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Need advice to upgrade or build new system

I originally built my 1st system about 10 years ago. I upgraded it 3 years later and have been running with this rig for the past 7 years. I am totally out of touch with what the latest/greatest parts are and need some help to get started.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.:Within the next month

Budget Range: $1000 - $1200 for a new system; less if upgrading

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Picture editing, regular workstation tasks (email, web surfing, MS Office); NOT gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Don't know yet; have an old Acer H233H that's still working fine


Parts to Upgrade:
Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale Dual-Core 2.93 GHz LGA 1156 73W BX80616I3530 Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics
GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
COOLER MASTER SAF-S12-E1 120mm Case Cooling Fan
BFG Tech GeForce 7600GT DirectX 9 BFGR76256GTOCE 256MB 128-Bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card
COOLER MASTER Centurion 532 RC-532-SKN1 Black Aluminum bezel, SECC chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Seagate BarraCuda 7200.10 ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular
Western Digital Scorpio Black WD2500BEKT 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard

Yes, I know - a dinosaur

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: In the past bought primarily from Newegg and Amazon

Location: VA, US

Parts Preferences: No preference
Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080,

Additional Comments: Using Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, MS Office
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Started getting BSD several times a week and it's getting annoying. Have a USB attached WiFi Netgear adapter and each time there is a BSD, I have to reinstall the Netgear software
29 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice upgrade build system
  1. An i5-8600K, with a Z370 motherboard, 16GB (matched set of two 8GB DIMMS) RAM, a 1050ti video card, and a 500GB M.2 SSD. Keep your power supply, and case. You will get 6 physical cores, and 4X RAM. That will make significant differences in photo editing. 32GB RAM (matched set of two 16GB DIMMS) if you can find a good deal and work on large RAW files.
  2. kanewolf said:
    An i5-8600K, with a Z370 motherboard, 16GB (matched set of two 8GB DIMMS) RAM, a 1050ti video card, and a 500GB M.2 SSD. Keep your power supply, and case. You will get 6 physical cores, and 4X RAM. That will make significant differences in photo editing. 32GB RAM (matched set of two 16GB DIMMS) if you can find a good deal and work on large RAW files.


    Many thanks for your response.

    I started looking at the suggested components and didn't realize that there are lots of 1050ti video cards and lots of Z370 Mobos.

    The prices are all over the spectrum. Do you have suggestions on specific manufacturers? ASUS/Gigabyte/??? for Mobos, Nvidia/EFG/??? for video card? What about the RAM? Manufacturer, speed, etc?

    Thanks again for the help.
  3. Something else to consider is a Ryzen 1600 or 1700 with a B350 board.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($197.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($87.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($369.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial - MX300 275GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.89 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: MSI - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card ($157.99 @ B&H)
    Case: Inwin - GT1 White ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Optical Drive: LG - GH24NSC0B DVD/CD Writer ($16.88 @ OutletPC)
    Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($92.99 @ B&H)
    Total: $1190.69
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-12-15 14:59 EST-0500
  4. Best answer
    Most of the choices don't make much difference in the end. Performance is similar (+/-5% for most motherboards).
    I did a quick pick, assuming the reuse of your case and power supply and OS.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($300.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-U9S 46.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($58.35 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($111.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill - Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($169.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung - 960 EVO 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($240.00 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($159.89 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1041.19
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-12-15 15:27 EST-0500
  5. kanewolf said:
    Most of the choices don't make much difference in the end. Performance is similar (+/-5% for most motherboards).
    I did a quick pick, assuming the reuse of your case and power supply and OS.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($300.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-U9S 46.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($58.35 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($111.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill - Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($169.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung - 960 EVO 500GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($240.00 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($159.89 @ Amazon)
    Total: $1041.19
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-12-15 15:27 EST-0500


    Many thanks for your help.
  6. logainofhades said:
    Something else to consider is a Ryzen 1600 or 1700 with a B350 board.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($197.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($87.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($369.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Crucial - MX300 275GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.89 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: MSI - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Video Card ($157.99 @ B&H)
    Case: Inwin - GT1 White ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Optical Drive: LG - GH24NSC0B DVD/CD Writer ($16.88 @ OutletPC)
    Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($92.99 @ B&H)
    Total: $1190.69
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-12-15 14:59 EST-0500


    Thanks for the suggestion. Will definitely look into this as well.
  7. Couple of questions now that I've been researching the suggested builds.

    For my purposes, photo editing and general workstation tasks, does it really matter whether I choose AMD or Intel?

    Also, one suggestion was to use G.Skill Ripjaws V 32gB DDR4-3200 memory and another was for G.Skill Flare X 16GB DDR4-2400. For my usage, how important is the speed of RAM? I think I will end up getting 32GB for working with RAW files.

    I looked at M.2 ssd storage and see that the Crucial MX300 525GB is around $140 on Amazon and the Samsung 960 EVO 500 GB is $245. Obviously they cannot be the same. I looked at the benchmarks for both of them and the Samsung leaves the Crucial in the dust. Again, for my purposes, which is the better value for me?

    If I need wifi on my build and the mobo doesn't have it, is the best way to get it by using a PCIe card or can I get away with using a USB adapter?

    Thank you for your help.
  8. I picked 16GB RAM to fit into your budget. 32GB is better. 2400 speed RAM is cheaper than faster RAM. It is always a trade off. I, personally, don't feel that you have to push every component to the extreme config. 2400 is a safe, stable speed. Not the fastest not the slowest, kind of "Goldilocks".
    For you, storage speed will be important. The review of the Crucial MX500 on Tom's front page today, might be a good way to go. Get a 250GB M.2 for your OS with a lower cost Crucial and then get a 1TB MX500 for your data drive. Both of which will blow away your mechanical HDDs.

    If you can't use an ethernet cable, my next recommendation is look at powerline network adapters. Only get WIFI as a last resort.
  9. Thank you kanewolf for your suggestions. I looked at the Crucial MX500 article and it does seem like the way to go. I especially want to thank you for the recommendation of using a powerline adapter. I ordered the TP-Link AV2000. I am looking for it to help me with my current problem of having to reinstall the Netgear USB adapter software each time I get a BSD. Is there a reason you recommend Intel vs AMD or is it just personal preference? I've always used Intel, but am not opposed to switching if there is value there.

    Can I ask you one more question. I've been looking at storage and am getting confused between the terminology. I know there are PCIe and SATA SSDs, but don't know where M.2 and NVMe fit into all this. Is there a simple explanation?

    Again, many thanks for your help.
  10. SATA and NVMe are access protocols. M.2 is a form factor, just like 2.5 inch. Those four attributes can be mixed-and-matched. You can get a 2.5inch NVMe or an M.2 SATA. BUT, most M.2 disks are NVMe and most 2.5 inch are SATA. NVMe is a protocol that can be mapped onto PCIe. That is where the performance improvement happens. The bandwidth on SATA limits the perofmrance of SSDs today. PCIe and NVMe have a higher bandwidth interface.
  11. kanewolf said:
    SATA and NVMe are access protocols. M.2 is a form factor, just like 2.5 inch. Those four attributes can be mixed-and-matched. You can get a 2.5inch NVMe or an M.2 SATA. BUT, most M.2 disks are NVMe and most 2.5 inch are SATA. NVMe is a protocol that can be mapped onto PCIe. That is where the performance improvement happens. The bandwidth on SATA limits the perofmrance of SSDs today. PCIe and NVMe have a higher bandwidth interface.


    Thanks again for your help. The Crucial 1TB MX500 you are recommending is a SATA drive and the 250GB M.2, you are talking NVMe, correct?

    Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you are not answering my question re: Intel vs AMD?

    Thank you very much. You've been extremely helpful and I appreciate it .
  12. I am not ignoring your question. I indirectly answered it by picking an Intel system for my parts list. Most software has been optimized for Intel CPUs. It usually is faster. It definitely has better memory latencies. With that said, I have a Ryzen system at home. If you build a balanced system, with either brand of CPU, using top end parts it will be WAY superior to what you have today.
  13. Thanks again for the suggestion to get a powerline network adapter. Just got it today and it's working really well.
  14. Finally ready to pull the trigger. Seems like prices fluctuate quite a bit. CPUs went down, while video cards shot up quite a bit.

    Can you please let me know what you think of this build.
    PC primarily used for general office work and RAW photo editing.

    PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/kzgGXP
    Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/kzgGXP/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor ($239.89 @ OutletPC)
    CPU Cooler: *Noctua - NH-U12S 55.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($57.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: *MSI - Z370-A PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($111.88 @ OutletPC)
    Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($326.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: MyDigitalSSD - BPX 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Crucial - MX500 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($249.99 @ B&H)
    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card ($239.98 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1356.71
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-03-05 15:29 EST-0500
  15. That config should be fine for you.
  16. kanewolf said:
    That config should be fine for you.


    Thanks for your response. Appreciate it.

    Is it worth saving $50 by getting a Crucial MX500 250GB boot disk rather than the MydigitalSSD? Crucial is SATA, the other is NVMe.
  17. dcerny said:
    kanewolf said:
    That config should be fine for you.


    Thanks for your response. Appreciate it.

    Is it worth saving $50 by getting a Crucial MX500 250GB boot disk rather than the MydigitalSSD? Crucial is SATA, the other is NVMe.


    Not in my opinion. Take advantage of the performance options.
  18. dcerny said:
    kanewolf said:
    That config should be fine for you.


    Thanks for your response. Appreciate it.

    Is it worth saving $50 by getting a Crucial MX500 250GB boot disk rather than the MydigitalSSD? Crucial is SATA, the other is NVMe.


    Might want to look at the Samsung 960 evo as well.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820147593
  19. Deleted
  20. kanewolf said:
    dcerny said:
    kanewolf said:
    That config should be fine for you.


    Thanks for your response. Appreciate it.

    Is it worth saving $50 by getting a Crucial MX500 250GB boot disk rather than the MydigitalSSD? Crucial is SATA, the other is NVMe.


    Not in my opinion. Take advantage of the performance options.


    Many thanks again for all your help.
  21. logainofhades said:
    dcerny said:
    kanewolf said:
    That config should be fine for you.


    Thanks for your response. Appreciate it.

    Is it worth saving $50 by getting a Crucial MX500 250GB boot disk rather than the MydigitalSSD? Crucial is SATA, the other is NVMe.


    Might want to look at the Samsung 960 evo as well.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820147593


    Thank you for your suggestion. Will take a look at that as well.
  22. Nvidia is supposedly going to announce their new line soon, so graphics card prices may go down... I just don't know if/when.
  23. electro_neanderthal said:
    Nvidia is supposedly going to announce their new line soon, so graphics card prices may go down... I just don't know if/when.


    Thanks for the tip.
  24. As I was getting ready to buy the Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card at Newegg, I noticed that there are 2 different models of this card; ZT-P10510A-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 and ZT-P10510B-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0, The 2nd one has dual fans. Which one should I be getting? They are both the same price on Newegg. The "B" model (also known as OC) is $20 cheaper than the "A" model on Amazon. Thanks in advance.
  25. dcerny said:
    As I was getting ready to buy the Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card at Newegg, I noticed that there are 2 different models of this card; ZT-P10510A-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 and ZT-P10510B-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0, The 2nd one has dual fans. Which one should I be getting? They are both the same price on Newegg. The "B" model (also known as OC) is $20 cheaper than the "A" model on Amazon. Thanks in advance.


    Dual fans usually cool better, so that's probably the way to go unless case space is really tight. But there's only a 1" difference in length so that probably won't be an issue. Fans will also probably run slower, so quieter, too.

    And, if your motherboard is capable of more than 75W on the PCIe, you can probably overclock better (if you care to do that).
  26. electro_neanderthal said:
    dcerny said:
    As I was getting ready to buy the Zotac - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Mini Video Card at Newegg, I noticed that there are 2 different models of this card; ZT-P10510A-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 and ZT-P10510B-10L 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0, The 2nd one has dual fans. Which one should I be getting? They are both the same price on Newegg. The "B" model (also known as OC) is $20 cheaper than the "A" model on Amazon. Thanks in advance.


    Dual fans usually cool better, so that's probably the way to go unless case space is really tight. But there's only a 1" difference in length so that probably won't be an issue. Fans will also probably run slower, so quieter, too.

    And, if your motherboard is capable of more than 75W on the PCIe, you can probably overclock better (if you care to do that).


    Appreciate the quick response.
  27. Quick question and I apologize if I am in the wrong forum for this. So I bought the MydigitalSSD BPX 240GB NVMe drive to use as my boot disk (see above for the list of my build). I also bought the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD to serve as my data disk. Crucial comes with Acronis software to clone my drive. MydigitalSSD doesn't have any clone software. Does that mean that I have to install the OS and any other software that I already have on my current boot drive from scratch? I own Win 7 software that I upgraded for free to Win 10 when Microsoft offered the free upgrade. How do I get my Win 10 on my SSD if all I have is the Win 7 install disk?
  28. dcerny said:
    Quick question and I apologize if I am in the wrong forum for this. So I bought the MydigitalSSD BPX 240GB NVMe drive to use as my boot disk (see above for the list of my build). I also bought the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD to serve as my data disk. Crucial comes with Acronis software to clone my drive. MydigitalSSD doesn't have any clone software. Does that mean that I have to install the OS and any other software that I already have on my current boot drive from scratch? I own Win 7 software that I upgraded for free to Win 10 when Microsoft offered the free upgrade. How do I get my Win 10 on my SSD if all I have is the Win 7 install disk?


    This question is probably better off getting its own thread. And some paragraphs would help people understand (all that text is like a wall, it's a bit confusing to see it without visual breaks). Good luck, I hope you get the response you need.
  29. electro_neanderthal said:
    dcerny said:
    Quick question and I apologize if I am in the wrong forum for this. So I bought the MydigitalSSD BPX 240GB NVMe drive to use as my boot disk (see above for the list of my build). I also bought the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD to serve as my data disk. Crucial comes with Acronis software to clone my drive. MydigitalSSD doesn't have any clone software. Does that mean that I have to install the OS and any other software that I already have on my current boot drive from scratch? I own Win 7 software that I upgraded for free to Win 10 when Microsoft offered the free upgrade. How do I get my Win 10 on my SSD if all I have is the Win 7 install disk?


    This question is probably better off getting its own thread. And some paragraphs would help people understand (all that text is like a wall, it's a bit confusing to see it without visual breaks). Good luck, I hope you get the response you need.


    Thanks for the suggestion. Just created a new thread on the storage forum.
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