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Budget Photo Editing Workstation

Last response: in Systems
October 12, 2011 11:45:58 PM

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:

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
October 13, 2011 10:05:03 AM

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.

October 18, 2011 3:19:20 PM

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.
Related resources
October 19, 2011 10:56:12 PM

Is it worth going for Dual Channel DDR3 2133 RAM?
October 20, 2011 1:41:33 AM

jonski said:
Is it worth going for Dual Channel DDR3 2133 RAM?

Not really.