PC Spec for high quality digital art in Photoshop?

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I'm hoping there may be some digital artists or pro photoshop users lurking here :)

A bloke I know needs a new PC, he says.
(Let's assume for the moment he wants a PC not Apple.)

He does graphic design - very detailed drawings with MANY layers in photoshop.

(He also does some video editing, livestreaming via discord and stuff like that),

Obviously I'll clarify resolution, number of layers, file sizes etc with him but meanwhile I am tryin to work out what might be the key things to look at.

I've only really been following team AMD recently but am absolutely open to suggestions from team green too.

CPU - I was thinking something like an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X but if there is a worthwhile benefit to another 2 cores then consider a AMD Ryzen 7 5800X.

Mobo - (assume for now DDR4) I'm not sure if there are certain mobos better than others for this sort of work? A B550 of some sort I presume. (I don't know if there is any benefit in this use case for an x570, other than availability of 3 or 4 m2 slots - a luxury rather than a necessity for sure, especially given the price difference).

GPU - am pretty sure that the graphics card makes little difference as long as it meets recommended spec and over-spending there is a waste of $. Certainly I gather CPU performance is much more important. It's pretty likely he can continue to use his existing GPU

RAM - a minimum of 32GB here and probably 64GB.

Storage - at least one 2TB M2 NVME SSD, ideally 2.
(Likely reuse any existing HDDs he has for storage)


Future 'proofing'. He's not the kind of guy that wants to upgrade regularly for the sake of it. Productivity is the focus for him. So he'll want something that will keep him going for say another 5 years without needing a major upgrade.

I'm thinking that there is no real need for him to spec a new DDR5 system and that a DDR4 system will be more than adequate, and much better value for money.


Input / thoughts / advice / experience welcome.
 
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https://www.pugetsystems.com/recomm...-Adobe-Photoshop-139/Hardware-Recommendations is your friend here.

In summary, something like a 5600X or 5800X gives good performance (it mentions photoshop can use up to 8 cores effectively), but the latest ADL processors are on par and slightly faster in some cases due to the higher clock speeds.

If your friend is working on multiple images with lots of layers, then I'd recommend a minimum of 64Gb ram. I went from 16Gb to 64Gb and noticed a big difference when using Adobe photoshop and lightroom, not necessarily much faster, but much smoother and slightly less "sticky" when switching between apps/images. I don't believe faster memory gives value for money benefits using these apps, so I'd go for more of slower DDR4 memory (2933, 3000 or 3200) than more expensive faster memory (3600+).

Storage, seems like you have this in hand. I would be tempted to go for a smaller faster PCIE4 NVME SSD for the operating system and software installs, and a second larger one for "working files" to save a few £ that could go towards an external drive enclosure (USB3) or NAS which can use his existing drives and offer additional storage and automated backups etc. These can offer near SSD speeds from spinning rust drives when deployed with NVME SSD caches, but the NAS/network card may well be limited to gigabit speeds.

For photoshop work, the GPU doesn't make a big difference, other than being recent enough to be supported by Adobe. However, video editing can make good use of faster graphics card for the encoding etc. so maybe consider this as a future upgrade next year when the latest cards have been released and prices have returned to pre covid levels.

Mobo, as he will be using a couple of fast NVME drives and potentially a faster graphics card in the future as well as additional older drives, then an x570 board might be better value longer term with more PCIE4 lanes and SATA ports available, and potentially wifi built in. Look for ones which are aimed at creators, and not gamers as the focus will be more on functionality and ports offered, and less on RGB.
 
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Thanks, I appreciate the input.

The only nvme drive experience i have is m2 ones. Im not sure what a pcie 4 nvme is - although I assume its a card which mounts in the pie slot?

Oh and IF he decides he wants an Intel system based on that link above an Intel's Core i9 12900K appears to be the go, bit what mobo would one pair that with in a productivity example?

Would the two systems be roughly equivalent price wise?
 
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And

And

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I was going to suggest a Mac (Studio) if it's a computer for digital art and little else. Budget around £3k once you've upped the ram, bought a keyboard and some fast external drives.
 
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Thanks - yeah I know NOTHING about Macs so will definitely come back to you if that's his preference.
But I think he wants a PC as he does a variety of stuff including gaming.
 
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