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Thread: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

  1. #1
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    £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Hi all!

    I used to be a bit of a gamer, but I've since fallen long out of the upgrade loop. I looked at upgrading a while ago, and was given some excellent advice here, but I decided not to.
    Current rig is:

    XP3200
    1.5gb RAM
    ATI 1600xt (AGP)
    Decent 500W PSU

    I'd like to look at upgrading again. I doubt that anything other than the PSU is useful from that lot, so I guess we're looking at starting from scratch? I'm into photography nowdays, so needs have changed. As stated, the budget is £500, and the main programs to be run on the machine will be:

    Photoshop
    Lightroom - crunching hundreds of big RAW files as they come in from photoshoots.
    Openoffice
    IE7
    MSN/Skype/etc
    There could be a touch of Steam based gaming, but tbh I've not played in ages...

    Some requirements - the machine has to run XP - I've got a utility that lets me shoot directly to the PC from the camera which only works on XP. I also have a soft spot for AMD (I like the underdog!) but I'm not fanatical, so AMD would be preferred, but if I'd be stupid not to do Intel, then Intel it is. I'm not into overclocking, and I'd like the PC to be as quiet as possible. Decent DVD burner is a must - lots of backing up to be done. Some kind of multi-monitor support could well be useful in the future. I'd definately like some kind of RAID arrangement on my HDDs for speed purposes. And if possible, LOADS of USB sockets :E

    All I need to buy is the box w/o the PSU - that and keyboard, mouse, monitor etc will all be carried over from my old machine. I've also got my heart set on the case below - seems nice and understated

    Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS II Aluminium Midi-Tower Case - Black

    Finally, if I could get a lot better performance for another £100 or so, it could be done - rather not though.

    All suggestions greatfully received!

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    I run a silent build which uses an Antec P182, also very understated and great for siletnt builds.

    I would get

    Abit IP-35 dark raider ~£60
    intel Q6600
    ~£150
    Scythe ninja - Silent cooler that works very well in the P182 (can even run passive ) ~£27
    4GB PC6400 RAM, corsair would do the job. ~£60
    500GB
    (or whatever you need) western digital AAKS HDD's ~£60
    Samsung DVD writers are very quiet in that case and work very well, not had a bad burn.~£20
    Graphics wise, something basic like a passive ATi HD3450 or 3650 seems like it would fit the bill. ~£50 or less

    That's about £457. You could swap the motherboard to something AMD (not sure what to recommend) and get the phenom 9850 quad core for similar price and performance. Might be nice to make an AMD system for a change and let us know how you get on

    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    As long as that PSU is very quiet that should run next to silent. Changing the fans for nexus or such like would make it run as close to silent as possible I think but mine is nothing but a faint whisper
    Last edited by staffsMike; 04-04-2008 at 02:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Nothing runs like a Deere cotswoldcs's Avatar
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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Good advice from StaffsMike there. I would go down the Intel route and go with the Q6600. I personally would change the board to either an IP-35 Pro or an Asus P5K Deluxe as both of these boards have eSATA which I think is worth having, especially if you plan on investing in high speed external hard drives for backup or data storage.

    The Antec case has better cooling and is better value. An alternative to the P182 would be either the Solo or the Sonata III (which also includes a quiet 550W PSU). Your PSU should be fine however, provided it's from a quality manufacturer.

    Oh, don't forget £56 (ish) for the OEM WinXP Pro licence

    Do you really think you could run a Q6600 with a passive heatsink StaffsMike?

  4. #4
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Quote Originally Posted by cotswoldcs View Post

    Do you really think you could run a Q6600 with a passive heatsink StaffsMike?
    Certainly given where the ninja sits in the P182 there is enough draft from the case fans to provide enough cooling.

    The q6600's run cool enough stock to run with the ninja in passive I think. That said the provided fan is quieter than the antec tri-cools on low which is pretty damn quiet so there is no real need.

    The review i saw of the all copper ninja had a q6600 at 3.4GHz and not go over 64 degrees lol (thats in passive mode )

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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Thanks for those thoughts.

    I'm afraid that I'm not a fan of the case you've suggested - really not into hinged front panels. I'm the kind of guy who won't use a flip phone etc...

    Is the case that I chose a real duffer, or will it do the job?

    Secondly, is £500 a lot to throw at this? £150 for a CPU seems quite a lot... And can XP take advantage of 4gb RAM?

    Good point about the present PSU too - while I'm not after silence in a PC, my current machine is way over the noise limit - and having to run with the case off to keep the thing from crashing doesn't help either. I'll check that.

    As I said, I would rather an AMD - could someone give me a CPU/RAM/mobo equivalent at the same price point - and tell me whether it'll be any better/worse than the Intel selection?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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      • Memory:
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      • Storage:
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      • PSU:
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      • Case:
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      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    in the first post I mentioned the the phenom 9850 black edition which is the equivalent to the Q6600, as best as you can get one.

    There is this which is a bit cheaper
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    but these phenoms suffer a bug which means performance is restricted I believe. New ones (which the 9850 is I believe) don't suffer this problem.

    If you don't want quad core I would suggest the 5000+ x2 Black edition. It's around £60 on scan and is a very respectable chip. Simple to overclock to 3.0GHz due to having an unlocked multiplier I have one myself and it compares very well to my E6600 Core 2 Duo at 3.0GHz

    XP 64bit would use all of 4GB, 32bit will use around 3.3 or something but since the RAM is so cheap right now you might as well get 4GB. You can get a decent set for around £50 at the moment.. seems silly not to.

    How about this.

    5000+ black edition
    scythe ninja rev B
    Asus M2A-VM - this is what i use.. not idea what to recommend for full ATX and if you want a phenom it's best to get an AM2+ board.
    4GB Corsair PC400 DDR2
    Atntec Sonata Plus + 550W modular PSU - this is a great case and psu combo. Nothing wrong with the Lian Li but if your PSU is noisey this is a very effective way to get a silent case and psu
    ATi HD3450 - cheap graphics
    ATi HD3470 - cheap graphics with dual DVI

    Thats jsut over £300 without storage and will run next to silent

  7. #7
    HEXUS.social member Disturbedguy's Avatar
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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Sorry to hijack the thread.

    Mike you run an almost similiar setup to me and have the P182, ive now got enough money to buy a new case, but was wondering what type of temps you get in the 182.

    I will be adding 2 more 120mm fans aswell.

    Again, sorry for the thread hijacking.

  8. #8
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    • staffsMike's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Which spec lol

    In the P182 with a scythe ninja.

    E6600 @ stock is as close to ambient as makes no difference. 30 degrees full load.

    Q6600 (B3 i must add) and an 8800GTS 640MB - 35 idle and 50 degree's full load.

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    Re: £500 to spend on a windows photoshop/lightroom/net/DTP machine

    Sweet - thanks for the help guys. Not sure whether to splash the cash - it looks like one of my photo contracts might be coming to an end, but if I do you'll have helped no end

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