[new build] photo editing / gaming pc

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=N82E16819116506

cpu Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus ($30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

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=N82E16813157304

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=N82E16820231568

GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2662-KR GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 ($230)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130826

SSD: Samsung 830 series 256 GB SATA III ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147164

Storage: Samsung spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM SATA ($85)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233

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=N82E16817151096

Optical Drive : ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM ($20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

OS: Windows 7 professional ($140)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992

Other software: adobe photoshop lightroom ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832105976

Monitors: Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers x2 ($290)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236100

Total: $1645
10 answers Last reply
More about build photo editing gaming
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. For RAM, suggest Crucial Ballistic Sport, GSKill Ares, or Corsair low profile.
  10. 16GB for $60.
    I just got these 3 weeks ago, already $10 cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?SID=mI5SWgl2EeKmBWpDFXlv0Q0_0_qhJ_0_0&AID=10440897&PID=1225267&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-cables-_-na-_-na&Item=N82E16820231558
    with promo code: EMCNAHB52
    Check G.Skill's site to make sure it works with your MB.
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