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New Photo Editing Build - Have not done a build in over 10 years

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October 8, 2012 10:53:09 PM

I need some review/opinions of the parts I've picked and if you see any problems with this build. I haven't done a build in over ten years and the tech has changed considerably. I researched till I my eyes crossed :ouch:  . Some of the prices are only good till the end of Oct.

I need help deciding between the 2 hd's listed (WD versus Seagate), any thoughts? No green drives please, I don't trust them.

I need help deciding between the 2 blu-ray drives listed (LG versus Pioneer).

Since I don't plan on overclocking (now), do I really need to use a 3rd party CPU fan or just the stock fan that comes with it? And if I go with a 3rd party fan will the one I picked fit in the case?

Did I configure this build correctly? Am I missing anything (other than fans -see bottom of message)? Will it all work together and fit in the case?

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Approximate Purchase Date: This week or next depending on replies and sales available.

Budget Range: (hardware only) about $1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Editing photos and movies (like Adobe CS 6), watching TV, surfing the internet, (I haven’t gamed in years and mostly did so "Live" as in D and D).

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, newegg.com, and will probably do a walk-in to MicroCenter for a “deals of the month” on some parts.

Country: USA

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($259.99 @ Micro Center Walk-in Only)
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i7-3770-Quad-Core-Proc...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($262.08 @ Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-P8Z77-V-DELUXE-Intel-Motherb...

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($85.99 @ Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-1600MHz-Memory-...

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.99 @ Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-D...

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Microcenter Walk-In Only)
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-ST2000DM001-Barracuda-3-5...

Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item...

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 570 2.5GB Video Card ($299.99 @ MicroCenter Walk-in Only)
http://www.neweggbusiness.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item...

Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GTS (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($104.99 @ Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Level-VO30001N2N-Towe...

Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($174.99 @ Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.99 @ Newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Pioneer Electronics USA Internal BD Writer (BDR-207DBK) ($89.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($127.72 @ Amazon)
http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Professional-64bit-System...
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Overclocking: No / Maybe in years to come if necessary

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: (already own) HP ZR22w H-IPS panel w/ 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I know that currently this is overbuilt but I figure it should be about correct in 2 yrs time and in 4-6 years it will creak along (hopefully more than just barely :)  ).

The video card cannot be changed. It is the cheapest GPU that will give Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro that extra kick. The nVidia Geforce GTX 600 series does not and is not listed by Adobe as a "tested" card. Also, extra Cuda cores won't help as they are moving to OpenCL and OpenGL. I've also checked some other tech sites and on testing due to the "in card" bandwidth (not the correct terms I know, but I can't remember it as I'm typing), the 570 has a wider one that with the extra memory definitely overcompensates and for the cost, it can't be beat.

Okay, I want to bling out the case in terms of lighted fans. Any suggestions on those or it doesn’t really matter (other than size - to fit the case).

TIA

October 9, 2012 12:03:59 AM

Quote:
Did I configure this build correctly? Am I missing anything (other than fans -see bottom of message)? Will it all work together and fit in the case?


Yes - you're missing the unlocked multiplier on the CPU. If you've got that configuration get the unlocked multiplier or get nothing. You can drop the motherboard to H77 if you're not going to overclock and save some money there. You could also drop the cooler and run off the stock fan.

The Level 10 is a horrible case choice as well - it's very overrated and there's far better ones you could go with.

And you could certainly get better RAM like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
The video card cannot be changed. It is the cheapest GPU that will give Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro that extra kick. The nVidia Geforce GTX 600 series does not and is not listed by Adobe as a "tested" card.


That doesn't mean anything. Manufacturers and developers don't have the time to test every product out there - it's a general compatibility guideline, not a mandate. If one card works the next generation will work. It's the drivers that do most of the work for the card anyways, so if that software will work with the driver tested, then all cards that use that driver will work. What's listed is usually the bare minimum requirements but they don't tell you the big picture either.

Quote:
I need help deciding between the 2 blu-ray drives listed (LG versus Pioneer).


I have both and like the Pioneer better.

Quote:
I need help deciding between the 2 hd's listed (WD versus Seagate), any thoughts? No green drives please, I don't trust them.


There's zero difference between 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM with an SSD as your primary, and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.
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October 9, 2012 1:35:32 AM

Great build, just a couple things:

- The AX850 is overkill. 750W will be totally sufficient, even if you're overclocking. You'd probably be fine with 650. Anyway, the HX750 is currently on sale at newegg, and even at the regular price is amazing for the money. Contemporary components are crazy efficient.
- I agree with G-Unit that what Adobe says about the GPU is meaningless. A 660 or 660 Ti would serve you better. And Photoshop barely cares about the GPU anyway.
- Go with the Caviar Black, if only for the warranty. Hard drives need replacing, and WD is a great company to deal with.

Other than that, it looks good - you'll be glad you have the i7 and 16 gigs of RAM (with room for 2 more sticks). And that's a great SSD, but you might consider the 256GB if you end up cutting PSU and GPU costs.
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October 9, 2012 1:13:34 PM

Quote:
Yes - you're missing the unlocked multiplier on the CPU. If you've got that configuration get the unlocked multiplier or get nothing. You can drop the motherboard to H77 if you're not going to overclock and save some money there. You could also drop the cooler and run off the stock fan.


Okay, I can get on board with that. I was going back and forth over which flavor of cpu to get.

Quote:
The Level 10 is a horrible case choice as well - it's very overrated and there's far better ones you could go with.

Why? From the cases I looked at (in person and on websites) it meets my size requirements (okay, limitations on space) and has (2) USB 3.0 and (2) USB 2.0 ports on the front of the case. Where does this case have specific problems? And what case would you recommend in its place. BTW, that limitations on space is very real. Do you need the measurements I have to work within?

Quote:
And you could certainly get better RAM like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Not a problem, I'll re-choose. I am just not familiar with G.Skill and stuck with a brand name I knew.

Quote:
That doesn't mean anything. Manufacturers and developers don't have the time to test every product out there - it's a general compatibility guideline, not a mandate. If one card works the next generation will work. It's the drivers that do most of the work for the card anyways, so if that software will work with the driver tested, then all cards that use that driver will work. What's listed is usually the bare minimum requirements but they don't tell you the big picture either.

From the research I've done, both here, at Anandtech and here (http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....), I can't seem to justify spending an extra $100 or more on just 6 seconds of speed. The memory interface width of the 570 seems to more than make up for the more expensive cards Cuda cores, Graphic Clock Speed and Processor Clock Speed.

Quote:
I have both and like the Pioneer better.

Thanks, I liked the look of the Pioneer too but saw a bunch of complaints about it.
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October 9, 2012 5:14:09 PM

naf said:
Great build, just a couple things:

- The AX850 is overkill. 750W will be totally sufficient, even if you're overclocking. You'd probably be fine with 650. Anyway, the HX750 is currently on sale at newegg, and even at the regular price is amazing for the money. Contemporary components are crazy efficient.
- I agree with G-Unit that what Adobe says about the GPU is meaningless. A 660 or 660 Ti would serve you better. And Photoshop barely cares about the GPU anyway.
- Go with the Caviar Black, if only for the warranty. Hard drives need replacing, and WD is a great company to deal with.

Other than that, it looks good - you'll be glad you have the i7 and 16 gigs of RAM (with room for 2 more sticks). And that's a great SSD, but you might consider the 256GB if you end up cutting PSU and GPU costs.


I used the Asus Power Supply calculator (http://support.asus.com/powersupply.aspx) and the eXtreme Power Supply calculator (http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine) and after plugging in all the stuff I am buying plus all the stuff I have or plan to have over the course of 4-6 years, I came up with 850W. Actually with one configuration it was all the way up to 1050W. I'll go over it again, but I'd rather have room to grow. I don't want to have to buy a new PS when I want to add more stuff as I can afford it later on. --- (see below: I just re-ran them using the 660 video card and came up with much smaller numbers.)

For the HD, WD it is. I like there external drives too.

Actually, Photoshop has some GPU-enhanced features (see http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-f...) that only work with a compatible video card. However, I took another look at prices. At least one 660 is about $60 cheaper but the 660 Ti is the same price as the 570 w/2.5gb. I like the 570 for it's 380bit Memory Interface Width versus 192bit for the 660/660 Ti pair and their performance rates are all but identical. But as both g-unit1111 and you have both mentioned, the 6xx series is newer tech. With a minimum of 2mb on board they should meet the Photoshop's sniffer requirements. I also just noticed the 660's have a lower PS requirements - so that's always good. So, I'll look over the variety of 660 offerings from various vendors and pick one.
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October 9, 2012 5:52:50 PM

Quote:
Why? From the cases I looked at (in person and on websites) it meets my size requirements (okay, limitations on space) and has (2) USB 3.0 and (2) USB 2.0 ports on the front of the case. Where does this case have specific problems? And what case would you recommend in its place. BTW, that limitations on space is very real. Do you need the measurements I have to work within?


I'd go with the Corsair 500R or NZXT Phantom 410 if space is a tight concern. The Level 10 is very overrated and uses a lot of cheap plastic.

Quote:
Not a problem, I'll re-choose. I am just not familiar with G.Skill and stuck with a brand name I knew.


G.Skill is a company that pretty much exclusively manufactures RAM and they know their product. Mushkin is another manufacturer like that as well.

Quote:
From the research I've done, both here, at Anandtech and here (http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....), I can't seem to justify spending an extra $100 or more on just 6 seconds of speed. The memory interface width of the 570 seems to more than make up for the more expensive cards Cuda cores, Graphic Clock Speed and Processor Clock Speed.


But the 570 is old now and uses twice the power that its' successors - the 660TI and 670 use.

Quote:
Thanks, I liked the look of the Pioneer too but saw a bunch of complaints about it.


Don't judge products by what the store reviews say. That's usually a bad idea because they're baseless most of the time. Pioneer makes a solid product and they've been around forever. LG makes a few good burners but they also make lots of other stuff.
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October 17, 2012 2:39:21 AM

After a lot of searching, mostly a case that will fit the space limitations I have to live with, I have new parts for review. BTW, the suggested cases were too big.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory F3-1600C10D-16GAO
($69.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($224.99 @ NCIX US) (yeah, I'd go with the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 FTW Signature 2 2GB if it were available NOW but it's not. I can't wait 2 months. I'm gonna throw my laptop thru a wall long before that.)

Case: Gigabyte GZ-ZLM10BS ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.98 @ Newegg) (This small a case that could fit an ATX and had 2 x USB 3.0 took forever to find.)

Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.99 @ Newegg)

So, with those changes. How does it look now?
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October 17, 2012 7:29:29 PM

I posted new component choices based upon your suggestions. I was hoping you could take a look and see how these are?
TIA
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