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Building a pc for digital photo editing - suggestions please
I plan on building my own pc to be used mostly for digital photography, and perhaps video editing. My buget is about $2000, not including monitor..

Mostly likely I'll be using an Intel processor - Q6700 or Q9450 perhaps..

The two items I need help selecting are the graphics card, and hard drive..

What features should I look for in a graphics card for dp? Are the cards designed for games different from those used for digital editing? (I'm not into games).

Any suggestions on hard drives? I guess the bigger & faster, the better..

Anything else I need to focus on? Thanks in advance!..

Comments (7)

Why don't you post or search in the PC Talk Forum since you ahven't gotten any responses?..

Comment #1

I'm no computer expert (or expert in anything else for that matter) but here's some input:.

I have a Pentium 4, 2.8GHz with 1GB Ram and a graphics card (I can't remember which one. The computer is four years old and whatever is out now, I'm sure is way better) and 160GB hard drive. It's terrific with Photoshop PS2 running in XP pro..

I have no idea what processors are available and how your choices fit into the lineup but I spent $1200 on my computer, including monitor and now you can probably get something compatible for six cereal box tops and $5.95 S&H..

Form follows function...work backwards.

Take a look at what software you want (OS and photo and video editing) and see what's recommended for processors, OS, RAM, and their may even be something about video cards and peripherals..

Another video card question would be the requirements of the monitor. I got the $50 special that came with the computer. If you're considering a specialized monitor dedicated to graphic arts, it may require a graphics card with special characteristics. I got a minimal card just to take pressure off the CPU & RAM. Again the OS may require something special to really sing..

If you're not into games, don't worry about buying too far into the future. Photo editing software changes at a much slower pace than games..

Once you figured that out, you'll probably only have a few motherboards to choose from that have the right CPU socket and chipset for you..

I was going to build mine but after pricing everything, decided it wasn't worth the hassle and exposure and orderd from Dell..

Now to really turn things around, have you considered a Mac.? It's the long time favorite of the graphic arts.....

Comment #2

The graphics card would come more in handy for video editing, but even then only if you're into video editing on like a professional basis..

The most important part of the PC is the amount RAM max it out. Put the maximum you can afford in there. That's the single most important component of any PC, especially if it will be running Vista. I have a P4 2.8ghz PC, and increasing the RAM from the original measley 512k made it a new PC. Seriously..

The second most important will be your hard drive(s). Again, get the biggest and fastest you can afford. This will help a lot with video editing, but also a bit with photo editing, although if you have enough RAM you won't need the fastest hard drives. Having lots of storage space is always a place for photo/video editing..

There are video cards that are dedicated more toward photo editing than gaming, but it's a niche market for sure and I don't think it's necessary at all. More important than the graphics card is the monitor you choose and whether or not the monitor, printer, etc., are all calibrated to the same professional standard..

You should be able to get a screaming video/photo editing system for 3/4 of your budget, and if you shop around you could get it all for as low as 1/2 of that. The monitor is typically one of the most expensive components of a custom PC system, and you don't need one of those..

ChrisEffzeeone now has a Effzeefifty!(Gear in profile)..

Comment #3

MaryGierth wrote:.

Why don't you post or search in the PC Talk Forum since you ahven'tgotten any responses?.

...I should have noticed the pc forum. Thanks for the direction...

Comment #4

The previous replies contain a lot of good information and seem on the right track... the only suggestion that I can add to that is to use a 2nd hard drive for the actual photo storage or working space that does not have any operating software on it. This is to avoid any hard disk slow downs due to the operating system or any software (ex. anti virus) that is active from slowing down the hard drive's read and write performances. This was a recommendation that I was given when I setup my computer for video editing..

Hope that helps.....

Comment #5

For photo and video editing you are going to want good moniters (plural if you have the space and money) match your GPU to what you are going to use. Photo editing isn't very demanding on anything but ram..

Apple stayed alive before the iPod on photo and video editing....

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #6

BigBen08 wrote:.

I plan on building my own pc to be used mostly for digitalphotography, and perhaps video editing. My buget is about $2000, notincluding monitor..

Mostly likely I'll be using an Intel processor - Q6700 or Q9450 perhaps..

That will be fine. Cram 3GB (if running 32bit OS) to 8GB (if running 64bit) of RAM in if you can afford it..

The two items I need help selecting are the graphics card, and harddrive..

What features should I look for in a graphics card for dp? Are thecards designed for games different from those used for digitalediting? (I'm not into games).

I'd get a middle-of-the-road NVidia or ATI card. Slowly but surely programs are starting to use the GPU to accelerate graphics operations beyond 3d, but nothing required for it now..

Any suggestions on hard drives? I guess the bigger & faster, the better..

Do you want speed or capacity? How about redundancy?.

I've tended toward Seagate. I'd get two drives and put them in a RAID-1 mirror..

If you want maximum speed in SATA, look at the WD Velociraptor drive...

Comment #7

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