Creative Suite Desktop Build - £1500 - Help needed!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sworrubs, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    Hi all,

    I have been tasked with putting together a PC to be used predominantly for Lightroom/Photoshop (with potential for some After Effects but certainly not priority). Budget has been set to a fairly firm £1500 - I'm a little out of my depth and am fully prepared to be laughed at but this is where I'm at:

    MBRD - Asus P9X79 PRO Intel Motherboard £190

    PROC - Intel Core i7-3930K 3.20GHz LGA2011 12MB Cache Processor (BX80619I73930K) £450

    COOLER - Akasa Nero 3 Premier CPU Cooler £25

    RAM - G.Skill 32GB (8 x 4GB) DDR3 1600MHz DIMM CL9 Ripjaw Z £160

    PSU - Corsair Memory 600W Builder Series CX V2 ATX PSU £50

    GFX - Asus GeForce GTX 570 742MHz 1280MB PCI-Express HDMI (DirectCU II) £240

    SSD - OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive £90

    HD - Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive £65

    DVD - Sony Optiarc 24x Internal DVD Multi Writer (DVD-RW/RAM) with Black Bezel Bare£13

    OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit £73

    CASE - Corsair Carbide Series 300R Gaming Case £64

    TOTAL SO FAR: £1,422.61

    First things first.. is this even all compatible?! I tried but have only ever done this once before and that was a few years ago!

    The plan would be to expand the storage as and when we can as I recognise most places seem pretty firm on 'more is always better!' but worried more specifically about the guts of the system itself right now.

    Had hoped to be able to work a monitor into the £1500 budget but don't really think that's going to happen. Obviously colour accuracy is paramount - might have to settle for something like theLG IPS231P-BN 23 inch... seems a bit disappointing but can only do so much!

    Thoughts and comments would be much appreciated!

    Cheers, Scott
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  2. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    RAM - I'd go for 4x8GB. Same price now and half the price to upgrade in future.

    HD - Unless you specifically need two hard drives than a 2TB drive is £80, saving you £50 over two 1TB drives.

    OS - You'll need Windows 7 Professional if you want 32GB of memory, Home Premium is limited to 16GB. Professional supports up to 192GB.

    I would start with the monitor and other important components though, it doesn't matter too much if you have 500 performance from the CPU or 600 performance if you spend twice as much time comparing the end results because you can't trust the screen. Once you've decided what you need then you can make the rest as fast as possible.
     
  3. LJx

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    £240 is a terrible price for a GTX 570, anyway would the guy be better off with a cheaper workstation graphics card if it is not for gaming.
    i think you should buy a decent monitor rather than spending on all the other stuff, that is kind of important for design stuff usually
     
  4. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Hi Scott

    The other posters are quite correct - for Photoshop and associated software the priority is the screen. So recommend researching for a monitor that meets your requirements.

    Having found a decent monitor then start looking for a PC package designed for manipulation of visual media.

    From what you're saying why not look for a ready-made PC? Can be cheaper than built-your-own and will have an overall guarantee. Too give you some idea of a ready-built PC:

    Chillblast :: Systems over £1200 :: Chillblast Fusion Flash

    By the way, is this for business or for home use?
     
  5. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    Thank you so much for all these replies - they're really helpful.

    Re: Monitor first... That had been nagging away at me a little bit so to have all of you suggest it was the kick in the bum I needed!

    EndlessWaves - I was completely obliviously to Win7 Home having that limitation, thank you for saving me that embarrassment! Will just be sticking to 1 1Tb drive, for now but thanks for pointing that out :)

    LJx - I've tried my very best to determine what is a suitable card for Photoshop in my price range but most existing discussions seem to have descended into bickering before I can decipher an answer. From what I have been able to scrape together I am leaning towards a Quadro 600 - any thoughts?

    Alan CD - This will be a work PC and will be using Adobe's Creative Cloud (undecided where I stand on that at the moment but that's not for me to say :) ), Admittedly I'd shied away from prebuilt PCs - partly because I needed to be able to say 'everything in there is the best it can be for that price' - won't rule anything out entirely though of course!

    So with a monitor, new graphics card and downgraded motherboard and processor this is how it looks:

    MONITOR: Asus PA246Q 24" Professional Art Monitor - £399

    MOBO: Asus Sabertooth Z77 S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX

    PROC: Intel Core i7-3770K S1155 3.5GHz 8MB (BX80637I73770K) MOBO+PROC BUNDLE £416

    COOL: Akasa Nero 3 Premier CPU Cooler - £25

    RAM: Corsair 32GB (4 x 8GB) XMS 1600MHz DDR3 DIMM 240-pin CL11 - £180

    GFX: PNY Quadro 600 1GB DDR3 PCI-Express 2.0 x16 DVI Low Profile - £154

    SSD: OCZ Technology 128GB Vertex 4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive - £90

    HD: Seagate 1TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive - £65

    PSU: Corsair Memory 600W Builder Series CX V2 ATX PSU - £50

    DVD: Sony Optiarc 24x Internal DVD Multi Writer (DVD-RW/RAM) with Black Bezel Bare - £13

    CASE: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Gaming Case - £64

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional - £105

    UPDATED TOTAL: £1566.01 inc VAT

    Would love to hear your thoughts from here!

    Thanks again,
    Scott
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  6. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    That Sabertooth Z77 is an overclocking focused board with no more general capability than the £50 cheaper P8Z77-V, it doesn't really seem a particularly good match for that system.

    I had a quick look on consumer vs. workstation and for your use the recommendation seems to be that you only need a quadro if you want 10-bit output, and you can't afford a full 10-bit monitor in the budget so I'd stick with the geforce/radeon rather than the GT430-based Quadro you have there.
     
  7. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    EndlessWaves - Thanks, was taken in by all the fancy air channeling on the Sabretooth but if it's more than I need, it's more than I need.
    Re: Graphics cards: thanks some moer for looking into it. Have replaced the Quadro with the eloquently named MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 880MHz 1GB PCI-E HDMI Twin Frozr II/OC (N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC) for a similar price - any thoughts on this?

    Updated specs:

    MONITOR: Asus PA246Q 24" Professional Art Monitor - £399

    MOBO: Asus P8Z77-V - £128

    PROC: Intel Core i7-3770K S1155 3.5GHz 8MB - £233

    COOL: Akasa Nero 3 Premier CPU Cooler - £25

    RAM: Corsair 32GB (4 x 8GB) XMS 1600MHz DDR3 DIMM 240-pin CL11 - £180

    GFX: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 880MHz 1GB PCI-E HDMI Twin Frozr II/OC (N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC) - £167

    SSD: OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SATA - £90

    HD: Seagate 1TB Barracuda - £65

    PSU: Corsair Memory 600W Builder Series CX V2 ATX - £50

    DVD: Sony Optiarc 24x Internal DVD Multi Writer - £13

    CASE: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Gaming Case - £64

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional - £105

    UPDATED TOTAL: £1525.23 inc VAT

    It really is invaluable to be able to bounce this off people who know what they're talking about, thanks so much!
     
  8. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Ah, that makes a difference. You will, no doubt, have to justify your choice of components to the budget holder.

    From what you've said, build-it-yourself is the best option.

    Your new component list looks good.

    :thumbsup:
     
  9. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    I was judging based on the modest cooler you picked - the i7-3770K seems to be heat limited on the chip rather than by it's motherboard. Are you planning to overclock at all? If not then you may not even need a motherboard that expensive based off the enthusiast Z77 chipset and can go for one of the cheaper ones. You'd also save £30 on the processor by going for the i7-3770 over the i7-3770K (the nominal speed differs for some reason, but the non-K gets an extra point on all it's turbos so they'll both run at 3.7Ghz under full quad core load and 3.9Ghz under dual/single core load).

    EDIT: Thinking about it the slightly lower nominal frequency & the same TDP may mean that the non-K processors are a one bin lesser grade. This means that their guaranteed efficiency would be slightly less, although given it's now several months after release I'd think almost all are now K-grade anyway. Probably not something to worry about in other words.

    I don't know about that, but having more people trying to find out what the software needs seems to generate more knowledge ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  10. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    ...Just realised I made an error on that last spec list: Had the 3770k listed but at the 3770 price...

    As for Overclocking, well that kind of exposes my ignorance further. My initial reaction is a 'no' though I feel like I may be basing this on an outdated understanding of what it is/entails. Obviously this is not my system so I can't really justify any risk so I guess the question is: are there any risks involved or warranty issues?

    If not, the 3770k appears to have a greater resale percentage which could possibly be a bargaining chip if I do want to justify the extra £80ish...

    If yes, then I guess I'd be looking at something like an Asus P8H77-V LE S1155 Intel H77 DDR3 ATX for £78?

    I've been a little dismayed at some of the discussions I've arrived at re: doing what's best for Photoshop. Going through the Adobe white papers only gets you so far (they start their suggestions at a Quadro 2000 for instance) and forums quickly descend into ATI versus Nvidia bickering. Trying to find a solid recommendation means to wading through name calling etc. Such is life and the internet though I suppose! For what it's worth stable drivers goes a long way.. :)

    ..so in summary, thanks for the civilised answers!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  11. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    I'd think it unlikely these days when Intel are specifically selecting some processors and chipsets to allow it on and disabling it on others but I haven't actually read the Intel Warranty.

    Yeah, the H77 chipset drops support for overclocking and SLI/Crossfire compared to Z77 (you can still use a second card, just not have them gaming together). That particular board has two less USB3 slots and two less SATA 6Gbps ports if that's important here.

    Oh, you might want to check the front slots on the case are USB3, that's a nice thing to have.

    Yeah, that is a workstation card advantage, but on the other side four times the performance is also a nice thing to have.
     
  12. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    After having a quick look around it seems the any Overclocking does indeed void the warranty - although apparently they have no way of confirming whether it has been overclocked if you do send it back (ie. no physical damage)... though I couldn't really justify that at work.

    However, Intel have introduced a new 'Tuning Protection Plan' however which does allow you cover for any tweaks at $25/£16ish (for the 3770k).
    From the FAQ:
    The Plan does not affect your standard three year warranty. The standard 3 year warranty covers failures that occur while the processor is used within Intel's published specifications. The Plan covers an eligible processor that fails due to overclocking.

    Having said that, I don't really want to have to deal with things like overheating etc. or any other instability for that matter so think for this build at least we'll stick to stock.

    Thanks for pointing out that fewer 6Gbps ports... not an issue now but could potentially be as we look to add more storage and don't necessarily want to be limited there if can be avoided. Are there any H77 boards that have 4 6Gbps ports that you know of? I've only been able to find the ASRock H77-PRO4-MVP for £73 but I'm not really familiar with ASRock as a brand?

    EDIT: On second thoughts: this system should only ever have a maximum of two SSDs: am I right in thinking 6Gbps is more for SSDs and 3gbps is adequate for mechanical? Probably go for the Asus P8H77-V (for £2 more than the V-LE previously chosen?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  13. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    Oh, of course they won't cover it if you blow it up yourself, I thought you were asking whether overclocking voids the warranty if it was to fail from some other reason. As the thread says though, CPUs tend to have extremely good reliability.

    Yeah, and you can always add a PCI-E SATA card later.

    ASRock have a good reputation, I don't think there are any duff brands for motherboards at the moment.
     
  14. sworrubs

    sworrubs
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    Yeah, that was what I was trying to ask, apologies if I phrased it poorly: if the CPU fails from something unrelated to overclocking but you have OC'd it, they won't cover it, unless you just pretend you never OC'd it...

    If it fails as a result of OCing then you've only really got yourself to blame, you're right. Although seems like you could push it as far as you want with the protection plan till it breaks and then get a new one (granted, only one).

    This is in addition to your standard 3 year warranty. In other words, if it fails under normal usage, we will replace it under the standard warranty; if it fails while running outside of Intel's specifications, we will replace it under the Performance Tuning Protection Plan.

    But yeah, not interested in dealing with any of that, don't want to have to worry about buying better coolers etc...

    You've been a great help, thanks! I think I've arrived at something I can get sign off on!
     
  15. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    Good luck with the build then!
     

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