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Feedback on custom pc build list.


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Hi Brian;

Would you be willing to help me commit to a parts list? I'd love to finally take your advice and ditch my laptop in favour of a robust desktop.

I have a gear list attached, and am ready to order; happy to spend some money to future-proof, but don't want to over-engineer for the sake of it (and I am not sure how to tell the difference). Budget tops out at 4-5k aud, but would be happy to save a dollar to put to a new lens.

Hoping to get your feedback on this list, as pc parts guy isn't a photographer (and I'm no computer parts expert). I'm mainly shooting families and weddings, currently shooting stills on D750's but toying with the idea of a mirrorless upgrade and possibly including video with stills in the mid-future. He's added an ips monitor, but not sure what the latest Dell ultrasharp choice would be...(and recommended monitor size for working at regular desk (800mm deep) and sharing with clients in the office??)

Thank you for all the knowledge you continue to share within this community.


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Computer looks fine.

What concerns me is the NAS. It doesn't list any hard drives and for that price, that's the cost of the NAS unit itself. Get a 4-Bay Model. Trust me. You'd be surprised on just how quickly you kick yourself for getting a 2 bay unit. I speak from experience.

I'd get at least two Hard Drives to start with and here is the Drives that are meant for NAS Units that I would purchase:

12 TB Western Digital Gold Enterprise Grade Hard Drive

Here is the NAS that is on my Amazon Wishlist:

Synology 4 bay NAS DiskStation DS920+ (Diskless), 4-bay; 4GB DDR4

Before you ask, no I don't like Seagate Hard Drives. I personally only purchase Western Digital Caviar Black or WD Gold Enterprise Grade Drives for my stuff. 

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Okay brilliant, thanks for your feedback, I feel more comfortable knowing tech choices are sound. I will add in the hard drives and the 4 bay Nas.


Last questions:

1) Would you include a cloud based storage system as well? If so which one...?

2) Screen: Would you have recommendations? I've been investigating the options between single or dual screens; or even an ultrawide if I could see the benefits (and is the dell ultrasharp good across the board or are there particular models that are better than others?).


Thanks so much for the feedback, ordering parts today and will definitely be contributing to your beer fund ?? 

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The Dell Ultrasharp Monitors have been decent over the years, and I've always recommended them. Truth be told, I have had some members that have had issues with defective monitors, but those are rare. So whomever you decide to buy it from, make sure they have a decent exchange policy. Also, budget for a Calibration Device as well. ALL computer displays need to be Calibrated if you are editing photos.

In addition, it is much better to use either a HDMI or better yet, DisplayPort cable. The difference? DisplayPort is better for 4K Displays, and has all sorts of adapter options. It really is the future monitor connection type going forward. HDMI works fine on 24" and 27" traditional displays. (Non-4k). DO NOT USE A TRADITIONAL 15-PIN (D-SUB / BLUE) VGA CABLE!! That interface dates from 1989 and was only meant for 20" CRT (Tube) Displays and NOT fancy flat-screens.

As with laptop computers, if you are editing photos you must make sure that the Dell UltraSharp contains a IPS-based Display Panel. This is non-negotiable. An IPS Display ensures thing like Colors, Contrast, Sharpness, and Brightness are consistent from edge-to-edge, plus it gives you a greater viewing angle. Be forewarned, not all Dell UltraSharps are IPS based. Some will be labeled UHD but contain TN Display Panels, which is fine for video games and general computer. How to tell? It will be mentioned somewhere in the Technical Specifications. 

Cloud Service is a bit of a misnomer. All the "Cloud" is is someone else's Server / Computer. Personally, I don't use a Cloud Backup other than my Microsoft OneDrive to store REALLY important files. I've heard BackBlaze mentioned a lot, but unless you get the fancy plans, if you delete files from your computer, within 30 days those same files will be deleted from BackBlaze's Servers. So be sure to read ALL the fine-print on whatever Cloud Storage you choose.

Is it necessary? "Eh...it depends." Yes, you do want to have an off-site backup in case of Fire/Flood/Theft (stuff like that.) Floods can come from a busted water pipe in a ceiling or leaking water heater as much as the overflowing river next to a person's property. Is Cloud Storage required? Not in a complete sense. Getting a 12TB EHD to dump all your files off of your NAS and be kept off-site accomplishes the same thing. Or you can choose a Cloud Service. Really, which path depends on your Internet Connection. I'm in an area that has Gigabit Speed Internet (well 941Mbps Down / 40Mbps Up) so it's easy to upload stuff. If you are not in an area that has high-speed, then I probably wouldn't be uploading Gigs of Data at once. Keep in mind, I really don't shoot professionally anymore so my photos tend to be of my vacation photos and such. My wife gets photo-books every year of these trips so if they go, I at least have hard copies. So I might not be the best example. :D That said, I also have realistic expectations and know what I'm doing and am picking my own poison. But I do have a off-site data dump that I make every few months or so and that's kept in my Climate Controlled Storage Unit that's 25 min from my house. 

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