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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 11 Oct 2011 (Tuesday) 16:42
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In need of new desktop

 
DaphneR
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Oct 11, 2011 16:42 |  #1

I am looking for a new desktop and want to know the min. required for photo editing. (RAM, i7 vs i5, graphics card, etc.) This will be our main home computer but used mostly for my photo editing. I currently am running PSE9 but would like to upgrade to CS5 in the future. Would like to stay under 800 if possible. Not sure if Costco has what I need but I don't know enough to build my own. any help would be appreciated.


DaphneR
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tim
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Oct 11, 2011 18:37 |  #2

Building your own is a real PITA even if you know what you're doing. I just did it. Don't go there.

Go Dell or HP. i5 2500 CPU is fine, 8GB RAM, the cheapest video card they have. Once you get it put in an SSD for the Lightroom/Bridge cache, and a spinning drive for images. The idea is OS/programs, data, and cache all have their own disks, for performance. You can do it other ways but with a significant performance penalty. If the SSD is too expensive a separate small spinning disk for cache is still better than a shared disk.


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Bendel
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Oct 11, 2011 20:29 |  #3

tim wrote in post #13236950 (external link)
Building your own is a real PITA even if you know what you're doing. I just did it. Don't go there.

Care to elaborate?


Brandon
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tim
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Oct 11, 2011 20:43 |  #4

Bendel wrote in post #13237433 (external link)
Care to elaborate?

First you have to choose components, which takes time given there are so many choices. You have to make sure they're compatible - for example my cooler wouldn't fit into my case. You have to make sure everything works - my case had a faulty power button so it took an extra couple of days and some hassle to get a replacement.

Then you have to put it all together. Mounting the CPU with heat sink paste is ok, just annoying. Mounting the heatsink to the CPU is always a nightmare. Then you have to work out whether to put the motherboard in the case and then plug in the power cables, or if it's a tight space you plug in the cables then put the motherboard into the case. RAM has to be mounted, video card too.

Then you have to plug in all the power connectors, sata cables, and jumpers. If anything doesn't work you have to diagnose the problems, which for me required a mutimeter to work out the power button on my case was faulty. It was at this point I also discovered my heatsink was the wrong size, so I had to repackage and return it. That meant taking the motherboard out, of course. You have to think about airflow, which means tying up cables, and making sure things stay cool and quiet. This is inside a relatively small case, even if it's a mid tower, which has plenty of sharp edges.

Next you have to install the OS and dozens of updates. Sometimes things go wrong, and you have to do a new OS install. I had to reinstall the OS once. Then you install all your software, antivirus, etc. Next run prime95 or something to make sure the heatsink is mounted properly and the CPU won't overheat.

I found my CPU fan/heatsink rattled, so I contacted support for Noctuna, who are mailing me a support bar to help stop it. I'll probably have to take the motherboard out to attach that, which means taking every single connector off the motherboard then remounting them all again later.

This was the third time I chose components and built my own PC. It took a couple of weeks between ordering things, having them arrive, getting replacements, installing everything, and getting it working. I could've done it more quickly, but I wasn't in a huge rush luckily.

So you can go through all that, or you can just buy one already made and save yourself the hassle. Technical people might enjoy it, but 99% of people should just buy something preassembled that just works.


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Bendel
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Oct 11, 2011 22:10 |  #5

Sounds like you had a pretty rough experience, thanks for going so far in-depth.

I plan on building my own computer primarily to save money but also to get what I need and only what I need. My last two computers have been purchased from a store and were loaded with so much preinstalled software that it was ridiculous.

Care to share the specs of your build?


Brandon
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tim
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Oct 11, 2011 23:20 |  #6

Sure. i7-2600K, Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3R-B3 motherboard, 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM, Cooler Master Silencio 550 case, GeForce 520 1GB video card, Antec High Current Gamer HCG-520, 520W ATX PSU, Noctuna NH-C14 CPU cooler.

The case is ok, a bit small for standard heatsinks, and cable routing is only ok. The motherboard only has 6 SATA ports, I didn't realise that, I have two SSDs, three hard drives, a DVD rom, and now I need to buy an add in card for eSata. I'd buy a modular power supply next time, so there are less cables. The heatsink rattles.

Now it's together it's good, but it was a real PITA to put together.


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Moppie
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Oct 11, 2011 23:27 |  #7

tim wrote in post #13236950 (external link)
Building your own is a real PITA even if you know what you're doing. I just did it. Don't go there.


I've done 3 complete builds this year, each took no longer than 4 hours, from opening the boxes and installing the last windows update.

That included cable management etc.


I think you just went about it the hard way Tim, using a combination of old and new parts, and not properly checking what you needed first.


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tim
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Oct 11, 2011 23:43 |  #8

Moppie wrote in post #13238289 (external link)
I've done 3 complete builds this year, each took no longer than 4 hours, from opening the boxes and installing the last windows update.

That included cable management etc.


I think you just went about it the hard way Tim, using a combination of old and new parts, and not properly checking what you needed first.

I used all new parts, other than hard drives. I had to build it two and a half times. First was in the faulty case. Second was in the new case. Half way to reseat the heatsink to see if I could stop the rattle.

I checked with the supplier before I purchased the components. Who would've thought a standard sized CPU heatsink/fan wouldn't fit into a mid tower case?!

I wasn't in a hurry, and parts arrived over a few days.

If I did it again now I could probably do it in 4 hours, but I hadn't done one in years, so I took it slow.

It's definitely not a job for someone who's not really comfortable with computers.


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