Designing the right system for the current scenario is a core element of our mantra at Top Flight Computers. If you don't get the right parts, it doesn't matter how much you spend on your computer...you'll be stuck with expensive hardware that doesn't work well with your situation.
Photoshop CC Workstation Overview
This Photoshop CC Workstation is built around the high-powered Intel i5-9600K, providing a high amount of single-core speed, making it ideal for the vast majority of Photoshop CC tasks.
Processor (CPU): Intel i5-9600K
We chose the i5-9600K for its very high single-core performance and competitive price point. The i5-9600K also has a competitive multithreaded performance, which is helpful in situations that can use several CPU threads. NOTE: Changing from a 9600K to a different, higher-end CPU, can give you access to more memory at the cost of single-core speed. Sometimes, this extra memory is worth the CPU speed hit, as it saves you from having to re-render content. This can be very helpful when working with a very large project.
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC12DX Black
To ensure that the CPU remains cool under load, we've selected a very good aftermarket air cooler. While water cooling does cool better than air does, a big air cooler will do quite well when leaving the CPU at stock settings. Air coolers are also more reliable, as they don't have a pump that can fail. If the fan on this air cooler fails, the system has enough internal cooling to allow you to quickly order a new fan, and finish your work. That being said, higher-end closed-loop liquid coolers do come with very long manufacturer warranties (upwards of 7 years), so the failure rate is extremely low.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 GAMING X
Because this system requires a high degree of reliability, we chose a high quality motherboard from Gigabyte. This motherboard has adequate power delivery, a simple visual design, two PCI 3.0 slots, support for multiple M2 NVME drives, and up to 64GB of memory.
Memory (RAM): Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-2666
We went with 16GB of Vengeance LPX memory due to the extremely high quality of the internal chips. This setup will give the user plenty of room for open applications. Photoshop can use large amounts of memory during certain operations, and with certain filters and effects enabled. As Coffee Lake Refresh is a dual-channel DDR4-2666 platform, the system is more stable by using 2 DIMMs of DDR4-2666.
Storage (Hard Drives): HP EX920 512GB NVME + HP EX920 1TB NVME + WD Red 2TB HDD
The main storage NVME SSD, project/caching NVME SSD, and archival HDD were chosen for their high capacity, relatively low cost, and high reliability.
Video Card (GPU): Gigabyte GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
The video card was chosen for its large memory capacity, ample CUDA cores, and support for 4K resolution. This video card has a very capable aftermarket cooling solution, and will prevent any sort of thermal throttling from taking place. We do recommend having at least a GTX 1060, as CUDA acceleration in Photoshop CC is growing as Adobe adds support.
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400 Tempered Glass
The case was chosen for its high build quality, room for plenty of high-end hardware, and incredible amount of cooling potential.
Fans: 3x Phanteks PH-F120MP
We have selected a set of high-quality pressure-optimized fans to ensure sufficient airflow in the case to keep the system stable under heavy load. Having high quality fans also means less noise, even when the fans are spinning at high RPM.
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550W
The power supply was chosen for its high build quality, ample power capacity, and respectable thermal efficiency. Upgrading the wattage will potentially make the fan run slower, creating less noise overall. A higher wattage PSU than necessary will also prolong the life of the unit, as it isn't being operated near peak load. Using a high quality power supply means better power delivery, and cleaner power. Messy power can result in a system failure, corruption of data, or even a hardware crash.