Home work graphics PC — Micro Center

Home work graphics PC

This is my 1st build. My wife and I have a home - based graphic design and photography firm. Our current computer is becoming outdated (again) so, I’m going to take swing at building a custom machine that we can update ourselves when necessary instead of always purchasing a new one. We run the entire Adobe CC apps. In addition to our normal graphic design and photo tasks, we’re going into movie production and sound editing/recording. Is it possible to build an efficient machine with a budget of $500 - $700?


  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    Hello @LarryHigh1! Welcome to the Commmunity. 

    Could you give us an idea of the specs on your current system? When I hear graphic design or movie production I always tend to gravitate towards high end systems, and $500-700 is definitely more in the "budget" category, but the main thing would be ensuring it's a reasonable upgrade over what you already have. The other thing is that depending on what's in your current system, there may be some cost to be saved by re-using certain parts. 
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    I'm a fellow graphic designer myself (prepress, actually, but deal with designs all day). Macs are king when it comes to Adobe CC, which I work with daily.

    I think your best bet might be to shop for a refurb'ed Mac or a "leftover" one (that is, new but older models, those prices tend to be slashed to get them off the shelves).

    If you have to build a PC, don't skimp on the RAM and CPU and get a decent video card to handle the inevitable 2gb files. Also, invest in a SSD and a large HDD for back-ups.
  • I’m unable to pull up the specs rights now. My wife is working on projects. However, I know that it’s a HP Pavilion Elite HPE -560z

  • How’s the Intel Core i3-9100F for a start-off CPU for this build?
  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    edited May 8
    If the specs I found online are correct, looks like that system is pretty old. With the budget you have, you actually could benefit from going with one of the Ryzen CPUs with integrated graphics like a 3400G.

    With that in mind, you could buy something like our Powerspec B244, then add an extra hard drive and 8GB more of RAM to bring the total to 16GB. It even comes with Windows 10 Pro. You could stick with utilizing the integrated graphics, or opt to add in a video card like a GTX 1650 Super to supplement, but that would put you at the top end of that budget. 

    If you were to build this system yourself, it would end up costing more than just going the pre-built route. 

  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    I’m inclined to agree with TonyV, but if you’re still interested in building your own, I came up with this build for you:

    Now this costs just under $800, but it can easily meet your budget simply by removing the video card as the CPU has integrated graphics and is a great value. Wasn’t sure about the optical drive, but we still get the occasional customer whose artwork is on a CD or DVD. I also included Windows 10 Home 64-bit on a DVD as it’s slightly cheaper. 

    Working with graphics all the time, though, I can tell you having a video card makes an enormous difference. You can always buy that later too to upgrade while you live with integrated graphics. 

    All that said, the pre-built route is probably the most sensible one with some add-ons thrown in there. 

    I still think a Mac is worth looking at, even if they cost a mint, they provide you with a high rate of return (depending on your business). 
Sign In or Register to comment.