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Photo editing-mid range build $1200-$1500

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April 20, 2011 12:35:52 AM

Hi folks,

This my first build so hoping to get your advice regarding parts compatibility and whether I’m missing anything crucial here.


Approximate Purchase Date: Next 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: $1200-$1500 CAD (budget is flexible)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: photo editing and graphic design/website work (Photoshop/Lightroom, Illustrator & Dreamweaver); watching movies.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.ca

Country of Origin:
Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel i5 and Asus MOBO but no other preferences.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure if this matters if I’m not doing any gaming.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

-I know the GPU I listed below is probably overkill if I’m not gaming– any suggestions for something more modest?

-Would like to use a SSD - will this complicate the build too much for a newbie?

-Mixed reviews on the case I selected but I’d like something clean looking without a million flashing lights. Open to suggestions here.

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Motherboard:
Asus P8P67 Pro $189.00 ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CPU:
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
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU
XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM
CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX8GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

SSD
Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW120G3K5 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

HDD
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
$74.99 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 20F3%201TB

GPU
MSI N560GTX-TI Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Optical Drive

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R ... 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$20.99 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6827135204

Case
Antec Sonata Elite Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

OS
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM).
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Appreciate any comments and suggestions.
April 20, 2011 6:35:09 PM

looks good. I don't think you can ever have too much GPU ;)  you picked a solid one, if its in your budget then go with it. if you are trying to economize then you could just get a HD 5770:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I am not a fan of 1.65v ram on a p67 mb. just a suggestion. here are links to some good ram for P67 MB's

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

the Antec case is good conservative choice. newegg.ca doesn't have a big selection of non-flashy cases. Hhere is a silent case from quietpc that is really nice. they ship to canada also.

http://www.quietpcusa.com/NZXT-H2-Classic-Silent-Midtow...


SSD is just like a HD except you just need to make sure you SATA controller is set to AHCI mode and make sure TRIM is enabled in WIN7 (just google it for step by step)

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April 20, 2011 7:05:39 PM

Switch to the 2600 or 2600K CPU, and cut the price on the motherboard and/or GPU if necessary. It has hyper-threading. The 2500K does not. This is a big difference for Photoshop and other programs that can use it.
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April 20, 2011 7:43:43 PM

^^Agreed. Also CS5 can make use of the CUDA processing on nVIDIA cards. A GTX 460 would be a good bet. They can be had for ~$160. 8GB of ram is a good start, but 16GB might be worth the extra expense. You can switch to an H67 motherboard to save some money there. Take a look at the MSI H67MA-E45 for $114.99 or the ASUS P8H67-M EVO for $139.99. Both have similar features...pick your poison.

Also, with no overclocking and a single GPU, this XFX 650w PSU will suffice and will save you about $35 after rebates ($25 up front).

A couple of inexpensive HDDs in RAID 0 would also benefit you. They call it a scratch disk. I'm not familiar with it, but have seen it suggested several times in photo editing builds.

All prices and links above are newegg, but see what you can find at directcanada.com. Free shipping on orders over $50.
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April 20, 2011 9:15:31 PM

^ No it doesn't.

Photoshop doesn't make use of Mercury (The Adobe Premiere engine), Neither Illustrator, nor Lightroom, all of which he's using. Dreamweaver is just a coding program, no reason for CUDA to be needed. I know about this because I've used all of them.

My personal opinion this is a better build.
i5 2500 + MSI E43 $287: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
My justification for the E43, no ASUS boards come near it for the value.
Corsair CX430 $45 (not including $20 MIR): http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Samsung F3 1TB 55$: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec Sonata Elite $100: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Vertex 3 120GB $300: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Kingston T1 DDR3 1600 8GB $101: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Total: $888 Before Shipping/Rebates

Vertex 3 (550mb read/500mb write) Best SSD out there Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...

THG Recommends Kingston T1 8GB kit: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-vengeance-c...

CX430 review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Corsair-CX430-Po...


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April 20, 2011 10:11:01 PM

aznshinobi said:
^ No it doesn't.

Photoshop doesn't make use of Mercury (The Adobe Premiere engine), Neither Illustrator, nor Lightroom, all of which he's using. Dreamweaver is just a coding program, no reason for CUDA to be needed. I know about this because I've used all of them.


I'm not doubting you, but then why does one see that stated so often on these forums? While it doesn't support CUDA out of the box, I believe there are CUDA plug-ins for Photoshop, no?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adobe-cs5-cuda-64-b...
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April 20, 2011 10:17:35 PM

Ahhh Did some research, you are correct about the plugin nd_hunter. Sadly it is only for one thing, photo retouching (wrinkles to be exact). In the end you really just need, and will mostly use the spot-heal tool. But that's just me. I find that plug-in rather, meh since the rest of the plugins don't use CUDA. (HDR, Filters, Image Adjustments)
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April 20, 2011 10:21:39 PM

aznshinobi said:
Ahhh Did some research, you are correct about the plugin nd_hunter. Sadly it is only for one thing, photo retouching (wrinkles to be exact). In the end you really just need, and will mostly use the spot-heal tool. But that's just me. I find that plug-in rather, meh since the rest of the plugins don't use CUDA. (HDR, Filters, Image Adjustments)


Heh, yeah, I do very light editing in Photoshop and have an AMD card (hoping I can save up enough over the summer to have a decent Eyefinity setup come this fall). I thought CUDA support was more widespread until I did a little more research myself after your last post.
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April 20, 2011 10:34:06 PM

^ Then the CPU for photoshop editing is enough, if you only do light editing Cuda is useless to you.
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April 21, 2011 12:17:30 AM

@jerreddredd - thanks for the link to the NZXT case & the SSD tip.

@AznShinobi - thanks for the clarification regarding CUDA. I’m only doing light editing in Photoshop so the i5 2500 is more than enough for me.

@nd_hunter - great tip re directcanada.com. Reviews are pretty good and free shipping over $50 will save me a bundle.

Thanks to everyone else for your input – much appreciated!
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