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I am making a list and checking it twice before we hit BF / CM and xmas trade.

I have spent a few days looking at all reviews and specs, focusing on noise in particular, so this is where I am standing with the tech and would like to run this through some new eyes. Perhaps it will be a useful reference point to others too.

Aim: all AMD mid-priced, discreet and ultra quiet LRC + PS and occasional Resolve 17 workstation, ATX form factor.

Spec list v1:
  • CPU: Ryzen 5600x or perhaps some clearance 39x0X bargain. 5800X if I make some savings on other components.
  • Motherboard: Obviously B550 or X570 but no idea where to go from there. WIFI6, BT5 and a decent amount of USB3.2 A and C ports are a must. The rest I have no clue as there are far too many on the market - just make it affordable.
  • RAM: Ideally 2x16GB to start with with another 2 slots in reserve. 3200MHz?
  • GPU: Another ???? Maybe AMD 5500XT 8GB from some clearance sale or used? I'm not sure if LR + PS need that much? I much prefer not to get nVidia as their linux drivers are the same hot mess from 10 years ago.
  • CPU cooler: Be quiet Dark Rock 4 or Dark Rock Slim if clearance is an issue
  • PSU: Be quiet straight power 700W or more? Future-proofing and all that...
  • Case: Fractal design define 7 compact or Be quiet silent base 601 to best accommodate all of the above?
  • SSD: either one of the PCIe gen4 1TB deals or Samsung 512GB 970 EVO Plus as budget option.
  • No spinning HDD. Second SSD will be 240GB Integral for LR catalogs and scratch drive, which I already own, currently in USB3 caddy.
Obviously finding any 5x00X is a bit of an issue right now. I can only hope the next 2 or 3 weeks will change things around.

I have a bad feeling in late 2021 / 22 the AM4 base with the core components will be obsolete as they are likely moving to a new platform. So I will either need to max this out by then and run for a while or sell the CPU-MB-RAM and put another one in.

If intel i9 was on offer for a RIDICULOUS price perhaps I would consider it. I just don't see it happening.
 
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For film scanning you don't need such a powerful PC ;)

Most B550 doesn't have much USB options. My one only have the two USB 3.2 gen 2 10 Gbps from the CPU. If USB ports is what you are after, a X570 is needed.

3200 MHz is currently the sweet spot.

You can make some saving with PSU, I had no problem with an 8 years old mid-range gold rated Seasonic 550w powering Ryzen 3600 and 1070 Ti (a 180w GPU). You'll only need power for GPU these days as I found out when I tried to run 2080 Ti (260w GPU). I think around 500w will give you no issue for the 65w 5600x.

PCIe gen 4 SSD's have a large price premium attached to them. Unless you absolutely need the speed over top tear Gen 3, I'd recommend a gen 3 for now.

Yes, the rumour is that AM4 is on its last generation. Next generation will be on DDR5. But such is life, you can't plug the 5000 series CPU into an early AM4 boards. Upgrade path had been limited to a few generations for a long time.

Biggest factor with noise is your choice of case and fan. I can highly recommend anything by Noctua. I have their D14 for almost 10 years now, they've sent me 2 socket mounting kits and a fan bracket for free. Their fans are well known for their quietness.


Finally, a spanner in the works, you could consider an Intel i9 and not buy any graphics card? Or wait for Ryzen 5000 derived APU. These integrated graphics are good enough to game on, they will certainly be good enough for light production work.
 
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Finally, a spanner in the works, you could consider an Intel i9 and not buy any graphics card? Or wait for Ryzen 5000 derived APU. These integrated graphics are good enough to game on, they will certainly be good enough for light production work.
That lands me in 5900x territory apart from some mega sale. Integrated UHD 630 (2016?) is really not great even for basics but it could buy a few weeks of time... The Xe could be interesting but it's not out yet in the wild.
Ryzen ones are like Vega 7 which is also super old and basic. 4000 series were never made available on the general market. There is no guarantee they will release 5000A / 6000 either for anyone but OEMs. They simply get to sell more standalone cards.

I am just thinking about one of the slightly older and cheaper video cards like 5500 or even Vega 64 under £150 and then see what happens. Nvidia would be 1650, etc if I'm desperate.

Biggest factor with noise is your choice of case and fan. I can highly recommend anything by Noctua. I have their D14 for almost 10 years now, they've sent me 2 socket mounting kits and a fan bracket for free. Their fans are well known for their quietness.
Noctua came up a few times on the list. They have rather a lot from big and fat D15 to much slimmer ones. More choices!

I hope it is a reasonable enough job to install!

PCIe gen 4 SSD's have a large price premium attached to them. Unless you absolutely need the speed over top tear Gen 3, I'd recommend a gen 3 for now.
It is being erased by the day now. Firecuda 520 512MB is already within sensible price range even not on offer. We always get big SSD sales - this is sure to happen. 1TB / £120 would be OK deal (a steal vs apple!)

Most B550 doesn't have much USB options. My one only have the two USB 3.2 gen 2 10 Gbps from the CPU. If USB ports is what you are after, a X570 is needed.
Let's see if we can get some specific options. At least 2x USB-C and 3x A. I still have no clue what all these VRM numbers mean.
 
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The current Ryzen 5000 series doesn't have any integrated graphics, so you'll still need a graphics card. As you are looking at top end performance, I didn't suggest 4000 series Zen 2 (Ryzen 3000 series) APU. and I didn't know they are OEM only! But yes, £150 should get you more than integrated performance. Another option to save money in areas that isn't performance critical components is to go second hand. 1060 or 580 could be had for under £100.

Noctua dual tower cooler and presumably single tower cooler are super easy to install. They all use the same mounting system. I've re-mounted my D14 a couple of times because I have thermal paste to spare, it's just 2 screws.

On SSD price, keep in mind you can get 1TB for £80-90 on Gen 3, I recently bought Corsair MP510 960GB for £80, it's 3500 read 3000 MB/s write, top tier gen 3 speeds.

VRM is voltage regulator modules. They regulate the power for the CPU. Generally more (higher number of VRM) is better. Hardware Unboxed on youtube have B550 roundup of VRM performance, running 3950x, I'm sure they would have done a similar X570 roundup.

Most motherboards provide 1 front panel USB-C and another on the back IO. Is that okay? There is also adaptors you can buy to convert 19-pin 2xUSB 3 type-A connectors into a single 20-pin USB type C for front panel.

Here is a summary of differences between B550 and X570. In your situation X570 makes more sense: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/... chipset,be reconfigured into almost anything.
 
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I have 3 motherboards left on the probable list, based on price and current cashback promotions (i.e. < £ 200)

MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI AMD - £180ish

MSI MPG B550 GAMING EDGE WIFI AMD - £113

ASUS AMD B550 ROG STRIX B550-E GAMING ATX - £160ish

Very difficult choice to make... The obvious question is whether the two premium boards are really worth the extra?
 
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Definitely not the Asus ROG, it's too expensive for B550. All B550 only offer 2 USB 10Gbps ports. Under £130 is what I'd pay for them. I've got a B550m Asus TUF Gaming plus wifi. Paid £325 for bundle with 3600 on B550 initial release, but had £65 cashback, so around £110 for the board.

You wanted a decent amount of USB 3.2 10Gbps (?) ports. The only obvious answer would be X570, which is the first one, giving you 4 rear 10Gbps ports, plus 5 front IO 5Gbps headers.

In short, B550 is supposed to be the budget sweet spot option with just enough connectivity for most people at cut-down pricing. X570 is the premium option giving the most connectivity options.
 
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You wanted a decent amount of USB 3.2 10Gbps (?) ports. The only obvious answer would be X570, which is the first one, giving you 4 rear 10Gbps ports, plus 5 front IO 5Gbps headers.

In short, B550 is supposed to be the budget sweet spot option with just enough connectivity for most people at cut-down pricing. X570 is the premium option giving the most connectivity options.
Yes, it all depends if I end up dumping the guts on ebay about this time next year or upgrade CPU / RAM and keep it for another 3-4 years. Today I have 3 x spinning external USB3 HDDs (2 x photo storage + backup connected about every 2 weeks)*, one small SSD (can also live inside via SATA cable), and a card reader and that's that for next 12 months. That just about fits within B550 limits? In about 24-36 months I would certainly outgrow it, particularly as standards like USB4 come online, and we move towards NVME gen4 external photo storage. Actually, even x570 would do little to help me then, other than accommodate more slow drives. And there you realise that some mediocre a few year old mac is still far superior on connectivity.
Looks like it's a £113 short term build then.

* the reasons for keeping them external are the following: 1. They are external by design. 2. They are whisper quiet except backup drive (hence on and off). 3. I can take them out with me on a job as necessary.
 
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I placed an order for B550 MSI gaming edge + 32GB 3600MHz RAM in the end. It will do for a year provided it turns up.

I looked at the broader picture and the only motherboard that really ticked the boxes, including Thunderbolt 3 was £600 Asrock Creator X570. Interestingly, even on Intel the situation is not much better. Does nobody want fast peripherals and future-proofing at all in the windows world?!
 
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3600Mhz memory is the sweet spot it's perfectly synced to the 1800Mhz infinity fabric.
 
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I placed an order for B550 MSI gaming edge + 32GB 3600MHz RAM in the end. It will do for a year provided it turns up.

I looked at the broader picture and the only motherboard that really ticked the boxes, including Thunderbolt 3 was £600 Asrock Creator X570. Interestingly, even on Intel the situation is not much better. Does nobody want fast peripherals and future-proofing at all in the windows world?!
Pretty much what I've just bought; I went for the Tomahawk thinking "I don't need WiFi"... forgot that means no bluetooth either! - Adapter on the way tomorrow!
 
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I'm getting rather caught up in the PSU selection process. The more I read about it the more questions it opens up.

First problem with almost all of them is terrible efficiency under 10% load, which is where the PCs sit at most of the time. It's around 50% mark meaning it eats about 60W doing absolutely nothing? So that's same as laptop at 100%? Titanium spec ticks that box but sadly costs several hundred too much. Finally there is the new Intel led ATX12VO standard fixing that particular problem just around the corner (OEMs - today and 2-4 years to go mainstream?) so the new expensive old-style PSU sounds like a colossal waste.
Let's say I just pick the middle of the road Gold or Platinum standard as I really can't afford Titanium.

Next is the W rating. This is where it get's quite confusing. I think I can get away with as little as 550W or even 500W with AMD 5500XT card. Problem is I haven't bought one yet, and there is no guarantee I won't pick a more hungry option or perhaps want to upgrade in a few months time. 750W should be OK for most, or so it seems.
Obviously 750 is more expensive than 550 but also that shifts that inefficient 10% much further to the right. Do I understand this correctly that between the same series units the lower Wattage one would be more efficient at normal loads? and whether this can be offset by going for a different brand?

Finally there are all the nice features like zero fan under lower load, all the different brand names and series. Corsair RM / RMx, Superflower Leadex, Seasonic, Be quiet straight power 11, etc...


P.S. What the hell is AMD thinking about it's non-existing stock??! Still zero signs of anything at all in the real life.
 
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Terrible efficiency at very low load is unavoidable unfortunately. As you've discovered, only way is to buy suitably sized PSU. So let's be honest with numbers, are you likely to break the 200w GPU mark? Remembering 5500XT is rated to be 130w TDP. If not, you can safely get a good 500w PSU. 20% of 500w is 100w, which gives 88% efficiency, this is where you'll likely sit for light workload.

I had a Seasonic gold rated but entry level (S12G) 550w for 7-8 years. It ran 970 and 1070 Ti no problem, latter is a 180w card. It only had problem powering the 260w 2080 Ti beast. With the second hand 2080 Ti, I got a 750w LeadexIII, now everything runs well. I can recommend the LeadexIII, it's very well built and has configurable fan profile for silent operation under certain temperature, doesn't coil whine in my combo.

The ATX12VO is unlikely to dominate custom PC market anytime soon because of compatibility issue, most people keep their PSU for 5-10 years. It is mainly designed to cheat efficiency rating by only testing the 12v rails with PSU. It would not change overall system consumption because the other rails still have to come from somewhere, on the motherboard just means not counted by PSU efficiency rating.

To be honest, I think the few percent for Platinum/Titanium isn't really worth it unless your PC is left on all the time.

Zero fan under low load is definitely worth it, especially if you are after quietest possible build.
Also worth getting one with long warranty for piece of mind. Another hat in the ring is EVGA branded PSU's, I hear they have great warranty.
 
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The other thing to watch with cheaper psu’s is that they have the right plug for your intended gpu (got caught out with this earlier in the year when upgrading). There are bodge cables but safety is questionable, you are better off buying the right socket in the first place.
 
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AMD 5500XT & 5600XT (most likely) minimum 550W - https://www.amd.com/en/products/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-5600-xt
GeForce 2060 Super (less likely but ticks a lot of boxes) - 550W - https://www.nvidia.com/content/geforce-gtx/GEFORCE_RTX_2060_SUPER_User_Guide.pdf
AMD 5700XT - min 600W - https://www.amd.com/en/products/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-5700-xt
AMD 6800 (non XT) - min 650W - https://www.amd.com/en/products/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-6800
Will there be a lesser 6000 model? 600W if so? This would be a strong contender.

Chances are today 550W will just about do the job with my probable lower end picks.


It is rather easy to go beyond towards 750W and 850W with just a couple 1 step upgrades across the board.
 
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It all depends on how likely are you to buy 5700XT or above GPU. But remember lesser 6000 model would likely stick with lesser power requirements. It has always been the case, where lower level GPU need lower power and newer generation of similar level require similar power. Efficiency improvement over each generation.

It may be worth going up to 650w to get 2 PCIe cable. Below this, 550w seems to only come with 1 PCIe cable. I think this was my limiting factor when the 2080 Ti tried to draw over 200w from its PCIe connectors, causing voltage to drop below spec. I don't believe 550w itself should have trouble powering the power hungry card because from the wall it measured no more than 450w.

Then, if you are considering super high end processors in the future, it may also be worth looking for PSU with dual-CPU connectors. My LeadexIII 750w gives option to support those high end X570 board or threadripper with 2 CPU power connectors.

But all this headroom would be at expense of a few watts higher idle consumption, as you know.
 
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Then, if you are considering super high end processors in the future, it may also be worth looking for PSU with dual-CPU connectors. My LeadexIII 750w gives option to support those high end X570 board or threadripper with 2 CPU power connectors.
I don't think B550 has this requirement but let's presume the next iteration will. Is that another PCIE-CPU type connector (with or without adapter) or something else altogether? So 4X PCIE-CPU plugs?

It all depends on how likely are you to buy 5700XT or above GPU. But remember lesser 6000 model would likely stick with lesser power requirements. It has always been the case, where lower level GPU need lower power and newer generation of similar level require similar power. Efficiency improvement over each generation.
GPUs seem to indeed present a bit of a dilemma now.

"It's Still a Terrible Time to Buy a Graphics Card":

Their advise is basically wait till you can buy one of the new cards from either AMD or nVidia if / when you can or stick with your current one. They anticipate lower spec and lower powered budget versions, which will likely at least match 5700XT, but not before some time in 2021.
The prices of existing last gen stock are sometimes even higher than RRPs with almost no discounting to be seen. This sounds like a great way to lose money in a very short space of time.

I suppose there is an option of getting a burner sub £80 card on ebay that you can always sell for nearly as much. Rx 550, 560 or even 570-580 come to mind. Nvidia 1050 / 60 / or even 30? Hopefully there are all at least capable of clean 4K60 video playback.

The major problem with used, other than crazy bidding is of course ex-mining cards, anything overclocked beyond reason and even fakes.

That seems to pretty much include everything midrange, particularly with more memory such as 8GB. Evidently, 5700XT, 5600xt, and 570 tick a lot of boxes for that purpose in particular. UK has higher energy prices than most, so maybe this is less profitable to even bother unless you have solar panels? If you get get genuine low use card then fair deal.

Which brings me to another point. What are the particular features that are the most important for photo editing including all the new AI tools like Gigapixel AI, video editing and graphics vs gaming? Most reviews and benchmarks focus solely on gaming and we know its apples vs oranges. I guess RAM might feature very high on the list (5500XT 8GB vs 5600XT 6GB????). Then there are lots of other parameters too.
I note for some reason many workstations come with altogether breed of cards like Radeon Pro VII, WX series, Vega 64 and Nvidia Quadro series some of which are as old as 2017. I am obviously not seriously considering any of that primarily due to cost and some cases ridiculous power draw, but perhaps there is a slightly different spec wish list for editing vs gaming graphics card? Some website even suggested avoiding anything with OC in the name (which is almost everything consumer focused), or bare minimum looking for "studio" drivers.
 
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I don't think B550 has this requirement but let's presume the next iteration will. Is that another PCIE-CPU type connector (with or without adapter) or something else altogether? So 4X PCIE-CPU plugs?
The B550 you have chosen doesn't support this. But if you look at the X570 board you posted earlier, there is a standard 8-pin and another 4-pin near the top, to support likes of 5950x. CPU connector are 4+4 pins, different pin shape to PCIe. 6+2 pin. (one cannot go into another)


On GPU, I had the impression you are not looking at high end? Hopefully someone can answer the GPU accelerated question. What application do you usually use?

I've always owned xx70 or xx80 cards for gaming so never really done research buying for editing photos/videos. At lower end, the price and performance jump from each generation is smaller so it's generally less need to waiting for newer generations. Of course current mid-range like 5700XT and 2060 are due to be replaced soon, so if you are thinking of this level, it is worth waiting a few months.

Mining is not really an issue. I mined on my 970 with excess solar power and it still runs perfectly fine to this day because I know the guy I sold it to. I plan to mine on my current card when next summer comes around. Just make sure the second hand card is dust free and been well looked after. (dust filtered case, not been thermal throttled) These days GPU's no longer run so hot that it'll detach its pins from the board. Back in 8800GTX/280/480 days you might need to bake it in the oven to fix old cards. So reliability of older mined card should not be a big issue, still ask the question, if they don't act funny it should be fine.

I know nVidia have 2 lines of drivers for Geforce, game ready and studio. The only major difference is lack of game profiles in the driver and some very minor optimisations. The game drivers will work with production and studio drivers will work in gaming, albeit not as well. Quadro has more advanced feature like GPU virtualisation so multiple people can use 1 GPU remotely as though they are on their local machine. Unless there are specific features only available on Quadro (unlikely if you are asking the question) you won't need to spend so much for those cards.
 
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The B550 you have chosen doesn't support this. But if you look at the X570 board you posted earlier, there is a standard 8-pin and another 4-pin near the top, to support likes of 5950x. CPU connector are 4+4 pins, different pin shape to PCIe. 6+2 pin. (one cannot go into another)
Ok. So this should do the job then https://www.box.co.uk/Super-Flower-Leadex-III-650W-80-Plus-Gol_2711177.html

On GPU, I had the impression you are not looking at high end? Hopefully someone can answer the GPU accelerated question. What application do you usually use?

I've always owned xx70 or xx80 cards for gaming so never really done research buying for editing photos/videos. At lower end, the price and performance jump from each generation is smaller so it's generally less need to waiting for newer generations. Of course current mid-range like 5700XT and 2060 are due to be replaced soon, so if you are thinking of this level, it is worth waiting a few months.
Yesterday's high end is today's budget to midrange as long as I play the timing right. The AMD 5000 CPU + 6000 GPU combo should have certain exclusive benefits, or so they say on gear websites. Of course I need to wait for the base spec 6000 first, as long as it is not far above 5500XT price point.

Main apps are Lightroom Classic + Photoshop and then more and more Da Vinci resolve if things move a certain way (drone footage, house walkthroughs, etc starting at 1080p 5D3 magic lantern RAW and eventually moving to 4K H265 or even R5 8K RAW). I am not sure if even 5500XT is an overkill for PS, but vide editing must be mad hungry for GPU power. I'm just not sure where you have to draw the line between power and cost.
 
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Yes, the LeadexIII would do the job nicely. 650W is more than enough for around 200w GPU and around 100w CPU plus other bits and bobs. I have the 750w version to power 260w GPU and I plan to upgrade my 3600 to a second hand 5900 when people move on. The fan controller switch is temperature based, I have it set to 1, where it starts when temperature reaches 45-50 and stops when temperature drops below, the fan only spins when going.

The AMD SAM feature on 5000 CPU + 6000 GPU is probably only temporary exclusive. It is a part of standard PCIe spec, called resizable BAR. There's no guarantee but with time it should be available on more combinations. nVidia have said their 3000 series will support it with driver update but hopes AMD platform doesn't actively block it.

nVidia have NVEnc (for video encoding) which is said to be excellent. I know AMD have their alternative, but from reviews nVidia one seems to be much better. Something to consider despite you wanting to go AMD with driver concerns. This webpage seems to show Da Vinci resolve performs better on nVidia cards:
 
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I replaced my Thermaltake with a Corsair RM750i which has been faultless so far. Comes with their LINK software which is quite nice for monitoring (although I prefer HWMonitor) and allows you to create custom fan profiles.

Corsair RM750i LINK.jpg
 
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Well, ebuyer totally messed up my order so ended up cancelling everything. I didn't fancy waiting until well after Christmas and as a result losing cashback too. With no stock of the same items anywhere and no CPU or GPU to be seen I may have to put this project on hold until at least late December, and that may be still wishful thinking. Gear news websites are quoting dates of "well into 2021" for AMD chips :( I can now enjoy staring at my empty be quiet dark base 700 case, which is now really dead quiet! and maybe will order mac mini in the last 5 hours of BF sale.
 
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I'm not really a computer expert but I think gaming specs translate quite well to photo editing now Adobe is such bloatware, if you use that. Mine's three years old now but I've got an Intel i7 7700k processor with a Nvidia GTX1060 6gb graphics card (that's for gaming mainly but can't hurt editing wise), 2 500gb Samsung EVO SSDs. I upgraded the RAM from 16 to 32gb a couple of weeks ago and that's made a huge difference, Adobe does utilise the RAM these days and was really stuttering before. There must be some good deals on gaming computers/editing computers at the minute?
 
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That's another Scan order delayed and even trying to speak with them is crazy slow. I appreciate the variables but we've been in the pandemic long enough now to adapt and Black Friday is hardly an unknown surprise. A little frustrated but thankfully it's not urgent items.

Whilst my current PC is good, I'll probably be building a new PC sooner rather than later. I might go down the AMD route this time, you seem to get a lot for your money.
 
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you seem to get a lot for your money.
if you can get it at all... It seems the order goes a bit like this TMSC ->> 1. Apple (M1) -->> 2. AMD -->> 2a,b XBOX / PS5 -->> 2c Dell, HP, etc -->> 2d smaller builders like scan for their own full PCs -->> 2f ebay scalpers -->> 2g you and me. I wouldn't be surprised if missed someone else in the middle like some snapdragon thing. There is a very quick way to get your hands on (1), but it's quite experimental.
 
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Where in Photoshop did you notice the huge difference?
Everywhere...I work with some big files and lag was infuriating. PS has become such bloatware and Task Manager was regularly showing RAM usage near capacity, I'd read it wouldn't really make much difference but PS is now usable again.
 
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I've noticed this with Photoshop 2020 when loading, it takes a while compared to earlier versions and it's not quite as snappy. Lightroom is typically where I need more RAM but I have noticed that if I'm designing something in PS and have a variety of sources open which I'm working from the RAM does get used up pretty fast especially when it's high resolution stuff.
 
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Everywhere...I work with some big files and lag was infuriating. PS has become such bloatware and Task Manager was regularly showing RAM usage near capacity, I'd read it wouldn't really make much difference but PS is now usable again.
Understandable with large files and especially if the manager displayed near capacity.
 
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Is second hand or last gen parts not attractive? You were going to rebuild in a few years time anyway?

I built my ryzen 5 3600 + B550 + 32GB RAM system back in June, parts were plenty and the whole bundle only costed me £333 after cashback. I plan to drop in 5900x or there about 10+ core CPU when people moves on to next best thing. Like the 2012 i7 2700k before, I plan to use this platform over a long time.
Similarly, I bought my EVGA XC Ultra factory overclocked 2080 Ti for £500 on ebay a week or so after nVidia 3000 series announcement. People were panic selling without seeing the reviews. Now similar cards can only be found way over £650 as 3070 and above stocks no where to be found.


Considering we've had a release cycle and B550/X570 is the last AM4 series. You could buy the motherboard while cashback is still on. Motherboard, coolers and PSU can all be bought safely knowing there won't be a major release/price drop.

RAM and SSD worth wait a bit more, price is stable and we haven't seen the rumoured 10% Q4 fall materialise in retail pricing apart from a few special offers.
 
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Is second hand or last gen parts not attractive? You were going to rebuild in a few years time anyway?
certainly not at around RRP or over. Ebay is crazy at the moment for all sorts of electronics. I watched people bid for SSDs far higher than the buy it now price from the same seller, let alone amazon. Supplies are running very low even for the 10yo PSUs and everyone is fighting for it like the starving for food. Looking back Sept / Oct was definitely more sensible for used components, and likewise was 2019... You just said it.

Now similar cards can only be found way over £650 as 3070 and above stocks no where to be found.
The case I got is used, very good overall condition at first impression, the fans are all installed wrong (OK, i'll fix it in 10min, not a big deal) and a few missing screws here and there. I'm not surprised they sold it since they ran it in a be Rattly! and be Hot! configuration. :LOL: It makes you think twice before getting a used CPU w/o warranty! What if they forgot to use thermal paste?! The new AMDs offer so much more [on paper] to even consider and old one for a saving of just £10-20. Same goes for graphics, although I'd be happy to make an exception for an obvious bargain or sub-£100 temporary card.
I am going to sit on it for next 3-4 weeks, watch the AMD stock levels, wait for Boxing day sales or until it looks reasonable and take it from there. Clearly it would be good to have some idea what are the more reliable retailers as I don't fancy the repeat of ebuyer situation.
If I see a good offer on something like Asus Pro Duo 15" laptop that will be a no-brainer. I will need a new laptop either way. The only question if it will be a top spec do-it-all premium machine or just a supplementary 13-14" mid-specced ultraportable (i.e. Huawei D14 AMD 2020?)

I know 2021 is promising an almost revolutionary refresh of key technologies like USB4 (= old TB3) and DDR5, as well as new CPU sockets and that is also clouding my decision. What happens with Apple M2 and by then maturing platform could be another game-changer (or ipad-style digital rights grabber)

You could buy the motherboard while cashback is still on.
Too late, Ebuyer left me with scraps from the table. Everything half-decent is long out of stock. Now (1/12/2020) the offers are gone, but I'm sure there will be more on the 26th! This time I might instead give Amazon my business all things being equal, and I will want the CPU in the box too. Personally I see the last AM4 as a transitional stop, hence "only" 5600x. Case, SSD, and GPU will be good for next gen, maybe even the PSU, although it is only a matter of time until ATX12VO overtakes. 5V will become far less important with the departure from SATA devices to NVME and the rest (fans?) can be transitioned very easily to higher voltage. Maybe not LEDs but I really don't want any.
 
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...snip...
Clearly it would be good to have some idea what are the more reliable retailers as I don't fancy the repeat of ebuyer situation.
...snip...
Scan is fast deteriorating into hopeless at the moment, even to get online chat has an insane queue. As said, this pandemic is not new and Black Friday should have been planned for better by them. Others are managing perfectly fine so I think I'm going to source somewhere else from now on as the lack of communication is poor.
 
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I found an even better RAM deal today on ebay 20% promo... it's ebuyer again. I truly hope they are somewhat kept in line by PayPal. Perhaps it is the only proper way to shop with them.

re new motherboard this allows me to re-evaluate the situation, and if possible get something with TB3.
Today the choice is fairly minimal. We have Asus B550-E on the same ebay / ebuyer deal at £171. That comes with a just a header. Addon board is required and not everybody can even get it to work. Option 2. Gigabyte B550 Vision D. Currently it is expensive at over £230 but TB should work right out of the box. With some Christmas discounting it could be the top choice.
Asrock X570 phantom rock gaming ITX is an interesting option. It has TB port, but then less of the other connectivity, and no front USB-C. £182 on amazon (regular price, so again worth waiting).
It actually raises a question if it is worth dropping the extra video card, 2nd NVME and even if necessary the extra 2 RAM slots for some possible saving. Most likely these would remain empty anyway.
 
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In today's update, my ebay / ebuyer RAM order has arrived in less than 24 hours beating any expectations. This is obviously the way to shop for PC parts now.

I have to say I'm very impressed with Patriot Viper module design. It looks great without all those flashy lights. Long gone are the days of green nasty boards.

I took a bit of a gamble with the PSU and went for a used be quiet Dark power 11 650 Platinum. It should be perfectly viable and hopefully more efficient than your average Gold with some ££ to spare for other components. Hopefully I don't come to regret this or not getting 750W

Nvidia has now released 3060 card and it pretty much beats anything from series 1 and 2, while being very power efficient. RRP £349 would be doable if I can see the need for it over say 5500XT, but sadly its another paper launch. It's over to AMD again to show their budget 6000 option and ideally release some meaningful stock.

Finally, the Noctua coolers. The real choice is between U12S and U14S (generic versions to ensure they fit the next AMD socket with a new (free) bracket or some Intel). It seems the bigger ones can get in the way of RAM, etc and tend to be noisier as well as more expensive. It's not very obvious from the many reviews which one actually is better.
 
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My Scan stuff arrived today, although I had to fire off a few irritated emails. I'm not sure I can rely on them now though, maybe give them another chance as I do like their website and prices.
 
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The Noctua dual towers can be run with a single fan, I think D15S is sold with a single fan only. When used with only the middle fan, it won't have any compatibility issue and noise level should be similar to any other single fan Noctua products.

I recently bought A15 fan to upgrade my 8+ years old D14, from a 3-pin P14R. Noctua sent me upgraded fan clips for free. They also sent me AM4 mounts and LGA115x mounts for free over my ownership of this cooler. I don't think I'll ever need to buy a new cooler.

Great job getting a platinum PSU. Though do make sure it's not a really old unit that has been powering a system for the entire time. Capacitor aging could reduce its ability to deliver required power. Should be no problem as long as it's in warranty period, which are usually really long for these high spec PSU's.

3060 Ti is a fantastic card if you can get it at that price. Almost 3070 and 2080 Ti speeds for a lot less. It's the card I would have got if I were to buy now.
 
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