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
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

    Case
    HAF 922 or Antec 900. No good deal on any great cases atm >.< $109.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197

    RAM
    G SKill Eco 7-8-7-24 2x 4gb kits. $239.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231321

    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=N82E16813131620

    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=N82E16835103065

    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=N82E16820167024

    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?ItemList=Combo.319479

    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?ItemList=Combo.312704

    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=N82E16824254039

    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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