Imagine Your World | PC builds: Custom workstation for image and video editing

PC builds: Custom workstation for image and video editing

May 14, 2015

Atlanta ( I was tinkering with this idea for a while and finally decided to go ahead and build a computer for image- and video editing. Since CPU and GPU power are important when using Photoshop, I decided to settle on the Intel Core i7-5820K Processor and the MSI X99S Gaming 7 Motherboard. An Intel Core i7-4790K (4 cores running at 4.00GHz) and a good Z97 motherboard would have done the job as well, but I didn't want to close the door on fast DDR4 memory. Over the last couple months, the Core i7-5820K came down in price quite considerably, and the X99 motherboard was only marginally more expensive as a Z97 motherboard.

Since I'm not a gamer, I decided that one MSI GeForce GTX 970 Video Card with 4GB of DDR5 memory is enough to satisfy Photoshop. To keep start-up times to a minimum, I use a fast Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" SSD (Solid State Drive). Two partitions on the drive accommodate all the software needed (Windows 7 professional, 64 bit, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, LibreOffice), plus space on the second Partition used by Photoshop as a scratch disk.

I added a Samsung SH-224DB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer, an extra fan to keep all the electronics cool and an existing WD 4 TB drive from my old computer. The Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 ATX Full Tower Case made it easy to put everything together in less than an hour, including a used power supply (Corsair CX 600) and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler from my previous computer.

For backup, I use a very old Pentium Computer running NAS4Free. This Open Source program is not only free, but also easy to configure. Everything came it at about $1,500, it runs very quiet (during the day, the computer is barely audible) and Photoshop runs like a charm, even if I add dozens of masks or combine bracketed images. To keep hackers and viruses away, I connect the computer only once a month to the Internet to patch my software.

I use a second dated computer (I believe from 1998) running Linux to upload photos, send and receive Email and be social (hey, I'm trying). Linux did breath new life into the machine and it continues to work like a charm.