Camera Craniums

Computer related questions => PC computer questions, tips and how to's => Topic started by: Graham on January 29, 2013, 03:17:24 PM

Title: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Graham on January 29, 2013, 03:17:24 PM
   Well it's like this.
                              My current computer, a Dell Dimension 9200, is now six years old and getting rather slugish, I'm on Windows XP and so my copy of Lightroom 4 sits on the shelf unopened.
                              Iv'e always used Dell in the past and been happy with them, I have a 20" "Ultrasharp" screen, which I am also happy with but would like to go up to 27" or thereabouts, and possibly go twin screen using my current screen as the second.
                              I really (really really.) want the os to be Windows 7 (Because it isn't Windows 8!).
                              As you would expect it will be used predominantley for photo processing and so I believe I need lots of that Ram stuff?
                              All my pics are on a 2TB drive which I would need to be able to slot in to the new machine (All backed up of course.)
                              As you can probably tell, I don't know the diference between an Intel Pentium 4 Processor and a Mousemat.
                              Where do I go from here?
                                             Graham. :-\
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: skellum on January 29, 2013, 06:47:23 PM
Hello Graham.

I am running two 22" monitors at the shop were I do most of my editing in fact I have done for a few years now and from what I can remember I think both monitors have to be the same for things to work correctly ( Screen resolution wise ). You will also need a Dual Monitor Graphics Card which I think are about £ 20 to £ 30 and they are easy to install yourself. I am also thinking of buying two new 27" monitors ( Think its an age thing, I need to see things bigger nowadays ).

As for staying on Windows 7 I think you will have to shop around for that as the obvious places like PC World are all Windows 8.  Have you tried Dell directly ? Here is a link http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/desktops-n-workstations?~ck=mn#!facets=65235~0~505202&p=1 Seems you still have Windows 7 as a choice there.

As for the twin monitor thing once you have tried it there is no going back. I sometimes do editing at home on one monitor and it is beginning to drive me mad so looks like I will have to buy a second monitor for working at home. Its nice to have all your work spread over two monitors when doing lots of editing such as Weddings.   :tup:
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Reinardina on January 29, 2013, 07:51:15 PM
When I bought my new laptop (Windows 8, but I'm getting used to it), I had to make a choice between more RAM or a faster processor. Both the chap at John Lewis, and my photographer friend advised me to go for the faster processor. Which I did.

To be honest, I do not know how important that is, in every day life, but I thought I'd mention it, so people who do know, can give advice.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Hinfrance on January 29, 2013, 08:44:27 PM
That's interesting Re; I would have gone for the extra RAM. A choice I will have to make for real soon, as my PC is about to peg it from old age and neglect sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Reinardina on January 29, 2013, 09:15:36 PM
That's interesting Re; I would have gone for the extra RAM. A choice I will have to make for real soon, as my PC is about to peg it from old age and neglect sooner rather than later.

I thought so too, but both were adamant (independent of each other), that the faster processor was worth more than the RAM. I just did as I was advised, and I still do not really know, if it was the right choice.
That's why I thought to bring it up here. Someone must know about these things.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Matthew on January 29, 2013, 10:27:44 PM
Hmmm, my laptop has dual screen capability......Something which surprised me when I got it. Even more surprising is that despite my laptop being 17" widescreen, I can hook up my PC standard 19" and it works perfect.......Would love to get a new desktop PC, but the money tree isn't growing very well this year... :'(.......

In answer to the question though........I reckon RAM should take priority over the processor speed, especially with editing suites. I only have an Intel i3, but a decent bit of RAM and my suite runs super quick.

I havent had a Dell, but I understand you can build to order?.......Might be worth getting something made up purely for running high resource consuming programs such as editing suites?
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on January 29, 2013, 11:13:58 PM
That's interesting Re; I would have gone for the extra RAM. A choice I will have to make for real soon, as my PC is about to peg it from old age and neglect sooner rather than later.

I thought so too, but both were adamant (independent of each other), that the faster processor was worth more than the RAM. I just did as I was advised, and I still do not really know, if it was the right choice.
That's why I thought to bring it up here. Someone must know about these things.

The choice between extra ram or faster processor isn't always as clear cut as it is with a laptop. You can't change the processor in a laptop but you can add extra ram yourself hence, why they suggested the processor in your case. In a desktop PC you can change both the processor as well as add extra memory.

In general terms, it was always wise to get as much ram as possible, as the bottleneck was fetching information from the harddisk, rather than the processing speed. This might have changed now, as processors are a lot faster at processing information, and harddisks including SSD are a lot faster in passing that information to the processor. Also, software is written to prefetch information from the harddisk before the processor calls for it. With both harddisks and ram memory now in Gigabytes perhaps, the need to always go for ram rather than processor speed, isn't as important as it once was.  :tup:
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on January 29, 2013, 11:39:30 PM
Here you go Graham: http://www.dabs.com/products/zoostorm-premium-pc-core-i7-2600-8gb-ddr3-2tb-w7hp-86P8.html?refs=4294953510-56580000&src=3

It got Windows 7 64 bit and a free slot for your 2TB harddrive.  :tup:
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 30, 2013, 12:11:33 AM
I digress, but I do think I enjoyed image viewing on my CRT monitors. :(
Pity we no longer have the choice
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on January 30, 2013, 01:16:02 AM
I digress, but I do think I enjoyed image viewing on my CRT monitors. :(
Pity we no longer have the choice

It depends on the model. My fourteen inch one wasn't great, cost "£299 and I still have it. It wasn't until a few years ago that highend LCD screens replaced CRT's.  :o
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Colin on January 30, 2013, 07:13:32 AM
and from what I can remember I think both monitors have to be the same for things to work correctly ( Screen resolution wise ). You will also need a Dual Monitor Graphics Card which I think are about £ 20 to £ 30

As for the twin monitor thing once you have tried it there is no going back. I sometimes do editing at home on one monitor and it is beginning to drive me mad so looks like I will have to buy a second monitor for working at home. Its nice to have all your work spread over two monitors when doing lots of editing such as Weddings.   :tup:

To correct a couple of things here:

Both monitors do not have to be of the same resolution they can be different resolutions and physical size too.

If the graphics card already has 2 outputs (hdmi, DVI, VGA) then you can just plug the second monitor in and drive both in Windows 7. So you may not need an additional graphics card.

Two monitors definitely have improved my workflow so much so I am now considering adding a third BUT that will need another graphics card.

Going back to the original question go for at least a quad core processor and ideally around 16gB of ram if you do a lot of photo processing with Photoshop and an SSD drive for booting and a second fast internal disk to use for your Photoshop scratch disk.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Graham on January 30, 2013, 11:13:30 AM
  Some useful food for thought there chaps. Thanks.
  Colin, not sure what you mean by "SSD drive for booting and a second fast internal disk to use for your Photoshop scratch disk."? Is that to say that you would have a seperate drive where Photoshop would be loaded?
                Graham.  :)
 
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Markulous on January 30, 2013, 02:21:58 PM
+1 to what Colin says! And I'd emphatically go for RAM over processor - modern cameras have large MP images which occupy large amounts of RAM when editing

It's certainly not worth dismissing a system based on whether W8 or W7 - aside from the inherent advantages of W8, a very simple workaround gives you a W7 desktop (and you still get the advantages of W8!)

SSDs are said to be much faster for booting (something I've found can be true on initial install but then when more is installed the advantages wane). But having a separate physical disk for the temporary PS files is definitely a plus!

My minimum recommended system for photo editing would be:
Mobo with USB3 ports (most have nowadays) if you have external hard disks
External hard disk for regular backups - 2TB, USB3
Processor as fast as possible
8GB RAM at least
64bit O/S
Graphics card with twin monitor output (and no, they don't need to be the same monitor or res). No real requirement for graphics speed or RAM unless you process video
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: spinner on January 30, 2013, 03:20:44 PM
  Some useful food for thought there chaps. Thanks.
  Colin, not sure what you mean by "SSD drive for booting and a second fast internal disk to use for your Photoshop scratch disk."? Is that to say that you would have a seperate drive where Photoshop would be loaded?
                Graham.  :)
 

Graham,

As I understand it, the scratch disk is where Photoshop keeps the data of files you're in the process of editing in real time. Not to be confused with where you store the files when not working on them. You want a fast scratch disk because the disk speed will also effect the speed of the editing process, and how fast the changes are rendered.

An SSD drive is like a giant thumbdrive, it's all Solid State no moving parts. Super fast but there's a school of thought that they won't have the longevity of conventional hard drives. An unlike a conventional hard drive won't give you a warning they're breaking down just be dead one day. So the idea is SSD for super fast boot times but not for constant back and forth data processing caused by all day use.

As to the RAM vs. CPU speed, I'll offer this anecdotal evidence. Oct. 2010 I bought a 27" iMac with 8 gigs of RAM. Unbeknowst to me, it was defaulted to run at 32 bits and wasn't using all 8 gigs. I switched it to 64 bit giving access to the extra RAM, I never noticed an improvement.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Hinfrance on January 30, 2013, 03:35:16 PM
SSD s definitely don't last that long. My friend has had two replaced already on his MacBook Pro.

I won't need to worry about a Photoshop scratch file when I get my replacement PC, because I can't afford Photoshop and a PC - one or the other!
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on January 30, 2013, 05:29:20 PM
  Some useful food for thought there chaps. Thanks.
  Colin, not sure what you mean by "SSD drive for booting and a second fast internal disk to use for your Photoshop scratch disk."? Is that to say that you would have a seperate drive where Photoshop would be loaded?
                Graham.  :)
 

SSD equals Solid State Drive a bit like a Compact Flash drive. On a PC your programs are installed on Drive "C" but most allow you to install a second harddisk which can be used as a scratch disk. When you work on a photo in Photoshop it records each action you do and saves the photo to the scratch disk. So if you do 100 actions on a photo, then Photoshop will save that photo 100 times with each version changed by that action. This allows you to have multiple undoes so you could select the fifty action and delete all those that came after it. If you save the photo as a photoshop file then it will save all the actions/photos that have changed. This allows you to go back any time to the Photoshop file and continue as if you have never saved the file. This is why scratch disks are very important to photoshop running quickly.  :tup:
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Graham on January 31, 2013, 10:17:26 AM
  Thanks for all the comments and advice folks, it's pointed me in the right direction and helped with what questions I should be asking.  :tup:
  Iv'e just orderd this. To be installed with Windows 7. 
                                       http://www.dell.com/uk/p/xps-8500/pd?oc=d00x8510&model_id=xps-8500

  Along with this.
                                       http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&sku=609020

                                        I'm sure we'er going to be very happy together!  :)


  Now. What do I do with my old system?  ???
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: hssutton on January 31, 2013, 11:38:14 AM
A point on SSDs. Up until a few weeks ago I was using an SSD as my 'C' drive. Photoshop worked reasonably well, but Lightroom was a painfully slow.
Not getting out much in this cold weather (I'm a sun  worshiper) I decided to build a new PC.

On searching the web I found many people suggesting to load all your programs on to a normal hard drive and use SSDs as scratch disks. Adobe also recommend you do this. So I built my PC using Asrocks P67 Fatal1TY Pro Motherboard, an Intel Core i5 3330 3.00GHz Socket 1155 IvyBridge CPU +16 Gb ram, W7 64bit.
All my programs are loaded onto a 500Gb sata3 hard drive and I use a 240Gb SSD as my main scratch disk with a 94Gb SSD as my secondary scratch disk.

This works exceptionally well with Photoshop CS6 super fast even when stacking as many as 10 Tiff  images for macro. Lightroom 4.3 which we all know is painfully slow, is now much, much faster and a real pleasure to work with.

Harry

Extract from Adobe site.

Solid-state disks

Installing Photoshop on a solid-state disk (SSD) allows Photoshop to launch fast, probably in less than a second. But that speedier startup is the only time savings you experience. That’s the only time when much data is read from the SSD.

To gain the greatest benefit from an SSD, use it as the scratch disk. Using it as a scratch disk gives you significant performance improvements if you have images that don’t fit entirely in RAM. For example, swapping tiles between RAM and an SSD is much faster than swapping between RAM and a hard disk.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: SimonW on January 31, 2013, 11:53:30 AM
Wow Graham! That's exactly the system I've got - bought a short while before Christmas. I'm very pleased indeed with it, running Elements 9 which came with it (among other things).

I ordered an HDMI adapter which their sales advisor said I needed to connect the monitor, but when everything arrived I found that it wasn't required. My single on-line order somehow became 3 different orders with separate prices adding to a considerbly lower total than the original and the small print showing a subtle difference in the monitor description. I was convinced they had substituted a refurbished monitor so I phoned sales and they gave me a lot of flannel assuring me that they were sending a brand new one. When it arrived it certainly appeared to be brand new though I'm still not fully convinced. Perhaps a previous customer returned it still unopened. Anyway, it's still working perfectly....

I've always found Dell hardware to be very good, but their support (should you need it) is quite the opposite. Whatever you do, dont' allow them remote access to your machine - their first move seems to be to reset it to factory conditions.

Good luck.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Graham on January 31, 2013, 01:58:41 PM
   Well Simon, I find our choosing the same system quite reassuring!  :)
   I do find Dell very easy to buy from, I never get the feeling that they are trying to "Upsell". As a package it comes with McAfee protection for twelve months as a download. This is proving to be problematic as I keep geting an "Unexpected Error" message but that is from McAfee's site, not Dells.
   If I wore a hat I would tip it to people like Harry who understand enough of this stuff to build their own! :o
               Graham.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Hinfrance on January 31, 2013, 03:33:30 PM
   Well Simon, I find our choosing the same system quite reassuring!  :)
   I do find Dell very easy to buy from, I never get the feeling that they are trying to "Upsell". As a package it comes with McAfee protection for twelve months as a download. This is proving to be problematic as I keep geting an "Unexpected Error" message but that is from McAfee's site, not Dells.
   If I wore a hat I would tip it to people like Harry who understand enough of this stuff to build their own! :o
               Graham.

I'm more impressed that someone who does not appear to be a tax exile can afford CS6!
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: SimonW on January 31, 2013, 04:27:48 PM
Graham, I didn't have that problem. But I had another with the pre-installed McAfee and perhaps my experience will be of some use to you:-

I already had a three-machine McAfee package. The other machines kept saying there was a machine on the network that wasn't protected by the package, and the new machine also said something similar. McAfee's email support sorted it out very quickly: uninstall McAfee from the new machine (which you need to do using a tool downloaded from their site, not just via Windows program manager) and from the one being scrapped,  then re-install using the 3 user account. McAfee also extended the expiry date on the three user account by four months to compensate for not using the "free" one.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Graham on January 31, 2013, 04:41:39 PM
Graham, I didn't have that problem. But I had another with the pre-installed McAfee and perhaps my experience will be of some use to you:-

I already had a three-machine McAfee package. The other machines kept saying there was a machine on the network that wasn't protected by the package, and the new machine also said something similar. McAfee's email support sorted it out very quickly: uninstall McAfee from the new machine (which you need to do using a tool downloaded from their site, not just via Windows program manager) and from the one being scrapped,  then re-install using the 3 user account. McAfee also extended the expiry date on the three user account by four months to compensate for not using the "free" one.

 Yes, I seem to remember having to do something similar when I got my laptop, so I'm not overly worried about that.  :)
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on January 31, 2013, 06:03:51 PM
   Well Simon, I find our choosing the same system quite reassuring!  :)
   I do find Dell very easy to buy from, I never get the feeling that they are trying to "Upsell". As a package it comes with McAfee protection for twelve months as a download. This is proving to be problematic as I keep geting an "Unexpected Error" message but that is from McAfee's site, not Dells.
   If I wore a hat I would tip it to people like Harry who understand enough of this stuff to build their own! :o
               Graham.

I'm more impressed that someone who does not appear to be a tax exile can afford CS6!

Err.....I've got CS6 but it was an upgrade from CS3.  :tup:
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Hinfrance on January 31, 2013, 06:37:12 PM
We all know you're minted Oldboy ;)
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Reinardina on February 01, 2013, 03:06:42 PM
I invested in E111 for my new laptop.
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Oldboy on February 01, 2013, 05:08:21 PM
I invested in E111 for my new laptop.

What, you mean the E111 European Health Insurance Card? I didn't know it applied to laptops as well!  :P
Title: Re: New 'Pooter Time.
Post by: Reinardina on February 01, 2013, 07:36:08 PM
That's not called E111 anymore, but EHIC.
E111 has now been transferred to pc's and laptops, as they (especially laptops) travel regularly to the continent these days.
I'm surprised you didn't know!