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For those of you that have built a PC for photo processing, what did you use. I have a case from an older PC that I can use and also the CD/sub ports on it are still good. What are the major things that you go for it(CPU, motherboard, processor etc. As far as software for it I will be using lightroom on it and storing most photos(if not all) on a Western Digital HD
PC Power and Cooling makes nice reliable, efficient and quiet power supplies.
I'd recommend Intel's 6-core 12-thread i7-3930k processor to drive your system, but if you want to save some money at the expense of performance, you could look at AMD's FX 8350 8-core processor.
There are a lot of motherboards to choose from. ASUS is a popular choice. All of the major players have models that include on-board firewire, e-sata, usb 3. Some will offer on-board RAID controllers. Whichever board you choose, look carefully at user manual before choosing the brand and type of memory you purchase.
Using a solid state drive for the operating system and programs will make the system seem snappier.
The type of tower case I have allows me to have a large, quiet cooling-fan in front of the hard drive bay, and I have one mounted on the back of the case.
While you might be successful taking a hard drive from an old system and getting it to boot up into the old operating system where you can install necessary drivers to make things work, you will always be much better off starting with a fresh installation of the operating system. You can install a fresh copy of an operating system and use PC Mover Professional from LapLink to transfer all your serialized or licensed software and data from the old to the new PC.
Sometimes you can buy pre-built systems with a full warranty for less than what it will cost to build it yourself. Future Shop and Best Buy had 8-core AMD tower computers with 16GB, 128GB SSD and a 2 TB hard drive plus a 2GB nVidea video card for about $1100 during a sale (with Windows 8 -ugh) in the last two months.