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Thread: PC configuration tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    PC configuration tips

    My existing PC which is four years old is creaking at the seems.

    For a number of reasons I need to remain in the Wintel system area but I have got out of touch with processors.

    My main requirement is to input film scans in Vuescan, then post process in Lightroom and CS6. I am currently running XP and of course will be upgrading to Windows 7 64-bit premium.

    Any suggestions for processor, RAM size and Discs?

    I am assuming that I would benefit from a minimum 8GB RAM, especially as the memory management in W7 now means it can be utilised.

    I am also attracted to using one of the new SSDs for my OS and possibly LR4/CS6.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    LouisB

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: PC configuration tips

    IMHO...

    Always try to go for the highest CPU speed you can afford or want to afford. IMO more CPU cores at the expense of GHz (CPU speed) for the same price of CPU is not worth it. Often apps don't use more than one core anyway, hence better off with more GHz. Not sure about LR and the like? I note the latest LR4 only runs in Win7 not XP. Having said that multicore is inevitable these days.

    SSDs can be a bit tricky, some early versions have great read speed but lousy write speed - watch for that with the model drive you get. The better ones have a balance of both.
    Most of my buddies who built such systems seem to have gone with a SSD for the operating system for speed and a secondary traditional drive of 1 - 3Tb for data storage. This works well but you have to of course watch where you are saving data. Typically you may need a 128Gb SSD, the 60Gb drives a too tight to load everything IMO unless you keep installed software trim. Are you installing MS Office for example?

    While I like SSDs, no one is sure yet how easily the data will be recoverable from them. If its only used for OS and apps this can easily be reloaded but often email lands on the C drive by default unless you specify elsewhere. Its odd to talk of recovering it before you've even bought it but its worth knowing the risk.

    If you have a dual drive SSD/Magnetic drive setup you can load an OS on both so that if the SSD fails you can still boot from the secondary. The BIOS can be setup to default boot the SSD then choose the mag drive if needed.

    Don't forget to backup. Then make another backup.
    But of course you are doing this already.

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    Re: PC configuration tips

    I am running W7 with a 128gb SSD drive, a 1tb storage drive and a graphic card with 1 gig. Running LR 4 and Photoshop CS6 very well

    The only problem I have is my processor a 3 core AMD not Intel, with 6 gigs of ram.

    When using Photoshop with many layers or not the processor is working at 80%, the ram working at 30%, could be increase.

    My next step is a new mother board, ddr3 ram and a 6 core processor with 8 or 12 gigs of ram. Another 1 tb to be mounted has a mirror back up to the 1 tb storage and again I prefer AMD processors to Intel.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: PC configuration tips

    Guys thanks for the response, very helpful and cements my understanding. I was assuming I would use a SSD only for the executables and continue to store all my data on the secondary hard discs.

    BTW, not only do I backup my photographs to an external drive but I also do something very few people do which is I have another offsite backup stored at my place of work. After all, if your house burns down or even more likely someone breaks in you'll lose your backup.

    I suppose the future will be storing in the cloud and relying on your managed service to ensure that it is backed up.

    LouisB

  5. #5
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: PC configuration tips

    When I upgraded my Dell workstation, initially I was looking at (and guided towards) dual six core Xeon processors. But when I told my adviser what I really was doing with C1 and CS6, et al., and considering bang for the buck, he steered me back to dual quad core Xeon processors and with a faster ghz speed. Added 64 Gigs of ram, heavy duty video card. I opted for a fast 10K drive for the o/s. I have a fast SSD in my old workstation, but SSDs can be finicky, and I'm not entirely convinced yet. I have another SSD that randomly disengages from the new system, though it is easy to pull and reinstall in seconds, it can be a pita. I'm really liking the rock solid 1TB WD velociraptors.

    ken

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