I've been researching as best I can for the last few days, going somewhat in circles in the process. Can you take a look and see if you think my plan is sensible? ie. no obvious bottlenecks or incompatibilities... I'd also like to run linux as my main OS and just run windows in a VM. Do you think it'll be fast enough to run photoshop in a windows VM or will I still have to dual boot?
CPU - Intel i5 2500k MOBO - Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Memory - Corsair 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz Graphics - Asus 1GB Radeon HD 6850 PCI-E 2 CPU Heatsink - Zalman CNPS 5X SRT - Nocti mSATA 60GB SSD (just for the caching, I have another drive for main HDD)
If you love detail, my requirements are:
Approximate Purchase Date: this week Budget Range: ~£600 GBP (~$900 USD) System Usage from Most to Least Important: Programming, photo editing, video editing Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, case, HDD, PSU. I tried to look up my PSU in my email then realised that I bought my current machine before GMail was even launched. Geez, it must be 10 years old. Anyway, I think it's only a 20pin connector because my current MOBO is the Asus A7N8X. Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon Country: UK Parts Preferences: compatible with Win7 & Ubuntu Overclocking: Maybe SLI or Crossfire: Maybe Monitor Resolution: currently 1680x1050 but expect to upgrade one day... Additional Comments: Quiet is quite important. I don't play games (too addictive, had to go cold-turkey years ago!).
Just a note, I recommend getting a 120gb ssd for os and programs as a ssd alone has better performance than caching, but if you want to keep it cheap then go with caching.
Certainly not on an ~£600 GBP (~$900 USD) budget - that will drastically distort the build and what other hardware the OP is able to buy. You can always add one on later as an upgrade - most modern cases make adding and removing drives really easy to do so.
@tagxl007 - "ssd alone has better performance than caching"
Is the difference significant?
A little reading around seems to suggest the 6850 doesn't play very nicely in ubuntu. not sure what to do
Every sata controller has its own performance as far as caching, the link is an example of Asus caching benchmarks and you can see the difference between hdd only, ssd caching and only ssd, but yeah if your on a small budget then caching is the way to go, you can always add a ssd later as your primary drive or if you are willing to pay an extra $100 for the performance its up to you