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Old September 1, 2011, 11:24 AM
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francisw19 francisw19 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Alberta
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You're build looks pretty good...not much I would change, personally.

The 2500K will be great for gaming. The hyper-threading on the 2600K usually doesn't bring much more performance in games. AFAIK, Photoshop doesn't make much use of 8 threads either. I was recently talking with another user that runs a Xeon X5680 machine (6-core, 12-thread) and he mentioned that Photoshop doesn't make use of all the threads on his system while applying effects. No experience on my own machine...just passing along what I've heard. So, just some food for thought.

Agreed with the guys above about the SSD...120GB is plenty for your OS and most programs. It seems to be a pretty common config these days. Most people will grab another mechanical disk for storage and things like that. Something to consider too is that you may want to move your Photoshop working directory/temp files to a separate mechanical disk just to keep the writes down on your SSD.

Regarding the sound card, I run the Xonar DX and I really like it. I game with headphones usually, so I bought this card for the Dolby Headphone support and have been quite pleased with it. An add-in sound card isn't necessary, but it depends on your taste in sound. I listen to a lot of music and personally I find on-board audio a bit lacking in some ways...it's kinda hard to describe. So, I've usually preferred to get a sound card. On the gaming side, I suppose one could argue that sound quality even plays a role as you'll hear sounds you might otherwise miss, for instance. YMMV though...if you want to keep the cost down a bit, maybe start out with on-board audio and see how that serves you. You can always upgrade later on if you feel you need something more.

Regarding the FT-02 case, I thought the same thing with the optical disks. I was considering this case some time ago, but never did get it because of the tight fit between the back of the optical disk and the bottom GPU (if you run SLI or Xfire). You should be OK with just one GPU, but it might limit your upgrade options. The Raven RV-02 Evolution is quite similar...so you could consider that as well. AFAIK, it has a bit more room with the optical disk because the front panel is designed a bit differently. But, the esthetics may not be what you're looking for. Regardless, the Silverstone cases with the rotated motherboard seem very well designed...I've heard a lot of good comments about them.
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