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Advice for Budget PC (photo editing/mild gaming)

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Last response: in Systems
August 30, 2012 5:17:30 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Open to deals, preferably within 4 weeks

Budget Range: $600 max after rebates and shipping (see additional background)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (1) Photo editing (2) Gaming capable

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: None, building from scratch

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or other trustworthy sites.

Location: Olathe, KS, USA (Kansas City Metro)

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Not by me, only if as delivered

SLI or Crossfire: Not expected in this budget

Your Monitor Resolution: Standard dell 19" LCD from ~5 years ago, if important I can look up specs

Additional Comments: Computer will be away from main living area so size and noise aren't critical but less noisy is preffered

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My wife is a photography hobbist and her current laptop cannot keep up with her photo editing software (Lightroom and Photoshop Elements). I would like the secondary goal to be able to play newer pc games at midlevel settings, older pc games at higher settings.

Additional Background: My budget is flexible with the goal to only get what I need, not to get max performance at $600.

I am open to prebuilt or building myself.

I have read through some of the SBM posts but am not sure how to translate it to performance for what my wife does or how it would handle games that I have and similiar type games for possible purchase.

List of games I own (for indication of games I might buy in the future)
Age of Empires series
Command and Conquer series
Warcraft series
Diablo series
Stronghold series
Heroes of might and magic series



More about : advice budget photo editing mild gaming

a c 418 4 Gaming
August 30, 2012 5:43:15 PM

Here you go:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($164.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($51.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $610.38
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-30 13:42 EDT-0400)
August 30, 2012 6:08:01 PM

I would try and squeeze im in an i3 at least.
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a c 418 4 Gaming
August 30, 2012 6:28:28 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
I would try and squeeze im in an i3 at least.

I've been told that the Phenom II is a better CPU than the i3 for the same price. I'm not the biggest fan of it but I'll go with whatever is better.
August 31, 2012 1:01:02 AM

Thank you for the suggestions. What would be bottleneck be in the listed components, if I considered upgrading any of the components.
August 31, 2012 1:02:10 AM

As I need a copy of windows. Where is the best place to buy just a basic windows 7? What is the difference between OEM and retail windows.