Another "Time to upgrade" - 12900 vs 5950 and motherboards

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dperez Regular Member • Posts: 413
Another "Time to upgrade" - 12900 vs 5950 and motherboards

Its time to upgrade the 6-year-old system.  With Photoshop Lightroom Classic, Topaz, Aurora, Helicon Focus and all the "normal" general stuff, things are bogging down.

I went over to Puget Systems, and they're very impressed with the I7-12900 compared to the AMD 5950X.  I don't have a HUGE preference, but in general I'd be more likely to put together an Intel system unless there are advantages to the AMD.

I'll be using a full tower case because I need the front slots for removable hard drive carriers, want lots of space for the ATX board and cooler and I'd like as many front side USB3 ports as possible.  I'd strongly prefer NOT to have to water cool, and I've got a Noctua NH-D15 that I believe is usable on the 12900 (I'm checking on the necessary adapter).  My current system has been overclocked for the last 6 years, so I'm sure the new one will also be.

I'm going to put in 64GB of DDR5 memory (if I use the 12900, or 64GB of DDR4 with the AMD), and an NVMe, 1TB SSD for the O/S, catalogs, cache, and general stuff.  Images live on a 4TB SSD and I've already got the EVGA 850W PS. GPU is an AMD 5700XT, which should be fine 'til the graphics card stupidity abates - if it ever does.

This is NOT going to be a gaming system, though there may occasionally be a bit of gaming.  I'm looking to optimize speed and efficiency across the board when doing large-ish image processing - things like a 10-12 D850 image panos, faster processing in tools like Denoise AI and AI Sharpen.  And, of course faster processing across the board in Lightroom, Photoshop and everything else.  Video is a possibility so I'll want to be able to handle that well too.

SO...  Looking at cost, performance, overclocking, reliability, etc - am I better with the Intel I9-12900KF or the AMD Ryzen 5950X?  And why?

Motherboards for the Intel CPU seem to fall into 2 camps - expensive, like the $600 ASUS ROG Hero that are full of tweaks for gaming, and less expensive but I suspect not as capable $300 motherboards.  Is there a motherboard that would be optimal for this type of application that's extremely capable, has easy, great overclocking, AND is cost effective or do I just shut up and buy the ASUS hero and be done with it?

Same question for the AMD...  What are the great options for motherboards for this type of setup?  Since the 5950X is limited to DDR4 memory I presume overall it'd be cheaper to build, but not as capable as the Intel (according to Puget).  And is there a really good tower cooler for the AMD?  'Cause again, I'd rather NOT have to mess with water cooling.

The budget isn't unlimited, but neither is it so constrained that I want to end up with a disappointing system...  Thoughts?

Nikon D850
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