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~$1200 build, photo-editing & moderate gaming

Hi folks, thanks in advance for any help you're able to provide. This setup will see a lot of use in gaming and media, however I'm building it primarily for heavy Photoshop and Lightroom use. I'm not a hardcore gamer, if that makes a difference, however I would like to run the listed games at a high graphics setting.

Approximate Purchase Date: This month, sooner the better, but I can wait if required for significant upgrades.

Budget Range: ~$1200 After Rebates, but flexible if substantial performance justifies increase

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo editing, gaming (starcraft 2, diablo 3, some fps), media

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitors, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: (high quality/support preferred)

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: Only if necessary to increase performance.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 x2

Additional Comments: Dual-monitor support required.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 1200 build photo editing moderate gaming
  1. Best answer
  2. ** Edit ** Actually WR2's build looks better than my suggestion (same stuff mostly but he's got you a lower price)
  3. He doesn't need a 560 Ti, he would be better off buying more RAM. Doesn't he need RAM in threes anyway? Photoshop uses some UI acceleration in OpenGL but barely stresses the card and sometimes serious photoshop guys turn it off because it can do odd things when working.
  4. 8GB is perfect. The video card is more then he would need.
  5. Draven35 said:
    He doesn't need a 560 Ti, he would be better off buying more RAM. Doesn't he need RAM in threes anyway? Photoshop uses some UI acceleration in OpenGL but barely stresses the card and sometimes serious photoshop guys turn it off because it can do odd things when working.

    The Sandy Bridge chips & Motherboard only support dual channel DDR3 ram at this point, NOT triple channel.
  6. Nobody 'needs' a GTX 560 Ti;
    But the OP did mention 'some fps' gaming and I don't think a GTX 560 Ti is out of line on a 1920x1200 monitor with first person shooter games in the mix.
  7. WR2 said:
    Nobody 'needs' a GTX 560 Ti;
    But the OP did mention 'some fps' gaming and I don't think a GTX 560 Ti is out of line on a 1920x1200 monitor with first person shooter games in the mix.

    Especially if he's using a dual monitor setup!
  8. WR2 said:
    Nobody 'needs' a GTX 560 Ti;
    But the OP did mention 'some fps' gaming and I don't think a GTX 560 Ti is out of line on a 1920x1200 monitor with first person shooter games in the mix.



    +1 If it comes to a tight spot for the budget I would actually ditch the SSD before downgrading on the video card.
  9. Case - $100 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197
    Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103072
    PSU - $100 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207003
    MoBo - $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.575884
    CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070
    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    RAM - $150 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226178
    GFX - $260 - MSI GTX 560 OC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130610
    GFX - Later - Same
    HD - $65 - Samsung F3 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
    DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135221
    OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home Pre http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116758

    Total $1237

    I'd like to see an SSD in there but all I could manage to squeeze in was a 60-64GB model and that's way too small for PS. I' put the money into Low CAS RAM which caused me to break budget by $27.

    Case / PSU are 1st tier, 10.0 performance rating on PSU (jonnyguru.com) insures stable voltages on any overclock.

    MoBo / PSU - MpoBo has twin GFX card capability. Can save enough to get back under ya budget limit, if you drop to a single slot board.

    GFX card has serious factory OC. If you expand to video editing, keep this link handy to unlock CUDA.

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm
  10. JackNaylorPE said:



    Good build, but I don't think this Mobo/CPU combo is available. I haven't seen the Asus P8P67 come back on NewEgg yet.
    $409 is best I can come up w/ buying 2500k and MSI MSI P67A-GD65 individually. Not a drastic change or anything, but worth noting.
  11. I prefer a build closer to JackNaylor's. There's no reason to spend $250 on a motherboard. His RAM should help in video editing (must me manually set in bios). Do what CopaMundial said for the mobo/CPU.

    But I'd get the Hyper 212+ cooler and save $10.

    Get the XFX 5870 (hurry while it's on sale) for $180: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150476
    It beats the GTX 560Ti in most matchups and saves you $80. It's a great deal today. Radeons also transcode video better than GeForces, if you're into that.

    Use that $90 I just saved you to get an i7-2600K which should help in photo editing.

    Markedly better performance, same price.
  12. dalauder said:
    There's no reason to spend $250 on a motherboard.


    Not arguing your overall point, but WR2 was listing same motherboard as me... it was only @ $250 in his build for mobo PLUS 8G of RAM.
  13. Oh, that makes more sense.

    In that case, WR2's 2nd build but w/ a 5870, faster RAM (1600MHz CL7), an i7-2600K, and no SSD. Threads matter more than HDD speed for photoshop. Still ~$1200.
  14. Thank you everyone for the input. I'll be ordering this week!

    Take care.
  15. Best answer selected by photoguyhd.
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