Is there anything glaring that I am missing?
Yeah, far more important than anything else is to make sure you get yourself a hardware calibrator for your screen if you don't have one yet. That is another $150 or so for a basic device but is absolutely essential. Also, don't skimp on the monitor. If you on the order of what you calculated for just the hardware for your PC, you are probably about in the right range. Another thing to consider is that a lot of reports of extreme slowness in Lightroom on this forum are from people that build monster machines themselves and find out that it is slower than a much lower spec'ed off-the-shelf machine. That usually happens for machines with very large numbers (i.e. >8) of cores and absolutely top-of-the-line graphics cards though and this i5 4 core machine will probably work fine but others probably have more feeling for that.
Thanks for the reply Jao. I have never used a calibrator and will take a look.
As for monitors, I am probably looking to spend around 400 USD max for a single 27" monitor and I will add a second one down the road. Since I do not make any money from my photography, I cannot justify spending a thousand dollars on a monitor. If/when I start generating income from this, I would consider upgrading.
Thanks again for the feedback.
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You should be able to find a fairly good quality monitor for that price. I was more cautioning against skimping on that part and getting a $100 monitor. They are invariably not very good even with a calibrator. If you want to save some money, many local camera clubs have a calibrator that they share among members. That might be a good option as you only need to calibrate once in a while.
That's a great idea to look into borrowing a calibrator. There are a few universities very close by as well as a camera club. I also have a neighbor who shoots who might like to share one.
I typically don't like to use cost as a metric for quality, but I definitely agree that 100 USD is too little for a monitor if it is being used for photography, even for a non professional. Thanks again.
You might want to reconsider your CPU. I think an i7 would be a better choice.
Hi Jim - Thanks for chiming in. Can you elaborate? What makes an i7 a better choice other than the obvious fact that it is a better processor? Do you have any information that would support the extra expense? I guess what I am asking is why you think that the i5 would be the bottleneck here?
Everything looks fine from my point of view. Although I might go with an i7 CPU and a standard HDD instead of the SSHD which is one of those hybrid SSD+Spinning drives. No need for that if you have a real SSD for the OS and programs.
Also I go with the Pro version of Win 7. I've never used the home version and never will. To limited in certain areas.
I agree with Jim Hess, if you are going to spend all that money, don't get a CPU that is relatively below average by today's standards. Get a faster 4-core CPU, such as the i7-6700k. Your CPU has a benchmark of 7860, that's not really fast by today's standards, the 6700 has a benchmark of 11044. I think that the CPU you have chosen is a major mistake.
Also, there's no point in getting a 2TB SSHD Gaming drive for your photos, the speed of this drive doesn't affect anything (other than a trivial amount that you will not notice). A relatively slow 2TB HD for the photos will work just as well.
Lastly, there's no point in getting this incredibly top of the line graphics card unless you are going to get a 4K (or larger) monitor, and you haven't told us what monitor you are going to get. Again, this graphics card is a waste of money unless you pair it with a 4K monitor.
NOTE: All of these statements are for LIGHTROOM ONLY. If you plan on running other power-hungry software on this computer, then perhaps the requirements change.
No, unfortunately I cannot give you any specifics. Curiously enough, I am only using an i5 processor. I have been told by computer techs that the only way I could improve the performance is if I had an i7 processor. I'm running on 8 GB of RAM. I only have two slots. I was thinking of upgrading to two 8 GB memory cards, but in doing research my motherboard will only accept 4 GB cards. I suggest you make sure your motherboard will accommodate the memory you are considering.
Considering everything, I'm relatively happy with the performance of my computer as far as Lightroom is concerned. I occasionally do some rather large (in my way of thinking) panorama/large area stitching projects. The most I have done to this point is an image consisting of 18 24 MP images. Lightroom processes them OK, but it takes about 5 minutes to do the stitching.
If I was going to get another computer I would definitely want an i7 processor, and I would also make sure the memory could be expanded to what I feel I need.
I guess what I'm saying is just make sure your components are fully compatible. A lot of people seem to go all out to build a supercomputer for Lightroom use. They load up on RAM, as high as 64 GB, get the most expensive motherboard available, and yet get lousy performance from Lightroom.
One thing that makes 99% of i7 CPUs better than i5 CPUs is in most cases the i5 does not do hyper-threading (at least it didn't use to. Not sure about the newest versions).
The one thing you don't want to do is get a CPU with more than 4 core. It seems LR has problems with CPUs that have more than 4 cores.
Added another thing I observed. Others might disagree with me, but I found that moving to Windows 10 was an improvement. Personally, I wouldn't want to build such a nice computer and then put Windows 7 on it. That's just my opinion, and is worth about as much as you paid for it.
Thanks for jumping in folks. A couple of things that I have encountered during my research.
1) The i7 hyper threads which is of no use to a Lightroom user. Sure the benchmark is higher, but what does that translate to in terms of direct measurable performance to a LR user? It's only an extra 80 USD, which is not too much, so I will certainly consider it. But $80 for something that will never get used seems like a waste. I guess if I am even thinking of getting into video it would be good to have it on standby. I may have just convinced myself right there LOL.
2) I agree that my GPU is overkill. I am stuck in a chicken and the egg loop here. I am trying to decide on a monitor setup. I know I will eventually end up with dual 27" monitors. Since I am targeting the $400-500 range for monitors, I doubt they will be 4K. If someone has a recommendation for a more economic GPU, I am all ears. Adobe recommends (for Nvidia cards) 760 or higher or 960 or higher. The 1060 I have listed was the same price as the 960, but its newer. Hence I choose the 1060 since it will get me more life.
3) I fully intend to move to a better version of Windows. I just happen to already own an unused copy of Win7 Home and plan to use it to save some cash until I have a need to upgrade.
4) Regarding my monitor predicament: I am currently looking into the following monitors. I would love to hear from anyone that has used these or who has a specific recommendation in the $400-500 range. The BenQ looks like a great monitor, but it has no reviews. The rest of BenQ's lineup has great reviews, so it's still on the table. Bear in mind that I have always used sRGB and have no plans to move to Adobe RGB.
The BenQ SW2700PT was my initial choice and has great reviews, but I believe that the extra $200 is only to get the light shield and Adobe RGB color space. I have no use at this time for Adobe RGB and hence I downgraded my BenQ option to the PD2700.
If you read this far, thank you.
Since I do not make any money from my photography, I cannot justify spending a thousand dollars on a monitor.
But you can justify spending it on other hardware?
People always underestimate the importance of the monitor. I can't imagine why. It is the only thing in the whole system that has a direct impact on the quality of your work - everything else will just do the exact same thing a little slower or faster.
The monitor is the single most critical piece of hardware you buy.
Most monitor manufacturers compete for the highest possible paper specifications at the lowest possible price. To get there, they cut corners on the things that are not in the specs - but are in fact crucial. Panel uniformity, for one thing, can be horrible in those brands you mentioned, but it doesn't show up in the specs, so they get away with it.
There are only two manufacturers who deliver consistently high quality: NEC and Eizo. You're always safe there, they have a reputation to protect. Double your monitor budget at least, and save on the other components.
Don't trust reviews. Those units are always "kindly provided" and hand-picked. Trust reputation.
Hi D Fosse Thanks for the input. When I say "reviews" I am referring to Amazon reviews. I know it's not a perfect metric, but I usually buy a little more confidently when there are many (i.e. hundreds) of good (i.e. greater than 4 stars) reviews. Unfortunately it is a mixed user base, so I weigh the rating accordingly. The 2 brands you mention certainly do have a reputation. Maybe for the 2nd monitor (adding a few months down the road) I can look into it.
I don't think I have $500 worth of margin built into the current parts list that I could tease out to spend on the monitor. And I have heard too many stories of people having a $500 monitor next to a >$1000 monitor in which they say that the average person would not notice the additional detail. To me, that's chasing the the last "20" in the 80/20 rule.
Do you see someplace in my parts list where I am significantly overspending? Thanks again for looking.
1) The i7 hyper threads which is of no use to a Lightroom user.
It may be of little use in Lightroom today, but when the next major upgrade of Lightroom is available (possibly in the next 6 months?), Lightroom may make use of hyper-threading. Or it may not, you don't know. But many operations in Lightroom are dependent on CPU speed, it simply makes sense to get as fast of a 4-core CPU as you can afford, and skimp on other things like the disk speed of the disk where your photos are stored. As I said earlier, there's no need for a hybrid SSHD to store your photos, the speed improvement will be so trivial you will never notice the effect of putting your photos on the faster disk in Lightroom.