New Photo Editing PC Build

Nov 17, 2010

I’ll just put this out here right now: If you don’t have a least a little geek inside you, you might want to skip right past this post!

Anyways so I’ve finally got my new photo editing PC up and running! It’s been about a month in the making but I’m really happy with the end product. I do have to say, it’s definitely outrun my expectations. I knew it would be fast, but not this fast!

Controversy time: A lot of people ask me why I don’t just go with a Mac. Most photographers/graphic designers use Mac’s right? Well, there are a few reasons why Mac’s don’t work for me.

First, I’ve been using Windows since almost forever. Unlike a lot of people I’ve never really had any major issues with any of their operating systems. Besides, I’ve been very impressed by Windows 7. It’s fast, efficient, and stable.

Second, I actually enjoy building my own computers. There is just something fun about researching all the components and then putting them together. Instead of having someone else pick out all the pieces of the system, you get to be in the driver’s seat and can make sure you get the best components. Maybe I’m just too much of a nerd to have someone do this for me!

Third (and probably the biggest reason!), I really don’t agree with the Mac price premium. The price of their higher end computers is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. In fact, I priced out the EXACT same computer I built here, but in Mac flavor. Was it double the price of what I built? No. Worse. Much worse.

For the Geeks out there, here are the stats on my new build:

Intel Core i5-760 Quad Core

Intel Core i5-760 Quad Core @ 4.0ghz

Gigabyte P55 USB3.0 Motherboard

Gigabyte P55 USB3.0 Motherboard

8gb of G.Skill DDR3 1333mhz RAM

8gb of G.Skill DDR3 1333mhz RAM

120gb Vortex 2 Solid State Hard Drive

120gb Vortex 2 Solid State Hard Drive

XFX Radeon HD6870 1gb Video Card

Corsair 550w 80 Plus Power Supply

Corsair 550w 80 Plus Power Supply

2 x 2tb Western Digital Green Drives
Antec 900 Case
24x Asus DVD Burner
Integrated Card Reader
Rosewill Wireless Card
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Antec 900 Case Photo Editing Build

So how much did this (almost) state of the art computer cost for me to build? Under $1300! How much was the EXACT same system on a Mac? $5300. I’m not sure about you, but I’d rather save the extra $4000 and put it toward something else, like my mortgage or student loans. Before you power on your flame throwers I’m not saying Mac’s aren’t good for ANYONE I’m just saying that they don’t make sense for ME.

The real star of the show though is my new Dell Ultrasharp U3011 30″ Photo Editing Monitor. Click the link to check out my thoughts on it.

I’ve never built a computer with a Solid State Hard Drive in it before. Now I can say that I’ll never build a computer without one. Boot up times are roughly half of what they take with a standard mechanical hard drive, load times are anywhere from 2-4x faster, and I can fully restart the computer in under 40 seconds. Now the price of these drives is still quite a bit more than a conventional hard drive, and the capacities aren’t nearly as big. I only keep Windows, my programs, and a small working area on the drive, everything else goes on the backup 2tb drives. Life will be good when they have these drives in 1tb for cheap.

Alright, that’s enough Geek Rambling for now. Checkout some more photos from this build:

Massive 1176 Cooler
Massive CPU Cooler is a MUST for overclocking

Massive 1176 Cooler
All put together inside!

Photo Editing PC