I'm a Mac user considering switching to PC in order to run Stable Diffusion on NVidia/AMD chips. In addition to Stable Diffusion, I expect to use the PC for Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Blender, streaming media online, and occasionally 4K games on Steam. I was hoping that selecting components individually would be more cost effective than buying a PC off the rack, but I need help completing a build.
For background, Stable Diffusion is a latent diffusion model that can generate images using a text2image and image2image interface. It is very, very hungry for GPU VRAM, and will use as much as is available during diffusion. More GPU RAM means faster image generation. The general advice seems to be to purchase as much GPU RAM as one can afford; 8GB seems to be the ground floor, and the sky's the limit. 12-16GB is decent, but 24GB is best and more capable (or necessary?) for intensive tasks such as generating high resolution images and training a custom model. I've read that the cpu is less important in Stable Diffusion,
With this in mind, I've narrowed my interest to a PC build with either the RTX-4070Ti for a mid-level build or the RTX-4080 for a higher-end build. (Not in consideration: the expensive RTX-4090 which would comprise a platinum build, and the 4060 for a more affordable build.)
It would be great if anyone who knows could clarify the role a CPU plays in diffusion, as going with, say, Ryzen 5 might be a good way of keeping costs low. Would this processor still be suitable for gaming? I think 32GB of RAM is sufficient for diffusion--again, is that suitable for gaming? I'll need a 2TB ssd.
I don't know how to select from among the models and brands available for these components, and am lost on selecting the motherboard, cpu cooling (if needed?), heatsink, power supply, and case. Given the available options, why does one decide to use one brand and model over another? Does the difference in price among brands accurately reflect some difference in overall value? Why pick one thing over another?
Ah, and then there's still the monitor to consider. Keep in mind that if the overall costs grow too high, at the end of the day, another possible route would be to stick with what's familiar, upgrading to a new iMac ($~2000), and renting processing power on a subscription basis to run Stable Diffusion online ($10-$30/month). Open to ideas and expertise!
I'm going to do my best to help and provide some suggestions without bogging you down with too much information.
From what I could find, it looks like Stable Diffusion a pretty heavy workload on the GPU and that just about any CPU that would be good for your gaming criteria should work with it great.
With that in mind, I went to work putting together a build that I think should work great for you. I also have some recommendations for Pre-built PCs and I'll explain in more detail after the Build.
I wanted to meet your criteria and needs you mentioned with parts that both pair well with each other and that I have had good personal experience with (or are well rated and reviewed by other experts online). With that, here is my list I put together for you. I encourage bringing it into the store and going over it with an in-store expert for their expertise and review. They may even be aware of better deals for similar items!
I personally think that an i7 13700K or 14700K is going to get you the best performance for gaming while providing great performance for Stable Diffusion, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.
It has the 4070TI that you mentioned and I think is a fantastic choice (so much so that it's what I run in my personal computer!)
I always recommend Samsung SSDs for storage, I've had a great history of using them and they consistently get great reviews, I think they're worth the bit extra that they cost if you're going to build it yourself.
I'd definitely say the 850W is a good baseline for the power supply. You could get a higher Watt power supply for better upgradeability down the road if you want to make the investment (Power supplies typically have pretty long warranty timeframes).
Everything else is mostly preference, for instance the motherboard needs to be compatible with the rest of the parts but besides that, its really about its expandability and what ports you need etc. I highly recommend again speaking with an expert in store for the best options for these other parts so you can get what you need, like, and for the best price 😃
Lastly, I think our PowerSpec units provide excellent options for you and I've included 3 here based on cost and specs all around what you had mentioned. The links will show you more details and the current pricing.
Low: PowerSpec G515
Ryzen 5 5600X3D - great for gaming, the low core count may hinder the multi-core processes like Stable Diffusion and Adobe Creative Suite
32GB of DDR4 RAM - slower than the DDR5 in other systems
1 TB SSD - would need another 1TB to get you your 2TB total
Mid: PowerSpec G446 - I think this is the best option for you. 👈️
i7 14700K - same as in the custom build above
32GB DDR5 RAM
RTX 4070 - 12GB of VRAM, same as the 4070TI, just a bit slower. Should function just as well as the TI in everything except gaming in 4K but will still be a great card for gaming
High: PowerSpec G471
i9 13900K - the superior choice for best gaming performance, not really needed for your needs, overkill
32GB DDR5 RAM - same as the G446
RTX 4080 - 16GB of VRAM for that higher performance for Stable Diffusion
Overall I think that G446 is the best option for the price, and it comes with the added benefit of a 1 year warranty through Micro Center and being able to walk out with a PC ready for initial Windows setup and that you don't need to put the time into assembling yourself.
I hope this helps! 😁
Thank you for that thoughtful response! The G446 looks temptingly close to what I had in mind, and the ease of being able to buy it off the shelf makes for an easier alternative to shopping for a mac. Just to cover all my bases, I may still visit the store with your build recommendation!
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