System for RAW photo processing, video editing

BUDGET RANGE: Under $1000 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: RAW photo processing (Bibble Pro, Canon 10MP RAW), Video editing (Sony AVCHD), light gaming (Urban Terror, Alien Arena



COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)



SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Primary OS will be Ubuntu, but will probably also run Win7. Upgrading from a Dell Inspiron E1705, Centrino Duo T2500 2Ghz bought in 2006.

This is what I'm considering:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

6GB DDR3 1800 RAM

ASRock 890FX DELUXE3 AM3 AMD 890FX (Need firewire for old videocam)

Radeon HD 4850 1GB

Antec 300 Case

Antec NEO ECO 620C Power Suppy

3 6GB/s 1TB drives (1 for OS, 1 for photos, 1 for video ) $90 each

ViewSonic VP2365wb Black 23"IPS LCD Monitor


Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I have a couple of 1TB 3GB/s drives currently being used for photo/video. Is it worth $90 each to replace them with 6GB/s drives?
This will be my main machine for probably 4 years.

Currently priced out at nearly $1500 at NewEgg. How can I get this down closer to $1000?

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    It is absolutely not worth it to replace your hard drives. Just because a hard drive can use the 6Gb/s SATA bus doesn't mean it can physically transfer data that fast; platter based hard drives will probably never reach 6Gb/s speeds. You only should consider 6Gb/s for SSDs. You should consider adding an SSD as your boot disk, though, they increase the general productivity performance of a PC considerably. The relative impact of an SSD is explored in this recent Tom's Hardware article:,2730.html

    I would suggest this highly rated 64GB Crucial C300 SSD for $148:

    or the 128GB version for $279:

    If you still need a 1TB hard drive, there is a sale on the Samsung Spinpoint F3 for $60:

    You can shave alot of money off of that ram kit. Phenom IIs have a dual channel memory controller, so you want memory in pairs (usually 2x2GB). A decent 2x2GB memory kit runs around $80. I think 4GB is enough, even for the memory intensive programs you use, and you will get a performance benefit from running the ram in parallel.

    If you're planning on overclocking, the Phenom II 955 is just as good as the 965. They both have unlocked multipliers so all you have to do is change the multiplier in the BIOS and they're the same.

    Here's a combo with a Phenom II 955 and and a Samsung 24x SATA DVD Burner w/Lightscribe for $162:

    And here's a combo with a 4GB OCZ DDR3 1600 CL8 Dual Channel Memory Kit and a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for $155:

    If you haven't looked at the available combos yet, here is one for your case and psu for $112:

    The video card you picked is out of stock, and I'm pretty sure it's out of production. Here is the equivalent from Sapphire for $102:

    With these combos, one new hard drive, and no SSDs it come to $1082 (including shipping and rebates).

    With the 64 GB SSD: $1230
    With the 128 GB SSD: $1361
  2. 1. AMD X4 runs in dual channel, having 6 GB (2+2+1+1) is just wasting mem slot, having 2+2+2, is not optimal since it will run single channel, having 3+3...hmmm...not available. Since you will gain much benefit from more RAM for your editing, I would say get 8GB RAM.

    2. SSD is not really necessary, if you are running out of budget, you can add the later. SSD can only help by booting, and loading apps, almost no effect on editing or rendering speed and frame rate by games.

    3. HD4850? If you don't play games, that one is a big overkill. HD5450 should enough for you. If you play games, HD5770 or HD5850 is more recommendable for their DX11 .

    4. NO to OCZ RAMs, get G.Skill, PATRIOT; Kingston, Mushkin, Crucial or Corsair

    5. THe Antec combo is very nice...but you have to hurry or the bundle will disappear..
  3. ANd...if your editing software can run under good multithreading, you can consider having X6 or i7 920 for your system (more cores).
  4. Relevant to your interests. G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 CL9 1.5v kit. For $160 with the promo code EMCYXYN44; these won't last long.
  5. Great suggestions! Great catch on the dual channel memory. Is there any reason to go with DDR1800 vs DDR1600?

    I do some gaming but nothing bleeding edge thus the HD4850.

    The RAW processing software claims near linear improvement with more cores but I think I might be better off spending the $$ on more memory instead of 2 more cores.

    I'll skip the SSD and go with an existing 500GB that I have.

    Thanks for all the feedback!!
  6. Best answer selected by thepower.
  7. No need to go 1800 for RAM.
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