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[new build] photo editing / gaming pc

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September 23, 2012 4:14:31 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2-4 weeks

Budget Range: 1700 max

System Usage from Most to Least Important: photo editing(lightroom for now, eventually PS), gaming (GW2 / SW), video editing

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, I will be buying 2. time to replace this dell 17" monitor

Parts to Upgrade: All new parts except keyboard/mouse

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg/Amazon

Location: Charleston, SC, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: probably not but would consider

SLI or Crossfire: probably not

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 but open to suggestions

Other items: must include purchase of Lightroom 4

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: current desktop is about 5 years old so time for an upgrade to support my new photography habit plus looking to get back into some gaming. As a note, this will be the first time i'm building a pc.

Anyway, here is what i've pieced together with help from other forums, reading through different posts, etc... Looking for any and all feedback, thanks in advance for the help.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 ($195)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cpu Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus ($30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Mobo ($85)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ($95)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2662-KR GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 ($230)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Samsung 830 series 256 GB SATA III ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage: Samsung spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM SATA ($85)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE ($80)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive : ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM ($20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 professional ($140)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other software: adobe photoshop lightroom ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitors: Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers x2 ($290)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1645





September 23, 2012 4:39:39 PM

A couple of thoughts, on processor and motherboard. Adobe photgraphic software is one of the few that makes full use of the hyperthreading in i7. Whether, of course, it's worth spending extra, on an i7, depends on how much photo/video work you are doing.
If you are using a locked CPU, that you can't overclock, there is no point in using a budget Z77 board, whose one advantage is good overclocking. If you don't want to use an unlocked processor, better to use a quality H77 board, especially for photo work.
I would recommend checking (possibly on Adobe forum), how well that graphics card works with software. No doubt it will work OK, but there were some initial issues, with the GTX670, when that first came out.
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September 23, 2012 4:43:25 PM

I just built a similar system for Photoshop and light gaming. My old system couldn't keep up with D800 files.
I went with the 3770k, the extra hyper-threaded cores will benefit Photoshop/Lightroom, but not gaming much. If you do get into video editing, you'll definitely want the 3770k.
If you use www.pcpartpicker.com you'll save yourself 10% of your budget. I bought slowly during sales and coupon offers and saved >$100. Check out the graphs and don't buy high.
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September 23, 2012 9:19:29 PM

malbluff said:
A couple of thoughts, on processor and motherboard. Adobe photgraphic software is one of the few that makes full use of the hyperthreading in i7. Whether, of course, it's worth spending extra, on an i7, depends on how much photo/video work you are doing.
If you are using a locked CPU, that you can't overclock, there is no point in using a budget Z77 board, whose one advantage is good overclocking. If you don't want to use an unlocked processor, better to use a quality H77 board, especially for photo work.


I'll look into the i7. Would the z77 board i have above work fine with an i7-3770k?

What would be a good H77 board that you would recommend if i stick with a locked cpu?
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September 23, 2012 9:29:54 PM

Z77 board will work fine with i7-3770K. H77 does exactly the same as Z77, without the overclocking. Asus have several H boards, in their P8H77 range. It's just a case of picking one that matches closest to your specific requirements.
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September 23, 2012 10:59:56 PM

thanks for the input, I think i'll be deciding between the build above with a H77 board or swapping in the i5-3570k w/ asrock extreme 4.

Other than me making that decision, anyone see anything glaringly wrong with the rest of the build / components.

Any suggestions on monitors? case?
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September 27, 2012 11:55:28 PM

Bumping to post what i believe will be my final build.

Still looking for comments on monitors (is the one i purchased good for buying a 2nd and using a dual setup?) or maybe a different case?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($71.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($197.50 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($229.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($123.00 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($127.72 @ Amazon)
Other: Photoshop Lightroom 4 ($115.00)
Total: $1434.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

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September 28, 2012 12:05:33 AM

I can't comment on your monitor, other than to say it has good reviews on Newegg and B&H. I went with a 30" Dell.
Does the i5 not benefit from 1600 RAM? That's one thing I'd change.
If you're not going above 16GB RAM and don't need the features of Windows Pro, you could save some money with Home Premium.
What camera are you using? If you have 24mp or more, maybe I'd go with a 2TB HD.
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September 28, 2012 1:47:17 AM

robertrobert said:
I can't comment on your monitor, other than to say it has good reviews on Newegg and B&H. I went with a 30" Dell.
Does the i5 not benefit from 1600 RAM? That's one thing I'd change.
If you're not going above 16GB RAM and don't need the features of Windows Pro, you could save some money with Home Premium.
What camera are you using? If you have 24mp or more, maybe I'd go with a 2TB HD.



Thanks, i'll take a look at switching to the 1600 ram and premium windows 7.

i'm using a t3i for now.
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September 28, 2012 9:48:40 AM

For RAM, suggest Crucial Ballistic Sport, GSKill Ares, or Corsair low profile.
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!