Advice needed on general use/photography editing build


Jan 27, 2010
Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next two weeks. Some specials expire this week.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: General use, photo editing

Parts Not Required: Reusing BT keyboard & mouse, 4.1 speakers, dual LCD monitors, Windows 7 Professional, hoping to reuse SB XFi card if it's not fried

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,, (I prefer to get parts locally if it's not too much of an upcharge)

Country of Origin: Texas, USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel CPU, mid-tower tool-free case

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: A friend of mine had a monster Dell XPS 710 and the motherboard blew, taking the video card with it. Instead of trying to replace the motherboard, she decided she wanted a new machine and salvage parts. Her PC doesn't see a lot of heavy-duty use, but she does some photography work on it. The 710 was way too much machine for her needs, but that's the way she likes to do things and why I named that machine "Overkill". Really, the only picky thing is the case. She needs support for one optical drive, a card reader, four 3.5" hard drives and 1 2.5" SSD drive and would like a window and red accents and/or LEDs. Obviously this last part isn't a deal-breaker.

I know what I'd build for my needs, but I'm having trouble deciding what is too much or not enough for this project. Any changes or suggestions are welcome.

Case: Mid-tower, would like something with cable management. see above for comments on "bling". Open to suggestions. My head is spinning from the choices.

PSU: No idea what I need here. Would like something with cable management.

Motherboard: P8P67 PRO R3.1 LGA 1155 P67 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel i5-2500K (I've considered the i7-2600K, but I think we'll get more bang for our buck here with a little overclocking.)

($24.99) Loki SD963]

Memory: Kingston DDR3 8GB 1333MHz HYPERX (2x4Gb) [it's what's on sale & available, open to suggestions]

SSD: Corsair Performance 3 128GB SATA III Solid State Drive

Video card: XFX 6790 1GB DDR5

Thanks for any help!


Heres an idea:
Biostar P67 $120, no need for crossfire and black and red should look nice with the window.

CM storm enforcer: red LEDs, decent cable management and decent airflow

DDR3 1600 $60, color matching, faster and no rebates.

Force 3 SSD, faster and less upfront

Probably want this also, nice bright red cold cathode:


Jan 27, 2010

Well, a few weeks turned into a month.

Now this is what I have:

Case: Cooler Master Enforcer Mid Tower

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 P67 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel i5-2500K

CPU cooler:

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB

SSD: Vertex 3 Series VTX3-25SAT3-120G 120GB
($229.99 MIR)

Video card: EVGA GTX 550 Ti SC 1GB (On Sale until Friday)
($109.99 MIR)

PSU: OCZ Technology ModXStream Pro 700W Modular ATX Power Supply
($59.99 MIR)

If I'm using that case, I'd love to use a red Biostar board, but it doesn't appear any of them have internal headers for USB 3.0 which the case has ports for up front. Seems a waste to have them in the case and not be able to us them because I didn't get a motherboard to support it.

Also, I've flipflopped on the CPU cooler. I was thinking about a Cooler Master V6 GT or V8, but they have external fan speed control? Also, they're freaking huge.

You want a Z68 board and a 2500K, and you don't need a video card for this pc's use. You will be fine with the on die graphics (HD 3000). $114.99
ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Socket 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard $49.99
380 Watt EarthWatts EA-380D Green ATX Power Supply $64.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL <----- more on that board <----- Z68 info. <----- A review of that board <---- more info on those graphics along with benchmark scores


Jan 27, 2010

Unfortunately, that motherboard doesn't fit the needs I laid out in my original message or the one from yesterday. I need support for 4 3.5" HDs, an SSD and an optical drive plus a card reader. There are only five SATA controllers on that board. Also, no USB 3.0 headers. Lastly, it's blue which isn't a huge deal breaker, but the user wants red where she can get it.

Thanks for the info on Z68, though.