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Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:54 am
by EvanK
Hey, everyone,

I've been saving for a new PC for the past year or so, slowly gathering up the money required to put together a ~$1000 build to replace my current aging 6 year old Dell Dimension desktop.

I'll be using the new machine to run CS6 (when it's released, hopefully sometime next year), primarily for Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Lightroom, and my panorama and HDR software (both of which seem to turn my current machine into a radiator for an hour). Gaming isn't a huge concern, the only games that I really play are online flash games on occasion, and lightweight games like Sim City. For that reason I'm not looking to spend much more over $100 on a GPU, and would like to stick with NVidia as that's what's optimized for CS.

Here's what I've put together:

CPU: Intel i7 3770k ($300-330)
MoBo: Either an ASRock Extreme4 or a Gigabyte D3H ($120-150)
RAM: 16GB from G.Skill, either 1600 or 1800 MHz, depending what's on sale ($50-$80)
GPU: A GTX-650 from whatever manufacturer's the cheapest and offers the best warranty in Canada ($100-120)
HDD: 1TB worth of space, either 2x 500GB with RAID0 or a 1TB drive, WD Velociraptor ($220-275)
SSD: 120 or 128 GB Samsung 830, Intel 520 or Crucial M4 ($100-130)
PSU: Something around 650W, fully modular, and from a reliable brand like Seasonic, Antec or Thermaltake ($100-130)
Case: BitFenix Colossus Venom with Window ($120-150)
OS: I can get a copy of Windows 7 or 8 64 bit for ~$20 from a friend who works through a school division

Assuming that I can get all these parts on sale locally for about $1000 before tax, would you say that it's a good build for a good price? What would you change to better optimize the build for photo and video editing?

Regarding peripherals, I'm pretty much already set, but I'll always accept suggestions for a new mechanical keyboard to replace my plastic "rubber dome" one, new speakers, a new HD monitor to replace my CRT, etc. I'd also like to pick up an internal card reader, but I've been having trouble finding a good one.

Regarding reliable brand, would you recommend a different brand of RAM, suggest a different SSD, a differend HDD, or does everything look to be in order?

Thanks for the help everyone, I'm pretty much ready to build this, and just wanted some second opinions from other photo enthusiasts and some videographers to see what works the best with the software that we use.


Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:27 am
by popo
It depends on your load and usage of course, but I'd stretch to a 256 GB SSD as I found the 128 GB one I started with filled pretty fast with applications and games. I think it is particularly important for the OS drive to have plenty of free space on it. The bulk drive generally doesn't need to be high performance, so personally I've used WD greens previously, moving onto WD red now they're available (I run mirrors).

Also consider getting an after market heatsink for the CPU to replace the bundled one.

Ram, I never saw much difference in real world performance going from mainstream to performance ram, typically a marginal low digit % not noticeable outside benchmark runs. These days I'd take the mainstream ram.

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:39 am
by SpecKiller
I’d give it a 8/10.

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:39 am
by lagnificent


Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:50 am
by Rorschach
It's just a personal thing but I've always been reluctant to do RAID0 on a desktop mobo as I've always found a dedicated RAID controller to be more robust. However, I'd set up two 1TB drives in a RAID1 for peace of mind - I've always considered RAID0 to just be an "AID" setup. :mrgreen:

I agree with popo about the heatsink. The bog standard one you get is usually just "good enough" for most setups but with your GPU power supply, I would probably go for something a bit more meaty - multi-pipe, fan-assisted heatsinks have always served me well for the more powerful machines I've built.

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:02 pm
by lagnificent
Yeah for overclocking, a better CPU heatsink would be a good idea. For stock operation, I wouldn't bother. It's not like the blowtorch days of the Prescott P4's anymore.

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:00 am
by EvanK
Hey, all,

Given that tomorrow's boxing day and that my local retailer, Memory Express, is offering some great door crasher deals, I'll probably be picking up a few parts.

I'll be grabbing an NZXT Phantom 410 on sale, along with 16GB of 1600MHz Patriot RAM (2x8GB), a 650w Corsair PSU, an LG Blu-Ray burner, a Crucial M4 256GB SSD (I was going to go for the 128GB, but at $150 you can't go wrong), and a GTX-650 Ti for $90 after a rebate. I may also grab an i7 and mobo combo, depending on what deals I can find online to finish off the build. In the mean time I'll use an old 250GB Seagate drive, until I can afford a Caviar Black or a Velociraptor.

If I do decide to RAID in the future, I'll be sure to grab a RAID controller, and I'll also grab a 3rd party CPU cooler. I don't think that I'll be OCing right away, but it'll be nice to have in the future when I do.

Any comments before I go ahead and buy?

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:32 am
by AnderssonPhoto
I'd say pick Gigabyte over Asrock ^^

Re: Rate my PC build

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:25 pm
by EvanK
It ended up coming down to a UD5h vs the P8Z77-V Pro. I went with the Asus primarily because it was a couple bucks cheaper, and it looked a little more badass IMO :P

The system's all done, now I'm just saving up for a GPU as I missed the 650 on boxing day. But other than that everything's been lightning quick so far, a 64 bit version of PS and Premiere would be nice though.