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~$1,000 photo editing PC - First build, what do you think?

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January 9, 2011 5:06:50 PM

Prior post with no responses deleted, made some updates below...
Approximate Purchase Date: Q1 2011 (after prices settle and my recommendations are firm)
Budget Range: $750-$1100 before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo editing (Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3), printing, internet surfing, text editing, home networking, video editing. Gaming is a low priority.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, OS (WIN 7 Ultimate x64)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, Amazon.com, others?
Country of Origin: US only preferred
Parts Preferences: It sounds like Intel/Nvidia only for CUDA on the GTX 460
Overclocking: Probably only after upgrading down the road
SLI or Crossfire: Again, only later when having to upgrade
Monitor Resolution: Monitor selection seems to be = ASUS VH242H (1920x1080)

Additional Comments: This is going to be my only workhorse PC that I'll use mainly as my photo-editing machine, as well as for internet/email, office work, and light video editing. No RAID planned for now, but I'm considering a RAID 1 later for backups. I've really set my intentions on having this running dependably in 6 years, as my current Dell has been upgraded since 2003 and is only now starting to disappoint. So I intend to have the maximum "upgradeability" as I can and this is the main reason I'm looking at the 1155 socket w/ i5 2500K vs. 1156 w/ i7 920. The northbridge chipset features (USB3 & SATA6) is also a big factor for me - albeit, it is hard to rationalize the price/benefit of each option.
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C: Drive ... OCZ Technology Agility Series Solid State Drive - 60GB - Serial ATA/300 - Serial ATA - Internal ... $125 (Scared 60GB isn't big enough for a large OS drive ... when will the 120GB prices drop?)
D: Drive ... SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ... $69
Mobo ... ASUS P8P67 PRO Motherboard ... ~$190 (Good option?)
CPU ... Intel Core i5-2500K CPU ... ~$210 (price/benefit vs. i7 920?)
PSU ... CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply ... $90 (is this modular, do I need a modular PSU?)
Case ... Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan ... $55 (better option/lower price?)
Monitor ... ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers ... $180
RAM ... G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR ... $110 (Cheaper alternate?)
Graphics ... EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card ... $160 (Can't afford the $800+ NVIDIA Workstation video cards)
Optical ... LG WH10LS30K 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM ... $100
Card Reader ... Rosewill RCR-IC001 40-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate ... $15

TOTAL = ~$1310 (Thermal Paste needed?)

So, as you can see I'm a little over budget with the CPU/Mobo here, but USB 3.0 and Sata 6 are a must. Beyond that I also need to keep the option to crossfire and add a TV Tuner card later on to make this my HTPC. I appreciate any advice on components that come higher recommended that would also lower my total cost - especially with the CPU/Mobo.
January 9, 2011 6:54:55 PM

Build i made gives you better performance/price.


ODD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total Price:$1179.89

60Gb is big enough for an OS and your apps.

P8P67 Pro is a great choice.

Basically you lose hyperthreading which isn't really a big loss.

It's NOT Modular. Modular PSU's basically are something you want because they reduce case clutter, which gives you better cooling and youre not keeping wires you dont use in your case you probably need a Modular PSU.

5 bucks more get the HAF 912. It's Better.

the RAM you chose is CAS 9 (slower RAM)
the RAM i chose is CAS 6 basically the fastest Latency DDr3 RAM you can get.
Lower Latency = Better

Blu-Ray drive is uneccesary until you actually make this your htpc by that time youll have more cash and your budget is lowered by a $100 dollars.


Thermal past isnt needed you CPU comes with a cooler and thermal paste.
January 9, 2011 7:34:39 PM

NICE! The Case is indeed better. Tool-less & front USB3.0 would be the only things better. Good find on the combos! How did you find those if I might ask? I'll have to look for them again when it comes to purchase time ... I think it's going to be within a month, possibly longer depending on the job search ;0). Also, where did you find the NVIDIA Coupon? First - thank you, Second - overall I like your updates less a few things (and please correct me if you disagree):

The Antecs or Corsairs are better PSU's than Seasonic - So I'll just have to shop for a better 650W modular supply between the two.

I think to squeeze the money, I'll go for 8GB CAS 7 or 8 if I can find an alternate setup for a few bucks cheaper. But thanks for bringing up the importance of CAS latency, I forgot to consider that and I like the idea of 4x2GB sticks - Hadn't considered it before.

As far as the ODD: I have the Blu-Ray in there because I want to be able to view Blu-ray on my new computer, also I intend to make a large backup of my images to date on a single blu-ray disc. This one in particular gets good reviews and firmware updates at myce.com (cdfreaks).
Related resources
January 9, 2011 7:54:30 PM

First the questions:

1. You can easily afford a 120 GB SSD w/ your budget

2. Asus MoBo an excellent option ... do you need all the Pro's features ? or does the P8H67-M Pro give ya all ya need for $60 less. Compare here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-682^13-131-682-TS%2C13-131-681^13-131-681-TS%2C13-131-686^13-131-686-TS%2C13-131-685^13-131-685-TS

3. 100% modular does nothing for you. Having modular connections for cables you absolutely must use provided no advantage. It adds a failure point, marginally increases resistance and efficiency on those cables. A hybrid PSU w/ hard wired cables for the absolutely necessary ones and modular for the rest provides the best of both worlds

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/power-supplies-psu,801...

4. I would not buy anything that says Rosewill on it.

5. Thermal paste only needed w/ aftermarket cooler.

Here's a build with better case/ PSU, can add 2nd GFX card in future, can be overclocked since it has a cooler, faster RAM, has a 120 GB hi end SSD and other improvements for $5 more than your build

Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $280 - ASUS P8P67 & GTX 460 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - $224 - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $140 - 2 x (2 x 2GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - incl w/ MoBo - Asus GTX 460
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $65 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $199 - OCZ Vertex 2 2.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $40 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor - - ASUS VH242H1920x1080 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - - Logitech MX-518 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cost $1,315 w/o any combo discounts
January 9, 2011 11:43:07 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
First the questions:

1. You can easily afford a 120 GB SSD w/ your budget

2. Asus MoBo an excellent option ... do you need all the Pro's features ? or does the P8H67-M Pro give ya all ya need for $60 less. Compare here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-682^13-131-682-TS%2C13-131-681^13-131-681-TS%2C13-131-686^13-131-686-TS%2C13-131-685^13-131-685-TS

3. 100% modular does nothing for you. Having modular connections for cables you absolutely must use provided no advantage. It adds a failure point, marginally increases resistance and efficiency on those cables. A hybrid PSU w/ hard wired cables for the absolutely necessary ones and modular for the rest provides the best of both worlds

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/power-supplies-psu,801...

4. I would not buy anything that says Rosewill on it.

5. Thermal paste only needed w/ aftermarket cooler.

Here's a build with better case/ PSU, can add 2nd GFX card in future, can be overclocked since it has a cooler, faster RAM, has a 120 GB hi end SSD and other improvements for $5 more than your build

Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $280 - ASUS P8P67 & GTX 460 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - $224 - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $140 - 2 x (2 x 2GB) Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - incl w/ MoBo - Asus GTX 460
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $65 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $199 - OCZ Vertex 2 2.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $40 AFT XM-35U http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor - - ASUS VH242H1920x1080 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - - Logitech MX-518 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cost $1,315 w/o any combo discounts


I'll consider the 120GB SSD. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm looking for a total of 8GB CAS-7 latency DDR3 1600 RAM. Looks like I am no longer looking for a modular PSU, so I'll stick with the Corsair ATM. Yes, I do want to stick with the P8P67 PRO (I can't remember which features it had over the non-pro version, but I do know that I don't wish to go down to the H67 because I don't need IGP and the H67 boards can't OC). Unfortunately that Case is out of my budget but it looks nice. I'm currently sticking with the previous poster's recommendation HAF 912.
!