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~$1200 build, photo-editing & moderate gaming

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March 8, 2011 5:43:12 PM

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.

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
March 8, 2011 6:32:54 PM

Hello photoguyhd;

Two options available now: A Core i7 2600 system without overclocking.
Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) CPU $300 (+$30 for the K overclocking model)
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard & RAM combo $265
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)DDR3 1333 CL7 RAM
Corsair Force 60GB SSD $130
SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD $65
Asus 24x SATA DVD Burner $19
MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB Video Card $250
XFX XXX Black Edition 750W 80+ SILVER Modular Power Supply $130 $30 rebate
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $90

without SSD: ~$1119 before rebates, taxes and shipping.
with SSD: ~$1249
Add $30 for a K model CPU.

A version supporting overclocking:
Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) CPU & CPU cooler combo $251
+COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard & RAM combo $265
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)DDR3 1333 CL7 RAM
Corsair Force 60GB SSD $130
SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD $65
Asus 24x SATA DVD Burner $19
MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB Video Card $250
XFX XXX Black Edition 750W 80+ SILVER Modular Power Supply $130 $30 rebate
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $90

without SSD: ~$1070 before rebates, taxes and shipping.
with SSD: ~$1200
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March 8, 2011 6:42:59 PM

** Edit ** Actually WR2's build looks better than my suggestion (same stuff mostly but he's got you a lower price)
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March 8, 2011 7:23:19 PM

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.
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March 8, 2011 7:36:19 PM

8GB is perfect. The video card is more then he would need.
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March 8, 2011 7:37:46 PM

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.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 8, 2011 7:44:45 PM

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.
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March 8, 2011 7:53:08 PM

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!
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March 8, 2011 9:17:38 PM

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.
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a c 230 4 Gaming
March 9, 2011 1:20:23 AM

Case - $100 - 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 - $100 - XFX Black Edition 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - incl above - 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 - $150 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $260 - MSI GTX 560 OC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $65 - Samsung F3 1TB 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 Pre http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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....
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March 9, 2011 2:05:13 AM

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=N82E168...
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.



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March 9, 2011 2:20:05 AM

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.
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March 9, 2011 2:51:40 AM

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.
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March 9, 2011 5:57:36 PM

Thank you everyone for the input. I'll be ordering this week!

Take care.
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March 9, 2011 5:57:46 PM

Best answer selected by photoguyhd.
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