Value Photoshop Workstation build ideas

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by DuaneBrown, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. DuaneBrown

    DuaneBrown Junior Member

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    1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

    This is for Photoshop and Lightroom. Working with 18MP JPG and RAW photos.

    2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

    Trying to stay under $500 for the box. Plus Monitor. As always less is better when it comes to spending.

    3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

    USA

    5. IF YOU have a brand preference.

    I am not a fanboy. But I have had good experiences with WD and ASUS.

    6. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

    I am looking at updating my old gaming rigs Video Card, a ATI 3850. So that can be used to help out, If it can help...

    7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

    I have OCed in the past. I have nothing against it. But I am not looking to shorten the life of the computer by pushing it to the edge.

    8. What resolution, not monitor size, will you be using?
    1920X1200 Though I have not bought a monitor for this yet.

    9. WHEN do you plan to build it?

    The money is in the bank... But I don't have a deadline on this.

    X. Do you need to purchase any software to go with the system, such as Windows or Blu Ray playback software?

    Unless Windows 8 will help, I will be using win 7.

    I hope that sets the stage. I am looking at getting a A10-3800K. But I think that my 3850 could be used with a standard CPU If it could save some money. I just have not found any that seem as fast that don't cost almost as much. I think that the A10 should run photoshop just fine. I was mainly looking to save $$.

    SSD - Samsung 840 120gb.

    MB - ASRock FM2A85X Extreme4-M FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $75


    RAM - Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $43


    Card reader - SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 $11

    HD - Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $65

    I think the HD was cheaper when I put it in the cart. My wife requested a Card reader. I still need a case and PS. I haven't found a case I really like. The one my wife liked was $100, When she saw the price she said she didn't like it that much! Oh and a DVD burner. So my price is already over what I wanted to spend, not a big deal, I just don't want to spend more unless it is very helpful.

    The questions I have are, Can I do better with the processor? Could I benefit from more than 8gb of RAM? And how about a case and PS. I have looked at a lot on newegg today for a case. I was wanting USB 3.0 ports on the case. But I don't know if I would use them.

    Open for suggestions,
    Duane
     
    #1 DuaneBrown, Feb 5, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  3. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    Your OP left me feeling a little unclear on two points: the OS and the monitor. Do both have to fit within the $500 budget? If not, you have more options.

    Also, since Photoshop and Lightroom won't really benefit from a GPU, we can skip that and just use the integrated graphics. Intel's are sufficient to power a monitor (though no gaming) and they have more powerful CPUs, so we'll look there instead of an AMD APU.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($123.79 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Biostar H77MU3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.66 @ Amazon)
    Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $488.31
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-05 23:33 EST-0500)

    This list assumes that you don't need to include the OS and monitor in the budget. (but there's room in your budget left for the card reader you picked).

    The case I chose looks like this: black with a mesh front. Other options around $40 include the Corsair 200R (black with cleaner lines than the Silverstone, $34 after rebate, sold out right now but might come back) and the Cooler Master Elite 430 (black, windowed, and an LCD lit front fan gives it a bit of a "gamer" look to it, $40 after rebate).
     
  4. DuaneBrown

    DuaneBrown Junior Member

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    Thanks for the reply and suggestions. My budget is for the box only, no OS or Monitor. I will be buying a 24" IPS based LCD which is not included in my budget. I am open for suggestions in this area also.

    Does Win 8 have anything new that is helpful? Like built in Blu-ray playback?

    Photoshop does use the GPU for somethings. Zooming and rotating are two examples. I am guessing that any gpu would be good enough for this though. I think the i3 in a micro atx case should be a good fit. I like the looks of the silverstone btw. I'm not into the flashy gamer boxes anymore.

    Thanks,
    Duane
     
  5. DominionSeraph

    DominionSeraph Diamond Member

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    Gonna break the bank...

    AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor $129 at Amazon
    ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $70 at Newegg
    Raidmax Super Hurricane (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $34 after promo at Newegg
    CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $40 after promo at Newegg
    G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C10D-16GSR $75 after promo at Newegg
    SanDisk Ultra Plus SDSSDHP-256G-G25 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) for Notebook $160 after promo at Newegg
    Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $77 at Amazon
    SAMSUNG DVD Burner SATA Model SH-224BB - OEM $18 at Newegg

    Shipping: $13.32

    $616, but $35 in MIR and it has twice the RAM and twice the SSD storage space.

    Promo on the SSD is good for the 6th only.
     
  6. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Platinum Member

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    If you are going to break the bank, I'd consider sleepingforest's build with a 3470, Corsair CX430 and a "downgrade" to a B75 MB... :D

    Also is that DVD burner really necessary?. You could shave $18 off there and a good cardreader seems more appropriate...
     
  7. DominionSeraph

    DominionSeraph Diamond Member

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    Really depends on whether he's going to be storage/RAM limited or CPU limited.
    And to save any money on a B75 he'd have to drop down to a 2 DIMM one. With the price of RAM being so low and Photoshop's love of RAM, that's a pretty bad tradeoff.
     
  8. Vectronic

    Vectronic Senior member

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    I don't really have any suggestions, just wanted to echo that... it's very important to PS and LR.

    No iGPU is capable of doing it efficiently enough, you *will* need a dedicated graphics cards, and I would highly suggest you pick from the list of "approved" ones. (doesn't need to be a particularily high-end one though, preferably just one with modern support, DX/OGL/CL/etc)

    I would go with Intel over AMD, but admittedly that's at least partially biased.

    You are working with 18MP... *but*... roughly how many of them? And how are you editing them, simply color/gamma/tone adjustments, or are you working with layers, how many layers? Asking because if you are running both PS and LR long with whatever else, with > 40 images in both... 16GB of RAM might be a consideration.

    As a comparison, 25 images that are 20MP a piece, uses 2.3GB's of memory (for PS alone), and that's without editing, so no cache/histograms/undo histories, no layers/masks, etc.

    I do suggest Windows 8, significant performance increases if you can tolerate, or circumvent it's nonsense, not worth it if Win8 is more than about $30 more than Win7 (although you'll like upgrade eventually anyways, may as well now?).

    Edit: Don't actually "Upgrade" from Win7 to Win8, do a complete/fresh install if you go that route. (ie: don't "buy" an "upgrade" installation disc).
     
    #7 Vectronic, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  9. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    You can get a dGPU if you drop the SSD, but there isn't really room for extra RAM unless you're willing to pony up the extra cash.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Biostar H77MU3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($43.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB Video Card ($109.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $501.84
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 20:00 EST-0500)
     
  10. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Diamond Member

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    The Basiq is very basic connector-wise. He'll need one or two molex-to-SATA adapters for the one of the two hard drives and the optical drive. Not that it's a bad thing to have some adapters laying about. But if he needs to use a PCI-E connector, then the Antec VP450 would be more suitable.
    Listed specs:
    1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)
    1 x 4 Pin ATX 12V
    4 x Peripheral
    1 x SATA
    1 x Floppy

    The mobo also has a 10 dollar rebate. After shipping, it is about 5 dollars cheaper. If further cuts are needed, then a cheaper case will just have to do.
     
  11. Insert_Nickname

    Insert_Nickname Platinum Member

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    Good point. Forgot about the RAM. That's always the trouble with working on a budget, trade-offs have to be made somewhere... :(
     
  12. rivan

    rivan Diamond Member

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    Apart from everything else, if you have a Microcenter nearby, make use of their stellar MB/CPU combo prices.
     
  13. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    It just so happens that a new Intel or AMD IGP can do all of those things. For Photoshop and Lighroom especially, if you have to choose between a discrete GPU and an SSD (which the OP pretty much does), then you will see much more of a performance improvement from the SSD.
     
  14. Vectronic

    Vectronic Senior member

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    I have the 3570K, I honestly don't know what AMD is up to for iGPUs... but Intels HD4000 isn't up to the task, granted I didn't try overclocking it, but I suspect that wouldn't help much.

    I paid $115 for a 7750 (could have gotten it for about $40 cheaper, bought mine with priority on looks... not ashamed)... easily 3 times better than the HD4000.

    Granted, my MP limits are higher, 30 to as much as 200MP.

    Just saying... you'll get by with iGPU "for now" but it's certainly not "pfft you don't need a dGPU, modern blah blah can handle blah blah blah".

    HD4000 doesn't support the more advanced 3D stuff in Photoshop either, not that it was mentioned, just another caveat.
     
    #13 Vectronic, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  15. DuaneBrown

    DuaneBrown Junior Member

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    I found a Microcenter near me (40 miles away). Went down Sunday and made a day of it. I bought a Samsung 840 250gb from newegg on Saturday for 150. I found that I could of got it for about the same price at Microcenter as part of my combo deal. So other than waiting on the SSD, I bought everything else from Microcenter.


    175604 NZXT PHANTOM 410 CASE USB3 BLK 84.99
    251900 IPSG LG 24X DVDRW SATA OEM 15.99
    380550 ASROCK ASROCK Z77 EXTREME4 79.99
    866350 INTEL BOX INTEL CORE I3-3225 119.99
    297267 CRUCIAL 16GB 8X2 D3 1600 DIMM C9 64.99
    720169 INLANDPRO ILG 550W 80+ ATX PSU 1 49.99
    264739 EQDAURIA 27" LED MONITOR 1 399.99

    The case has a $20 MIR. I bought it because it was what my wife wanted. I think it is a very nice case. If I take out the monitor and add in the SSD I am about $50 over budget. I am fine with that. I will get a bigger HDD if it is needed later. I have a 1tb backup that I can use and my wife wants a portable drive also. I'm not sure that another HDD will be needed.

    I am not sure about the monitor. It is an off brand. But the specs are very nice. It is an IPS with 2560x1440 res. If I don't like it I will get a smaller one, 23-24" although the good ones are about the same price as this 27".

    Thanks for all your help. I think it is note worthy that this is the first PC I have bought from a store. As a reference my first PC was a 486DX with Windows 3.11.
     
    #14 DuaneBrown, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  16. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Those Korean 2560x1440 panels are not as good as the $800 Dell's or HP's, but they are not bad at all. It's a good deal IMHO.

    The only thing that I take issue with that build is the PSU. I've never heard of Inland, but I doubt it's very good at all. MicroCenter has better options like the Corsair CX430.
     
  17. DuaneBrown

    DuaneBrown Junior Member

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    So far the monitor seems nice. Not much in the way of controls though. I had no issues with the power supply so far. But I would not buy it again. The sales guy recommended it. And I didn't want to take time to figure out what else they had. That place was crazy busy.

    Still waiting on the SSD from newegg. I have it running on Linux mint off a dvd just to test it.
     
  18. Torn Mind

    Torn Mind Diamond Member

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    Even most of the worst of PSUs can run a system without a discrete GPU with ease these days; I suspect many Ivy Bridge systems running with integrated graphics struggle to eclipse 125 watts or even 100 watts delivered to the components(not at the wall).
    It's just that system instability is much more likely with crappier PSUs, there will be more hardware wear(not easy to notice at first), and you get a higher risk of totaling your hardware.
     
    #17 Torn Mind, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  19. Sleepingforest

    Sleepingforest Platinum Member

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    From the mouth of the PSU guru himself in this thread about Inland PSUs: