A friend asked if it was possible to construct a PC for under $800 (her budget) and would still be a reasonably good computer for editing photos semi-professionally. I got to work and what follows is what I came up with. There were many compromises, but I think it still works. There is also no OS, but she’s going to migrate her Vista Home Premium to the new machine.
The price comes it at $685.89 AFTER $100 in rebates – a bit of a cheat, but hey, this is an entire computer! It irritates me that review sites often leave out the monitor, a significant part of any machine and vastly more important to photographers, so I added it because she needed another to replace her aging CRT. If anyone would like to toss in their recommendations I would love to hear them. I won’t be ordering anything until Monday. And I did try to go even lower, but there were some big flaws, mainly in CPU and the motherboard arena.
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB
GIGABYTE GV-N95TOC-512H GeForce 9500 GT 512MB
ASUS VW221S Black 21.6" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
COOLER MASTER eXtreme RP-500-PCAR 500W
Logitech Black PS/2 Standard Deluxe 250 Desktop
COOLER MASTER Elite 330