$800 photoshop studio


I'm looking to build a new PC for moderate to heavy use with Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3. This will be my first build so I'm not too sure of what I'm doing. I acutally used a build off of neweggs DIY combo and selected a few components. I'm not sure if I needed those parts or if something better is out there.

Approximate Purchase Date: (1 - 2 weeks)

Budget Range: $800 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3, minimal gaming (last game I bought was Starcraft 2)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, power supply, video card
I'm reusing a Tuniq Potency PSU-POT550-BK 550W.

I'm reusing a Palit NE3TS25EFHD02 GeForce GTS 250 E-Green 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, micro center

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type I would like to use an Intel Sandy or Ivy bridge, SSD

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I selected a few components off of a newegg DIY combo.
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 15000) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9

COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible
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  1. For photoshop you'll want to maximize your CPU, since the software is very CPU-intensive. I would recommend looking at least at a 2500K or ideally a 2600K.

    For a case I wouldn't be looking to spend on a full tower. A mid-tower like the HAF 912 would be plenty, and is actually somewhat on the larger side.

    RAM is fine, though you can usually find G.Skill or Patriot kits for a little cheaper. Look for 1333 or 1600 MHz, Cas Latency 8 or 9 (lower preferred) for around $40.

    There's really no need for a CM V8 cooler, seeing as you don't know if you'll be OCing. Also, bigger CPU heatsinks may be blocked by the RAM heatsinks. If you're going to bother purchasing a cooler, I'd go with the CM Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 EVO at most; they're great coolers even though they're not priced like it.

    SSDs - I would go Intel, Crucial, or Samsung 830. They're among the fastest and most reliable drives out there. OCZ had issues up to their Fourth generation, and I personally don't know how the new controller is performing.
  2. If you have a Microcenter near you(you mention them as a source), they are almost always cheaper for CPUs and with their current promotion of $50 off a motherboard with the purchase of a 26/700K or 3570K they are cheaper for motherboards as well. And they pricematch Newegg if they are not.

    Memory wise, as boiler1990 points out, DDR3-1600 will be fine. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144 DDR3-1600 version of what you selected, but only 49.99.

    Case wise...it's really up to you, since style plays a very important role as well as performance. I like all the HAF's and Corsair's Cases both are very functional and to me have features I prefer in a case. Zalman has a Z11 Mid-Tower that is really nice and fairly cheap as well.
  3. Thanks a lot for the input guys. So is there not really much difference between DDR3 1866 vs DDR3 1600? The price is almost the same. And about that cooler, if there is no need for one then what should be put there in place of it? There is a micro center in my area and I plan on taking a trip there sometime next week.
  4. Got this at microcenter last week:

    362582 P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard $169.99
    425470 Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor $189.99

    Hard to beat those prices.
  5. I'm somewhat of a rookie and cannot be held liable for burning a hole through your desk.

    Case: NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black (mid tower)

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz :D
    MOBO: ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
    $420 (combo deal)

    Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)

    SSD: Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB

    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM

    Total $860 *cough* A little over budget, however...

    You could stick with the i7 3770 and easily trim the cost by:
    - downgrading Win Pro to Home Premium 64
    - mugging an old lady
    - finding another combo deal
    - selecting a slightly smaller HDD, although the minimal cost difference vs lost space isn't worth it IMO
    - saving some $$ by purchasing at microcenter
    - eating Ramen for a week

    And hit $800.

    That said... I started the build with the 3770 because I have one and like it and run photoshop and it's groovy :kaola:
    No need to overclock.
    SLI, you'll be better off investing in a single, more capable GPU in the future

    The SSD I selected is 64GB and some will say it's too small.
    It will fit: Win 7 Pro 64bit, MS Office (Word, Excel, PP), MS Outlook 2010, MS Expression Web, Photoshop CS5 32+64bit,
    Vegas 11 64bit, plus a bunch of filters and smaller stuff and Norton Internet Security, skype, etc
    And still be only 38% full.

    Depending on how much you manage to save from Microcenter and what the old lady had on her, you may even be able to upgrade the SSD to 128. Increase your budget a little, and I'd also suggest a new and better PSU.

    Next upgrades: GPU and 8GB more RAM
  6. If you're going to Microcenter, you'll get a good deal on the CPUs/Mobos (CPUs are roughly $70 off Newegg prices), so you can easily get a good i7.

    So is there not really much difference between DDR3 1866 vs DDR3 1600? The price is almost the same. And about that cooler, if there is no need for one then what should be put there in place of it?

    You won't notice a speed difference, even between those two or DDR3-1333. I personally would get the cheapest one, or spend the same on a lower latency kit (makes a bigger difference than frequency).

    Cooler - Hyper 212+ or 212 EVO, with only one fan. No need for two unless you really decide to push the chip.

    A 128GB SSD would be a bit more ideal, since some programs still dump essential files in the C drive even if they're installed on another drive.
  7. pdxalex said:

    - eating Ramen for a week

    lol, I'm actually doing that right now. I may be able to shed off another $100 - $200 as I'm reusing a 1.5tb samsung as well. thanks for the suggestions!
  8. boiler, thanks for the help man! i'm actually considering the 128 SSD, don't think I would go lower than that. I'll definitely head down to microcenter next week and see what I can get!
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