Build / find me new budget editing PC

ionian

Regular
Nov 25, 2016
Whilst I'm not completely clueless, assume I know nothing so please over explain everything.

I need a new editing PC. I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I want a desktop. I have a budget of £500 (yes I know that's low, I'm not expecting miracles). I do not have an operating system. The last time I built a PC was c.2010 - but I do have a tower with a Corsair PSU from that era. I don't need a screen but my monitor is just a basic sRGB 1080p unit. I don't intend to change this at present.

I have been using a laptop with a 1.7ghz dual core Intel processor, 8gb ram, a 1gb Nvidia graphics card and an SSD for the operating system (but not programme files). The processor is a huge bottleneck.

Knowledgeable help is very welcome and very much needed!
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
My elderly macbook is a Core2Duo 2.4Ghz and it arrived with a 5400 rpm drive and 2Gb RAM. I immediately added 8Gb and an SSD and its become usable for everything I do. Its in better shape than my Mac Mini which has an i5 processor at a similar speed, 16Gb RAM and a standard 5400 RPM drive (why on earth do those even still exist??) I need to switch out the drive, I know, Just havent got round to it.

More RAM, SSD and a bucketload of cash needed.
 

ionian

Regular
Nov 25, 2016
I'm shooting the A7iii so 24mpx.

The case and psu is from an old gaming rig that died a death - i used to play a bit but no more. I replaced it with the laptop in around 2012 I think.

From my reading a fast processor, 16gb of ram, SSD drive for software is the way forwards. I'm not sure what effect the gfx card will have with this software - I don't do video editing.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I agree that it's more satisfying to edit on a speedy machine; but at your budget (and as @BrianS indicated) you may be better off buying used - it's not difficult to upgrade from a 2010 machine for little money.

I concur with the i5 route - but would recommend using a site like PassMark Software - CPU Benchmark Charts to find out what a processor can really do; for image processing, single thread performance is very important, just going multi-core doesn't help all that much - but if you do a lot of batch processing, I'd go for a quad core processor anyway. i5 is fine for sure; I still chose an i7-7700 dual core, 16GB RAM and SSD, and it's quite fluid even though it's a middle-of-the-road system. However, my second favourite system is a lot older (2013) and uses a i3-3227U (laptop, obviously) - no complaints about speeds either on that machine, so that's about as "low" as I would go - five years of age, mid-to-high performance at the time of issue.

Crucially, the i5-7200U on my current work laptop provides a very nice experience with "only" 8GB of RAM (ugh, just found out I've let it run out of juice ... oh, well). If you can find such a system, desktops are usually quite a bit more affordable than laptops (I know you knew that ...), so the 600 GBP equivalent I paid for this machine should translate into something akin to your budget ...

Just to emphasise: RAM, as much as possible, and SSD will do a lot for speed as well, don't max out on the CPU. A separate GPU (if feasible) does help as well.

M.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
You could look at an 8th gen i3 system, maybe something on the i3-8350K. The 8th gen i3 is a full quad core CPU.

System Builder - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB SC GAMING ACX 2.0, SPEC-05 ATX Mid Tower - PCPartPicker

A little over your 500, but I added a smaller (but still probably big enough) NVMe in place of a standard SSD and 16gb of RAM instead of 8gb. Of course simply converting $ to £ probably isn't really helpful, last time I looked prices were higher for most of this stuff where you are.
 

ionian

Regular
Nov 25, 2016
Ok I've been having a good look at this. I've found this ready-made build but it doesn't have dedicated graphics:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079VXC4Y3/?coliid=I2PJH5KG35WVPA&colid=2VEGQRK5ZWRPA&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Advantages include pre-build, operating system and warranty. I could add a 2gb graphics card for around €100, or a 4gb card for £130 but I have no idea if these cards are any good with Lightroom compared to the onboard and graphics.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06ZZNGLXY/?coliid=I1NQ4ST3KV5QOX&colid=2VEGQRK5ZWRPA&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079ZW69YQ/?coliid=I25TQ4L8IQ9SIM&colid=2VEGQRK5ZWRPA&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it


Thoughts are welcome as it's all becoming a blur of letters, numbers and stats that I don't fully understand.

Edit to add - compared to the builds you give above it seems similar in specs, but the builds with UK prices are significantly more than the budget and don't include windows, plus I'm a novice at building and would likely need to pay for some pro help.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
That's awesome - thanks @amin. Is there a way to switch it to UK prices? And, as I've been exploring Reddit, I k ow that case isn't available in the UK at the mo. Is there an alternative that is recommended?
Here is a build using their UK site: System Builder - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core, GeForce GTX 1050 2GB FTW GAMING, Carbide Series 88R MicroATX Mid Tower - PCPartPicker United Kingdom

plus I'm a novice at building and would likely need to pay for some pro help.
It's not hard at all. Just watch a few YouTube videos and take it slow. All components are made to fit together only one way. The only delicate part is when you put the CPU on the motherboard - you have to take care not to bend any pins.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
I'm not really that familiar with the Ryzen stuff and how it compares to the Intel. But I would factor in going to at least 16gb of RAM, both LR and PS will use almost as much RAM as you can feed them.

Looks like they want £60 for the extra 8gb in the system you link.

Yes building can be simple. But I'm also a big proponent of people knowing their limits, knowing that they might need to be able to pick the phone and call support or even pick the machine to bring it somewhere and say "please fix this". Yes you often pay more for it, there is nothing wrong with taking that option.
 
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Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
But I would factor in going to at least 16gb of RAM
Okay, here we go: System Builder - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core, Carbide Series 88R MicroATX Mid Tower - PCPartPicker United Kingdom

I dropped the dedicated graphics card and increased RAM. The Ryzen 2200G has an integrated GPU, so he can hold off on dedicated graphics.

I'm not really that familiar with the Ryzen stuff and how it compares to the Intel
I've done builds with both. Most recently I built myself an Intel (8700k) system and my son a Ryzen (2600) system. The best value, IMO, depends on budget and use case. Sometimes Intel wins, other times AMD.

For a sub-$500 build, I prefer Ryzen 2200G to Intel i3 8100, especially if going without a dedicated graphics card. The Intel has slightly faster single core performance, but multi-core is a wash, while the Ryzen costs less and has better graphics.
 

ionian

Regular
Nov 25, 2016
Thanks you guys. Food for thought but I think @davidzvi has hit the nail on the head with the build, it would probably be fine but it does make me nervous and if something goes wrong I will have no clue.

Yes, the 16gb option seems to be better on the above link, and the pre-installed OS would avoid another cost and hassle that will come with a home build.

Can anyone advise what I would lose by not having dedicated graphics? I believe I could add one in the future...
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
Okay, here we go: System Builder - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core, Carbide Series 88R MicroATX Mid Tower - PCPartPicker United Kingdom

I dropped the dedicated graphics card and increased RAM. The Ryzen 2200G has an integrated GPU, so he can hold off on dedicated graphics.



I've done builds with both. Most recently I built myself an Intel (8700k) system and my son a Ryzen (2600) system. The best value, IMO, depends on budget and use case. Sometimes Intel wins, other times AMD.

For a sub-$500 build, I prefer Ryzen 2200G to Intel i3 8100, especially if going without a dedicated graphics card. The Intel has slightly faster single core performance, but multi-core is a wash, while the Ryzen costs less and has better graphics.
Think I built my system 6months (?) before you did. I went with an i5-8600k figuring the 6 physical cores probably match the 4 physical / 4 logical of my old i7-2600k.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
Can anyone advise what I would lose by not having dedicated graphics? I believe I could add one in the future...
If you go with a Ryzen 3 2200G processor, you won't lose much. It's not as good as dedicated graphics for gaming, but for the money it is a good performer. Yes, you can add a dedicated graphics card in the future.

Going with the pre-built, you get a better price and warranty but lower quality components (slower RAM, probably a cheaper PSU and motherboard) and lose out on the fun of doing a build. It's not a bad option either way.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
Actually, if you were going to buy a dedicated GPU at the outset, it would be worth getting the Ryzen 2600 (no integrated graphics but more cores) rather than 2200G.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
I've ordered the pre-build - I spoke to them at the end of the day and talked it through. Thanks for all the help, sorry to wimp out on a home build ;)
The fact you were able to call and speak to a live person that was willing to actually take the time to go over it with you says something.
 

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