Personal computing discussed

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Steve-S
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stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:14 pm

Hi all --
I've looked at the "System Guide" doc, and it looks pretty good, but kinda game-centric:  that seems to be the basic assumption.
I'm not much into video games.  I do a bit of streaming (from Netflix or the like), but frankly a Chromebook (with HDMI-out to my TV, when the family gathers) gives me everything I want there.

But my desktop system is old, and failing... monitor flickering, HDD throwing occasional sector errors, etc.  Time for something new!

I want stability and reliability, not cutting- or bleeding-edge performance.   Risk-averse, staid, stodgy... that's me!
<cough,cough> Pay no attention to the frothing, axe-wielding barbarian behind the curtain!

My heaviest uses would be:
 * Web-browser with a LOT of tabs (I compose this post in my 15th of 43 tabs...) -- browser simultaneous with one of:
 * Adobe Photoshop (CC2015.5... until they upgrade), working with 24MP RAW-format files
 * maybe some of the big strategy games, occasionally; used to love Civ, for example... but it has been ages since I had time to play...

I'm thinking I probably need 16GB of RAM...  is 2133 fast enough?

I probably want a multi-monitor setup... maybe PLP?

At first, I had expected to need at least a mid-grade gfx card... but my preliminary look-see says that Photoshop stills-processing (as opposed to video) doesn't much use most high-end GPU power; a decent onboard GPU in the CPU may well suffice... so maybe, any Skylake processor (which all, I understand, have notably-better GPU's than the prior generation of Intel's) ?  Does the onboard video support 2-3 monitors?

Can anybody correct any errors I've made above, and/or help me pin down the uncertainties?

Can anybody direct me toward a more photographer-centric review than the TR "System Guide"?  Or should I just look at those "Sweet Spot" builds? ... maybe just drop the video-card, or substitute a "budget" card? ... maybe bump the RAM in quantity (and/or speed?) ...

And, of course, I need some RAID or other backup -- but that's another thread!  Here, I just want to figure out the system build...
 
chuckula
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:20 pm

2133 (DDR3 or 4) is plenty fast.

16GB is plenty for a gamer but honestly I'd consider going for 32GB [or even more] given some of your interests in editing very large photos. There's no such thing as too much RAM for workloads like that.

It's good to have a nice GPU but you won't need anything crazy based on what you seem to want to do with it.  An Rx 480 or GTX-1060 might be what you are looking for in something that's got some power but isn't too over the top.

Edit: I'm not in the market for a new system right now myself, but if I was and I was looking for good performance but not going super high-end I'd probably build around the Skylake i5 6500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819117563
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080 sold and back to hipster IGP!; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
 
just brew it!
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:25 pm

Why would he need even an RX 480 or GTX-1060? As long as he's got something that will drive 3 displays without choking he's good.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
biffzinker
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:27 pm

chuckula wrote:
It's good to have a nice GPU but you won't need anything crazy based on what you seem to want to do with it.  An Rx 480 or GTX-1060 might be what you are looking for in something that's got some power but isn't too over the top.

RX 460 would be plenty for his new system build or one of the older Geforce GTX 950, maybe 960?
Steve-S wrote:
maybe some of the big strategy games, occasionally; used to love Civ, for example... but it has been ages since I had time to play...
It would take you 2,363 continuous hours or 98 days,11 hours, and 35 minutes of gameplay to complete your Steam library.
In this time you could travel to Venus one time.
 
chuckula
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Why would he need even an RX 480 or GTX-1060? As long as he's got something that will drive 3 displays without choking he's good.

He did mention playing some games there too and while strategy games don't need crazy FPS I think he'd be happier with a real GPU over an IGP any day.
You might recommend a lower-end part, but I'm a little loathe to recommend 28nm GPUs right now and none of the parts below the 480 are really that interesting.
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080 sold and back to hipster IGP!; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
 
biffzinker
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:33 pm

Well a dedicated GPU card would prevent DDR4 band-widith from being siphoned away by the iGPU leaving it all for the CPU cores.
If the OP never gets the chance to play any games not much of a point in wasting money that could got towards another component.
Last edited by biffzinker on Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It would take you 2,363 continuous hours or 98 days,11 hours, and 35 minutes of gameplay to complete your Steam library.
In this time you could travel to Venus one time.
 
just brew it!
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:34 pm

I wasn't arguing against a discrete GPU. I just thought the two chuckula mentioned were overkill for the stated use case.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
chuckula
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:37 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I wasn't arguing against a discrete GPU. I just thought the two chuckula mentioned were overkill for the stated use case.

I prefer to call it: overawesome for this particular use case.
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-1080 sold and back to hipster IGP!; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
 
Airmantharp
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Re: stills processing?

Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:01 am

chuckula wrote:
2133 (DDR3 or 4) is plenty fast.

16GB is plenty for a gamer but honestly I'd consider going for 32GB [or even more] given some of your interests in editing very large photos. There's no such thing as too much RAM for workloads like that.

It's good to have a nice GPU but you won't need anything crazy based on what you seem to want to do with it.  An Rx 480 or GTX-1060 might be what you are looking for in something that's got some power but isn't too over the top.

Edit: I'm not in the market for a new system right now myself, but if I was and I was looking for good performance but not going super high-end I'd probably build around the Skylake i5 6500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819117563


Seconding all of the above: especially 32GB. I regularly hit near 16GB with 20MP RAWs, and any amount of bracketing or stacking is going to be pushing it. RAM is dirt cheap, buy a lot and don't worry about it again.

Also, I recommend getting an i7: those extra threads will make a difference when editing and keeping that many tabs open!
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Steve-S
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Re: stills processing?

Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:59 pm

Thank y'all for your input(s)!

My takeaways:
  • 32GB RAM, more if possible; DDR3/2133 is fast enough
  • i5/6500 ...  i7 if I can find the budget
  • mid/low - end GPU is fine... mostly so an iGPU doesn't suck system-RAM (thus, more RAM on the gfx-card beats a better GPU-core on the card).
  • If I decide the budget can't swing a discrete GPU, I need even more RAM.
Am I missing anything?  Any other tips?

Again:  thanks one & all!
 
just brew it!
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Re: stills processing?

Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:12 am

Amount of RAM on the GPU card isn't even particularly critical for your use case. What matters is that it isn't competing with the CPU for RAM bandwidth, especially if you opt for a high-resolution monitor.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
ludi
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Re: stills processing?

Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:40 am

Steve-S wrote:
My takeaways:
  • 32GB RAM, more if possible; DDR3/2133 is fast enough
  • i5/6500 ...  i7 if I can find the budget
  • mid/low - end GPU is fine... mostly so an iGPU doesn't suck system-RAM (thus, more RAM on the gfx-card beats a better GPU-core on the card).
  • If I decide the budget can't swing a discrete GPU, I need even more RAM.
Am I missing anything?  Any other tips?

32GB or RAM is a good place to start, and it sounds like something in the range of an i5-4690 CPU is sufficient for your usage case if the i7 proves too costly. You can always dial back the browser tabs while editing, if necessary.  If your new motherboard has four memory slots then I would pick up 2x16GB and leave two slots free for the future upgrade.

Unless I missed it, you haven't committed to a disk subsystem yet?  RIght now you can do quite well with something like a 480GB SSD (e.g. Intel 540 series or Crucial MX200) as your main system drive, and it may serve as a location to do your initial editing work as well.  Then pick up one or two very large HDDs (3GB+) to archive the results.
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Pancake
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Re: stills processing?

Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:52 am

Steve-S wrote:
Thank y'all for your input(s)!

My takeaways:
  • 32GB RAM, more if possible; DDR3/2133 is fast enough
  • i5/6500 ...  i7 if I can find the budget
  • mid/low - end GPU is fine... mostly so an iGPU doesn't suck system-RAM (thus, more RAM on the gfx-card beats a better GPU-core on the card).
  • If I decide the budget can't swing a discrete GPU, I need even more RAM.
Am I missing anything?  Any other tips?

Again:  thanks one & all!

Sounds like your proposed system would kick my main system's butt (i5-3570, 32GB, GTX970) and I do use it for crunching large multi-GB spatial datasets...
Don't forget an SSD main drive.
 
blahsaysblah
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Re: stills processing?

Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:25 am

DDR4, not DDR3, as you can get cheap 16GB DDR4 sticks while DDR3 is 8GB max. And recently 16GB sticks are a good bit better $/GB than anything else.
 
Krogoth
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Re: stills processing?

Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:41 am

blahsaysblah wrote:
DDR4, not DDR3, as you can get cheap 16GB DDR4 sticks while DDR3 is 8GB max. And recently 16GB sticks are a good bit better $/GB than anything else.


16GiB DDR3 DIMMs do existed but they are pricey "registered" DIMMs that are limited to server-workstation platforms.
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Airmantharp
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Re: stills processing?

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:52 am

just brew it! wrote:
Amount of RAM on the GPU card isn't even particularly critical for your use case. What matters is that it isn't competing with the CPU for RAM bandwidth, especially if you opt for a high-resolution monitor.


That, and that even a low-end discrete GPU may be helpful for offloading processing. Adobe is (poorly) working on this, but other RAW developers (Capture One, DxO Optics) are doing a better job, and Adobe may get it right in the near future.
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Steve-S
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Re: stills processing?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:52 am

Pancake wrote:
Steve-S wrote:
  • 32GB RAM, more if possible; DDR3/2133 is fast enough
  • i5/6500 ...  i7 if I can find the budget
  • mid/low - end GPU is fine... mostly so an iGPU doesn't suck system-RAM (thus, more RAM on the gfx-card beats a better GPU-core on the card).
  • If I decide the budget can't swing a discrete GPU, I need even more RAM.

Sounds like your proposed system would kick my main system's butt (i5-3570, 32GB, GTX970) and I do use it for crunching large multi-GB spatial datasets...
Don't forget an SSD main drive.

Well... I'm proposing a somewhat better CPU (unless I can swing the i7, then maybe butt-kicking), but the same RAM; it doesn't look all that different, really.  Does your spacial modelling take advantage of the GPU hardware?  Some "spatial" s/w, I understand, can use the GPU to accelerate this because it's so mathematically-similar...  

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