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Thread: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

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    £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Hiya thanks to all who helped me with my recent build. I have been asked to put together a pc for a family friend so its back to the drawing board again.

    Her requirements are that it is powerful enough to use Adobe Cs3 graphic design software and just generally be up to scratch for the next 3+ years.

    She wants lots of storage, a case with lots of usb ports and power button near the top.

    Energy efficient components would also be a plus i.e high efficiency power supply, low power usage processor and gpu.

    She has windows 7 32bit already

    I was considering something like this:

    Intel i3 2100 ~£95 OR phenom II x4 ~£97
    usb 3 and sata 6gb mobo say £75
    dvd writer ~£12
    card reader ~ £5
    ati 5670 ~£60
    2*1tb samsung f3 ~£80
    4gb DDR3 ram ~£35
    good case and power supply ~£70

    coming up to something like £400

    Do you think this will meet the spec?
    Any advice on appropriate components would be really welcome!

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Although a Phenom II X4 a decent choice for an ATX build in many cases, for Photoshop CS4 Intel processors seem to do better ATM and the Core i3 2100 will probably be faster.

    What other packages are being run and is any video encoding going to be done with this build??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 05-04-2011 at 03:13 PM.


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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    No monitor mentioned - does this need to be spec'd too?

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    re card reader - these are a really good addition:

    scan branded

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/scan-...5-ssd-hdd-sata

    akasa branded


    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa...5-sata-ssd-hdd


    or with USB3

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa...dd-ssd-docking

    if you don't want the 2.5" hot swap then there's the cheaper option:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa...d-usb-port-oem

    The latter is nearest the £5 you mentioned.

    Re MOBO, don't worry too much about USB3.0 unless the difference is less than a PCIe USB3/SATAIII card. Eg for £23 you can get this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-...oller-with-ncq , which gives 2 USB3 to case rear and 2 internal sataIII ports. If this saves you £40 on a MOBO then quids in.

    Also sata III (6GB) makes no real difference for HDD. It's only with SSD it has any benefit.

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    No monitor mentioned - does this need to be spec'd too?
    hope not, that would be the whole budget gone in one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit
    Vodka

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    my point exactly

  7. #7
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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    She already has a suitable monitor with hdmi and dvi thanks. Is 4gb ram enough do you think? Also how important is the gpu for graphics design? I don't want ram/CPU/gpu to bottleneck the performance I guess. Good idea having usb3 on the card reader. Thanks for suggestions so far.

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      • 2x256GB Samsung 840-Pro, 1TB Seagate 7200.12, 1TB Seagate ES.2
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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    It depends what parts of CS3 she is using, some are more demanding than others.

    For the whole CS5 suite Adobe recommend:

    -min 2GB , 4GB or more RAM recommended.
    -Similarly a 64 bit OS,
    -256MB 16 bit GPU are min recommendations.

    Full requirements here: http://www.adobe.com/products/creati...on/systemreqs/

    But individual components can require less than this so it really does depend what she will be running.

    So it looks like 4GB will be ok, but each software iteration gets more demanding and 8GB will give you more capacity for the next few years. If in doubt see how you go with 4GB and allow for adding 4GB later if she finds it lacking, either now or in the future.

    It sounds like a GPU is worth having. One with a decent memory buffer of at least 1GB of GDDR5 can be easily picked up for sub £100. If she's doing 3D renderings or video work it might make sense to look at the video card a bit more closely though.

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Quote Originally Posted by toberemembered View Post
    I was considering something like this:

    Intel i3 2100 ~£95 OR phenom II x4 ~£97
    usb 3 and sata 6gb mobo say £75
    dvd writer ~£12
    card reader ~ £5
    ati 5670 ~£60
    2*1tb samsung f3 ~£80
    4gb DDR3 ram ~£35
    good case and power supply ~£70

    coming up to something like £400
    With a pair of 1TB hard disks you are looking at more like £500!

    Once you get upto 20 posts you can get free Scan postage:

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-he...-delivery.html

    Alternatively your friend can get free postage here:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/scan_offer.php

    It is worth checking for special offers on these web-pages:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx

    http://www.scan.co.uk/shopoffers/index.aspx

    The IGP on the socket 1155 Core i3 and i5 processors is actually not too bad for general purpose usage. I would do a decent base build first and then add a graphics card when required.

    The following build is from Scan.



    The following build is from Ebuyer.



    Both Nvidia and AMD graphics card can accelerate CS4 and Nvidia CUDA is also useful for acceleration of some filters in later versions of Photoshop.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-04-2011 at 12:32 AM.


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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Tbh I think she's overstating her requirements as she only uses Photoshop (cs4 not 3 my bad) and doesn't play games so expensive dedicated graphics would be a waste. Same applies with the storage, we could limit that to 1tb and ram to 4gb and can be expanded if and when. Its a shame you don't often see decent psu and case combos just cheap coolermaster and worse.

    So looking at spending a bit more on an i5 like the builds above.

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Quote Originally Posted by toberemembered View Post
    Tbh I think she's overstating her requirements as she only uses Photoshop (cs4 not 3 my bad) and doesn't play games so expensive dedicated graphics would be a waste. Same applies with the storage, we could limit that to 1tb and ram to 4gb and can be expanded if and when. Its a shame you don't often see decent psu and case combos just cheap coolermaster and worse.

    So looking at spending a bit more on an i5 like the builds above.
    I think coolermaster cases are pretty good.
    I've seen lots of deals for a coolermaster 922 and 400w PSU

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    So I bought an i3 2100 bundle through scan in the end, looked pretty good, good saving on buying the parts seperately etc.

    Except... The motherboard they included in the bundle doesnt support the igpu on the processor : And frustratingly i figured this out about halfway through the build when id already got it in the case, cpu installed etc

    This is the product page, i guess its pretty obvious if you look at the i/o or the back panel specs but theres no mention of it in the description at all. Feeling pretty fed up as now I have to get a basic graphics card to do what the chip is already capable of.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...6gb-s-raid-atx


    Anyone know from past experience with scan if they will do an exchange on opened hardware? Im guessing this is a long shot but as the bundle is sold as one product I cant return just the mobo.

    If all else fails im just going to stick a 5450 in it i guess.

    I recognise at the end of the day this is my bad but i really didnt see it coming lol

    Edit: theres some really small writing on the mobo box saying that although its h67 it Doesnt support igpu function, guess i should have seen that too

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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Eek. Did you list that board on here before you bought it? I'm sorry I didn't spot that. Try checking in the scan forum thread. If it's a no-go for a swap you could try peddling it in the classifieds, or else as you say a discreet GPU will also work.

    Given CAT's comment re CUDA might an nVidia card be a better bet?

  14. #14
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      • PSU:
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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Nah its my fault, i had been looking at so many boards and they all supported the igpu so i didnt check carefully or realise it could be an issue. I guess having a card with dedicated memory will be a step up from whatever the onboard uses.

    Edit: I decided because i'd planned to finish the build by monday it was a lot less hassle just to pick up a cheap 512mb DDR3 HD 5450 for £24 which hopefully is a minor upgrade on the igp in any case
    Last edited by toberemembered; 08-04-2011 at 10:45 AM.

  15. #15
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    ... If it's a no-go for a swap you could try peddling it in the classifieds ...
    not until he's made another 83 constructive post, though

    Given the software being used an nvidia card might be a good idea: unfortunately, however, nvidia seem to have pretty much abandoned the low end of the GPU market, to the extent that the cheapest recent generation card they have is the GT430 and that starts at ~ £45. below that you're looking at the 8400GS or 9500GT (both ~ 4 years old) and the GT210, which is ~ 2 years old. They may suit your needs, but I'm not sure I'd actually recommend any of them If you absolutely must have a graphics card now and choose to go the nvidia route the pick is probably the 9500GT, which has more stream processors than the other two so will perform better in CUDA tasks.

  16. #16
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    Re: £350-£400 computer for graphics design

    What is the point of a motherboard chipset which is supposed to support an IGP but does not have any video outputs??



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