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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 22 Mar 2014 (Saturday) 15:48
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Build a PC for under $500?

 
Mr. ­ Bill
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Mar 22, 2014 15:48 |  #1

Curious if it is possible to build a PC for under $500 that will be able to run Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6 without any problems? If not what would be a reasonable price? (Monitor not to be included)

With all the components available these days it can be quite daunting when doing research. My head is beginning to spin from all the choices. So I am asking the PTON community for their assistance.

So please let me know what components you would recommend for my build keeping in mind that eventually I will upgrade as my needs change. So if I have to spend a little more for future expandability that would not be a deal breaker either.

I appreciate any and all input from the gurus here. :D

Bill



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Wallace ­ River
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Mar 22, 2014 16:31 |  #2

There's a similar thread happening here... https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1323919 ....it may have some helpful thoughts and info for you.


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1Tanker
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Mar 23, 2014 00:45 as a reply to  @ Wallace River's post |  #3

It will be much easier if you already have your OS. If not, it might be cheaper to buy a pre-built (it just stings to even say that). :lol:


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mike_d
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Mar 23, 2014 02:26 |  #4

1Tanker wrote in post #16778789 (external link)
It will be much easier if you already have your OS. If not, it might be cheaper to buy a pre-built (it just stings to even say that). :lol:

At that price level, yeah, pretty much this. Big OEMs like Dell get much better component pricing than you can.




  
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patrick023
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Mar 23, 2014 23:06 |  #5

I built a pretty good editing computer last year for $505 after taxes. Although I already had 8 GB of RAM and I picked up Windows 8 when it was on sale for $40.

As far as the specs go, I don't remember the specific motherboard but it was a Gigabyte mini-ITX board. I also got a Thermaltake mini-ITX case with included power supply, an i5 4570K, a Sandisk 120GB SSD, and a 1 TB WD Black harddrive. It runs Lightroom and Photoshop CC just fine and even with the stock cooler it's pretty quiet.


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Mar 23, 2014 23:21 |  #6

1Tanker wrote in post #16778789 (external link)
It will be much easier if you already have your OS. If not, it might be cheaper to buy a pre-built (it just stings to even say that). :lol:

This is definitely going to be the biggest factor that may sink the DIY approach at lower price points unless you just want to do it yourself for the sake of doing it, for experience or because you prefer to.

$500 is easy to hit, you can have your case, power supply, motherboard and optical covered for $200 easily. 8GB RAM is a nice place to be, that and a hard drive will likely bring you near $300 (a lot will depend on your case/PSU/mobo choices as prices vary wildly). Use the remainder on the processor. If that price has to take in to account the OS you may start having to cut back wherever there's slack (there's plenty of room to cut back the processor in this theoretical budget but it's the thing you want to invest the most money in as well). Going too cheap on the motherboard or power supply or choosing those components in particular without paying attention to their reputation can cause you a great deal of frustration down the road sometimes.


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Mr. ­ Bill
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Jul 29, 2014 16:28 as a reply to  @ Colorblinded's post |  #7

sorry for not getting back sooner. I appreciate everyones input.
Here is what I am thinking of getting as a pre-built unit.

Dell XPS 8700
intel i-7 4790 3.6ghz
windows 7 home
8gb ddr3-1600 ram (expandable to 32gb)
1tb 7200 rpm drive
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 1gb video card
802.11 a/b/g/n wireless & bluetooth
19 in 1 card reader
DVD drive

$799.99

thoughts on this setup?



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mike_d
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Jul 29, 2014 17:11 |  #8

Mr. Bill wrote in post #17064534 (external link)
sorry for not getting back sooner. I appreciate everyones input.
Here is what I am thinking of getting as a pre-built unit.

Dell XPS 8700
intel i-7 4790 3.6ghz
windows 7 home
8gb ddr3-1600 ram (expandable to 32gb)
1tb 7200 rpm drive
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 1gb video card
802.11 a/b/g/n wireless & bluetooth
19 in 1 card reader
DVD drive

$799.99

thoughts on this setup?

That'll work. If you think you'll want to exceed 16 GB of RAM, you'll need the Pro version of Windows. It it were my machine, I'd order a 250 GB SSD off Amazon, put a clean installation of Windows on it, and keep the 1 TB drive for bulk storage.




  
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tim
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Jul 29, 2014 18:44 |  #9

You can save $100 and go down to an i5, exports won't be quite as fast but interactive will be as good. You can also ditch the video card, not necessary, the i5/i7 have good enough video features built in - though I personally get a video card for some minor advantages. 16GB of RAM would be a bit better, but not essential. SSD is just about essential for really good performance.

Maybe something more like this (external link), and add a Seagate or WD drive for data storage, but you'd have to assemble yourself.


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BeritOlam
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Jul 30, 2014 17:57 |  #10

tim wrote in post #17064761 (external link)
You can save $100 and go down to an i5, exports won't be quite as fast but interactive will be as good. You can also ditch the video card, not necessary, the i5/i7 have good enough video features built in - though I personally get a video card for some minor advantages. 16GB of RAM would be a bit better, but not essential. SSD is just about essential for really good performance.

Maybe something more like this (external link), and add a Seagate or WD drive for data storage, but you'd have to assemble yourself.

+1

The current gen of i5's are plenty fast, and you'd be much better off spending that difference on a 128gb SSD. The i5 + SSD will give you better performance than the i7 + standard HDD! It might take you an extra day to get everything loaded and installed, but the gains over the long haul will be well worth it.

Same with the memory. 8gb is will get you going, but you will notice it; 16gb is really ideal. I have a box with 12gb, and the differences are much more pronounced going from 8gb to 12 than from 12gb to 16.


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Mr. ­ Bill
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Aug 15, 2014 22:21 |  #11

Thanks for all the suggestions Mike, Tim & Berit.
I ended up ordering an XPS8700 tonight.
Same specs as I posted above except comes with 16gb memory
After some discount coupons ($80) got it for $719 + free 2day shipping

Now to find a decent monitor to go with it. Any suggestions for under $250?



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tim
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Aug 16, 2014 01:21 |  #12

Dell IPS, choose the size that fits your budget. I'm happy with my 22", no need for anything larger.


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tim
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Aug 16, 2014 03:16 |  #13

Monitor special here (external link).


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Mr. ­ Bill
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Aug 16, 2014 09:38 |  #14

tim wrote in post #17099378 (external link)
Monitor special here (external link).

I actually ended up getting the U2412M one instead. Got Dell to pricematch Amazon last night for $264.

Should have complete system by end of week. :cool:



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Jim ­ K
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Aug 18, 2014 13:27 |  #15

Good choice on the monitor. I'm very happy with my U2412M, I really like that it is a 16x10 rather than a 16x9. Interesting how much it gives you on those vertical images.


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Build a PC for under $500?
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