Advice for Budget PC (photo editing/mild gaming)

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


5 answers Last reply
More about advice budget photo editing mild gaming
  1. 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)
  2. I would try and squeeze im in an i3 at least.
  3. 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.
  4. Thank you for the suggestions. What would be bottleneck be in the listed components, if I considered upgrading any of the components.
  5. 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.
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