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Over Budget: Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Multiple Browsers, etc

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November 3, 2012 2:01:37 AM

Hello members! Hoping you can help me reduce the price of this Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign build? Can you make any suggestions on where I can reduce the price a bit? I'm a heavy Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign user and often will have multiple browsers open to do testing/development. I also want 3 monitors connected - 2 work monitors, and 1 LED flatscreen TV (for watching movies, netflix, etc).

Also, once I have all the parts, where I am going to go to have it built up? I'm not a hardware newbie, but I would feel better if someone else built the machine for me.

Approximate Purchase Date: within next 30 days

Budget Range: below 2k all in

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Adobe Apps mentioned above, Watching Movies

Buying a monitor: No

Buying OS: Yes / No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canadian and USA suppliers like Newegg, NCIX, Tigerdirect, etc. I can bring stuff in from USA but only if it's really going to help me save.

My Location: Vancouver, Canada

Parts Preferences: none. Just want reliable manufacturers.

Overclocking: No (or maybe I should? Leave comments below)

SLI or Crossfire: Eh? Me no comprende

Why Am I Upgrading: My existing Gateway Core 2 duo laptop has served me well but it's becoming impossible to run Photoshop, a few browsers, and watch a movie. My system lags behind on 1080p MKV videos also which I would like to play on a flat screen TV connected.

Additional Comments: I really would like a video card that can let me run 3 monitors without issue. Photoshop on one, my email and browsers and other apps on the second, and watch 1080p movies on the third (flatscreen TV via HDMI). I currently have a Dell ST2420 (24") but will likely get another to match.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mjqE
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mjqE/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mjqE/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($1025.90 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Intel DX79SI ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($300.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($163.95 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Computer Valley)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar DX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($83.79 @ DirectCanada)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($159.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro Platinum 1000W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($249.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)

Total: $2417.85
November 3, 2012 2:15:53 AM

Quick and dirty way to get below 2K- dump the extreme edition and get the 3930K instead-100 MHZ slower and 2.5 Megabytes less cache but both of those have non quantifiable differences- plus you save 400$ :D 

Do you need a dedicated sound card? Most on board sound is plenty enough for most needs nowadays, so that's worth considering dumping
November 3, 2012 2:20:19 AM

Also, SLI/crossfire is running to video cards together to increase performance-unfortunately it's never as effective as a single more powerful card with similar overall specs to 2 cards together
Related resources
November 3, 2012 3:32:21 AM

OK, have I changed to a Quad core and used a different video card. Is the Radeon 7850 a good choice?

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mk6b
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mk6b/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mk6b/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Intel DX79SI ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($300.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($163.95 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ NCIX)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($159.99 @ Memory Express)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro Platinum 1000W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($249.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)

Total: $1660.15

Best solution

November 3, 2012 5:42:17 AM
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dirch the corsair cooler . A good air cooler will do the job at a fraction of the price

ditch the sound card . A good mb will have perfectly adequate sound for PHOTOSHOP

If you are using CS 5.5 or earlier you are best with an nVidia graphics card . If you use CS6 then a radeon is fine too

A build like this with a Radeon 7850 would need AT MOST a 550 watt psu

A good case can cost as little as $70

The i7 3770 is not that much slower than the sandy bridge e processors . Id use on of those
I definitely would not use an intel branded motherboard . Asus , Asrock , Gigabyte are likely to have better feature sets
If you do stay with the socket 2011 baord and processor it should be running a QUAD channel kit of RAM
Buy a kit

if you use the 3770K then you use a dual channel kit . Buy a kit
November 3, 2012 5:45:46 AM

If you need or want 6 core power, use the 3930K, it's a 3960X with less L3 and clock, but both are basically unquantifiable in there effects.
Also, if you want a good upgrade path, I'd definitely go LGA 2011
November 3, 2012 6:11:08 AM

You won't need a liquid cooler, or overclocking. Here's what I would suggest.

A Z77 motherboard, about $100
a Core i5 CPU, about $200
I like the HD 7850, quite powerful at that price and will do you well for the near future.
I like to get as much ram as I can afford, so I would go for 16GB.

You're paying too much for that Phantom tower. I have one myself but I've seen them as low as $100 US since they just came out with a new version of the Phantom.
I don't see why you'd need a full tower. But if you really like the looks of the phantom, then I'd take a look at the phantom 410 mid tower:

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

November 3, 2012 6:14:34 AM

The only thing I might keep on your build is the blu-ray player and HDD hard drive, everything else I would change! I will show you my personal build for example, I have the same goals as you doing photoshop, 3d modeling/rendering etc. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/me21

This setup will smoke your laptop for breakfast (err, something like that) but you don't really need a 6 core. The i7 3770 has 4 cores and uses hyperthreading so you get 8 threads. You'll want to get 16gb of 1600mhz memory, and you'll want a Nvidia graphics card for the Cuda technology, so a 660ti with 2gb would be a good graphics card for $150.

For a case, the Fractal Design Arc Midi is on sale right now for $70 at Newegg, this is a great deal on a great case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 3, 2012 6:21:33 AM

A 1kW PSU for a 7750 GPU? Really?

A gold rated 450W PSU would be fine, even with the 7850. I also suggest dropping the "water" cooler. 16GBs of DDR3-1600 is what I'd shoot for.
November 3, 2012 6:23:25 AM

brandon402 said:
The only thing I might keep on your build is the blu-ray player and HDD hard drive, everything else I would change! I will show you my personal build for example, I have the same goals as you doing photoshop, 3d modeling/rendering etc. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/me21

This setup will smoke your laptop for breakfast (err, something like that) but you don't really need a 6 core. The i7 3770 has 4 cores and uses hyperthreading so you get 8 threads. You'll want to get 16gb of 1600mhz memory, and you'll want a Nvidia graphics card for the Cuda technology, so a 660ti with 2gb would be a good graphics card for $150.

For a case, the Fractal Design Arc Midi is on sale right now for $70 at Newegg, this is a great deal on a great case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Not bad, but the gemini is an awful air cooler. If you want an aftermarket CPU cooler, I'd look at the Coolermaster Hyper 212+.
November 3, 2012 6:50:04 AM

Where on earth are you planning to find a 660 TI for 150$? There more like 250$ where I am!
If it is well threaded, then mayb he can get a vishera pile drive FX 83XX instead?
November 3, 2012 7:04:13 AM

PANZER4 said:
Where on earth are you planning to find a 660 TI for 150$? There more like 250$ where I am!
If it is well threaded, then mayb he can get a vishera pile drive FX 83XX instead?


Whoops I meant to say 650 TI, not 660 TI, my bad. The 650 TI is around $150.
November 3, 2012 7:07:00 AM

^^^Haha lol, anyway, do you think the processor I recommended would be viable? It's a 100$ cheaper and it multithreaded to the level of an i7, and a better upgrade path at this point in time. Of course, if the programs he uses arn't well multithreaded than definitely go for the i7
Just throwing ideas out there ;) 
November 3, 2012 11:26:56 AM

Thank you for all the great replies! OK, agreed getting rid of the watercooling and Intel mobo.

Panzer: noted about the hex-core. Maybe it's a worthy upgrade now so I don't regret in future.

brandon: thanks for sharing your build config but you are missing a video card aren't you? Or were you planning on using onboard video from the mobo?

Outlander: glad you mentioned the video card. Reminded me about the Mercury Graphics Engine in CS6. I really need to get a vid card that will support this new feature. See http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/mercury-graphic... and http://www.nvidia.ca/object/photoshop-cs6.html.

Looks like most recent nVidia and ATI vid cards will do the trick. Good article for readers about CS6 and the Mercury Graphics Engine: http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PhotoShop.ht...

buzz: I will look into the Phantom 410 as an option. I'm not picky about having a full tower or on the case design. Although now that I think about it, having a hot swap bay for my extra sata drives would be a dandy feature. The Cooler Masters HAF XM seems to be a good choice for me. It has the hot-swap bays in front which is a bonus and something I would definitely use.
November 3, 2012 11:31:10 AM

Updated build?
November 3, 2012 12:07:54 PM

Quicksync will finish things faster than CUDA, and even though most Adobe applications also support OpenCL, Quicksync is still faster. However, QS is only available on Ivy Bridge CPUs and not SB-E.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($68.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($186.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($143.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($103.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($144.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1926.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

2 DVI + 1 HDMI + 1 DisplayPort on the graphics card. 32GB RAM and large HDDs for Adobe and its files. All this because it's in your budget.
November 3, 2012 6:07:10 PM

Thanks Willy. Although the extra drives are great, I don't need them quite yet. I have 6 SATA drives that I hot-swap in and out of desktop external Blacx boxes.

Here is my latest build with everyone's advice and input. I found the perfect case from Thermaltake that has everything I want as well.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/mnB7

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($243.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Thermaltake VM400M1W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($86.40 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($141.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1512.59
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
November 3, 2012 6:15:31 PM

Err.. memory change up and cheaper cpu cooler... pretty happy with this setup now

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0596 88.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($51.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($243.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($77.95 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Thermaltake VM400M1W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($86.40 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($141.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1456.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
November 3, 2012 6:35:36 PM

Uh... NCIX Sales rep just gave me this feedback..

1. For professional/business uses, please stay away from ANY ocz products. I recommend Crucial M4, Intel 520, or Samsung 830 for SSD.

2. The power supply is way overkill for you system. I recommend 650w-850w silver/gold certified Corsair/Antec models.

3. ASUS might be a better option for your motherboard. Intel motherboard normally will be back ordered from INTEL directly.

4. If you choose H100, I strongly recommned you to use a Corsair case at the same time.
November 4, 2012 1:01:24 AM

Updated build with more expensive SSD and mobo as per NCIX suggestions. Waiting to hear back from NCIX on a quote.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.79 @ DirectCanada)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0596 88.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($51.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($294.37 @ DirectCanada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($77.95 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Thermaltake VM400M1W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($86.40 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Pro 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified TFX12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($141.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1586.74
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
November 4, 2012 1:12:29 AM

LOL, I was thinking the PSU was "wrong". $80 for a 550W 80+ (not even bronze?) PSU is semi a joke. But the NCIX guy is way off. Says your PSU is overkill, then wants you to buy a bigger one? WTF! You'd be fine with either this one or the 520 HCG.

http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/part/antec-power-supply-ea43...
November 4, 2012 1:27:31 AM

Sorry, my mistake. Forgot to change out power supply in the last msg. Here is the exact spec list from NCIX. The quote he sent me doesn't price match everything on this list (they are 50 bones more) but if they can do a build a test of the machine for me, I may go for it.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg Canada)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0596 88.8 CFM CPU Cooler ($51.99 @ Computer Valley)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($243.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.79 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Thermaltake VM400M1W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($86.40 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($60.99 @ Computer Valley)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($141.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $1464.60
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
November 4, 2012 1:34:31 AM

Best answer selected by mayurjvancouver.
n
nA bunch of you gave good input. Too bad you can't do a group best answer on TH :) 
November 4, 2012 1:36:16 AM

Confused about Quad Channel vs Dual Channel for the RAM. So Quad channel is better.. Is my setup correct (see the most recent partspicker list above) ?

Thanks
November 4, 2012 2:02:15 AM

You'll be running dual channel in that config. Still not fond of that PSU but its fine.
November 4, 2012 2:05:32 AM

4745454b said:
You'll be running dual channel in that config. Still not fond of that PSU but its fine.


Do I need to change the RAM or mobo? Am I going to benefit from quad channel (I assume yes)?
November 4, 2012 4:06:43 AM

That chip and board are quad channel, I double checked. You should be good!
With using Windows 7 Pro you will be able to later up the memory past 16gb if you want, it has a huge limit of 192 GB. Home Premium 64 bit is limited to 16gb.
So down the road you could add another 4x4gb set to bring you to 32gb (just make sure to get the exact same kind and you should be fine). The maximum the motherboard can handle is 64gb (8x8gb). But I doubt you'd ever need 64gb, so going with 4x4 16gb should be good.
November 4, 2012 4:11:58 AM

Yup, nm, 2011 board so quad channel it is. Won't make a difference much either way.
December 1, 2012 9:20:21 PM

OK, so I have had this machine for a few weeks. Ran into an issue with the case. When I got it home and unpacked it, the hot swap drives on top didn't work. I thought it was a driver issue. Took it back to NCIX and they tried 2 more cases. They couldn't get the hot swap drives to work. Supposedly there is an issue with the case manufacturing where the power wires that are soldered into the hot swap board are being pinched and aren't working as expected.

NCIX upgraded my case (for free) to the Fractal Design Define R4 case. I'm dissappointed because I can't have the hdd swap functionality but it's a minor issue since I have external hdd blacx boxes already.

Overall, the machine is a screamer. Easily able to play 1080p on my Samsung 46" flat screen, run Photoshop, Firefox, Chrome, Utorrent, Word and several other Task bar utilities on my two other Dell 24" screens without issue.

Windows Performance benchmark info (8.0 is the highest number)

Memory (RAM) 32.0 GB 7.9
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series 7.9
Gaming graphics 18149 MB Total available graphics memory 7.9
Primary hard disk 157GB Free (238GB Total) 7.8

Overall score: 7.7
!