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Need Advice on New PC for a Graphic Designer

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April 25, 2011 2:05:03 AM

Hello,

I am a graphic designer running all Adobe CS5 products. I am currently using an HP Pavilion dv8000 from 5 years ago. It runs all the new programs ok except the new video editor, Premiere.

I'm looking to upgrade to a desktop. I was going to go for a Mac Pro but can't ignore the fact I can get a PC for half the price that runs faster and includes more.

My problems lies in knowing what technology is over priced, what I should be investing extra money in, and what maker delivers best quality.

These are what I have been looking at:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=b...

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668627.php

They are in the same ball part in price and what is included.


I guess narrow my questions down:

What graphics card should I go with?

Do I need an i7 or is lower ok? (Do the slight variations in GHz matter much?)

Should I go cheap on stock RAM and add my own? (Because I know the more RAM I have the better)

What maker should I go with and why? (My HP laptop has been good to me for 5 years)


Any help is appreciated. I know there are many threads in this topic when searched on Google, but I can't find any that are current.

Thanks
April 27, 2011 2:40:35 AM

jschneider28 said:
Hello,

I am a graphic designer running all Adobe CS5 products. I am currently using an HP Pavilion dv8000 from 5 years ago. It runs all the new programs ok except the new video editor, Premiere.

I'm looking to upgrade to a desktop. I was going to go for a Mac Pro but can't ignore the fact I can get a PC for half the price that runs faster and includes more.

My problems lies in knowing what technology is over priced, what I should be investing extra money in, and what maker delivers best quality.

These are what I have been looking at:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=b...

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668627.php

They are in the same ball part in price and what is included.


I guess narrow my questions down:

What graphics card should I go with?

Do I need an i7 or is lower ok? (Do the slight variations in GHz matter much?)

Should I go cheap on stock RAM and add my own? (Because I know the more RAM I have the better)

What maker should I go with and why? (My HP laptop has been good to me for 5 years)


Any help is appreciated. I know there are many threads in this topic when searched on Google, but I can't find any that are current.

Thanks


My knowledge of graphical design is limited but I understand that requirements of such a system. Most importantly I need to know your price point and whether you are willing to build your own PC.

A couple things that would help with recommendations is knowing if you are interested in a dual monitor setup or if you are able to wait for AMD's chips set technology that competes with Intel's sandy bridge platform.

Tom has a fantastic article on DIY PCs - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2...
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April 27, 2011 3:12:02 AM

Sorry, I forgot to look at the links provided and I think you can do a lot better if you build your own. Those mainstream providers are overpriced. Not to mention you are looking to purchase an essentially outdated processor. You can buy your components from newegg.com much cheaper and get a better PC for your money as well.

My recommendations:

Mother Board - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Tpk=ASRock%20P67%20Extreme4 - $160

Processor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $225 (you may want to buy additional cooling [Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus] for about $35 although I'm almost positive you don't need this)

Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $105

GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $200

Hard Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $65

SSD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $175

Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $60

PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $90

total - ~$1115

That machine is a much greater performer than the machines you had picked out on that website. For monitors, you could by two LED panels for $160 a pop. I know for GD visual representation is very important.

monitors - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $160

total with a single monitor setup ~$1275
total with a dual monitor setup ~$1435
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April 27, 2011 4:21:45 AM

awesome. I was thinking I wasn't going to get a reply and then out of no where I feel like I got one of the most helpful replies I could have gotten.

Couple questions...

Why did you choose the i5 over the i7?

(I watched the movie on the Sandy Bridge tech and they mentioned something about only specific mother boards can utilize it's full potential)
That being said, is this mother you chose up to par?

Lastly, I would feel real uncomfortable trying to put this together myself even with instructions (unless I'm thinking this is way more complicated than it is). I feel like if I do it on my kitchen table dust will get in something or I'll blow a chip because I rubbed my feet on the carpet one to many times.
How much would a computer business charge to put something like this together?
How long would it take a beginner to put it together?

You've been very helpful.

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April 27, 2011 4:46:23 AM

Oh, and what about the cost of Windows 7?
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April 27, 2011 4:56:23 AM

jschneider28 said:
awesome. I was thinking I wasn't going to get a reply and then out of no where I feel like I got one of the most helpful replies I could have gotten.

Couple questions...

Why did you choose the i5 over the i7?

(I watched the movie on the Sandy Bridge tech and they mentioned something about only specific mother boards can utilize it's full potential)
That being said, is this mother you chose up to par?

Lastly, I would feel real uncomfortable trying to put this together myself even with instructions (unless I'm thinking this is way more complicated than it is). I feel like if I do it on my kitchen table dust will get in something or I'll blow a chip because I rubbed my feet on the carpet one to many times.
How much would a computer business charge to put something like this together?
How long would it take a beginner to put it together?

You've been very helpful.


i5 vs i7 - in your builds, you didn't have the sandy bridge chip so I figured the i5 was more in your price range. The main difference between them is the i7 has hyper threading where the i5 does not. I'm not sure you would notice the difference so i chose the i5 2500k. The motherboard I chose was one from Tom's build. A lot of what I recommended was based off of this build:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-unlo...

I have no idea how much a business would charge for this service.

I put my first PC together in about two hours. The process is very simple really. Just make sure you have some isopropyl alcohol on hand to clean off the top of your processor before you mount the heat sink. When handling your MoBo, just make sure your hands are washed, you have your PSU screwed to your case, and your PSU is plugged into an outlet with a ground (most connectors have 2 flat prongs, the ground in the third connector placed between the two. Your PSU cord will have a ground just make sure if you are using an extension cord, it has that third connector). The reason for this is because you need to ground yourself before handling your MoBo. To ground yourself, touch the metal part of your case or the metal screws holding your PSU to your case.

Mostly, just use common sense when handling your components. The less you touch the connectors the better off you are in general. Actually, you want to avoid handling anything by their pins or connectors at all.

The major benefit to putting your own PC together is that you begin to learn how different components work and so that you can better service your PC on your own. It also allows you to make individual upgrades for various components rather than buying a new PC every time something fails on your PC.

The installation of the MoBo is the most complicated (still very simple however). Just be sure you read the manual that comes with it and you'll have a much easier time. Remember that some parts of the installation you can figure our by trial and error without harming your PC. One example would be figuring out how to connect the features on the front of your case to your MoBo. And once again, your manual will explain everything.
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April 27, 2011 5:01:45 AM

W7 64bit professional on newegg is $140

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think that is all you need. You can compare the features per version here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/co...

Make sure you have the feature comparison tab clicked. I recommend 64bit unless the CS suite you have isn't compatible. I dont remember the differences but 64bit is better than 32 however some software only runs on one or the other. Dont let that concern you because I think premium programs like the CS suites will run on 64.
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April 27, 2011 12:12:08 PM

Sorry, ignore the previous. You need 64bit but the version is up to you.
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April 27, 2011 5:21:10 PM

Awesome, I was telling some friends about this and found out went to school for Programming and knows a lot about computers. He says everything you have suggested is legit and is willing to help me put it together.

You've been a lot of help and I appreciate it.

I'll be sure to throw up a picture and let you know how everything worked out!
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April 27, 2011 11:49:30 PM

I'm sure you'll be more satisfied with this option than any other.
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!