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Surprise rig build for fiance

Last response: in Systems
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What is your prefered route?

Total: 28 votes (6 blank votes)

  • AMD
  • 10 %
  • Intel
  • 91 %
July 11, 2012 7:03:05 AM

Alright folks. As the header states i am going to build a rig for the fiance and i need your help as i am trying to build a rig that is specific to her. She is preparing to attend college for a photography/graphics design degree and i need something that will do all the normal stuff i.e. internet, movies, play music, "light" gaming(facebook, sim's and the like), but also be a great rig for her photoshop work and similiar programs to run as smooth as i can.

Now before i get into this, i have never had to build anything with designing software in mind, so i am a little stumped in which direction to go. I am proficient, but kinda behind on the times.

This will be an all AMD build. For personal reasons that i don't want to get into, Inhell is completely off the table-sorry Intel guys.

The screen, keyboard, and mouse are squared away, but i could use some help picking out the right graphics tablet(i know she would just flip to have one and i have no clue which one to get since i have never had to use one).

I conned her into helping pick out her own case, under the assumption she was helping me pick one out for myself.

I plan on getting an am3+ processor and full atx mobo, cause i want this rig to be adaptible for years to come. It will be air cooled, sorry liquid cooled guys. I am building it for a woman that will neglect to do simple things like clean it and defrag regularly on her own, so i don't want to have liquid in her system. And on top of things WE move alot(2 houses a year sometimes).

I am going to be using an SSD for boot and photoshop, along with 2 1TB HDD for main storage in raid 1. So if you got suggestions about size, brand or model for either of these it would be great.

What i need the most help with is the graphics card or cards. Again i want to stick with an amd GPU, so please no nvidia cards. What i really need to know is what would be the best card to use or best cards to crossfire. For best response, resolution and heat dissipation.

I have set a $1500-2000 budget on this build, but hey the lower the better. Sounds heartless, but come on that is more than i spent on my rig.

So if ya got suggestions go for it, i am all ears. Looking forward to what you guys post.
July 11, 2012 8:50:56 AM

Processor: AMD FX-4170 4.2GHz Quad-Core Socket AM3+ CPU - $139.99
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ - $139.99
RAM: Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz - $48.99
Graphics Card: Sapphire 11201-00-20G Radeon HD 7770 GHZ 1GB - $134.99
Hard Drive(s): x2 Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM - $238.42
SSD: OCZ 256GB Vertex 4 - $219.99
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 550-Watt 80 Plus - $91.24
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Quiet Mid-Tower Case - $136.88

Total: $1150.49
July 11, 2012 2:23:53 PM

idk why you want amd but in my mind an expensive computer should not have a amd cpu :S im so puzzled
Related resources
July 11, 2012 2:39:36 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8120 3.1GHz 8-Core Processor ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($107.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($254.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1113.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

The 1.5 TB drives are going at a great price right now. I picked an 8 core and a reasonably priced Crossfire capable mobo. The HIS IceQ is supposed to be brilliant for Crossfire. Corsair 650W will be enough for two 7850s.
July 11, 2012 3:13:40 PM

You might want to reconsider your "no Nvidia" stance, as I believe that some Photo editing software can take advantage of the CUDA cores in an Nvidia graphics card, for much improved processing times. This will lead to improved overall "smoothness" of the system.
July 11, 2012 3:21:34 PM

such a big budget and no intel? sorry i am out.
xxx vs xxx polls?
stay the hell outta here if you don't wanna start a war here.
take care now bye bye then.
July 11, 2012 3:26:18 PM

hellfire24 said:
such a big budget and no intel? sorry i am out.

same thing im saying no clue why someone would be such a fanboy?
July 11, 2012 6:38:19 PM

Thanks santaclaws and finneousPJ that was very helpful.

Spicy_benie and hellfire, i like AMD-you like Intel, but you don't hear me bashing you. I believe that your "fanboy" comment is very unnecessary and hypocritical when your both pushing Intel so hard.

I came here looking for help not negativity and if you can't be helpful, please keep it to yourself.

As far as the poll goes, i did not intend to put that on there with just the 2 choices. I got up to get a drink and unfortunately my cat decided to lay on my keyboard. So i do apologize for that.
July 11, 2012 6:44:41 PM

edgeofvamp said:
Thanks santaclaws and finneousPJ that was very helpful.

Spicy_benie and hellfire, i like AMD-you like Intel, but you don't hear me bashing you. I believe that your "fanboy" comment is very unnecessary and hypocritical when your both pushing Intel so hard.

I came here looking for help not negativity and if you can't be helpful, please keep it to yourself.

As far as the poll goes, i did not intend to put that on there with just the 2 choices. I got up to get a drink and unfortunately my cat decided to lay on my keyboard. So i do apologize for that.


They just want you to choose something good. (I'm not a fanboy I'm on an AMD cpu right now)
July 11, 2012 6:47:18 PM

were fanboy? no were trying to help someone else get the best performance out of his computer.i think you should explore your opions to get alot better performance
July 11, 2012 6:50:36 PM

It turns out the AMD GPU's are pretty well supported on CS6 :) 
July 11, 2012 6:56:06 PM

im fine with the gpu's but if your gonna have a expensive build just do your self a big favor and go intel.... please?
Anonymous
July 11, 2012 6:58:42 PM

edgeofvamp said:
Thanks santaclaws and finneousPJ that was very helpful.

Spicy_benie and hellfire, i like AMD-you like Intel, but you don't hear me bashing you. I believe that your "fanboy" comment is very unnecessary and hypocritical when your both pushing Intel so hard.

I came here looking for help not negativity and if you can't be helpful, please keep it to yourself.

As far as the poll goes, i did not intend to put that on there with just the 2 choices. I got up to get a drink and unfortunately my cat decided to lay on my keyboard. So i do apologize for that.

oh the kitty-kat is to blame . .:p 

why have a poll at all if your mind is made up?

the "help" i can offer is PM a mod and ask them to change it to a "discussion"
July 11, 2012 7:10:27 PM

Get as much memory as you can afford. Photoshop will eat up RAM especially with large RAW files. Get 16gb or 32gb depending on the file sizes that you plan to work with.

Here's some benchmarks comparing different CPUs with Photoshop. While not perfectly scientific, you can see that the overclocking will give a pretty big boost.
July 12, 2012 2:40:02 AM

Ok, well if you had good intentions with the above mentioned posts i apologize. When i read them, they came off kinda rude- in specific the fan boy comment. So i assumed that they were meant that way, so again if it wasn't meant that way i apologize.

@ looniam, thank you and i have pm'd a request for help from a mod to remove it. I was going to put a list of cpu+gpu combos for people to choose from for no other reason than curiosity. It wasn't meant to be anything more than a poll to see where peoples rigs are at these days, since i have been out of high-end building for awhile. I generally build LAN party systems for people right now. When i have the time that is.

@ jsrudd i plan to run at minimum of 16GB ddr3-1866 dual channel ram. I got a good deal on an fx-8150 cpu and i already have 2 gigabyte ga-990fxa-ud5 motherboard laying around that i can use. On a different note, how big is photoshop when installed and is it crossfire compatible?

I realize that the mobo is kinda overkill, but it affords me the option to crossfire and i already had it on hand. Why spend more if i got something i can use? I have observed her use and i am picking out things that will withstand her abuse. She has already fried 3 intel cpu's amongst other components(i3-2120, i5-2320 and an i7-2600), so i scrapped that rig and rebuilt it with amd components and she hasn't fried it yet. The only one that i can say wasn't completely her fault was the i5, that met its demise when she working during a storm and she didn't have it hooked up to the surge protector like i told her too.

Anyway back to what i needed help with:

1. Graphics tablet- never used one- any help would be great
2. SSD, need suggested brand and need one big enough to run boot and photo shop on.
3. Graphics card or cards- I do not know what the best one for graphic design would be or if the newest version of photo shop supports crossfire. If it does which cards in a crossfire set up would be best suited for this task.
July 12, 2012 2:03:28 PM

Look at the build I put together for you, I did post it here for a reason. -.-
July 12, 2012 3:31:59 PM

Go for something in the Intuos line of Wacom Tablets. No need for caps lock rage now...
July 12, 2012 4:33:30 PM

@ santaclaws I am not turning down your advise, i am looking for multiple suggestions. So for a lack of a better way to put it, that way i can compare what people prefer and pick which one best fits my specific needs.

I have looked over what you listed and this is where i am so far in contrast to what you had listed:
1. MOBO- Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5, had a couple on hand
2. CPU- AMD FX-8150 8 core processor
3. CASE- Corsair 600T case
4. PSU- Seasonic X750 750W full modular PSU
5. Optical Drive- Pioneer blu ray burner and lite on dvd/cd combo burner

What i still need:
1. Ram- looking at mushkin redline
2. SSD- has OCZ gotten better, last reviews i looked at were not so good. Is a 256GB SSD overkill or is that how much i am going to need for boot and photoshop?
3. GPU- I am still waiting to find out if single or dual gpu would be better.
If single which one would be best, if dual which 2 would work best in crossfire.

For the intuos tablets, do you think medium would be good or should i get bigger/smaller?

thanks for the help guys and i hope to see some more hints and suggestions.
July 12, 2012 4:39:56 PM

Might as well just get a 256GB SSD, you're not gonna need for than 32GB for Photoshop + Windows 7 but who knows what else you'd want on a SSD.

A single GPU 99% of the time is the better, the only time when its worth having a dual-GPU configuration is when it would be faster than the fastest single GPU in the world but yet again you don't need a lot of power for Photoshop, a 7770 is more than enough.

Go for Corsair RAM, 16GBs of it just incase your fiancé would be editing large images.

I don't know much about graphics tablets, but I'd go for the medium size, balances out cost/capability.
July 15, 2012 4:43:54 AM

Alright, well santa claws here is the final build specs.


CPU: AMD FX-8150 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V8 69.7 CFM Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Plextor M3 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($299.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 600T (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($162.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 760W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-206DBKS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer
Optical Drive: MSI DH-24AAS-17 R DVD/CD Writer ($28.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Hannspree HZ281HPB 27.5" Monitor ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Gigabyte Force K3 Wired Gaming Keyboard ($31.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Razer DeathAdder Wired Laser Mouse ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Other: WACOM Intuos5 Touch PTH650 Medium Pen Tablet $349.99
Total: $1988.82

Now keep in mind that i already have the CPU, mobo, screen, keyboard, mouse and PSU. So you can subtract that from the posted total to come up with $1140.89 as my grand total for the build. Now lets just see how long before she finds a way to wreck it.
July 15, 2012 4:58:10 AM

What's the difference between the 8150 and 8120?
July 15, 2012 7:23:51 AM

8120 3.1Ghz
8150 3.6Ghz

Only difference is an increase in clock speed, and about 30 buck.
July 15, 2012 7:27:28 AM

The 8120 would be a better choice because you're going to overclock and the 8120 is $155 on newegg
July 15, 2012 7:30:30 AM

I highly doubt 32GB of RAM is needed for just photoshop. 16GB is enough. Same with the 8-core.
July 15, 2012 7:33:14 AM

Yeah I agree with Azerm. Theres really no reason for that much ram.
July 15, 2012 7:36:05 AM

Heck, I'd go as far as to say if the college photoshop work is not professional and is just for HW assigments (like edit this collage or something) and there is a bit of time in-class to do it, 8GB would be fine too.
July 15, 2012 7:39:20 AM

Is she even going to do this for a living? Lol don't wanna spend all dat cash on nutin. And Azerm I've run Photoshop perfectly on 1gb DDR2 ram
Anonymous
July 15, 2012 7:53:20 AM

guerrero said:
Is she even going to do this for a living? Lol don't wanna spend all dat cash on nutin. And Azerm I've run Photoshop perfectly on 1gb DDR2 ram

what? PS 1.4?
July 15, 2012 7:54:22 AM

Do you purposely call me Azerm? LOL?
July 15, 2012 8:11:02 AM

My bad Azerm I've been typing the wrong key on my iPod. My key must be stuck or something.

It was Photoshop CS4 on an Athlon 64 X2 lol and I've even rendered stuff in Sony Vegas
July 16, 2012 4:37:05 AM

Ok guys chill out, i am using 16GB - not 32GB. I chose 16GB, so that there is plenty to process the images taken from her Nikon D5 Mark3 DSLR camera. With enough ram available for all of the crap that she has running in the background.

The only time the rig is going to be overclocked is the very rare occasion i am using it. She has 0 experience overclocking and is not interested in learning.

I chose an 8 core over say a quad core is really simple. She always has crap like videos running on her second smaller monitor.
July 16, 2012 4:38:59 AM

An fx 81xx is not a true 8 core
July 16, 2012 5:01:05 AM

Yep, it has 4 modules which behave as dual cores.
July 16, 2012 5:03:45 AM

guerrero said:
An fx 81xx is not a true 8 core

Technically it is, and technically it isn't. It does have 8 integer cores, but they're packed into modules of 2, and they share cache and float point units.

Quote:
The only time the rig is going to be overclocked is the very rare occasion i am using it. She has 0 experience overclocking and is not interested in learning.


My advice would be to just set it for a daily overclock and leave it at that. 4.0GHZ is well within the stable range for a daily overclock on an FX-8120. And yes, I would get the 8120 over the 8150. The only difference is their stock multiplier settings. The 8150s are not binned any better, and have no advantage in terms of how far you can push them with an OC.

You might want to consider waiting a few months though to do the build as PileDriver is around the corner (FX-8320s and 8350s) this is expected to resolve some of the performance issues Bulldozer has. Maybe you could even get a cheaper CPU for now like a Phenom II 965 to hold you over in the meantime if you need the computer ASAP.
July 16, 2012 5:07:59 AM

Quote:
1. MOBO- Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5, had a couple on hand

DO NOT GET THAT MOTHERBOARD under no circumstances. I had that exact same board on my Phenom II build initially, its a piece of junk. It overvolted one of my RAM sticks a week after owning it and fried it (from what I read post-owning it, apparently it does have voltage stability issues especially when overclocking), and 2 weeks after that the board itself died. Aside from that, it still has the same tired old blue screen keyboard only BIOS. If you want a nice board, get an Asus Sabertooth, they cost about the same and are much nicer and have a better warranty.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 16, 2012 5:42:37 AM

edgeofvamp said:

1. Graphics tablet- never used one- any help would be great


I'd say stick to Wacom, they got most users i.e.. more tech. support/ user feedback you can research on.

For Wacom they have 3 product lines (4 if inkling, but I don't have any info on this)
basically I compare them as:
bamboo: $ entry level, got the most basic you need
intuos: $$ improved bamboo, more pressure level(not sure if necessary, highly depends on personal imo) + Tilt Sensitive
cintiq: $$$ professional, you are drawing on a display
inkling: i am not sure this one. I believe their idea is, you no longer need to sit in front of a computer during the idea development stage.

For more detail you should really visit their website. Here's what I think about the features you may see:
multi-touch: when drawing, multi-touch will be disabled (due to hardware limit) personally I don't use this feature (keep in mind it highly depends form user to user, your fiancé may really want it)
eraser: the idea is, you can use the other end of the pen as a eraser tool. useless for me (I prefer switching the tool to ERASER in photoshop, more control. again, personal preference)

IMO i think if your fiancé is more professional than you in this area (say he/she used it in school/work and has experience), just give her a WACOM coupon; if both of you are new in tablet-> Bamboo series.

One more info. I am using bamboo capture. I use weed wackier line to replace the nibs (if wears out from time to time; the more you draw, the faster it worn) The one I got is with 1.7mm diameter. YEAH I goes really cheap if you say so :pt1cable:  http://www.gimptalk.com/index.php?/topic/50410-tutorial...
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