Hello Hardware Experts,
I have read many posts from your forum and believe that I have a much better idea of what parts to assemble for my new system, but I have several questions, would like some opinions, and perhaps a sanity check before making a purchase.
First a little about me and my intended use. I have never built a system before, but I have worked on some (swapped in and out drives and memory, pulled and insert cards, etc). I've threatened to build one many times over the years due mostly to cost savings, and that is the primary reason I'm considering it this time. I want to keep the cost below $2K. I do have a very technical background, unfortunately, I'm not nearly as knowledgable when it comes to hardware. My primary use will be Photoshop. However, I would like to be able to use other applications within the CS6 family. For example, I may want to manipulate video (DSLR, AVCHD), use Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc. I'm considering purchasing the Production Premium package so that I will have everything I may eventually want/need. Additional info regarding my Photoshop requirements: I only shoot in RAW so all images must be processed; the RAW files will be quite large (between 18 - 24 MB each); after initial cleaning, the RAW files are saved to PSD which increases the size by a factor of ~3 (at least in CS2); side-by-side comparisons are often performed which means that potentially multiple copies of very large files will be in memory at the same time. Finally, this will not be just a graphics box - it will have to perform regular daily duties that have nothing to do with photography.
1) What is the difference between an Asus & EVGA GeForce GTX 660 video card? This stuff is confusing. They make like 14 different GeForce GTX 660 cards. I'm not sure how the heck any neophyte is supposed to know which one to get.
2) Will the CPU cooler be OK for the CPU? I don't plan on overclocking it - if that helps.
3) Can I use 2, 8G sticks of memory? That would leave me with 6 free slots and allow me to add 2 more 8G later (if needed) while still leaving 4 slots free for more expansion later.
4) Will everything fit? That is, memory won't have clearance issues with video card or cooler, cooler won't be in the way of anything, etc? For future reference, how can I verify that for myself? I read a post from Harm that indicated you could investigate the products from the OEM sites, but that still didn't provide me with what I was looking for. I really don't want to get all the parts home and then find that something simply will not work because of a clearance issue.
5) Memory is even more confusing than video cards. I really did NOT know what to do with that. I selected Corsair because I recognized the name. Is the memory in the build below good? Do I need to spend that much (Corsair has cheaper prices for DDR3-1600 sticks)? I have no idea what causes the differences in prices since they are all DDR3-1600 based. Is there something else better and if so, what makes it better? I read lots of posts where folks were using Rip Jaw, but I didn't see that in the partpicker list.
CPU: i7-3820 3.6GHZ Quad-Core
CPU-Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing
MOBO: Asus P9X79 ATX LGA2011
Mem: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600
Boot Disk: WD Caviar Black 1TB
Media: WD Caviar Black 2TB
BUP: WD Caviar Black 2TB
Video: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower
Power: Corsair Professional Gold 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
OS: Windows 7 Pro
BTW, this can be found on pcpartpicker.com at: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/y3sb
Thanks in advance for your responses and any knowledge you send my way.