Description

This rig is intended primarily for Lightroom Classic CC.

Performance:

  1. The CPU is a good choice for the job as my sliders move smoothly and haven't experienced any slowdowns in any tasks so far. I tried OC but did not get it there yet.

  2. The RAM: 16GB is enough for now but i have 2 empty slots for when the need arises for more.

  3. The GPU: LR uses very little of the GPU so it's there for assisting rather than working. Plays games good enough for me.

Storage: This is where I spent a lot of money on. Each drive has a purpose and everything is auto backup. Photographers need space so I made a system where I edit off fast drives and transfer + backup RAW and edited pictures to spinning drives.

  1. I boot on a 970EVO and all windows applications on there.
  2. My Lightroom scratch drive + catalogue on a 2nd 970EVO for fast speeds R/W.
  3. Backup 860EVO for RAW pictures if i have backlog on my work and the NVMe is full + steam library runs off that drive as well.
  4. Both 970EVOs get backed up twice a week (full + incremental) through Paragon backup to a 2tb External drive.
  5. My Hub is used to store everything else (music, videos, downloads etc etc).
  6. My completed works folder (pictures) get backed up twice a week to another external HDD of 2TB.

Cooling:

Got quiet fans and OP cooler so that i can keep RPM low. under normal load (editing, browsing etc etc), fans at 40% and CPU at 50 deg C and whisper quiet.

Only thing that breaks the silence is the GPU on which i am working on a fix (undervolting maybe).

Power

  1. a PSU with more than double the load requirement for future headroom as well as gold certification for reliability. this is backed up by a UPS able to give me 4-5 mins under load.

Screen + Sound:

  1. 32' Phillips color accurate 2k Monitor: for the price, massive real estate and color accuracy ideal for photography and gaming. Fully loaded screen.

  2. Sound: 8' studio monitors driven by a focusrite card + bayerdynamics DT770 for good music sessions + the senheiser for insurgency with the mic.

Peripherals:

  1. Keep them ergonomic for long working sessions (and game sessions as well).

Part Reviews

CPU

Since Lightroom uses few cores for most processes (unless export & import) and is heavily optimized for intel, I went for the 9600K over a Ryzen chip.

I tried to OC the chip and got 5ghz stable on AIDA64 but crashed the MSI drivers. Went back to boost clock on all cores + XMP to achieve 4.6GHz on all cores at all times, through the MSI BIOS.

With some experience, i'm sure i can get a stable 5GHz. Else i'll just go for 4.9GHz on all cores.

The chip is fast enough for gaming and lightroom. In gaming (those i play anyway), no slowdowns or bottlenecks. In lightroom Classic CC, all sliders and zoom in work smoothly. Gained 3 secs per photo from my old imac... 3 secs per photo for 1k photos saves a LOT of time!

CPU Cooler

Quiet operation and cools down the CPU well. Even when I tried a 5GHz OC on the i5 9600k, kept the chip between 75-80 deg C.

Beefy enough to support the i5 so good enough for my build. At full RPM, there is some fan noise but is suppressed by a noisy GPU, so in most cases it is inaudible.

One nice thing to add, well I don't know for other manufacturers, but beQuiet include the thermal compound and a magnetized screwdriver! That one tool alone helped me with my whole build!!

Motherboard

Lots of features for a relatively cheap Z390 board.

I did not expect much in terms of OC and fair enough, is not the best board for the job. The VRMs go up to 83 deg C, which is a bit high for my comfort zone (i want to run the board for a long time). This is partly due to the GPU which exhaust hot air in the case.

Anyway, simple setup, looks good, good feature list (2 x NVMe with one heat shield), twin lan (only use one though), simple RGB (just enough for some white lights in the case), multiple fan headers which is good, 4 x usb 3.1 ports which allowed me to hook up everything in my system.

All in all great board for the price. only left to see how long they will last but this review is coming after 2 months of use and so far flawless.

Memory

Does the job as all RAM would. Latency timings not a big concern for me so at 2666MHz, no application has been starved by RAM performance.

Low profile helped in clearing a beQuiet Dark Rock 4. and black modules look nice in terms of aesthetics.

Storage

Fast and hopefully reliable over time.

No application will extensively use this drive (a backup drive to NVMe) so should perform smoothly.

Storage

Super fast loads and R/W.

Lightroom is enjoying this kit. Makes everything smooth.

Video Card

love and hate relationship...

love that it is fast enough for my needs, love that the fans don't spin when no load on gpu, love a black backplate and the RGB is subtle with just the logo lit up...

HATE that the fans are like tiny jet engines under load and above all HATE that the card blows hot air INSIDE the case! my case exhaust can be used to warm up food!

i'll try tweaking the card with wattman and see if undervolting or setting up fan profiles help.

UPDATE: Undervolted down to 1030 stable... GPU and MEM Clock run without dropping now so that;s a positive. Heat is the same if not 1 deg more and consumes more out of the plug... i don't understand anymore.

Case

Easy to build into and looks the part. Also very compact which is appreciated.

Will have to wait a bit and try different fans placements but all in all with 2 x 140 as intakes and 1x 120 as exhaust, the innards remain well ventilated and none of my parts are choking.

gives you 2 ssd caddies. I removed the drive cage to make room for cables (no HDD inside) and size cleared a be quiet dark rock 4 (quite tall cooler) no problem.

System is still fresh so will see if any major problems arise long term but so far so good.

Power Supply

Quiet and i picked a module twice as powerful as my entire build. should give me a long time of use without stressing it.

All cables included in the box and installation was simple in NZXT H500.

Operating System

well it's windows...

Case Fan

quiet in operation and multiple color tabs. although the tabs are plenty, if for example you want a fully black theme, you just don't have enough of it!

Case Fan

quiet in operation and multiple color tabs. although the tabs are plenty, if for example you want a fully black theme, you just don't have enough of it!

Monitor

Love it! will have to see long term how it handle itself but so far so good.

real estate is fantastic. colors pop and accurate (with calibration done in factory), 1440p which is plenty.

Gaming was enjoyable and i'm way too new at gaming or not a demanding use that i need super fast refresh etc. so for insurgency and tomb raider, it does a good job.

ports are decent and can act as a usb hub through usb c (which i have on my board). so was able to use the 2x usb 3.0 ports to hook up card reader and keyboard to avoid extra clutter behind the case.

the adjustments are plenty in terms of tilt, swivel etc. looks good as well with thin bezels.

Keyboard

they are mx browns so i knew they would be noisy. anyway

feels great and has nice heft to it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the volume slider (probably why i got it).

so all in all the white led is perfect for me as i don't want useless RGB and just needed some basic backlighting.

Mouse

does the job as second mouse used only for gaming.

i keep the green lights off and all in all is accurate without being too heavy to use.

Mouse

super comfortable to use. range is good enough for my case.

customization is endless with the software.

Headphones

gives sound and clear voice. light on the head and good isolation.

volume a bit low on MB soundcard, and decent on external sound card. so nothing spectacular..

long enough cable for my use.

Speakers

great clarity and very neutral sound.

a lot of power in those monitors (too much sometime, might even think of going for 5').

only thing for me is they are rear ported without cutoffs integrated and there is that hiss ...

External Storage

good and fast.

External Storage

fast and has held up well after 9000hrs of use. so signs of slowdown and health is still 100%.

External Storage

good drive bay and the 2 usb ports are practical for the setup. gives good perfomance so far.

UPS

i'll know when the power cuts off... way too scared to deliberately pull the plug to test... fingers crossed.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I would get a GPU backplate.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

in this case replace the GB one with a custom one? Because i did undervolt down to 1030.. mixed results really. It is stable and the gain is that i don't have mhz drops on either mem clock or gpu (brilliant)... but heat and fans are just about the same... even consumes more watts (HWMonitor).

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow great build! question: does the cooler allow you to use the first memory slot? Do you recommend it for i7 8700? thx!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks ! :)

hmm depends on the modules you use. i got the LPX from corsair because of the low height clearance. if your kit is low profile, you should not have any problems. on my install, i raised the fan a bit to get full clearance.

from my research (before i ordered my parts), the 8700 should run just fine on it! since you won't OC it, you'll get awesome temps with it. i boost all my cores (6) to 4.6ghz at all times.. at idle i'm on 40-45 and load never above 80. i still have a lot of headroom on my fan rpms in the case and the cooler

and this kit looks amazing!

hope this helps.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey sir , please reply . In how much FPS can your pc record games.? I have heard recording on I5 9600k is quite bad .

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Recording as in streaming games?? if that's what you are asking, well i never tried. I really do light gaming (insurgency, tomb raider). for those it's good.

from what I know, cores would be limited for playing + streaming. maybe a i7 8700k would do a better job.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thanks

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice looking build. Are you happy with that case?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

In terms of ease of build, for a first timer, it was very easy and logical. It looks good as well. Airflow so far has not been spectacular but has done a pretty good job considering ambient where i live is 30 deg C. Sometimes the fans just ramp up to move more air. Anyway so far so good. For the price as well it's sturdy and well built.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi,

I been reading a lot on your set up and it looks great man. I am looking for the same strictly for lightroom and minimal video editing like 1 or 2 videos a year kind of thing. I have a few questions if you could help me out with.

1) How do you like working with a 32" monitor? Is it too big? I am looking at a 27" U2718Q by Dell.

2)How did you mount Two M.2 Drives?

3) A whole M.2 500GB for scratch, I see the benefit for a m.2 but would it be better just to mount a 128 GB M.2 drive for scratch only? or do you use it for other things?

4) any reason besides budget you got the DDR4-2666 instead of like DDR4-3200 (which is what im looking at?

thank you again for your write up BTW and hope to hear from you.