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New build for Photoshop and web... Need Advice!

Last response: in Systems
June 30, 2011 10:20:37 PM

Here goes... I think this is basically what I will be building. Any and all advice, critique, etc... is welcome....
Also, as this is my first build, if you see incompatible items, please let me know.
If you have recommendations for replacements, while maintaining my budget, also, please let me know.

Approximate Purchase Date: Early next week. (July 5 2011)

Budget Range: $800-$950... before rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: This system will be used for photography business. Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom. Internet, and basic website management. If I play games, it will be rare, and probably not the "newest and greatest" or at the highest quality/resolution. I am not a "gamer."

Parts Not Required: Not including monitor and photo software in the build.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg... but open to other options if you have em.

Country of Origin: U.S...

Parts Preferences: I have no "brand loyalty" issues on the build. Although my research leads me to ASUS, MSI for major components. I am more concerned with quality and stability than with "flash."

Overclocking: I am open to overclocking... if it will make photo editing smoother/faster/better. But this is my first build, and I am nervous to do that.

SLI or Crossfire: Dont know enough about it. I don't think I'll need 2 video cards... (that iswhat they are for, right?)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Quiet would be nice. LED lights don't interest me. I anticipate that, if my build goes well, I will be regularly upgrading as necessary.

Prices include shipping...

CPU : Core i7 2600... $299.99
Or is it worth the $15 to move to the 2600K for $314.99...? Will I need that if I decide to overclock later down the line?

MOBO: ASUS P8P67 $149.99
I have a couple of alternatives here... Am I gaining anything significant if I go to the ASRock P67 Extreme? $168.49
Or am I giving anything important up by saving a few bucks and going to the
ASUS P8P67 LE ? $129.99

GPU: ASUS ENGTS450 DC OC/DI/1GD5 GeForce GTS 450 $132.98 ... $20 rebate..
I suppose I could go to a GTX 460... but dont know if it is worth the extra cash if I am not gaming...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) 1333... $69.99...
I liked the price, that it says it is "designed for the P67" and is at 1.5V. But open to other options if they make a difference... I will probably upgrade to 16GB by the end of the year...

HDD Samsung Spinpoint F3 $64.99...
dang... it went up $10 since i last looked. Everybody seems to agree it is "the HDD" available... although there is a Seagate Barracuda for $5 less... I only have the reviews on Newegg to go on...

Optical: LG $19.99
is there a reason to spend another $5 on another model? they all look the same as far as I can tell.

Case: Rosewill Challenger.. $49.99 a Tom's Recommendation...
but I do also like the Antec 300 for $59.45

PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX430 $39.99... $20 rebate
Or step up to the CX500 $49.99 with a $20 rebate?

OR..... should i get the Antec Three Hundred that comes with the BP430 PSU... for $89.95...?

Windows Home Premium 64 bit is $99.99

I guess ill throw in a mouse and keyboard for a decent manufacturer $27.86

So... the build... not including monitor and keyboard/mouse... is $955.76... with $40 in rebates for final cost of $915.76
Looks like it could go down $20 if I used that LE version of the MOBO...
And up as much as $45 to upgrade the CPU and PSU...

Thoughts? Advice?

July 1, 2011 1:29:17 AM

I think you are off to a great start but I would recommend a few changes.

The 2600K is worth it. Even if you never overclock. The reason is that large overclocks are VERY easy on this processor, and that means it will still be valuable long after the 2600 is too slow to use. (4 years or so)

I recommend a good Z68 board. You get the onboard GPU as a backup if nothing else, and this one comes with an onboard USB 3.0 header:

You don't need a GTS 450. The onboard video would be fine for PS.

If you want more graphics for light gaming

Corsair CX430 is a good budget PSU but not what I would recommend for a machine that needs to work for a business.

Seasonic S12II 430B

Antec NEO ECO 520W

Antec EA 430D

In that order.

You don't need to crossfire or SLI.

A good CPU cooler should be installed up front, so it doesn't need to be changed when you decide to OC. That will be a bit for a very quiet one:

Xigmatek Gaia
Keep the fan setting on quiet while running at stock clocks and it should be quiet for you, may get loud at overclocked temps requiring some good fan replacements.

Noctua NH-D14
The high end silence/performance choice.
July 1, 2011 1:36:04 AM

I Would recommend getting this GTs 450 which that is faster and lower price:

I Would also recommend getting the 500Watts PSU with the $20 rebate:

You dont need SLI unless you play games... BTW it also depends what uses the video card(If reaches around 80% GPU Usage when you do Photo shop than you need SLI)

For your RAM, I recommend this one:

Also, for your CPU, you dont need an 8Threaded CPU, you just need 4 Cores and 4 Thread for most of the stuff... Get the i5-2600k because Most programs dont really use threaded application that much(Some programs dont take advantage of HTT) and BTW, i rather get the K series if your Overclocking this i would recommend(If want performance) but if you dont want to OC, no point getting the 2600/2600k... Get the i5-2600k and use the $$40 for a cooler like CMH212+ and also get AS-5 for around $5:
Related resources
July 1, 2011 1:13:15 PM

Thanks, Proximon.
You recommend a Z68 board. Are there any real advantages at my level to going with this chipset instead of the P67? I am concerned that it will drive up the cost for no noticeable gain for my usage (from what I have read elsewhere).

My motherboard needs, as I see them, include....
-ability to use multiple hard drives... for storage and programs...
-USB 3.0 for fast camera connection
-eSATA... to attach portable/backup hard drives.

I selected an Nvidia graphics card because I have been reading that Photoshop utilizes the "Cuda" cores, so the Nvidia is a noticeable improvement... Please let me know if I am mistaken. I like the savings, but only if I am not losing performance.

I think I will add the Xigmatek Gaia to the build... I hadn't thought of additional cooling... but it is probably a good idea!
July 1, 2011 5:33:34 PM

Looking at the build... and my budget...
Am I making a mistake if I switch to the i5 2500k processor? instead of the i7... save nearly $100
July 1, 2011 6:48:24 PM

An SSD may not be in your budget now, but a smaller inexpensive one could be purchased to act as a HDD cache, greatly speeding HDD performance. That's another feature of Z68.

You pretty much need to spend a bit more to get a board with the internal USB 3.0 connection, which seems to me somewhat important given your usage. Of all the recent hardware improvements, I find USB 3.0 most compelling.

The i5 and i7 are nearly identical in performance if the application does not make use of the features of the i7. It depends very much what your work involves and how important the time is.

CS5 and Lightroom do not appear to take advantage of hyperthreading, so it might be a safe downgrade. Of course, some future version or new program you use might take advantage, I can't say.

CUDA performance makes sense, yes.

July 1, 2011 8:01:10 PM

Just to make sure I understand what you are saying...
The Z68 mobos allow for the use of the SSD drive... which I can see the advantage of...
If my budget doesnt allow for it now, I could add an SSD down the road and will see faster HDD performance... Let me know if I have that right...

When you mention "internal USB 3.0." For that, I would look for what is mentioned on Newegg as Onboard USB 3... right?

soooo.... if I look for a z68... with onboard USB 3... THe lease expensive is GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 LGA $139.99 + shipping.
Any opinions on this mobo? Or do you think it is worth the extra $30 for your earlier recommendation.. . the only thing I see different on comparison is the onboard eSATA...

The rest of my setup based on a z68 looks like this:
i5 2600K = $220
EVGA GTS 450 card... $110 (thanks for the recommendation, legendkiller).
G.Skill Sniper 8GB on sale with a $15 code... is $60
THe Rosewill Challenger Case
THe Corsair 500W BuilderSeries PSU $60 minus $20 rebate
Seagate Barracuda 1TB $60
Windows 64 on sale $95
THe Xigmatek Gaia
Keyboard and Mouse...

Rounds out at $885.61 with shipping... and $40 in rebates ill probably see in late 2012...

That is great if the system is good... because I was oriiginally going to pay $830 plus tax ($880 total) for an ASUS system at best buy...

Thanks again for your opinion and help!
July 1, 2011 9:08:31 PM

I hate it when I navigate away from a long response :p 

All boards let you use a SSD. Z68 boards let you use a small SSD to speed up your mechanical drive. It can be a good option for people like you that need lots of HDD space but need to have it all working quickly. For a gamer like me not so much... I just use a larger SSD because I don't really need huge amounts of fast storage.

Traditionally builds like yours might use a RAID, several drives working together. Not so needed now with this new tech.

Many cases have front panel USB 3.0 ports... these are not elegant but will work. They route a cable all the way out the back of the case to plug into a rear USB 3.0 port. This is really the best budget option, but generally you are MISSING the extra 3.0 ports that way. I do feel that anyone in your line of work needs those extra USB 3.0 ports. When you see the difference in file transfers to thumb drives you will understand why.

So choices for front panel USB 3.0 cases that will actually connect to a header are minimal and more expensive. I have a very high end case but it's older... so I use this item:
It's the only one I know of right now. So you can go that route with your case, which is what I would do. OR, you can get this Rosewill case:
And just route the cable out the back for the one USB 3.0 port.

If you need to save a bit more you could also use this combo:
That's an adequate ATNG-built PSU, and probably slightly superior or the same quality as the Corsair you have chosen.

Finally if you have saved enough...
Intel 320 40GB SSD

July 2, 2011 10:40:58 PM

Thanks again, Proximon. I hadn't thought about the usb 3.0 on the case.
I think i can go up a few bucks to get a case with it already in... and i think i prefer this from Lian Li for $60...
(I'd rather get the version withOUT the window for the same $... but it is out of stock...

And then move up to that Rosewill PS that is in that combo you linked. Unless you can think of a better $60 option for the PSU.
Or... I just noticed this Antec which will be at $60 after i enter the promo code... and then a rebate later...

I think ill wait on the SSD... but that is definitely in the future upgrade list...along with more memory... and later on... more HDDs for all the pics that will fill it up...