PC update recommendations

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
747
109
Hi all

My PC has quit (pretty sure the motherboard is fried) so I am going to have to update it.

My use will be digital photography (Lightroom and PS), MS Office, general internet use, perhaps use it as a music source. I will run Windows 10. I won't be using it for games, and no interest in overclocking. I value quiet operation, so power power/heat is good.

Not looking to spend more than I need to, but I do want something reliable that will run well for a few years. I don't plan to upgrade again anytime soon.

I will keep existing hard drives, RAM, etc. (RAM is DDR4 should be fine in a newer system.)

My current thinking is one of two options:

1. Ryzen 5 3600 CPU + X470-based motherboard (probably Gigabyte brand). (I'm leaning away from X570 because I gather it runs quite hot ...?)

2. Intel Core i5 9500F (or possible 9600KF) + Z390-based motherboard (probably Asus or Gigabyte brand).

Anyone got any recommendations for me?
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
747
109
An i7 is prefferable along with 16gig of RAM.
Thanks. I have 16 GB of RAM already, so I'll definitely be going with that :)

As for i7, I'm not keen to spend the extra money on it unless it would provide signficantly better performance - and from what I read, I'm not sure I'd see much difference for my use ...? I'm also guessing it would run hotter than the CPUs I mentioned? The Ryzen 5 3600 and Core i5 9500K are both 65 watt TPD, but I think any i7 would be 95 watt or higher?

Any reason you recommend an Intel processor over an AMD Ryzen processor? From what I read, the Ryzen processors are good value at the moment.
 

Joules

EOS RP
Jul 16, 2017
367
287
Hamburg, Germany
Any reason you recommend an Intel processor over an AMD Ryzen processor? From what I read, the Ryzen processors are good value at the moment.
They are, especially if you have are doing something other than gaming on you machine. For applications that are able to use the high core counts, Intel is basically out of the game currently. I haven't checked recently, but last time I did the Adobe applications still didn't benefit too greatly from very high core counts.

I'll upgrade my own PC at some point in the near future and am debating between a 3700X or waiting for the next Ryzen iteration expected to come first half of next year.

Maybe you could give some insight into what specs you were using so far and how that has worked out for you. Or in other words, how much of an upgrade are you expecting?

Also, do you have a graphics card in your current computer that you can reuse? With many applications, having a band one is still a lot better than having just the on board one.
 
Last edited:

Joules

EOS RP
Jul 16, 2017
367
287
Hamburg, Germany
An i7 is prefferable along with 16gig of RAM.
That depends heavily on which i7 you are talking about. Things aren't as simple as 'go Intel and you'll be fine' anymore.

The score only factors heavy tasks like Photomerge in with a 20% weight, which is a little low in my opinion (Merging and alignment of many layers is the time when I feel my photoshop could run faster most often). Still, a good benchmark:


With a score of 915 and price of 195 € the Ryzen 5 3600 is looking like a simple choice against the i7 9700K with a score of 931 and a price of 368 €. Especially considering the fact that at that price point you can afford a Ryzen 7 3700X for 327 € and a score of 964.

And these tests weren't even performed with the super fast memory that Zen 2 prefers. There are still applications for Intel around, but seeing that AMD does hold up so well (it actually dominates the chart and you can bet the new 3950X would sit at the top if they were to include it in an updated version of the test) and that the OP is "Not looking to spend more than I need to", I wouldn't call Intel prefferable.

So could you please elaborate on this, I am looking at buying something new for my self at some point and definitely curious if I'm missing a relevant CPU comparison that makes Intel look more favorable.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
747
109
They are, especially if you have are doing something other than gaming on you machine. For applications that are able to use the high core counts, Intel is basically out of the game currently. I haven't checked recently, but last time I did the Adobe applications still didn't benefit too greatly from very high core counts.

I'll upgrade my own PC at some point in the near future and am debating between a 3700X or waiting for the next Ryzen iteration expected to come first half of next year.

Maybe you could give some insight into what specs you were using so far and how that has worked out for you. Or in other words, how much of an upgrade are you expecting?

Also, do you have a graphics card in your current computer that you can reuse? With many applications, having a band one is still a lot better than having just the on board one.
Thanks Joules.

My old system was an i5-7400 (pretty sure that's the correct model), H270-based motherboard, 16 GB DDR4 RAM (can't remember the specific speed), an Nvidia graphics card (GTX 1050 Ti? GTX 1060?), an SSD and an old school hard drive.

If my old system hadn't died, I wouldn't be looking to upgrade - the old system was still OK, if not great. Basically, I just want to get up and running again, but I figure if I have to go to the trouble of installing a new motherboard, I might as well put in something reasonable by today's standards.

I think I am leaning towards the Ryzen 5 setup ...
 

Nat_WA

EOS 7D mk.II
Aug 15, 2017
685
292
Netherlands
I recently replaced my 8 year old desktop - new system is Ryzen 3700X, X570 mainboard, GTX1660Ti graphics, 32GB RAM, NVMe system drive + conventional SATA data HDD. I built it specifically for silent operation - and it works like a charm at several 100's $ less than a comparable i7 system.
For regular graphics work (lightroom, photoshop and equivalents) it is probably a bit overkill. I could have saved another few 100's of $ by choosing the Ryzen 3600, X470 and 16GB RAM, but history has taught me to aim a bit high (especially on RAM) so the system will last longer ...
If you're not afraid of using AMD instead of Intel - and you're not a hardcore gamer - the Ryzen 3000 series at this moment is the way to go (great performance at a significantly lower price - and with the 3000 series also cooler than the Intel competition for the first time in history ;) )
Good luck and wisdom choosing your next system!
W.
 
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Quirkz

EOS 80D
Oct 30, 2014
177
103
Right now, AMD is also better for future upgrades. In general you’re able to simply replace the cpu a few years later with an upgraded model without needing a new mb.

I have intel right now, but if I were replacing it, it would be with an amd setup without hesitation.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,544
768
Any of the mid range models will be adequate. I built my own pc's for years and years, but finally decided that it was less expensive in the long run to buy a Dell XPS. Over the past few years, I've been buying them refurbished directly from Dell outlet. Like Canon refurbs, they look and operate like new, have the same warranty, but may or may not be a bargain pricewise, you have to watch what is available. After I get one, I add memory, a large SSD, and large spinning drive as well as a upgraded video card. That usually costs less than buying one with what I want.

I have boxes of keyboards and lots of unopened mice because I have my own preferred ones that I just keep using. I don't buy one with a monitor. The last time I bought one they were running under $600, the price has really jumped, so I'm holding off until I get the right deal. I can also get 17% off thru my company, and I've used that deal several times. I have 5 or 6 for my small business and home use.

 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,402
780
My old system was an i5-7400 (pretty sure that's the correct model), H270-based motherboard, 16 GB DDR4 RAM (can't remember the specific speed), an Nvidia graphics card (GTX 1050 Ti? GTX 1060?), an SSD and an old school hard drive.

If my old system hadn't died, I wouldn't be looking to upgrade - the old system was still OK, if not great. Basically, I just want to get up and running again, but I figure if I have to go to the trouble of installing a new motherboard, I might as well put in something reasonable by today's standards.
When are you going to upgrade the next time?

Consider that in two years from now the industry will move to DDR5.

Also, are you sure it's the motherboard and not the power supply that died?
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
747
109
When are you going to upgrade the next time?

Consider that in two years from now the industry will move to DDR5.

Also, are you sure it's the motherboard and not the power supply that died?
Not sure when I will upgrade the next time, but I don't expect to upgrade again any time soon. Whatever I put in now, I expect I will be using for at least 3 years, and potentially quite a bit longer. Will depend on what technological advances there are and how much they cost.

I'm confident it's not the PSU which died. I hooked up a PSU from another computer and it made no difference. I've also put that PSU back in the other computer and the other computer continues to work fine.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
747
109
Thanks to all who have replied.

I haven't read anything to say there is anything wrong with the Ryzen 5 third-gen processors, they seem to be reasonably power efficient (I remember a few years ago the Intel processors seemed to have a significant advantage there) and seem to be good value, so I'm pretty sure I am going to go that way. Apart from photography software, I'm only using my computer for things like MS Office, email and internet browsing. If it wasn't for the photography software, I'd probably just get a cheap-ish laptop and that would do me!