Hi all, I am new here and not sure whether this post should go into the "Newcomers" or "System advice" category, so if I am wrong here, please move.
I already did quite some research for my personal build and have also identified rather clearly what I will need and use my computer for. However, I would like a bit of advice. As a background, I built my last computer in 2012 (CoolerMaster Silencio 550, i7 3770K with Arctic Freezer 13 Pro, Sapphire Radeon 7850, Samsung SSD 830 128GB, WD Green HDs, and the awesome SeaSonic X-460 fanless power supply). It was a good build and reasonably quiet, but I guess I could have done better with a bit of fan speed optimization. 2.5 years ago, I went abroad and sold that machine, currently I am using a MacBook Pro 13" (i7-5557U, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD) which is fine, but I need more computing power (besides that, it gets very loud when actually doing something taxing on the CPU and I don't specifically like MacOS, it is a work machine).
So the computing needs I have are mostly related to my photography (Nikon D800, 36MP, 40+MB per RAW file). I mostly use Photoshop and Adobe Camera RAW. HDR is something I sometimes do, as well as using the Nik filters like Color or Silver Efex. I use stuff like Hugin to make panoramas and also 360-degree panos of the night sky, and want to in the future make more use of Lightroom. Of course, I need to store and organize my photos (including backups). At the moment, I am sitting on something like 1.5TB of photos in total, accumulated over the years and not very well sorted (on two external 4TB hard disks that are mirrored). Furthermore, I do some light gaming (Path of Exile, Cities:Skylines, maybe Starcraft II and potentially others in the future).
My MacBook is simply too weak to handle all these tasks in a comfortable manner (and reflective screens suck). Thus, I want to build a new computer such that organizing and editing photos is going to be more fun again. In terms of noise, what I want to achieve is:
- inaudible in idle / while surfing the web
- quiet when editing photos (taxing the CPU)
- reasonably quiet when gaming
It does not have to be perfectly inaudible at all times, but it should be, well, reasonably quiet and ideally make less noise than my last build (that should be doable).
The build I have come up with so far:https://pcpartpicker.com/list/sPXMr7
(doesn't include the card reader)Screen: LG 34UM88-P
34" 21:9 screen with lots of screen real estate and 3440x1440 resolution (and one of the cheapest ones with such parameters). I will use some calibration device such as a Spyder to get the colors right.Case: Fractal Design Define R5
Guess this is a good and rather standard choice. Can also mount a window side panel for the days where I don't want super quiet but want cool looks.CPU: i7 7700K
Unfortunately, both PS and LR do not use multiple threads very well. So what I will need is single-core performance. I would really have liked to go with a Ryzen R7 1700 or R5 1600 or so, but the single-core performance of those seems to be weak, and PS/LR tests of them don't look too good. I also don't expect Adobe to figure out their multi-core performance any time soon, since they have not in the last 10 years. Hugin does seem to have multiple threads and would profit, but is that enough to justify a Ryzen? Not sure. Question is also: Would a i7 7700 be better / significantly easier to cool quietly?CPU Cooler: Thermalright Macho Rev. B
Seems like a decent cooler to me, I do not plan to do strong overclocking and it is easily procured here in Switzerland. Also seems to be very quiet when the CPU is idle, and it matches the color scheme of the rest of the build (not that important, but nice).Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-270X Gaming Ultra
Modern board that fulfills my needs: Fan control, 270X Chipset (so I can use faster RAM, which helps both PS and Hugin I assume, and potentially OC my processor in the future), optical SPDIF out (would like that), and 2 internal USB3 headers (one for the case, one for an internal card reader). Als fancy lighting
.RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB), 3000 Mhz
Affordable, low-profile RAM modules that should be enough for photo editing (might update to 32GB later if I need them) and should be nice and fast for memory-heavy tasks like panorama stitching.Storage: Crucial MX300 525GB M.2 SSD + 2x WD Red 3TB
It seems to me that the new M.2 NVMe SSDs do great in theoretical performance benchmarks, but in practice are actually not that much faster than 6GB/s SATA SSDs. Furthermore I will in most cases be bound by other speeds (copying from SD/CF card, copying to internal hard drives), such that a (cheaper) SATA drive should be enough. The Crucial SSD will harbor the OS and temporary data / games (as well as the PS scratch disk), while the two WD Reds will run in RAID 1 for better data safety (I know this is not a backup). I might at a later point move the WD drives to an external NAS. I will then backup to external 4TB drives.Graphics card: MSI Radeon RX480 Gaming X 8GB
Supposedly one of the most quiet RX480 on the market. A GTX1060 would potentially be more quiet (lower TDP), but doesn't work with the FreeSync of the screen, which I'd like to try. In idle, the fans are off anyways. Will probably wait a bit though, and start by using the i7 onboard graphics.Card reader: Icy Box IB-867
Not sure about this one. Would not have enough internal USB2 connectors, but that's not that important (I would leave 2 USB2 unused). I definitely need some kind of USB3 card reader and I'd like to have one that is internal. The fast charging point is nice (a USB-C fast charger would be even nicer).Power supply: Corsair RMx 550W
This is likely more power than I need, but it seems to be a high-quality PSU and very quiet (fans off until about 350W or so). Exactly what I want.
I might add a third case fan in the front to get a bit more airflow and to make sure I have positive pressure in the case. Unfortunately I will not be able to move the HDD case to the top (blocked by card reader), if I understood this correctly, so one of the fans would be blowing through the HDD case.
Anything I could / should improve? Anything I overlooked? I will be purchasing all components in Switzerland, so anything you recommend should be available there (and I use the Swiss prices when deciding on what to buy). Any tips are appreciated, thanks
EDIT: Had forgotten about the RAM...