Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

ANother photo editing machine build

  • Build
  • Photo
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
April 9, 2010 5:38:20 AM

Okay, I need some help.

What I want to do is build a machine for photo/video editing (Photoshop / Lightroom / CS3) I need the following, and need to know what to look at. I don't want the el cheapo, but don't need the Bugati version either. I just want to see where this comes down so I can begin seriously looking.

My experience with computers is high but deal more with servers. Have not built a complete system for a while.

- Intel Core i7 Quad, or i5 Quad
- MOBO with SATA, USB, the standard stuff. I would like to have HDMI out from somewhere.
- 12 GB RAM
- I know the video doesn't need to be gaming quality, but I do plan on putting dual monitors on it, and one will be a 27 or 30 inch.
- I would like to take advantage of SSD for the OS and temp area speed factors, if you think that will help.
- A couple of 1.5 SATA drives.
- A tower case - sapce is not a concern.
- A 750W or so power supply - suggestions?
- Windows 7
- Mulitcard reader
- USB 3
- Nice audio but this will not be a media PC.

Any directions will be more than appreciated!


More about : photo editing machine build

April 9, 2010 5:51:41 AM

For your usage -
i7 930
Gigabyte X58A-UD3R - Comes with USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s
Atleast 12GB of RAM like you said...Preferrably with low timings than high speed as you would know that when populating all the 6 slots of the mobo, it is easier to set low case with low speed than high speed memories...
So DDR3 1333MHz CAS 7 would be a very good option...even 1600MHz CAS 7 also would be very good but you might have to overclock the CPU to set the rated speed and timings...
Graphics card - HD 5670 1GB - It is pretty powerful card, that supports multiple monitors and low power consumption...
CASE - Antec 300/ 900 or CM 690/ 590/ HAF 922/ Lian-Li series...these all have good airflow and spacious...So choose which you like...
PSU - Why do you need 750W ? For your usage, 500-550W would suffice...You will not be gaming right so no powerful gaming card is required, which is the main source of power consumption in a PC...Get a 500-550W from Corsair/ Seasonic/ Silverstone/ Antec EA-TP-ECO Series/ CM REal Power-GX-Silent PRO/ PCP&S/ OCZ...
HDD - Samsung F3 1TB drives
SSD - Intel G2 80GB
April 9, 2010 11:31:30 AM

If you want 12GB RAM, you're going to have to go with an i7 9xx series -- i7 930 is your best buy for the price. Otherwise, you're not getting 12GB RAM in there because the i7 8xx series and i5 7xx series (i5 quads) are Lynnfield processors and only support up to four slots of RAM. It's theoretically possible with 4GB and 8GB sticks, but they're ridiculously expensive.

Graphics card - I'd settle with a HD5450 just to keep the TDP low (only 7 watts). It's cheap, but it's not that low-end, so most videocards will still come with support for dual-headed monitor setups.

PSU - no, you do not need 750W; even a good 380W (eg. Antec, Corsair, Seasonic) will easily power your system.
Related resources
April 9, 2010 10:40:25 PM

Thanks you guys, this is exactly what I need. Good info to help me start filtering out the choices!

Best solution

April 9, 2010 11:57:18 PM

There's been a ton of these requests lately so use the search tool to see others plans while you wait for responses.

Full Tower Options: Good idea if will be seriously OC'ing

Case / PSU - Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 $229 (Use the switches to turn off the LED's)

Case / PSU - HAF 932 ($140 after $20 MIR) w/ HX850 ($175) = $315

Mid Tower Options:

HAF 922 w/ Corsair TX650 $150

Antec 900 w/ EA-650 $180

MoBo - Asus P6X58D w/ i7-930 & Free Assassin's Creed Game

RAM - DDR3-1600 best CAS you can afford:
2 x CAS 6 - $250 x 2
2 x CAS 7 - $190 x 2
2 x CAS 8 - $158 x 2

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


Look at the tests that reflect your usage and choose accordingly. But given the picture thing.....go 7200.12
2 x $89

Or go big with:

SSD - Intel G2 for OS, programs and Adobe "scratch area" $499

GFX - With the 2D GFX high on your list, you gotta lean nVidia at least until ATI's 10.4 drivers come out. The 250 is a good choice here....I'd opt for a two slot unit like the EVGA which exhausts air outside the case. Numerous options around $90


If need Blue Ray $124
If Not anything here $30

Card Reader - $35

OS - Win7-64 Pro $140

Heat Sink and Fans - yes you wanna overclock this baby. For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. ($65 for the HS, $7 for TIM, $11 each for two PWM fans and $7 for a Y cable splitter).
April 22, 2010 2:17:32 AM


After taking what you have all said, and doing further research about the tools I use, I have decided that I will spend more $$$ on monitor and calibration tools rather than memory and CPU power.

Please tell me what you think of the following build and add any additional info or devices I may have missed.


Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor ($280)

ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($155)

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($90)

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready ($100)

(Qty 2) CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ($254)

SAPPHIRE 100295HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready ($70)

Main OS drive and Temp areas
Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ($225)

Data Storage (Internal) Note external eSata or iSCSI system will be added later (i.e. Drobo)
(Qty 2 using RAID 1 setup)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ($200 for 2)

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM ($100)

Optical drive

Bluetooth adapter (for KB and Mouse and Wacom tablet)
AZiO BTD-V201 USB 2.0 Micro Bluetooth Adapter (Class 1, V2.1 + EDR) ($20)

So, tell me what I have missed, or how I can do better. Again, I will not play games AT ALL, on this box. I will probably not do much video editing either. Mostly Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

Although I have no experience overclocking, I would be willing to try it on this box, but not too far. I would rather spend my time doing other things.

Thanks again for all of your help!


April 24, 2010 7:09:30 AM

Best answer selected by bkcarter333.