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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    151

    PC for Lightroom and Photoshop

    Hi, I don't know where to put this, so my apologies if it's in the wrong forum.

    I am going to build a fast computer, primarily to run LR and Photoshop.

    I read that LR doesn't really utilize the GPU

    Balance between memory and processor. Would I be better off with a quad core processor, or dual Xeon processors.
    How about memory? I have 8 G's (4-2G sticks of OCZ Reaper)
    It's DDR2, but if an i7 processor would be significantly better, I could buy DDR3, but I'd prefer to stick with what I have if possible. Since the 8G's I have cost a fair chunk of change, I'd like to use them if possible, *however* if DDR3 would be significantly better, then let me know.:-) Not necessarily the DDR3, I understand that it alone wouldn't be that much better, but if a motherboard or processor that needed DDR3 was significantly better, that's what I mean.:-)

    I'll be using a 64 bit OS, to utilize all of my RAM if nothing else.:-)

    I know that the HD's are pretty important, something like SATA 10,000 rpm would be good.

    I guess I'm just looking for suggestions.:-)
    Joe
    Kalispell, MT
    http://dogshots.biz

    Canon EOS 50D

    Canon S2 IS

    Sigma 18-200 OS
    Canon 85mm f 1.8
    Canon 70-200 f 2.8 IS L

    Canon Speedlite 430 EX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Total overkill IMO.

    Any standard desktop PC with 2-4GB RAM and a decent motherboard and processor will run Lightroom at an acceptable speed.
    A RAID array and a decent data back up procedure are more important IMO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    You're right, LR at this time doesn't use the GPU. It is a CPU and memory intensive application, with hard disk activity being 3rd. I don't see that changing much aside from adding the improvements they did to PS CS4 with scrolling/scaling images.

    Don't bother with the Xeons. Don't bother with RAID either. It will hardly help you at all here unless we're talking RAID 1 for mirroring.

    Get a good dual or quad core. i7 is great, but great deals can be had on Core 2's now. i7 is 10-15% faster depending on the app from what I've seen. DDR3 is very expensive. Stick with your 8GB DDR2.

    The HDD isn't as important, any current 500GB - 1TB drive is fast enough to feed the data to LR. I recommend Western Digital's 640GB drive all the time because its the best price/performance you can get. Extremely reliable, and fast.

    I use a Raptor for my Windows/Apps/Games drive, but all pictures/music/videos and other storage goes on the 640. Due to the much larger platter density, the WD640 is actually slightly faster in sustained read/write speeds. It is the access time that puts the Raptor ahead, and some apps take advantage of this.

    I use an E6850 clocked at 3.6Ghz. Bang for the buck, very hard to beat. Right now you would want something slightly newer, I built this in the fall of 2007.

    Do not neglect the PSU - too many people do this.

    What's your budget?
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality View Post
    Don't bother with RAID either. It will hardly help you at all here unless we're talking RAID 1 for mirroring.
    I was suggesting it for mirroring not for performance. I've had two heat related PC crashes this week and the mirrored disks have saved me huge amounts of time, trouble and data loss both times.
    Virtually every motherboard has in built raid now anyway so the only actual additional cost is the second drive, peanuts really.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    Yeah it can be a life saver. I personally don't mirror, although I should. Instead I have an external that I use to backup my machine and several others.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality View Post
    Instead I have an external that I use to backup my machine and several others.
    Which is only as good as the last time it was backed up. With mirroring it's continuous and seamless in my experience.
    That does not mean that you can get away with an external back up. It just means that if one hard drive crashes as they do you can restore to the exact point of the crash without any problems.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    As long as you keep up with it, it is the better option to have your backup in a different place (external).
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    151
    My budget is "as much as it takes"
    What I plan on so far.
    Lian Li case-I know that it's more expensive, but the full tower I plan to get should last pretty much forever and be super easy to build in. Cooler Master has a case, the Cosmo, that I like except for a couple things.

    2- Seagate Drives
    8 G's DDR 2 memory
    PC Power and Cooling 750-1000 W PSU (give or take)



    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality View Post
    2007.

    Do not neglect the PSU - too many people do this.

    What's your budget?
    Joe
    Kalispell, MT
    http://dogshots.biz

    Canon EOS 50D

    Canon S2 IS

    Sigma 18-200 OS
    Canon 85mm f 1.8
    Canon 70-200 f 2.8 IS L

    Canon Speedlite 430 EX

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    151
    I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but have you ever run LR on "Any standard desktop PC with 2-4GB RAM and a decent motherboard and processor"?

    My desktop with 4G's ram, P4 3.2 G is unacceptably slow, at least for me. In the time it takes me to do one or two pictures with LR on that machine, I can do 10-12 pictures with Breeze Browser Pro and Canon DPP.
    Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Total overkill IMO.

    Any standard desktop PC with 2-4GB RAM and a decent motherboard and processor will run Lightroom at an acceptable speed.
    A RAID array and a decent data back up procedure are more important IMO.
    Joe
    Kalispell, MT
    http://dogshots.biz

    Canon EOS 50D

    Canon S2 IS

    Sigma 18-200 OS
    Canon 85mm f 1.8
    Canon 70-200 f 2.8 IS L

    Canon Speedlite 430 EX

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Fisher View Post
    I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but have you ever run LR on "Any standard desktop PC with 2-4GB RAM and a decent motherboard and processor"?
    I ran it on a Celeron 1.1Ghz with 1.25GB RAM and a 40GB hard drive, oh and a 64MB PCI graphics card. It ran fine albeit slowly.
    My current PC pretty will fits your description 2.4Ghz dual core processor with 4GB RAM and I'm happy with LR2 on that. I guess speed is a relative thing. I can remember when the 486DXs arrived on the scene at the demo train graphic in Corel Draw 3 suddenly started loading in less than 10 seconds rather than the 30 seconds plus it had taken on a 386.

    I'm actually surprised that somebody hasn't chimed in and told you that if you want really fast you should run LR on a Mac or something.

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