Cheap pc build for photo editing?

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Nick
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Hey guys, so.. My PC is touch wood great at the moment, it’s a very basic office computer running windows 7 with 100gb memory and 8gb ram, it does the job, it’s quite quick and it’s served me well, I aint in a rush to get another pc as I’ve spend a ton on photography stuff to date and it would have to be if it died on me..

So, if I was to maybe build my own pc, I could choose the things I’d want in it for photo editing and maybe a bit of video, I haven’t much clue about computers that’s why I’ve come here to see if anyone can point me in the right direction so I can plan something for the hopefully far future.

I think building my own would be the way to go as the pre build ones would more than likely have extra stuff that I didn’t really need or want? So what would be your suggestion on the few basic things I need to get up and running?

Sorry it’s a bit long but any help would be massively appreciated.

All the best
Nick
 
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5,510
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Kev
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Hi Nick,

Think the first point is to have a max budget you want to spend. Once you know post back and people can suggest what you can build. Also may be worth waiting till you are ready to build something and the check for prices, and things change . I believe the change is a bit slower if going the Intel route at the mo.
 
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2,156
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Chris
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I have just looked on CCL and their custom build service is free (7/8 working days) or £35.00 for a priority build and they have a 3 year warranty and free delivery.
At those prices I would not consider building one( they built mine and the cable management is a joy to behold its so tidy and easy to work on ) I had win 10 installed from a disc and in 3 years its never missed a beat.
I would ring them up and tell them what you want it for you will get very good advice regarding the components.
BTW I don't work for CCL I am just impressed with their customer service and help when needed.
 
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10,194
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Hey guys, so.. My PC is touch wood great at the moment, it’s a very basic office computer running windows 7 with 100gb memory and 8gb ram, it does the job, it’s quite quick and it’s served me well, I aint in a rush to get another pc as I’ve spend a ton on photography stuff to date and it would have to be if it died on me..

So, if I was to maybe build my own pc, I could choose the things I’d want in it for photo editing and maybe a bit of video, I haven’t much clue about computers that’s why I’ve come here to see if anyone can point me in the right direction so I can plan something for the hopefully far future.

I think building my own would be the way to go as the pre build ones would more than likely have extra stuff that I didn’t really need or want? So what would be your suggestion on the few basic things I need to get up and running?

Sorry it’s a bit long but any help would be massively appreciated.

All the best
Nick
Self build is quite straightforward......but not necessarily cheaper than buying 'off the shelf'.

A PC consists of:-
Case with ventilation fans
PSU
Motherboard
RAM
CPU (the processor)
Graphics card unless or even if the motherboard has onboard graphics
Hard drive or SDD
Keyboard
Mouse
Monitor (if your current monitor is especially old.....(a) it may not have the port for connecting to the PC and hence need an adaptor and (b) potentially no longer be remotely colour accurate, as monitors age the backlight can degrade)
Cables to connect, such as for the drives.
Oh, the OS ;)

Can you explain/say what parts & components you believe are added unnecessarily into commercially built ones? Are you actually refering to the hardware or the 'bundled'(?) software?

Hi Nick,

Think the first point is to have a max budget you want to spend. Once you know post back and people can suggest what you can build. Also may be worth waiting till you are ready to build something and the check for prices, and things change . I believe the change is a bit slower if going the Intel route at the mo.
I agree, do have a budget in mind.

I have just looked on CCL and their custom build service is free (7/8 working days) or £35.00 for a priority build and they have a 3 year warranty and free delivery.
At those prices I would not consider building one( they built mine and the cable management is a joy to behold its so tidy and easy to work on ) I had win 10 installed from a disc and in 3 years its never missed a beat.
I would ring them up and tell them what you want it for you will get very good advice regarding the components.
BTW I don't work for CCL I am just impressed with their customer service and help when needed.
There are indeed custom builders who get good recommendations......I recall knowing an IT Director who regularly bought bulk custom builds from Novatech.
NB Novatech used to (maybe still do?) sell barebones rigs and for some the advantage is that they install the OS and test it as needed before dispatch......for the buyer to then independently install their own extra hardware components.
 
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245
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Steve France
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Firstly for the record, I have my own Computer Business. (only local to the Isle of Wight - no web sales - so not punting for your business)

You titled your thread 'Cheap PC' so I should start by saying there is no such thing (unless its fallen from the proverbial lorry)
That being said I would suggest you start with a good quality motherboard (Asus for example) and the best processor your can afford (Intel i5 are good bangs for bucks) a minimum of 8Gb of fast DDR4 memory and Windows 10. A single 512Gb SSD for Windows\Software and your working files and a cheap 2Tb SATA drive for storage.
Do not worry to much about graphics at this stage Intel HD is OK, a better discrete card can be added later as can more memory and more disks. The same is true for monitors.
LR and Photoshop older versions (pre-net registered) can be sourced quite reasonable on line.

I hope this helps in your deliberations ....
 
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David
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In the past I have investigated building my own PC but it was always more expensive than an off-the-shelf. On the last two occasions I have used PC Specialist where you can choose your components on-line with their help and this is close to custom building except that is will be delivered in full working order and will not cost any more than other solutions.

Dave
 
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Alan
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I bought a new PC in January and I read this type of thread on the Forum. Following the advice that was similar to what you have been given above, I went to a local computer shop in the small town where I live and discussed my requirements with them - for instance I wanted a fast processor and SSD and large hard disc storage but had no need for a pc on which to play games - just internet, Microsoft office, LR and PS. They listened to me, suggested various specs and gave me a price. Within a week of order, it was ready and locally delivered. I had some difficulty with the connection to my monitor, which was entirely my fault, but they had it back for a day and found the reason (again my fault entirely).

The owner did say at the outset that he did work for many people in the local Photo Soc and was aware of specific requirements.

The PC is much faster than my old one and runs all the progammes without glitches.
Just another consideration for you.
 
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937
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Alistair
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I have built my own machine with an 8 core AMD CPU and 16GB of RAM. I built it around a motherboard/cpu/memory bundle that cost me about £300. Then I added a case for about £60, an SSD that was £50. I already had other hard drives to put in and a decent monitor. So without the cost of Windows it was about £400 ish. I have now also spend another £50 on a better heatsink/fan for the CPU and an additional fan.

But for less than £400 you can pick up a secondhand HP Elitedesk 800 G1 or G2 which will have at least an Intel i5 cpu, memory and hard drive, possibly even Windows installed.
Take a look here:
Ebay link HP 800 G2 with Intel i7, 16GB and 240GB SSD and Windows 10 installed for £335. That's a much better and easier option than building your own.
You don't need a special graphics card to begin with, but you can add one later or indeed more RAM and hard drive space.
 
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6,940
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Bazza
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My son and I built my computer some years ago. This was my thought train,
Get a desk top computer case that will allow for extra at a future date such as allowing for extra internal hard drives
Have it so air flows direct from front to back not out the side which can restrict it
get a PU capabable of handling anything we upgraded to a 750w when the 350w just could not handle and more loading
have more than enough USB3 and USB 2ports
have it run silently with bequite fans
A decent mother board
A processor that can handle videos ( at the time of our build not all could easily) I found out an i5 processor may not be able to handle videos so went for the i7 instead
A processe processorgood grapics card
at least 16GB memory
SSD drive
I also wanted a CD/DVD drive
had windows 7 on it at the time


Where we we went "wrong"
to small a PU 350w
noisy fans
not enough GB
originally too small a HDD
Graphics card could not handle car dashboard video playback (jerky)

original build was around£1100 which was a lot of money at the time 8 years ago
However being a self build knowing the components I have been able to upgrade parts over the years with out resorting to buying a new computer.

So it is a question of getting a prebuild with posssable not the absolutely best components to keep the price down and paying for the build, or building your own where you can upgrade as and when required
all this is useless without a decent monitor so I have only just changed mine to a dell IPS 27" model, the Dell 23" IPS previous model still working is now relegated to storage under the desk
 
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2,100
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Brian
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I've built several computers in the past using AMD procesors but the last one I built, specifically for photo editing about 7 years ago, uses an Intel i7 processor.
I notice that the AMD "Ryzen" series seem to be the hot ticket cpu right now so I'm considering building a new system using an AMD Ryzen processor.
I'm slightly out of touch with the computer hardware scene and I'm wondering if anyone has experience of a Ryzen system or can point me to a resource that covers a self-build using the AMD Ryzen processor?,
From what I can see, most of the "off the shelf" systems are intended to be gaming machines, which use expensive GPU's with 3D acceleration, that are far in excess of the graphics cards needed for simple 2D photo editing. I'd also like to use an M.2 SSD for the operating system.
 
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245
Name
Steve France
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I've built several computers in the past using AMD procesors but the last one I built, specifically for photo editing about 7 years ago, uses an Intel i7 processor.
I notice that the AMD "Ryzen" series seem to be the hot ticket cpu right now so I'm considering building a new system using an AMD Ryzen processor.
I'm slightly out of touch with the computer hardware scene and I'm wondering if anyone has experience of a Ryzen system or can point me to a resource that covers a self-build using the AMD Ryzen processor?,
From what I can see, most of the "off the shelf" systems are intended to be gaming machines, which use expensive GPU's with 3D acceleration, that are far in excess of the graphics cards needed for simple 2D photo editing. I'd also like to use an M.2 SSD for the operating system.
This subject has always been hotly discussed, I found this article a useful backgrounder when making my decision.

 
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2,100
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Brian
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This subject has always been hotly discussed, I found this article a useful backgrounder when making my decision.

Thanks very much for the link.
I've moved on from Lightroom, but that's just what I was looking for.
I'll have to study it.
 
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2,100
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Brian
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Ryzen cpu, 16gbs of ram minimum and a 1 or 2 tb ssd.
I just started a build of Ryzen 3700X, Gigabyte X570 UD motherboard and Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM

The OS will be on a 500GB SSD (may upgrade to an M.2 drive soon) and data is on 2 x 2TB conventional drives.
 
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2,100
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Brian
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I just started a build of Ryzen 3700X, Gigabyte X570 UD motherboard and Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM

The OS will be on a 500GB SSD (may updgrade to an M.2 drive soon) and data is on 2 x 2TB conventional drives.
Finished the new build and the system is working well, although it doesn't appear to be noticeably faster than the previous i7 processor set up.
I was eventually forced in to a rebuild since one day the old Windows 7 setup simply would not boot. I couldn't even enter the bios, so it looks like it may be a motherboard failure.

One thing that happened when I tried Win 10 previously was that "Luminar" caused the system to crash, as if the power had been disconnected.
A most strange fault, but with the new setup Luminar runs fine (although it is not my first choice as a raw developer).
There are still some details to fine tune, but next stage will be to go with an M.2 SSD.

In contradiction of the title of this thread, a self-built PC is NOT cheap, but at least you can build it to YOUR spec.
 
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