SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: photoshop and photo manipulation, general purpose. not for gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: speakers, software
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: usa
PARTS PREFERENCES: i7-860
OVERCLOCKING: not at first, maybe in future
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no
MONITOR RESOLUTION: at least 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: this is my first build. ill pay extra $$$ for high quality and reliability but dont want to splurge on stuff i dont need. im looking for feedback on the system, if everything is compatible and/or if im missing something.
things im most unsure of are the case and PSU -- will everything fit ok? do i need additional cables/extensions? im planning on getting a SSD in the future as they get cheaper. will 450W be enough?
im still researching monitors so advice on that would be helpful.
I agree with the previous comments about the hard drive. WD Caviar Black and Samsung F3 are top notch. Check out the benchmarks that Proximon posted, find one that matches what you expect to be doing the most (or would deem most critical), and if power/noise/temperature is important to you check those out, then pick one.
As to the PSU, if you're looking for a 'cheap' PSU thats high quality you picked a great one. Here's the review that convinced me to get that same PSU, you might find it interesting: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/540 There are a lot of extra cables, if that's important a modular PSU might be better. I just used wire ties to hold them in place at the top of the case.
You're looking at something very similar to what I built (see my signature). I've been testing my rig with a kill a watt to measure power draw from the wall. With the stock cooler on and going full tilt with Prime95 or IntelBurnTest the most I pulled was 197 W. I replaced the stock cooler with a Hyper 212+ and even with a small overclock the max pull dropped to 189. Idle power in both cases is 70 W.
If you're going to be frequently stressing your PC, or you live in a hot climate (and don't keep the air on) I would recommend replacing the stock cooler. With the Hyper 212+ my idle temps dropped from 25 C to 18 C, and my full load IntelBurnTest temps dropped from 85 C to 53 C. Granted, your case looks to have much more airflow than mine. And there's nothing wrong with hitting 85 C from time to time, but I wanted a lower ceiling. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'm new so I will defer to the experts but I think the i7 does well with triple channel memory vs dual. IE get 3 x 2gb of DDR3 vs 2 x 2gb.....
This is not correct. There are different "i7s". The Bloomfield / socket 1366 / i7 9xx's are triple channel memory. The Lynnfield / socket 1156 / i7 8xx's (as well as i5s and i3s) are dual channel memory.