New Build for Photo-editing/scanning etc.


I am new to both this forum and the world of DIY computers. I have little knowledge about the details of computer build, but I am extremely curious and very quick at learning/picking up. So, I figured I'd bounce my questions off the excellent folks here and get some feedback and fine-tune my initial build.

I am sick and tired of my Lenovo Z360....its keep hanging and the fan is constantly in over-drive. My main uses of the computer are for scanning of my film negatives and positives (slide). I scan large 120 and 4x5 negatives and especially when scanning 48 bit color, my computer is literally panting. In addition, opening the scanned negs in Photoshop takes forever.

So, I am looking to build a system primarily around that application. Other than that, I want it primarily for viewing movies, browsing the net etc. I am NOT a gamer.

My budget is ~$700-$800 (max) without peripherals like monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. I have already have those.


Approximate Purchase Date: 1 month

Budget Range: $700-$800 shipped

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop, film scanning, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Not really. I can get this for free.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: or equivalent

Location: Fishkill, NY, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel processor, rest flexible

Overclocking: Don't think so

SLI or Crossfire: No idea/don't think so.


Here is the initial build I came up with:

1. Processor: Intel Core i7-3770S Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz: I decided to go with the "S" because of its lower TDP and I don't anticipate overclocking.

2. Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155

3. RAM: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) : this comes free with the MB on newegg, so just sticking to that.

4. HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb

5. Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner

6. Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower: [...] 6811129042

7. Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS : [...] 6817139028

All of the above are available at Newegg and will cost me in the region of $700 after rebate.

I don't know if a video card is necessary, so I have left that out.

Am I missing anything crucial here? I would really appreciate any suggestions or modifications to the above setup.

Thanks and regards,

7 answers Last reply
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  1. If you are not overclocking, there's no point in using a Z77 motherboard. H77 is exactly the same, just not overclocking. You want a good one, I would recommend Asus. They have several H77 boards, it's a question of picking the one that gives you all the features that you think you might need.
    Whether you need a graphics card, depends on the software you are using. Most photographic software recommends some level of graphics card, for some processes. You should check "system requirements" for your software.
    If you don't need GPU, or only very low powered one, you don't need 600w for power supply. With no, or minimal, graphics card an Antec BP430 Basiq 80 Plus Bronze, might be a good choice, at 430w.
    I don't see any other issues.
  2. The 3770S has lower TDP, but it's less powerful. Just get the 3770 or 3770K.
  3. obsama1 said:
    The 3770S has lower TDP, but it's less powerful. Just get the 3770 or 3770K.

    For some reason Intel's site is not listing a non K version of the 3770, at the moment. I thought they did do one.
  4. Scrub last post. 3770 is back on Intel's site. Don't know what was wrong earlier.
  5. Thanks a lot for your help guys!

    Really appreciate it.

    I will look into Asus Mobos and graphics cards. Any suggestions on cheap/good ones?
  6. If you are using Photoshop, Adobe software tends to be optimised for nVidia graphics. In that case, if you don't need powerful graphics, it may be worth waiting for the GTX650, that's due out soon, or something like the older GTX560. If using AMD graphics not a problem, something like HD7770 not a bad choice.
    Best thing on mobos is, if you look on Asus' site, they do several different H77 versions. You can select and compare specs on different versios, side by side. Makes it easy to choose which best suits your particular needs.
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