Intel Core i5-3570 Photography Workstation

This build was for a photographer. Their old machine was starting to creak. After being brought in for repair a couple of times we decided to build a new machine. The customer was running Adobe Photoshop CS 6 with Adobe Lightroom 4. The software was mainly used for simple editing tasks, nothing too intensive, though processing raw images can be very slow if the resources are not available. We decided to build the machine around an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3570 with 16GB RAM. This would provide the performance necessary for an efficient workflow.

Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine

Adobe have abandoned their support for Nvidia’s proprietary CUDA GPU acceleration found in earlier versions of their software, in favour of OpenCL. The Mercury graphics engine allows you to use other manufacturers graphics processors for GPU acceleration. This will speed up certain tasks but also allow you to utilise a number of options that are unavailable if you do not have a supported graphics card.

More information can be found on the Adobe website here and here

For this build we decided to stick with the on board Intel HD4000 Graphics, as this is supported by Photoshop and for the kind of tasks the customer would be running, it did not really seem necessary to add an expensive separate graphics card. Which could always be added at a later date if it seemed necessary.

The full spec…

  • GIGABYTE GZ-M1 Micro ATX Tower
  • OCZ CoreXStream 500W ATX PSU
  • Asus P8H77-M LE MATX Desktop Motherboard – Intel H77
  • Intel Core i5 i5-3570 3.40 GHz CPU
  • Crucial 16GB kit (8GBx2) Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-12800 RAM
  • Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB Hard Drive
  • Pioneer BDR-207EBK Blu-ray drive
  • Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)
OCZ CoreXStream 500W ATX PSU

OCZ CoreXStream 500W ATX PSU



Asus P8H77-M LE

Asus P8H77-M LE


Intel Core i5-3570 Gaming Upgrade

A customer wanted an old gaming machine upgraded. It was running a core 2 duo and Windows XP with 2GB RAM. The Tower was an Antec NSK 4 series which was in good condition and is a pretty good tower so we decided to reuse it. The DVD writer was also working fine and we kept the existing 1TB hard drive as a secondary drive as it had all the customers data and meant there was no need to start transferring all the files.

I recommended the 2GB XFX Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Card as, in my experience, they tend to perform better for gaming at this price point than the Nvidia cards. It is quite a long card but it fitted in safely without having to remove any drive bays.

I also upgraded the PSU as, although the existing PSU was working fine, it fell below the recommended specification for the graphics card. The Coolermaster PSU’s are pretty reliable and offer good value for money.

The full spec;


  • XFX Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Card 2GB (FX-785A-CNJC)
  • Coolermaster Elite 500W PSU
  • 8GB (Kit) DDR3 PC3-12800 / 8-8-8-24 /Unbuffered / NON-ECC / DDR3-1600 / 1.5V
  • Asus P8H77-M LE MATX Desktop Motherboard – Intel H77 Express Chipset
  • Intel Core i5-3570 3.40 GHz Processor
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA600 – 7200rpm 1TB
  • Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)

Check out Tom’s Hardware for a full Windows 8 review here.