Build Advice New Gaming & Photo Editing Build - Ryzen 5, 7, or Core i5?

martinch

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Hi all,

I need to replace my home PC (an i7-4790K) due to hardware failure (motherboard, I think :(), and would appreciate some advice on choosing between a Ryzen 5/7 and Core i5, together with general component selection.

I would be using my PC for:
  • Games (1440p). I'm mostly interested in single-player strategy games and RPGs, and am generally not interested in modern AAA games. The most demanding games I'd be looking at would be Metro: Exodus, Heart of Chernobyl (if it ever comes out), Chernobylite, Homeworld 3, and Cities: Skylines.
  • Photo editing. I use Raw Therapee (which is highly-threaded) and darktable (which offloads to the GPU), together with GIMP.
  • Occasional programming (Visual Studio 2022) & general home use (web browsing, word processing, etc)
I'm looking to re-use my existing case (Fractal Design Define R4 with 4x 140mm fans), CPU cooler (Noctua U12S), and PSU (750W Corsair RMX [new]). I'll probably look to re-use my existing GPU (GTX 970) until RTX 3060's drop to a more sensible price (they're currently about £450, and 3060 Ti's are around £700...)

My first thought was something like this (PC Part Picker list):
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600 @ £180
  • Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING B550-PLUS @ £125
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB DDR4-3200 (16-18-18-36) @ £60
  • SSD (OS/apps): Crucial P5 Plus 1TB @ £110
  • SSD (data): Crucial MX500 2TB @ £145
I'm not sure if it's worth looking at the Ryzen 7 5700X (+£75) for photo editing and general longevity? Are there any other motherboards I should consider (Gigabyte AORUS, ASUS ROG, etc?)?

I'd also happily consider a build based around a Core i5 (PC Part Picker list):
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 12600 @ £210
  • Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING B660-PLUS @ £175
  • RAM & SSD as above
I'm assuming that the i5-12600 is worth the extra ~£30 due to having around 10% better application performance. Are there any other motherboards I should consider (Gigabyte AORUS, ASUS ROG, etc?)?

Also, I'm not sure if there's a better option than the Crucial MX500? The Crucial P2 is slightly cheaper, but now has QLC and seems slower?

A few personal preferences:
  • I tend not to bother tinkering inside my PCs unless it's necessary, preferring to try to buy something which should last for around 5 years without needing major upgrades.
  • I won't be over-clocking, and I'm not interested in power-hungry parts - it hits 35C indoors over the summer so heating the room up is not desirable
  • Ideally, I'd want a motherboard with BIOS Flashback (or similar) on it
  • My work PC has an i7-11850H & Micron 2300 - I'd be looking for something which feels at least as fast as this.
Thanks for any advice :) (and sorry for the long post - I wasn't sure how to shorten it)
 
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4745454b

Titan
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I think my question to you is why the difference in price in builds? It's not just £30, but £80 are you are buying a more expensive board with the Intel build. That £80 is still more than the cost of the Ryzen 7. I wouldn't even consider the Ryzen 5. Decide between the 7 and Intel. Personally I'd go with the Ryzen 7. But I'd bet either would be great and you wouldn't notice a difference between either one.
 
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martinch

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Thanks for the input! :) One further question, if I may - is there any point switching the MX500 for a Samsung 970 EVO Plus or Western Digital Black SN750? Obviously, the PCI-E 3 SSDs are faster, but I'm wondering if there'd be a noticeable benefit when compared to the SATA SSD given the intended use? I'm assuming not, but I'm happy to be corrected. :)

I think my question to you is why the difference in price in builds?
Honestly? I'm conscious that I've had a habit of over-specifying things in the past, and originally made the list with the 5700X in it, then thought I might be over-specifying it, and replaced it with the 5600. 😊 I'm not building it to a budget, but obviously no-one likes wasting money. :)

Personally I'd go with the Ryzen 7. But I'd bet either would be great and you wouldn't notice a difference between either one.
That sounds like, "there's no wrong answer", which is simultaneously my favourite and most hated type of multi-choice question. :LOL:
 

4745454b

Titan
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I wasn't trying to knock on you or put you down. I just thought it odd you listed an AMD build that was £80 cheaper than the Intel build. Then wondered if it was worth £75 to upgrade the CPU. If you have the money, I'd get the R7. I wouldn't even look at the R5 CPUs.

I'm not sure about your work load, but generally from what I've seen once you are at SATA III with an SSD there isn't much more to be had. Not in real world tests. I was shocked when I benched my SATA II Samsung vs my SATA III 840 pro when I got it. Most load times for levels and games were identical. The 840pro was faster by a second loading a game or level. You could tell either drive against a spinning drive. But if I sat down and someone else loaded something and I had to guess which was faster, I couldn't do it. I know that neither drive is an M.2 drive and that could change things. I do know that NVME drives are faster. But I suspect you'd need a stop watch to tell them apart in real world tests.
 
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martinch

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Gigabyte B660M GAMING X, Intel Core i5-12400F
Thanks - I'll take a look at them :) (although it'd be the non-F CPU for me, as the iGPU can be useful :))

I wasn't trying to knock on you or put you down. I just thought it odd you listed an AMD build that was £80 cheaper than the Intel build. Then wondered if it was worth £75 to upgrade the CPU. If you have the money, I'd get the R7.
I didn't for one moment think you were knocking me. :) (apologies if I gave that impression 😊) It was certainly a fair point. :)

I'm not sure about your work load, but generally from what I've seen once you are at SATA III with an SSD there isn't much more to be had...I do know that NVME drives are faster. But I suspect you'd need a stop watch to tell them apart in real world tests.
That's basically the assumption I was making. :) The raw files from my camera are not that large (under 30MB, and compressed with something akin to zip), so I think any user-noticeable delay is probably going to be related to demosaicing, rather than the actual I/O. I'd hope loading game save files is not going to be that taxing, as they're generally pretty small. :)
 
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Thanks - I'll take a look at them :) (although it'd be the non-F CPU for me, as the iGPU can be useful :))


I didn't for one moment think you were knocking me. :) (apologies if I gave that impression 😊) It was certainly a fair point. :)


That's basically the assumption I was making. :) The raw files from my camera are not that large (under 30MB, and compressed with something akin to zip), so I think any user-noticeable delay is probably going to be related to demosaicing, rather than the actual I/O. I'd hope loading game save files is not going to be that taxing, as they're generally pretty small. :)
Just a couple of pennies worth.

If you go from the 12400 to a 12500 you get a little cpu bump and the better igp.

Sata3 ssd>nvme.
I'm sure this varies by what you do with the pc.
I've run both ways and perf wise I see zip.
Nvme gives you less cable clutter.
 
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