Graphic Designer/Casual Gamer Build Advice

Hello! Looking for some advice on a build. Hoping you all will have some good advice.

Approximate Purchase Date: Sooner than later
Budget Range: $650-$850
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign, Casual Gaming (Civ5, Xcom, Fallout, TF2, L4D2)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard/Mouse/ OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon
Country: United States
Parts Preferences: Mid-Tower, ATX, (IPS panel monitors), Must have CD/DVD drive, 16GB RAM minimum
Overclocking: Yes / Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Dual Monitor Support required (1920x1080, 1920x1200) Can unhook one monitor while gaming.

Additional Comments: Wife's 2006 Macbook died (bad GPU) I don't want to drop $1800 on a 15'' macbook pro. Will give her my 2010 17'' macbook pro and build a desktop system instead.

New System doesn't have to be top of the line, just needs to be better than my current system. Will run Windows full-time (no need for TMx86 dualboot functionality.)

Current rig
i-5 M540
GT 330M

Will add second monitor, More Ram and SSD in the future.


Speculative parts list thus-far.


CPU: AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz

Mobo: ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970

GFX:EVGA 02G-P3-1559-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

HD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Tot: $666.92

Monitor: Dell S2340M Black 23" 7ms (GTG) Widescreen ISP LED Monitor

Tot: w/ monitor $855.92
4 answers Last reply
More about graphic designer casual gamer build advice
    -16GB is way to big of an overkill since you'll replace RAM in about a year
    -Never touch a 550Ti. 6870 will kick it's ass
    -1920x1080 monitor
    -Better MOBO
    -Same CPU
  2. hunterpostit88 said:
    -16GB is way to big of an overkill since you'll replace RAM in about a year
    -Never touch a 550Ti. 6870 will kick it's ass
    -1920x1080 monitor
    -Better MOBO
    -Same CPU

    Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your feedback.

    I'll look into the 6870 card vs the 550 ti. What makes this mobo "better" than the other?

    as for the other suggestions.

    The acer monitor is a TN panel and will not suffice for my purposes. (though it might be fine as a second monitor) I am a Designer by trade and need ISP panels for their color accuracy.

    The 16GB of ram is required as I'll be giving over 12GB of Ram to Photoshop on a daily basis. I'll be upgrading RAM to 32gb not in a year, but more like next paycheck.

    with the SSD and 2nd monitor within a year.
  3. Well, here we go. I've been looking at an IPS monitor myself, so it was nice to start really looking via the partpicker site. Here's something that could work for you.

    Less powerful, but generally somewhat more 'respected' PSU- if you're only doing low to moderate overclocks, and with a more powerful GPU, you should be fine with a 550w. The monitor is IPS, but only 21.5", so I hope that works for you. Otherwise, most of it's basically in-line with what you already had listed. The Radeon 7850 should be a bit better than the suggested 6870 above. However, it may not effect things overall, but I imagine the additional 1gb of video RAM in the card should be useful in your programs. If you don't feel the need for that though, you could go with the 6870 instead and shouldn't lose too much graphical power as a result. Overall, it's about $10 above budget before combo deals and rebates. Afterward (and the combo deal is automatic, so really it's about at your $850 budget anyway), it's $10 less altogether.
  4. Well here I'll make revisions.
    The thing that makes that board better is the newer chipset which is designed for PD. I had to drop to a 6850(still outperforms 550Ti)so you could have 16GB of RAM.
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