Should I build or not?

My wife's photography business is expected to grow rapidly over the next few months as she merges with another business. Currently she uses Photoshop CS3 to edit images, and sometimes uses Adobe LR as well. Her current computer is a bit on the slow side when it comes to PS and I think it's wasting a lot of her time. Here's the current build:

Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe MB
AMD Athlon X2 6000+ Black Edition (3.0 GHz)
2GB Corsair XM2 DDR2 800
320 GB Seagate HDD (used for OS)
1 TB WD Caviar Black HDD (used for images)
Windows XP 32-bit

There are two main limitations right now:

1. Her power supply only has two SATA power connectors, so we are limited to just two hard drives.
2. She is using a 32-bit operating system.

What I was thinking of doing is installing Windows 7 64-bit (which I already have a copy of), and then maxing out her RAM at 8 GB of DDR2. A new power supply could then be installed to allow for more hard drives, and I would eventually setup two smaller hard drives in RAID 0 for a PS scratch disk. The other option I have is to drop a lot more money and build a new i5 or i7 rig for her with 8-12 GB of RAM.

I think that her current processor and MB are not that bad quality wise, and given enough RAM and a 64-bit operating system she would likely see decent performance. Should I make upgrades to this nearly 2-year old system, or should I start over?

(I apologize if this thread is in the wrong location, this is my first post here).
3 answers Last reply
More about should build
  1. For photo editing and the like, you will definitely want to step up to a quad core to see a speed increase. This will likely require a new motherboard, as your ASUS is a socket AM2 and will not support AM3, and if it will support AM2+ processors, it will be limited by the slower HT speed of your board. If you decide to increase your RAM above 4GB, Windows 7 64-bit is a must. I don't think your drives are bad, as long as they provide you with enough storage. (Molex to SATA power adapters are extremely cheap and can easily increase the amount of SATA drives you can power)
  2. I think you should start from scratch ;). What would be your budget for a brand new system?
  3. mortonww said:
    I think you should start from scratch ;). What would be your budget for a brand new system?

    I've priced out an i7 build, about $1,400. My budget for a new build is right around $1,500.
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