an actual build, unless you want to change CPU's w/in the year, go with an i7-860 which is same price as a 920, but much better performance.

You'll want 8gb of RAM and some SSD's as already suggested.

Also, you won't need anywhere near 2k for a great PC, even with SSD's. Lemme throw something together.
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January 20, 2010 2:27:26 PM

Ok full build

Optical Drive
lite on $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
HAF 922 or Antec 900. No good deal on any great cases atm >.< $109.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G SKill Eco 7-8-7-24 2x 4gb kits. $239.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

can also go w/ the ripjaws Mad linked, but if you're uncomfortable going into bios to adjust voltages use these instead. If not, save yourself $10 w/ ripjaws.

MOBO
Asus P7P55D-E LGA 1156 $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

basically board Mad linked, but no xfire support since you wont need it. Saves you some money.

HSF
CM Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you're comfortable OCing, you definitely want to as the i7-860 will show a lot of improvement once you OC it to 3.6-4.0ghz. This is the best price/performance HSF out there.

HD
Intel X25-M G2 180 GB $499.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Excellent SSD and large enough for OS/Apps and a ton of photoshop files.

PSU/Storage drive
7200.12 500gb and OCZ stealthxstream 700w $114.98 w/ $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Unfortunately the slightly better Spinpoint F3's are sold out atm. Still, the 500gb(and only 500gb) 7200.12 are very good drives.

CPU/GPU
i7-860 and 5770 $444.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Excellent CPU and a great GPU w/ DX 11 support, as well as eyefinity. I know my sister loves eyefinity w/ 3 monitors when she works on huge photoshop images.

Total $1622.89 before $25 MIR and shipping which should cancel out.

Don't know if you need monitors, but pick up 3 of these and eyefinity them together.
Hanns G 21.5" 1920x1080 $149.99 each
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, you can save some money by getting a 80GB SSD, but having images on a SSD makes things a lot faster in photoshop.
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January 20, 2010 3:15:10 PM

Thanks a ton everyone.

Very helpful indeed. I really appreciate the help.
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February 5, 2010 5:54:55 PM

n1 on the build banthracis
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