Switching from Mac to PC
I worried every day about my iMac. I worried about the creaks, the moans and the fans spinning out of control. It was a refurbished model as I already had one die on me a few years previous, the logic board rendered it useless. As I pursued replacements, I worried about the cost of replacing it as my main workhorse.
Why move back?
I have had experience building PCs, but the last one I built was maybe 10+ years ago. I always loved how I could repair them myself. I thought now was the right time to spend my budget on a new PC rather than wait on my iMac to die and be locked into a box I had no way of repairing myself. I set my budget and began researching and learning. Carefully ordering parts as I could afford them and letting them pile up in the corner of my room. There was definitely a nostalgic aspect of this for me.
I also missed PC gaming.
Case & Motherboard
I wanted a large case that didn't compromise on space, had good cable management and something that looked exceptional. NZXT I came across through gaming forums and it caught my eye immediately. The case I sprung for was the NZXT H710i ATX Mid Tower Case.
The motherboard had to meet my specs of storage, memory and how it fitted into the case. There was cooling, cables etc to think about when choosing a board, not even to begin researching the performance. I went with the Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER ATX AM4 Motherboard which is a fairly high-end board but was not a letdown. Looks and performs great.
Processor and Cooling
I was a fan of AMD previously so decide to stick with it. I choose the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor. It was one of the things that based on price and budget led me to stick with the 3900.
For cooling, I went with the NZXT Kraken X72 Liquid CPU Cooler which complimented my case nicely and has been excellent ever since.
Storage & Memory
So many things had changed over the years regards storage, smaller and faster. This one took a bit of research and my final setup was 2 Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drives. One for my Windows 10 install and the other for my games so both were completely separate from each other.
I have quite a bit of photography and files from over the years so decided on 2 x Western Digital Black 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drives. This gave a nice complimentary storage setup where things were isolated onto their own drives and their speed and capacity matched the context of what I was putting on them.
For memory, there were, of course, plenty of options. I had 4 slots but I know I didn't want to fill 2 of these with something I later wanted to upgrade so opted on 2 x Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB 16 GB DDR4-3600 Memory sticks.
Graphics Card & Screen
The GPU I went with was an Asus GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB STRIX GAMING Advanced Video Card although expensive, it was a lot less than the 2080 and felt I wasn't going to get much more for what wanted it for. It suited me for the casual gaming and 3D work I often did.
Choosing a monitor was difficult as this area had certainly expanded since I originally explored it. The influx of gaming monitors made finding something that would find the right balance between gaming and work hard. If I wanted one for work then I would have gone solely with an IPS monitor. The LG 27GL850-B 27.0" 2560x1440 144 Hz Monitor seemed to strike a balance between IPS and a gaming monitor. It was hard to track down and reviews often mentioned of panel glow in certain areas fo the screen. I seemed to strike lucky with mine and absolutely love it
Most of what I used on my Mac was now available for windows. I use Mamp Pro, VCode, Tower and TablePlus all the time and these were available on Windows 10. I am still stuck in a monthly Adobe relationship for photoshop but I also use ON1 and Capture One for photography. I let go of Sketch and also have Affinity Publisher and Affinity Design at my disposal.
I don't really miss anything from my Mac except for font smoothing. Wow, such a difference. We really are spoilt on how fonts look on Apple products. While I have gotten used to it now, it was very jarring at first.