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DoryH
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Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:22 am

Hey everyone

I will be buying a new PC but before I do I wanted to ask advice on the best options for my particular requirements.

My budget is between £1000 - £1500.

I do a lot of design work currently using pixlr but I really want to get photoshop and use that instead. Design work is my main focus of use and I don't do any gaming.

I have done general research on parts ie CPU, Graphics Card, Memory etc but to be honest there are so many options and specs it is overwhelming to say the least.

I was leaning towards an intel i7 processor (although I'm not sure exactly which one) but is Intel the way to go or is Ryzen a better option? I don't want to scrimp on the processor, I want the best possible option within my budget.

Are air coolers better then liquid coolers?

There are some things that I know I want:

SSD Drive

Memory - At least 8GB but would prefer 16

AC Wifi built in

I don't need an optical drive

Graphics Card - Must have HDMI and Display Ports

Ports - USB C/3.1

Case - Must be black!

I really wanted to build my own but I'm not sure I have the confidence. The actually building/putting together of the system doesn't phase me but its getting all the right parts that will fit my requirements and making sure they are all compatible that concerns me.

If anyone can advice me that would be gratefully appreciated :O)

Cheers

DoryH
 
defaultluser
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:34 am

Can you provide your existing PC's spec so we can make sure you get a substantial upgrade?

Also, did you want to game at all (mixed work and play), or anticipate using your GPU heavily though any plugin?

Air coolers are generally half the cost of water for the same performance, and don't suffer leaks. But they're harder to install.
 
Yan
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:59 am

This may be useful: Photoshop CC 2018 CPU Performance: AMD Ryzen 2 vs Intel 8th Gen. But note that the GPU they used costs GBP 650 (converting USD to GBP and adding VAT at 20 %), which is half of your total budget.

I can't comment on the accuracy of the information on that page.
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:43 am

DoryH wrote:
Hey everyone
Welcome to the Tech Report!

DoryH wrote:
I will be buying a new PC. My budget is between £1000 - £1500. I really want to get Photoshop. Design work is my main focus of use and I don't do any gaming. I want the best possible option within my budget.
Something like this would fit within your budget:
£323½ Intel Core i7-8700K processor
£20 CoolerMaster Hyper H412R 92mm tower cooler
£169 2x8 GiB of PC4-24000 (DDR4-3000) memory
£167 Asus RoG Strix Z370-G Gaming Wi-Fi AC micro-ATX LGA1151 motherboard
£160 GeForce GTX1050Ti 4GB graphics card
£90 ½ TB Crucial MX500 SSD
£129 5 TB hard-drive
£50 CoolerMaster Silencio 352 micro-ATX case
£80 SeaSonic Focus Plus Gold 550 power supply
£90 Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
£185 31½" WQHD (2560x1440) MVA monitor
£18 Keyboard and mouse
i7-8700K, H100i v2, RoG Strix Z370-G Gaming, 16 GiB, RX Vega64, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, C32HG70, RK-9000BR, MX518
 
defaultluser
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:52 am

Yan wrote:
This may be useful: Photoshop CC 2018 CPU Performance: AMD Ryzen 2 vs Intel 8th Gen. But note that the GPU they used costs GBP 650 (converting USD to GBP and adding VAT at 20 %), which is half of your total budget.

I can't comment on the accuracy of the information on that page.


Those benchmarks are valid. Puget builds quiet computers, and they need enticement for processionals to make more purchases. Photoshop has always been mostly dual-threaded in an average workflow, so it's no surprise that performance improvements top-out in the 4-6 core range.

And that is why you search fort their GPU comparison benchmarks.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/artic ... ance-1139/

GTX 1050 Ti is more than enough, and those have come down in price recently. That could easily build the rest of your computer with a 1000 pound budget, because core sscalig beyond the six in Coffee LAke is almost non-existent.
 
synthtel2
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:07 pm

Something along these lines would be my guess at a good build, given what you've said. It's some of the best CPU performance you can buy (including fast RAM), and hits all the individual requirements. It's generally biased for quality instead of low price, and the cost could be cut down from there a fair bit.

For your workload, the 8700K is almost certainly the best CPU there is. Fast RAM is likely to also matter for this, and 3200 CL16 is about the top of the range that's a decent value (not that any RAM is really a decent value right now).

There's unlikely to be any reason to overclock this build, and the cooling requirements should be modest. I would go with an air cooler, as they're cheaper and more reliable. Noctua makes the best ones, but it'd be easy to save $25 by dropping to a more pedestrian air cooler.

Do you know how much drive space you need? SSDs in large capacities are a bit pricey, and it could be a non-trivial cost savings to go with a small SSD for the operating system and a large mechanical hard drive for data. If you want images you're working on to load as quickly as possible, a large SSD may definitely be the right thing, but it then becomes an expensive enough component that it would be good to be sure of the right size.

That motherboard has both DP and HDMI connections, so fills that basic requirement. Spending $150+ on a graphics card doesn't look like a very good value for what you're doing, if Puget's numbers are good; stacking all the performance onto the CPU's side seems like the better bet. If the budget has plenty of room for it, a 1050 or 1050 Ti would be the right thing. It would also be easy to skip it for now and add a GPU to this build at some later point if it turns out to be important.
 
CScottG
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:19 pm

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/9MCBvn

Graphics card is on-board graphics and it has HDMI an DP out.
Single stick 16gb memory allows for upgrade to 32 gb latter with another stick.
On-board AC Wifi.

Note other items missing that can be filled in as desired. Windows 10 operating system license is of course a must-have.

Basic black with hints of chrome (in-case) look.
Last edited by CScottG on Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
DoryH
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:45 pm

Just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who has replied to my thread.

The information you have provided is great and I have a clearer picture of what to aim for and what to research further for a better understanding on my part.

Forgive my lack of technical know how, I have to be honest and say some of the items you mention are beyond my current knowledge.

To answer a couple of questions brought up .... I don't currently have a PC .... I'm using a friends laptop to get me by which is old and very very slow! I have recently moved back to England from being out of the country for 18 years and had to sell everything I own so I'm starting from scratch.

The PC I had was pretty dated too so although I have nothing to compare it to I'm really excited at "starting over" with a brand new pc and that's why I wanted to ask people who have a much better understanding than me so I get this right.

I do work on a lot of images so regarding the SSD I think 1tb would be the minimum requirement ... is that enough for what I plan to do?

From the information that you have provided I think the Intel Core i7-8700K processor with an air cooler would be the way to go.

I don't do any gaming so its really more important to me to create the best PC for graphics and design work.

Again thanks for the help everyone I really appreciate it and if I have any other questions I'll get back to you :O)

Cheers

DoryH
 
CScottG
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:52 pm

-about a terabyte should work well for you. You can also use/add a large volume USB hard-drive to move images over for "archiving".

As long as you aren't doing GPU processing (like a GPU specific program for rendering, etc.), then you should be fine with the iGPU that's on-board the CPU/Motherboard. Resizing seems to be the worst offender in the list here for on-board iGPU (..so if you do a lot of that then you'll probably want a better video card):

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/artic ... Conclusion


-don't forget the expense of the Windows OS in your build. :wink:
 
DPete27
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:29 pm

Shoot for a 500GB SSD and a 2-4TB hdd. Otherwise you're just taking money away from other critical components.

Something like the build Just An Engineer suggested is a good place to start. I'm not sure what good deals there are on the European markets, so I'll leave that to others.
Last edited by DPete27 on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Seagate SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Crosley D-25 Case Mod
 
ludi
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:43 pm

DoryH wrote:
I do a lot of design work currently using pixlr but I really want to get photoshop and use that instead. Design work is my main focus of use and I don't do any gaming.

If you have been working with a web-based Flash application and an old laptop up to this point, your requirements may not be so large. You can certainly buy a high-spec i7 system if money is no object and/or you want to future-proof your purchase for a few years to come. But any mid-level computer sold in the last few years can run ordinary 2D Photoshop manipulations at a reasonably brisk pace provided it has enough RAM (8-16GB), an SSD as the primary drive, and adequate archival disk space.

Do you have a target budget for this build?
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synthtel2
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:13 pm

CScottG wrote:
https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/9MCBvn

Graphics card is on-board graphics and it has HDMI an DP out.
Single stick 16gb memory allows for upgrade to 32 gb latter with another stick.

I would absolutely not go with a single stick of RAM; many image processing tasks are bandwidth-limited, and that choice will cost serious performance. RAM expandability is probably good in this case, but that ought to mean a motherboard with four RAM slots, which means no mITX. Non-mITX boards that fit the other requirements are a bit rarer, but they do exist.

DoryH wrote:
I do work on a lot of images so regarding the SSD I think 1tb would be the minimum requirement ... is that enough for what I plan to do?

It depends on many things, but 1 TB is quite a bit of space, and it's another aspect that would be easy to upgrade later if it turns out to not be enough.
 
Geonerd
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:27 am

defaultluser wrote:
And that is why you search fort their GPU comparison benchmarks.
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/artic ... ance-1139/

GTX 1050 Ti is more than enough, and those have come down in price recently. That could easily build the rest of your computer with a 1000 pound budget, because core sscalig beyond the six in Coffee LAke is almost non-existent.


OP, please note the details of that GPU comparison. A monster card will get utilized by only a handful of filters. Unless you spend half the day doing smart sharpen, tilt-shift blur, etc., a spendy GPU will not deliver ANY performance gain!
 
CScottG
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:01 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
CScottG wrote:
https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/9MCBvn

Graphics card is on-board graphics and it has HDMI an DP out.
Single stick 16gb memory allows for upgrade to 32 gb latter with another stick.


I would absolutely not go with a single stick of RAM; many image processing tasks are bandwidth-limited, and that choice will cost serious performance. RAM expandability is probably good in this case, but that ought to mean a motherboard with four RAM slots, which means no mITX. Non-mITX boards that fit the other requirements are a bit rarer, but they do exist.


I'd be interested in seeing various results on this in relation to current Photoshop. I can certainly envision some tasks working poorly, quite likely those few relying heavily on iGPU processing. Any links directly on-point?

As far as no mITX, well - there is also the solution of *2* sticks of 16 gig (to get dual-channel operation). In fact, I think more memory is more important to more-used Photoshop tasks than a separate GPU (from what I've seen from multiple user's posts). 32 gig is not at all unreasonable in the context of Photoshop. In fact, it might be preferable to have even MORE memory for expansion in the future which would necessarily void the use of the mITX board. In any event, that still means 16 gig sticks. :oops: ..fortunately the build I proposed would easily accommodate the expense of the extra stick of memory (..still being below the 1500 pound threshold).
 
synthtel2
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:48 pm

No links, sorry. That's just from thinking about the typical operations - very many of the quicker ones amount to stream pixels in -> do something trivial to them -> stream them back out, or sampling nearby pixels within a very small region with trivial math. Looking through things GIMP can do (because it's what I've got handy), that includes anything with layer blending, color operations, most of the filters from blur down to generic, and a good number of the more advanced filters further down the list (many of which are composed out of simpler compute-light individual operations).

Take edge-detect as one of the less obvious examples. A pretty good edge-detect algo could be along these lines:

for(pixels) {
    outpixel.R = sum_of_absolute_differences(pixel, neighbor to right)
    outpixel.G = sum_of_absolute_differences(pixel, neighbor below)
    outpixel.B = 0
    outpixel.A = 255
}

Given the usefulness of edge-detects and how often they're a component of more advanced filters, I'd expect that to be at least a decent SSE2/NEON implementation, meaning SIMD with four pixels at a time (if the data is 4x u8 per pixel). In a system with 42 GB/s nominal memory bandwidth, one core doing this will probably get 4 to 15 (depending on how multithreaded the operation is). At 8 GB/s and 3 GHz, that would be 24 instructions per four-pixel vector at an IPC of 2 (4 nanoseconds per vector delivered, considering both reads and writes). Hoping for an auto-vectorizer to beat that is probably a bad bet, but it should be easy with intrinsics.

In that case, the region that needs to be stored in cache at once is only one row of pixels, so you'd have to be doing something pretty ridiculous to fall out of cache and have to put real effort into loading that data twice. (GIMP always works row-wise, at least). Something like a blur, on the other hand, can easily get slow if it continues to work like that as the blur radius rises. I have no idea what's in the likes of Photoshop, but the faster way that comes to mind is using several passes of a separable box blur to approximate a gaussian blur. That's probably still not very fast on CPUs, due to the column-by-column accesses. When this stuff has to go really fast in games (bloom), it tends to mean downsampling far enough to lose the right amount of detail, then upsampling back to full res to compose it, for a cost of ~2.66x the size of the image in memory traffic. That's not nearly enough quality for work on static images though.

Anyway, a lot of the bandwidth-bound stuff might as well be instant in normal scenarios, but if you're working on very large images and basic whole-image ops take 100 millis instead of 200, that's still a very nice quality-of-life improvement (say for low-latency whole-image previews of color modifications).

32GB of memory would be nice if memory prices were where they ought to be, but as it is, that seems like a better item to leave for expansion. 16GB is still a lot; I have yet to feel seriously limited by it in image work, even when working with a dozen-ish layers and stupidly high resolutions (for SSAA).
 
Matt Rowen
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:26 am

The Answer to your Question about: Which Cpu cooler is the best - Air or Liquid?

Liquid CPU coolers have an edge over Air CPU Coolers because Big Air CPU Coolers designs are Large and Heavy. These can affect your motherboards and weaken them over a couple of years and can also cause instant damage to the entire system if even mishandled slightly. The big Air CPU coolers can also break off from the mounts and dmage the graphic card in the system.

In Brief, Liquid Coolers are very much better than Air in cases where your gaming case is intended to place at a stationary point and you can switch to liquid CPU cooler when you have to move your system very often. One more thing, Usually what happened is Big Air CPUs cooler is directly placed over the CPU which blocks the access to the memory slots and cable connectors. whereas liquid cooler is connected to the case's outer panel.
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synthtel2
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:06 pm

If you need a whole lot of cooling capacity and the choice is between liquid and something like a Noctua D15, certainly. Basic 120mm towers aren't really big enough to cause any of those problems, though, and a basic 120mm tower will be more than enough for this. At that level, liquid coolers are just expensive and unreliable for no real benefit.
 
dragontamer5788
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:57 pm

Liquid seems unreliable at the ~$120 level. AIO coolers are frequently Copper+Aluminum (aka: mixed metal) and rely upon additives to prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, these additives wear out over time, very similar to how car radiator anti-freeze wears out and needs replacing every 3+ years or so. AIO coolers don't usually allow for you to easily replace the fluids however, so they just start corroding away at that point. In addition, the tiny pumps inside of the coolers and/or radiators are unreliable and are prone to breaking down over time.

Single-metal helps prevent corrosion on these longer time spans, but somehow is only available on more expensive options.

Single-metal all-aluminum kits start at $160 at the lowest end, but require you to do some plumbing yourself. The larger external pump is an incredibly reliable design, but it does take up some space. The main "problem" with the EKIB Fluid Gaming series is that they're still relatively new and there are few radiators. Only 240mm, 360mm sizes available, and only mainstream computers like the i7 or Ryzen7 are supported (no Threadripper plate yet). You've also got an external pump+resovoir, making the setup slightly more complicated. A bit of distilled water is also needed to complete the kit (you mix and add the fluids yourself in this case). But this sort of stuff will last way longer than the AIO stuff.

Single-metal all-copper kits are more expensive due to the increased cost of copper. But they offer even greater cooling capacities. High-end computers (Threadripper in particular) have multiple heatplates to ensure the best cooling performance possible. Unfortunately, the costs for these custom-kits are $300+, making them at best an exotic option for the highest-end computers only. There's a good ecosystem of parts at the high-end from a variety of manufacturers, allowing the general community to review individual components to incredible degrees. For example, here's a review that compares three TR4 Waterblocks. Yes, just the water-block design alone gets scrutiny and attention.

-------------

As such, Air cooling, which tops out at $80 to maybe $100 at the absolute highest end, is basically a different market. High-end Air like the Noctua d15 perform as good as "cheapo" $120 AIO Liquid coolers, although the Noctua D15 takes up more room and may block RAM slots.

Still: the reliability of Air cannot be understated. There's no pump to fail, there's no liquid to pour onto your components, there's no leaks to worry about. It simply works. There's a compatibility issue with regards to size (make sure that the parts will actually fit inside of your case!!), especially because Air Cooling **must** be placed directly on top of the CPU. A liquid-cooling solution's greatest benefit is the ability to move the radiator around, which often leads to more possibilities with builds.

So I suggest for most standard ATX builds to go with a big air cooler. If you're trying to do something fancy, like a smaller case, then you may be forced into AIO liquid due to the flexible mounting options.

synthtel2 wrote:
32GB of memory would be nice if memory prices were where they ought to be, but as it is, that seems like a better item to leave for expansion. 16GB is still a lot; I have yet to feel seriously limited by it in image work, even when working with a dozen-ish layers and stupidly high resolutions (for SSAA).


The main benefit to gobs of memory above 32GB is for the OS to start caching your files in RAM. This is an automatic feature in both Windows and Linux, any file touched will go to RAM and stay there until the RAM is needed by an application. No RAM is ever wasted in a modern system!!

Sony Vegas, and other professional programs, also offer "Render to RAM" features. And gobs-and-gobs of RAM are needed to get this working with any degree of reliability. 8GB of RAM holds like 10 seconds of raw 1080p footage in the best case. A cheaper alternative is to get a super-fast M.2 drive for faster renders or temporary-file renders. A temporary "render folder" is an excellent case to use Optane for example.

Multiple-simultaneous renders from multiple instances of Blender can use tons of RAM. I've found this technique to be useful during animation rendering. If each instance of Blender uses 4GB to represent your scene, then 32GB of RAM can only run 8-Blenders simultaneously. Blender often becomes single-threaded at the beginning and end of renders (Hair and other complicated geometries make one 64x64 tile far harder to calculate than other tiles. So you end up waiting for the "last difficult tile", which is the last thread of execution), so increasing the number of Blender instances in parallel seems to (occasionally) lead to faster renders.

The typical user probably won't ever go beyond 16GB. But there are definitely people out there who need 32GB+.
 
synthtel2
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Re: Need help with buying a new pc

Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:22 pm

Video and offline rendering can eat up RAM very quickly, but we're talking about still frames and 2D here, right? I was making a recommendation with the OP specifically in mind, not a general-purpose workstation.

File caching is nice in theory, but I don't notice any practical difference at all when that cache is cold, and that's versus usually having 12+ GB free to throw at it. (IDK why I even have 16GB, really, given how good ZRAM is.) With a mechanical hard drive, having a lot of RAM for file cache and aggressively pre-loading stuff into it could be nice, but with any decent SSD, I'd take faster RAM over spare RAM any day.

As far as no RAM ever being wasted, here's my system right now with 4.5 hours uptime, little of it completely idle, and used probably not having been above 4G on this boot:

% free -h
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           15Gi       1.8Gi        13Gi        55Mi       715Mi        14Gi
Swap:          15Gi          0B        15Gi

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