New build for photo/video editing ($1000-1200)

Greetings from a noob builder. Thank you for taking the time to read through my fist ever build. This machine should be a fairly fast, but extremely stable/reliable system geared at heavy raw photo editing, handling/converting my AVCHD video files and 2D Autocad work. I am a first time builder and would consider sacrificing a bit of speed (if req’d) for overall stability/reliability/simplicity. I do not plan to tweak internal hardware much after initial build (unless req’d).
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon…as soon as possible (today is Jan 16, 2011)

APPROXIMATE BUDGET: US$ (1000- 1,200 (without OS and software) … less if possible (don’t want to spend any money on areas that I won’t see any return on investment.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Lightroom 3 (Raw photo processing of Canon 7d files), Photoshop CS4 (current) & possible CS5 (future), Autodesk Acad 2011, Sony Vegas 9 (AVCHD video editing/conversion from Canon HFS100 and video from Canon 7d hdslr), also trying to start populating my current dvd collection onto HDD for DVD media scenario with my AppleTV2, no gaming needs.

PARTS (EXISTING TO BE RE-USED): monitor (22” LCD LG W225), keyboard, mouse, (2) WD mybook home edition wd10000h1cs-00 External 1TB Hard drives (esata, usb2.0, firewire400)

PARTS NOT IMMEDIATELY REQUIRED: A future second (better/primary) monitor (22”-24” intended for photo editing) – do not consider in $1000-1200 budget allowance

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Microcenter (have a store within 45 minutes), others?
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: whatever works

PARTS PREFERENCES: CPU = Intel , MOBO = Asus or maybe Gigabyte, EVGA, Video Card = Nvidia, HDD = WD Caviar, Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate Barracuda, RAM = Corsair, G-skill or equal, Case = ?, PSU = ?


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Have a 22” (1680x1050) now & would like to add another decent 22”-24” monitor soon – see above (don’t consider in budget allowance)

Currently pre-selected components:

Mid or full tower. Does not have to be overly fancy (prefer ease of install/functionality over looks)

Coolermaster HAF 932 ATX full tower [...] 6811119160
Newegg $139.99

*Do I need/want a full ATX? Ease of install with more space? Wires long enough with full case? Prefer tool-free, will initially be mounting 3 HDD + 1 DVD
* Prefer to spend less if possible (midtower?)

A reliable PSU with bit more power than required for current build (for future add-ons)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Cert. Active PFC Comp. I7 [...] 6817139006
Newegg $109.99

* 750W overkill?
* Prefer to spend less if possible

CPU (no OC required):
Debated between I7(920/950) vs. I7 2600 (K or not) or I5 2500 (k or not). I was leaning towards the 1366 due to proven track record and ratings with less potential for compatibility issues, but I think in the end decided on the 1155. I appreciate your insite on this decision (may change everything).

I7-2600k (Microcenter = $279)
I7-2600 (Microcenter=$249)
I5-2500k (Microcenter=$179)
I7-950 (Microcenter=$979)

COOLING (no oc):
Additional cooling required? Would the case supply cooling?

Cooler Master Hyper 212+ [...] 6835103065
Newegg $29.99

Assuming that the consensus agrees with 1155 over 1366:
Would like to see (2)-esata (for 2 exist. external 1TB drives which have esata & firewire), maybe (2) USB 3.0 and a digital coaxial out (preferred but not a must), firewire?. Pretty much clueless on other slots I should be considering, etc.

ASUS P8P67 Pro LGA 1155 (Newegg = $184)

* Any problems I may encounter with case?
* Will I need any extra cables if I plan on 3 HDD + 1 DVD (all SATA) not sure if SATA II or III (see notes below)

* Good, fast memory (not the best of the best or fastest of the fastest). Was thinking 12Gig of Triple channel , but now with 1155 (dual channel) I am not sure if 8Gig or 16gig. Working with 1Gig multilayered Photoshop files are not totally uncommon, not to mention 30+ min. AVCHD video files. Would (2) x 4Gig sticks seem like a logical choice if (8 now 16 later) approach is advised? Also, I have read a few posts regarding problems with 1600 speed ram with new chip – maybe 1333 DDR3 (CAS 7/8/9) would be easier on the budget anyway?

Per this site it appears that Support of open GL for Photoshop
Sony Vegas Pro 9.0 and likes – Nvidia w/ 512+ and I assume 1Gig. Better, but Sony Vegas Pro 10.0 benefits from CUDA (don’t have 10.0 and may never get 10.0…really only worried about 9.0 for now). Misc. cards thrown out in photo/video editing systems on site have been GTX260, GTX450, GTX460, GTX470, Quadro cards. I assume some or most of these cards are more than I need. I would like to run (2) monitors soon.


Boot disc:

*500-1TB 7200 drive (SATA II or SATA III?) Any benefit from SATA III with a 7200prm drive/ buffer limitations?

Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM (Microcenter = $48)

or Spinpoint F3R Raid Class 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Enterprise Hard Drive HE103SJ – OEM (Microcenter = $69)

Does this drive serve any purpose (benefit to me) for boot drive over basic F3?

If SATA III helps:

Caviar Black 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal HD WD1002FAEX – OEM (Microcenter $99)

or Caviar Blue 320GB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal HD WD3200AAKX – OEM (Microcenter $54)

Data disc:

4TB total – (2) x 2TB in RAID 0 was what some research seemed to recommend for size and speed. Thoughts?

Caviar Black 2TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" 32mb cache Int HD WD20000LSRTL (Microcenter=$169ea.)
Caviar Black 2TB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" 64mb cache Int HD WD20000LSRTL (Microcenter=$179ea.)
Recertified Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Newegg=$139ea.)
Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive (Newegg=$169)

A more budget conscious plan may be (2) x 1TB drives, but I think that would fill up quick. Especially if I start developing a dvd media scenario for my AppleTV2.

(2) x Spinpoint F3R Raid Class 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Enterprise Hard Drive HE103SJ – OEM (Microcenter = $69ea.)

* I would probably use the existing 1TB externals for back-up (I know – not enough space) – no real good plan yet.
DVD burner:

LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support (Newegg = $79)

* basically for occasional data back-ups as well as burning video

Financial note - would ideally like to keep build closer to $1000 than $1200, but not at the cost of reliability & modest to decent speed. Please advise.

Final note - I will be running Win7 Pro 64 (have seperate budget for OS + software upgrades) and would like to put something together which will serve me well for the next few years and with room to grow and keep up in terms of features, ie SATA III, USB 3.0, etc.

Thank you so much for your time and insight!! I eagerly await any of your thoughts.
2 answers Last reply
More about build photo video editing 1000 1200
  1. I'd advise against RAID 0 for speed, as a glitch or fault on either drive results in all data lost....

    You could probably get up to 4 ea 1 TB drives ($40 each on sale?) in a RAID5, have very good speed, and fault tolerance in that loss of a single drive does not completely hose you.

    Quadro cards a waste of money, get a mainstream mid-range gpu and you should be fine....

    Given the 2500k's advantages in some media conversion, that would be a good path to persue over the older i7's, IMO.
  2. Your build looks really great, I think that would probably be your best bet. The K is just so that if you plan to overclock then that'd be a good decision to get the K chips. If not then don't.

    If this site can provide any insight (my personal site) check it out, there is a 1000$ budget build section and 1200$ budget build section. Personally follow the 1000$ with the exception of the SSD because your not exactly gaming like the $1200-$1500 one is aimed at.
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