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Need Important Advice for a Heavy Photoshop/Illustrator use System

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August 30, 2010 11:55:05 PM

Hello to everyone, this is my very first time posting in this forum after what seems like endless hours of researching about components which I will be needing. Also, this is my first custom system so every advice given will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance guys.

P.S. I was planning on buying a 27" i7 Apple IMac with 8GB RAM / 2GB HD or an entry level Apple Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.8GHz Xeon but changed my mind when I realized that a custom built system would be a wiser financial choice. If you have an opinion about this decision I would love to hear it.

Purchase Date: September 2010

Budget: Maximum £2,500 (preferably around £2,000)

System Usage: Textile design, Photoshop CS5 & Illustrator heavy use (1-2GB files in Photoshop & around an average of 200MB in Illustrator), Internet, Movies & Music (No gaming whatsoever)

Preferred Websites: Either ComputerPlanet.co.uk, Yoyotech.co.uk, PCspecialist.co.uk or CCLonline.com (with their Custom Built Service) - I will post system configurations from all 4 vendors so that you can help me compare the components, as well as which is the best offer.

Monitor Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Additional Comments: I'd like the system to be as silent as the components would allow it to be.

______________________________________

1) YOYOTECH.co.uk - TOTAL £1898.58

Case: Corsair 700D Obsidian
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Socket 1366 Quad-Core CPU (BX80601930).
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 CPU Cooler
120mm Fans: Noctua NF-P14 FLX Vortex-Control 120/140mm Quiet Case Fan
Power Supply: CORSAIR TX 750W POWERSUPPLY
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 PC3 12800 1600MHz Memory
SSD Drive: Kingston 128GB SSDNow V+ 2.5inch MLC SATA SSD Hard Drive
Hard Drive 1: Samsung Spinpoint F3EG 2TB 5400rpm Hard Drive
Hard Drive 2: Samsung Spinpoint F3EG 2TB 5400rpm Hard Drive
Optical Drives: Samsung Blu-Ray Combo DVD/RW
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 Vapor-X 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2.1 x 16 Graphics Card
Soundcards: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card OEM
WiFi: DYNAMODE 802.11N (UPTO 300Mbps) PCI
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit


2) COMPUTERPLANET.co.uk - TOTAL £2,059.96

Case: Corsair 700D Obsidian
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium (Intel X58)
CPU: Intel Core i7 950 (4 x 3.06GHz) 8 MB
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - Silent
Power Supply: OCZ 700W Stealth XStream - Low Noise
Memory: Corsair 12GB Dominator (6x2GB) 1600MHz - Lifetime Warranty (DDR3)
SSD Drive: OCZ Vertex SATA-II 120 GB Solid State HDD
Hard Drive 1: 1 TB (1000 GB) SATA-III Western Digital (WD1002FAEX) - 64 MB - Caviar Black
Hard Drive 2: 1 TB (1000 GB) SATA-II HDD UDMA 300 7200 32MB
Optical Drives: Samsung (SH-B083L/RSBP) 8x Blu-Ray Reader & 16x Dual Layer DVD /- RW Writer - Lightscribe (SATA)
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5750 VaporX - 1 GB - 2xDVI/HDMI (Sapphire)
Soundcards: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card OEM
WiFi: Edimax Wireless LAN 300Mbps (PCI)
FireWire: 4 Port Firewire 400 IEEE 1394 & Free Cable (PCI)
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

- ComputerPlanet.co.uk also offers Case Wiring to an 'Extreme Standard' and Noise Reduction with a Soundproofing Kit.


3) PCSPECIALIST.co.uk - TOTAL £1926

Case: Corsair 700D Obsidian (Has to be provided by me but included in the price above)
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E: DDR3, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0GB/s, 3-Way SLI
CPU: OC Intel® Core i7 Quad Core Processor i7-930 (2.8GHz @ max 3.8GHz)
CPU Cooler: TITAN FENRIR EXTREME DIRECT TOUCH COPPER CPU COOLER
Power Supply: CORSAIR 650W PSU (TX650) 80+ ULTRA QUIET
Memory: 12GB KINGSTON HYPER-X TRI-DDR3 1600MHz, INTEL X.M.P
SSD Drive: 120GB OCZ VERTEX 2 SATA II 2.5" SSD (upto 285MB/sR | 275MB/sW)
Hard Drive 1: 1TB WD CAVIAR BLACK WD1002FAEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE
Hard Drive 2: 1TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD10EARS, SATA 3 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE
Optical Drives: 10x BLU-RAY RE-WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW
Graphics Card: 1GB ATI RADEON HD 5770 PCI EXPRESS
Soundcards: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card OEM
WiFi: WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps PCI EXPRESS CARD
FireWire: 3 Port IEEE 1394a Firewire PCI Card
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit


4) CCL COMPUTERS.com - TOTAL £2083

Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA X58A-UD3R Socket 1366 Motherboard
CPU: OC Intel® Core i7 Quad Core Processor i7-930 (2.8GHz @ max 3.8GHz)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 Dual Radiator and Fan Quiet CPU Cooler
120mm Fans: 2 x Noctua NF-P14 FLX Vortex-Control 120/140mm Quiet Case Fan
Power Supply: 680W Be Quiet! Straight Power E7 Modular PSU
Memory: 12GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kit
SSD Drive: 128GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series SATA2 2.5"
Hard Drive 1: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black 3.5" Hard Disk Drive
Hard Drive 2: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black 3.5" Hard Disk Drive
Optical Drives: LG BH10LS30 Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter and DVDRW Drive
Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X 1GB
Soundcards: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card OEM
WiFi: D-Link DWA-547 PCI Wireless Adaptor
FireWire: StarTech 2 Port FireWire PCI Card
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

- The price also includes 1 x Edimax Mini BlueTooth Dongle , 1 x Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Paste and 1 x Akasa Cable Management Kit .

______________________________________

So - and please bear with me if you will - these are pretty much the core components of the system:

Case: I've chosen the Corsair 770D (800D in the last case due to lack of availability) because I read that it has a good airflow and hopefully it will be quite silent with a soundproofing kit. Also I like the utilitarian aesthetics of it. My second choice is the Black Fractal Design 'Define' R2 Computer Case so if you have an opinion please tell me.

CPU: I think that an i7 930 would be adequate but I would still like to know if I'l be needing something more powerful like a i7 950.

CPU Cooler: I'd like to get the most silent CPU Cooler from the list above so tell me your opinion please.

Power Supply: I think that a 650W will be adequate (If a 700W PSU was used in one of the above lists it is because of the lack of availability of a lower voltage unit). Most Importantly it has to be as silent as it can be so please tell me which of the aforementioned PSUs would more suitable.

Hard Drives: I will need a Solid State Drive for booting Windows, Adobe Suite and my most used applications and preferably 2TB space for storing designs, photographs, music and some TV shows. The setup used can include 2x1TB Spinpoints, 1x1TB Caviar Black+1TB Caviar Green or 2x1TB Caviar Green although it won't make a substantial amount of difference.

Memory: I think that it's best I have 12GB RAM for maximum performance (I've chosen 1600Mhz in all cases because I think that it has better bandwidth/latency times) - Not that important anyhow since it wont affect the price that much.

Optical Drives: I've chosen a Blu Ray Rewriter because I'd like to store Design Libraries permanently as a precaution for a worst case scenario regarding my external hard drives.

Graphics Card: This is the most confusing choice of all. As I said earlier I won't be doing any gaming so I would like a card which balances performance with the ability to keep temperatures and noise in a low level. I don't know if the card performance will benefit Photoshop or Illustrator but I would also like to choose something that will future-proof my system in case of some light CAD work. My choices are; the ATI Radeon HD 5750 VaporX - 1 GB , the ATI Radeon HD 5850 VaporX - 1 GB or if you think that I will be needing a non gaming card then I'll go for the NVIDIA GTX 460 768 MB. - NOTE: My monitor will be the DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” and since it will be running a 2560 x 1440 resolution I don't know if it will contribute to the choice of a certain card. Please tell me what you think.

Graphics Card Cooler: I don't know if it will make a substantial difference to the noise/temperature of the whole system since I don't know whether my current use will even stress the card up to that level but I can get it a precaution.
______________________________________

I know it was a pretty long post so thank you for going through it. I'd be grateful for any advice or recommendation that you can give regarding the components of the system, the preconfigured systems from the different websites, or even the vendors themselves in case you have previous experience with them since the reviews I've read about them online aren't quite exactly the most objective. Thanks again in advance for your much appreciated input.

-Mark
August 31, 2010 12:20:55 AM

As you say, this is a long post so I haven't read it all through yet, but looking at your graphics card summary at the end, if you are definitely not going to be doing any gaming, then you should rather get a workstation card, like this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002657HVW/ref=asc_df_B00265...

This will bump up your budget to the 2500 area instead of 2000 however. Also if you plan on ever gaming, do not consider this card.

If this is bumping your budget up too much, then I would definitely recommend a GTX460 1GB over anything else.

Also, you definitely don't need to consider a gpu cooler if you're not going to over clock.

Edit:

Are you going to be over clocking at all? If you're not, you also don't need the cpu cooler, the stock one supplied with the cpu will be plenty good enough.
August 31, 2010 1:38:01 AM

Quote:
P.S. I was planning on buying a 27" i7 Apple IMac with 8GB RAM / 2GB HD or an entry level Apple Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.8GHz Xeon but changed my mind when I realized that a custom built system would be a wiser financial choice. If you have an opinion about this decision I would love to hear it.

Excellent choice.

PS: Do you know why those "artists" pick Macs? It's because they have better color due to the IPS panels. Either way, they are over priced. IPS based LCDs have been coming down in price in the past 6 months. There was a 22 or 23" HP with an IPS for $250-300 or so on sale a few weeks ago.

Quote:
Case: I've chosen the Corsair 770D (800D in the last case due to lack of availability) because I read that it has a good airflow and hopefully it will be quite silent with a soundproofing kit. Also I like the utilitarian aesthetics of it. My second choice is the Black Fractal Design 'Define' R2 Computer Case so if you have an opinion please tell me.


CPU: I think that an i7 930 would be adequate but I would still like to know if I'l be needing something more powerful like a i7 950.


CPU Cooler: I'd like to get the most silent CPU Cooler from the list above so tell me your opinion please.


Power Supply: I think that a 650W will be adequate (If a 700W PSU was used in one of the above lists it is because of the lack of availability of a lower voltage unit). Most Importantly it has to be as silent as it can be so please tell me which of the aforementioned PSUs would more suitable.


Hard Drives: I will need a Solid State Drive for booting Windows, Adobe Suite and my most used applications and preferably 2TB space for storing designs, photographs, music and some TV shows. The setup used can include 2x1TB Spinpoints, 1x1TB Caviar Black+1TB Caviar Green or 2x1TB Caviar Green although it won't make a substantial amount of difference.


Memory: I think that it's best I have 12GB RAM for maximum performance (I've chosen 1600Mhz in all cases because I think that it has better bandwidth/latency times) - Not that important anyhow since it wont affect the price that much.


Optical Drives: I've chosen a Blu Ray Rewriter because I'd like to store Design Libraries permanently as a precaution for a worst case scenario regarding my external hard drives.


Graphics Card: This is the most confusing choice of all. As I said earlier I won't be doing any gaming so I would like a card which balances performance with the ability to keep temperatures and noise in a low level. I don't know if the card performance will benefit Photoshop or Illustrator but I would also like to choose something that will future-proof my system in case of some light CAD work. My choices are; the ATI Radeon HD 5750 VaporX - 1 GB , the ATI Radeon HD 5850 VaporX - 1 GB or if you think that I will be needing a non gaming card then I'll go for the NVIDIA GTX 460 768 MB. - NOTE: My monitor will be the DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” and since it will be running a 2560 x 1440 resolution I don't know if it will contribute to the choice of a certain card. Please tell me what you think.


Graphics Card Cooler: I don't know if it will make a substantial difference to the noise/temperature of the whole system since I don't know whether my current use will even stress the card up to that level but I can get it a precaution.

1. The Corsair is an excellent case. The Fractal, imo is more of a case to be modded by you (check up on bit tech for this stuff). You may want to add the trusty HAF 932/922 to the list. If needed, you can swap out the bright LED fans with some Scythe Slipstreams with no LEDs.

2. i7 930 will do you fine.

3. A QUALITY 650W PSU is more than enough for a 5870/480. However, keep in mind, by quality I'm talking about the likes of Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, XFX, SeaSonic, and Antec.

4. If you want an SSD, stick with a Intel/SandForce based drive. The Kingston V series isn't that great of an SSD. As for the HDD, get the Samsung F3s or WD Blacks. Don't get the WD greens as they are quite slow.

5. I have no experience with those new BD drives so no comment.

6. GIVEN the fact that you are running CS5, I recommend you stick with an nVidia card due to GPU acceleration for things like Zoom,etc. A GTX460 will do fine.

7. You don't need a cooler for the GPU. As for the quietest coolers, the Noctua seems to be the quietest with excellent cooling on that list. If you want, you can swap out the fans with some Scythe Gentle Typhoons. Keep in mind, the fans ain't cheap!
Related resources
August 31, 2010 1:28:10 PM

rikishi19 said:
As you say, this is a long post so I haven't read it all through yet, but looking at your graphics card summary at the end, if you are definitely not going to be doing any gaming, then you should rather get a workstation card, like this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002657HVW/ref=asc_df_B00265...

This will bump up your budget to the 2500 area instead of 2000 however. Also if you plan on ever gaming, do not consider this card.

If this is bumping your budget up too much, then I would definitely recommend a GTX460 1GB over anything else.

Also, you definitely don't need to consider a gpu cooler if you're not going to over clock.

Edit:

Are you going to be over clocking at all? If you're not, you also don't need the cpu cooler, the stock one supplied with the cpu will be plenty good enough.



Thank you for answering rikishi19, and no there will be no gaming whatsoever or overclocking. The main reason I've narrowed down my choice to the two ATI Radeon HD 5750 & 5850 VaporX - 1 GB is because I've read in comparison threads that they have lower temperatures than their nVIDIA equivalents. I will seriously consider the GTX460 1GB then but since my current use wont require any substantial 3D rendering capabilities I think that the nVIDIA Quadro FX 1800 768MB might be a slight overkill. Anyhow, I will take both recommendations under serious consideration and thank you again.
August 31, 2010 1:52:33 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
P.S. I was planning on buying a 27" i7 Apple IMac with 8GB RAM / 2GB HD or an entry level Apple Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.8GHz Xeon but changed my mind when I realized that a custom built system would be a wiser financial choice. If you have an opinion about this decision I would love to hear it.

Excellent choice.

PS: Do you know why those "artists" pick Macs? It's because they have better color due to the IPS panels. Either way, they are over priced. IPS based LCDs have been coming down in price in the past 6 months. There was a 22 or 23" HP with an IPS for $250-300 or so on sale a few weeks ago.

Quote:
Case: I've chosen the Corsair 770D (800D in the last case due to lack of availability) because I read that it has a good airflow and hopefully it will be quite silent with a soundproofing kit. Also I like the utilitarian aesthetics of it. My second choice is the Black Fractal Design 'Define' R2 Computer Case so if you have an opinion please tell me.


CPU: I think that an i7 930 would be adequate but I would still like to know if I'l be needing something more powerful like a i7 950.


CPU Cooler: I'd like to get the most silent CPU Cooler from the list above so tell me your opinion please.


Power Supply: I think that a 650W will be adequate (If a 700W PSU was used in one of the above lists it is because of the lack of availability of a lower voltage unit). Most Importantly it has to be as silent as it can be so please tell me which of the aforementioned PSUs would more suitable.


Hard Drives: I will need a Solid State Drive for booting Windows, Adobe Suite and my most used applications and preferably 2TB space for storing designs, photographs, music and some TV shows. The setup used can include 2x1TB Spinpoints, 1x1TB Caviar Black+1TB Caviar Green or 2x1TB Caviar Green although it won't make a substantial amount of difference.


Memory: I think that it's best I have 12GB RAM for maximum performance (I've chosen 1600Mhz in all cases because I think that it has better bandwidth/latency times) - Not that important anyhow since it wont affect the price that much.


Optical Drives: I've chosen a Blu Ray Rewriter because I'd like to store Design Libraries permanently as a precaution for a worst case scenario regarding my external hard drives.


Graphics Card: This is the most confusing choice of all. As I said earlier I won't be doing any gaming so I would like a card which balances performance with the ability to keep temperatures and noise in a low level. I don't know if the card performance will benefit Photoshop or Illustrator but I would also like to choose something that will future-proof my system in case of some light CAD work. My choices are; the ATI Radeon HD 5750 VaporX - 1 GB , the ATI Radeon HD 5850 VaporX - 1 GB or if you think that I will be needing a non gaming card then I'll go for the NVIDIA GTX 460 768 MB. - NOTE: My monitor will be the DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” and since it will be running a 2560 x 1440 resolution I don't know if it will contribute to the choice of a certain card. Please tell me what you think.


Graphics Card Cooler: I don't know if it will make a substantial difference to the noise/temperature of the whole system since I don't know whether my current use will even stress the card up to that level but I can get it a precaution.

1. The Corsair is an excellent case. The Fractal, imo is more of a case to be modded by you (check up on bit tech for this stuff). You may want to add the trusty HAF 932/922 to the list. If needed, you can swap out the bright LED fans with some Scythe Slipstreams with no LEDs.

2. i7 930 will do you fine.

3. A QUALITY 650W PSU is more than enough for a 5870/480. However, keep in mind, by quality I'm talking about the likes of Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, XFX, SeaSonic, and Antec.

4. If you want an SSD, stick with a Intel/SandForce based drive. The Kingston V series isn't that great of an SSD. As for the HDD, get the Samsung F3s or WD Blacks. Don't get the WD greens as they are quite slow.

5. I have no experience with those new BD drives so no comment.

6. GIVEN the fact that you are running CS5, I recommend you stick with an nVidia card due to GPU acceleration for things like Zoom,etc. A GTX460 will do fine.

7. You don't need a cooler for the GPU. As for the quietest coolers, the Noctua seems to be the quietest with excellent cooling on that list. If you want, you can swap out the fans with some Scythe Gentle Typhoons. Keep in mind, the fans ain't cheap!


Shadow70379, thank you for your input, and yes I was wondering why the Macs are the artists default system of choice - I assumed that their excellent product design and overall aesthetics are the main reason (and the reason that I've been wanting one to be honest) as well as the strong brand identity, I guess) Nevertheless, I think that my DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” has an advantage over the iMac because of the non glossy surface so that wont be a problem. I still wish I could afford a Top Spec Mac Pro (even if I never worked on a Mac).

About the rest,

1. I was considering the Fractal Design 'Define' R2 mainly because of its looks and for the fact that it provides soundproofing. I'm still leaning towards the Corsair 770D even though the Coolermaster HAF 932 has a rather nice industrial design without the LEDs.

2. The i7 930 is my choice as well.

3. I will probably go with a silent Corsair TX650 for a PSU.

4. I actually thought that Kingston and Corsair SSD were more premium than Intel but thank you for pointing it out. As for the storage Hard Drives I will go either for the Samsung Spinpoints or the Caviar Blacks.

6. I'll also consider the nVIDIA GTX460 as well.

7. If a GPU cooler isn't important for my system use then I wont add one and I will change my fans with the quite Scythe Gentle Typhoons.

Thanks again for your input.
August 31, 2010 4:24:43 PM

Quote:

Shadow70379, thank you for your input, and yes I was wondering why the Macs are the artists default system of choice - I assumed that their excellent product design and overall aesthetics are the main reason (and the reason that I've been wanting one to be honest) as well as the strong brand identity, I guess) Nevertheless, I think that my DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” has an advantage over the iMac because of the non glossy surface so that wont be a problem. I still wish I could afford a Top Spec Mac Pro (even if I never worked on a Mac).

You sir, have an IPS based LCD, no worries there. After all, AnandTech (one of the few sites that do proper LCD reviews) gave it a very good review and even an Editors Choice: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2922/7
The software that are available on OSX are usually available on Windows as well (or you can easilly fine a replacement that will run on Windows), and as long as you have a good AV, Firewall, and common sense (which many computer users seem to lack imo) you'll be fine with Win 7. And yes, I too hate glossy screens, covers,etc.

Quote:


1. I was considering the Fractal Design 'Define' R2 mainly because of its looks and for the fact that it provides soundproofing. I'm still leaning towards the Corsair 770D even though the Coolermaster HAF 932 has a rather nice industrial design without the LEDs.

Cases are all personal preference. Pick what you like.

Quote:


4. I actually thought that Kingston and Corsair SSD were more premium than Intel but thank you for pointing it out. As for the storage Hard Drives I will go either for the Samsung Spinpoints or the Caviar Blacks.

The Corsair SSDs based on the SandForce 1200 or better are a bit better than the Intel controller in terms of IOPS. The Kingston V series uses an older controller made by Samsung (IIRC). However, the Kingston M series uses the Intel controller and is comparable to the X25-M G2: http://www.kingston.com/ukroot/ssd/m_series.asp


PS: Run Firefox + AdBlockPlus + NoScript.
August 31, 2010 7:24:04 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:

Shadow70379, thank you for your input, and yes I was wondering why the Macs are the artists default system of choice - I assumed that their excellent product design and overall aesthetics are the main reason (and the reason that I've been wanting one to be honest) as well as the strong brand identity, I guess) Nevertheless, I think that my DELL UltraSharp U2711 27” has an advantage over the iMac because of the non glossy surface so that wont be a problem. I still wish I could afford a Top Spec Mac Pro (even if I never worked on a Mac).

You sir, have an IPS based LCD, no worries there. After all, AnandTech (one of the few sites that do proper LCD reviews) gave it a very good review and even an Editors Choice: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2922/7
The software that are available on OSX are usually available on Windows as well (or you can easilly fine a replacement that will run on Windows), and as long as you have a good AV, Firewall, and common sense (which many computer users seem to lack imo) you'll be fine with Win 7. And yes, I too hate glossy screens, covers,etc.

Quote:

1. I was considering the Fractal Design 'Define' R2 mainly because of its looks and for the fact that it provides soundproofing. I'm still leaning towards the Corsair 770D even though the Coolermaster HAF 932 has a rather nice industrial design without the LEDs.

Cases are all personal preference. Pick what you like.

Quote:

4. I actually thought that Kingston and Corsair SSD were more premium than Intel but thank you for pointing it out. As for the storage Hard Drives I will go either for the Samsung Spinpoints or the Caviar Blacks.

The Corsair SSDs based on the SandForce 1200 or better are a bit better than the Intel controller in terms of IOPS. The Kingston V series uses an older controller made by Samsung (IIRC). However, the Kingston M series uses the Intel controller and is comparable to the X25-M G2: http://www.kingston.com/ukroot/ssd/m_series.asp


PS: Run Firefox + AdBlockPlus + NoScript.



I've been using Windows for the last 15 years so I don't have an opinion about the OSX, but I agree 100% with you regarding the Mac. It was purely a "superficial" curiosity, maybe because Apple's further penetration into the mainstream made me wonder if I truly needed that beautiful aluminium piece of engineering; but then logic kicked in.

The information about the Solid State Drives is very useful and I will chose accordingly. Thank you for your input once again.


August 31, 2010 7:37:18 PM

marcos0 said:
The information about the Solid State Drives is very useful and I will chose accordingly. Thank you for your input once again.


Shadow's advice on SSDs is spot-on.

Tom's posted an article within the last day or two on SSDs that largely backs up those points.

My recommendation for the past couple of months has been: under 256 GB, a SandForce-1200 drive (Mushkin Callisto, G.Skill Phoenix, Corsair Force, OCZ Vertex2/Agility2, etc.). At 256 GB, the Crucial C300. If the Intel X25-M falls exactly into your budget, while one of the aforementioned drives does not, and you have a need for more than 60 GB, it's still a fine choice, though it is slower than the SandForce-1200 disks on some measures.
August 31, 2010 8:06:05 PM

^ Yup. I just finished reading the SSD review. It's more or less what Anand has been saying too.

Quote:
though it is slower than the SandForce-1200 disks on some measures.

Agreed, in either case, there is no denying any drive on Intel/SandForce are significantly faster than old HDD tech.
August 31, 2010 9:50:46 PM

coldsleep said:
Shadow's advice on SSDs is spot-on.

Tom's posted an article within the last day or two on SSDs that largely backs up those points.

My recommendation for the past couple of months has been: under 256 GB, a SandForce-1200 drive (Mushkin Callisto, G.Skill Phoenix, Corsair Force, OCZ Vertex2/Agility2, etc.). At 256 GB, the Crucial C300. If the Intel X25-M falls exactly into your budget, while one of the aforementioned drives does not, and you have a need for more than 60 GB, it's still a fine choice, though it is slower than the SandForce-1200 disks on some measures.


At almost £500 the Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB will derail my budget since I mainly need the SSD for Windows booting along with Adobe Suite, iTunes, Office and my most used applications. Therefore I think that the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB, the Crucial C300 128GB or the G.Skill Phoenix PRO 120GB would be more suitable selections and within budget. Thank you for the recommendation, I didn't put as much thought as I should in the SSD choice because I thought that any SSD would be better than booting from a Hard Drive but it seems that this is not the case.
August 31, 2010 10:01:47 PM

Well, any SSD is likely to be better at simply booting than a traditional hard drive, but they're not going to be better in all tasks.

I'd recommend the Vertex 2 or G.Skill Phoenix Pro. I have the Crucial C300 128 GB myself, and while it's fine, it's not significantly faster on reads, and it's slower on writes than the SandForce 1200 SSDs. If they had been available when I made my purchase, I probably would not have bought the 128 GB C300.
August 31, 2010 11:33:50 PM

Quote:
Well, any SSD is likely to be better at simply booting than a traditional hard drive, but they're not going to be better in all tasks.


I'd recommend the Vertex 2 or G.Skill Phoenix Pro. I have the Crucial C300 128 GB myself, and while it's fine, it's not significantly faster on reads, and it's slower on writes than the SandForce 1200 SSDs. If they had been available when I made my purchase, I probably would not have bought the 128 GB C300.

+1. And yeah, SSDs are NOT created equal, even with the same controller as Anand has proven that Firmware can have quite a big issue on performance. For example, a while back Anand did a review of a normal SF1200 drive against a OCZ (IIRC) SF1200 based drive with a specially customized firmware and there was a bit of a difference between the two. In either case, the SSD market is much better now. Any one still remember the JMicron controller fiasco?

I'll see if I can find it.

Edit: I think this is it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-specia...
September 1, 2010 12:21:17 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:
Well, any SSD is likely to be better at simply booting than a traditional hard drive, but they're not going to be better in all tasks.


I'd recommend the Vertex 2 or G.Skill Phoenix Pro. I have the Crucial C300 128 GB myself, and while it's fine, it's not significantly faster on reads, and it's slower on writes than the SandForce 1200 SSDs. If they had been available when I made my purchase, I probably would not have bought the 128 GB C300.

+1. And yeah, SSDs are NOT created equal, even with the same controller as Anand has proven that Firmware can have quite a big issue on performance. For example, a while back Anand did a review of a normal SF1200 drive against a OCZ (IIRC) SF1200 based drive with a specially customized firmware and there was a bit of a difference between the two. In either case, the SSD market is much better now. Any one still remember the JMicron controller fiasco?

I'll see if I can find it.

Edit: I think this is it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-specia...


After reading Anandtech's review plus a couple of more I found comparing the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB I think it might be the best choice as it has immense performance and a very reasonable price tag. Thank you for this information; at least it will put my mind at ease regarding the SSD selection.
September 1, 2010 12:39:17 AM

I'm gonna kick myself for chiming in here, as I'm just now about to do my first build, but a couple of thoughts from a non-expert.

Rather than the 5750s or 5850s, why not the Sapphire 5670 Ultimate? It's passively cooled, produces very little noise at load, sips power which means the fans on the PSU don't have to work as much (see below), and is very cool (14 C below the 5750 at load) which means other fans can be set lower or you can have fewer of them. Uses newer GDDR5 memory, supports DirectX 11, supports 2560x1600 resolution, recommends a 400W PSU, and supports Eyefinity. It also costs $115 on newegg.

Google some of the reviews... cool, low power, and quiet. It's decent on games and, though I know you said you don't care about gaming, some of that GPU processing power will come to bear in the very near future as different rendering solutions (e.g., Luxrender) add GPU support. I bought it for light gaming on a machine that will primarily render and photoshop.

The only warning I have about the card is that you'll want a fairly wide case. In my old 8.5" wide case, it can barely squeeze in with the side fans (which take away 3/4", meaning you'll need at least an 8" case if you don't want to sweat it. Your Obsidian case (9" with no side fans) should be plenty big.

I'm also using the Caviar Green 1.5 TB. Should definitely NOT be your OS drive, but another power sipper with low heat on the disk.

I'm also using the i7-930, though it may end up being the hottest damn thing in my box... depends on the chip I get. I'm actively searching for cooling solutions now.

I'm also using the Crucial C300 SSD 128 GB that others mentioned... I wish they hadn't. I hear it's very fast on reads if your board supports SATA III, the memory controllers are updated (recent firmware update), and you're running an OS that supports TRIM (like W7).

If you're not running at heavy load all the time, the SeaSonics could be a good choice for your PSU. They don't even run a fan until 20%, and then (I believe) the fans scale up with load. They have several good choices at 80 plus gold.

EDIT: I should also mention that you'll need a modern motherboard. It runs off of a PCI-e 2.1 slot (2.0 is fine, but 1.0 will likely not be).
September 1, 2010 3:18:56 AM

Quote:

I'm also using the Crucial C300 SSD 128 GB that others mentioned... I wish they hadn't. I hear it's very fast on reads if your board supports SATA III, the memory controllers are updated (recent firmware update), and you're running an OS that supports TRIM (like W7).

All the boards OP listed have SATAIII. As for GPU, the OP uses CS5, which means that he can get CUDA acceleration for things like Zoom,3D,etc with an nVidia card.
September 1, 2010 12:49:33 PM

pedrov said:
I'm gonna kick myself for chiming in here, as I'm just now about to do my first build, but a couple of thoughts from a non-expert.

Rather than the 5750s or 5850s, why not the Sapphire 5670 Ultimate? It's passively cooled, produces very little noise at load, sips power which means the fans on the PSU don't have to work as much (see below), and is very cool (14 C below the 5750 at load) which means other fans can be set lower or you can have fewer of them. Uses newer GDDR5 memory, supports DirectX 11, supports 2560x1600 resolution, recommends a 400W PSU, and supports Eyefinity. It also costs $115 on newegg.

Google some of the reviews... cool, low power, and quiet. It's decent on games and, though I know you said you don't care about gaming, some of that GPU processing power will come to bear in the very near future as different rendering solutions (e.g., Luxrender) add GPU support. I bought it for light gaming on a machine that will primarily render and photoshop.

The only warning I have about the card is that you'll want a fairly wide case. In my old 8.5" wide case, it can barely squeeze in with the side fans (which take away 3/4", meaning you'll need at least an 8" case if you don't want to sweat it. Your Obsidian case (9" with no side fans) should be plenty big.

I'm also using the Caviar Green 1.5 TB. Should definitely NOT be your OS drive, but another power sipper with low heat on the disk.

I'm also using the i7-930, though it may end up being the hottest damn thing in my box... depends on the chip I get. I'm actively searching for cooling solutions now.

I'm also using the Crucial C300 SSD 128 GB that others mentioned... I wish they hadn't. I hear it's very fast on reads if your board supports SATA III, the memory controllers are updated (recent firmware update), and you're running an OS that supports TRIM (like W7).

If you're not running at heavy load all the time, the SeaSonics could be a good choice for your PSU. They don't even run a fan until 20%, and then (I believe) the fans scale up with load. They have several good choices at 80 plus gold.

EDIT: I should also mention that you'll need a modern motherboard. It runs off of a PCI-e 2.1 slot (2.0 is fine, but 1.0 will likely not be).


To be honest I didn't even think about using an ATI Card lower than the Radeon HD 5750 & 5850 1 GB; the fact that they came in Vapor-X Editions was an extra reason to go for these two. Since I was recommended the nVIDIA GTX460 1GB though, which pretty much has a similar performance-to-power consumption balance, I started to think that it'd a more appropriate choice for what I'll be using it for and if I decide that I'd like to further future-proof my system I might go for a low end nVIDIA Quadro.

I'll be using a OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD for my OS booting and even though I was initially considering using 2x1TB Caviar Greens as my storage drives, I've decided that I'd like to have more performance oriented drives internally and use external storage for everything else, therefore I think that Caviar Blacks or Samsung Spinpoints would be a better choice.

As for the PSU, I've been considering using either the Corsair TX550W or the Corsair TX650W. I have read good reviews about this line saying that they are very silent, I'm not entirely certain about the power I will be needing though.

Thank you for your opinion.
September 1, 2010 9:04:58 PM

Quote:

As for the PSU, I've been considering using either the Corsair TX550W or the Corsair TX650W. I have read good reviews about this line saying that they are very silent, I'm not entirely certain about the power I will be needing though.

A Corsair 650TX has plenty of headroom for your setup.
September 2, 2010 2:24:16 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:

As for the PSU, I've been considering using either the Corsair TX550W or the Corsair TX650W. I have read good reviews about this line saying that they are very silent, I'm not entirely certain about the power I will be needing though.

A Corsair 650TX has plenty of headroom for your setup.


Indeed, I was worried that it might be somewhat of an overkill since I've read that if you don't have a really power consuming GPU then you don't need a very powerful PSU, my opinion though is that a 650W is just fine and the Corsair TX650W performs quite silently.
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