Windows 7 Help with New PC Build, Please :)


New Member
Aug 26, 2010
Hi Everyone,

I know you probably get a billion of these types of topics on here, but I would like to build a new system and I thought I'd come to the Win7 experts this time :)

I'll start with the current system I have, which I built about seven years ago...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

CPU: Intel Quad Q6600 (Go-Stepping/2.4 GHz)

MOBO: Gigabyte P35-DS4 (Rev. 2)

CPU Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme

RAM: GSKILL DDR2 PC6400 (8 Gigs)

GPU: ASUS EN9600GSO GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB

HDD: 2 x SeaGate Barracuda SATA (250GB, 320GB)

External HD: AcomData PureDrive 500 GB USB 2.0/eSATA


Power: PCP&C Silencer 610

Case: Ultra m998

Monitors: HP f1905e/KDS (both flat panels, but pretty old)

Speakers: Logitech X530

I'm a freelance illustrator so I use my computer a lot for work. I have the Adobe Creative Suite 6 and I use all those programs on an almost daily basis, so I need a system configured for the best optimal performance of those programs. I also do a lot of multitasking—running the big graphics programs plus having multiple tabs open in my browser with several other things running in the background.

I started searching Google for "best computer setup for graphic designers", but after about an hour of fruitless searching I thought I would come here. I would like to know what components would work best for my new build and if there is any I already have that I could stay with it.

Budget I would say $1500 to $2000 (hopefully including the monitors, if possible). I would like 2 monitors for dual display. I would like one of them to be nice enough to watch movies on when I want to.


Well my 2 cents worth,

new mobo w/DDR3 RAM slots
new CPU, the latest build from either Intel or AMD.
new GPU...this being IMO, the key component for all your intense graphical needs....either Nvidia 680 or AMD's 7790

I have just replaces an i7 920 OC'd to 3.8GHz on an ASUS P6T V2 with 12GB of RAM.
It was built to use Adobe Master Suite and other apps to support my photography/video habit.
I have replaced it with an i7 3770k @ 3.5 to 4.2 GHz on an ASUS P8Z77-V with 8GB of premium RAM and a SSD for the OS.
The old one did a very good job.
I was very impressed with it when putting it through its paces.
While I haven't put the new one into the harness yet, I am impressed with how well it responds so far, especially how short the time is from switch on to ready to roll.
The UEFI BIOS and SSD are a god send if your time is of any value.
The P8Z77-V board is a mainstream board.
I chose it because of its TPM capability.
A higher grade board with more RAM should smoke.
See my profile for an idea of what I now have.
I'm still loading software into the new build.

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The Adobe Creative Suite is very well programmed and will use any resources you give it (Premier Pro is the best example of this, it uses RAM depending on how long the videos you are editing are.)

I would recommend getting as much RAM as possible, as well as the most cores you can possibly get. A i7 3770k would be good but a i7-3930k would be ideal.

In any case I would hope you'd wait untill Haswell comes out, won't be long now.

A couple of comments. Is that Ultra M998 something you already have? I ask because I have the same case and while it is a nice case, it is HUGE! Especially if you use the wheels. And the problem with big cases, even aluminum cases like this, is they get pretty heavy and unwieldy when lugging them outside for cleaning.

Also, for such a large case it is disappointingly limited on fan options, providing support for just 2 120mm fans. And while that is sufficient for most, it may not be for some who heavily task their systems with demanding programs like modern 3D animated games and advanced graphics design and editing, or where ambient (room) temperatures may be higher than normal requiring more CFM flowing through the case. Note you should not consider PSU fans as "case cooling" (though they do help, a little). The new Corsair cases are nice, but generally, I prefer Antec cases.

You may not be aware, and for many enthusiasts it is not a concern, but it is important all readers understand that both Intel and AMD warranty their “retail” boxed versions of their CPUs that come with supplied heatsink fan assemblies as “a unit". That is, the 3-year warranty does not cover repairs if the "unit" is split and the CPU is used with an aftermarket cooling solution.

Note I am just the messenger ensuring users have all the necessary information needed to make the best, informed decision for their situation. Read the printed warranties that come with your CPUs - it's in there, or on-line here,
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While the policies are the same for both companies, AMD makes it quite clear:

"This Limited Warranty shall be null and void if the AMD microprocessor which is the subject of this Limited Warranty is used with any heatsink/fan other than the one provided herewith."

Again, this is something that may not concern you, and as long as you are aware of the policy, that's fine. But since you have selected a boxed CPU with a supplied cooler, this is something you need to be aware of.

But to that, it is also important to note it is the case's responsibility to provide an adequate supply and flow of cool air through the case. And it is the CPU fan's responsibility to toss the CPU's heat up into that flow. So if me, with only two case fans providing cool air to the interior I would use the supplied cooler.

Do note contrary to what some may tell you, both AMD and Intel provide excellent coolers - fully capable of cooling their assigned CPUs even with mild to moderate overclocking. After all, they are the ONLY coolers that cover CPU damage too, should they fail - and neither AMD nor Intel want to replace a CPU because the cooler failed.

I know new CPUs are coming out all the time so I was just wondering if this was a decent one for now.
Not just "for now" but for a long time to come.

I think you can make a better choice for a graphics card. That GPU came out over 5 years ago and is highly underrated compared to the rest of the components you plan on mating it with, and for the tasks you will be performing. Plus it only has a measly 512Mb of graphics RAM. Better cards today have 1 or even 2Gb of on board RAM. Plus, it is only a one slot card. That means the heat generated by the card will be dumped into the case interior and I have already told you my concerns about heat and that case.

I recommend you check out Toms Hardware, Best Graphics Cards for the Money, May 2013 and select a double width card that exhausts heat directly out the back, and not into the case.

As for your PSU - nice brand BUT - since graphics cards are often the most power hungry devices in our computers, you will need to re-evaluate your power needs once you decide on a new graphics card.

Finally, make sure you review the QVLs (qualified vendors lists) for your motherboard here. Ensure your CPU is listed. For RAM, there are too many RAM makers and models for board makers to test them all, so you don't have to buy listed RAM but you do need to buy RAM with the same specs as listed RAM.