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Thread: PC setup

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    Member Wildlife's Avatar
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    PC setup

    Time for a new PC, would appreciate views on a good setup. I do take a lot of pictures so did space will be a priority. I use Lightroom and photoshop.
    toekoms

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    if it's mainly for photos.. i would recommend at least a 1TB HDD or even more.. you can always add more later on in the HDD bays.
    A decent graphics card.. and 4GB of RAM will do for LR and PS.. the more the less load there will be..

    my desktop PC specifications: (i use Lightroom and Photoshop)
    4GB ram
    Intel core 2 duo.. it's alright.. there's definitely better out there now
    Gigabyte 1GB dedicated graphics card (mainly because i use Microsoft flight simulator on dual screen)
    2x 1TB HDD and 1x 500GB
    and 2 handy 24" LED screen... which is a decent size for those photos

    i'm sure these days you can get way better things for less as i got mine over 2 years ago..

    hope that helps!
    Last edited by andrewvid; 25-05-2012 at 7:11pm.
    Life is short, Keep snapping!
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    Thanks for the reply

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    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
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    Consider getting an SSD (solid state drive) for your main operating system and software to run from, these drives have faster boot times. In terms of Hard Drives, you can never have too many! Consider creating your own external hard drives (you can purchase cases to put them in) and run them externally through an ESATA connection (this will give you the same speed access as internal drives except they are external). This also has the added benefit of storing your photos off the main C drive, so that if anything happens to the Operating system then you have them externally. This is also great for being able to take your photos with you should you choose. Would also mean you could link your Lightroom files to the external SATA drives and have no issues with speed as opposed to the slower USB2 or USB3 connections.
    please ask before PP my images

    "Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans"

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    Ausphotography Regular livio's Avatar
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    Hi Wildlife, I hear you had to much the same thing recently but I went for speed and built the machine myself so these are the things I would consider.

    1) Can I build this myself if yes buy a good value mother board and don't be afraid to spend around $100.00 for a decent power supply. I can guarantee that if
    if you go cheap on the power supply you will be having to change it in less than a year.

    2) If you are going to buy directly from a store I would have a really good look around. There are quite a number of reputable PC suppliers outside of the
    retail giants like JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman and Harris Technology or Dick Smith. In my experienct the bigger the store the less you get by way of service
    having said that they sometimes have some really good specials.

    3) If you are going to contemplate building yourself here are some guides

    CPU socket 2011 Intel i7 Quad Core 3.2 GHz approx $ 450.00
    Heat Sink / Fan approx $ 60.00
    Intel DX79SR 4 SATA 3 internal Connectors approx $ 450.00
    Memory 32GB ( 4 x 8GB ) approx $ 410.00
    HDD 4 x 3TB Seagate SV35.5 6GB/s approx $ 1,516.00
    CASE Corsair Graphite 600TM approx $ 200.00
    Power supply 520Watt Antec NEO 520C approx $ 100.00
    Blue Ray DVD approx $ 130.00

    This would give you around 10 TB usable space keep yopu going for a number of years

    In addition you would need a MS windows license or LInux whichever you prefer

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    What on earth do you need 32gb of ram for? That is quite overboard if your not doing virtualization of any sort.

    Keep in mind hat anything over 4gb in ram will require the purchase of 64bit windows.

    For speed and reliability i would replace the seagate hard drives with western digital - black series. Alternatively if you want lots of storage look at buying a nas (network attached storage) with the money you save by only buying 8gb of ram.

    Ultimately you need to figure out what this machine will do for you, how often and how long you leave it running for.

    Also keep in mind large amounts of storage will still not guarantee safety of your data without a backup process in place.

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    Actually you'll find that having 32Gb of ram is becoming quite appropriate for handling mass imports into LR or PS, especially if your into using TIFF files or even massive raw files say from the D800.. As I've said in another post, try opening 20 raw or tiffs for PP Production on 8Gb or less.. Your system will crash, it also helps with long hours of PP work aswel and you can stack more into your history settings within PS or LR. Though I wouldn't say its a necessity of having 32Gb either..

    Agreed with SSD if you can get 1 for as your main drive for Windows as this will help from boot up to the over all performance of the computer, honestly there is a massive difference between a Hard drive running on SATA III with 7200rpm spin to that compared to a SSD or even a HDD WD Raptor 10,000rpm on Windows 7 32 or 64bit version.

    1/2 Teras of HDD space will go far aswel but not as a main / Windows drive.

    Graphics wise.. If your not gaming, anything really will do that has at least 1Gb for win 7 + other basic apps and even gaming if your into that sort of thing.

    PSU: I would consider even $100 far to cheap for a PSU being that this is the most important part in your system.. any I.T tech pro should tell you that.

    But with all that said, it doesn't sound like your going to build your own?.. lol, so my overall my advice is to get what you can afford and willing to pay

    So here's what to look out for..

    Windows 7 32/64bit
    3.0/2 Ghz Cpu in either Intell or AMD (Intel is the better way but can be dearer aswel)
    min of 8Gb of Ram DDR3
    at least 1 Terabyte HDD
    1Gb Graphcis
    23/24in monitor

    Optional - SSD as main drive

    Cheers
    Last edited by Chris G; 25-05-2012 at 8:35pm.
    Photographer & Retoucher at L'Obsession Secrète

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    I have built my own computers over the last twenty years or so (yes not long after MicroBee) and I always work on about three year life span. I normally spend about $700 to $1000.

    I run some high graphics in 3D and a lot of video and picture editing as well.

    If you are going to use it for video editing then spend a bit more on a good processor and 8gb ram. If you going to save a lot of pictures then a couple of 1tb hard disk would be fine.

    Remember, there's good value external hard drive these days to store extra data as well.

    *removed - read site rules 3-7*
    Last edited by ricktas; 25-05-2012 at 8:52pm.

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    Ausphotography site Advertiser, Scorptec, have some great systems. All upgradeable during order to suit your needs
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
    Actually you'll find that having 32Gb of ram is becoming quite appropriate for handling mass imports into LR or PS, especially if your into using TIFF files or even massive raw files say from the D800.. As I've said in another post, try opening 20 raw or tiffs for PP Production on 8Gb or less.. Your system will crash, it also helps with long hours of PP work aswel and you can stack more into your history settings within PS or LR. Though I wouldn't say its a necessity of having 32Gb either..

    Agreed with SSD if you can get 1 for as your main drive for Windows as this will help from boot up to the over all performance of the computer, honestly there is a massive difference between a Hard drive running on SATA III with 7200rpm spin to that compared to a SSD or even a HDD WD Raptor 10,000rpm on Windows 7 32 or 64bit version.

    1/2 Teras of HDD space will go far aswel but not as a main / Windows drive.

    Graphics wise.. If your not gaming, anything really will do that has at least 1Gb for win 7 + other basic apps and even gaming if your into that sort of thing.

    PSU: I would consider even $100 far to cheap for a PSU being that this is the most important part in your system.. any I.T tech pro should tell you that.

    But with all that said, it doesn't sound like your going to build your own?.. lol, so my overall my advice is to get what you can afford and willing to pay

    So here's what to look out for..

    Windows 7 32/64bit
    3.0/2 Ghz Cpu in either Intell or AMD (Intel is the better way but can be dearer aswel)
    min of 8Gb of Ram DDR3
    at least 1 Terabyte HDD
    1Gb Graphcis
    23/24in monitor

    Optional - SSD as main drive

    Cheers
    I agree... 32GB RAM certainly isn't necessary, but it can be useful.

    My machine is a couple of years old already, and has an AMD Phenom II X6 CPU, an ATI HD 5800 series 1GB graphics card, 2TB HDD storage, and 8GB RAM.

    All of the above still performs excellently, but I'd be happy to have more RAM. It's the only real bottleneck in the system. I wouldn't build a new machine for photography work today with anything less than 16GB, and I would go to 32GB if I could.

    Last edited by Eberbachl; 25-05-2012 at 10:10pm.
    Please don't hesitate to provide me with CC! I'd love to hear your thoughts regarding any of my images. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eberbachl View Post
    I agree... 32GB RAM certainly isn't necessary, but it can be useful.

    My machine is a couple of years old already, and has an AMD Phenom II X6 CPU, an ATI HD 5800 series 1GB graphics card, 2TB HDD storage, and 8GB RAM.

    All of the above still performs excellently, but I'd be happy to have more RAM. It's the only real bottleneck in the system. I wouldn't build a new machine for photography work today with anything less than 16GB, and I would go to 32GB if I could.

    I've only somewhat built a high end system in the last year actually with the AMD 1090T X6 (just before the FX series CPUs). I even put in a 1250watt PSU from Enermax as at the time I was going run 2x Gainward 570 GFX Cards but never got around to it and so the one is just running with lots of space... lol.

    Same with the more ram would be nice and Scorptech do have some nice pricing at the moment for the 32Gb option..

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The other thing to consider with all this, if you are looking at a new monitor, investigate those with IPS panels. Panel information here : http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?89862-The-different-types-of-monitors-available-for-photo-editing


    And look at a gaming mouse. Why you may ask? Well all the extra buttons on a gaming mouse can be programmed..and not just for gaming. If you use LR or Photoshop, you can readily program up the gaming mouse buttons to do certain functions in both these programs. One click of the mouse button and several steps can be completed in one.
    Last edited by ricktas; 26-05-2012 at 11:03am.

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    Don't rely on just one or two HDD's, have some set aside for backup also back up om CD's because if like me you have a HDD crash and haven't backed then you're in trouble. I had a HDD crash the other day which I'm having trouble with at the moment.
    Also I'm not sure what RAM is like now but I know it was always a good idea to get better quality paired and batched RAM as they would run better.

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    From a working photographer's point of view I'll make it easier for you by listing the essentials, everything else is secondary

    1) SSD is a must! use it as the boot drive and also keep RAW files on there to edit, once finished delete them. A HDD simply does not compare for speed and efficiency.

    2) have a least 2x external back up drives, to mirror each other

    3) have at least 8gb of ram as minimum - as camera sensors evolve so to do file sizes.

    4) buy a good and proven IPS monitor for editing - Dell Ultrasharp series are known performers where you dont need to break the bank for 5 grand Eizo or NEC monitors.

    There you go, much more easier to understand

  15. #15
    It's all about the Light!
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    Try this http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_sg_...asking_configs



    Also: LG have low cost IPS monitors!!
    Last edited by Kym; 26-05-2012 at 7:01pm.
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    PC's can be a very personal topic for many - but with plummeting prices, its hard not to justify buying a bucketload of RAM (32Gb would be fantastic) A plethora of Hard drives (at $100 for 2Tb drives, one would be mad not to buy at least a pair to mirror / RAID) a decent power supply as noted previously (Min $130-150 - a 650-750W PSU should be adequate if your not into gaming). Video cards vary greatly in price pending on your usage - personally I see little value in laying down big dollars on the latest graphics card unless your into hardcore framerates, when a simple $150 dual head card will perform superlatively running two 24" LCDs with photoshop / Lightroom. A 64 bit operating system would be a must.
    Like many in here, I build my own machine from components (Upgrade in June every year).
    The most critical component of any machine IMHO is the processor. If you want to load files fast, get a high Mhz machine. If you want PS filters to rip through those 36MP images, then the speed of the processor is what primarilly determines speed (all bandwith / ram issues aside). While the processor speed race has all but reached a zenith, with 3.2-3.5Mhz topping most domestic processor charts, they have started chasing multi cpu's instead. Unless your using multi threaded applications like rendering packages, this will not greatly assist you. ie buy the fastest processor you can afford. Another option is to overclock a processor, with watercooling the CPU only giving you a $150 or so premium, this is another very attractive option.
    Remember that the computer itself is the heart, but the screen is what you see / use everyday - so don't skimp here. The more real estate you have, the more pleasant it will be to spend the long hours in front of it. I personally have a Dell 27" and Cintiq 24UX setup - an absolute dream to use.
    Good luck in the selection!
    Cheers - Bernie

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Try this http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_sg_...asking_configs



    Also: LG have low cost IPS monitors!!
    And I believe Asus have some too that I believe are 100% sRGB gamut.
    The age of entitlement isn't over, it's just over there where you can't get to it.
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  18. #18
    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    I have had terrible trouble with Lighroom 4 since it was release, I was one of those who had the" Lighroom is slow" syndrome, and it was an e6750 core 2 duo system, so today I build a new one.
    Asus P8H77-V motherboard, Intel i5 3570K cpu, using the onboard graphics,( HD 4000 graphics) 8 GB ram, Barracuda 2TB hard drive, Windows 7 64 bit. Using my old Dell 2311H monitor, my old keyboard and mouse and reusing my two old WD 1 TB hard drives and external hard drive for backup. With 8GB 1333 ram $48 I will probably move it to 16GB.
    Lightroom is now very useable and I am very happy.
    Cost $850 and a couple of hours work.
    My system is very similar to the one on Whirlpool for photo editing.

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    Member Black Dog's Avatar
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    This is not as simple a question as it is being made out to be.

    It is not just a matter of what the minimum spec to run software is but what "YOU" personally do with it.

    I am currently working on a new build for my Pc based on the spec usage you listed, my build will be about $3500 for the box.

    Firstly ask your self these questions:

    What version of the software am I planning to be using for the life of this computer? for example PS6 requires certain GPU (advance graphics cards) if it is to fully utilise all the functionality, same as Premiere. There are fact sheets on the Adobe website. The amount of ram on the card will be used for these functions. So a $600 GPU maybe worthwhile or not.

    What level of photographer are you? Snap happy grandpa, aspiring professional, or top end pro? Each will require a different level of work horse.

    For me 32gb Ram will easily be utilised.


    For optimum performance an SSD is not best used for operating system as the only benefit will be seen "loading" the program at start up. It is better allocated as scratch disk, and for saving working files. When complete move the working files to a cheaper slower drive.

    Also note that once a drive is more than half full it has slowed down dramatically in it's speed.

    My spec will have HDD for windows, and second HDD for PS6+LR4, a third SSD for scratch disc + cache, a forth SSD for working files. On top of that external drives for storage and back ups.


    The other consideration is where will the bottle necks be and what parts are the most used by PS + LR?
    A faster processor is key, more RAM is key, and a good GPU.
    You will see more gains from more ram than you will from adding any SSD. If on a budget put the $$$ to most use. Also note that if you spend $6k on a high end GPU but buy a budget CPU then then the CPU will never keep up with the GPU and is of no benefit.

    *removed, you cannot link to other sites till you have 30 days membership and 50 posts*

    You will want to run as others have said a 64bit system, Windows + PS

    Here is a link to a PS+LR build discussion

    *removed, you cannot link to other sites till you have 30 days membership and 50 posts*



    To summarise it first thin you need to ask yourself is what is your requirements of PS+LR, and what is your budget.
    Last edited by ricktas; 13-06-2012 at 6:15pm.

  20. #20
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I can tell you from personal experience that running Windows 7 64bit on 8GB of RAM will give you grief.

    When I built my current system early last year I went with 8GB of RAM. It was OK till I started doing stuff like focus stacking and then it slowed down to a crawl.

    I also had heaps of screen freezes and I eventually traced the problem to lack of RAM. Windows 7 64bit seems to use about 4GB of RAM even when just idling.

    Since I have been using 16GB of RAM ( G.Skill Ripjaws 2 x 8GB @ 1333MHz ) I have not had a single problem.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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