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  • budget photo editing PC build ~ $1k

    Hi

    firstly; wow increadible site with tons of great info and help
    problem is the options seem to be endless

    I need a new desktop primarily for photo-editing (Potoshop CS5/6 and Lghtroom 4), but would also like to be able to play Diablo 3 (on mid settings, dont need to run it on high)
    I have not built a PC for over 10years - i am outdated

    budget: well ideally as low as possible but lets say around $1,000 for now

    I want it to be reliable and last a few years
    I wont be overclocking

    I have looked at the: Best Photo/Video Editing PC Under $1,400 [January 2013] - http://www.custompcreview.com/computer-builds/best-photo-video-editing-pc-under-1400-january-2013/17122/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaig n=Feed%3A+custompcreview+%28Custom+PC+Review%29
    and a few other builds on here, first question is; seeing as I wont be doing any video-editing whatsoever would you recommend anything different?

    CPU - Intel Core i5 3570

    Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H or Gigabyte Z77X-UP4-TH what are the advantages of the UP4?

    Memory - Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 - or will 8GB be sufficient?

    Video Card - this is where i am most stuck, want something decent / good value for money, should be GeForce as i beleive Photoshop benifits from Cuda - EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1024MB is what i am thinking, or is there anything cheaper that will run Diablo3 on mid settings? ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1 GB maybe?

    Case - Corsair Carbide 200R

    Boot Drive - OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD - or Samsung 840 Pro 128GB - or Crucial m4 128GB? will be for Win7 pro 64 and PS/LR

    Storage Drive - Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s

    Optical Drive

    PSU - Corsair CX600W - good enough, will prob add another SSD and HDD at a later date so would this handle the increased power consumption? i like the idea of semi-moduar but is it worth it?
    just saw this on the PSU thread - Rosewill CAPSTONE Series 450W Modular CAPSTONE-450-M - would this be good?

    Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit


    as mentioned I wont be overclocking so if there are any items similar to above without an overclocking feature at a better price please let me know
    also if you advise an alternative item please let me know the pros & cons

    Thanks
    Jason
    Last edited by jason; 02-05-2013, 12:15 AM.

  • #2
    You're right on the money with this build. I wouldn't do much different.

    For the mobo, the main difference for you between the UP4 and the D3H is Thunderbolt. It's a high speed interface kinda like USB or Firewire that's supposed to be the next big thing. TBH, I don't think you'll really need it for photo editing. The main thing I see it being useful for is for editing videos where you'd have an external Thunderbolt drive being used to store videos and videos being edited directly off the drive. I'd go with the UD3H these days though. It's like $5 more, but it has higher quality components such as thicker copper.

    Amazon.com: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI W/ HDMI,DVI,DispayPort Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77X-UD3H: Computers & Accessories

    As for memory, I think 8GB will be sufficient and you could always upgrade to 16GB. That's why I suggest picking up some really common memory such as the Vengeance since it doesn't seem like Corsair will be discontinuing that anytime soon. Of course, if you have the budget, just go with 16GB from the start and not have to worry about anything down the road. Just curious, but what kind of camera are you using? If you're like me and you've got a Nikon D800 that produces 50MB raw files, you may want to go with 16GB from the start since 8GB gets eaten up after a hundred or so photos.

    For the graphics card, that GTX 650 Ti is good. Does it fit in the budget?

    For the SSD, I think the Samsung 840 Pro is the best of the bunch right now. The Crucial m4 is slow, but it's cost effective if you need to save a couple bucks.

    For the PSU, you can just go with the Antec VP-450. Great power supply and it's cost effective. You don't need 600w with a GTX 650 Ti.

    Amazon.com: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply: Electronics

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by sam.cpcr View Post
      You're right on the money with this build. I wouldn't do much different.

      For the mobo, the main difference for you between the UP4 and the D3H is Thunderbolt. It's a high speed interface kinda like USB or Firewire that's supposed to be the next big thing. TBH, I don't think you'll really need it for photo editing. The main thing I see it being useful for is for editing videos where you'd have an external Thunderbolt drive being used to store videos and videos being edited directly off the drive. I'd go with the UD3H these days though. It's like $5 more, but it has higher quality components such as thicker copper.

      Amazon.com: Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI W/ HDMI,DVI,DispayPort Dual UEFI BIOS ATX Motherboard GA-Z77X-UD3H: Computers & Accessories

      As for memory, I think 8GB will be sufficient and you could always upgrade to 16GB. That's why I suggest picking up some really common memory such as the Vengeance since it doesn't seem like Corsair will be discontinuing that anytime soon. Of course, if you have the budget, just go with 16GB from the start and not have to worry about anything down the road. Just curious, but what kind of camera are you using? If you're like me and you've got a Nikon D800 that produces 50MB raw files, you may want to go with 16GB from the start since 8GB gets eaten up after a hundred or so photos.

      For the graphics card, that GTX 650 Ti is good. Does it fit in the budget?

      For the SSD, I think the Samsung 840 Pro is the best of the bunch right now. The Crucial m4 is slow, but it's cost effective if you need to save a couple bucks.

      For the PSU, you can just go with the Antec VP-450. Great power supply and it's cost effective. You don't need 600w with a GTX 650 Ti.

      Amazon.com: Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply: Electronics
      thx for the info / advice

      using 5DII, so nowhere near the size of your files

      will stick with 8GB ram for now, as you said its easily upgraded if needed at a later stage
      cool will pick up that PSU then
      as well as the samsung SSD

      2 more questions (for now)
      whats the difference between the GA-Z77X-UD3H and the -D3H
      and CPU wise is the i5 3570, good or something better value for money? even if it costs more? i prefer to stay away from those with hyperthreading due to the issues with that and LR4
      Last edited by jason; 02-05-2013, 06:18 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jason View Post
        thx for the info / advice

        using 5DII, so nowhere near the size of your files

        will stick with 8GB ram for now, as you said its easily upgraded if needed at a later stage
        cool will pick up that PSU then
        as well as the samsung SSD

        2 more questions (for now)
        whats the difference between the GA-Z77X-UD3H and the -D3H
        and CPU wise is the i5 3570, good or something better value for money? even if it costs more? i prefer to stay away from those with hyperthreading due to the issues with that and LR4
        No problem. Glad to help.

        The primary difference between the UD and the D is basically 2x the copper used on the traces. Lowers temperatures and helps if you ever decide to overclock in the future. There's also some other small things like eSATA ports out the rear I/O and on the motherboard power/reset buttons if you care. $5 difference, so it's up to you.

        For the CPU, the i5 3570 is good, but I'd rather go with the i5 3570K. Overclocking can easily provide ~25% additional performance. You can also upgrade to the i7 3770/3770K if you want better performance when exporting photos. Since you mentioned a hyperthreading issue with LR4 I was actually a bit intrigued. Went ahead and ran a test on LR4. Exported 40 RAW files from NEF to JPG. Looks like LR4 is using all 4 real cores + 4HT cores just fine to me. No issues here.

        Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sam.cpcr View Post
          No problem. Glad to help.

          The primary difference between the UD and the D is basically 2x the copper used on the traces. Lowers temperatures and helps if you ever decide to overclock in the future. There's also some other small things like eSATA ports out the rear I/O and on the motherboard power/reset buttons if you care. $5 difference, so it's up to you.

          For the CPU, the i5 3570 is good, but I'd rather go with the i5 3570K. Overclocking can easily provide ~25% additional performance. You can also upgrade to the i7 3770/3770K if you want better performance when exporting photos. Since you mentioned a hyperthreading issue with LR4 I was actually a bit intrigued. Went ahead and ran a test on LR4. Exported 40 RAW files from NEF to JPG. Looks like LR4 is using all 4 real cores + 4HT cores just fine to me. No issues here.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	96ca738e1d319a8978c5180ca1d3c1b9.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	18.9 KB
ID:	248
          as far as i have read they cannot explain the problem with LR4 and Hyperthreading, some people have no problem with it, others do - the system does use all available cores/threads however for some people (on high end / new builds incl Macbook pro with retina display) it slows LR4 down to an unuseable speed, this has come from the Adobe website, they are working on it but dont seem to have a solution
          here is a link to 1 of the discussions: Lightroom 4.2 RC: Very poor performance on high end system - partial solution discovered.

          ok so UD it is, and will look into the CPU

          another (noob) question 1x8GB or 2x4GB ram? and get the low profile CML8GX3M2A1600C9 right?

          thanks again
          Last edited by jason; 02-05-2013, 09:31 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jason View Post
            as far as i have read they cannot explain the problem with LR4 and Hyperthreading, some people have no problem with it, others do - the system does use all available cores/threads however for some people (on high end / new builds incl Macbook pro with retina display) it slows LR4 down to an unuseable speed, this has come from the Adobe website, they are working on it but dont seem to have a solution
            here is a link to 1 of the discussions: Lightroom 4.2 RC: Very poor performance on high end system - partial solution discovered.

            ok so UD it is, and will look into the CPU

            another (noob) question 1x8GB or 2x4GB ram? and get the low profile CML8GX3M2A1600C9 right?

            thanks again
            Yeah I saw that same forum post which is why I ended up testing my copy of LR4. Seemed like LR4 was taking advantage of all the logical cores to me although I have to admit they weren't going at 100%. I think the problem is that LR4 isn't programmed to export files in parallel. You can make it export in parallel manually though by exporting one set then another. Maybe split exporting into 3 parts or something. I also wonder if these guys in the forum are using the 32 bit or 64 bit edition of LR4. I'm using the 64 bit for my testing. Could be different on 32 bit.

            With Ivy Bridge (LGA 1155), you want to buy 2 sticks of RAM at a time and install them in pairs in alternating slots. This allows you to take advantage of dual channel architecture.

            Multi-channel memory architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sam.cpcr View Post
              Yeah I saw that same forum post which is why I ended up testing my copy of LR4. Seemed like LR4 was taking advantage of all the logical cores to me although I have to admit they weren't going at 100%. I think the problem is that LR4 isn't programmed to export files in parallel. You can make it export in parallel manually though by exporting one set then another. Maybe split exporting into 3 parts or something. I also wonder if these guys in the forum are using the 32 bit or 64 bit edition of LR4. I'm using the 64 bit for my testing. Could be different on 32 bit.

              With Ivy Bridge (LGA 1155), you want to buy 2 sticks of RAM at a time and install them in pairs in alternating slots. This allows you to take advantage of dual channel architecture.

              Multi-channel memory architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
              thanks again, now just gotta place the oder and wait

              Comment


              • #8
                I am so damn irritated!!!
                tried ordering my pc components but amazon wont ship half of them to an APO address, tried different configurations but they just screw me over, so now i gotta get a pre built machine from either Dell or HP
                ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

                another question though, need personal opinions on OS, windows 7 pro 64 or windows 8 std (non pro)?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jason View Post
                  I am so damn irritated!!!
                  tried ordering my pc components but amazon wont ship half of them to an APO address, tried different configurations but they just screw me over, so now i gotta get a pre built machine from either Dell or HP
                  ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

                  another question though, need personal opinions on OS, windows 7 pro 64 or windows 8 std (non pro)?
                  Unfortunate =/.

                  For the OS, I like Windows 7 a LOT more. A ton of stuff on Windwows 8 is pretty unintuitive for me and I'm just not much of a fan at all. For a touchscreen, I can see how it'd be cool, but for a mouse and keyboard, it's borderline frustrating.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sam.cpcr View Post
                    Unfortunate =/.

                    For the OS, I like Windows 7 a LOT more. A ton of stuff on Windwows 8 is pretty unintuitive for me and I'm just not much of a fan at all. For a touchscreen, I can see how it'd be cool, but for a mouse and keyboard, it's borderline frustrating.
                    yeah thats exactly what i am worried about with windows 8, its faster but i really doubt i am gonna like the interaction, definately aimed at touch screen computing

                    anyway this is the prebuilt system i am gonna get, anyway to tell what parts are used (MB etc)?
                    Dell with the monitor i want

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jason View Post
                      yeah thats exactly what i am worried about with windows 8, its faster but i really doubt i am gonna like the interaction, definately aimed at touch screen computing

                      anyway this is the prebuilt system i am gonna get, anyway to tell what parts are used (MB etc)?
                      Dell with the monitor i want
                      Hmmm... that didn't really work. Just takes me to the landing page for the Dell XPS 8500.

                      Unfortunately the problem with the big box vendors is that you don't get info on the motherboard, power supply, etc. That way they can use lower quality components to save on cost. They also generally neuter the BIOS for you so you can't make many adjustments.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        well i have had endless prob trying to get my new pc, i think i hav it sorted out now, and am ordering it today

                        have questions regarding the HDDs etc
                        I am ordering from dell, if i get a system with only a standard HDD and order a SSD seperately, when they arrive could i easily change the OS (win8) to run from the SSD?
                        SSD option is expensive from Dell
                        alternative option is get the hybrid, HDD with 32gb srt SSD cache and run only the OS on that - will win8 run as fast as a seperate SSD?
                        or should i just pay the extra and get a 256GB SSD installed by Dell?

                        thanks again

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yup you can, but you need to get restore CDs or you need to get a SSD with a migration kit to clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD.

                          Nope don't go the hybrid route. I think you can get your own SSD aftermarket and install it. It's quite easy and you could save a ton of money.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sam.cpcr View Post
                            Yup you can, but you need to get restore CDs or you need to get a SSD with a migration kit to clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD.

                            Nope don't go the hybrid route. I think you can get your own SSD aftermarket and install it. It's quite easy and you could save a ton of money.
                            could u link me to a suggested "SSD with a migration kit"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jason View Post
                              could u link me to a suggested "SSD with a migration kit"
                              Certainly. The Kingston HyperX 3K for example. Great pricing right now too. $0.87/GB even with a migration kit.

                              Amazon.com: Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB Upgrade Kit SATA III 2.5-Inch 6.0 Gb/s Solid State Drive SH103S3B/240G: Computers & Accessories

                              Comment

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