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AMD or Intel for mATX Photoshop Workstation

Last response: in Systems
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February 12, 2012 6:49:08 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as next week, willing to wait (to save up/increase budget)

Budget Range: ~$500 immediately, can save up more if needed.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Adobe Photoshop/Corel Painter, Illustrator/DRAW, FLASH, games, internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, optical, OS, PSU, GPU

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: whatever's cheapest (newegg, fry's, amazon, etc.)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: That's what I'm here to discuss

Overclocking: Not immediate, but I'd like the option to

SLI or Crossfire: Potentially, if required down the line

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I have a 650W Rosewill HIVE PSU; I assume this will be enough for either build.

Now that that's out of the way, I'd just like to ask some public opinions, since I'm sure there are plenty of you that would know more than I. Right now I'm in the process of building a new workstation for myself; my work is almost entirely done in Photoshop, with the occasional project in other Adobe programs. I'm aware that despite all the Bulldozer hate on these forums, the FX-8150 actually outperforms the equivalent Intel chips for Photoshop work (I've seen this in numerable benchmarks as well as in person, on friends' computers). The problem I've encountered, however, is that there aren't a lot of good quality microATX mobo's for the FX chips, and unfortunately I'm pretty set on keeping this an mATX build. I travel a lot, and keeping this machine as small as possible is a must for me. I plan on using the Silverstone Temjin TJ08B-E case for this build either way; I'm in love with its size, the space management, and feel confident with its quality. If there are other suggestions, I ask that they be close to the dimensions of the Temjin, as space is a huge factor for me.

So, for now, I've narrowed my final build to these two possible combos:
Intel
Mobo: Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
Processor: i7 2600k

AMD
Mobo: Asus M5A88-M
Processor: FX-8150

Both of these potential builds would be a nice upgrade for me. Naturally, the AMD set would save me some money too. But I'm also concerned with which build would last me the longest; 5 years down the line, will either have a stronger upgrade path? Even if I'm just swapping out chips for marginal performance increase, I've become racked with the idea that AMD would have the better [socket] longevity, while Intel would have the better mobo features. Can anyone else offer some advice, and/or shed some light on other factors that would help me decide?
Thanks in advance
February 12, 2012 4:57:54 PM

The FX pathway is so muddy at this point (read the Toms and Anandtech reviews) that I just can't justify anyone investing in it. The changes MS made to Win7 didn't help. AMD is claiming that Win8 will make a difference. The Intel i series gives you a path forward although the pin changes coming up will, in a couple of years, change things anyway.

Right now I think the Intel path is better. Look at the i5-2500k to see if the OC ability makes it a better buy than the i7.
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February 12, 2012 9:29:16 PM

Thanks for the input. Unfortunately the i5 2500k doesn't have hyperthreading, which is a must considering my work.

At the very least, it sounds like Ivy Bridge will be able to work on some Z68 boards, before the LGA1155 is phased out, so I may take your advice and go Intel. I'm still open to other thoughts, before I bite this bullet
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Related resources
February 12, 2012 10:21:46 PM

AMD FX-8120 Eight Core CPU ($199.99)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
M5A97 Asus Motherboard (FREE with CPU)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
MSI Radeon HD 5670 Graphics Card ($69.99) ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.Skill Value Series 8GB DDR3 1333 MHz ($36.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Source 210 ATX Computer Case ($39.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Builder Series CX430 430w PSU ($44.99) ($20 rebate) ($8 off with promo EMCNJHD22, ends 2/1)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB HDD ($69.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus x24 DVD Burner ($18.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total = $480.93 without shipping, tax at Microcenter, rebates ($30), or promocodes

I hope you live near a microcenter.
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February 13, 2012 1:33:27 AM

I appreciate the suggested build, but I don't think you understood what I'm looking for. I already have all the parts needed except for the mobo and chip, and I'm only looking for opinions regarding the usual AMD vs Intel debate, with consideration that most of my work is going to be done in Photoshop.

And sadly, I do not live anywhere close to a microcenter, but having seen their discounts and sales, I sure wish I did.
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