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$1500-2000 Photoshop/gaming

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February 22, 2010 9:17:59 PM

Need some advice on a system that I'm building for some heavy photoshop and occasional gaming.

I have the following in mind, need some advice on monitors (probably getting 2) and sound system. Also if you guys have some better suggestions on the build, PLEASE tell me. Thanks.

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - $99.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $289.99

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail - $288.99

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI - Retail - $179.99

ASUS EAH5850/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - $299.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $179.99


Subtotal (without monitors and speakers) - $1,338.94

Anything that I should change or add?
And I need some suggestions on 2x monitors and speakers.

Thanks guys!
February 22, 2010 10:07:56 PM

Oh, the monitors are probably going to be 2 horizontal ones. 19 inch or 22 inch.
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February 23, 2010 12:17:15 AM

Any advices guys?
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February 23, 2010 12:53:24 AM

Well, great cpu, amazing video card, got for 6gb of ram. Has to go in mulitples of 3.
And i sugest 1 big monitor, like a 26 inch. I know two monitors look better lol. I have the 920 and it IS LIGHTNING FAST in photoshop.
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a c 219 4 Gaming
February 23, 2010 1:48:32 AM

This case combo is $35 cheaper ..... larger case w/ better cooling....PSU's are comparable electrically (both get a 10 performance rating on jonnyguru), but CP-850 is quieter

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Consider the new ASUS P6X58D Premium w/ USB 3 and SATA III
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

alternate memory choice if back in stock soon
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If doing serious photo work and accurate color is necessary ..... a TN panel won't cut it......The entry point on an IPS panel though is the Dell U2410 which you can find "on special" for about $525

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February 23, 2010 2:03:05 AM

Thanks a lot guys.

1) So I should get 2 3GB RAM instead of 3 2GB's?
2) I'm looking at an ISP panel: 2209WA from Dell. It's pretty cheap, $309. Do you think that's a good choice?
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February 23, 2010 2:37:56 AM

And another question, is USB 3 really worth the money to upgrade too? I realize it's not that much more expensive, but still :p 
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a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2010 4:53:16 AM

The Dell 2209WA would be good enough for professional graphics / photo work without breaking the bank.
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February 23, 2010 1:09:14 PM

Thanks. But I realized that the 2209WA does NOT have a 1920*1080 resolution or 1900*1200. Is that okay?
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February 24, 2010 2:03:26 AM

Building similar system for heavy photo-editing, but no gaming. Looking at your build, my thoughts are: Try to allocate your resources so you can afford 12GB of RAM, doesn't have to be 1600MHz, 1333MHz is just fine for your primary use, Photoshop. The 12GB would mean that you won't have to touch your scratch disk much, if at all, and your Photoshop processing will therefore be very fast. Regarding your Motherboard, I'd go with the Asus P6X58D Premium which has true support for USB 3.0 (supposed to be 10x faster than USB 2.0) plus Sata III (6GB/s). I wonder if your 850W PSU isn't overkill. I think you could probably do 650W and for sure 750W. I think if you are doing Photoshop work primarily, then your video card is overkill. No reason you need to spend that much. Put the savings toward RAM. Also, a nice case is the Lian Li Lancool altho your selection is fine. You probably want to also give consideration to CPU cooling....look at the Noctua NH-U12P. Regarding sound, the on-board sound on most high-end motherboards these days is quite good, and it is unlikely you will do better with a discreet sound card unless you are spending upwards of $150. Save your money, put it toward RAM, try out the on-board sound and if found wanting, then later add a sound card. Doubt you will need it tho. You didn't mention storage. In my system, I went with Crucial 64GB SSD as boot drive plus 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar Black, 7200RPM, 32MB cache, in RAID 0 with 100GB fast partition for Photoshop scratch/virtual memory. I have heard many tout Samsung Spinpoint F3 and also Seagate 7200.12 as well. Whatever your configuration, you want Photoshop to be on a drive separate from your scratch, and you need to regularly back up. Regarding DVD burners, consider Plextor, LG, Pioneer, Samsung. Look for dual layer, 24x and Lightscribe or similar disc labeling technology. Regarding card reader, these have a notorious high failure rate so I recommend just using an external. And likely within the next year, you will see USB 3.0 card readers.
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February 24, 2010 2:49:12 AM

Orpheus61, thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my questions.

I am definitely going to consider upgrading my RAM since I am sort of having troubles with my 6GB RAM that I use currently. I am changing my motherboard to the P6X58D Premium as well.

Regarding my video card, I will be gaming occasionally so I'd like to have a decent card.

Is there a monitor that you could suggest?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 3:15:00 AM

seraphkz said:
Thanks. But I realized that the 2209WA does NOT have a 1920*1080 resolution or 1900*1200. Is that okay?



That's something only you can answer. Higher resolution monitors basically allows you to see "more things" on your desktop, web browser and games. For gaming purposes, the higher the resolution, the more powerful video card you will need / want.

I'm still assuming you are doing professional photo editing, so you will need a good quality monitor that can accurately produce colors. My recommendation would be the 26" Planar PX2611w which is a great monitor that uses a H-IPS panel for very good color accuracy (once calibrated; all monitors require calibration). I recommended it to a friend of mine who does graphics work and he loves it. It also makes a good gaming monitor because of the less than 8ms of input lag. I have this monitor as well.

The downside of the Planar PX2611w? It's just under $800. This price was easier for my friend to swallow since my 1st recommendation to him is my primary monitor, the 26" NEC LCD2690WUXi. It's price tag at the time I bought it was around $1,300.


Too rich for your blood? Then consider the Dell U2410 which every now and then goes on sale for $500 ($100 savings).

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February 24, 2010 3:17:03 AM

I just purchased this monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus vw 266h, it's 25.5 in and has a resolution of 1900X1200 w/ 2ms response time.
However,i'm guessin its a tn panel (since its so cheap) so if your primary use is photoshop then you might need to spend more money for an ips monitor which costs a lot more.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 3:18:31 AM

^^^

I wouldn't use that monitor if color accuracy for photo editing is important.
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February 24, 2010 3:23:51 AM

jaguarskx said:
^^^

I wouldn't use that monitor if color accuracy for photo editing is important.


You're absolutely right, I do need an IPS monitor. But price is also something that I consider since I'm on a "tight" budget. That's why I think 2209WA is perfect for me due to the price. Is there something that you would recommend in the $300-$500 price range? $800 seems a little too much for me =\
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February 24, 2010 6:30:00 PM

No problem seraphkz.

Ok, regarding video card. That was one of the most difficult decisions I faced. There seems to be no shortage of views. I went with the EVGA Nvidia GeForce 250, 1GB. See
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... You'd save about $145, yet it is an extremely capable card that you could use for both Photoshop and gaming. If you ever want to hook up a second display, you want DVI x 2, and this card has it. Regarding color fidelity, it works fine with the LaCie 321 LCD I have it hooked up to. Just calibrate.

Regarding your choice of LCD, I haven't had to look at it seriously for awhile. But will probably get another in the next year and will seriously consider a Dell display since they seem to be getting such good reviews and are more affordable. I have heard good things about the model you identified. You should check out this link and the comments by Patrick who seems to be very knowledgeable on this subject. I found this thread helpful http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00St8t Oh, one more thing, make sure you check your RAM's compatibility with your motherboard. Look at the Asus Qualified Vendor's List for that model on the Asus site. As long as the component sticks match up to some configuration on the list AND (if you are going to fill all 6 RAM slots) Column D to the far right is checked, you will be ok. Good Luck.
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February 24, 2010 7:19:16 PM

I think the Dell 2209WA looks very good. Definitely check out the digital darkroom thread above and just do your research. I think you would do fine with the Dell provided you are calibrated to a good professional lab.
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February 24, 2010 11:15:34 PM

Thanks a lot guys. I really appreciate it.

I've set my heart on the Dell 2209WA monitor unless someone could suggest me a better one for that price range. :D 
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