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$2000 workstation / photography build

Last response: in Systems
January 24, 2013 7:25:24 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my current system:

- Core i7 950 @ 3.8GHz
- 12GB
- 256GB C300 SSD and 2 x 2TB drives
- 2GB EVGA GTX 560

I also have a Dell 3007WFP-HC, SoundBlaster USB X-Fi, and other toys.

I'm looking to keep the video card, and possibly the SSD (though it could go in my laptop).

Noise level is a big one - I want quiet. But at the same time, I'm definitely no expert in this area (completely inexperienced as it happens, though I have no issue with standard case builds).

Don't need a huge amount of storage, I have a 6TB NAS.

Strong preference towards Intel. Don't need Xeon, but 'faster the better'. Willing to semi-watercool (i.e. Corsair Hxx series, but not fullblown).

Using the template:

Approximate Purchase Date: within 2 months

Budget Range: $2,000 give or take, with or without rebates, shipping not included

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Workstation for Python Dev, virtual machines, Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop, games

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Everything, including case (see above, more silent, better, not interested in lights, steel over black). Would probably keep the video card (but get a bargain card to stick in my existing machine). Maybe keep the SSD. No accessories, keyboard, etc. Just the "box".

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon, newegg

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Olympia, WA

Parts Preferences: Intel, i7

Overclocking: Yes/ Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560x1600

Additional Comments: See above

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Techno-lust, odd sensation that something is wrong in the universe when my laptop is faster than my desktop at times :)  Also, want something that will last a few years.
January 24, 2013 9:30:24 PM

You only need the water cooling if you're going to really overclock your system. But for your uses you probably won't benefit from overclocking. Here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: ATI FirePro V5900 2GB Video Card ($430.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($134.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($85.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1488.43
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-24 18:29 EST-0500)