New PC Build

Back in 2012 I built a PC around the Intel i7 3930K 6-core/12HT processor which I have been using ever since. While it’s still a strong PC, especially with the upgrades (GPU, SSD) I made, I’m starting to feel that editing photos isn’t as snappy as it used to be. I am also curious in how well the new generation of CPUs lend themselves to VGA passthrough. In short, I’m considering building a new PC.

Hardware considerations

My previous PC build using an Intel 3930K on a X79 motherboard – though not inexpensive – has been a good investment.

Today there is a much wider choice of passthrough-capable CPUs. The  analogy to the i7-3930K would be something like the Core i9-7920X on a X299 motherboard. However, as long as Adobe doesn’t improve multi-core performance, faster single-core performance will be a better choice for photo editing. This is probably true for a gaming PC, too.

A popular CPU is the Intel i7-8700K. But the latest and greatest is the i9-9900K on a Z390 motherboard. The AMD Ryzen is yet another possible choice, but less intriguing to me.

This time I lean towards a CPU with an integrated iGPU that will be used for the host. A dedicated GPU will serve either the Windows VM, or a Linux gaming VM, as needed (see my post here).

Once again, I want to build a PC that will last for many years, and will be able to deal with ever growing demands.

Price Considerations

The i9-9900K is currently the best choice for use with Adobe Lightroom, as shown in benchmarks. Second to that is the i9-9700K. Here the current prices:

  • Intel i9-9900K – ~$580 at Newegg (price varies greatly)
  • Intel i9-9700K – ~$410 at Amazon
  • Intel i7-8700K – ~$360 at Amazon

As to the motherboard, I’m considering:

  • ASUS ROG Strix Z390-H Gaming LGA1151 – ~$190; or
  • ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard LGA1151 – ~$190
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO
  • Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE

I have no experience with ASrock, but given the fact that ASrock had been responsive to VGA passthrough support requests, I will consider them too.

Do you have suggestions? Then please leave a comment below!

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