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Photo Editing PC - thoughts and feedback appreciated!

lewisr1979

37 months ago

Hi all,

I'm looking to build a system for photo editing, with some specific requirements:

  • Mostly Lightroom, with some Photoshop so aiming for a CPU with fast clock speed rather than lots of cores
  • 10 bit colour-depth output so need workstation graphics card rather than a gaming card
  • Fast SSDs for both the OS/apps and also working files, but don't need huge capacity as finished files will be stored on NAS
  • Decent amount of RAM for larger images (e.g. panorama stitches) but don't need to go crazy as I won't be doing video editing
  • Looking to spend ~£2,000 (ideally less, would go higher if genuinely beneficial) as this is a hobby not my livelihood
  • Don't want to regularly update the system so want something future-proof that will last for a good few years

Here's what I've specced out so far: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/WLqx9W

As a total noob to PC builds, I'd appreciate any thoughts on the following questions:

  1. I'm planning to over-clock the processor - is the motherboard and cooler I've chosen appropriate for that?
  2. I've assumed that the fans that come with the case are sufficient - would you advise adding any additional fans?
  3. Is there any issues I need to be aware of with having two M.2 SSDs installed?
  4. Any other advice or suggestions? Anything I've missed?

Thanks in advance for any help the hive-mind can offer!


  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (£210.00 @ Amazon UK)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£29.99 @ Amazon UK)
  • Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste (£11.02 @ CCL Computers)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z170A GAMING M5 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (£148.69 @ BT Shop)
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory (£74.99 @ Novatech)
  • Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (£172.77 @ BT Shop)
  • Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (£287.99 @ Novatech)
  • Video Card: PNY Quadro K620 2GB Video Card (£143.20 @ More Computers)
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition w/ Window ATX Mid Tower Case (£108.98 @ Ebuyer)
  • Power Supply: Corsair RMx 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (£89.99 @ Amazon UK)
  • Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer (£29.59 @ Amazon UK)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit
  • Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-AC88 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter (£95.47 @ Scan.co.uk)
  • Monitor: BenQ SW2700PT 27.0" 60Hz Monitor (£579.00 @ Amazon UK)
  • Keyboard: Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard (£22.51 @ Amazon UK)
  • Mouse: Logitech B100 Wired Optical Mouse (£8.99 @ Amazon UK)

Total: £2013.18

Comments

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I would go with the arctic cooler which outperforms the evo and is also quieter. Drop the AS thermal paste which is conductive and has a 200 hour setting time. Also the one that comes with the cooler is better.

For what you are doing I would just get standard SSDs. I think you are just wasting money IMO.

Kingston ram is slightly faster with lower latency and cheaper.

That is one expensive wireless adapter. No need for that. With some changes you can get a better video card and even an i7-6700K if you want which will benefit you. I use an i5 with photoshop and illustrator and both run fine.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor £210.00 @ Amazon UK
CPU Cooler ARCTIC Freezer i32 CO CPU Cooler £33.98 @ Amazon UK
Motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M5 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard £145.20 @ Amazon UK
Memory Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory £67.99 @ Novatech
Storage Crucial MX300 275GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive £65.97 @ BT Shop
Storage Crucial MX300 525GB 2.5" Solid State Drive £113.00 @ Amazon UK
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB Mini Video Card £189.99 @ Amazon UK
Case Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition w/ Window ATX Mid Tower Case £108.98 @ Ebuyer
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply £79.99 @ Amazon UK
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer £29.59 @ Amazon UK
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit -
Wireless Network Adapter Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter £23.09 @ BT Shop
Monitor BenQ SW2700PT 27.0" 60Hz Monitor £579.00 @ Amazon UK
Keyboard Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard £22.51 @ Amazon UK
Mouse Logitech B100 Wired Optical Mouse £8.99 @ Amazon UK
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total £1678.28
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-11-04 12:56 GMT+0000
  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Good tips on the cooler and paste - thanks!

I definitely want an M.2 SSD for the OS and applications, but you're probably right about a standard SSD for the Lightroom catalogue and working files.

I also opted for a fast wireless adapter as I'll be shoving some large volumes of files to and from my NAS over wi-fi. Not sure I'd notice a benefit in practice though? I have a dual-band ac router.

My understanding is that the GeForce video cards don't do 30-bit colour output with OpenGL which is what I'd need to send a 30-bit signal from Photoshop to the monitor? That's why I went for the Quadro card in my build above.

Thanks again - lots of food for thought! Much appreciated :)

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I definitely want an M.2 SSD for the OS and applications

The MX300 275gb is an M2....

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/product/KXkwrH/crucial-mx300-275gb-m2-2280-solid-state-drive-ct275mx300ssd4

I also opted for a fast wireless adapter as I'll be shoving some large volumes of files to and from my NAS over wi-fi. Not sure I'd notice a benefit in practice though?

I would just get a cheaper one...

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

The MX300 275gb is an M2....

Doh! Sorry - my bad...

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually, it seems the Crucial MX300 is an M.2 but isn't actually a fast NVME drive like the Samsung 950 Pro, so isn't suitable for what I'm trying to achieve.

[comment deleted]
  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks - useful advice! :)

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