Photography Tech Uncategorized

Upgrading my editing rig! Components and Planning

For the past 2 years I have been running a pretty minimal setup to edit my images and manage my stock photography business. My go to computer was a MSI PE70 2QE laptop which sported a I7-4720HQ, 16gb of DDR3 ram, a GTX960M graphics card, 2tb of HDD storage with a 250gb EVO 850 SSD.

Overall it did the job, allowing me to comfortably run Photoshop, lightroom, cyberduck and a browser at the same time. But along came video editing! Encoding, editing and grading video for my YouTube channel as well as 4k stock footage from my DJI inspire 1 became basically impossible! Playback at 4k was at best 10fps in Davinci Resolve 14 and exporting times stretched into the hours, meaning my computer was tied up doing that, and only that for the whole time, a huge bog down in my usual schedule. Add to this that I have recently ventured into gaming, it really seems like its time to upgrade my PC to something capable of performing the new tasks I’ve been throwing at it!

I will be breaking this build into a few different sections (components and planning, the build, and the final performance results) so it is not just a wall of text!

Components and Planning:

With a bit of help from my very tech savvy brother, hours of Linus Tech Tips videos and to many days of research online, I finally created a rig that I believe will work well for my needs!

Motherboard: ASRock AB350 pro4,

I choose this motherboard for a few reasons. First, it has dual M.2 slots to allot for dual M.2 ssds to be installed. Second, it has 6 Sata III ports allowing for lots of HDD to be used. Third was price, I do have a relatively small budget for this build so in the future this board will probably be switched out for something higher end.

CPU: Ryzen 5 1600,

This was a tough decision for me, it really came down to price to performance. I originally planned on using the Ryzen 7 1700, but the savings allowed me to allocate more money to other components. Plus it comes with a decent cpu cooler.


Graphics Card: EVGA GTX970 SSC ACX2.0

I choose this graphics card for one reason, cost! My brother was upgrading his PC and had this card left over which I got for a great price and it will do until I can save up and buy a 1080TI or the latest top end card in the future. It should be capable of playing most of the latest games at 1080p and perform the other tasks quite well.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200 DDR4 (16gb currently, 32gb in the near future)

It’s fast, compatible with Ryzen and I got it on sale! I will run 16gb to start, and in the future I will run 32gb and use part of it as a ram disk.

SSD: WD Black 256GB Internal SSD M.2 PCIe 3.0 NVMe,

With the motherboard supporting the latest M.2 SSD’s this was an easy decision. The new PCIe NVME format will give me great load speeds and an overall boost in performance.

HDD: Seagate 4tb 3.5inch (x 2):

I choose this drive as I have had good performance in the past and it has proven to be reliable and at an  affordable price.

HDD: Hitachi 2tb 3.5inch

This will be my everyday drive which stores my libraries, documents and large program which don’t need to be on the SSD. The final setup will have 2 of these in a raid 1 setup for the initial backup of all my images until they are archived.

Power Supply: Corsair CX600

This is the one regret I have with this build! I wish I went for a fully modular power as cable management would have been much easier! But it will work for now!

Case: Thermaltake Core P3

I this case was a bit of a left field purchase, it’s all open air, and has great cable management and its a very interesting piece that can be showcase on my desk!

From here my project Upgrading my editing rig will be just assembling and testing to see how this setup will performs! Some changes may take place, but I will update the build as it progresses! Stay turned for my updates!


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