Help 3 Compu $2500-3000 Photoshop/Illustraor, NAS and budget gaming

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $2500-$3000 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
System A) Massive multitasking of Photoshop/Illustrator
System B) NAS with RAID 1, do not care about speed just redundancy
System C) Budget gaming system with best bang for best video card (must replace Q8200 w/ ATI 5750)

Parts Not Required:
System A) Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse (if budget allows would like a nice setup)
System B) No idea what a homebuilt NAS system needs but I have extra monitors/keyboards/mouses
System C) Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type
Only preference is System A be an i7 9xx series.

Overclocking: No for all

SLI or Crossfire: No, I'm a single GPU guy.

Monitor Resolution:
System A) 1920x1080
System B) No idea
System C) 1680x1050

Additional Comments:

My mom owns a small print shop and she's upgrading her systems. Need help, would require OS's on all system and if anybody knows the best place to buy CS4/5 / Corel / Office I'm all ears also.

Main system is replacing an old PowerPC with older CS2. I finally convinced her the price difference (for computers) is worth getting the software (she doesn't understand the point of versions, she thinks they're all good). I would like an SSD and would not require on computer backup space. System will be in a dusty area.

If budget allows I would like to throw in a better monitor, sometimes I feel horrible for the typesetter who works on the computer. Also one of those pen tablets, and a ergonomic keyboard/mouse combo.

2nd system is a NAS box. Need redundancy, speed is secondary. She just lost a WD netcenter and it was catastrophic. Decided it was better to build a NAS box that doesn't use ReiserFS I am open to those pre-made ones but I have no idea if they're worth it.

3rd system is going to replace mine. I'll be giving her my q8200 system w XFX 5750 as the e-mail computer. It'll be replacing the last system I build which was an Athlon X2 something? It was a long time ago. Doesn't have to be the best, just has to beat the older system and be the best bang for the buck.

Reliability is my main concern. I started looking at the newegg combo deals and there is always one part that scares me (either the video card or the mobo).

I'm hoping I can squeeze software in (OS for all, graphic design software one A) in the budget but I can stretch this to just be hardware cost.

Thanks all for saving my behind. Wish my parents wanted something normal like a vacation.

Going to sleep after reading more reviews on newegg. Hope I get some suggestions by tomorrow. My mom been calling me every day asking if I bought her computers yet. Some tech-savy person please save me.
53 answers Last reply
More about help compu 2500 3000 photoshop illustraor budget gaming
  1. System 1)
    i7 950 + ASUS Sabertooth

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB
    $20 off w/ promo code EMCZNYN75, ends 12/8

    Antec 300 + OS

    GT430 - CUDA would help with PS

    Seasonic 520W - Modular, 5 years warranty

    Boot drive - OCZ Vertex 2 60GB

    Data - Samsung F3 1TB


    Total - ~$1135

    System 2 NAS - With FreeNAS??
    Here is a basic setup for such a build
    Athlon X2

    Biostar 760G

    RAM -


    PSU - This deal expires in a day
    Corisar CX 430

    2x Samsung F4 2TB for RAID 1

    Total - ~$400

    System 3 - Budget gaming
    X4 955

    Gigbayte 870A + OS


    CASE -

    PSU -
    OCZ Mod 500W

    GPU - XFX HD 6870

    Samsung F3 1TB

    DVD - Same as system 1

    Total - ~$830
  2. ^ :P Pretty long post...
    And check this article about the FreeNAS
  3. Thanks, reading up on it now. More things to research, was hoping to buy everything by the end of this week.

    Are those pre-build NAS boxes any good? Wondering for my own sanity (would love less things to troubleshoot).
  4. Bump would it change things if I got rid of a NAS box and added RAID 1 to the Q8200 system?

    Thinking theres no point to make an extra system.

    Also the emails is 50% of the things needed to be saved.

    Thanks all
  5. evilferret said:
    Bump would it change things if I got rid of a NAS box and added RAID 1 to the Q8200 system?

    Thinking theres no point to make an extra system.

    Also the emails is 50% of the things needed to be saved.

    Thanks all

    Yeah just replace the new NAS cpu/mobo/ram/psu/case(the ones gkay listed) with the ones you already have(the q8200 system) and you're good to go ;)
  6. I might scrap the idea of a NAS box and just fix up the Q8200 system to have Raid and be the email server.

    The more questions answered, the more I need answered.

    Thanks community!
  7. Decided to scrap the NAS box and just add Raid 1 to the Q8200 system.

    The mobo does not have a onboard Raid controller so need a Raid controller.

    Can anybody point me to one? Also I should have no problems running the OS off the controller?

    Possibly frees up more budget (need to finalize what software/prices are).

    Also are dust filters and extra fans worth it? And any help on tablets would be great. The only brand I know is Wacom.

    Also how would I check if the video card fits in the case? Sorry, just want to triple check before I order tomorrow.

    Also more options for builds would make my day! I love options!
  8. ^ Yeah you can make the Q8200 system a NAS box, and which mobo do you have? For a simple RAID system, the onboard RAID would suffice IMO or even the s/w RAID might be fine...
    So before you purchase a RAID controller card, just check those out...

    As for tablets, even take a look at Kworld Kanvus tablets, they seem to be good...

    Most of the case/ graphic card reviews have the length specified in their article, so you can make sure from that...
  9. Its a P5G41-M, doesn't have an onboard Raid.

    The video card says its 10.3" and the case length is 18.50". How much space does the HD bracket take away? Sorry feeling like a dumdum right now.

    More things to research, maybe I'll take mom out for dinner to buy me a another day of research.

    Thanks for all the input. Any idea on the dust filters/additional fans? Artic silver?

    Man I feel like an old fogey sometimes. I forget how fast the tech world moves.
  10. ^ Which case and GPU are you checking ?

    Skip the AS5, it is electrically conductive, get TX-2 or MX-2/ Noctual NH1...
    Dust filter -
    Or get this case which comes with dust filters and is very good
    Fans if needed -
  11. Is the thermal paste required on stock systems? I thought stock heatsinks can with some pre-applied.

    Thanks for all the help.
  12. ^ Actually not required, but with an aftermarket thermal paste, the temps come down by 2 or 3 degrees...
  13. Any suggestions for Raid controller? Last piece of the puzzle.

    So thinking of getting the other case you suggested the

    COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    and use that for the store and use the Antec for myself to keep the discount on the OS.

    How many more fans would you suggest?

    Sometimes I remember fondly the days of limited choices.

    I realized the Antec has a filter also. Would that be good enough? I was leaning more to the Rosewill but that Coolermaster seems nice too.

    And wow my budget might need to increase, I require at least Adobe Design Standard, Corel (either 11/12 or x3/4/5) and Office.

    Any benefit of buying the software off Adobe? I could at least use the 2% cashback from newegg.

    Blah if I'm upping my budget would you suggest a Quadro card or would the GTS be fine?
  14. It is hard to find cheap RAID controllers that get the job done without much trouble,...but will see if I can get one, also post in our Storage section in our forums, they might have good idea about it...

    CASE - Even that case has OS combo

    Fans - Maybe 1 for front intake...
  15. Jeebus the choices again. Definitely will post in the storage section next.

    I know I'm stressing way too much over the case but what would you say is the best for a dusty print shop? Hell I can't decide on mine either. Time to sleep.

    Thanks for all the input.
  16. Blah more changes. Decided just to use Raid 1 within Win 7 (so one of the OS's will have to be upgraded).

    Hey gkays any help on hotswappable? Has anything changed? Guessing 3 more 1tb's on the Q8200 system. Set 2 as in software Raid 1 and the 3rd I'll do my month backups and take it home with me.
  17. if your gonna buy an OS for the file server get windows home server it's dedicated exatcly to what you need from it.
  18. Motherboard & Processor Combo

    They is a Intel 980X Extreme Edition Golftown 3.33GHZ Six-Core Processor and an ASUS Rampage III Extreme Motherboard in this combo.

    Link To View -

    Price: $1344.99 USD

    Combo Discount: $34.99 USD

    Rebate Available: No



    This is G.Skill Ripjaw series 12 ( 3x4GB ) DDR3 @ 2000 Desktop Memory, great for multi-tasking, gaming and especially editing photos/videos with maximum speed and quality.

    Link To View -

    Price: $289.99 USD

    Rebate Available: No


    Hard Drive & Power Supply

    This is a HITACHI Deskstar 2TB 7200RPM Hard Drive, and a CORSAIR AX1200 1200W Power Supply, the Hard drive provide plenty of space for anything you'll have as well as great speed for accessing files. The Power supply is a great amount of watts, it will help support your processor and anything else you might throw at it.

    Link To View -

    Price: $384.98 USD

    Combo Discount: $25.00 USD

    Rebate Available: No


    Video/Graphics Card

    This is an EVGA GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB Graphics card, with great memory all of NVIDA's New technology this is a great card for videp/picture production AND Gaming. I know you're not looking for SLI but most cards are compatible with it so I suppose its a bonus if you ever consider upgrading the gaming side a bit. It also comes with a LIFETIME warranty, great feature to have.

    Link To View -

    Price: $349.99 USD

    Rebate Available: No


    CD/DVD Drive

    This is a SAMSUNG DVD/CD Drive with support for blu-ray AND Lightscribe. For someone who may be burning files to disc to show, lightscribe is a bonus, as well as it is to have Blu-Ray with the large budget you have.

    Link To View -

    Price: $79.99 USD

    Rebate Available: No


    Computer Housing / Case

    This is a Cooler Master HAF X Case that is great for keeping your system cool, clean, safe and stylish. Not much more too it.

    Link to View -

    Price: $199.99 USD

    Rebate Available: No


    Cooling System(s)

    I gave you a water cooling system by Thermaltake, because I feel this will work more efficiently, if you don't want on just tell me and I'll happily post CPU coolers, RAM coolers Etc. But I think you'll like the water cooling. No more fans are really needed due to the case you have loaded with them.

    Link To View -

    Price: $89.99

    Rebate Available: No


    Total: $2740.92 USD

    Just In between budget :)

    No I hope you like this build I made, sorry I didn't list it earlier but I think like half of those things come with free shipping anyways so you're looking at a pretty straight forward price. It took me a while to complete but if you don't like certain qualities of the build let me know and I'll fit it to your liking :), in case it already is the " Best Answer " Button is below :D

    Anyways Enjoy I really wanted to utilize the budget you had of $3000 USD, but if you want something cheaper again let me know I don't mind fixing it :)

    Enjoy, Satchel

    Purchase OS as you will still in budget :)

    EDIT: AWWWW CRAP I JUST SAY THE SYSTEM 1,2,3 Well sorry bout that but i'd go with gkay's suggestion then, looks pretty good. But if you want one big system choose mine :)
  19. Hahaha thanks Satchel.

    I wish I could just blow everything on the best but I know my mom isn't going to use it.

    Any other suggestions/revisions to gkay's lsit?
  20. Um if you give me a little bit I could have a little version of my own, but if you don't wanna wait i think gkay's is pretty good :) Any preference in intel/amd?
  21. For the store an i7 since its just a 2d workstation, PS/Illustrator.

    For the budget gaming, no real preferences. I just want setups that work together.

    I scrapped the NAS box, so I also need to find hotswappable trays and two good harddrives for software mirroring.

    Blah so my budget got upped to 3500-4500 but software is still killing me.

    Adobe/Office/Corel is taking 2200 out of my budget. Still looking for cheaper options and used ones.
  22. I can find some cheaper OS, and software, but heres the thing :

    Gkay has some great builds but I think you should add a few things to your NAS system, I noticed you had x2 2TB @5400RPM, I think you should up that to these:

    Spend an extra 30 bucks per HDD, but its gonna be slow enough accessing tons of space over networking, may aswell get some speed from the HDD that way its bearable.

    Give me a second and i'll edit this post with some cheaper OS and software

    EDIT: Cheapest I could find for PS is like 800 bucks on newegg, as for office i don't know but you can use the one office disc on multiple PC's, You could always crasck it for free?

    I have PS CS4 FL CS4 PR CS3

    I think you're right, gonna get killed in software if you don't crack
  23. Hahaha I know but its for my mom's shop and she's a supper stickler for legit software.

    Seems one of her friends got caught with bootlegs and was fined massively.

    I'm scrapping the NAS box, the Q8200 system is going to become the backup system.

    I read enough good things about Win7 Mirroring that I'm willing to give it a try.

    Just need to find 2 1TB HD's and hotswap trays to finish the psuedo NAS system.

    Its going to be the email system and its ALWAYS connected to the network and its has 90% off our files so figured no point of a NAS only system on the network.

    Also scrapping all the OS's. I'm recycling older OS'es, just need 1 legit copy of Windows 7 Ult.
  24. Alright well if you give me a list of the software you need and the number of copies you need I will find the cheapest for you :)
  25. Hahaha if you think you can.

    I was just about to buy it from newegg.

    Need Adobe CS5 Design Standard, Corel Graphics X5, Office 2010 Pro and just 1 copy.

    Its a small store, one person does all the work aside the email computer.
  26. Oh well, it doesn't get much cheaper than newegg :P I think you probably got the cheapest then, I was hoping you werent using the companies website xD

    WTH is Corel Graphics Btw?
  27. Ahhh how times change.

    Before CS, Corel was one of the big desktop publishing programs. Now a days its CS-lite but we have tons of old backups that are still in Corel format.

    I still have a few harddrives with Pagemaker files.
  28. Ahhhh, I see so I take it you're the photo type of worker. But as for the builds I hope I've helped, I'd go with gkay's builds w/ the exceptions i made :P
  29. Should I just upgrade the PSU to 650 for both of these systems? For some reason 500 seems a bit low to me.
  30. I don't think it'll make a huge difference, but I think if it makes you more comfortable you should because you never know when you might wanna upgrade to something bigger and badder :P, honestly the NAS ans system 3 build i don't care for that much but I think the 1st one is definitely a solid choice.


    Here's one for you:

    59.99 AR

    Its 700W but doesn't look too bad and great for if you wanna get a nice gaming system later or havier media production

    Just my opinion but if you're spending 1000 bucks on a system you're building you want people to know, maybe you should look into a really sleek and stylish YET well cooled and effiecent case
  31. How would you fix build 3? Buidl 3 is for myself.

    Yeah I'm dropping the NAS idea, stop beating me over the head for not keeping it simple.
  32. Yeah I'll pick that up for build 3.

    Build 1 should be fine with the Seasonic.
  33. Lmfao okay so um do you want something thats a GREAT gaming system for build three? if so whats the budget on the individual system and is OS / any software required?
  34. Lol budget! It just has to be faster than my Q8200 with an XFX 5750.

    Its the recession! I barely got the missus to okay me sneaking my upgrade in too. She was all buy her two dells and call it a day.

    No SW but would like to keep it under 1k but the cheaper the better since I can throw more into build 1 and other odds and ends.
  35. Alright How does 800 - 900 AR sound?
  36. Its doable but I need to see if the upgrades are worth it.

    Primary concern is still system 1 and getting my old system into the backup system.
  37. For me gkays build for the system one is great. I just reccommend you use the PSU i sent you, and alright ill get right on your gaming system
  38. System 1 is definite now. I'm running it as gkay's suggestion.

    Don't think they'll need more than 500 W for the store. The PSU calculator shows that system only requiring 400.
  39. Heh Satchel on the case, I would love a bigger cooler case but I hate a case with frills.

    If they had a case that resembled a G5 I would love it (it would trick my mom).

    If you got suggestions for cases that are no grills, I really like the Antec 300 and thinking of just getting two of those.

    Edit: Found the vid card. Need to read comparison reviews. No mobo wonder whats the best cheapest mobo for this guy.
  40. Tell me what you think I completely revised it theres a better and cheaper GPU

    A New non frilly GREAT case

    and a mobo :P

    Processor / GPU Combo:

    $ 363.50

    With 20.00 Rebate


    8GB Ram


















    Like it? :D
  41. Hahahaha I'll add up the total, I just realized you're from Canada.

    Adding up the total going to take me awhile lol have to cross reference the price to USD.

    Your links are showing me the Canadian price and and I was like OMG 10 dollar price increase across the board!

    Thanks for all the help though.
  42. Ahhh *** My bad its set to go to in browser history so i always think im going to .com xD

    its 769.44 CAD aR

    Sorry bout that, A: i wouldve responded sooner but internet cut out when i closed laptop by accident, B: I selected the GPU too quickly but read the reviews and immideiatly changed it, C: I realized mobo was gone and got something decent

    Tell me if you like it I'll been on for another 30 - 60 minutes
  43. I do like your build and I'm wondering how getting rid of the OS I can get a better CPU.

    Comparing the two builds. Why the Green drives? Aren't they slower?

    Also the evga GTX 460 got mixed reviews hoping you have one so I can ask for your experience.
  44. Nope I don't got one, although it had some weird reeviews only two had 3 eggs everything else was more.

    Um do you want a faster CPU? Intel or AMD?

    Intel delievers more in a quad core than amd can in a six core but they cost about 100 bucks more for something that will hardly affect your gaming
  45. Tell you the truth, I was pretty happy with the X4 but if the X6 is near the price range.

    I just want best bang for buck video card. Wouldn't mind sacrificing the X6 for a better video card.

    I was more worried about the heat issue from the video card especially since the Antec is smallish.

    Lol I'm coming from a 2.2 ghz quad core with no HT. The X4 is still an upgrade to me especially with the video card.

    Ohh nm on video card reliability, for some reason I got confused with the Gigabyte GTX 460 which seems to have more problems.
  46. Alright so do you want a x4 and a better video card?

    Personally i think that the hex core will give excellent speed, while the video card should be able to handle any games you'll throw at it, but just let me know if youre gonna use it or not :P ima go to bed so ill check the thread in the morning
  47. Have you considered a software upgrade?

    Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Standard
    Upgrade from an Earlier Suite

    $1.99 Shipping
  48. Actually Satchel I'm going with x4 + your mobo + the 6870. Would that work?

    To buy fans seperately or to just buy the Antec Illusion, wish it wasn't so blue.

    Thinking about getting two of these cases.

    Or I could just be over doing it.
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