Graphics Pc to compete with Mac

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.
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  1. 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.
  2. My first thoughts:

    CPU: i7-920 $289
    Mobo: Asus P6X58D Premium $310
    RAM: G.Skill PI Series 6x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $350
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
    GPU: HD 5770 $155
    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $55 after rebate
    Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $24
    Case: Antec 300 Illusion $60
    SSD: Up to 128 GB for ~$400

    Total for all of that is $1,735. Could bump the GPU to an HD 5850 for an additional $140.
  3. 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.
  4. Agree with banthracis. Mine is more of a build to the budget.

    Some changes for price/performance...

    CPU: i7-860 $280
    Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $190
    RAM: 2x G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $230

    Price drops to $1,490
  5. Ok full build

    Optical Drive
    lite on $23.99

    HAF 922 or Antec 900. No good deal on any great cases atm >.< $109.98

    G SKill Eco 7-8-7-24 2x 4gb kits. $239.98

    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.

    Asus P7P55D-E LGA 1156 $159.99

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

    CM Hyper 212 Plus

    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.

    Intel X25-M G2 180 GB $499.00

    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

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

    i7-860 and 5770 $444.98

    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

    Also, you can save some money by getting a 80GB SSD, but having images on a SSD makes things a lot faster in photoshop.
  6. Thanks a ton everyone.

    Very helpful indeed. I really appreciate the help.
  7. n1 on the build banthracis
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