$1,500 Photoshop & AVCHD Editing PC Help

golf nut

Jan 23, 2010
Hello all, it's been 4 years since I built our last home PC, so I am out of the loop on the latest parts terminology. Looking forward to the advices of the great community here.

Approximate Purchase Date: Before Thanksgiving

Budget Range: $1,500 before tax/shipping/rebates (of course if I can build a rig to fit my uses for less, I'm all for that!)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: AVCHD video editing; Photoshop; streaming video and music; internet surfing; MS Office tasks (e-mail, spreadsheets, Publisher documents, Word documents)

Parts Not Required:
- Monitor - using a 32" 1080P LCD television as my monitor (I know, not the best for color-critical work like Photoshop)
- Keyboard & Mouse
- Case (unless my current Antec P182 is not deep enough for the video card(s) required)
- Power Supply (unless my current Corsair HX650 power supply is not big enough)
- Samsung SH-S203B SATA DVD writer (would like to upgrade to Blu-Ray if funds left over)
- Internal USB universal memory card reader/floppy drive (not sure if floppy is needed anymore for driver disks)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Most comfortable with Newegg and Amazon, but open to others with decent return/RMA policies if parts arrive DOA

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: None really. Currently use Intel CPU but not tied it if AMD is better for my needs

Overclocking: Not afraid to OC (I currently do a 20% OC on my E6750 Core 2 Duo), but need rock solid stability and long-term reliability (i.e. this build needs to last me another 4 years if possible!) :D

SLI or Crossfire: No preference as to SLI or Crossfire - not sure if one is better than the other. Also not sure if I need a dual-card setup or not as I likely won't be running multiple monitors or playing crazy games. My guess is AVCHD video editing will be the most taxing task the computer performs, and not sure if that is more dependent on CPU or RAM or video card

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 currently

Additional Comments: I lean towards a quiet setup, as this is our home PC and my wife spends lots of time in our office working her home-based business. Photo and video editing will only be done by me on a less-frequent basis, but need the horsepower to do video editing without lag during preview and rendering - this is why I put AVCHD and photo editing as most important above. I would like a Blu-Ray writer but could burn HD video to a DVD for viewing on my PS3 as well. Gaming will be at a minimum - no time with work and a 2 year old running around! Am also thinking of getting a WD TV Live box to stream videos from my data drive, over my home network, to my HDTV in my living room. Need to research that a little more.

BTW - I keep the house thermostat at 73 degrees, but my wife likes it a little warmer when she is in the office. So the room the PC resides in is usually in the 75-78 degree temp range.

Thanks in advance!


golf nut

Jan 23, 2010
Forgot to mention a couple other things. I would like to have two hard drives - one for the OS and software programs, and one for my data. Then I will have a matching data drive in an external enclosure, so eSATA or USB 3.0 would be nice. As for data drive size, I am already at 70% full on a 1TB drive, so I should probably go to a 2TB drive. Unsure of NAS boxes and what all that involves.

I will also need to buy an operating system, an upgrade from Office 2003 Professional to Office 2010 Professional, an upgrade from Photoshop CS3 to CS5, and a capable AVCHD video editing program. My wife would tell me these software programs need to be part of the $1,500 budget, but I feel doing so will cramp the hardware side needed to edit and play back ACVHD video from my Canon Vixia HG20 HD camcorder.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157263 $249.99
ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

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CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M2A1600C9

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COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 RR-920-N520-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Intel Core i7 compatible

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EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441 $114.99 FREE SHIPPING 15% off with promo code HARDOCPX824A, ends 8/30
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.696136 $72.48
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Fatal1ty%20Z68%20Professional%20Gen3 <----- a better look at that board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512 <---- alternate board worth taking a look at