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Author Topic: Specs for my new workstation?  (Read 4112 times)
andyptak
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« on: August 04, 2009, 02:21:48 PM »
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Time for me to get a new workstation. My PC is about 4 or 5 years old and while it seemd fast at the time, 24mp files are choking it now.

I'd like to go to 64 bit XP, but Nik plug-ins only work on 32 bit and I love their plug-ins. I understand that I need 64 bit to go to Quad core and have more than 4gigs of RAM, which I'd love to do. If I get another 32 bit machine now, Nik could support 64 bit in a couple of months and I will have wasted my money. However, if I go to 64 bit now, how can I set it up so I can use my plug-ins?

I've read of some people who claim to use 64 bit Vista and Nik too, I just don't understand how, and no one who says this is their set up has resonded to my enquiry. Thanks.
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seangirard
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2009, 03:00:22 PM »
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Don't know anything about Nik but this might help:

http://www.niksoftware.com/support/usa/ent...ow+Do+I+Install

I think the basic answer is you need to run PS in 32-bit mode to host your plugins.

-sean
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Misirlou
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2009, 06:08:42 PM »
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I thought Nik came out with a 64 bit version of all their plugins last month. I don't use them, so I'm not sure.
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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 08:05:11 PM »
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Quote from: Misirlou
I thought Nik came out with a 64 bit version of all their plugins last month. I don't use them, so I'm not sure.


Well pretty simple. I would go with Vista 64bit. Why ? Because i think it is time and there are no benefits using XP anymore.

As far as Photoshop goes, when installing the 64 bit version there is also a 32 bit one installed. You can use all your current filters with the 32 bit version.

Just because the OS is 64bit does not mean you can't use any 32bit software. You can use every software, they are just not faster on 64bit system. Only 64bit programs are really faster on a 64bit system.

However even 32bit programs CAN benefit from a 64bit system. That comes from the fact that you can have more than 3.7Gb Mem. Installed.
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bradleygibson
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 08:28:21 PM »
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Quote from: Christopher
You can use every software, they are just not faster on 64bit system.

Except device drivers--you need to use 64-bit drivers on a 64-bit OS and 32 on a 32-bit OS.  But Christopher is otherwise correct for applications.

As for nik software:

Are Nik Software products compatible with Photoshop CS4 64-bit on Windows XP 64-bit & Vista 64-bit?
 
At this time, Nik Software products are not compatible with the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS4 on a Windows 64-bit operating system. While native 64-bit support is being considered, current Nik Software products (Dfine 2.0, Viveza, Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex Pro, and Sharpener Pro 3.0) will work in the 32-bit version of Photoshop CS4 that is available with all installations of CS4 on 64-bit operating systems. Click here to find out how to install them into the 32-bit version of Photoshop CS4.  
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 08:30:56 PM by bradleygibson » Logged

Misirlou
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 10:58:50 PM »
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Maybe it was the new Lightroom versions that I was thinking of.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 12:30:14 AM »
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Quote from: andyptak
Time for me to get a new workstation. My PC is about 4 or 5 years old and while it seemd fast at the time, 24mp files are choking it now.

I'd like to go to 64 bit XP, but Nik plug-ins only work on 32 bit and I love their plug-ins. I understand that I need 64 bit to go to Quad core and have more than 4gigs of RAM, which I'd love to do. If I get another 32 bit machine now, Nik could support 64 bit in a couple of months and I will have wasted my money. However, if I go to 64 bit now, how can I set it up so I can use my plug-ins?

I've read of some people who claim to use 64 bit Vista and Nik too, I just don't understand how, and no one who says this is their set up has resonded to my enquiry. Thanks.



I would skip Vista and XP, and wait or preorder Windows 7

I have a 64bit XP I never installed sitting in a folder on a shelf. It is the least supported 64bit OS from the bunch.
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Christopher
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2009, 12:40:42 AM »
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Quote from: Phil Indeblanc
I would skip Vista and XP, and wait or preorder Windows 7

I have a 64bit XP I never installed sitting in a folder on a shelf. It is the least supported 64bit OS from the bunch.


It always depends what you need. A solid very stable workstation I would go with Vista and NEVER with Windows 7. It is just to new. It is great, I have it runing at home, but I would not yet put it on a workstation.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 12:46:02 AM »
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Quote from: Christopher
It always depends what you need. A solid very stable workstation I would go with Vista and NEVER with Windows 7. It is just to new. It is great, I have it runing at home, but I would not yet put it on a workstation.


I would agree with that aproach. Although Win7 is based on Vista.  It is stripped of the bloated way it functions.  
I look at Win7 as a Service pack update to Vista. :-)
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andyptak
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 07:18:33 AM »
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Looking at my question and the replies (thanks all) it is really obvious how our consumer society works.

1. I got a 24mpx camera so I need more RAM

2. In order to be able to use more RAM I need a new operating system

3. In order to be able to use a 64 bit operating system I have to upgrade from CS3 to CS4

It never stops, does it?



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EdRosch
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 07:51:59 AM »
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I'm in a similar circumstance.  My computer might be a bit newer than yours, I'm running a 3 gHz processor with 2 gig of Ram with XP sp2.  The 21 Mpix images from my 1Ds3 are a bit annoyingly slow, but livable and I'm running CS3 and LR2.  Other than that, my system as been very stable.

After looking into things, and having experienced several operating system upgrade nightmares I've decided to wait until System 7 has been publicly released (scheduled for Oct, I believe) and out for about 5-6 months to see how it's working.  Assuming things look good, I plan to do a major computer upgrade, some sort of quad-core with at least 12 gig Ram.  Initially, I'll load CS3 on it, while not running 64 bit, it should be a heck of a lot faster, and then when CS5 is released, make the jump to that.  I'm figuring about March for the computer and sometime in 2010 for the PS upgrade.  In general, I like to do every other version upgrades as they always involve a significant learning curve so I like to extend the 'payoff' part of my learning investments.  Frankly, CS3 is doing pretty much everything I need to make the quality prints I wish, so I don't feel highly motivated to jump into CS4.

BTW- I assume you've maxed out on RAM on your current system, that makes a huge difference in speed.   With the 2 gigs, I usually have both LR and PS open and working on my 21 mpix images with no real problems.  The system is far from 'choking',  in fact, the only times I'm really waiting are to save multi-layered photoshop images, and to export ( RAW convert with LR adjustments) large batches as TIFF's.  Neither particularly slow me down.  Most PS commands are instant, only applying some complex filters cause me to wait a few seconds.  I can't imagine that 3 more megapixels in size would make a huge difference.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 08:00:18 AM by EdRosch » Logged

andyptak
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 03:55:49 PM »
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Ed - even though CS3 is 32 bit and 32 bit can't use more than 4 gigs of RAM (mine has almost 3 gigs allocated to PS) CS3 will still run faster on a 64 bit machine with RAM exceeding 4 gigs ?? - computer dummy here.

I've had my eye on an HP Z600 with quad core and 12 megs of RAM. Love the specs of the machine and it's had really good reviews - but I'm stuck with my Nik plug-ins only available in 32 bit. I love Nik products and use them constantly, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they don't support 64 bit and won't comment if they will in the futuure. Do they think it's going away or something?

My current machine is painfully slow running any kind of batch process and even going from LR to CS3 as my external editor takes way too long. My layered files in CS3 are often about 500 megs or so and I could have a cup of coffee while I'm waiting for it to save!

My worst circumstance though is with DxO, which I use as my RAW converter (love LR but prefer the RAW's from DxO) I usually have to leave Dxo processing for overnight because it takes so long. Yesterday I was processing 196 files and after 5 hours I went to bed. I have no idea when it eventually finished.
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tived
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2009, 11:01:00 PM »
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Windows XP x64 has been a solid performer since 2006, though my Canon utility doesn't work with it, which is probably the only software I am unable to use.

I use my workstation for professional retouching for photographer in my local area, south east asia and australia :-) I also use a Macpro dual dual core, for similar tasks and it fades, but is prettier to look at.

I haven;t tried Win7, so far everything I have heard and read about it says it will the better OS from MS.  You can still down load the trial beta version for some time yet. there is not doubt, that there will be some drivers missing initially but by Xmas or so everyone will have to their Sh*t together.

get lots of ram, consider SSD hard drives. set up your system with multiple drives and even raid. or several of them :-)

Good luck

Henrik
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Misirlou
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2009, 12:03:19 AM »
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I've been running the Windows 7 release candidate since it was officially downloadable (and a previous beta before that). I've got it on an old Pentium 4 laptop from 2005, a mongrel homebuilt AMD dual core machine (64 bit W7 version on that one), and a $200 Acer netbook. Other than a flaky old USB to serial adapter that barely worked under XP, I have yet to find any hardware that has no W7 driver support. I haven't had an O/S crash yet on any of the three machines, and they all run substantially snappier than they did on their previous O/S (XP or Vista).

So far, the only apps that haven't worked are a 2004-vintage media organizing program (which didn't run well under Vista either), some even older games, last year's Symantec security s/w, and the freebie suite that came with a new Panasonic point and shoot I got last week. Those are mostly problematic only on the 64 bit version of W7. There are also some annoying error messages when I try to run automated backups from the 64 bit machine to Windows Home Server, but Microsoft announced that Home Server will be updated in the next month or two to resolve that one.

All the Adobe apps work just fine. I use DxO on the P4 laptop (W7 32 bit) and the AMD machine (W7 64 bit), and it runs fine on both. Seems faster than Vista did, but I didn't run any controlled tests.

If you think W7 will follow the standard pattern of new Microsoft O/S versions being buggy and unstable at first, I think you'll be proven wrong this time. W7 is indeed based on Vista, but the interface is quite a bit improved (offering some really nice features not seen anywhere else, Mac included), and the underlying guts have been optimized to require a lot less from the hardware. For crying out loud, I run Lightroom 2 on the Acer netbook with 1G of RAM. And that's a 24,000 photo catalog, with all the Aero bells and whistles on. Try that with Vista, or XP for that matter.

Feel free to "wait for Service Pack 1" if you must, but I already find XP very painful to use now, and I won't even bother with Vista. The W7 RC version is more stable than Vista with the latest service pack. And I'm certainly no Windows fanboy; I've got Linux running on some of those same machines, I tried OS X on all of them (Decided to keep it on the Acer, which is excellent), and I have some dedicated Macs to use as well. I like W7 more than any of the others, hands down.

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Pete_G
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2009, 09:19:10 AM »
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I'd second that. Normally one would wait and allow a new OS some time to debug and mature, but in the case of Windows 7 v Vista I don't think it's necessary. W7
is way way better than Vista, it has an enormous driver database, it's stable and fun to use, unless you're very unlucky it should be fine for you.
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andyptak
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2009, 09:59:37 AM »
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Misirlou - DxO works faster on the new OS even though it's still 32 bit? Can't figure out why DxO have not moved to 64 bit support yet - dumb. A DxO user is not your average hobbyist, so why do they cripple their application from being used in a more professional environment?
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dfarkas
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2009, 10:38:15 AM »
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Quote from: Pete_G
I'd second that. Normally one would wait and allow a new OS some time to debug and mature, but in the case of Windows 7 v Vista I don't think it's necessary. W7
is way way better than Vista, it has an enormous driver database, it's stable and fun to use, unless you're very unlucky it should be fine for you.

I'll third it.

I'm running Win 7 RC 64-bit (build 7100) and it has performed flawlessly. Totally stable, very snappy, and the UI improvements are really great (Apple might even have to copy some). Also, instant indexed searching is really nice.

I skipped Vista entirely. Every time I tried it, I just couldn't stand it. And, compatibility issues never seemed to be fully resolved. In the past, I'd always wait at least a year to upgrade to a new OS. This time around, I decided to jump the gun and am happy that Win 7 is a modern OS done right.

David
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EdRosch
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2009, 11:21:15 AM »
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Quote from: andyptak
Ed - even though CS3 is 32 bit and 32 bit can't use more than 4 gigs of RAM (mine has almost 3 gigs allocated to PS) CS3 will still run faster on a 64 bit machine with RAM exceeding 4 gigs ?? - computer dummy here.

I've had my eye on an HP Z600 with quad core and 12 megs of RAM. Love the specs of the machine and it's had really good reviews - but I'm stuck with my Nik plug-ins only available in 32 bit. I love Nik products and use them constantly, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they don't support 64 bit and won't comment if they will in the futuure. Do they think it's going away or something?

My current machine is painfully slow running any kind of batch process and even going from LR to CS3 as my external editor takes way too long. My layered files in CS3 are often about 500 megs or so and I could have a cup of coffee while I'm waiting for it to save!

My worst circumstance though is with DxO, which I use as my RAW converter (love LR but prefer the RAW's from DxO) I usually have to leave Dxo processing for overnight because it takes so long. Yesterday I was processing 196 files and after 5 hours I went to bed. I have no idea when it eventually finished.

I can't really answer that as I'm hardly an expert myself.  With 'only' two gig of RAM and a 3 gHz single core (or whatever the Pentium 4 was) processor, my experience seems to be better, or at least faster than yours.  I'd speculate that you've got some sort of speed bottleneck that has nothing to do with the processor or RAM, you might wish to investigate that.  In my case, full size multilayered images do take a while to save, but not "go off for a cup of coffee" amounts of time.  I am considering getting a RAID 0 array on my next machine to assist with that- it's supposed to speed up disk performance about 50%.

The comments posted here about the speed and stability of Windows 7 are heartening indeed and I may speed up my schedule to early next year for the upgrade.

BTW- are you defragging your disk on a regular basis and do have have at least 10% free space left.  Either of these issues can bring a system to its knees in my experience.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 11:24:31 AM by EdRosch » Logged

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