Custom Computer Build for Photo Editing for 2019

Buying a new computer is a serious investment for any small business owner. And if you run programs such as Lightroom, Photoshop, or play MMORPG games online (when you’re not working hehe) then you need a computer that can handle those big programs with ease. There will always be the big debate between whether to get a PC or a Mac. In my opinion the best option is to build your own custom PC. It is more affordable and you can get better specs building it yourself as opposed to buying one prebuilt. The other advantage of building your own PC is that your new computer will be very easy to upgrade which extends the life of your new investment by many, many years.

 
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The computer I recently replaced is a computer my brother helped to build back in 2012. In 2015, I spent a few hundred dollars to max out that computer since it was still upgradeable and at that time that decision was within my budget. This year I noticed that when I was in Lightroom it was running slower. And when I would pull up Task Manager it showed that it was running my CPU and Memory close to 100%. When I would do brushwork within Lightroom it would take several minutes to spot heal one image and sometimes it would stop working.

Old motherboard with Lightroom running

Old motherboard when trying to do brushwork in Lightroom

 

My husband’s birthday is February 15 and he decided he wanted to build a new computer for himself. He is a big gamer so after doing his research we went to a computer parts store here on the island and saw they had everything he needed to build his computer. While we were there I saw his exact tower in a white. And I was sold! After making sure he knew how to put one together without burning the house down, haha, I bought the same computer build for myself soon after while Ryan was flying one day. The important computer specs you need for gaming are also great for those who work in Photoshop and Lightroom.

 

There are many videos out there online that will help you to build a computer. It honestly isn’t as hard as you think. You don’t need any special tools or knowledge. You just have to take your time as your doing it and go slowly. The part I ended up getting stuck on is connecting the power, audio, and tower lighting to the motherboard. Those connections are tiny, even for my little fingers, and go in a certain order in order to work. So definitely double-check your work on those connections.

 

After your tower is built and you confirm it works once it’s connected to power then all you have to do is install the Operating system via USB drive. Make sure you buy and upload the Operating system before you start building, especially if you are reusing any old computer parts. And if your motherboard came with a drivers install CD you can also copy that over to the USB drive to install as soon as the Operating System is installed.

 

And that’s it! You are ready to download the programs you use and start working on your new computer! From start to finish it took me 6-7 hours to build and install everything on my new computer. And I am not a professional computer builder by any means.

 

Now here is a screenshot of the Task Manager with Lightroom running on my new build. And the image next to it shows how it’s running while doing brushwork. Much better by far!

New motherboard with Lightroom running

New build while doing brushwork in Lightroom! So much better!

Another thing Ryan did for my computer is overclocking it. Both of the images above is after he has overclocked my PC. Overclocking is essentially making your computer run faster than the normal specifications of the computer. Before my computer ran at 3.7GHz. Now it runs at 5.0GHz. Which is crazy fast and after some testing it is still doing that within normal limits as far as CPU temperature and other factors. Pretty cool huh?

So now I guess you’re wondering how much this new build cost me. It is in the range of $1500-$2000. And with tax season we were able to cover the costs of a computer with our tax refund! We bought on island at a computer parts store so we paid a little more for convenience. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about computer parts being shipped or getting lost if we were to ship from the States from Amazon. But if we were living Stateside I would definitely have bought from Amazon and saved us more money! Below is a complete list of my computer build and the corresponding links to Amazon for easy access! Happy computer building!

 

Computer Tower

White Enso PC Tower aka the reason I built this computer in the first place haha!

 
 
 
 

CPU

I7 8700k CPU - very important in photo editing

 
 

RAM

Gskill 16gb ram - at minimum for LR and PS you need 16gb RAM

 
 

Operating System

Windows 10 Download

 
 

Graphics Card

GEForce GTX1060

 
 

Solid State Drive

I remember when these were so expensive! Now you can buy a 1TB SSD for around $150! Crazy!

Samsung SSD 1TB

 
 

External Hard Drive

4TB Seagate External Hard Drive - Must be portable when editing galleries while traveling

 
 
 
 
 
 

Before I built this PC I had already switched out my monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse to all white. I did order these from Amazon. You can find them here:

Monitor

White Asus Monitor

 
 
 
 
 
 

If you are looking for a computer build at a lower or even higher price then I highly recommend checking out this article that helped me find the computer parts that made the best sense to me:

https://turbofuture.com/computers/Build-Photo-Editing-PC

Leave a comment below if you’ve ever built your own computer or what is holding you back from doing so?

 
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