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Photoshop build for my wife - $1k-1200

Approximate Purchase Date: In the next month or so

Budget Range: $1000-1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop photo editing - layers, etc. Will never be used for gaming of any kind.

Parts Not Required: Need everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences:
Would want at least 23-24" monitor - though am considering this monitor from Costco at 27" - don't know anything about the brand though.

Costco Sceptre Monitor

Intel processor I guess, but could be convinced to use AMD. Need a wireless card compatible with a dual band N router.

Overclocking: NO

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments: This PC is going to be for my wife's new hobby/business. It will be used almost exclusively for photo editing, minimal video (read home video only). Must also be able to surf the web, perform basic office tasks. HDD size not terribly important as all of her photos get stored externally. I don't know if a video card would be necessary for this type of application, would prefer on board video if possible to save money for better monitor. Would also prefer for it to be quiet. Again, this would never be used for any type of gaming - photo processing is paramount.

Lastly, this will be a first time build for me, so please assist with the technical verbage. Thanks so much!
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  1. Best answer
    Hello barndg00;

    A month lead time is a bit too far away to get all the best available deals.
    But this should give you a few ideas and a lot of confidence you can get a lot for your budget.

    ASUS SATA 24X DVD Burner Free shipping w/ promo code EMCKGJE65, ends 3/21
    Antec Three Hundred Black Mid Tower Computer Case $10 rebate & free shipping
    ASUS ML249H 24" 1920x1080 HDMI Widescreen MVA panel wiith 178° Wide Viewing Angle LED LCD Monitor
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W 80+ BRONZE Power Supply 'Green' = no AC power cord. 10% off w/ promo code An10psu, ends 3/27
    Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 Quad-Core CPU
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 7200 RPM SATA HDD
    BIOSTAR TH67+ LGA 1155 H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard will use Intel HD 3000 graphics included on CPU
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 1333 RAM
    Kingston DataTraveler G3 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive a 'freebie'
    ~$863 before rebates, taxes & shipping
  2. Would it be a good idea to maybe add a 550 Ti to the build with the leftover budget? Then he can take advantage of the CUDA cores and OpenGL acceleration in Photoshop.
  3. A review of that Costco Sceptre monitor: Sceptre X270W-1080p 27-inch Display Review
    The only knock on the monitor probably applies to your intended usage: "Doesn't escape its TN nature; inappropriate for critical apps"
    The MVA panel I suggested should do better as a photo editing monitor.
  4. Thanks for the information! That looks quite reasonable. Given the budget would allow it, would I be served by going for a higher end monitor - like an IPS display? Or is the color rendering and acuracy not that much better after a monitor is calibrated?

    Also, is it now safe to use the Sandy Bridge chips and mother boards? I've read about some problems with them but am not sure if it's been fixed, nor do I truly understand what the problem was. Thanks!
  5. Any motherboard with "B3 stepping" is fine.
  6. That MVA ASUS ML249H 24" monitor I suggested is about halfway between a TN and IPS panel.
    I used this review to on a monitor that uses the same LCD panel BenQ for business: BenQ BL2400 monitor review

    I would guess that the ratio of hobby/business (60/40%?) has a large bearing on whether or not to chose one of the better IPS panel monitors.
  7. There are also the entry level 21.5" IPS monitors you could consider.
    Dell U2211H 21.5" 8ms 1920x1080 w/Height, Pivot, Swivel & Tilt Adjustable Widescreen LCD Monitor
    It still allows you to pivot the screen to work in Portrait mode.
    Dell U2211H 21.5" review

    or Dell U2311H 23" review: Dell U2311H 23" review
  8. Thanks for the ongoing help. Couple of additional products to ask opinions about.

    Any thoughts on this case? Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Rosewill Case

    Also, any thoughts on this NEC EA232WMi IPS monitor? After speaking with my wife, we'll come up with the system and then depending on the budget, decide on what monitor to buy. Also considering a 24" Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Monitor.
  9. With a $30 price and $10 shipping, and possibly the need to replace a loud case fan ($8) the R101-P case might not be such a bargain.
    Before the $10 rebate expired on the Antec Three Hundred case it would have worked out to be $52 shipped (a/r) in a nice case with 2 quiet fans.
  10. Right now it looks like this might be a better deal than the Rosewill R101.

    Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case $45 & $10 rebate w/ free shipping & $5 off w/ promo code EMCKGJC28, ends 3/23
  11. There isn't a lot of review material out yet on that NEC EA232WMi monitor. It's one of the new crop of less expensive IP panel monitors and hasn't be around long.
    NEC MultiSync EA232WMi review seems very positive.

    This is the type of review I prefer to see when it comes time to buy an important item: Dell UltraSharp U2410 24in Monitor Review
  12. Another review @ MaximumPC Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch Display
    "Sometimes you have to pay to play" or maybe - you get what you pay for.
  13. Ok, so here's my cart from NewEgg - do I have everything I need (sans monitor) - all the cables and stuff. I'm going to search individually to see if there are any better prices out there, do you guys see anywhere I could trim the cost on these components. I didn't see any combos that included these parts - am I missing anything? Thanks so much for your help!

    1
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
    Item #:N82E16820231426
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $84.99
    1
    Kingston DataTraveler G3 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (White & Orange)
    Item #:N82E16820139254
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $6.99
    1
    Rosewill 12" Fan power supply cable
    Item #:N82E16812119147
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $2.99
    1
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #:N82E16822148395
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$10.00 Instant
    $49.99
    $39.99
    1
    BIOSTAR TH67+ Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #:N82E16813138296
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $104.99
    1
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power Power Supply
    Item #:N82E16817371033
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Instant
    $59.99
    $39.99
    1
    Rosewill RKM-800RF 2.4 GHz Cordless Slim Keyboard and Mouse Combo
    Item #:N82E16823201035
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$5.00 Instant
    $39.99
    $34.99
    1
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
    Item #:N82E16835100007
    Return Policy: Consumable Item Refund Only Return Policy
    $11.99
    1
    Cables To Go 6 ft Universal Right Angle Power Cord
    Item #:N82E16812196484
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $5.99
    1
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
    Item #:N82E16832116754
    Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
    $99.99
    1
    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    Item #:N82E16827135204
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $18.99
    1
    Rosewill RCR-IM5001 USB2.0 75 in 1 internal Card Reader w/ 3 ports USB2.0 Hub / eSATA port / Extra silver face plate
    Item #:N82E16820223108
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $24.99
    1
    Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    Item #:N82E16819115074
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    $189.99
    1
    Rosewill R101-P-BK Black Computer Case
    Item #:N82E16811147112
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $29.99
    1
    ASUS PCE-N13 PCI Express Wireless Adapter
    Item #:N82E16833320048
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$12.00 Instant
    $39.99
    $27.99
    2
    BYTECC 18" Serial ATA-150/300 Cable w/Locking Latch
    Item #:N82E16812270093
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $6.98
    Grand Total: $724.84
  14. I'll look into the other two cases a bit more as well.
  15. Price checking is always a good idea. Google will help, just be sure to check shipping charges to get the total cost.

    AS5 thermal compound not required. BYTECC SATA cable not required.

    What is the 12" Fan power supply cable for?
  16. $10 (shipping included) seems steep for an AC power cord. Lets see if we can find a PSU that includes one in the combined price with the PSU.
  17. 3 SATA cables in the motherboard accessory pack.

  18. OK, that Antec EA 380W is such a good deal even with the cost of the AC cord thrown in I couldn't find a better deal in a PSU that was as good.
  19. 1
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory
    Item #:N82E16820231426
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $84.99
    1
    Kingston DataTraveler G3 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (White & Orange)
    Item #:N82E16820139254
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $6.99
    1
    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power Power Supply
    Item #:N82E16817371033
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Instant
    $59.99
    $39.99
    1
    APEVIA Cable
    Item #:N82E16812201022
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $7.99
    1
    ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
    Item #:N82E16827135204
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $18.99
    1
    Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
    Item #:N82E16811129042
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    -$10.00 Instant
    $69.95
    $59.95
    1
    Cables To Go 6 ft Universal Right Angle Power Cord
    Item #:N82E16812196484
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $5.99
    1
    Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    Item #:N82E16819115074
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    $189.99
    1
    Rosewill RKM-800RF 2.4 GHz Cordless Slim Keyboard and Mouse Combo
    Item #:N82E16823201035
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$10.00 Instant
    $39.99
    $29.99
    1
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
    Item #:N82E16832116754
    Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
    $99.99
    1
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #:N82E16822148395
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$10.00 Instant
    $49.99
    $39.99
    1
    ASUS PCE-N13 PCI Express Wireless Adapter
    Item #:N82E16833320048
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$12.00 Instant
    $39.99
    $27.99
    1
    BIOSTAR TH67+ Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    Item #:N82E16813138296
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $104.99
    Grand Total: $710.84
    Shipping: $12.87


    From Dell:
    Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor
    $499.00 with free shipping

    System Total:
    $1222.71

    Not bad!
  20. I've googled all the parts, NewEgg seems to be the best deal, or at least equivalent and easiest to deal with for everything save the monitor. I think I'm ready to pull the trigger on this system, can you give me a push and review what I've got one last time? Thanks again!
  21. CPU/MB/RAM
    HDD/ODD
    GPU->CPU
    Case/PSU+AC
    OS/KB/Mouse/Monitor

    All check out OK.
  22. $499 on the Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-in IPS-panel LCD Monitor was the best price I could find too.
  23. Best answer selected by barndg00.
  24. Thanks so much for all your help, I'm now posting from my wife's new computer! Total build time 4 hours including software loading. Thanks everyone for helping me with the confidence to build my first computer!!!!!
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