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Building a new computer - advise?


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Hi Brian! My husband and I have been trying to put together a list of parts for a new computer for me. Primarily for photo editing, but I do a little bit of gaming as well (nothing overly demanding).  I want longevity out of this thing, but I was also hoping to spend a couple hundred less than where we are currently sitting.  Do you see anywhere I could cut back a little and not lose a ton of performance and longevity? Or, on the flip side, do you see anything here that you think isn't going to cut it and we should change or beef up a bit?  Here's what we have:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8 core
Motherboard: MSI ATX DDR4 AM4 AMD X370 Chipset SATA IIIRAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2x16)
Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB Dual fan
Hard Drive: WD Blue 1 TB  (we will have 3 total, 1 for the OS and apps, and 2 - 1 TB mirrored drives exclusively for photos)
Power Supply: EVGA 500 W
Dell Ultrasharp U2415 24 inch
Windows 10 Home

Thank you for any thoughts/advice you have.

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If I were to change anything on that list, I would purchase a WD Caviar BLACK 1TB drive instead of the three WD Blue ones. They are a higher-grade class and these days, 1TB is not that expensive. (About $80 each vs $50 each for the Blue HDs.) I know you are trying to keep costs down, but it's worth the extra money. Even if you purchased two black drives for the RAID1, would be a better bet.

Oh the difference? Reliability. They also run faster and run cooler. I've been buying WD Caviar Black Drives for years. What ever you do, stay away from the WD Green Drives. Or any other "Eco-Friendly" Hard Drives. The difference between a working WD Green Drive and a dead one is about 2-3 weeks.

How much more for a higher wattage Power Supply? Something like this one? Video Cards and RAID setups can get a little power hungry.

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Thanks for your response.  I'll look into the black drive.  I already have a 1-year old WD blue 1TB drive I was planning to reuse.  What about using that one for the OS and get black drives for the RAID?

My husband used a power supply calculator online and entered all the specific hardware we plan to use, including the tower fans, etc, and it came out to 380-ish W.  He wanted to go with a 400W supply and I rolled my eyes at him (as any loving wife would do, I'm sure) and went with 500.  Do you think it is important to do more than that? I can increase the wattage, but I'm curious about why I should. . . I like to learn.  :-)

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The reason on why you want a larger power supply is that the peak rating (500 Watts, 400 Watts, 200 Watts, etc.) is only meant for short periods, not sustained periods. So 800 Watts gives you a lot more wiggle-room  Do you NEED 800 Watts,?  Eh...probably not but more is almost always better. I have a rule of thumb that I follow with a P/S, is you don't really want to go above 80% capacity with your devices. Remember, it's just not the internal components, it's everything including external devices that get power from your computer  

I tend to have the philosophy of "But it Right, Buy it Once" and that usually ends up being more than what people want to spend. I'm good at spending other people's money. :D  LOL!! 

800 Watts will more than meet your needs now AND 5-7 years down the line if you decide to change / upgrade components. Whatever you do, don't cheap out on your P/S! I wouldn't recommend the $49 off-brand, even thought it's cheap. The main component that affects EVERYTHING in that computer is your power supply. It's like buying a $5000 computer only to plug it into a $12 Surge Protector that's 15 years old because you were trying to "Save  Money."

You stated you want longevity, and that means higher quality / more expensive components. ;) 

Yes, as I stated above, I recommend getting two Caviar Black Drives for your RAID1 setup and re-use/format the WD Blue drive for the OS & Programs. 

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