Computer for heavy photoshop editing

I am looking to replace my Dell 8300 (vintage 2003) with a new system to handle processing 15 MP RAW images in Photoshop (or similar). Some people have told me that I can get a good computer for under $500 for that work - I seriously doubt it.

I'm looking to get a 4 or 6 core I7 processor, at least 12 GB RAM, and a 2 GB video card either NVidia or AMD.

I have my eye on the Dell Ultrasharp 27" monitor (the 24" is said to have a pink tinge to it)

Suggestions and comments welcome.

- John W
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  1. You won't get 12GB with an i7 for $500 but here is a close options. As for monitors, take a look at

    I have a few of them, and while they have had their quality issues (first version had some capacitor issues), the value is definitely there. 1920x1200 3ms panel is crisp, contrast is ok-good. I personally love 1200 vertical lines and almost everyone is 1080 these days. If I were you I'd go with the Hanns-G monitor and the XPS. If you really need 12GB of RAM, but some extra.

    Dell XPS 8300 - $799
    Processor Intel® Core™ i5-2400 processor(6MB Cache, 3.1GHz)
    Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
    Memory3 8GB3 DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
    Hard Drive 1000GB4 SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
    Video Card Nvidia® Geforce® GT530
    Monitor No Monitor
    Warranty 2 Year Premium Hardware Service

    Dell Ispiron 620MT
    Processor Intel® Core™ i5-2310 processor(6MB Cache, 2.90GHz)
    Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
    Memory3 6GB3 DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
    Hard Drive 1000GB4 SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
    Video Card AMD Radeon HD 6450 1GB DDR3
    Monitor Ships Fast Monitor Included
    Warranty 2 Year Basic Service Plan
  2. Thanks for your reply token. I checked the specs on the monitor you suggested and I'm still thinking of getting the Dell Ultrasharp U2711. Also, I would rather spend the money on an i7-2600 or an i7-9xx than go with an i5. I'm not afraid to spend up to $2,500 for a high-performance PC that won't need upgrading in the next 5 years. I think I can get unit with an i7-2600K, 12GB-16GB DDR3 SDRAM tri-channel at 1333MHz or perhaps go to an i7-970 to get 1600MHz.

    Any additional suggestions welcomed
  3. Does it have to be dell?
  4. Can you build it yourself? It'd be cheaper no doubt and you could possibly get a much better build for the money.

    Let me tell you right now though, you don't need 12-16GB of ram. I stitch 18 MP RAW photos into a panorama with 4GB and create them with 4GB. 8GB is more than enough. You don't need a older gen i7 they consume way more power and will probably only be a minor bit faster for a lot more money.

    Do you plan to overclock? What you've told us is not really any help at all. Because your requirements for Photoshop are quite easily met. My 955 could handle all the things you do. You defiantly don't need a i7. You also don't need a graphics either. (Cough a little more research could do a lot)
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