New PC specs


New member
May 1, 2020
I'm new so if this has been answered elsewhere, feel free to just point me in the right direction.
I'm designing a PC primarily for image processing with PixInsight. Someone else is building it for me so don't assume I know anything techy.

Do I need a scratch disc?
Do I need a solid state hard drive?
Is this a sensible monitor choice? HP Pavilion 32 QHD Monitor, 32 Inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440), 100 Percent sRGB Colour, USB-C (DP 1.2), HDMI, DP, Black
Any comments on the choices below?
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU, 12 Cores, 4.6GHz
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB Graphics Card
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S AM4 CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard: Asus Prime X570-P Motherboard
  • Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Memory (2 x 16GB Sticks)
  • OS Drive: 500GB Seagate Firecuda 520 M.2 PCIe Gen 4 Solid State Drive
  • Solid State Drives: 1TB Samsung 860 QVO Solid State Drive
  • Secondary Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB BarraCuda 7200RPM Hard Disk
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX650 80 PLUS Bronze 650W PSU
  • Internal Card Reader Drive: Akasa 17 in 1 3.5" USB 3.0 Internal Card Reader
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Anti Virus Software: Bullguard Internet Security - Free 90 Day Licence
Many thanks for any help.


PTeam Member
Nov 23, 2009
definitely go for SSDs. you can put the PI swap area on the 1TB samsung SSD; that will give you the best performance.

i don't know about the monitor, i havent shopped for one in like 10 years now.
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Active member
Jan 19, 2008
I have also recently built a PixInsight processing machine machine:-
x570 MoBo
Noctua NH-U12A (4 fans - 2 on the CPU heat sink and 2 in the case)
1G FireCuda PCIe g4 OS disk
Ryzen 3950 cpu
64GB Ram
Linux KDE desktop
A bunch of SSD/Rust spinners and a Corsair TX650 PSU from my donor machine

I found the best performance for my setup under Linux/PI was to allow the PI swap files to be held in RAM with the FireCuda drive containing the OS.
Amazingly the FireCuda was not much slower than my RAM, so it may be a option to put a partition on your OS PCIe disk for PI to use as its temp file. This will keep as much Ram free as possible for Windows and image manipulation etc.
The FireCuda benchmarks much faster than a Samsung EVO 850 SSD on my machine, but the EVO is much quicker than any of my Hard Disks.
The Samsung QVO drives slow when their write caches fill up according to the reviews so that may be something to consider.
I also installed a windows 10 Partition to run the Ryzen Master software to tune the processor/MoBo, however strangely, optimizing for the prime 95 stress test using the Ryzen Master utility slightly reduced PI's performance so in the end I am running with standard Ryzen settings.
The Ryzens 39xx's like to be kept cool, normally my setup is very quiet but when PI is heavily multithreading it makes the fans spin up for a few tens of seconds or so until the task is completed.
My existing monitors did not need replacing so I cannot really help here, but plenty of screen area and 100% sRGB coverage looks very nice.
I hope this helps
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Pompey Monkey

Aug 17, 2015
Looks like a good set-up.
The only two comments that I can make are:
Consider increasing the RAM to 64GB or more. If you have this much, then a 48GB+ swap on a RAM drive will make the machine super fast.
Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. This will probably save you headaches in the future!


May 20, 2012
I've also built a similar system recently:
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CPU, 12 Cores, 4.6GHz
  • Graphics Card: ASUS RX570 4GB Graphics Card
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12A AM4 CPU Cooler
  • Motherboard: Asus Prime X570-Pro Motherboard
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 32GB DDR4 3600MHz Memory (2 x 16GB Sticks)
  • OS Drive: 500GB Samsung 860 Evo SATA Solid State Drive
  • Swap file SSDs: 2x 250GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 3.
  • Secondary Hard Drive: WD Blue 1TB HDD
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM650 80 PLUS Gold 650W PSU
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
It's quite a step up from the i7 laptop.
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