Photography/Video Editing Build


Hi, first time builder here!

Looking to build out a strong kit for photography/video editing. Might get the team at MC to build or do myself. Key programs right now are Photoshop and Lightroom. Do want to start doing more video editing once I have a more powerful machine.

I don't do any gaming, don't care about RGB components.

Budget in the $1500-2000 range.

Given my applications, CPU and memory (RAM and OS Drive) tend to be the most important. GPU helps PS by about 40% on some operations but doesn't require a high-end GPU. Need 6-10TB of storage (could be external for redundancy).

It won't let me and my newbie status post a link to my build unfortunately. Here is a parts list I spec'ed:

CPU: Intel - Core i7-13700K Raptor Lake $379.99

MB: ASUS-Z790-A Prime WifI $309.99

RAM: G.Skill - Trident Z5 RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5-5200 PC5-41600 CL40 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit $169.99

Case: Corsair - 4000D Airflow Tempered Glass ATX Mid-Tower $93.99

PS: MSI - MPG A750GF 750 Watt 80 Plus Gold ATX $99.99

GPU: MSI - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Overclocked Dual-Fan 12GB GDDR6 $359.99

OS Drive: Samsung - 980 Pro SSD 2TB M.2 NVMe $179.99

HD: Seagate - BarraCuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA III $49.99

Build price $1643.

Key building blocks

I7 Raptor Lake 13700K. i9 Raptor Lake is likely overkill and not worth the price delta for me. i7 Raptor Lake may be a bit of overkill as well but would like this to last 5 years.

32GB min Fast Ram – DDR5. Will likely expand to 64 down the road. DDR5 currently doesn't seem to offer much of a performance improvement but considering it for future proofing.

OS Drive - 2TB M.2 NVME. Might drop to 1TB to save cost. 

Hard Drive – 2TB SATA III. Might increase for photo storage or go with external drive backup system. 

What I’m not sure about and could use your help`:

GPU- Having a GPU helps in Photoshop/Lightroom, but don’t think I need anything high end. Spec’ed a RTX3060 but think I could safely drop this down. Suggestions?

Motherboard  - I’m a bit clueless about. Seems a lot of the DDR5 motherboards are in short supply. Spec’ed a MSA Z690-A one, but open to suggestions. Would want support for 3 monitors, a few hard drive connectors, etc.

Case - bit bewildered by all of the options. Spec'ed a mid-tower ATX. Would take a smaller case if it worked. Have an optical drive from my current system that I'd move across.

Need for cooling - not sure if given my application liquid cooling would be required. Wouldn't be hours of sustained CPU activity. Would I be okay with fans, or would I need an AIO solution?

Thanks in advance,



  • Yingdong

    Although you said you want to be future proof, I still advise you to go with 12700k + ddr4. As microcenter do have this promotion of buy a 12700k get a free d4 board:

    If you can grab it this is going to save you like 500 bucks as currently d5 boards and ram are ridiculously pricey, while 12th gen i7 is more than powerful to do the job.

    For GPU if you are going into 4k/6k/8k editing vram bandwidth is vital, you would need this 192bit rtx 3060.

    For cooler either a dual tower air cooler or 240/360mm AIO should handle 14c20t i7 fine.

  • Deepsee64

    Thanks for the input. Looks like the promotions are all long gone though, but still good food for thought.

  • Yingdong

    Just so you know, they do constantly restock these bundles, at least they do at my local centers

  • swsdc
    I would for sure stick to DDR4. Since you are on a budget, and you would prefer quantity over speed, I would get either a 2x16 kit at 3600mhz or a 4x16 kit at the same speed. You will save considerably on ddr4, and still get very similar performance. Unless you plan on upgrading the graphics card to a PCIE 5.0 card in the future or using a ton of ssd storage I would stay away from Z790 and stick to Z690. You may even be interested in the Asus ProART z690 board. Unfortunately the board is somewhat pricey but it includes 10 Gbps networking and ssd support as well as thunderbolt for docks. This may be useful to you, because you could build or buy a NAS for future storage concerns. I used this similar strategy with two Xeon E5 CPU’s I bought used off eBay, but you could always just go for something like a Synology. If you aren’t interested in a separate machine for storage, I would definitely stick with the 2TB ssd and consider a decently large hard drive for backup storage (4-8tb). This way you don’t run into any storage issues. Premiere pro can create some massive files.

    hope this helps a little bit. 


    look into z690 proart motherboard for its 10Gb Ethernet and a possible NAS
    Get a 2tb ssd with a large 4-8tb hhd.
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