Build is used primarily for photo editing for my wife’s photography business.

Her needs were specific:

Needed a larger screen. - After some research, 32” and 4K seemed to be what amateurs and some pros preferred. The primary drive in going 4K was color gamut. The Samsung chosen covered about 88% of AdobeRGB and 100% sRGB. For the purposes of this build this seemed like a reasonable trade off. Monitors of this size with 100% AdobeRGB were minimum double of my purchase price of the Samsung. This decision also drove the need or the video card. I wanted something to enable 10-bit color later on down the road should she decide on a monitor upgrade. I found a deal on eBay for an Nvidia Quadro k4200. After calibration using a Spyder5 Pro, color was nearly identical to her iMac - which is important as few people print their photos these days and simply view them, most typically on an iPhone. Quick note here: it turns out that some browsers color correct and some do not. For those where color is critical, both Safari and Chrome automatically color correct, Microsoft Edge does not. All that means is after editing, colors might no appear as they do in your editing software in Edge but they will be much much closer in Safari and Chrome.

Speed. - This seemed to be primarily addressed by 3 big components: CPU, memory, and HD. I went as fast as I could afford! Value wise with a Google Express coupon the i5 seems the best choice. For ram, I initially had 3000Mhz TridentZ’s spec’d. However, upon install, I found that they were physically stressing the mobo as the heatsinks were just a touch too thick. Since I am in CA, I found a Fry’s deal on a Patriot Signature set at 2133Mhz. While a major downgrade in spec, the ram appears to be performing great. The ASRock Z370 board had the M.2 interface so I decided to take advantage of Gen 3 SSD tech to increase write speeds. In unison, the effect was a much faster download of RAW picture files form her camera.

This was my first build as many of you could probably tell. I tried to incorporate some style into the build. Thanks for looking! BTW if you have any suggestions on future upgrades that might aid in photography work flow please let me know!

This community has been a great resource on building a PC. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this community!

PS: All pricing reflected includes tax and shipping as appropriate.

Part Reviews


Solid so far. No OC planned but I think I am setup for it.

CPU Cooler

Wow. These things are awesome. Pretty sure the radiator is better than the one in my car. Corsair makes really nice stuff.


BIOS is a very clean interface. Seems fairly user friendly. Recognized all of my components immediately.


Pretty darn fast. Reasonably priced.

Video Card

Had no idea what was going on in the world of video cards when I started this build. These workstation cards seem relatively unaffected. Scored a great deal on eBay to enable 4K and 10-bit display if desired on a future monitor upgrade.


Luckily for me I have small fingers. This was a challenge for me as it was my first build. Several YouTube videos later and I figured it out. Beautiful design. May not be best for efficient cooling. But Man what a conversation starter.

Power Supply

Nice. The SFF for the Phanteks Shift is critical. Fit nicely.

Operating System

It’s Windows. I’m pretty sure he last time I installed it on anything, it was on a CD/DVD. I’m old.

Case Fan

Picked these up because I read that the Corsair ones included with the AIO were not great. These definitely seem a bit nicer quality but in hindsight I probably did not need them.


Wow. I want a mechanical keyboard now. I got the Cherry Mx one. The feedback is so nice. The backlit keyboard is cool and should help with editing since it is typically done in dim setting.


Not as heavy as I thought it would be or as small. Still a nice mouse for the money.

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  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

cool case, but needs cable management.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The cables provided by the Corsair power source were a shade short in some cases. I did have to make some unsightly adjustments. That being said, I wish Phanteks would have made a deeper center channel to allow a bit more for bundling cords together.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Try seeing custom extensions, those will help if you want to buy some.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Will do!

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Quite nice. Nothing too excessive. And i love that case.

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build. I really like it.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks so much!

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Good looking work station! I like that (acrylic?) back-plate. Very nice touch.

Just a note, heatsinks on NVM drives may be counter-productive. Apparently the flash modules, where data itself is stored, prefer to run warm when writing data. They are by design comfortable rising above room temperature. When the modules are not able to get warm as they write, they have their longevity worsen. Don't know how much cooling that heatsink may bring, but as precaution you should remove any thermal-pads besides the ones in direct contact with the controller chip. That way, you can still have a safety measure if the controller somehow(unlikely apparently) is able to get too hot while letting the flash modules get warm enough for their comfort.

That was a summary of what I found in this vid: Do M.2 Heatsinks Actually Kill SSDs? GamersNexus has reliable info. Since its for work, its best for the drive to be reliable for as long as possible.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Appreciate the heads up! I will check out the video. So much information out there. Thanks for pointing it out to me. The backplate I picked up from a Texas company called V1 Tech. It's simple no doubt but a touch I knew my wife would appreciate.