Suggestions For Design System


New Member
We hired another designer today, so I need to get another design system thrown together as soon as possible. I've been out of the loop on computer hardware for a couple of years. I need some suggestions on motherboard/processor combos. What's the best bang for your buck right now on processors? I'm looking at a few on tiger direct...

Asus P7P55D / Intel i5 750 / 4GB PC10666 RAM - $519

From what I read, the i5 and i7 are really efficient at allocating resources with photoshop and other cpu/memory heavy programs. I don't think I can spring for the i7 right now. It's a little expensive. Is the i5 worth it or should I just build another Core 2 Quad system like we already have?

Asus P5ND / Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 / 4GB PC6400 DDR2 - $400

We are still running CS3 right now, but if I decide to make the jump to Win7 64bit, I'll invest in CS4 64bit. Any suggestions on hardware? Looking for bang for the buck!


New Member
Also, what about video cards? All this machine will ever do is run photoshop, illustrator & indesign. It just has to run it fast as hell for designing wraps.


This is my latest machine. It boogies.

2 x OCZ Vertex Series 60GB 2.5" SSD SATA 3Gbs $700
Corsair DDR3 12GB PC-12800/1600 (6x XMS3 2GB) HX3X12G1600C9 Ram $444
Intel Core i7-920 $379
Asus P6T-SE Intel Mainboard - 6x DDR3 / 6x Sata Raid / 1 x IDE / Gigabit Lan / LGA 1366 $269
Asus ATI EAH5750-2DIS-1GD5 RADEON 5750, 1G, DDR5, PCIE2.0, 2xDVI, HDCP, HDMI, DX11, ATX, 128bit $169
Antec Sonata III 500 - Black Super Quiet ATX Tower Case (500W) $189
Samsung 24" 2443BW+ BLACK LCD - 5MS / WUXGA 1920X1200 / D-SUB / DVI $442
Windws 7 Professional OEM $188

Dont mind the prices I'm in Australia.


I found my bottle neck on my older system was whenever something got written to the hard drive and you didn't have the memory to handle it.

So whatever you do I'd be more concerned with the hard drives your running over getting the fastest processor available.


New Member
Solid state hard drives eh? Seems like it would not be a bad idea for the OS / Programs. I hadn't even considered it. My initial quick research shows that solid state drives tend to wear out much, much quicker than traditional drives. Any thoughts?

I've got about 30 gigs full on the OS/Programs drive on this XP system I'm running. Will a 60gig be enough to hold Win7 Pro and CS4?

Now I'm leaning towards a 150gig 10k velociraptor for the OS/programs. Thoughts?


New Member
Andrew, if you are still looking at computers give me a call. I am a computer junkie. I have lots of good information on how the latest and greatest compares. My 4 rigs.

1. Rip Station - Q9550 3.6ghz on water - 4gb 1066 ram - XP 32 bit - 120gb OCZ Vertex and 500gb Seagate - ATI 4850 - Dual 22"

2. Design 1 - E8500 3.6ghz on water - 4gb 1066 ram - Vista ult 64 bit - 2x74gb Raptor in Raid 0 - 500gb Seagate - ATI 3870 - Dual 22"

3. Design 2 - i7 920 @ 3.6ghz on water - 12gb 1600 ram - Win7 ult 64 bit - 128gb Patriot Torqx - 500gb Seagate - 2xATI 5770 - Triple 23"

4. Backup Design - Q6600 @ 3.2ghz on air - 4gb 1066 ram - Win7 ult 32 bit - 2x320 Seagate in raid 0 - 8800GT - Dual 19"

It's all about the speed - I did actually do a interesting test today and got some interesting results.

I will say one thing - buy quality components so you can overclock. More performance from higher clocks - and the i7 smashes all of the others. The e8500 keeps up with the Q9550 no problem. Graphics card doesn't even matter. I have bought professional ones down to cheaper ones. Sign programs do not take advantage of the graphics cards. The new Adobe CS4 can take advantage of an Nvidia card, but I don't have CS4. I have CS3 and I don't have any problems playing with 500mb files on any of my rigs. Call me if you want any advice.


New Member
i7-920 is the price/performance champ right now. Get a 1366 i7.. not a Lynnfield 1156.
Gulftown is coming... 6 cores/. It will use 1366 socket.


New Member
The first Gulftown Core i7-980X Extreme six-core CPU is just now out, but at $1,000 just for the processor, it's pretty much out of the realm of reality.

I also noticed that Newegg now has the i7-930, which will replace the i7-920 processor. The newer version runs cooler, has a faster clock, and costs about the same.