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Hatoko
  • 54 months ago

I spent about 1,000USD on my current system 5 years ago and still love it, but I need a second machine so I'm hoping to get something pretty similar but with more updated parts for a lower cost. My ideal new system only needs to be slightly more powerful (maybe just more ram would help? my current doesn't have much...) to handle my huge paintings more smoothly. Double bonus points if it's a quiet machine. Someone also suggested going for mini-itx, but all the suggested builds I found I think are overkill. Definitely over budget.

For reference this is my current set up:

CPU: Intel i7-950 3.06 GHz

Mobo: gigabyte x58a-ud3r

GPU: gtx 460 1gb

Memory: 6gb - CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3

PSU: Corsair gold 850 modular. It's overkill but it was the only thing I could get on short notice when my old one died.

Budget for new build: 500-700USD

Location: USA/Japan

Use: Photoshop CS5 for Photography/Painting (editing large RAW files, painting on large canvas 3000~50002 x anywhere from 10~80 layers) Some After Effects

Peripherals required: None

Operating System required: Windows 7

Comments

  • 54 months ago
  • 2 points

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $199.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock H170M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $94.99 @ Newegg
Memory Avexir Core Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $69.99 @ Newegg
Storage A-Data Premier SP550 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $42.99 @ Amazon
Storage Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $59.95 @ Amazon
Case Fractal Design Define Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case $69.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply XFX TS 550W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply $63.80 @ Amazon
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit) $94.99 @ Adorama
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $696.69
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-12-20 03:52 EST-0500

For the record, I do not like this sort of build for that sort of application, but your budget is just way too restrictive to do this right.

The modern "replacement" for your X58 system, would be a new X99 system. I would use an E5-1620 V3 for such a build, on an X99 board with ECC memory support.

Those huge photoshop files are going to be very memory intensive. I don't fully understand how you are making do with only 6GB RAM working on files that big. Probably some scratch disk stuff going on.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Ohh thanks for the advice! Yeah, I don't have the means right now to go all out, so I'm just trying to get by for a year or two. I am only enthusiast level anyway, not a professional. I work on big files slowly, and in pieces. Just want to be able to work on larger stuff and also have a browser open for references/youtube/etc at the same time.

Thanks for the advice about modern equivalent. This will be only my 3rd build, and in the past 5 years I haven't kept up with computers at all. So I have no idea how to figure out how to find out what's a similar amount of power.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

The i5 build above will in some conditions be 25-50% faster than your current rig in compute bound conditions. The iGPU in Skylake works well for photoshop but there is some untapped GPGPU compute performance scaling there so in some operations your older machine might still be a bit quicker.

The biggest issue though, is the RAM. I suspect that you're probably being bound up on your old machine by a lack of memory. I would advise filling every slot on your X58 rig with 4GB DIMM's. Should be able to max that thing out for under $100.

yea, todays i5 is better than your old i7. An X99 would not be an equivalent, rather, a "replacement" from the same "class" of hardware (higher end, enthusiast/performance grade stuff).

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Could I just use the GPU from my old machine in the new build? I need two machines, but am not going to be using them at the same time. Not for the next 1~2 years anyway. By the time I'd be using them simultaneously I'd have enough to get cards/upgrades for both anyway. The card is pci-e 2.0x16 and the motherboard has pci-e 3.0x16 slots. I read it's compatible the other way, but would it work this way?

Got a couple months left with this machine and seriously thinking about adding more memory. I'm pretty sure that was my initial plan back in the day, but it just kind of never happened haha.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

The GPU would work fine in the new build. You could do that if you'd like, though I'm not sure it's worth the hassle. Just use the skylake's iGPU for awhile and see how it works. On the overall it will still probably perform better than the old machine anyway.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Why not just upgrade your ram and graphics card? 500 bucks will do that and bring new life to what you have. cant build a new pc off of that little and expect it to be better than what you have.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xc9gvK

that will give you RAW GPU power and it will be supper refreshing from your 460 GTX trust me I went from a 460 to a 6990 and the diff is outstanding with the R9 390X you are getting the best power for the dollar and because Photoshop CS5 uses OpenCL you will get better performance with AMD. not only that but you could just take out 1 stick of the ram you have and put in the 4 sticks for a total of 20GB of memory. IMO I think that is what you should do oh and change out the thermal paste. that is a must do for a 5 year old pc.

EDIT for the record I didn't see the I need a second rig...

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

Haha, yeah if I didn't have a very specific need for a second machine I'd just beef up the one I have a little. (Changed thermal paste last week too btw).

On the few graphic design/photoshop blogs and videos I've checked out since posting this most say photoshop CS5~6 doesn't benefit that much from a powerful gpu and not many functions even depend on it so when working on a budget it's ok to skimp on that part and invest more in ram and cpu. But I don't know how to figure it out.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

most say photoshop CS5~6 doesn't benefit that much from a powerful gpu and not many functions even depend on it so when working on a budget it's ok to skimp on that part and invest more in ram and cpu.

That's exactly correct. The only reason to upgrade your GTX460, would be either to support more monitors, higher resolution monitors, or to support 30 bit color monitors (workstation GPU). Such an upgrade would not need to be to a stronger GPU in terms of GPGPU compute performance or other draw-function performance.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you :D that is reassuring. Considering my limited desk space, I'm very happy with my current dual monitor setups.

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