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Building a confirmation for 1400-1800$ Photo/Graphics Editing/architecture PC

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October 27, 2012 11:09:17 PM

Hi, and thanks for reading. First build for me, here we go:



Approximate Purchase Date: the closer the better

Budget Range: between 1200-1800$. it has to be worth it for me to go higher than 1600$

System Usage: Mainly photo editing (Lightroom, Photoshop), architecture (CAD and 3D modelling/renderings), some video editing (Premiere, After Effects) and maybe some gaming

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to buy: MB, CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD+HDD, PSU, case, (CPU cooler?)

Do you need to buy OS: No, I have Windows 8 64bit

Preferred Website for Parts: www.toppreise.ch (I live in switzerland)

Location: Switzerland

Parts Preferences: nVidia GPU (drivers compatibility)

Overclocking: probably

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, if useful

Your Monitor Resolution: I will be using a 32" 1920x1080 display, I might upgrade to 2560 x 1440 in the future.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: running on a core 2 duo notebook, time to upgrade !



After much research, I've come up with the following setup (prices are from Swiss online shops):

MB: Asus P8Z77-V PRO (200$)
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K (335$)
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 660 (230$)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X 4 x 8 GB - DDR3 - 1600 MHz / PC3-12800 - CL9 (190$)
SSD (O.S.): Samsung 930 Series 128GB
HDD (data): 2x Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB Sata 6GB/s 7200rpm (2x147$)
PSU: Seasonic G-650, 650W, 80+ Gold (140$)
Case: Sharkoon T9 Value (67$)
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (70$)

My thoughts:
- I need as much CPU and RAM as I can afford (photoshop eats RAM for breakfast and rendering times depend on CPU).
- I don't really know how much GPU I need, and where it will be of any benefit. I've thought about the Quadro's but I'm not sure I need them (can't afford the expensive ones and the cheap ones like the Quadro 600 don't seem to be very powerful).
- I was thinking of putting the two 3TB HDD's in RAID1 for reliability (backup in real time). I will still back my data up every week on an external drive as well.

Questions:
- any suggestions/better component combination for that price ?
- is the 1155 socket a good choice? (I have the impression that the 2011 socket, with X79 + i7 3930k, is not worth it)
- is RAID1 a good idea for data reliability ? Is it easy to set up with this mother board?

Thank you in advance.
October 28, 2012 3:54:36 AM

Agree that you should get Seagate Barracuda over Caviar Green drives.

While the programs you have mentioned are very RAM intensive (After Effects especially), I dont think you will need 32GB. Get 16GB (2x8GB) sticks, that way you can upgrade later if you actually do need that much RAM.

The GPU can play a role in production work. Though it is very dependent on the software you are using. Some programs like Vegas can take advantage of OpenCL (which is where Radeon cards excel) and the Adobe suite can utilize CUDA (Nvidia card specific).

The X79 platform and a 3930k would benefit your tasks, but it depends on whether the extra performance justifies the extra cost.

RAID 1 is all about data protection, Means that if a drive fails, the other will contain all the data. Any enthusiast motherboard (which you have definitely picked) will support most or all RAID configurations.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYBtmVMtH1g
Related resources
October 28, 2012 1:34:25 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Spartin503 said:
I wouldn't buy the WD Green, get the blue or Seagate Barracuda. The 3930k isn't worth it for what your doing. RAID 1 is great for reliability and is easy to setup. This is a great power supply and it's better then the one you found.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will avoid the WD greens, and get something better. I've read that the Seagate Barracudas are not very reliable, is this true?
Yes, I'll be using RAID1 as a safety net for hardware failure (the most common problem with HDDs). I will still be backing up my data to 2 external drives regularly. I'll consider the Corsair PSU, thanks. But isn't 750W more than I need ? I calculated the need of my system, and it will be between 550 and 600W max....

manofchalk said:
Agree that you should get Seagate Barracuda over Caviar Green drives.

While the programs you have mentioned are very RAM intensive (After Effects especially), I dont think you will need 32GB. Get 16GB (2x8GB) sticks, that way you can upgrade later if you actually do need that much RAM.

The GPU can play a role in production work. Though it is very dependent on the software you are using. Some programs like Vegas can take advantage of OpenCL (which is where Radeon cards excel) and the Adobe suite can utilize CUDA (Nvidia card specific).

The X79 platform and a 3930k would benefit your tasks, but it depends on whether the extra performance justifies the extra cost.

RAID 1 is all about data protection, Means that if a drive fails, the other will contain all the data. Any enthusiast motherboard (which you have definitely picked) will support most or all RAID configurations.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYBtmVMtH1g


Yes, I'll start with 16GB ram and add more later if needed.
I don't really know about the GPU, if I am going to get a benefit from an entry level ~200$ workstation card (like Quadro 600) VS a mid-high end ~230$ "mainstream" card (like GTX 660)... I read that the workstation cards display CAD in a more precise way, but I've never had any problems with my current cheap nVidia laptop GPU (GT 130m).
October 29, 2012 4:12:53 AM

In my experience all hard drives are as reliable as another.
There's also the rule of thumb that any manufacturing defect in the drive will make itself apparent within three months. So it will fail within three months or never.

I am not all that familiar with the Quadro/Firepro cards to give any advice on them.
I do know that you can use mainstream cards to some extent for productivity work.
November 2, 2012 5:28:13 PM

I have used a Seagate Barracuda since it came out and it's just a reliable as any other consumer drives. Your system will only need about 580W but over time, 1-2 years, they degrade a little so a PSU that will output 600W max now will only output about 575W in a couple of years. So for an extra 5$ i'd get the 750W PSU. For video/audio editing/generating the Quadro/Firepro cards are much better than mainstream cards, but if you also want to game on this system getting a gaming orianted card isn't a bad choice. Rule of thumb Quadro/Firepro cards will run editing programs about 20-25% better then a gaming card that was the same price, and a gaming card will run a game at 20-25% better than a workstation card.
November 2, 2012 8:19:46 PM

Quote:
Mainly photo editing (Lightroom, Photoshop), architecture (CAD and 3D modelling/renderings), some video editing (Premiere, After Effects)


Wouldn't an nvidia quadro be a card to look into. I know I have heard its great for video work ect. I don't know too much about them though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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