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Last response: in Systems
January 15, 2011 4:15:13 AM

I am looking to build a photo editing PC and wanted opinions on my build below. I already have a HTPC for my home theater so likely won't be watching any movies and I don't play computer games. It will basically be used for photo editing and daily usage like internet browsing and word processing. I already have a cooler master ATX mid tower case.

Approximate Purchase Date: in the next month
Budget Range: $600-800 after rebate
System Usage: photo editing (photoshop, lightroom), internet browsing, word processing
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200, looking to buy the HP ZR24w

My only other question is it possible to get an i5 sandy bridge system for the price, and if so would I better off doing that or sticking with this build?

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Best solution

January 15, 2011 2:28:10 PM

Sure you can get an i5 Sandybridge system in your price range. Check out this configuration, which even includes shipping and a case to put it all in:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge for $225 This chip will perform better than the AMD you originally selected, plus it has the high end integrated graphics option.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H67M-D2 LGA 1155 Intel H67 for $102. Might want to upgrade this a bit - it is an H67 board to take advantage of the graphics, but does not appear to have the latest USB 3.0 connectors.

RAM: WINTEC AMPX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 for $42. This is a manufacturer I have not heard before, but it has 78 reviews with 5 eggs, so is probalby a safe bet. Selected it becasue it has low (1.5v) voltage.

DVD: ASUS Black 24X DVD for $17. Standard issue, nothing special.

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 CMPSU-430CX 430W for $37. Don't need a lot of power, since no dedicated graphics, and the CPU only consumes 95 Watts.

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $55 (must purchase by 1/19). Get this now, even though the promo code lasts until 1/19, it will most likely sell out. I am buying 2 of these at this price.

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for $100. You orignally had the professional version selected - are you doing a lot of networking, in particular do you need remote desktop? That is the only reason to spend an extra $40 on the professional version.

Wireless:TP-LINK TL-WN781ND IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI Express Wireless Adapter for $20 Kept this the same from the original config.

Total on this config is a low, low $598 - note that to get some of the discounts you have to start purchasing this weekend.
January 15, 2011 8:24:11 PM

Much more efficient, much higher quality, 40C rated power supply; much better than that Corsair is the Antec Earthwatts Green 380D $45 ($3 shipping). Unfortunately you will either need to already possess a power cord to use with it or buy one. But really the difference in quality between them is light years considering the price difference.

I think one of the best options for a case under $90 is the Cooler Master HAF 912. Which even comes in a combo with a very nice power supply at a very attractive price as well:
Cooler Master HAF 912 & Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 $130 ($20 rebate)
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January 16, 2011 10:25:04 PM

Thanks for the help on the i5 build, eloric. I do have a couple more questions putting together the build.

MOBO: I am looking to get this intel mobo. I would like to get one with display port as that is what my monitor has. Will this work?
Intel BOXDH67GD LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory: I want to get 8GB of memory. I am looking to get 2x4GB sticks below. Is there any benefit to getting 4x2GB vs 2x4GB?
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Hard Drive: I am looking to get a SSD just to run windows on, though I would rather not spend too much money. Kingston has either an 8GB ($45) or 16GB ($60) that I could afford. Would either of those work or would I be better off just getting an 80GB standard drive?
Kingston SSDNow S100 SS100S2/8G 2.5" 8GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Kingston SSDNow S100 SS100S2/16G 2.5" 16GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Windows 7: the only reason I was looking to get the professional version is for the automatic network backup utility. I have an external hard drive hooked up to my router that I back my photos up to. Do I need professional to be able to do this?

Thanks in advance for your help.
January 21, 2011 11:34:57 PM

Best answer selected by Buckeyedoc.
January 22, 2011 6:17:50 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar