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First time builder Looking for feedback on parts list

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January 28, 2011 2:04:13 AM

I'm a first time builder planning on building within the next few months.

Budget Range: Under $700 (not counting Op Sym - Windows 7)

System Usage: Some gaming, but mostly lots of CS5 Photoshop (I'm an artist), web surfing and watching movies.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Wasn't planning on SLI / Crossfire but thought I'd give overclocking a try. Here's what I was considering...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition $165

Motherboard: -GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 $99

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 - $85

Case / Power Supply: Antec Sonata III Mid Tower w / 500W PS - $120

Graphics Card: HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB - $130

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s - $60

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS424 DVD burner - $26

Total price, not counting Misc shipping is right at $685. I think it's a good config, but being new to this I don't know what I don't know. I'm especially interested in feedback regarding any additional cooling fans (CPU or Case), tools, screws, cables and so on that I may need to take into account.

Thanks for any and all feedback. This is a great forum.
January 28, 2011 2:08:27 AM

Sounds decent to me, the black edition will help if you want to squeeze more performance out of it
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January 28, 2011 2:48:54 AM

It looks good to me, though I am definitely not an expert. I would like to point something out, though I'm sure you've already considered it.

Because you're an artist and said that you do a lot of Photoshop type editing, the Intel i5-2500 would be able to give you much better performance, actually, the i5-2500k which is almost identical to the i5-2500 except for the overclocking capability is almost twice as fast as the Phenom II x4 965 BE in the following benchmark (NOTE: It is only one benchmark though. Someone smarter may be able to back it up or shoot it down.):

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=102

Again, I'm not sure how much editing you do, but a significant performance increase could eventually save you hours of work. The issue, which is what I'm sure you have noticed is the price difference between the processor, and the motherboard. The Phenom is $164.99 at Newegg right now and the i5-2500 is $209.99.

i5-2500 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Phenom - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's a $45 difference. Bringing the cost of the system up to $725, but you'd also need a different motherboard which will probably bring the cost up at least $25. So for about $65 more, you could get almost twice the Photoshop performance, and potentially increased game performance.

Just and idea. Could save you tons of time over the life of the system for just around $65.

EDIT: Just wanted to say that I find it kind of annoying when I read new build threads and the suggestions bring the build over the persons budget. In this case though, the performance increase between the two processors is significant and may not have been something you considered for only around $65 more.
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January 28, 2011 3:12:25 AM

Thanks for pointing out the benchmark on the i5-2500K. It included a specific test with Photoshop and, as you said, the performance difference was significant. As someone who spends a lot of time waiting for pictures to render, transform and / or save, it's definitely something I'll give some thought to.
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February 7, 2011 5:41:12 AM

Best answer selected by GideonWright.
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