Build a PC

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jassen M. West, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    I'm looking for suggestions for a PC to build. It's primary use will be Adobe Photoshop CS2, macromedia, some 3d modeling with Maya. Feel free to list a budget pc along with a medium range pc. I was thinking something along the lines of a AMD64 3400+ , 2GB Corsair Ram, 200 GB hard drive, DVD burner. I wasn't sure what kind of video card would be needed.

    thanks
    Jay
     
  2. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

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    Jassen,

    I would suggest you talk with a local dealer and so if they can do a custom-built system that meets your needs.

    You've already picked the right hardware in terms of motherboard CPU and amount of RAM, since the programs you mentioned do tend to use a lot of CPU time and also need as much RAM as possible to function smoothly.

    As for storage devices, try to get both Serial ATA interface hard drives and DVD burner drives, since that will mean very fast hard disk access and be able to burn optical disc formats up to the speed limit of the drive or the speed limit of the media.

    As for graphics card (which I assume you'll go PCI-E connection), unless you play high-end games a card using the nVidia GeForce 7800 series GPU is overkill; you could probably get away with a card that use the nVidia GeForce 6600 or 6800 series GPU. I'd probably recommend Sapphire Technology's RADEON X1300 Pro PCI-E card for your application if you go with an ATI chipset solution. [​IMG]
     
  3. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    Hiya, Jassen.

    I think a great starting point for research is the "Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide" over at Sharky Extreme. Sharky Extreme doesn't do their own hardware testing; it's sort of a place that compiles reviews (with serious testing done) from a large number of other sites.

    The folks at Sharky compile what they've learned from reading all those reviews with up-to-the-minute pricing information to produce 3 different buyer's guides for three different price points. The buyer's guides are generally updated every couple of months. You will find links to the buyer's guides on the left side if you scroll down just a bit.

    Since your primary use is image editing rather than gaming, you don't really need the high end performance of the other two buyer's guides. The value buyer's guide should be more than enough. If most of your image editing is for print rather than web development, then you might want to consider getting more RAM than the guide suggests. Regardless of what kind of image editing you're doing, you will almost certainly want a better monitor than they suggest. Other than that, the guide should offer you very good "bang for the buck" in building any PC.

    For researching individual components, you might want to try Tom's Hardware, AnandTech, and [H]ard|OCP.

    The reviews at the sites I listed will tell you a lot about performance, but not much about reliability, known hardware/software conflicts, nor how good or bad a particular peripheral manufacturer is about resolving problems. When you're getting close to selecting a part, do a little research on user reviews of the product. For instance, if you're considering a sound card from Creative Labs' Audigy 2 series, you might want to do a little research on the "squeal of death."

    Good luck with your build!

    PS -- I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not you get multi-core. Very little software out there makes use of multi-core (heck, most of them don't even support threading), and a few peripheral drivers get screwy in multi-core environments.
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    he wants to use photoshop, and you suggest not to worry about multicore chips? i'd say it would be his primary expense, if he wants photoshop performance.

    anyway, even single threaded apps will benefit from multicore chips, the OS will divide up the load.

    CJ
     
  5. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    Oh, right. Photoshop is multithreading.

    You're only sort of right about single-thread apps getting an advantage from multi-core processors though. It's only an advantage if you are running more than one single-thread app at once. Otherwise, the most benefit you get is some OS overhead running on one core, and the app running on the other, which amounts to a trivial performance increase.
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    that is what i was implying by saying this [​IMG]

    CJ
     
  7. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, does Maya require a high end video card or is it the processor and ram that make it perform well?
     
  8. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    maya requirements.

    mostly processor and ram. dont skimp on the vid card, but dont get a really expensive one, because it wont help performance. as long as it's a recent opengl card, you should be fine.

    CJ
     
  9. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    CPU and RAM. The video card is for games. [​IMG]
     

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