Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 15 Nov 2008 (Saturday) 00:26
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Under $700 PC Build for Photographers

 
MaxxuM
Goldmember
Avatar
3,361 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 22
Joined May 2007
Location: Rio Grande Valley
     
Nov 15, 2008 00:26 |  #1

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 (external link)
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS (external link)
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 (external link)
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB (external link)

GIGABYTE GV-N95TOC-512H GeForce 9500 GT 512MB (external link)
ASUS VW221S Black 21.6" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor (external link)
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner (external link)
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler (external link)
COOLER MASTER eXtreme RP-500-PCAR 500W (external link)
Logitech Black PS/2 Standard Deluxe 250 Desktop (external link)
COOLER MASTER Elite 330 (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
BottomBracket
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,398 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2004
Location: NYC
     
Nov 15, 2008 01:08 |  #2

Nice build! I would get the Xigmatek S1283 as the CPU cooler though. Cools well, has a 120mm fan that is more efficient than the ACF7's 92 mm fan, and is currently $15 after rebate at MicroCenter.


Pio
Veni, Vidi, Canoni - I Came, I Saw, I Took A Picture With My Canon
Fotopio.com - Gallery of the Meandering Eye (external link)
I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
cfcRebel
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
10,252 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Location: Austin, TX
     
Nov 15, 2008 11:07 |  #3

I used to think the TN vs S-IPS comparison is over-exaggerated. However, after testing my TN panel I now see why people stay away from TN for photo editing. So, I went and bought a used Dell 2005FPW 20.1" S-IPS monitor for $175. Couldn't be happier.
So, for the same budget you might want to considering getting a used S-IPS instead of the ASUS, if she is ok with used item of course.


Fee

Canon | SIGMA | TAMRON | Kenko | Amvona

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Moppie
Moderator
Avatar
15,046 posts
Gallery: 19 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 343
Joined Sep 2004
Location: Akarana, Aotearoa. (Kiwiland)
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:07 |  #4

I am curious as to why so many people recomend an aftermarket CPU cooler?

Running the CPU stock, I have never, ever had a problem, and the one supplied with the Q6600 is quite substantial, with nice quite fan on it.


flickr (external link)

Have you Calibrated your Monkey lately?

Now more than ever we need to be a community, working together and for each other, as photographers, as lovers of photography and as members of POTN.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
51,009 posts
Likes: 369
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:09 |  #5

That cooler is pretty quiet, I have one. Putting the cooler onto the board was the hardest part about getting my new PC working!


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
51,009 posts
Likes: 369
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:09 |  #6

Moppie wrote in post #6694133 (external link)
I am curious as to why so many people recomend an aftermarket CPU cooler?

Running the CPU stock, I have never, ever had a problem, and the one supplied with the Q6600 is quite substantial, with nice quite fan on it.

I got one as I figured it'd be quieter than the stock one.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Moppie
Moderator
Avatar
15,046 posts
Gallery: 19 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 343
Joined Sep 2004
Location: Akarana, Aotearoa. (Kiwiland)
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:18 |  #7

My whole box sits on my desk next to my monitor.
With two PSU fans, 3 case fans and the CPU fan, the birds outside make more noise.

Right now all 4 cores are running at between 33 and 37 deg C, and the hottest thing is the system drive which is running at 42 deg C.
The hottest I have seen all 4 cores get was mid 40's while doing the Photoshop benchmark test.
Room temp is currently 23 deg C.


flickr (external link)

Have you Calibrated your Monkey lately?

Now more than ever we need to be a community, working together and for each other, as photographers, as lovers of photography and as members of POTN.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MaxxuM
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
3,361 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 22
Joined May 2007
Location: Rio Grande Valley
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:19 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #8

BottomBracket wrote in post #6690620 (external link)
Nice build! I would get the Xigmatek S1283 as the CPU cooler though. Cools well, has a 120mm fan that is more efficient than the ACF7's 92 mm fan, and is currently $15 after rebate at MicroCenter.


I'll look into it. Thanks for the recommendation.

cfcRebel wrote in post #6692096 (external link)
I used to think the TN vs S-IPS comparison is over-exaggerated. However, after testing my TN panel I now see why people stay away from TN for photo editing. So, I went and bought a used Dell 2005FPW 20.1" S-IPS monitor for $175. Couldn't be happier.
So, for the same budget you might want to considering getting a used S-IPS instead of the ASUS, if she is ok with used item of course.

Yea, I've been looking for a few days for a deal. It's the main reason I'm waiting until Monday to order. If I find one that is reasonable I'll probably go with another monitor.

Moppie wrote in post #6694133 (external link)
I am curious as to why so many people recomend an aftermarket CPU cooler?

Running the CPU stock, I have never, ever had a problem, and the one supplied with the Q6600 is quite substantial, with nice quite fan on it.

I'm so used to buying OEMs that it's become second nature :) I've found the Intel HS to be a bit loud, sometimes difficult to mount and not very good at cooling. It gets very hot where I live so a difference of 5-10 degrees can make a big difference. I agree though, an expensive HS should really only be purchased if you plan on OCing.


Thank you guys for keying in. I'll likely go with this build unless I can find a better monitor.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Moppie
Moderator
Avatar
15,046 posts
Gallery: 19 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 343
Joined Sep 2004
Location: Akarana, Aotearoa. (Kiwiland)
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:45 |  #9

For a laugh I just priced up the same parts here (the only thing not the same is the monitor, but I chose a 22 inch one the same price).

Total of US$1,045.29

I can usually get about 15% off for being nice to the sales guy, so prices are cheaper in the US, not by a lot.


flickr (external link)

Have you Calibrated your Monkey lately?

Now more than ever we need to be a community, working together and for each other, as photographers, as lovers of photography and as members of POTN.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
MaxxuM
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
3,361 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 22
Joined May 2007
Location: Rio Grande Valley
     
Nov 15, 2008 19:55 |  #10

Moppie wrote in post #6694332 (external link)
For a laugh I just priced up the same parts here (the only thing not the same is the monitor, but I chose a 22 inch one the same price).

Total of US$1,045.29

I can usually get about 15% off for being nice to the sales guy, so prices are cheaper in the US, not by a lot.

Ouch, $300 difference eh. US and Japan get better prices usually because of manufacturing and quantity discounts. Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China, US and Germany are high output countries with strong shipping ties to the US so prices will reflect that. A weak dollar will make prices climb though over time. Japan relies on a weak Yen for incoming sales, but as it climes against the dollar again prices rise. It isn't necessarily that your money is weak, but that outgoing sales are not high enough to sustain a large tech growth market.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
51,009 posts
Likes: 369
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Nov 15, 2008 20:09 |  #11

Moppie wrote in post #6694197 (external link)
My whole box sits on my desk next to my monitor.
With two PSU fans, 3 case fans and the CPU fan, the birds outside make more noise.

Right now all 4 cores are running at between 33 and 37 deg C, and the hottest thing is the system drive which is running at 42 deg C.
The hottest I have seen all 4 cores get was mid 40's while doing the Photoshop benchmark test.
Room temp is currently 23 deg C.

My cores are 35-42 degrees C, not sure what the room temp is but not too warm. GPU is at 70 degrees, it's a fanless one, 8500GT. Just going to try some load testing to see what happens to the cores, then i'll try overclocking if I think it can deal with it.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
musicmaster
Saw the Light
853 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Dec 2007
Location: Denver, CO
     
Nov 16, 2008 10:35 |  #12

Is there a reason for quad core? Same with the video card. Unless you plan on doing a batch process of thousands of photos, you could save $100 and get a dual core. Also unless you are gaming and or invest in Photoshop CS4, you aren't going to notice any difference between a 7600 and a 9500 except the difference in price


Gripped 70D, Sigma F/2.8 OS, 70-200L F/2.8, 300L F/4 IS, EOS M5, 18-150, 22 2.0

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
51,009 posts
Likes: 369
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Nov 16, 2008 13:06 |  #13

I wouldn't buy dual core now unless they were a lot cheaper. Quad rocks, and Photoshop scales well.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Moppie
Moderator
Avatar
15,046 posts
Gallery: 19 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 343
Joined Sep 2004
Location: Akarana, Aotearoa. (Kiwiland)
     
Nov 16, 2008 15:08 |  #14

musicmaster wrote in post #6697685 (external link)
Is there a reason for quad core? Same with the video card. Unless you plan on doing a batch process of thousands of photos, you could save $100 and get a dual core. Also unless you are gaming and or invest in Photoshop CS4, you aren't going to notice any difference between a 7600 and a 9500 except the difference in price

Because 4 is better than 2?

Even processing 100s of photos there is a noticeable performance advantage.

It also helps with multitasking (provided you have lots of RAM to back it up), and of course more and more games and other software is being written to run on as many cores as possible.


flickr (external link)

Have you Calibrated your Monkey lately?

Now more than ever we need to be a community, working together and for each other, as photographers, as lovers of photography and as members of POTN.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
I26
Senior Member
587 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Aug 2005
     
Nov 16, 2008 17:03 as a reply to  @ Moppie's post |  #15

Newegg rocks. Spent thousands there over time. Even had better price on my 30D kit over BH. Ditch the video card for something else. Why introduce an already OC'd card into the mix if they want a solid system. No need for it anyways if it is not a gaming machine. Stick to the stock cpu cooler. You only need more unless you plan on squeezing it for a few more MHz. Don't forget the arctic silver. You can use it even with the stock hs. I always look at it this way. I will by the stock stuff now, know what its capable of later, and then when I get the urge for more power I start OC my system. I remeber when ATI introduced the 9700pro it had 350/325 stock speeds. I took it to 430/380 on air. 4 degree celsius on cpu and 2 degrees celsius on video. I think I still hold that record on the 3DMark site for my rigs components. Still you put together a fairly nice rig for the money.


Canon EOS 30D / Canon 430EX | Canon BG-E2 Grip | Canon 400mm f/5.6L | Canon EF 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 USM

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

3,301 views & 0 likes for this thread
Under $700 PC Build for Photographers
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Brik
712 guests, 256 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.