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New Lightroom/Photoshop CS5 Build

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October 31, 2012 8:48:24 PM

Getting ready to upgrade to Lightroom 4 which requires Windows7. I'm currently running Lightroom 3 on a 32-bit XP machine that will become the homework computer once this new build is completed. Not looking to upgrade the current machine to Windows7 so I'll get the shiny new one for my photo stuff...

Priimary application will be Lightroom with large catalog of shots. I do large events/sport so the catalogs get big by the end of a season. I do use CS5 but that is about 15% of the workflow. Do a little bit of video editing but I can see that increasing in time. After this it is really normal applications (web, MS Office) with no gaming aspirations at all.

Here is my current thinking for my desired configuration:
  • Steer towards the top end of Intel processor selection but I am okay with 4 cores.
  • I haven't been an overclocker and don't see that changing.
  • SSD for OS and applications
  • Raid 0 for Lightroom Camera Raw Cache and Photoshop Scratch Disk. Doesn't need to be huge which is why I'm looking at 500GB drives.
  • I'll move over my existing collections of HDs from the current computer
  • Don't need a high-performance GPU so I'm open to recommendations here that will get me the most bang for the buck
  • Top end power supply. I'll overdo it here. Not looking to save $'s here.
  • Case - need USB3 on the front, lots of drive bays, and with quiet fans. The case sits out of the way so sex appeal is not needed.
  • I have the monitors that I need for now...

    Here are my current choices... any suggestions? Looking to stay under $1500

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($81.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($186.62 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1096.41
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    October 31, 2012 9:10:40 PM

    Looks good. If you are only using one monitor and arn't going to be doing any gaming or anything like that you could use the integrated graphics of the cpu and plug your monitor into the mobo. (Photoshop isn't graphically demanding since its only 2D, right?)
    If you want to you could go cheaper on the motherboard but $120 is already really good.
    You dont need 1600mhz ram, it actually causes more problems then it solves, but that being said, if its not that much more expensive than 1333, just grab it.
    You may want to go ahead and grab a Coolermaster Hyper TX3 for $20 just to have a nice silent build. Other than that it looks like a very solid build! Cheers!
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    October 31, 2012 10:17:39 PM

    Thanks Max1s.

    I would like to get a video card as a 2-monitor set-up is likely in the works.

    Also any opinions out there on if the Fract Design Define R4 case would be a better choice in terms of noise?
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    November 1, 2012 3:06:17 AM

    Here is my latest thinking on this:

    Adding another 16GB of memory for a RAMDisk
    Added a basic video card

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.22 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.86 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($80.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($80.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($186.07 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1302.06
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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    November 1, 2012 3:22:22 AM

    The Ares RAM is OK but ideally use something with tighter timings . Its in applications like lightroom and CS5 where this will pay off . The cheap way to do this may be is buy 1.25 or 1.35 Volt ram , set it to 1.5 volts and then reduce the timings

    You wont need 32 gig . 16 gig is fine unless you plan on working with hour long 1080p videos ...and if you are doing that your hard drives are woefully undersized .

    There is no reason to use a gaming case . Buy something more suited to use in an office ...and quieter.... IMO .
    The Antec P280 is a good unit

    The extreme4 is a good motherboard , but why pay for all the gaming oriented features? You are never going to want or need to use two graphics cards . You can spend less here , but stick with the Z77 chipset


    An nVidia graphics card may have advantages . You do not need a gaming card though .

    The whole thing is going to draw less than 200 watts under 100% load
    Buy a good quality 500 watt psu
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    November 1, 2012 4:27:05 AM

    Outlander_04 said:
    The Ares RAM is OK but ideally use something with tighter timings . Its in applications like lightroom and CS5 where this will pay off . The cheap way to do this may be is buy 1.25 or 1.35 Volt ram , set it to 1.5 volts and then reduce the timings

    You wont need 32 gig . 16 gig is fine unless you plan on working with hour long 1080p videos ...and if you are doing that your hard drives are woefully undersized .

    There is no reason to use a gaming case . Buy something more suited to use in an office ...and quieter.... IMO .
    The Antec P280 is a good unit

    The extreme4 is a good motherboard , but why pay for all the gaming oriented features? You are never going to want or need to use two graphics cards . You can spend less here , but stick with the Z77 chipset


    An nVidia graphics card may have advantages . You do not need a gaming card though .

    The whole thing is going to draw less than 200 watts under 100% load
    Buy a good quality 500 watt psu

    Thanks Outlander. Any specific suggestions on RAM?
    Thanks for the suggestion on the Antec case. I'm happy with my current Antec case so I'm familiar with the brand.
    For the MOBO, I really don't see much out there that would really save much money.
    What advantages may a nVidia graphics card have? I'm really looking for something that is mainstream with an eye towards CS6 so something that supports Mercury for a few extra $'s would be something I would consider... hence the Radeon 7750 card
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    November 1, 2012 5:07:30 AM

    I have been looking on newegg and the prices of 2 x8 gig kits of RAM running at lower voltage are really high . If money was no object then
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    But I do not think its good value for money .

    With CS5 you can have graphics card acceleration using an nVidia card . nVidia call this "cuda" .
    Radeons are not supported by CS5 even though they are capable of similar types of processing with other software .

    Im pleased to see that CS6 adds support for openCL in the MGE .
    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PhotoShop.ht...
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    November 1, 2012 7:13:24 AM

    Just buy an nvidia GT 610.
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    November 1, 2012 7:28:20 AM

    Max1s said:
    Just buy an nvidia GT 610.

    Intel graphics blows that out of the water, I think it is equivalent to a 630. Caviar Blues are slow, but I guess they may be fast enough for you in RAID. Drop to Home premium there is no need for pro. I run CS6, Lightroom 4 on Home Prem.
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    November 1, 2012 7:48:17 AM

    angaddev said:
    Intel graphics blows that out of the water, I think it is equivalent to a 630. Caviar Blues are slow, but I guess they may be fast enough for you in RAID. Drop to Home premium there is no need for pro. I run CS6, Lightroom 4 on Home Prem.

    Would the Intel graphics support dual monitors?
    Any other suggestions on HDs?
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    November 1, 2012 11:04:45 AM

    Well the caviar blacks are the faster WD drives. I use a Samsung spinpoint F3 series, which is pretty quick. But I wouldn't worry about it since you are using raid.

    "How do I output to more than one monitor?
    Most Intel graphics products can output to one or two displays at the same time and support several different multiple display configurations.

    Starting with the 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 4000/2500, three displays support may be possible depending on your computer's configuration. Check with your computer manufacturer if three displays are supported on your computer and which display combinations are supported."

    http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/sb/CS-031040.htm#...

    I cannot personally confirm that two monitors can be run off of one motherboard/cpu, but I know that Z68/Z77 boards do have two plugs, as well as a bios option having to do with dual monitors with iGPU. (Integrated Graphics Processing Unit)
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    !