Building a $1600 Photo editing monster RIG

I've been given the task of building a Rig for my Uncle, he needs a Intel photo editing rig, lots of hard drive space and processing power, so i recommended the Intel i7 4770K socket LGA 1150, on a MSI Z87-G41 Intel Motherboard, with 8 or 12gb of DDR3, no preference, GPU wise i said MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti from TigerDirect for $200. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. not my first build, but my first build with a price range of $1000-$1600. 





word of advise, look into the xeon cpu's of about the same price on ebay or something. you'd get better preformance going with xeon than the i7 k series

Yep.  Very good suggestion here, especially if we're going to be using a dedicated graphics card.  Also, I would get something better than a 750ti, as at this budget it's a bit weak.

Tower only, with $600 left to spare.  Not sure if you need peripherals or an operating system or what not.


Thanks for that. i thought about xeon, and thats all good there, im a nvidia graphics guy, although the R9 is great im thinking about getting a Titan, and upping the Hard drive space there, thanks so much for the processor and motherboard help though, that whole pcpartpicker list is very helpful. Next i need to figure out RAID, possibility of loss of Hard drive files is a big concern . 

Titan isn't worth the money.  At most I'd take a GTX 780 ti.

There was no mention of gaming... If your uncle isn't gaming, then he will probably be satisfied with the intel integrated graphics on an i7. Maybe something like this:

Highlights: $1210

  • Fastest non-k processor with integrated graphics.
  • dust resistant, good airflow case, very good quality
  • 8gb of 1866ram (more than enough for video editing and a bit faster than standard)
  • 4x 2TB HDD designed for NAS (very reliable designed for 24 hour use)
  • 250gb SSD for very fast windows and program files. Just backup to HDD's
  • Reliable motherboard without wasting money

IF your uncle has cuda enabled software then get the 750 ti with the xeon 1231v (cheaper processor but almost the same processing.)

If your uncle plays games and wants a more enthusiast build I would recommend something like this: - $1630

This has a overclocking processor and motherboard with a good CPU cooler, Same reliable drives, just less of them, and a GTX 780 for high end gaming performance.

Photographer here, Titan is really over kill in this situation because Photoshop only really uses the GPU to render tiles and process filter/plugin workload faster. Unless we're talking about colossal compositing, Hassy/Phase back raws, or video its not going to lift a finger to justify its price. The GTX 750Ti would be fine here, as would the R9 if you'd like some better performance with filters. To be completely honest you're better off sinking as much as you can into your CPU like the 4790k and more ram. If you're using Lightroom its always good to remember that its is pretty much CPU dependent and rarely (if ever) touches the GPU for its workload.

RAID is really a hit or miss depending on your workload. If you have a huge ingestion of files (3+ full 8/16GB CF/SD cards) every time its wonderful. Built in mirror systems are a must if you're working professionally. If you're dead set on internal RAID I'd suggest RAID 1 or 6, one is strictly data preservation the other is some preservation with performance boosts. I'd strongly look into external solutions as well because in this field you can never have too many backups.

Thanks! so i have came to a conclusion of;

CPU - i7 4790K

Motherboard- Asus Z97-AR LGA 1150

Ram-8GB of HyperX

Case- comes with kit, TT Versa Case

GPU - GTX 760 or R9 270x

HDD- 1TB Main HDD backing up to a 2tb, he doesnt need too much space, can always add more HDDs


Thanks for the help

That sounds good, but I would think about getting an SSD as the windows drive so he doesn't have to worry about gradual slow down of the system and fragmentation and maintenance.