I'm a hobbiest photographer too that likes to game a little.
Sorry, this is going to be a long post!
I recently built a 5820K system myself and so far I like it a lot.
For photo and video editing you want as many CPU cores as you can afford. Since you only game a little, that 5820K is no slouch. No, it won't eek out every little frame rate like a quad core with a higher clock rate will, but with that GTX 980, you won't care, it will game plenty well. It also overclocks decently too if you care about that. Unless you are gaming on 4K resolution with games that really tax a system, you could step down to a GTX 960 or 970 and do plenty well. I went with a 960 and it runs the games I play at full settings without a hiccup, and typically at 80+ FPS. Then again, I'm only running a pair of 22" monitors at 1080 resolution. If you have big monitors at 4K resolutions, then yeah, the 980 or above might be what you need/want.
X99 is a robust chipset. I purchased an ASRock X99 Extreme 4 mobo on newegg for $189 with a $20 mail-in rebate. Loving it so far. No need for any of the "gaming" labelled motherboards with extra crap you don't need or want. They also like to hype the capacitors and throw around all sorts technical jargon to make them sound super. Unless you have a need for some specific technology on a board, even the lower end boards perform just as well as an expensive one. In fact, if you read up on mobo testing, you'll find a real-world performance difference of only + or - 2-3%...between brands, expensive and cheap, etc and that's within the margin of error, so statistically, there is no difference.
Personally I'm a fan of ASRock boards, but I know that's a dodge/chevy/ford argument, so whatever brand you like will most likely be fine.
I agree on the m.2 SSD, they're relatively new and have some known overheating issues. If you really want SSD based boot drive and a separate SSD scratch disk, I'd go with a pair of the Samsung EVO drives. The 850 EVOs are excellent drives.
I assume your pair of 3GB drives in RAID1 is your back up/storage array? Personally, I'd recommend a NAS for storing your photos and then follow that up with a more permanent solution for stuff you want to keep forever. Why the need for another serial based 500GB drive too?
I'd go for a pair of Samsung EVO disks (boot and scratch), a NAS for storage and M-DISC capable Blu-ray burner for permanent storage/backup and forget about the RAID array and the other 500GB serial drive. Use that money you'd have spent on that and put it into a nice NAS.
You can get a simple, single disk NAS for as little as $129, or you can spend up to whatever you want in terms of features, RAID ability and capacity. A NAS has a lot of advantages over internal disks in your system.
I personally have a WD CLOUD 4GB NAS ($149). It's a single disk system, but it's addressable over my entire network, wirelessly or hard cabled, and also has ability to share out folders so I can access them over the internet from anywhere in the world I have a connection. The share is secure, so only I can get into it. Handy for showing photos to others from anywhere.
If you want something more reliable than a single disk set up, you can get a multi-disk NAS that has built in RAID capability too, along with other features, like built-in web servers, etc. All depends on what you want to spend. Many of the nicer ones are just the NAS box and you purchase and install your own disks, so you have control over total capacity. Do some googling on them and check them out.
As for permanent storage, M-DISC is the new thing. Well, it's been out since around 2010, but it replaces "standard" DVD and Blu-ray media with a new technology. Regular disks use a reflective layer on the media covered with an organic dye. Your burner burns through the dye to record data. The problem is, that dye, being organic, continues to degrade over time. We were told back in the day that recordable disks will last 100 years, but we've found that to not be true. The dye is very susceptible to sunlight and now life expectancy for these regular disks is only 3-5 years if left laying around on desks, etc. Maybe 10-15 years if stored in a dark place.
M-DISC replaces the organic dye and reflective layer with a mineral based substrate. You literally etch the data in stone. The substrate is impervious to sunlight, etc. They claim these disks will last 1000 years, and it's only because of the plastic covering of the disk will eventually oxidize. The U.S. Navy and library of congress have tested these disks and they are tough. They're switching/switched over to them for their long term storage. Google it and read up on it. pretty amazing stuff.
M-DISC does require a special burner/drive as the laser has to be more powerful and a different wave length to burn the disks, but they aren't terribly more expensive than regular drives. I paid $89 for mine. The M-DISC media is pricier than regular media too, but are currently on-par with the per-megabyte cost of a cheap hard drive, so it's worth it. I bought a 5-pack of 100GB M-DISC media for $62. These are burn once only disks, but knowing my photos and data are good for generations to come, it's worth it to me.
I do my photo editing, then save the raw and the post-produced photos to my NAS. Once I build up enough photos, I then burn them to an M-DISC for permanent storage.
Forget water cooling if you won't be doing any serious overclocking. Definitely forget those crappy little all-in-on water coolers. Those things are real pet-peeve of mine. They're selling you a system that performs, at best as good as a decent air cooler (usually worse), charging you more for it and adding the risk of a leak and adding more noise. (I'm really going to preach on this as I hate to see people waste money on something they don't need or thinking it will magically do something).
The thing to remember is this: No matter what cooling system you use, in the end you have to dissipate the heat to the surrounding air (keep that in mind).
All water does is provide a medium to move the heat to some other place for you to then dissipate it to the air. Water systems do that via the radiator and fans. The crappy AIO systems fail because they have a small radiator (so you can mount it inside your case) that is usually much smaller than the heat sink of a good air cooler, so what does that mean? They have to install high-speed fans to move more air through the smaller radiator to dissipate the heat. That means they don't cool as well (usually), and are a lot noisier.
There are two ways to increase your heat dissipation: 1) a larger radiator/heatsink (more surface area), or 2)move more air through it. Option 1 is limited by space and option 2 can mean lots of noise. The trick is to manage both so you have good cooling and low noise.
Heatsink/fan coolers are limited by space inside the case and around the motherboard, plus the heat coming off the heatsink is discharged into the case itself, so you have to have case fans to get the heat out of the case. Fortunately, many of the modern systems have plenty of surface area on the heatsinks so that high-speed noisy fans aren't needed and it doesn't take a wind tunnel to remove the heat from the case. 2 or 3 case fans can usually do the trick nicely.
Water cooling, if done right, is for someone who is generating lots of heat through extreme overclocking that an air cooled system can't handle. It should have the biggest radiator you can get and proper amount of air flow. A good water cooling system is also very expensive (a $500 system is a good start, but can cost even more).
I personally like the Noctua brand heat sinks and fans. No, they aren't pretty (an ugly tan and brown color), but Noctua fans are probably some of the best on the market and their mounting system is very sturdy. I have the Noctua NH-12S heatsink/fan cooler (this is the 120mm size fan on a slim heatsink). It is dead-silent and keeps my 5820K at around 35-37C under load (at stock 3.3GHZ speeds). I overclocked it once to 4.4GHZ and played a game for an hour and the temp never went over 44C. Not bad at all.
I am a fan of full sized cases simply for ease of clean installs and case fan options. Cases, like mobos, don't have to be the huge, expensive ones, but these are personal preference things. I bought a lower-end full size case (the Be-Quiet Base 600). It is on the smaller end of what is considered a full size case, but is bigger than a mid tower for sure. I paid $89 for it and love it. It comes with a pair of case fans pre-installed and I have not had to add any other case fans to cool my system. My whole system is nearly 100% silent and stays very cool.
Edited by Ram4x4, 18 April 2016 - 07:24 AM.