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Need Advice on building an image editing/storage rig

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September 1, 2011 8:26:02 AM

Hi all,

I used to build and maintain systems from corporate servers to gaming rigs for clients from 1999 to 2005. At that time I took the leap from LAN Admin to WAN Architect and have been out of the PC side of things since. I have come to the realization my 2005 Toshiba laptop, with new HDD, RAM, and screen will just not cut it anymore. I am looking to piece together a system to meet my needs and hopefully last around 4 to 5 years.

Here is what I am looking to do:
Digital video conversion from DV tape to editable version so I can make own DVDs. Photo editing for RAW 12MP files using Nikon CNX2 and GIMP (CNX is 32bit program and seems limited to i5 CPU). Archiving of DV and photo files and ability to burn onto optical for backups. Currently photos take up about 750GB, music is about 60Gb, video is mostly on tape, other files are in cloud storage.
Will be running Windows 8, when it comes out, looking to do this build early next year, maybe Windows 7 but not sure on that yet.
Other use will be light duty office program work, internet surfing, older game use (AOE2&3, SC Brood War, SimCity, Ghost Recon and Delta Force series FPS, nothing serious by today's standards). The core work will be video/photo work and storage.
So far I am looking at an i5 Sandy Bridge system but have some questions on the new MB connections... I am currently overseas, for last 5 years, and given US economy might be stuck here for more time so figured I should get a more modern rig set up. Currently in China so access to off market cheaper alternative is plentiful but quality here is horrid.

Budget on the below will be $1400 or less due to monitor, case, cables, case fans, OS, etc. needed. I see $500 systems out there but even if I find one I would need to replace the MB and other components to get the below item performance, or would I? Wish List is on NewEgg but not listed in the public tab just yet, titled Photo Rig with note stating i5 Sandy Bridge ASUS P8 MB...

CPU - i5-2500k with Thermaltake Silent 1156 heat sink
MB - ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev 3)
RAM - 4x 4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 with Kingston HyperX KHK-Fans
PS - Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 ATX
Above is around $720 local

Video - EVGA 01G-P3-1371-TR GTX460 Fermi 1GB PCI Exp 2.0
Sound - Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champ Series
Above is around $360 local

OS HDD - WD Cavier Blue WD3200AAKX 320Gb 7200 SATA 6.0
Storage HDD - Either WD AV-GP 20EURS 2TB SATA 3.0 or Samsung EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB SATA 3.0 (possibly 2 in RAID config)
Optical - LG WH12LS30 BlueRay SATA burner multi disc AND Lite-On iHDS118-04 SATA DVD ROM
Above is around $230-250 local depending on which storage drives to get

Don't care about the case, fans, lights or cables, as long as cooling is good and port access is convenient I can go with anything. Monitor will be a 19" to 24" to make photo editing easier. Not sure about cross fire or SLI as this is newer video tech and really don't see detailed gaming in my future. Speakers will be medium quality 2 or 2x1 but headphones will be used. Eventually I will get a better speaker system but that is a low priority. Eventually a photo quality printer, negative scanner, and image editing Waycom tablet added to the system. Would like it to be quiet and in a tower under my desk. Access to ports for camera and video equipment is key.

Is there a pre-configured or big box PC that could match this performance for less? I hate all the bloat and adware loaded onto those systems and Dell's proprietary mainboards and power supplies.

1) Is everything above compatible? From what I can tell it is but the PCI, PCI Express, and SATA options have confused me a bit so not sure

2) Did I miss anything? I know the MB has a build in Sound but I like the SB products and the front panel jacks/access and room for growth

3) Are there better drives in terms of reliability or durability? I have had problems with Seagate 3 times in the recent past so they are out

4) Is this under/over powered for what my intended use is? I have 2 kids so hard core gaming is out for at least 8 more years, then too old

5) Will it last 4-5 years? When I last worked on PC 2.4Ghz hyper threading was new, at least 64bit finally here now...

6) Are there less priced alternatives but equal or better durability components out there? Not sure what QC is like these days

Thanks in advance for input, suggestions, or anything helpful. While the tech has moved a lot in the last 6 years I don't see all that much difference in the nuts and bolts part (outside of SATA eliminating EIDE interfaces). The whole PCI Express and video card port combinations are what trips me up now.
September 2, 2011 5:30:08 AM

Still no feedback?
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September 2, 2011 5:16:17 PM

If you're not going to build for several months, don't bother trying to piece it together now. I would post this again when you're within a 1 month time-frame at most.
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