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Photo editing/i5 2500k Build

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April 19, 2011 7:54:11 PM

So, I've finally come to the conclusion that my 2006 build is quite aged. I've been doing lots of photo editing, photoshop, and graphic work lately and I need more computer horsepower! Games are no longer a main concern, but new games don't run the best on my current rig (i.e. Arkham Asylum, Test Drive Unlimited 2).

I am a student in the U.S., so the cheaper the better. Newegg is my primary choice of parts suppliers.

Budget Limit: $1000
Parts I have: 19" monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, soundcard, WD Caviar black 640gb, Win 7, Xigmatek s1284 cooler

Parts I need: motherboard, processor, memory (8gb), case, psu, gpu, Xigmatek bracket mount

I came up with the following parts:

Case:

Motherboard:

GPU:

PSU:

CPU:

RAM:

Xigmatek bracket:


Total: 924.93

My biggest question is the MSI motherboard. I've only used gigabyte before and I considered ASUS boards. Is there a better option for a motherboard for me? I only need a single GPU and I don't plan on overclocking much if at all.

My monitor at 1280x1024 doesn't need a lot of power to run programs at that resolution. However, I plan on upgrading in the future to a full 1900x1200 monitor (dell u2140 24" IPS). Should I just purchase a lower end card for now and upgrade when I buy a new monitor (which may be next year)?
April 19, 2011 8:05:25 PM

The Intel® Core™ I5 2500K will do very well for photo editing, now the Intel® Core™ I7 2600K because of the 4 extra threads will do better with most high end editing software.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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April 19, 2011 8:17:48 PM

Case - $105 - Antec 902 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX 750 WBlack Edition PSU 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
Cooler - Later Option - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - Later Option - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $84 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $240 - Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later Option - Same
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - Later Option - OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB 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...

That's $1,021....

Case is equipped with latest features like front USB ports, has excellent cooling, nice cable routing options and air inlet filters. Can cut $35 off ya build price with the Antec Illusion and get below ya $1k limit but I think the 902 V3 is worth the extra money.

PSU, per jonnyguru, "combines utterly amazing voltage regulation with outstanding efficiency and just about the best ripple and noise suppression I have ever seen. And it does it all silently, too, because I sure couldn't hear that fan at any time."

MoBo / CPU is an excellent value combo, board s THG's "best overclocker"

All three of the above are equipped to handle adding a 2nd GFX card in SLI

RAM is low profile so won't interfere w/ 3rd party CPU coolers

GFX card is a factory OC'd great performer with lowest cost per frame among performance boards

HD is one choice, WD Black and Seagate 7200.12 will also serve well.

Put a 2nd 560 on ya XMas List :) 
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April 19, 2011 8:42:37 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Case - $105 - Antec 902 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $110 - XFX 750 WBlack Edition PSU 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
Cooler - Later Option - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - Later Option - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $84 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $240 - Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti 900 Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later Option - Same
HD - $65 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - Later Option - OCZ Vertex 3 2.5" 120GB 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...

That's $1,021....

Case is equipped with latest features like front USB ports, has excellent cooling, nice cable routing options and air inlet filters. Can cut $35 off ya build price with the Antec Illusion and get below ya $1k limit but I think the 902 V3 is worth the extra money.

PSU, per jonnyguru, "combines utterly amazing voltage regulation with outstanding efficiency and just about the best ripple and noise suppression I have ever seen. And it does it all silently, too, because I sure couldn't hear that fan at any time."

MoBo / CPU is an excellent value combo, board s THG's "best overclocker"

All three of the above are equipped to handle adding a 2nd GFX card in SLI

RAM is low profile so won't interfere w/ 3rd party CPU coolers

GFX card is a factory OC'd great performer with lowest cost per frame among performance boards

HD is one choice, WD Black and Seagate 7200.12 will also serve well.

Put a 2nd 560 on ya XMas List :) 



Ok, thanks for the input. I should say that I do not want a case with led fans. My current rig has that and it's obnoxious in my room. I'm sticking with the Lian Li because it's cheaper than the antec. I have a hard drive already. I'm also sticking with the corsair psu I posted before.

I will switch to the ASUS board however. That seems like a better choice than the MSI.
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April 19, 2011 9:32:25 PM

Save some money! You do not have to go with all the high end parts you have selected to meet your requirements.

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO550W for $76. Even this power supply is bigger than it needs to be - you are not planning on adding a second card.

Motherboard: MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 for $120. You do not need to spend an extra $50 for that second PCIe lane, since you are not focusing on gaming graphics. MSI is just fine for a motherboard maker.

RAM: Patriot G Series 8GB DDR3 1333 for $70 after rebate You do not need to get performance RAM - the premium you pay for 1600 speed does not translate into noticible benefit.

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 912 for $50 after rebate. This case, IMHO, is as good as the Lian Li, for $40 less.

Get this regardless: Athena Power 8" Extension for $7. It will help with your cable management.

Where to spend it?

Consider an upgrade on the graphics: HIS Radeon HD 6950 2GB for $252. You will not have to upgrade this card when you get your second monitor. Also, it can unlock to a 6970 sometime down the road for a free upgrade.

Think about a Solid State Drive: Kingston SSDNow V100 Series SV100S2N/64GZ 2.5" 64GB for $80 after rebate. This is not the fastest, but sure has a good price. If you get this one, you will need 3.5 inch to 2.5 inch brackets for a few dollars more.

Get your monitor sooner: This is a nice choice: ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms for $185 if you buy it tomorrow (promo code)

Here is one a little more reasonable: Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms for $160.

Final word: If you get the less expensive components recommended, you still have enough left over to upgrade the video card to a 6950, plus get the 24 inch monitor. $995 total.


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April 19, 2011 10:05:29 PM

Awesome suggestions!

I realized my links I posted originally weren't links. Sorry about that.

So I can shave off about $100 with switching to the MSI board, upgrading the GPU to a 6950, swapping for a lower wattage PSU, and swapping the ram. I never expect to utilize the mail in rebates, but I could this time around.

I am going to avoid the monitor now, since I really want the dell IPS monitor I mentioned earlier. Getting accurate colors and blacks is a struggle, but I can wait. I'd need a larger desk anyways to fit a 24" monitor.
Even now, my 9600gt handles my 19" monitor and 26" lcd tv.

I really am ok with re-using my WD Caviar drive for now. I want to wait for SSD's to drop further in price.
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April 19, 2011 10:12:15 PM

Good choice on waiting for the SSD. I'd recommend sticking with an NVIDEA card for photoshop (adobe) products. Specifically, the GTX 460 (non-SE) or 560 Ti.
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April 20, 2011 1:54:48 AM

Hm, ok. I swapped the Ati card for a 560 Ti. I forgot about Nvidia's integration with adobe programs.

So now, I'm looking at $842.92 before shipping. That's a lot less than I was planning, but this is good!

I almost want to order now, but I am wondering how soon intel plans to release a new line of processors. I haven't been keeping up to date with electronics like I use to. Ivy Bridge is on its way and I'm in no rush to spend $$ on a new system (food and tuition are way more important).

Would it be worth it to change the processor from an i5 2500k to a plain i5 2500, since I'm not overclocking? The dollar savings isn't that different, but why pay for something I won't use?

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April 20, 2011 4:15:32 AM

For what it's worth, I'm building a VERY similar build and going with the P8P67 Pro/i5 2500K specifically so that I can OC. You can get a lot more photo-editing power, from the CPU side anyway, by jumping to a 4.0 clock.

I realize that it's not the same as having features like hyperthreading, but it's a good help anyway. Like you said, it's not that much more but if photo editing can benefit - why not?

Also, if Ivy Bridge is the "cat's meow" when it comes out and SB just isn't cutting it for you - then you can always just put one in your SB Mobo. You can always play the waiting game for the next best thing or you can just pull the trigger and enjoy a screaming fast system. I take comfort in knowing mine will be lightyears ahead of retail builds for a while. ;0)
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April 21, 2011 2:34:22 AM

I like your thinking badgj31, however I've played with OC'ing my current rig and I always had problems with my soundcard. Now, I wouldn't expect the same issue to happen on the new one, but I'm not even sure I want to overclock this time around.
I'll consider it however.
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April 21, 2011 11:44:46 AM

The additional cost of "k" CPU is only $20. When this chip is three or four years old, you will be able to overclock it and extend its life by a year or two. I have an old core 2 duo where I did exactly this, and it is doing very well as my daughter's machine.
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