Budget Photo Editing Workstation

I'm new to these forums. I haven't built a PC for 11 years or so but am looking forward to building what I describe as primarily a budget photo editing PC. I'll also be doing a bit of gaming but most of what I play are not the latest titles but several years old so I won't need the latest and greatest graphics card.

Any advice/suggestions for alternative parts welcome.


Approximate Purchase Date: Next 7 days

Budget Range: £600-£700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo Editing and storage, music library storage, Video transcoding/editing, light gaming, surfing the internet, office apps and email

Parts Not Required: monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.co.uk ebuyer.com scan.co.uk overclockers.co.uk

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences:
I am looking at a i5-2500K / Z68 motherboard combo.

Overclocking: Never overclocked before but am interested in giving it a go. The i5-2500K seems like a good place to start.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200

Additional Comments: VGA connector for CRT monitor, but likely to upgrade in the next year. The two HDD are configured in RAID1.

Parts List:

I'd like to overclock this but not sure what cooler to go for. Noctua-NH-D14 or Scythe Mugen Mugen 2 seems a little overkill.
Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked Core i5 Quad-Core Processor (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache, Socket 1155)

650W seems like a bit much for the build but I can't find much less poserful for a significant reduction in cost and I would rather have a decent PSU.
Corsair TX Series, 650 Watt, ATX, PS/2, Power Supply, UK Version (CMPSU-650TXUK)​

Seems like the heatsinks on these are lower profile than others and would help prevent blocking of the heatsink and fans.
G-Skill 8GBXL Ripjaws X for Intel Sandybridge Platforms DDR3 PC12800 1600MHz 8GB Kit

No frills Z68 motherboard.
AsrockZ68 Pro 3 Intel 1155 Motherboard Supports Intel K-Series Unlocked CPU's, ATI Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX

Budget graphic card which should be enough for my needs.
Sapphire 11167-04-20R HD 5570 1GB DDR3 Graphics Card

Still can't make up my mind on using a SSD. The enthusiast in me likes the fast boot times this should give but can't decide whether to spend the money elsewhere.
OCZ Agility 3 Series 60GB SATA III 2.5 inch Solid State Drive

Would kind of like more storage, but this is already twice what I need.
2 x WD Caviar Black WD5002AALX - Hard drive - 500 GB - internal - 3.5" - SATA-600 - 7200 rpm - buffer: 32 MB

Looks like a solid budget case.
Antec Three Hundred Midi Case

Total Cost: £607.70
4 answers Last reply
More about budget photo editing workstation
  1. Cooler Master Hyper 212+ or ( EVO ) is a good cooler for a small price.

    For SSD Crucial M4 64GB is very popular and speedy, might consider that. It is worth your money or sure.

    For storage, get 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - gives you more space and the drives are faster as well price is roughly the same.

    You probably want a DVD drive as well but those are like £15.

    I do recommend that you get a slightly beefier graphics card in the lines of 5770, 6770, 6850 depending on what fits your budget.
    It will give a little more kick when gaming, especially when you upgrade your monitor later on.
  2. Thanks for the reply.

    Will go for most of suggestions as they don't affect the price too much. Looked at the reviews for the SSD and it seems a pain to set up and configure. Is that the same for all SSDs or is that just this one?

    As for the graphics cards, none of the cards I have looked at have a 15 pin D connector for VGA, so unless there is another solution, I shall stick with the 5570.
  3. Is it worth going for Dual Channel DDR3 2133 RAM?
  4. jonski said:
    Is it worth going for Dual Channel DDR3 2133 RAM?

    Not really.
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