1500-1700$ Photo editing / architecture PC

Started Oct 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Zlik
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1500-1700$ Photo editing / architecture PC
Oct 28, 2012

Hi there.

With my D800 RAW files, my laptop is not fast enough anymore, so I'm looking to build a new PC.

I'll be doing photo editing, architecture (3D modelling/renderings, CAD, design) and some video editing.

After much research, I've come up with the following setup (prices are from Swiss online shops):
MB: Asus P8Z77-V PRO (200$)
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K (335$)
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 660 (230$)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X 4 x 8 GB - DDR3 - 1600 MHz / PC3-12800 - CL9 (190$)
SSD (O.S.): Samsung 930 Series 128GB (100$)
HDD (data): 2x Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB Sata 6GB/s 7200rpm (2x147$)
PSU: Seasonic G-650, 650W, 80+ Gold (140$)
Case: Sharkoon T9 Value (67$)
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (70$)

Total: ~1630$

My thoughts:
- I need as much CPU and RAM as I can afford (photoshop eats RAM for breakfast and rendering times depend on CPU).
- I don't really know how much GPU I need, and where it will be of any benefit. I've thought about the Quadro's but I'm not sure I need them (can't afford the expensive ones and the cheap ones like the Quadro 600 don't seem to be very powerful).
- I was thinking of putting the two 3TB HDD's in RAID1 for reliability (backup in real time). I will still back my data up every week on an external drive as well.
Questions:
- any suggestions/better component combination for that price ?
- is the 1155 socket a good choice? (I have the impression that the 2011 socket, with X79 + i7 3930k, is not worth it)
- is RAID1 a good idea for data reliability (=backup in real time) ? Is it easy to set up with this mother board?
- would it be worth it to add another small SSD (64GB) to use for scratch/temp/etc ?
Thank you in advance.

Nikon D800 Samsung i7
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