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Building a photo editing machine on a budget

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April 27, 2010 6:34:44 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in the next 2-3 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: 500CAD (after taxes, rebates and shipping) mildly flexible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop CS4, internet, the sims

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (will use xp)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: 4 gigs of ram

OVERCLOCKING: probably not

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: probably not

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: building this for a photographer friend on a tight budget, looking for the best bang for his buck.

I've been trying for the last few days to find a decent build a decent photo editing machine for my friend. I'm all out of ideas, so I'm asking for some help.
April 27, 2010 6:42:58 PM

What kind of budget are we looking at? $600? $800? $1,000?

Regardless, here's what I'd start looking at:

CPU/Mobo: X6 1055T and Asus M4A89TD PRO $381
RAM: Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $121
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $56
Case: Antec 200 $60
PSU: Corsair 400W $60 (before 10 USD rebate, $50 in total)
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25

Total: $693.

If you've got more cash than that, I'd consider sticking a cheap video card (like the HD 5450 or 5670) in the build. After that, I'd throw in another 4 GB of RAM.
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April 28, 2010 6:52:39 PM

You got a crappy build. The LGA775 socket is dead, the 5450 is basically useless, and the HDD is tiny and small.

You really should have gone with the build I posted. You would have done a lot better and had a lot more room for upgrades (yes the price was a little higher)...
April 28, 2010 6:57:06 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You got a crappy build. The LGA775 socket is dead, the 5450 is basically useless, and the HDD is tiny and small.

You really should have gone with the build I posted. You would have done a lot better and had a lot more room for upgrades (yes the price was a little higher)...

I can only work with the funds I'm given. I know that the 775 socket is dead, but when I only have about 500 for a full computer, there's not much I can do. Keep in mind this isn't MY budget, it's a friend's budget.

aslo0 keep in mind this is in canada, off a canadian site, AFTER taxes and shipping, which means I really only have about 450 to work with.

The HDD doesn't need to store a lot of data, it just has to hold and run programs.

so, if you would care to build off of www.newegg.ca and put together something better, by all means. But please, don't come in here and tell me that I have to go over budget in order to build a better machine (I already know that)
April 28, 2010 7:42:43 PM

I did put together a better build. The build I posted was all from Newegg.ca. It might be a little over on taxes (I don't know the rates there), but a cheaper case could be found or the X3 425 could be used. I could potentially cut it down by nearly $100...

For a refreasher, here's the build from above:

CPU: X4 620 $100
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H $95
RAM: Corsair XMS3 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $121
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $56
Case: Antec 200 $60
PSU: Corsair 400W $60 (before 10 USD rebate, $50 in total)
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25

Total: $507 after rebate.

Here's some cheaper options:

CPU/Mobo: X3 435 and same board Saves $32
RAM: A-DATA 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CL 9 Saves $18
Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK Saves $30

Total: $427.

Heck, if your friend really needs a discrete GPU, make all the changes above (the X3 would hurt CS4 performance compared to the X4) and pick up a $40-$50 GPU.
April 30, 2010 11:24:21 AM

Just be careful of that PSU. Coolermaster PSUs aren't very good quality. It shouldn't be a huge problem right away, but if your friend wants to start overclocking and/or gaming (or just adding a discrete GPU), you may want to upgrade the PSU. 350W is fine for onboard graphics and general use, but I wouldn't trust it for anything above that.
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