Photoshop/Video Editing/Media Build Help ~$1200


May 28, 2011
Approximate Purchase Date: In the next week or so

Budget Range: 800-1000. Closer to $1,200 with the monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop/Lightroom picture editing, After Effects/Premiere Pro video editing, 1080p media, normal daily use, maaaaybe some gaming :)

Parts Not Required: I need everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: I want an Intel Sandy Bridge processor, probably i5 2500k is in my price range, we'll see

Overclocking: Maybe, if this would help run the programs I'll be using?

SLI or Crossfire: Not now, maybe in the future, again, only if this would significantly improve my usage

Monitor Resolution: Haven't bought one yet, but I'll use the highest res possible. Also, I'm planning on having a 2nd monitor, nothing fancy, just really basic so I can have Adobe Bridge open on it while Photoshop, etc. is open on the nice monitor.

Additional Comments: I have a few questions, sorry if I seem naive.
1) I'm lost on the graphics card. There's a million options and they all seem great. I reallllly don't know if GeForce or Radeon works better for the applications I'll be using. I need advice on this one.
2) Is an SSD really worth it? How much of an improvement could I really expect if I loaded the OS and my main applications on it?
3) As for the PSU, I don't really know how big I need. I know if I'm overclocking I'll need a bigger PSU, but again, I don't know if should OC or not.
4) I don't know if I need that RAM (which is apparently meant for Sandy Bridge and comes with a fan...) or if this would work fine - G Skill 8G(2x4G) DDR3 1600Mhz PC12800 RL 9-9-9-24(CL9D-8GBRL) - $105.00
5) I really need a monitor that will be great for picture/video editing. Any recommendations on this would be great. Looking for probably a 24". Contrast & color are probably the biggest priority.

Here's a build I came up with on the fly just to get a really rough estimate. I'd love ANY advice on any piece of this, even the monitor.

Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 SATA II 7200RPM 32M - $61.00
CoolerMaster 500W Extreme (ATX) - $61.00
CoolerMaster RC-692-KKN2 Advanced Bay Tower Gaming Case - $117.00
Gigabyte HD5770 1G Silent GDDR5 PCIE2.0 DVI HDMI LP - $151.00
Intel Core i5 2500K Processor LGA1155 3.3GHz CPU - $221.00
Logitech MK260 Wireless Desktop - $30.00
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3B3 P67 Socket1155 4xDDR3 SATA3 SATA2 USB3.0 HD Aud - $156.00
G Skill 8G(2x4G)DDR3 1600Mhz PC3-12800 CL7(F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH) - $150.00
LG E2441V-PN 24LED E41 5MS D-SUB DVI-D HDMI VESA(100x100) - $217.00
Total - $1164.00
Firstly, those parts look a bit pricey. Particularly the RAM. (you really don't need the fans for the RAM.) I'd try to shop around a bit and upgrade to an i7-2600k for a dedicated editing rig. As far as overclocking goes, i'd decide now whether you want to or not, you can save yourself a lot of money. I would suggest overclocking though, you can get a massive amount more power.

As for your questions:
1. That card is great bang for your buck and will play most games on ultra high settings, maybe games like Crysis youll have to turn down a bit.
2. Personally i'm going to leave it a while before getting a SSD, they still seem like a young technology and ive heard of a lot of crashes and other problems. Not to mention the high price.
3. 500W should be ok, possibly cutting it a bit fine for any big overclocks but i think it should be ok.
4. Yeah get the cheaper RAM, those fans seem unnecessary even for overclocking.
5. Don't know a huge amount in this area but i do know the LED monitors usually have better contrast than LCD. As far as colour is concerned, you should be able to just calibrate any monitor correctly i think.


May 28, 2011

Thanks for the reply and good advice. Okay so I've got a few more questions now.
1) Will a 256bit GPU be much faster for Photoshop, After Effects, etc., than a 128bit?
2) If overclocking really will help that much with Photoshop/etc., then what PSU and cooling do I need to upgrade to? I'm not planning on trying to push it to 4.5+, maybe just keep it stable around 4.2 or something?
3) I'm worried about getting all great components but skimping on one thing that will bottleneck the whole system. Example, the hard drive. Will a basic Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 SATA II 7200RPM 32M be fine or is a 64M buffer worth the extra $?
4) Is the hyperthreading on the 2600k worth the extra $110? If it really will make a big difference I'll suck it up and shell out the extra $ for it.
1. I'm sorry but i don't know.
2. I'd be more comfortable with 550W. The HD5770 is quite an efficient card that doesn't eat a lot of power. I wouldn't be surprised if you got to 4.2 on stock to be honest but a cheap, decent cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ would be great.
3. The F3 always comes very highly recommended so i think it would be ok but if youre that bothered about load speeds, you would probably be best with a 10000 rpm drive.
4. Hyperthreading is specifically designed for this purpose, i'm sure the i5 would be great but the i7 would be a lot better.


May 28, 2011

Yeah I'll probably get a slightly better PSU. A cooler seems like a good and cheap investment, so I'll go for that. Thats good to know about the F3, I'll wait until SSDs are more affordable and reliable and then just upgrade to that as opposed to getting the 10,000rpm. And yeah, it seems like the hyperthreading might make a big difference in the applications I'll be using. Guess its worth forking out the extra $110 for it. Thanks for all the advice. Now if I can just decide on a monitor, lol.


Apr 19, 2008
Gigabyte is releasing a Z68 mother board with a 20g ssd integrated into the motherboard, I'm not sure of the cost, if it wasn't for too much more, that could be a considerable option for your motherboard, as you could then use the 20g's for your Photoshop Scratchdisk(edit->Preferences->Performance) and for any current files you're working with just to speed things up a bit. Boot times would still be what they are but when you get to the meat of working with Photoshop you might see some noticeable gains.

For your video card you'll probably want to consider a nVidia option. Some plugin's take advantage of CUDA, which is an nvidia thing. They're aren't a great deal of plug-ins that do, but if you find yourself using one of the few you'd see some pretty big gains from having a card that takes advantage of CUDA.



Apr 5, 2012
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($142.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.46 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1174.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-09 12:38 EST-0500)

you can use on board graphics for photoshop and video editing, if using GPU acceleration it does boosts up the speed of video encoding a bit so you can get it if you want but it is not speed

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