photo editing build

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Moderator: JustAnEngineer

photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:48 am

hi all, planning an upgrade for my 2 year old pc (AMD tricore, 4GB memory, Radeon 4850, slow WD green drives)

have this as a current suggested spec, have no prices as I'm in Australia and might consider importing from either the US or UK for some of the parts, am flexible on the budget but would prefer bang for buck.

here's the list:

Intel Core i5 2500k
4 x 4GB DDR3 - particularly this set
Noctua cooler - this one, plan to overclock but also want a quiet system
Asus P8P67 LE - only missing eSATA i think, would this be faster than USB 3.0 for an external backup drive?
64GB Crucial M4 SSD - OS and apps
1TB Spinpoint F3 - Lightroom catalog, games
2TB WD Green drive - photo storage, media files
Asus Radeon 1GB 6950 - play WoW, SC2, DA2, waiting for Diablo 3
2 x 27" Dell U2711 or 1 x 30" Dell U3011 - currently running a single 24" Dell 2405FPW
Basic SATA DVD ROM - old one from 2005 uses PATA
Corsair Graphite 600T - time to retire my Sonata II and this is TR recommended

questions:

memory
is 16GB overkill? i currently have 4GB and i do max it out at times when multitasking.

storage
would just like to know whether the storage setup above would be viable. i'm thinking of using symlinks to keep the SSD from filling up. or should i just buy a 128GB drive?

video
would also like to know which is a preferred setup, 2 x 27" or 1 x 30". would the 6950 be adequate to render full res at 2560 x 1600? would 2 monitors lag gaming?

power
currently have a Corsair HX 450W, is it adequate to power the above or should i get something new? want something quiet and should i bother with modular PSUs since they do cost more?
*yawn*
etilena
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:20 am

Take a few minutes to find out if the apps that you use for photo editing support GPU computing. If they do, you'll want to make sure that you buy a video card that supports this. Nvidia has a huge lead over ATI in this area.
cjcerny
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:40 am

cjcerny wrote:Take a few minutes to find out if the apps that you use for photo editing support GPU computing. If they do, you'll want to make sure that you buy a video card that supports this. Nvidia has a huge lead over ATI in this area.


Doesn't seem like Lightroom has CUDA support. I think I picked the 6950 because of the lower power consumption. Should I bother with a 2GB video card with the current GPUs?
*yawn*
etilena
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:57 am

Personally, I find that ATI works just fine in photoshop and Lightroom. Same with 8GB of ram. Havent been able to max it out yet. Video on the other hand...
Aphasia
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:12 am

Aphasia wrote:Personally, I find that ATI works just fine in photoshop and Lightroom. Same with 8GB of ram. Havent been able to max it out yet. Video on the other hand...


it does work fine, no issues with my Radeon 4850. i think the bottleneck is more with the previews and caching, which is probably either CPU or storage related issues, hence why I want to separate the program, the cache files and the actual photos on separate drives.

i thought 4GB was plenty before, so just want to be on the safe side this time round, it's not much more expensive to add the extra 8GB anyway.
*yawn*
etilena
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:30 pm

etilena wrote:...planning an upgrade for my 2 year old PC...
You may have the SBA addiction. Fortunately, the side effects are mostly benign other than the empty wallet. :)


I've stuck some prices on your component list and added a few options for you to consider:

A$258½ Intel Core i5 2500k

A$97 Noctua NH-U9B-SE2 cooler
or A$75 Scythe Rasetsu SCRT-1000 HSF
or A$58¼ Aywun A1-V8 RADI HSF
or A$33 CoolerMaster Hyper 212 plus

A$174 Asus P8P67 LE
or $A219 Asus P8Z68-V
or A$150 ASRock Z68 Pro3-M

A$187 4x4 GiB PC3-10600 G.Skill F3-10600CL9D-8GBNT (DDR3-1333, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or A$222¼ 4x4 GiB PC3-12800 G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.5 V)

A$185 0.064 TB Crucial m4 C400
or A$205 0.115 TB Corsair Force 115
or A$249 0.120 TB Corsair Force Series 3 120
A$86 1.0 TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3
A$119 2.0 TB Western Digital WD20EARX Caviar Green
A$118 BD-ROM/DVD-RW

A$258½ Sapphire Radeon HD6950 1GB
or A$289¼ XFX Radeon HD6950 2GB
or A$305 MSI GeForce GTX560Ti 1GB "Hawk" (950 MHz version)

A$217 Corsair Graphite 600T
or A$173 Fractal Design Define R3

A$1700 Dell UltraSharp U3011 30" 2560x1600 monitor
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:58 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:You may have the SBA addiction. Fortunately, the side effects are mostly benign other than the empty wallet.


i've been trying to hold off for a long while now, usually the upgrade cycle is more like 18 months and i'm already 6 months overdue (partly thanks to the sandybridge bug). heh. :)

thanks JAE for the price listing and alternatives. the coolermaster hyper 212+ looks great for the price and does seem to be quiet too. i see the H70 in your sig, what's your take on them?

might consider the asrock z68 pro3-m, don't mind the micro-atx footprint either. does asrock use the same UEFI BIOS implementation as asus?

the dell ultrasharp goes on sale every now and then, as i have seen it as low as A$1,199, which is slightly cheaper than 2 x 27" U2711 @ A$699 each (on sale)
*yawn*
etilena
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:17 am

There is a flaw in your build: The WD Green drive that you are using for photo storage. Lightroom reads the actual RAW files to make the lightroom previews and it can be a real bottleneck to have a slow drive. A 5400RPM green drive in that capacity will REALLY slow you down. Given what you're already spending, it's not worth a saving few bucks for the green drive. In my experience Lightroom is very I/O bound. I suggest that you get a WD Black drive, I use a 2TB, to use as the storage for your RAW photo files, and get a smaller, faster drive to use as your lightroom cache drive, maybe a cheap SSD. I have an old Raptor 74gb drive as mine, but I recently experimented with using an Vertex 2 128gb (which I had just replaced with a Vertex 3) for my lightroom catalogue and preview drive and it was WAY faster.

Also, I find that the only real benefit of a second Monitor in LR is in portrait mode. I have a U2711 in Landscape as my 'main' monitor, and a 24" in portrait as a secondary to view portarait mode photos. You might buy the 30" and use your current 24" in the same config, you won't be sorry.

Finally, get an i2600k and overclock the crap out of it. Lightroom likes that. While the extra threads might not seem like much, other pro photo apps, like panorama stitching and HDr apps can use them and it matters. There is no feeling like having 8 threads pinned at 4.8ghz making some cool photo. It makes me sigh with joy almost every day.
i7 2600k @ 4.7 GHZ | 16GB G-Skill DDR3-1600 | Asus P8P67 Pro | PCP&C Silencer 750 | Corsair Graphite 600T |
Boot: 2xOCZ Vertex 3 120gb | Media: 2x WD Black 2Tb | GTX760 4gb | Dell u2771 | Benq FP231W |
Acer 1810TZ | OCZ Vertex 2 120gb |
Plazmodeus
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Re: photo editing build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:36 am

Plazmodeus wrote: There is no feeling like having 8 threads pinned at 4.8ghz making some cool photo. It makes me sigh with joy almost every day.


hehehe, that sounds cool. it's about A$100 more for the 2600k, i was contemplating it but saw no significant gain in Lightroom based on benchmarks at review sites i do the occasional pano and HDR, so maybe the $100 would be better off elsewhere? but then again one does hope that adobe provides better multithreaded support in their next iteration of lightroom, then there's sort of some future proofing for a little extra.

thanks Plazmodeus for your insight on Lightroom performance. for the storage front, i might consider 2 x 64GB SSDs and a 2TB WD Black instead. have not tried Lightroom with dual monitors, but using my 24" in portrait mode does sound like a good idea.
*yawn*
etilena
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