Thanks bill. Every time i upgrade i always look at Apple. I usually conclude that I can find a custom PC that fits my needs cheaper.
Absolutely true!!! I just did a new computer build last week. My old PC was getting just too noisy and the video card was having issues that I couldn't resolve (changed the driver lots of times with updates but that didn't seem to be doing much). 95% of my work is in LR and I don't do panoramas much at all which is where you really need processing power. My other goal was getting the quietest system without having a case that weighs a ton (most quiet cases have thicker metal and usually soundproofing foam on the inside). I ended up going with an Intel i5 CPU because it runs cooler and I don't need the performance of an i7. The biggest difference you can make is to get a SSD for the Win7 OS and your programs. Your boot up times will be less than 10 seconds and you can load programs even faster. At any rate for $1400 here is what I ended up with:
Case - Fractal Designes Arc Midi R2 (it has 3 fans a fan controler and lots of room for wires and a CPU cooler)
CPU - i5 Ivy Bridge 3470
Motherboard - Ausus P8Z77-V LGA
CPU Cooler - Enermax ETS T40 (really easy to install and is quiet)
Video Card - MSI GeForce GTX 660 (I'm stcking with NVIDIA chips because of my bad experience with ATI)
SSD - Samsung 840 128GB (just after I did my build Amazon had the 256GB Samsung 840 for less than I paid for 128!)
HD - Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB (my case has room for 5 more drives if I ever need them)
Memory - 4x4GB Crucial DDR3 PC3-12800
PS - SeaSonic X650 Gold (get a modular power supply so you don't end up with wires you are not using in your build)
Optical Drive - ASUS DVD/CD RW (I don't watch Blue Ray movies on my computer so I don't need that feature)
This system sits on my desk top about 18 inches away and one can just hear the case fans at the middle speed. It also has support for USB 3 on the mother board which is nice as well.
I've moved all my LR images over to the HD and it's much faster than my old computer which was an i7 system.