Seems like some of you guys enjoy doing this based on other threads, so I'll pose the question. Looking to build a relatively cheap Photoshop PC for an artist friend. I think speed and smoothness while editing would be the primary goal, not so much speed of loading or saving or transferring files.
To start with, I threw a system together at NewEgg, Public Wishlist "Markomputer" (http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=22475126), that's a bit over-budget. While I can build a computer, I don't know what's paramount to Photoshop working within the above parameters and, therefore, where I could trim on the Markomputer... or maybe I'm just way off base with the items in the wishlist in the first place. I don't know if el-humongo video card is needed. I don't know what Photoshop can make the best of CPU/RAM-wise. I don't know what monitor resolution is ideal/overkill.
Disclaimers based on the Markomputer wishlist: Do not count OS or software cost (Win7, but it does have to be 64-bit, right?). Intel not required. CPU cooler likelihood acknowledged. I don't know if USB3 is a must-have or is becoming universal on everything yet. Overclocking, unless proven straight-up dead-ass stable/reliable/unhangable, is not on the table (less than stellar results with my own foray into overclocking an E8400 "mega-overclockable" CPU).
So, sticking with the box only (no monitors, input devices, etc.), what do you suggest?
The following list is what I'm currently using and plan to upgrade if I see a need to:
-wacom bamboo tablet
-CanoScan LiDE Scanner (that I use to scan in beginning sketches and then finish and color in Gimp)
-wifi laptop to send images via internet to clients, networked with a winxp dedicated solely to gimping, inkscaping, and scribusing. (would love to be able to send straight from the desktop, but love the portability of the laptop)
current computer slows way down (I know Gimp is partly to blame for slow response to more complicated, layered drawings) when I use lots of layers and custom brushes.
anyway. Looking for a starting faster desktop, that will make editing a breeze. (I'm thinking my main problem is using Gimp... so I'm using that until I can afford to pay for photoshop, illustrator, InDesign).
- As Photoshop is well optimised fr multi-threading he i7 will dominate the i5 with its 8 threads compared to 4
- Photoshop eats RAM for breakfast. I think it's worth the extra $20 or so to get 12GB
- Photoshop performance doesn't scale much with graphics cards. As long as you have a half decent one that is enough. Getting some $400 will only make a little difference from this 7770 at $89. However if you work with a lot of 3D images you might want to get a 2GB version.
- Don't need an overly expensive motherboard with no plans to overclock or Xfire/SLI. This one is good quality and has USB3 ports as well as a USB3 header for the ports on the front of chosen case.
- Power supply, you don't have one on your list This one is great quality and well priced.
Don't forget the scratch drive. It is important for most PS functions. These days a small (30 - 6o gb), maybe even used CCD would probably work fine. Nothing else goes on this drive. The reason can be found in a nice description on the Adobe web site.
I prefer at least one separate HD for image storage plus a backup of the same size or larger. A smaller C drive less than 500 gb or smaller works fine since it isn't the location for images. Personally storing too many images on a huge drive scares me so I limit my self to 1 TB drives plus larger ones just for backup.