First build, novice, i5 2500K for photo editing, need opinions

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month or so – buying as deals come along
Budget Range: ~$1000 USD
System Usage from Most to Least Important: NO GAMING! Photoshop CS5 & CS6 (photo editing), minor video editing, Office work & Internet use. Granted, I will eventually put 1 or 2 games onto this machine, most likely Diablo 3 or an old game. Low settings don’t bother me – just need to focus on photos, data storage, internet, and office.
Parts Not Required: Speakers, mouse, keyboard, OS (WIN 7 x64)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, others? No microcenter near Washington
Country of Origin: US of A
Parts Preferences: Intel & NVidea
Overclocking: Yes – I have no experience doing so, but heard it is easy to OC SB to 4.0. Would like to use native mobo firmware to EASILY OC without any tweaking myself.
SLI or Crossfire: Not likely
Monitor Resolution: No clue. Looking at Dell Ultrasharp U2311H vs. LG IPS226V – need a good IPS monitor, preferably with LED backlight but can’t afford more than $200.
Additional Comments: So as you can see, I'm in the minority and will not be gaming. I am therefore not too keen on SLI/Crossfire or pricier graphics cards like the GTX 560 Ti. I do like having the option to SLI, however. I’m currently choosing between the ASUS P8P67 PRO vs. ASRock P67 Extreme4. I really want a UEFI interface, as it seems to be geared for the future and is actually pretty cool. I am leaning toward the ASUS because it seems like overclocking is “push-button” simple. I also like the MemOK! button on the P8P67 PRO and the fact that it seems to offer many more additional features than the ASRock board does - but it's hard to tell since they're different brands. It also has an Intel Gigabit Ethernet chip, which I read was pretty good in comparison to whatever the ASRock has. But would I ever know the difference?

However if the ASRock board doesn’t lack in features (don’t really NEED Bluetooth anyway), its price tag is definitely more appealing. I hear it also runs faster and comes with 3.5” bay USB3 ports. Does it have all the bells and whistles that the ASUS board offers besides bluetooth?

BTW- I’m currently using a 2003 Dell Dimension 4600 with a NVidea 6800 GT OC ;0)
Also, I’m planning on getting a USB3 external enclosure for the WD Caviar Green 1TB and use it to clone my Spinpoint f3 periodically for backups. The SSD 120GB will be my C: drive for OS and apps. Waiting to purchase the SSD until the next gen drives hit sometime this month and prices on current ones drop.

Already have:
PSU: $50
XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: $55 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
HDD: $60 Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
RAM: $55 CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 - Will upgrade to 8GB at a later time.
OPTICAL: $80 LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk – OEM

CPU: $225
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
MOBO: $190 vs. $160 ASUS P8P67 PRO vs. ASRock P67 Extreme4
C Drive: ~$200? OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case: $60 COOLER MASTER HAF 912 vs. Antec Three Hundred Illusion vs. Antec 902 V3 (I like this one most but it costs too much). I'm keen on excellent airflow, side window, 2.5" SSD Bay, and toolless installation w/ cable management.
Graphics: ~$130 Thinking about the GTX 460 768Mb. Any preferences???
CPU Cooler: $30 Hyper 212+
Monitor: $200 Dell Ultrasharp U2311H vs. LG IPS226V – looking for IPS monitor 21”-23” preferably with LED backlighting, although either is fine. Haven’t read much on these two monitors compared (there’s only one webpage with a direct comparison) but I’ve heard many recommendations for the seemingly older U2311H.

So, what do you think? What would you change? Which, if any, would you choose out of the “vs.” arguments I’ve made above?
6 answers Last reply
More about first build novice 2500k photo editing opinions
  1. As you can see, I've put a LOT of time and research into this build but am still coming up short on answers
  2. Everything looks good so far...I have the i5 2500k and the samsung f3 1tb myself. But mainly i game so i don't need hyperthreading at all. But for photo editing i'd probably go with the i7 2600k because of hyperthreading..Not sure how much faster it is though compared to the i5 2500k when it comes to photo editing or video editing. But im sure you'll be impressed with the i5 2500k.. I have mine clocked at 4.2ghz at 1.2volts, i can go higher but i feel like 4.5ghz is a bit overkill. Plus i like seeing my temps under 50c while gaming. But for your case i'd go with the Lian-li lancool pc-k62 case. It has better cable management then the Antec and Haf 912 imo...Also the lancool pc k62 has 3 140mm fans and 1 120mm fan and the hard drive cage i believe can hold 2.5 ssd's. The case has dust filters all over the place while the haf 912 doesn't as much as the lancool. Also are you planning to change the fans on the cooler master hyper 212 plus? If so i would rather buy the Noctua NH-U12P SE because it has 2 high quality fans and really good thermal paste already. If you change the fans on the Cooler Master hyper 212 plus you'll be spending just as much if not not more then a higher quality heatsink.

    $99 lian-li lancool pc k62

    $61.99 Noctua NH-U12P SE on sale at

    Also the Prolimatech Armageddon heatsink is on sale for $49.99 at's what im using atm got it at also...

    $49.99 Prolimatech Armageddon..
  3. Excellent points. The case looks very similar to the Antec 902 V3, except that the 902 has USB 3.0 ports and the lancool pc k62 doesn't. It's a good-looking case to be sure but I can't talk myself out of the 902 for the same price. Unfortunately, I was even considering cutting costs by going with the $30 Xigmatek Asgard II B/O CPC-T45UE-U01 case used in the March $500 build because it seemed to be an OK value. Still stuck on the HAF 912 unfortunately.

    As far as the i7 I couldn't agree with you more and would love to get the Hyperthreading except I'm already $300 over budget even with a $60 case and the i5 2500k. I've had to make the financial decision to stay at the i5.

    For cooling, I wasn't planning on upgrading the 212+ fans and was frankly thinking about sticking with the stock cooler except that I want to OC and the cabinet the PC will sit in gets hot if the door is closed for whatever reason (picture a high air flow case inside a low air exchange box). I'm looking at spending as little as possible and felt like the 212+ is going to be the best bang-per-buck?
  4. Excellent. So I've decided on the HAF 912 for case. I'm now trying to decide what to do about the mobo. With the things that I am trying to do - should I go with the ASUS P8P67 Pro or the ASRock P67 Extreme4? I really want the "push-button" OC capability and MemOK! features. What would I be sacrificing (besides the Intel Gigabit ethernet) in going with the ASRock board?
  5. The CM Hyper 212+ is a great cooler. Just slap on another 120mm fan if you have another or whenever you can afford one (like ~$10), and it will work really well.
    You may want to find a new place to put the PC; putting it in some sort of closed space will eventually build up hot air.

    I've heard that the ASRock Extreme4 is a great OCing board. Asus, as always, is a bit pricier than other brands.

    Stick with the HAF 912. It's a bigger midtower than the Antec 300, which is still a solid case with really good airflow (I loved mine).

    If you're already overbudget, pass on the SSD. Plain and simple.

    I doubt you'll be able to get an IPS display for $200. The Dell U2311H is $280 on sale at Dell. Unless you've got some sort of discount, you may not be able to afford it.
  6. Just get the P8P67 Pro. It is a great board and has the features you seem to be interested in....
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