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Hardware idiot looking for advice on a build.

Lucid

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#1
Hi, I'm looking for some advice on a build, and I know next to nothing about hardware.

Basically I'm just looking for a ton of desktop space to work on while doing web design. I'd like to go 3 monitors. One to have my code up, one for Photoshop, and another to keep abrowser up on, all simulataneously.

It will need to keep Photoshop and Premiere running at good speeds, other than that I don't need it for any gaming purpose sor anything like that. Ideally it would have room to build upon, and hopefully last a good 4 years.

I've been trying to piece together an idea of a build, and what I have, I've been told, is absolutely terrible. Anyone have a better suggestion?

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-D3-B3 Motherboard LGA1155 P67

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

GPU: Visiontek Radeon HD 6870 2GB GDDR5 Eyefinity 6

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W 80+ Bronze

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (4x 2GB) DDR3 2000MHz Kit

HDD: Western Digital WD2002FAEX Caviar Black 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

Case: Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower Case
 
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#2
What do you mean by "room to build upon"? What are you thinking you would need to add down the road?
 

Lucid

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#3
Just in the event that I would like to build up a gaming rig or something, so that I wouldn't have to scrap too many parts and start from scratch. Like I said, I really don't know much about the hardware end of things at all.
 
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#4
Just in the event that I would like to build up a gaming rig or something, so that I wouldn't have to scrap too many parts and start from scratch. Like I said, I really don't know much about the hardware end of things at all.
if you arent building a "Gaming rig"... why go for the HD6870 gfx card?
 

Lucid

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#5
I'd like to run 3 monitors off one card, which I realize I can do with plenty of other cheaper cards, but like I said, I'd like to be able to grow upon the system I have, and the temptation to add more monitors is there. I suppose I could add another GPU later, but this seemed to be a good option too.
 
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#6
What you have would be fine for either. You don't need a 750 watt power supply for what you have listed there. 500 watts would be plenty. Also keep in mind that Photoshop does not currently support more than one video card in Crossfire or SLI. Something else to consider would be to get a Z68 motherboard rather than a P67 motherboard and to purchase a smallish SSD (60gb or less) that you can then just use as cache for your larger mechanical hard drive. I would also consider more RAM.
 
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#8
In the case of a 6870, it will hit some sort of GPU-bottleneck long before the need for more than 1GB ... so I think you should either look for a 1GB 6870, or 6950(1GB will suffice even for it at most res) or a GTX560Ti ... and should the 78xx (die shrink of Cayman) hit the store sometimes this month?
 
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#9
I'd like to run 3 monitors off one card, which I realize I can do with plenty of other cheaper cards, but like I said, I'd like to be able to grow upon the system I have, and the temptation to add more monitors is there. I suppose I could add another GPU later, but this seemed to be a good option too.
Photoshop does NOT currently support multi-GPU computing.
 
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#11
I should still be ok with my choice of GPU for now that right?
Any new single Nvidia or ATI video card should do the trick. The faster the model, the faster GPU supported operations in Photoshop will complete.
 
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#12
I do a lot of photoshop work on a near identical system. (wedding photographer).

There is a pretty big difference in 4Gb and 8Gb of ram, But there isn't a lot of difference in 2GB x4 and 4Gb x2. I've tried both configurations.

With that in mind I would opt for 8Gb's on 2 dimms so you have the option to go up to 16Gb later. Ram prices atm are pretty good and provided your running Win7 64 ultimate then you will be able to use all that ram.

The I5 is slower than the I7 for photoshop, But not by a significant margin. The I5 with a little overclocking and a decent air cooler will see you been able to shop all day with very little effort. The I5 also give the perfect springboard to whatever appears on LGA1155 towards the end of it's life cycle. This means that an Ivy bridge CPU with even better clocks should be available in a couple of years that will allow you to keep the rig moving. It will be an easier upgrade choice to go I5-I7 than it would to go I7-I7.

You also picked a winner with the GPU. The Hd6870 gets lots of points for been very much the correct Gfx to be getting on a budget. The £140 price tag and the overall performance of the card make it a very hard card to best. To get the next step up you would need to be looking at the HD6950 and that's over £60 more expensive. Both cards will play Skyrim on ulta settings. And while the 6950 is faster on a non gaming machine that's not top end or trying to benchmark it's not needed.

The only thing i would change is the HDD. I'd personally opt for a pair of 1TB drives, so you have the ability to backup and not loose all your data in the event of a drive failure. Redundancy in the work environment is key since it saves you time and money when things go wrong.

You may also need a Sata DVD RW since the intel motherboards have no legacy support, and none of them have any IDE interfaces at all.
 

Lucid

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#13
So if Photoshop is my primary concern for the build, I would be better off going with the i7? The price difference isn't really that much, and is still within my budget.
 
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#15
no not at all the I5 is a better CPU. like i said the difference is marginal at best.

here's benchmark chart to show the difference.
Lower is better as you can see the I7 only just pips the I5. If you wait 2 years that may not be the case as PS gets updated.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/x86-core-performance-comparison/Adobe-Photoshop-CS-5,2773.html

As for the P67 / Z68 debate, there is very little difference in the 2 chipsets other than the ability to use the onboard Gfx on the CPU. Personally I would price check between the 2 and go for the best deal. The ability to use the onboard graphics may prove useful if say you have a GPU failure, But 99.9% of the time your never going to use the onboard GPU.
 
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#16

JrRacinFan

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#17
Methinks the OP did a fine job choosing parts. Feeling froggy and can afford the premium; then get a better board but the current one is fine. :eek:
 

Lucid

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#18
Methinks the OP did a fine job choosing parts. Feeling froggy and can afford the premium; then get a better board but the current one is fine. :eek:
I looked at getting a GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7-B3 Intel P67 ATX Motherboard 32GB DDR3, but it's almost a $300 difference on motherboard. I can afford it, but does it really come with $300 worth the improvements? Would it really be beneficial to spend that uch extra for the mobo? What wuld be a better balance of cost/power?
 

cadaveca

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#19
Hi, I'm looking for some advice on a build, and I know next to nothing about hardware.

Basically I'm just looking for a ton of desktop space to work on while doing web design. I'd like to go 3 monitors. One to have my code up, one for Photoshop, and another to keep abrowser up on, all simulataneously.

It will need to keep Photoshop and Premiere running at good speeds, other than that I don't need it for any gaming purpose sor anything like that. Ideally it would have room to build upon, and hopefully last a good 4 years.

I've been trying to piece together an idea of a build, and what I have, I've been told, is absolutely terrible. Anyone have a better suggestion?

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-D3-B3 Motherboard LGA1155 P67

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

GPU: Visiontek Radeon HD 6870 2GB GDDR5 Eyefinity 6

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W 80+ Bronze

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (4x 2GB) DDR3 2000MHz Kit

HDD: Western Digital WD2002FAEX Caviar Black 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

Case: Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower Case


OK, so let me ask a few questions, and then I'll qualify your listings here.

Personally, I think you'd be better served by spending a bit more money. If I was you, I'd go with a high-end mATX board like the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z, a 2600k, and an XFX HD6950 2GB.

The extra threads on the 2600k, doing programming and using photoshop, will benefit you, nevermind you wanting to do all these things simultaneously.

The faster GPU will play most games out today at 1920x1080 without issue, plus offering the ability to do half-decent tri-monitor gaming that you'll nearly be ready for anyway. The limited cost increase, for you, over the 6870 or whatever, is worth it. I say XFX becuase they have a great warranty in North America.

Now, the ram choice, i'd go with just some cheap CAS 9 1600 Mhz stuff. The 2000 Mhz stuff you chose isn't meant to be used with SKT 115 anyway, as SKT1155 doesn't natively support 2000 MHz.


What do you think bout those 4 things? board, cpu, vga and ram?
 
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#20
I looked at getting a GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7-B3 Intel P67 ATX Motherboard 32GB DDR3, but it's almost a $300 difference on motherboard. I can afford it, but does it really come with $300 worth the improvements? WOuld it really be beneficial to spend that uch extra for the mobo? Does Gogabyte have a midway point board in beteen these? I'm looking around butnot seeing much.
If your not overclocking and have no use for the extra PCIe slots (not going trifire/sli). then you can get pretty much any of the p67/z68 motherboards regardless of the price. They all have the same basic functionality. The main differences are better PCB's better heatsinks, and more knobs and twirly bits.

My own board is a cheap P67a R3. I can clock my I5 2500K to 4.6Ghz on air. Outside of this your paying a premium for toys nothing more. Get a decent brand motherboard. With everything you need on it, But don't sit there thinking you need to blow a fortune on the board. Most of the time your paying for features that have no impact on you. If your not a benchmarker, or have a super high end graphics machine eg 3 GPU's then you don't need most of the options.

All P67 motherboards have the following as pretty much standard.

1x PCIe 16x (you only need 1)
4 dimm slots for your ram
6 sata ports 2x 6GB/s 4x3Gb/s

They all have the same mounting hole for coolers.

Outside of this your spending money where you don't need to.

Saving money on the motherboard in your case would allow you to get more hard drive space, or get better monitors.

the UD7


Gigabyte GA-P67A-D3-B3


take a good look 1 is considerably cheaper and does exactly the same job if your not going to be tweaking the living crap out of the system.
 

JrRacinFan

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#21
@Lucid

What I meant by "better" was I mean something with SLI maybe Z68. Didn't mean for that to be construed as top of the line. I mean right now, I like the Asrock Extreme 4(P67 or Z68). Not discrediting anyone else here but listen to cadaveca when it comes to board choice. :)
 
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#22
@Lucid

What I meant by "better" was I mean something with SLI maybe Z68. Didn't mean for that to be construed as top of the line. I mean right now, I like the Asrock Extreme 4(P67 or Z68). Not discrediting anyone else here but listen to cadaveca when it comes to board choice. :)
Have to disagree with cadaveca on the board choice here. An Asus Maximus Gene is very appreciated by overclockers, but a total waste of money for someone who is a noob who isn't interested in overclocking and just wants a rig to run Photoshop well. Buy a brand name but inexpensive P67 or Z68 motherboard.
 
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#23
For Photoshop you might want to consider the NVidia card. Photoshop CS5 supports the use of CUDA cores, and should increase the performance of Photoshop dramatically.









Source

Just a thought, but it might be worth it if the main purpose is Photoshop.
 
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#24
Seriously, reread Cadaveca's post. There is only a few of things I need to add to the mix.

1) AMD is great for budget minded consumers. If you're looking for a work horse then you might want to consider an Nvidea card. Their GPU compute is so much better than the equivalent from AMD that it isn't funny. Just be prepared for higher costs and energy consumption (with respect ot a similar AMD model) when actually using the raw power.

2) Remember that not many cards have 3 HDMI and DVI connectors. You'll need to purchase one of the display port to _______ adapters to work with your monitors.

3) 4 years is a long time. The extra hundred dollars is $25 per year, or $0.07 per day. Can you really say that $0.07 per day is going to break you. Not to mention, as the pressure from photographers increases so will the puch to make PS threading friendly.

Best of luck. Just remember that $700 photoshop justifies a couple of extra hundred dollars to have a rig that is capable of running it to death.
 

cadaveca

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#25
Have to disagree with cadaveca on the board choice here. An Asus Maximus Gene is very appreciated by overclockers, but a total waste of money for someone who is a noob who isn't interested in overclocking and just wants a rig to run Photoshop well. Buy a brand name but inexpensive P67 or Z68 motherboard.
I hear what you're saying, but the Gene-Z is under $200 already, and offers everything a similarily priced board does, but in a smaller package. The big thing why I suggest that board is that the BIOS is highly tuned for maximum performance with a wide range of installed parts, and comes with some fantstic support...not the OC features.


Besdies, not everyone saves every penny they can. The board looks good ,too! :roll: