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Light gaming enthusiat digital photography workhorse

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October 9, 2011 8:12:48 PM

Hi,

I am currenlty planning a new built and woud like some feedback/suggestions from the community. I like ot upgrade componenets every once in a while, so future compatibility is important.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month or so

Budget Range: $1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop CS5, video editing, mediaplayer/server, gaming (starcraft/diablo)

Parts Not Required:monitor (Dell U2711), mouse, keyboard, speakers, os, and I have another thread on GPU (not included in budget):


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ncix.com, tigerdirect

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences:Have my eye on the Asus P8Z68 Deluxe Gen 3 (not set in stone), would like a modular PSU and to stick to ATX (but might need to go full tower). SSD for system/programs drive.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 2560x1440 to 5120x1440

Additional Comments:I would like a quiet PC and something that stays cool since the case might be partly enclosed (desk design). I have sevral internal and external drives totalling >20TB, so no need for other data disks.

Thanks for your help

October 9, 2011 9:22:30 PM

2600k
z68 motherboard
4 x4 gig of 1600MHz RAM . Must be 1.5 volt or less , and the timings as tight as possible
Case suggestions
antec p183 v3
Fractal Designs R3

I think you are right to look at professional graphics cards . But for still images you dont need to go overboard on these .

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October 9, 2011 9:27:18 PM

Wow! Tall order. (btw, welcome to the forums :) 

Well, no problem. I built one for something just like this earlier, check it out.

CPU: i7-2600k: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $315
Mobo: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $150
PSU: Enermax 750w modular: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $120
SSD: Crucial M4 256GB: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $400 (your probably don't need that 256GB, but I threw it in there. Feel free to swap with the 128GB for $220)
Cooling: Hyper 212+ Evo: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683... $37
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB 1600MHz (x2) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... $100
Total is $1,123 Not to bad for what you get!

I leave the case wide open. I don't know your tastes, so you'll have to do some investigation into silent PC's.

Cheers!
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October 9, 2011 9:46:31 PM

Thanks guys,

This looks like a decent set-up!

It being quiet is not a necessity (flexible on that). Leaving the case open for me is not an option (lots of small fingers in the house where this computer is goign to be located). My budget is somewhat flexible, and as for SSDs, I think 256GB is a good size fopr me, since my current OS drive has 175GB used and I have no data on there whatsoever.

I think some of the options (case and mobo) will boil down to what I get as a GPU (and its/their dimensions)...
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October 9, 2011 10:02:41 PM

Eh, as long as you're not going SLI (you do NOT need to go SLI), most cases/mobos will be fine. The case will go by your stylistic preference, and the motherboard by its features.
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October 9, 2011 10:49:48 PM

Well, I have seen people running their machine with the ase open....

I know that some professional GPUs are close to 11.5 inches long, which I think is longer than the mobo and might be tough to fit in some mobo/case combinations...
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October 9, 2011 11:04:37 PM

If you stick to a gaming case you should be fine, but check it out.
That Fractal case will take 11.4. I'm not sure about the second one, but the Sonata takes 15"!
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October 12, 2011 3:09:40 AM

After much reading and thinking, I decided it might not be worth it to go with a Pro video card until I can afford high-end monitors that can do true 10-bit per channel through hardware. So here is what I have decided on:

Display: 2x Dell U2711 http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&cs=cabsdt1&l=en&s=bsd&sku=224-8284&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch&redirect=1 (not included in budget - $380 off today btw)
Mobo: ASRock extreme 3 gen 3 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271 ~$150
CPU: i7 2600k http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070&Tpk=i7%202600k ~$315
GPU: GTX590 (between Asus or EVGA..any significant difference? - and I do intend to buy yet another high res monitor, hence my choice of the 590) Not included in budget
PSU: Corsair AX850 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139015&Tpk=corsair%20ax850 ~$200
Memory: G.Skill eco (4x4GB - low profile to accomodate CPU cooling system) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231404 ~$190
SSD: Crucial M4 256GB http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148443 ~$400
CPU cooling: Noctua NH-D14 http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=47090&vpn=NH%2DD14&manufacture=Noctua ~$90
Case: Antec Solo II + 2 Antec True Quiet 120mm fans http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=64015&vpn=SOLO%20II&manufacture=Antec ~ $180

Total without GPU & display ~$1,525

What do you guys think? Anything that seems out of place or could be improved?
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October 12, 2011 8:31:19 PM

The 590 is a bad idea. It's inefficient and expensive. SLI 570s would perform better and quieter and be a better deal, or 580s for even better performance.
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October 12, 2011 8:36:27 PM

^^ agreed. And not to mention, an 850w PSU shouldn't be used to run dual 590's, or even 580's if you like efficiency.
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October 12, 2011 9:49:46 PM

^True, but I think the OP was talking about a single 590.
850 would be fine for dual 570s, but 580s would be happier with a 950 if you can afford it.
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October 12, 2011 9:54:02 PM

Oh lol, I see that now. I think I got this partially mixed up with another thread..... Nice catch, thanks.
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October 12, 2011 10:18:56 PM

Thanks for the replies,


The reason I went with the 590 is because I want to be able to run 3 monitors off one card in the future (7680x1440), and also have some PCI slots left open for other card types (might even consider a Pro GPU to add to the system eventually if I really need the 10-bit per channel output - of course the GPUs wouldn't be used at the same time).

So with the current set-up, would the 850W PSU be adequate? And when I add components in the future I upgrade I could upgrade the PSU. Or is going right away with a larger PSU the way to go? I went with the 850W according to some suggestions/reviews for quiet power supplies...
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October 12, 2011 10:25:05 PM

If they wouldn't be used at the same time, why not just physically switch them? It's not a big deal to physically swap GPUs.
(Admission of ignorance: how can one switch between GPUs in different slots?)
Regardless of my lack of knowledge, it's your call on whether not having to swap cards is worth $70ish ($680 for 2x570 vs $750 for 590) and the loss of performance with the 590.
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October 12, 2011 10:34:26 PM

I have read that you can run one of two GPUs that are installed by deactivating one of them while using the other, without having to physically swap the cards. When I decide go that way, I would probably swap every couple of days or even more often, so I can see physiucal swaps becoming a pain...And I am more after resolution/convenience rather than performace, hence my choice of the 590 over 2x570. And the $70 is (to me ) worth it for saving some time and hassle.
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October 12, 2011 10:39:49 PM

etchouta said:
I have read that you can run one of two GPUs that are installed by deactivating one of them while using the other, without having to physically swap the cards. When I decide go that way, I would probably swap every couple of days or even more often, so I can see physiucal swaps becoming a pain...And I am more after resolution/convenience rather than performace, hence my choice of the 590 over 2x570. And the $70 is (to me ) worth it for saving some time and hassle.

you could just get a radeon card, such as a 6970, since i'm assuming you won't be gaming across all three monitors. However, nvidia does have cuda cores, so it's up to you
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October 12, 2011 10:40:06 PM

You know that even the cheapo AMD cards can run 3 monitors, right? A 1GB 5670 could tackle that task. (albeit not in gaming)
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October 12, 2011 10:40:37 PM

Hm. If I were you, I'd figure out the situation with the pro GPU. Are you going to get one? Unless you're going to be doing big 3D modeling stuff, you'll be more processor-dependent in PS and your video editing, and you've already done the best you can in that area. If you can decide on that, you can make a better GPU decision now.
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October 12, 2011 10:42:58 PM

striker410 said:
You know that even the cheapo AMD cards can run 3 monitors, right? A 1GB 5670 could tackle that task. (albeit not in gaming)

true, but the 6970 would be better in gaming, which he does plan on doing. still, a lower-end card would be much cheaper
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October 12, 2011 10:46:34 PM

If he doesn't play anything more challenging than Starcraft and Diablo, I think the 6970 is overkill. Maybe a 6870 2GB or 6950 2GB?
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October 12, 2011 10:47:54 PM

striker410 said:
If he doesn't play anything more challenging than Starcraft and Diablo, I think the 6970 is overkill. Maybe a 6870 2GB or 6950 2GB?

i'd say 6870, if he's only going to play on one of the monitors, but 6950 if on all three
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October 12, 2011 10:54:17 PM

Thanks everyone for the input!

I think that I should stick to nvidia because of Photoshop and the cuda cores. I am pretty set on getting a Pro GPU in the near future (doens't have to be high-end one - minimal 3D rendering) for the colour depth. So basically I have to go with a set-up on which I can run 3 monitors on for now and do a lot of Photoshop (nvidia GPU better at that) and which can accomodate the addition of a Pro card in the future (nvidia as well).

If I was going for the dual GPU set-up right away, I would go with AMD for gaming and nvidia for the pro, but since I will run only 1 card for the time being (on which I will also be gaming a little), I think I will have to stick with a 590 and add a Quadro later.

As far as the PSU, would the 850W be able to handle the addition of a lower-end Quadro in the future (I admit tha power is my weakest area of knowledge when it comes to PCs).
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October 12, 2011 10:57:36 PM

Quadro's are ripoffs IMO. They are essentially lower end cards with substantially better drivers. You should have no problems at all running even the most high end Quadro's.

That said, you may want to do a little more investigation into them before dropping $1,000 on a card. Many times, the GTX line cards can be "hacked" (software) so they have some of the abilities that were reserved for pro cards. Here's the best known example: http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....
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October 12, 2011 11:00:01 PM

Hold on. A 590, or dual 570s, will be better than a low-end Quadro. If you're not going to drop a lot of money on one, go GTX.
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October 12, 2011 11:00:55 PM

^+1(to striker14's post)

and the gtx 590 is just about the worst price/performance
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October 12, 2011 11:05:26 PM

The Quadro (and FirePro) line is the only line that can output @10 bit per channel (30 bit) as opposed to 8 bit per channel (24 bit) colour depth, which is what I am after for image processing/photography (has to be used in combination with compatible monitors). If there was a GTX card that could output to 30 bit, I would never consider the Quadros and go straight for that...
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October 12, 2011 11:08:09 PM

Do you think you'll be able to tell? lol
If you say so.
I don't know why I haven't thought of this, but why not just get a mobo with three stupid PCIe slots? You can put your 570s in the first two (yes, morgoth, the 590 is bad, as said above) and your little quadro in the last.
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October 12, 2011 11:09:50 PM

kajabla said:
Do you think you'll be able to tell? lol
If you say so.
I don't know why I haven't thought of this, but why not just get a mobo with three stupid PCIe slots? You can put your 570s in the first two (yes, morgoth, the 590 is bad, as said above) and your little quadro in the last.

but would you want to put a quadro in an x4 slot? cause then OP would have to get a mobo that can do three slots @x8/x8/x8, which does get to be a bit more expensive
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October 12, 2011 11:12:23 PM

Because the quadro wouldn't need more bandwidth than x4 to do light color processing. If it's only there to output 10-bit in non-GPU-dependent programs, x4 doesn't really matter.
On the x8x8x8 note, is there anything less expensive than the $270 Z68 FTW out there?
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October 12, 2011 11:16:19 PM

kajabla said:
Do you think you'll be able to tell? lol
If you say so.
I don't know why I haven't thought of this, but why not just get a mobo with three stupid PCIe slots? You can put your 570s in the first two (yes, morgoth, the 590 is bad, as said above) and your little quadro in the last.


Given the right monitors, yes, it is somewhat easy to tell the difference between 24 bit and 30 bit (especially when you get into the dark greys/blacks).

I guess boards with more slots could be an option and I guess the price difference would make up for the diference between a 590 and 2x570 (unless I am way out on that)? Would something like the Asus P8Z68 deluxe work (I like the BT on that board)?
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October 12, 2011 11:17:38 PM

Well, the price difference, is the Z68 FTW is the only answer, would be $120 on the mobo, and you'd save $70 on the 570s vs 590, so $50.
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October 12, 2011 11:28:26 PM

striker410 said:
Well, from doing a little reading, it looks like almost all cards from ATI 4800 on and Nvidia 200 series on have 30 bit processing, it's just disabled.
Example: http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
"Full 30-bit display processing"

And Anandtech says the Dell U2711's color accuracy is a bit off, anyway: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2922/7


Yeah, the U2711 is what I can afford now, but will be moving to LaCie or Eizo down the line. The U2711 is not a true 30-bit anyway, since it is doing it through LUT.

Is it possible to enable the 30-bit of these cards? From what I read it seemed like the Quadro/FirePro were my only options...
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