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My first computer build. Photoshop & Lightroom rig.

by ryanautry



Date Published

Jan. 13, 2016

Date Built

Jan. 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.9 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

19.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.433 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz


First of all, I'd like to thank all of the PCpartPicker.com community for helping me make my first computer build so easy and painless.

So, I started my photography hobby a few years ago when I bought my first DSLR. After a year of just snapping pictures, pulling them off the SD card, uploading them to Facebook. I actually started editing them in Lightroom and Photoshop. Well the old i5, 8GB ram computer I was using wasn't cutting it. So I ended up buying a Dell T3500 server w/six-core Xeon (3.5GHz), 12GB of RAM, Quadro 4000 2GB, and 7200rpm drive. What a difference that was over that old i5 with only 8GB of ram and on-board video. Now that I had experienced how much faster my post processing could be. I asked myself, "how fast could this Dell server be?" So I ended up putting 24GB of Crucial Ballistic RAM, GTX960 4GB, and 512GB SSD into the Dell. Whoa!! What a difference. Again, I was so spoiled over what I was using before. But unfortunately, I had the bug/itch for the "need for speed". I decided I'd try and make the fastest Lightroom/Photoshop rig on my budget. Picking parts for a build was so much work. I started with a $2,000 budget and figured that would get me what I wanted. But I ended up having to spend quite bit more. "It's only a few bucks more for this..." Anyways, I'm sure all of you can relate with that.

So, the basis of this build was directed around cooling. This computer is in outside in a shop environment. I work at a car stereo shop in Fresno, California. It gets very hot (110+) in the Summer for those that aren't familiar with Central California. With that said, it's not the best place to store a computer. But that's the cards that have been dealt.

CPU (Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core) I definitely wanted to go with the latest generation chip-set since I'd probably use this computer for many years to come. After reading and watching a number of reviews on the Skylake 6700k. It was the most logical choice. Plus it's sitting pretty @ 4.9GHz with perfect stability.

Case (Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 ATX Mid Tower) The first part that I picked from the build Plus the hardest part to decide on. After watching every review on YouTube about cases, the Cooler Master Mastercase PRO was the winner. Extreme airflow and plenty of room for a 240mm CPU radiator and 120mm GPU radiator. Plus it's really nice for a first time builder.

Motherboard (Asus Z170-A ATX) This is a really tough decision. I don't know how some of you decide on what mother board to choose from. Anyways, I went with ASUS from recommendations from a few friends. Then I picked the "cheapest" motherboard that had all my wants/needs. So far the ASUS Z170-A has been great.

Memory (G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200) It wasn't hard to pick RAM. I needed 2 sticks of 16GB for a total of 32GB. There isn't a lot of choices here. SO I picked one of the cheapest in the category. Plus G.Skill is highly recommended by the PPP community. Plus it's very reasonably priced.

Storage (Intel 750 Series 400GB PCI-E SSD) I was going to go with the Samsung 950 PRO m.2 drive. But this Intel PCI SSD came up for sale on newegg, so it was a no-brainier. I wanted the fastest HD I could afford for editing.

Video Card (EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB HYBRID) This card was an easy pick for me. I wanted a 980Ti that was water-cooled out of the box. So it was a choice between EVGA, MSI, or Corsair. The EVGA came in the cheapest, so I went with it. So far it's been great. I have it overclocked to 1550ish MHz and it doesn't even get warm. Great job, EVGA.

Cooling (Corsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler) Since I'm going to have this computer in an outdoor environment. I decided water cooling was a must. The Corsair Hi100 GTX was a perfect fit for my case. Plus it's really reasonably priced and performs very well.

Power Supply (EVGA G2 750W) I wasn't sold on any brand. Price drove my decision on which one it was going to be. My only needs were, fully modular, Tier 1, and 750W minimum. This EVGA PSU @ $120 was a deal.

Monitor (Dell 34" Ultrawide 3440x1440) 34", Ultrawide, Curved. Any brand that suited those needs I would've bought. So the Dell came in under my budget of $700 first. Plus it can be overclocked to 75Hz. So it was a no brainier.

Final Thoughts This computer is so f'ing fast in Lightroom and flys through Photoshop with unparalleled speed. I achieved my goal with no regrets. Thanks again to the PCPartPicker community for all the help/guidance.

Update: I added a few misc details and more pictures.

Part Reviews


Overclocked to 4.9GHz without any heat on a all-in-one cooler.


Great bang for your buck if you're an ASUS fan. Good performance and great looks.


Great value and performance. I wish it looked a little better, imo they looks and feel a little "cheap"

Video Card

One of the fastest single 980Ti cards on the market with watercooling built-in for the same price as the premium air-cooled cards... Win.


This case has been a pleasure to build in. I can tell Cooler Master thought of everything when it comes to this case.

Comments Sorted by:

Faizan 8 points 37 months ago

Final Thoughts

Hmm, you don't think much; I see you've worked hard on that description

Jk, it's obviously not done, lol. Nice build and get that description done! :D With pictures as good as those and a hopefully decent description once you get it done, you might even get featured!


-HH- 1 Build 6 points 37 months ago


Faizan 1 point 37 months ago

Hehe ;)

bobdude_01 3 Builds 7 points 37 months ago

Just a gorgeous PC. +1 for HD Pics.

dccorreia 1 Build 6 points 37 months ago

Each photo is a piece of art! Some HDR effects, great!

relco 6 Builds 4 points 36 months ago

These pictures make me happy, absolutely gorgeous PC. Jealousy level is at an all time high.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Thank you!

SpecificAlduin 2 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

121 beautiful pictures! Awesome! The color scheme is perfectly done and the LED color is clean and crisp! +1000 if I could. One of my favourite builds on the entire site.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Thank you.

PlasmusAng 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/RMFfHN what are the max OC speeds I can get with no overheating and stabilty

W1ckedwolff 1 point 35 months ago

Actually 146 now.

Nicko_barbeque 2 points 35 months ago

Beutiful and clean build. I have the same case and am planning a custom watercooling loop... cant wait to see what it looks like! +1 for an awesome build tho!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Thank you! I'll be keeping an eye out on your build.

batmanbax 2 points 35 months ago

DAMN that's one sexy computer.

TheBlackPython 1 Build 2 points 34 months ago

wow nice pics! great job

Acepirer 2 points 34 months ago

Wow man, thanks for the cool build. Feeling inspired :)

luchy2000 1 Build 2 points 29 months ago

Majestic that is all I can say just ... Majestic

Svvamprat 4 Builds 2 points 28 months ago

+1 for SOAD

Blue-Rain 2 points 25 months ago

Beautiful set up,congrats on your build !

Bor3alis 1 point 37 months ago

Hoo boy that's some expensive ram! Hope it's working well. Absolutely love the quantity and quality of the pictures. +1!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 2 points 37 months ago

I found the ram to be very reasonably priced.

Thank you!

Bor3alis 0 points 37 months ago

That's good

LazyGalen 1 point 37 months ago

Nice rig. What you shoot with?

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

We have two Camera's here at the shop.

Nikon D610 w/50mm f1.4 & Nikon D7100 w/17-50mm f2.8

Some of these picture were taken with the 610 and some with the 7100.

Thank you, btw.

JPizME2001 1 point 37 months ago

wow. much description.

very knowledge.

so information.

jk lol, but you seriously have to finish this

Newobc 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

This SSD makes me weep with jealousy.


vekspec 3 Builds 1 point 37 months ago



gorgeous PC indeed! I call Featured!

cheelos 1 point 37 months ago

Build Price 3299 U.S. dollars = 4 691.01044 Canadian dollars yet 30$ mouse and keyboard with ghosting and input lag O-o

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

The keyboard and mouse does a very good job with Photoshop and Lightroom.

amila_banks 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

great build and nice work .... love that case ....

Furrior 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

I find it interesting how good quality photographs make a build look even better!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I completely agree. I love seeing a build thread with a plethora of great quality photos.

Nexofedex_99 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Very good build, and FKN GOD PHOTOS

onJUGG 1 point 36 months ago

what you have there Sir is a BEAUTIFUL build, Hey I live in Fresno as well + no lie about the hot *** summers! I just got my Master case PRo and can't wait to put it together with my parts. it won't be anywhere near as nice as yours but I appreciate the pics you posted to show how it could look.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Awesome! If you ever want to take a look in person, come by the shop.

TheBlackPython 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

LOVE the pics and the over-clocking!! neat fans too

W1ckedwolff 1 point 35 months ago

I'm not sure but if you haven't already been featured it needs to happen. +1 for me great build!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Thank you.

UnsungSpirit 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

With regards to the fans can you tell me what type of preassure your going with and white sizes are set where? Like is it all 140 Airflow at front then 120 at the back?

Lastly did you need to make use of any extra parts to wire them all in?

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 2 points 35 months ago

I made sure to set the (3) AF140's (intake) to 1,000rpm and the (3) SP120's (exhaust) set to 1,600rpm for hopefully, neutral airflow.

I didn't need to use any other parts. The ASUS board had plenty of fan headers for all six fans.

UnsungSpirit 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

Hah my next question was going to be are you going for positive, neutral or negative :P

Must admit I am considering a closed build as I air cool and fear liquid. Plus considering my cpu cooler will be a noctua one with their god awful fan colours cheme id rather avoid the window :P

KingsDontWait 1 point 35 months ago

Go check out this PC's Brother http://pcpartpicker.com/b/T94CmG these pc's are in the same place if you look in that links images you see this one in the background... lol

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Yes sir. James is a co-worker of mine. My poor computer is getting over shadowed by his beast in the foreground. haha

OMGriffinz 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Not enough pictures...


ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

I'll try to add some, soon. ;)

But in all seriousness... It's very cumbersome to manage pictures on PCPP after they've been uploaded.

OMGriffinz 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Was just kidding bro...

Almost 150 pictures wow

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 3 points 35 months ago

Oh, I know... I read your sarcasm very well. But I think you might have missed mine. ;)

ColoradoJones12 1 point 35 months ago

Great Build! Personally I would have gone with the Corsair hydro GFX for the GPU rather than the EVGA hybrid.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago


To be honest, it was the shroud that kept me away from the MSI/Corsair GFX.

ColoradoJones12 1 point 35 months ago

I would have chosen it just because both corsair and MSI are brands I like.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

That's a good reason.

Tooth 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

You have the most pictures of any build on the internet. Your buddy has a nice "26"

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago


BingoFishy 1 point 35 months ago

Those photos are gorgeous.

I have nothing else to say.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Thanks, Mr. Fishy!

skylerspaeth 3 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Love how well you hid the PCI-E power cables! +1

rgould91 1 point 34 months ago

I have recently fell in love with the mastercase pro and came across your build. Out of curiosity, how did you get the top of the psu shroud so reflective? Also great pics.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 34 months ago

just a piece of 1/8" black plexi on top of the basement. Thank you.

FireFox500 1 point 34 months ago

I am very curious as to how some pictures have the effect that yours do. I am pretty sure it was done in Photoshop, can someone explain how it was done? I know how to use Photoshop but I've never known how to construct this effect and it looks awesome. I would greatly appreciate if anybody could explain how this effect is made!

Thanks, FireFox500

kfj 1 point 33 months ago

Awesome build and great pics!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

Thank you!

CrimzonSlayeRx 1 point 33 months ago

The PCI-E SSD isn't working at its full potential right now i bet....

Put it in the last PCI-E lane for the BEST performance.

+1 Great build, with Great Pictures.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago


Thank you!

dreadfulmanny 3 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

What filter is that for the pictures?

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

No filters used. Just edited the RAW files in Lightroom.

IAstate97 1 point 27 months ago

Stunning build. I am soon to build one similar to this and I'm very impressed with your cable management. I'm going with the 6850k because I like the extra cores for processing power of audio files (in college to be an audio engineer currently) but for what you're doing the 6700k was the perfect choice. How good is the factory color calibration on the monitor? I like photo editing as well although it's just a hobby, and I want at least a really good color calibrated 21:9 aspect curved monitor. I wouldn't mind learning to color calibrate myself, however I would rather not lol.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

As far as I know, the Dell was calibrated from the factory. I didn't actually calibrate it after.

Thank you, btw.

Tymen 1 point 24 months ago

Hey Ryan, I LOVE the white brownish color! Did you higher the contrast in Lightroom on the photos because there're absolutely gorgeous. Though, I have a couple of questions. Did you paint some parts of the components? Why didn't you put the AF140's in the top of the case? And did that glossy plate on top of the PSU cage come included with the case?

I probably am going to make a very similar build but with some adjustments.

Greetings from the Netherlands!

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

I edited most of the photos I posted. So I'm sure a little contrast was added.

  1. I didn't paint anything.
  2. The 140 won't fit in this case without some modification. Since this was my first computer build, I wasn't up for that challenge.
  3. The black acrylic piece didn't come with the case. I outsourced that from a local plastic supplier. It was about $5.
[comment deleted]
SurrexGaming 1 point 21 months ago

Do you know any photoshop tips for making things look much smoother, I am slow on this and I'm looking towards starting up YouTube and would like to make some good thumbnails. Any ideas?

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

I don't use Photoshop all that much. But if you're looking for a smooth soft image. You can play with the noise reduction and clarity slider. They will definitely smooth those images out.

[comment deleted]
Dave410 1 point 21 months ago

Nice build, nice write up and great photography, but aren't you concerned the lights from the computer shining on the monitor will distort the colors in your images? I'm planning a photography computer too and I'm looking for a windowless case for that reason.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

That is a great concern. I moved my rig far enough from monitor that they didn't affect my editing.

[comment deleted]
SirHalpin 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

heavy breathing

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 2 points 18 months ago

Thank you, Sir.

jlfilms 1 point 20 months ago

Bro! Bad *** Rig! love it.

I want to build my ryzen rig just like this, Where did you get that Mirror or plate thats sitting on top of the psu shroud??

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

That is a black piece of acrylic I bought from a local plastic store. It cost about $5.

[comment deleted]
Nobletz 1 point 17 months ago

Hey, am a photographer too. Lately i have been planning to get a PC made and i am really inspired by the PC you have made. However am very amateur in PC technical stuff.

I assume the video card was made for possible video rendering(probably use of adobe premiere ?)

I have a tight budget but can i ignore the video card and probably add it later down the line ? Would it affect the performance for Photoshop/lightroom use ?

Also instead of pci ssd, i plan to use m2 ssd samsung 960 pro 512gb.

Look forward to hear from you. Thanks

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

First of all, thank you. I was/am an amature are this PC stuff. If it wasn't for PCpp, I don't think I could've got it done.

I bought the 980Ti for mainly editing photos at the time of the build. I wanted to make sure I was maximizing my time in post. Not because of time constraints or anything like that. I just wanted a buttery smooth editing experience. With that said, the 980Ti was the fastest card on the market at the time, so I went with it.

If you're on a tight budget. Start with on-board video from a 7700K and wait until you can save for a nice video card.

960 PRO 512 is the way to go. I like to think that the HD is a very important part to the snappiness of the edits in post processing.

I sold this rig a few months ago and just got done building a new one. I'll link you to it when I get the article up.

Nobletz 1 point 17 months ago

Thank you - i have been reading a lot lately. And there is so much of options and everything i can make a build. I think i will take a few more week or so and then make my final build.

Did you consider 1950x threadripper(amd) ? vs going the new intel processor you choose ?

Thanks for your feedback.

ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 17 months ago

I'd definitely wait until the Adobe MAX event coming next month. They're supposed to be announcing, Lightroom 7. That even could help you make a final decision.

I didn't consider the 1950x since it was out of my target budget of $600 for the processor. But I did consider the 1900x. With that said, the 7820x outperformed the 1900x in every category at the same price.

[comment deleted]
Android25 1 point 2 months ago

I suppose it was the best some time ago

[comment deleted]
ryanautry submitter 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Thank you.

5730 SMD LED strip in cool white. Bought a 5meter strip for ~$15.