User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  5
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: My take on new H/ware so far.

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    28 Mar 2011
    Location
    Modbury
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    My take on new H/ware so far.

    Please feel free to add, Subtract or edit this info. as or if you feel necessary.

    without waffling to much and as I interpret at this point in time.without available funds and as I consider a suitable order of things to consider for setting up a new system disregarding software & camera types and considering within your $ limits as you progress and current technology ( and always considering ones financial limitations.

    1. Monitors (As these are what you will be interpreting the final image before printing and they do make a difference IMO)

    a. IPS technology preferable (and as just learnt "thank you Rick" can the monitor itself be Calibrated and how important is it to you) Only you can know what is going to be important to you and how far you want to go & spend

    2. Graphics cards

    a. How many monitors do you want to have connected to your system.

    b. On board RAM (memory) the more the merrier within reason & price do play a part in this component but you may not need to go as far as the $400 + cards but if you can afford something in the $200 range it should put most people in the ball park under $100's then you are probably doing yourself and the rest or your system a disfavor

    c. Does the card allow for & support individual calibration to each monitor. "Thank you Rick for new info re this point"

    d. Connections Make sure the connections on the card to the monitors you choose are the same or compatible later technology is DVI-A, DVI-D, DVI-I (A- analog, D-Digital, I universal. or HDMI latest technology VGA & SVGA are not really supported now. (others can add here if they like).

    3. CPU. (In my case only as an example !!!!) I'm looking at AMD only from a $'s aspect as for me they can be a little cheaper. But always consider Intel you might see something at a good price. If your not doing gaming you wont need the high end CPU's

    a. Does it have graphics built in. (others may like to add & or clarify this for others

    b. Type & Speed of CPU (in my case will be looking at the AMD FX series most now support 64 bit & Quad core technology but some are Dual core Hypo threaded. others can add or clarify for others as required)

    4. Motherboard

    a. I'm not going into any real detail here as there are so many types out there it's to much to go into except to say if your not doing gaming you want need to necessarily need the high end price boards. But make sure it's a board that properly supports the CPU you purchase.

    b. If your want to have multiple monitors and require 2 Graphics cards, then you may need to consider a board with 2 PCI E X 16, slots but these will normally be a more expensive board. there is probably more info that can be added here but I will leave this to those with more knowledge than me.

    4. RAM (memory for the motherboard)

    a. Quality is also relevant here as well although to a degree that is higher now than a number of years ago. most come in pairs and that's the best way to buy it and if getting multiple sticks try to get matched pairs and if your spending more and get the same batch number then that can help with comparability. (other may want to add or clarify here feel free).

    5. Hard Disc Drives

    a. SSD is the newer technology and is worth the expense with newer systems that are able to support it there have been a few posts already so I'm not going to expand on this but leave for others to add if they wish.

    6. Power supply

    a. Get a good power supply into you case it is worth spending a bit more here as if you do have extra gear eg. Graghics cards and Optical drives it does drain on the system and can affect performance. (There may be more that others can add here).

    7. Hard Disc Drives

    a. There are many types out there now so to say much is to a point unnecessary except there are a few thoughts as regards back up and protection from loss of data. (My thoughts only for those who may be new and or not thought of before) are don't store everything on one HDD, have may be a couple of HDD's in your COMP. case and a couple of external drives for back up and keeping your original RAW images saved to and maybe one with backups that can be swapped over and kept at someone elses place and updated regularly in case of something major happens but I will leave this for others to add to as required.

    Well I know that's probably more waffle than I intended but I hope it can be a starting point for uninitiated or new comers to consider.

    If this is or similar is available some where else then feel free to remove or modified and or make available as a download after re-jigging document then feel free to do so.

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,639
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    8. Cooling.

    Whether that be fans. water etc, or a combination of. You need to consider the heat generated by your system and how much/what method of cooling you want, for the CPU, RAM and general system.
    "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

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  3. #3
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    28 Mar 2011
    Location
    Modbury
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    up till now I haven't had to worry about that issue as my systems have all been low usage and standard fans have been ok, but on the later systems I take your point and at this stage will look further into it when I get there. But yes should be considered especially with heavier application use use

  4. #4
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not 100% sure exactly what you're trying to ask here RO, but if this is for a gradual system build .. ie. building on top of what you already have and slowly updating parts on an as needed basis .. then this is how I prioritise:

    HDD's big fast and bigger and faster! A major priority for me is access to my image files as the database grows in size. And as the years go by, you may find suddenly that you also have over 1Tb of images that you:

    1/. need instant access too
    2/. need to back up as well in a mirrored system.

    I also went through the rigamarole of updating RAM, CPU, cooling, etc, etc... but for speedier access to my actual images(for editing/reviewing/viewing) .. nothing beats a very fast HDD in terms of speedy operation of the PC.

    SSDs are all well and good, and fast they are, but I found that having the PC boot up in 7.9s flat, as opposed to 15.9s flat didn't actually help my PC load my 30Mb raw files in any way at all .... (so the SSD was removed and placed back into the device that used it more effectively(my tablet).
    My software doesn't load as instantly, but this to me is very low in terms of priority in the way I want my PC to operate. I want instant image loading as my #1 demand.

    So, I continually purchase larger and larger HDDs, with the strict requirement that each successive drive needs to be faster than the last one.

    Started with 1Tb drives(now 3 of them), then upped that to 2Tb drives(a lot faster again) and now, graduated to a super fast 3Tb drive where I prefer to keep my image files .. the images I use on a daily basis.

    I reckon somewhere along the road I may have posted that Seagate's 7200RPM 3Tb barracuda is currently my preference for speed vs price plus space.
    I've been reading up on some WD's that are faster, but they're more costly and the advantage is negligible (50% cost vs 10% speed advantage) ... not worth the effort. That $50 odd bucks can go into other bits and pieces .. not necessarily PC or even photography related, but most likely so

    Then your RAM! If you reckon you'll eventually update the mainboard to something better and faster, then there's no reason not to spring for more RAM .. but again, no point in getting 8Gb of RAM if your current mainboard is limited to 4Gb!!

    I've been wanting to update my screen to an IPS screen for a long while now(nearly 2yrs) but never seem to get around to it .. I either spend my $ on a new camera, lens, TV ... router ... whatever .. but the screen never seems to get my attention.
    So calibration is my priority .. using a crappy screen via an onboard(as in mainboard) graphics chip but always trying to have it well calibrated.
    I originally started calibrating with my SpyderIII and using their software, but had a few issues with the software .. not loading or looking weird, or not looking calibrated ... and it all stemmed form the Spyder software(on my PC .. others seem to have more luck). So I then updated the software but use a thirdparty software called BasICColor. very good software, loads the calibration up perfectly, and when I did have twin screens and a graphics card, it loaded both screens calibrations perfectly ..... every time!

    (I used to run both a graphics card and twin screens, but a mishap on someone's other PC, saw me remove my graphics card and into theirs to keep them going .. as a temporary measure ... two years ago! )

    So you can run a perfectly dreadful cheap as chips screen in conditions close to 99% ideal for photo editing, as long as the screen is calibrated.

    So if you're looking to spend minimal $$ right now, with a view to update the motherboard and CPU in the short terms(best way forward for now) ... this is how I'd recommend to prioritise for now:

    HDDs(not SSDs for now).
    Calibration device
    Screen (if you must).

    On your new motherboard, 2x 16x PCI slots for the graphics cards is a waste!
    This is for 'serious gamers' .. not for photo editors. With photography, you don't need speed to display graphics.. you don't display a zillion frames per second, you display one or two every 5-10mins .. speed of graphics is wasted. RAM, and lots of it is good. Look for m/boards that accept 16-32Gb of RAM if possible.
    If you want to go with AMD CPUs(as is usually my preference), look for a 990 series northbrigde - 950 series southbridge board. Many of these boards may have a 99 or 990 number in their product name.
    Also, look for a board with plenty of USB3 connectors .. this is the future of connectability. Thunderbolt may become the Firewire of the 21st century .. great connection speed, very few devices that use the connection type!
    Also! if you read the specs of any of the motherboards you're interested in, be sure to read carefully the chips used for peripheral connections. If you see any connection with a chip manufactured by JMicron, keep clear of it. I also tend to shy away from VIA USB chips too. My current preference for no drama maotherboards is for ASUS boards, as they use their own ASMedia chips for USB, and their secondary SATA chips.

    I have two lappies that never give trouble with these chips ... so bases on this limited experience/testing, ASUS is my currently preferred mainboard.

    As for CPU for now, FX8320 has good performance/price ratio. The faster clocked FX8350 costs about $50(about 25%), and if you can stretch to this price, it may be worthwhile, but I doubt you'll see the benefit in terms of processing speed.

    Where you will see speed, is in having multiple HDDs on your PC for various usages.
    1. OS and software(this could be an SSD, but prices are on the high side. Don't be tempted to go for a cheap SSD, you probably won't see any benefit in terms of image editing).
    2. images/photos/any other important data best kept off the main drive. As big as you can afford, 7200RPM, both WD and Seagate both have two of the fastest drives currently on offer.
    3. cache and temporary files. Keep it as large as possible and as empty as you can, if you format it every so often, it'll keep it in a speedier state.

    I actually have a 4th(ok, and a 5th) drive for various purposes but these are older . very old drives for keeping backed up images of various stages of my main OS drive. If it ever fails, or I just want a quick refresh of it, the OS drive gets formatted, and it takes 15mins or so to flash the image of the drive back to where I want it to be. No need to reinstall stuff and re register it all, and so on.

    I keep two backup drives for all my images and important data(old important emails, accounting stuff, etc), one of which is a fast drive again, but the other secondary backup is just an old large drive, and is not fast. In fact slow as hell, and painful to backup too.

    Also, instead of continually investing in more external enclosures, I use a docking station to write to this slow, old internal HDD, and then store it away .. just the bare drive, not an external USB/eSATA type drive.
    My faster drives stay connected, via either eSATA, or (now) USB3. USB is way too slow for Terabyte transfers. eSATA and USB3 are about on par for speed, but eSATA is becoming less and less common.
    A USB3 docking station will cost about $30ish or so, and if this sounds interesting to you as a backup solution, be wary of just any old USB3 docking station .. some of them use JMicron chips, and (like me) it will confound you even after you've pulled out all your hair! Docks that use the ASMedia chips are much better.

    Hope this helps, just trying to relay some of the experiences I've had to deal with over the years.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  5. #5
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    28 Mar 2011
    Location
    Modbury
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At the moment I'm stuck with making the best of a lousy situation the motherboards I have access to are both restricted to a max. of 4 GIG so am just going to get up and running with lightroom 4 which I seem to have been able to do all be it a tad slow.

    I suppose that whilst going through all of this I remember different ones looking at up grading equipment so from my own perspective I thought about which end of a system to start at. EG. No good going and building a higher end system if you run out of $'s and end up with cheap monitors. or the Graphics card doesn't do the job, If you see what I mean but also you can go to the other extreme and end up spending way more than is necessary if what your doing doesn't warrant it.

    I haven't read through all you've written yet as I'm still refitting my system to see if things are working which at this stage looks like they are but wot know till I start using LR. The reason I would look at multiple monitors is I usually am looking at different things at the same time and is easier than bringing up different screens all the time, especially if I'm following Instructions off the net.
    I'm not looking for super speed cause I'll get motion sickness but will be looking to at least be more up to date and slightly more future proof what ever that means.

    It may have been a wasted exercise but thought in might help someone. But if unnecessary or more confusing then as stated I'm quite happy for it to be removed.

    But hopefully this for me will be short lived and then I'll be a happy chappy but will call an end to this for the moment and say thank you to all input much appreciated.

  6. #6
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ROA44 View Post
    ...... No good going and building a higher end system if you run out of $'s and end up with cheap monitors. or the Graphics card doesn't do the job, If you see what I mean but also you can go to the other extreme and end up spending way more than is necessary if what your doing doesn't warrant it .......
    I suppose this was partly my point .. that you can get away with a cheap monitor, if you get the right cheap monitor. In general, if you stick with an LG you're pretty safe as their panels are amongst the better hardware.
    Dell's high end and Apple's supposedly uber screens use high end LG panels .. so they must'a been doing something right.
    Again, don't worry about a high end graphics card .. none of your software will make use of it, unless you want to use Adobe's Cs6 or their newer cloud services.(or if you want a gaming machine).
    High end graphics cards are of no use for photo editing. Onboard graphics is more than capable. If you want multi-multi monitor setup, well then yes you will need dual capable graphics cards.

    I know that one of your goals is to run LR4, and I have that software so I can give 'ya a bit of perspective.
    LR4 is slow, it's one of the slower software on my machine, and even tho I read many stories that Nikon's CaptureNX2 is slow(or buggy or whatever) CNX2 is not only faster for me on my system, but has never caused me grief, like LR3 once did a while back.
    When I had my graphics card installed, I ran with a dual monitor setup, and all my other software, from OS to Office all recognised the second monitor as per the OS'es understanding, that it was either a primary or secondary monitor. Not LR3(back then)0 .. it had no idea on how to handle the dual monitors. When it did finally twig that monitor 1 was this one, it ran at such a glacial pace that I never used it for such a long time.
    That is, sometimes LR3 would load itself onto what should have been Mon2, and other times Mon1 .. it was random as well as slow and had my head spinning. If I removed Mon2 from the onboard graphics I had no problem. The problem was that LR3 didn't want to work with my two monitors hooked up at the same time!

    And also a seemingly pathetic program like Nikon's ViewNX/ViewNX2(which is also much maligned by the general populace) also ran as smooth as silk and speedily using the dual monitor setup.
    In the end, I got rid of the secondary monitor, which used to be my primary monitor on the previous PC. With the new PC(back 3-4 odd years ago), I did get a much larger 24" screen to append to the 19" screen I had at the time. My price limit was about $200, and if memory serves me well, it may have come in at about $20 more.
    It is true that cheap monitors can make the experience dreadful, and the old HP monitor showed me that no end! But I doubt that you will find such low quality in any modern monitor nowadays.

    23" IPS screens are now had for under $200 .. so there's no excuse for 'cheaping out' on a screen. If you have too skimp on RAM for now until you can make up the shortfall.(that's what I do).

    I started with only 4G RAM, and after a while, with the PC running quite smoothly and all programs running well(except LR3 of course ) .. I ended up using a DAM program called IDImager v4. I still have this as my DAM management solution, but mainly for searching for keyworded images only. But in order to to this, it needs to have it's internal database updated, and this is where RAM comes into the equation for me.
    This version of the software uses all of the available RAM on your system, and where I had 4G it used 4G. Now I have 8G, it uses 8G of ram, and my next step is a PC with 32Gig RAM and see if it uses it all up too.
    It's not a problem as such, in that any update to the database is done as an overnight process .. the PC is unusable when the database is being updated.
    So again, keep bits to minimums to get you going, with a view to update/upgrade as funds allow.

    You can certainly run a cheap build immediately adding bits and pieces and extras along the way.

    I suppose the other question is, what is a cheap build .. ie. what is the upper limit of your financial constraints.

    For me, a cheap PC build was maximum up to about $1K-$1.2K including a screen but possibly missing out on some peripherals like a bluray drive, or the latest greatest keyboard/mouse ...
    Always got a new case and new PSU tho .. and again, while it's not guaranteed, even the cheap end gear in this area is still worthwhile. It's a matter of doing some research about the gear about to be purchased.

  7. #7
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    28 Mar 2011
    Location
    Modbury
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Arthur, even though I'm only running an old AMD dual core with max 4g RAM the system has been stable and solid and I've been happy with that.Wanting to upgrade to later software is the problem but thought that would be the situation. I have just managed to get a system up this morning with dual monitors but only 2 sata ports and max 2g ram didn't realize my sons comp. was running 2 sticks of kingston 4g Hyper X DDR2 RAM and an ASUS EAH2400PRO 256MB card so this may resolve some of my issues although will still be slow but I probably wont notice to much as this is what I'm used to.

    Monitors yes I agree am looking at LG 23", case agree not that important as long as the right connections are there but would still look for something a bit more than my real el cheapo, not looking at super speed but yes as others have said would be nice but pipe dream for me. So that's why I've been mainly looking at AMD format as can be lower $'s so always checking out MSY and PC D.I.Y to see what's going out cheaper but hopefully still keeping me in the ball park with out critical compromises.

    Thank you for your time and patience this has been a long wordy discussion but with some good info contained kindly supplied by yourself & Rick for which I thank you & just realized fathers day not far off so who knows what that may bring.

    Regards

    Milton

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm with 'ya on the AMD CPU route.

    From what I've seen in terms of CPU performances(where it matters for us), the top tier AMD CPUs are usually only beaten by the upper end i7 Intels, which generally cost about $200 more, just for the CPU.

    Top end motherboards for top end Intels also add about a $100 premium compared to the uppermost AMD motherboard .. so in essence, an Intel CPU to match the real world performance of a top end AMD, will cost 'ya at least $300 more.
    Then of course you need to factor in, faster RAM for the Intel CPU which also adds another few hundred dollars premium for saving a couple of precious seconds of processing raw files.

    of course there are down sides to some aspects of AMD CPUs, and from what I can tell(via performance reviews) ... some software(I think CS is a major player here) is optimised to run more speedily on Intel CPUs via some Intel created internal instruction sets. Something AMD hasn't really capitalised on properly.

    This may explain why I get good performance from Nikon's software compared to LR3 and 4's glacial pace .. simply because the Nikon software isn't optimized to run on any specific CPU, and LR may be worse off under an AMD CPU??? (dunno really, just guesswork).

    OK, I reckon if the motherboard has only 2 SATA ports, then the SATA system is a secondary one, and quite possibly a Silicon Image chip used. Being two ports, if it's a Sil3112 chip, all I can say is forget using SATA hard drives on this chip, it's as useless as any JMicron chip in terms of speed .. but at least won't cause you instability problems. If it's a VIA chip, I have no experience with them, so you may have more luck there.

    There's a bit of software called PCWizard. This is free(totally free) and helps you to do a few things(easily) on your PC. It'll give you an easy to read rundown of all the chips and devices on your PC, so you know what devices you have, and what to look for in terms of (available)drivers. It also has some simple benchmarking software that I've found is pretty accurate. HDD speeds are one of them, and use wherever I add a new drive(or connection type) to my systems.
    If you find that sort of software interesting, google it, but try to download it via a less incomprehensible site .. such as Major Geeks.

  9. #9
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    28 Mar 2011
    Location
    Modbury
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think in earlier times the AMD CPUs' were preferred by gamers but as intel developed over the later years and for some reason AMD have dropped their range and concentrated on Graphics cards hence their decline but for those not into gaming I think they are still a viable option. As I'm not going to be doing large amounts of processing although probably a lot more than at the moment as stated before speed to some degree isn't quite as important but with a suitable m/board I can at least put in a couple of decent sticks of RAM and top up later with more unless technology passes me by before I know it.

    But hopefully in a couple of months I'll have some cash freed up to loose me from my shackles and I'll be set free.

    As for Intel prices well yes over the top but that's why MSY can be a good option for me any way.

    Regarding that piece of software I'll get have a look at that thank you.

    Some interesting info amongst that lot thank you I may not get to follow up on all of it but handy to be aware of.

    Before I finish this lot the boards I have at my disposal to put you in the picture are,
    1. my original board an ASUS A8N-VN CSM
    2. my sons old system boars is an ASUS M2N-MX SE PLUS.

    Once again thank you for your time and effort much appreciated and have a good night all be it nearly over.

    PS. both systems have been really reliable even with all the changes they have gone through except for this one but that's not the systen and on that alone I have been very happy. "no complain" Cheers
    Last edited by ROA44; 24-07-2013 at 11:37pm.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •