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It's that time again, looking to build a new PC. This time however it's for my wife whose hobby involves Creative Suite (CS). We recently upgraded from CS5.5 to CS6 and while our craptastic laptop "can" do what she needs it's FAR from ideal. On top of that she was hoping to play GW2 with me so it's definitely time to upgrade.
While I am familiar with specs needed for a pure gaming PC I will be honest and say I have no idea what is the ideal setup for a PC based on CS. Add in the requirement for efficient gaming (read: medium to high settings) and I'm lost. So I turn to my fellow MMORPG community for help. While there is no specific budget I would like to stay under $1500 if possible (OS needed, we already have all peripherals). That said if that price is unrealistic I am willing to increase/decrease as appropriate. Bottom line is that I'd prefer to get the best performance per dollar as possible.
A few desires, although not exactly musts, are small form factor (Micro ATX if possible) due to where it will sit (plus my wife fond of large towers sitting on desks) and as mentioned previously it should be optimized for CS performance but still retain the ability to play games like GW2 at medium to high GFX settings. Please be aware that there will be times, if not the majority, where CS will need to running/working while still gaming so if more cores are needed to do this please factor that into your build suggestions.
According to a few articles I read most suggest lots of ram (16Gb or higher) and multiple storage drives (SSD boot drive, SSD specifically set for photo editing processing and HDD or two for storage). Another thing mentioned in these articles are the AMD FirePro and Nvidie Quadro cards. While I realize these GPUs are specifically designed for photo editing/graphic arts the thing I am worried about is their overall gaming performance. Would a top end gaming GPU be able to and both functions adequately or vice versa? If neither are a solution on their own should I consider other options such as one of each? Is that even an option in a single PC without performance conflicts?
Any help the community can offer I highly appreciate. Thank you!
EDIT: As a side note, if these will work I do have the option of using 1 or 2 GTX560 Ti (will be upgrading my gaming machine from these to the current generation) but please keep in mind Photo Editing performance takes precedence over gaming (although medium to high settings at 45+ FPS still a must in GW2).