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Questions about suitable computer for PS?


PSart

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I plan to buy a new computer för use with Photoshop (as of right now PS 5.1 but perhaps better version later). and perhaps some Premiere Pro and After Effects, but in limited amounts. Also plan to use a DAW (music software) with it.

This is what I'm aiming for:

CPU: Intel i9-9900K 3.6 GHz
RAM: 32 Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Harddrives: 2 x SSD drives + 1 large HDD for back-ups.
Graphics card: GeForce GTX 1060 Ti 6 Gb VRAM
OS: Win 10 Home

I have done a lot of research on the internet but it haven't answered all my questions.

Some questions if anybody cares to answer:

1. Motherboard. There seems to be a lot to choose from, haven't really decided. How many PCIe-ports do I need? They seem to be coming in different sizes on the motherboard (2x - 16x). Confusing.

2. Fan. Liquid or air cooler?

3. RAM in two slots (2 x 16 Gb)? Not one 32 Gb? Which is best? Also, what frequency is suitable? Some info say that 2333 GHz is max för i9-9900K (or something)?

4. An NVMe-boot disk is supposed to be theoretically faster than a SSD-disk, but some sources say it doesn't matter because the bottleneck is somewhere else?

5. What about 10 bit color? From my understanding the GeForce cards now have been updated to 10 bit via a driver? If I in the future I need 10 bit-color then I would only need to buy a new cable and a new monitor? How important is it with 10 bit anyways? Does all the pros who work in advertisements use 10 bit-color for example?
 

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This is what I'm aiming for:

CPU: Intel i9-9900K 3.6 GHz
RAM: 32 Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4
Harddrives: 2 x SSD drives + 1 large HDD for back-ups.
Graphics card: GeForce GTX 1060 Ti 6 Gb VRAM
OS: Win 10 Home
Do you have any of these parts already, or will you be buying everything?

This is not a bad setup, but I'd recommend Ryzen 3900x over Intel 9900k if you can find one available. Single threaded performance will be comparable, but Ryzen will outperform on multi-threaded tasks. The performance in Premiere Pro, After Effects, Davinci Resolve and other heavily multi-threaded applications is not even close.

What's your total budget for the build? You may consider a better graphics card and just use one SSD or even go with a 3700x processor if needed.

1. Motherboard. There seems to be a lot to choose from, haven't really decided. How many PCIe-ports do I need? They seem to be coming in different sizes on the motherboard (2x - 16x). Confusing.
If you are only using one graphics card and no other PCIe expansion cards, then technically all you need is one x16 slot. Most motherboards will have a few more and they will be available if you ever want to add anything there in the future. Pay attention to the form factor and make sure it matches the case you are putting this system in. Most ATX boards will have all the expansion options you will need, while the small form factor boards like mini ITX will sacrifice them for size.

2. Fan. Liquid or air cooler?
If you are asking this, then go with Air. It's quieter, easier, and perfectly adequate. Just get a good air cooler that will fit your case.

3. RAM in two slots (2 x 16 Gb)? Not one 32 Gb? Which is best? Also, what frequency is suitable? Some info say that 2333 GHz is max för i9-9900K (or something)?
Two slots because it will allow dual channel operation. If you are getting an ATX motherboard most will have 4 slots, so you can still expand to 64GB in the future by adding two more modules. Unless you want to eventually have 128GB, then in that case it's fine to go with a single stick.

If you go with a third gen Ryzen, then 3600mhz is the sweet spot for price/performance.

4. An NVMe-boot disk is supposed to be theoretically faster than a SSD-disk, but some sources say it doesn't matter because the bottleneck is somewhere else?
Most definitely faster, by a large margin. You can get a super fast 1tb or 2tb M.2 NVMe drive that will run circles around any SATA SSD. They're about the same price anyway, so unless you need 4TB or more SSD's, go for NVMe.

Depending on your budget, I would go with something like the following. Good options to fit budget would be upgrade the graphics card to an RX 5700 or even RX 5700XT (don't get a blower design though), and/or downgrade the CPU to 3700X or even an R5 3600, the 3600 is amazing for the price and probably the best value CPU available today.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Best Buy)
CPU Cooler: Scythe FUMA 2 51.17 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.78 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard ($199.89 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 660p Series 2.048 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($184.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A ATX Mid Tower Case ($72.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Platinum 650 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($137.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1520.59
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-09-29 21:30 EDT-0400
 

PSart

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Thanks for the reply and all the info. However, several sources list Intel as slightly better than AMD when it comes to Photoshop and similar programs from Adobe, for example Puget systems claims to have done research in this: https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Photoshop-CC-139/Hardware-Recommendations. But you might be right that Premiere Pro and After Effects use more of the multi-core which PS apparently doesn't (mostly for a few effects).

I will be buying everything from scratch, btw. I was perhaps thinking about GeForce 2080 Ti 8 Gb but again, Puget system claims the difference is marginal in PS when it comes to a high-end graphics card compared to a mid-level graphics card. Most of the recommendations out there claims to have at least a GTX 1060.
 

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That's an old article and compares second gen Ryzen to the 9900k. There are no third gen Ryzen chips in those charts.

You mentioned Premiere Pro and After Effects, so it seems multi core performance is a consideration.

The 9900k is an 8-core, 16-thread 14nm processor vs. the 3900X at 12-cores, 24-threads and newer/smaller 7nm process for about the same price. With Ryzen 3900X you get higher core count, better power efficiency, faster base memory spec, and the only platform with PCIe 4.0.

I also like that AMD does not make us upgrade motherboards nearly as often as Intel. You can still run almost any Ryzen chip on some very old AM4 motherboards, whereas Intel forces us to buy new motherboards with almost every chip iteration.

Anyway if you are not in a hurry and want the very best, you could wait for the 3950X to come out in November. This will be a 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen processor for $750 that beats Intel's $2,000 i9-9980XE. At that point, Intel will have nothing to compete with Ryzen. It will be a while before Intel can even get 10nm chips in production, while AMD is already on 7nm.

Flip through some of the benchmarks on this Tom's Hardware article and you can see why they picked Ryzen 3900X as the winner:


In a few tests that favor Intel or higher base clock, the 9900K wins by a small margin. In almost everything else, the 3900X wins by a large margin.

Currently Ryzen is the leading platform, evidenced by the die size and PCIe 4.0 coming out on a Ryzen platform, not an Intel platform as it normally has in the past when Intel was in the lead.

They're both good chips and I'm sure you'll be happy either way, just wanted to offer some perspective for consideration.
 

PSart

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I guess your set-up would be cheaper than my Intel-setup?
Probably slightly cheaper, but also more future proof. AMD took the lead with 3rd gen Ryzen and Intel will be playing catch up for the foreseeable future.

Do you use an AMD? Is it stable when it comes to PS, LR, Premiere and After Effects?
I build a lot of systems and I try to use whatever offers the best performance/value at the time. Currently that is AMD, and every system I've built this year has been Ryzen (3rd gen) based. They've all been extremely stable and reliable. probably more so than previous Intel systems. No BSOD's, no choking on multi-tasking workloads, no problems rendering 4k video, they've been rock solid.

The only issue I had initially with Ryzen was memory compatibility. Ryzen is not as good at playing nice with just any memory kit like Intel has always been for me in the past. Once I started buying memory based on QVL lists this was not an issue, but initially I had to return two memory kits because they wouldn't run at advertised clock speeds. The G.Skill TridenZ NEO in my part list above is made specifically for Ryzen 3rd gen and it works flawlessly at 3600mhz, I have that in two systems currently. Whatever motherboard/memory you choose, just make sure they have been tested together and you'll be fine.
 

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