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Author Topic: In depth look at a PC for photoshop  (Read 5386 times)
adam z
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« on: April 28, 2010, 02:11:14 AM »
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I am looking at buying a new PC in the next month. Sorry for so many questions but I need help from somewhere. I have been to a number of computer shops asking for a PC for use with photoshop. Problem is the people seem to want to tell me what I need rather than listen to what I want, and it seems they would rather just sell me a package deal. It is also worth pointing out that none of them seem to know much about photoshop or high level image editing or the requirements of a specialist system to suit. They seem to think that a good graphics card is what I need - I don't see thast this is so important, although I am not overly knowledgeable in what all the bits of a computer do.

I know there are a lot of people running large files through photoshop on here, and I think that they would have more idea than the average Joe salesman about what might work for me. I have looked into Macs, and I have decided to stay with a PC, so please don't bother suggesting one. I want a PC with 64bit Windows 7 that will be fast with my current cameras RAW files (Canon 7D), as well as working on TIFF or PSD files in photoshop with layers. A typical work in progress in photoshop would be a single shot converted to a 16bit TIFF with up to say 10 regular layers, and half a dozen adjustment layers. I rarely do panos, maybe one or two a year so stitching is not a real concern and I am happy to wait for the machine on those rare occasions. I do at some point intend getting a camera with a higher resolution (whatever MP/file sizes a 1Ds MkIV ends up with), so I don't want the 7D files to be pushing the limits.

In my opinion, and from what I have read here - this seems to be the order of importance of parts for my purposes, and some questions about each component:

DDR 3 RAM - as much and as fast as I can afford to buy. So what brands/speeds(MHz?) should I be looking at? Also I have heard a lot of talk about 3 lots of ram (like 6GB rather than 8GB, or 12GB rather that 16GB) for PCs. How and why would this make sense assuming a 16bit OS. Would this mean leaving one RAM slot empty when there are 4, or only having 3 slots to start with.

Hard Drive - As fast as I can afford (my personal backup stratergy does not involve masses of internal HD space) I am thinking a Velociraptor as they seem popular for the task. Apart from SSD'd is there anything faster/better than Velociraptors? Also, what is the purpose of a scratch disk and do I need one? How much difference will it make and what does it actually do?

CPU - I am thinking i7, but salespeople seem to try and either sell me something else, or one of the older i7's. I know the top of the range i7's are very expensive so I would avoid them. But what would be the pick of the current i7 range in terms of value vs price? How do you pick the best motherboard for your needs/CPU - what do I look for??

Graphics card - So how much difference does it make? I have not settled on a RAW processor for my 7D files yet, so I can't say which RAW software I will be running. Possibly C1pro or LR. Obviously I will obviously be running photoshop (will buy CS5 when I get the machine. I have no interest in video editing, watching or gaming - just processing photos as quickly and easily as possible. Any suggestions as to the best brand for my purposes. I have heard ATI are better for image editing and Nvidia for Gaming. What is the differences to look for in one 1GB card over another apart from price. They all look the same to me. I woulod like a better understanding before I choose.

What else did I miss? If you can think of anything else that may be helpful I would love to know. I will be using either an NEC or Eizo monitior with internul LUT in case that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance

Adam



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Farmer
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2010, 03:16:13 AM »
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Quote from: adam z
DDR 3 RAM - as much and as fast as I can afford to buy. So what brands/speeds(MHz?) should I be looking at? Also I have heard a lot of talk about 3 lots of ram (like 6GB rather than 8GB, or 12GB rather that 16GB) for PCs. How and why would this make sense assuming a 16bit OS. Would this mean leaving one RAM slot empty when there are 4, or only having 3 slots to start with.

Yup, lots of RAM.  Kingston, Corsair, OCZ are all good brands.  The speed of the RAM won't matter that much - DDR1333 or better.

You want to get a mainboard that supports the triple channel architecture so it will have either 3 or 6 slots.  The triple channel architecture is why you want 6 or 12 etc and it does improve performance.  I'd get at least 12GB - more if you can afford it / get a mainboard to support it.

I don't know what you are getting at with "16bit OS" - you will have a 64 bit OS.

Quote from: adam z
Hard Drive - As fast as I can afford (my personal backup stratergy does not involve masses of internal HD space) I am thinking a Velociraptor as they seem popular for the task. Apart from SSD'd is there anything faster/better than Velociraptors? Also, what is the purpose of a scratch disk and do I need one? How much difference will it make and what does it actually do?

More RAM means less need for a scratch disk, but you will still want one.

If you're not going with SSD (and that's a whole other debate), then a VRaptor is a good choice.  You could consider putting it in RAID for extra speed/redundancy etc, but unless you're technically minded I would suggest not bothering.  Ensure your data is an a different drive to your OS (not jsut a different partition) and yes I'd get a scratch disk (again, another disk, not just a partition) and make it a VRaptor, too (it can be smaller, though - 74GB for example is fine).

Quote from: adam z
CPU - I am thinking i7, but salespeople seem to try and either sell me something else, or one of the older i7's. I know the top of the range i7's are very expensive so I would avoid them. But what would be the pick of the current i7 range in terms of value vs price? How do you pick the best motherboard for your needs/CPU - what do I look for??

Unless you want to spend a lot more and get into a whole other class of performance, then an i7 is an excellent choice.  Usually the second from the top is the best price/performance processor.  Mainboards?  Look for triple channel memory support, look for intel chipset, look at brands like ASUS, GigaByte, Intel itself.  The mainboard is important - scimping there can lower performance and reliability.

Quote from: adam z
Graphics card - So how much difference does it make? I have not settled on a RAW processor for my 7D files yet, so I can't say which RAW software I will be running. Possibly C1pro or LR. Obviously I will obviously be running photoshop (will buy CS5 when I get the machine. I have no interest in video editing, watching or gaming - just processing photos as quickly and easily as possible. Any suggestions as to the best brand for my purposes. I have heard ATI are better for image editing and Nvidia for Gaming. What is the differences to look for in one 1GB card over another apart from price. They all look the same to me. I woulod like a better understanding before I choose.

I would get an nVidia - I've always preferred their driver and their multi-screen software leaves ATI for dead.  In terms of PS performance, any of the newer 1GB cards would do you well whether it's from ATI or nVidia.  I wouldn't be spending more than about $200- and I'd get one with a fan (fanless are nice and quiet, but heat is an issue).

You'll likely get plenty of replies and people will provide specific examples of what they have experienced as being good and bad - it'll be worth reading as there are some really expert folks around here.  I hope the above gives you some general guidance to apply to any specific recommendations.

BTW, if you're going to get CS5 anyway, I'd suggest seeing how you like ACR for raw conversion and workflow before spending money on anything else.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 05:47:26 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
I would get an nVidia - I've always preferred their driver and their multi-screen software leaves ATI for dead.  In terms of PS performance, any of the newer 1GB cards would do you well whether it's from ATI or nVidia.  I wouldn't be spending more than about $200- and I'd get one with a fan (fanless are nice and quiet, but heat is an issue).

I would also suggest considering an nVidia card, but do have a look at the Quadro FX line of cards. Imaging software is increasingly making use of GPU accelleration, and with the Quadra line you are least likey to run into issues. You don't need to go for the top of the line from the start, the 3700 and 3800 models will probably do just fine until you really want to stress things (including your wallet).

For the rest, get at least 8GB of Ram, more is better. Be clever about potential upgrades, and leave some empty slot space to add memory, do not fill all slots with low capacity memory be cause you will have to trow it away when you do need to expand. It's better to add than to throw away, from a cost perspective. There may be configurations that run a bit faster when all slots are filled, but that's hard to predict, it's very hardware dependent.

An i7 processor with plenty of cache memory and cores should be fine, but the quality of the motherboard can spoil a lot pleasure, so get a reputable one. A casing with multiple large fans will allow for a quiet system, and help to keep stuff relatively cool. Fast drives will help with virtual memory use and scratch files.

Cheers,
Bart
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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 07:53:04 AM »
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Here are my thoughts, RAM should be 12 GB and I would go for 6x2 GB. Why ? Because it is really cheap and more than enough even if you get a 30Mp camera. I would go with Corsair, GeIL, OCZ or Crucial and for 1333mhz

CPU Intel Core i7-930/950 depending on how much you want to spend. I am sure that even the 930 will be fast enough.

Mainboard I would go with ASUS or Gigabyte. Foe example the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 would be a nice board.

I would not get a WD Raptor. I think it is just not fast enough. As a System drive SSDs are much better. (128Gb should be enough) and as storage it makes no sense to use Raptors.

I would invest into 2 or 3 500GB dirves in RAID 0 as scratch disk. Very cheap and very fast.

I don't see the sense in spending 600EUR or more for a QuadroFX graphic card. I would go with something a lot cheaper which should be fast enough.As far as I can tell no photographic software uses GPU very well.(as far as I can tell from my experience) LR 3 not at all ? CS5 probably only like CS4 which isn't a lot and even my laptop card isn't any slower. C1 does not use the GPU.
So I would just spend 150 on a normal card with 1GB and wait for later. You will always be able to upgrade to a better card if you really need it.

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wcwest
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 08:29:20 AM »
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I just finished a new build in anticipation of CS5 and it was quite a challenge. Thanks goodness I have a MicroCenter near me with a liberal return policy. After reading reviews, I decided on an Asus P6T motherboard, nvida GTX 260 video card and Corsair 12GB Dominator kit as the base unit. First off, the nvida card will not seat on the Asus motherboard (sata connections prevent card from seating - card too long). So I switched out to an ATI card. Finished build and fired it up. Guess what, Asus MB would only recognize 8GB of ram although advertised as a 12GB board. So, back to MicroCenter who allowed me to switch Asus for Gigabyte X58-UD5 motherboard and return the ATI card for the one I originally purchased. Couldn't be happier now. Everything works together just fine. By the way, the Gigabyte MB supports Sata6 and USB 3.0. I strongly suggest you stay with the nvida cards that support CUDA as CS5 will utilize this technology. I chose the HAF 932 case for it's excellent and quiet cooling. It has three 240mm intake fans and is very quiet. Take your pick of i7-9xx cpu's depending on budget. I am using the i7-920 which I will be overclocking. However, the i7-930 was just released at the same price I paid for the i7-920 ($200 at MicroCenter). There is plenty of information on OC'ing the 920 (D0 version) to the 3.8-4.0 range, not sure about the i7-930. Almost forgot to mention cpu cooling. If you intend to OC you will need something more than standard cooling. The problem I faced was finding a cooling unit that would coexist with the Dominator ram. I finally settled on the Verminator cooling tower. The Megahelms cooler would not work with the Gigabyte MB.

You will find hundreds of opinions on hard drive configurations. My configuration is an Intel X25 80GB ssd for Windows 7 Pro 64bit, Lightroom, Photoshop CS5 and Premier Pro CS5. For scratch, I have 2 western Digital 160GB black Caviars in RAID 0. For working files, a WD 320 GB Velociraptor. For storage I have 2 1TB WD drives, one for photo and one for video. I'm not suggesting this is ideal and hoping this thread doesn't turn into another hard drive discussion!!

Before computers became commodities, I custom built PC's for businesses and never had any trouble assembling anything off the shelf. Things are different now as you can see from my experience. So do your research regarding compatibility or deal locally with liberal return policies. Although my budget was $1,500, this build ended up at about $1,900 mainly due to the hard drive choices.

I hope this gives you some idea of what you are facing with a decision to build a system.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 09:13:55 AM »
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Quote from: adam z
I am looking at buying a new PC in the next month. Sorry for so many questions but I need help from somewhere. I have been to a number of computer shops asking for a PC for use with photoshop. Problem is the people seem to want to tell me what I need rather than listen to what I want, and it seems they would rather just sell me a package deal. It is also worth pointing out that none of them seem to know much about photoshop or high level image editing or the requirements of a specialist system to suit. They seem to think that a good graphics card is what I need - I don't see thast this is so important, although I am not overly knowledgeable in what all the bits of a computer do.

I know there are a lot of people running large files through photoshop on here, and I think that they would have more idea than the average Joe salesman about what might work for me. I have looked into Macs, and I have decided to stay with a PC, so please don't bother suggesting one. I want a PC with 64bit Windows 7 that will be fast with my current cameras RAW files (Canon 7D), as well as working on TIFF or PSD files in photoshop with layers. A typical work in progress in photoshop would be a single shot converted to a 16bit TIFF with up to say 10 regular layers, and half a dozen adjustment layers. I rarely do panos, maybe one or two a year so stitching is not a real concern and I am happy to wait for the machine on those rare occasions. I do at some point intend getting a camera with a higher resolution (whatever MP/file sizes a 1Ds MkIV ends up with), so I don't want the 7D files to be pushing the limits.

In my opinion, and from what I have read here - this seems to be the order of importance of parts for my purposes, and some questions about each component:

DDR 3 RAM - as much and as fast as I can afford to buy. So what brands/speeds(MHz?) should I be looking at? Also I have heard a lot of talk about 3 lots of ram (like 6GB rather than 8GB, or 12GB rather that 16GB) for PCs. How and why would this make sense assuming a 16bit OS. Would this mean leaving one RAM slot empty when there are 4, or only having 3 slots to start with.

Hard Drive - As fast as I can afford (my personal backup stratergy does not involve masses of internal HD space) I am thinking a Velociraptor as they seem popular for the task. Apart from SSD'd is there anything faster/better than Velociraptors? Also, what is the purpose of a scratch disk and do I need one? How much difference will it make and what does it actually do?

CPU - I am thinking i7, but salespeople seem to try and either sell me something else, or one of the older i7's. I know the top of the range i7's are very expensive so I would avoid them. But what would be the pick of the current i7 range in terms of value vs price? How do you pick the best motherboard for your needs/CPU - what do I look for??

Graphics card - So how much difference does it make? I have not settled on a RAW processor for my 7D files yet, so I can't say which RAW software I will be running. Possibly C1pro or LR. Obviously I will obviously be running photoshop (will buy CS5 when I get the machine. I have no interest in video editing, watching or gaming - just processing photos as quickly and easily as possible. Any suggestions as to the best brand for my purposes. I have heard ATI are better for image editing and Nvidia for Gaming. What is the differences to look for in one 1GB card over another apart from price. They all look the same to me. I woulod like a better understanding before I choose.

What else did I miss? If you can think of anything else that may be helpful I would love to know. I will be using either an NEC or Eizo monitior with internul LUT in case that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance

Adam

Don't bother with the sales people - they are rarely very knowledgeable. My opinions:

Processor: fastest i7 you can afford. Don't bother with Xeon which, as I understand it, is basically the same but with support for error correcting memory, which is expensive and hardly needed for a personal workstation.

Memory - probably the most important factor. Lots of DDR3. With all the layers you mention you'll likely have some large files, so shoot for 12 GB at least, I would think.

Boot drive: this affects primarily the speed of booting and the speed of program launching. Since you do those things once a day, the speed is not that important IMO. Really fast is nice but money might better be spend elsewhere.

Storage drive: here's where speed comes into play, loading and saving files. An SSD drive, or 2 in RAID 0, would be fastest, but expensive. Two fast hard disks in RAID 0 would be the next choice. With RAID 0, of course, backups are even more important that usual.

Scratch disk: In theory, with a 64 bit OS and lots of RAM this is not going to be used much. But, this is a good place to put a small SSD if you want.

Video cards: My understanding is that the high-end video cards offer fancy on-board 3-D rendering and other features that are not relevant for Photoshop. No need to spend a lot here.

On a limited budget, I think a large, wide-gamut monitor is an essential item and will do more for your photos than a little extra speed.

My 2 cents, FWIW.
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Peter
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 11:04:00 AM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
Video cards: My understanding is that the high-end video cards offer fancy on-board 3-D rendering and other features that are not relevant for Photoshop.

They do that as well, but there is even a specific version for the Adobe CS suite:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/builtforadobepros.html

It's specifications do look an aweful lot like an FX 4800 though...

Cheers,
Bart
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 12:33:09 PM »
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I upgraded my PC a few months back so I know what you're going through. While I agree with most advice, there are a few points where law of diminishing returns will totally annihilate any value of a rig.

  • DDR3 is a waste of money, you won't be able to tell the difference from DDR2. Get as much as you can afford.
  • Expensive GPU is a waste of money, you won't need all that speed and PS won't be able to utilize it to make return on investment to make any sense. Just make sure it has enough outputs and of the right type
  • i7 is great and all, but an i5 offers most of the real-world performance of an i7 at much smaller price.
  • Raptors are overrated, and WD RMA took me over a month to get me a replacement - inexcusable for a premium product. I went for a small OCZ Vertex SSD as my OS and Program Files drive.
  • You don't mention PSU, but don't go cheap here
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 05:22:50 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
I upgraded my PC a few months back so I know what you're going through. While I agree with most advice, there are a few points where law of diminishing returns will totally annihilate any value of a rig.

  • DDR3 is a waste of money, you won't be able to tell the difference from DDR2. Get as much as you can afford.

Well DDR2 will become more difficult to get, will be more expensive (more of an issue if you plan to add more later), and with mainboards supporting triple channel you need DDR3 - there's no reason not to get DDR3.  DDR3 is about 20% more expensive if you compare 1333 DDR3 versus 800 DDR2.  DDR3 will be available in packs of 3 sticks that are matched, which is also a benefit.  DDR2 only gives you 2 or 4 as matching sticks.
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feppe
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2010, 05:47:59 PM »
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Quote from: Farmer
Well DDR2 will become more difficult to get, will be more expensive (more of an issue if you plan to add more later), and with mainboards supporting triple channel you need DDR3 - there's no reason not to get DDR3.  DDR3 is about 20% more expensive if you compare 1333 DDR3 versus 800 DDR2.  DDR3 will be available in packs of 3 sticks that are matched, which is also a benefit.  DDR2 only gives you 2 or 4 as matching sticks.

Bolded section doesn't add up. 20% cheaper is a very good reason to get DDR2. You can get 20% more memory for the same money. And DDR2 will be available for as long his system is a viable work machine. You can get dual channel 16 gig packs, probably larger, so triple channel is unnecessary as well.
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wcwest
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2010, 06:33:27 PM »
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Just be aware when choosing between i5 and i7 CPU's, you are committing to different motherboards. The i5 is a socket 1156 whereas the i7 is a socket 1366. Intel's future processors will require the 1366 socket. With the 1156 you typically have four dimm slots which limit you to 8BG of ram unless you go for 4GB sticks which are very expensive right now. Last time I checked, the i5-860 was more expensive ($240) than the comparable i7-930 at $200.

As far as GPU's go, Adobe is moving to better utilization of GPU acceleration and in particular the nvida CUDA technology. PS CS5 and Lightroom will utilize CUDA although I don't know what the % benefit is. I do know that Premier Pro CS5 is only coming out as 64bit software and that the recommended GPU is the nvida GTX 285 which is a higher end GPU. My guess is that future Adobe releases will be 64bit and much better utilization of GPU's.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2010, 07:47:02 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
Bolded section doesn't add up. 20% cheaper is a very good reason to get DDR2. You can get 20% more memory for the same money. And DDR2 will be available for as long his system is a viable work machine. You can get dual channel 16 gig packs, probably larger, so triple channel is unnecessary as well.

Triple channel is where the real speed benefit comes from using DDR3 so it's very worthwhile (and bear in mind that the 20% difference we're talking about is less than $100-).

You can't get 20% more memory, because it doesn't increment in those degrees.  DDR2 will remain available, but is already less common and the price gap continues to close (eventually, it will probably be more expensive, as we've seen in the past).

For a single processor PC you won't see 16GB and certainly not for anything resembling an efficient price.  You can get 6GB to start and then upgrade to 12GB (just fill 3 more slots) without any great expenditure if using DDR3 and you'll have a faster performing system.
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 10:49:26 PM »
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DDR2 - DDR3? What particular architecture you're considering will dictate that.

Intel Based PC's have traditionally used a North Bridge that (among other things) served as a channel for access from the CPU to RAM.  As you can well imagine the clock speed of this determined in a very large part the overall performance of the computer.  Starting the the X58 chipset, Intel introduced on-die (in other words, the memory controller is on the CPU itself) "triple channel" memory access that effectively decoupled the clock rate of the North Bridge, from CPU/Memory access.  Triple channel refers to the fact that memory access is interleaved.  In systems with 4 memory slots - populating all 4, or populating with non-conforming memory, effectively disables this, forcing memory access to be once again via the North Bridge.  In a system with a chipset that does not offer triple channel, on die access, or a misconfigured system, DDR3 effectively becomes a faster version of DDR2.

I'll continue to beat this drum.... but IMO using non ECC memory above 8-12GB is probably not the best idea.......
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2010, 11:33:30 PM »
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Quote from: Joh.Murray
DDR2 - DDR3? What particular architecture you're considering will dictate that.

Intel Based PC's have traditionally used a North Bridge that (among other things) served as a channel for access from the CPU to RAM.  As you can well imagine the clock speed of this determined in a very large part the overall performance of the computer.  Starting the the X58 chipset, Intel introduced on-die (in other words, the memory controller is on the CPU itself) "triple channel" memory access that effectively decoupled the clock rate of the North Bridge, from CPU/Memory access.  Triple channel refers to the fact that memory access is interleaved.  In systems with 4 memory slots - populating all 4, or populating with non-conforming memory, effectively disables this, forcing memory access to be once again via the North Bridge.  In a system with a chipset that does not offer triple channel, on die access, or a misconfigured system, DDR3 effectively becomes a faster version of DDR2.

I'll continue to beat this drum.... but IMO using non ECC memory above 8-12GB is probably not the best idea.......

Thanks for the more technical explanation, Joh, as always.

I would think for the OP that 12GB would be sufficient and should avoid the problems you're talking about with higher amounts.
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adam z
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2010, 11:11:53 PM »
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Thanks for all the valuable information in all youre replies. I will have another read through this before making my final purchasing decisions.
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2010, 06:10:42 AM »
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I just purchased a new PC for myself.   I'll spare you all of the details but will add in this link for you.  This site has an excellent layout where you can add/remove components as you build your own system.   This outfit has been around for at least a dozen years, recommended to anyone who lives within driving distance as they also provide warranties and onsite service.  http://www.pcsforeveryone.com  Located in Cambridge, MA

Go into the home desktop section and select the Intel 4000 series.  Build from there.  Good luck!

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adam z
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2010, 05:55:42 AM »
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I'm getting close to finalising my system, and have narrowed my choices down. This is what I am looking at, and as you will see I still have a few questions.

*CPU - either:

i7 930 2.8GHZ
i7 950 3.02GHZ
i7 960 3.2GHZ

How much of a noticeable difference will there be between these 3 CPUs. There is a massive difference in price between the 930 and 950 (almost double), and a lesser jump between the 950 and 960. This means I would probably either go for the 930 or jump right up to the 960.


*Mainboard - either:

Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5
Gigabyte GA-X58-UD7
ASUS P6 X58D Premium

I am not sure of the diffference between the UD5 and UD7, anyone else know?


*Memory (RAM)

Corsair 12GB (6 X 2GB) PC3 - 12800 1600Mhz DDR3 8-8-8-20 Dominator W. DHX+

Please feel free to let me know if there is anything better for the same price, or about equal but cheaper. I am not certain about RAM, I don't understand the practical difference between 1333Mhz and 1600Mhz for example. I assume that higher Mhz is faster, but is it very noticeable? I also don't know what the numbers like 8-8-8-20 in this particular RAM mean.


*OS/Program Drive(s)

A few questions on this still. Is it best to have the OS on a different drive to PS and any other programs, or should they all be fine on the one drive. Would a fast drive be necessary for this/these drives or would something like WD Caviar Black be fast enough? If not either a Velociraptor or SSD might be worthwhile. Opinions please!


*Scratch Disk - either:

single 74GB Velociraptor
single small capacity Mercury SSD (not sure of the name, but the one on the digilloyd blog this month).

What is the minimum scratch disk size you would recommend using?


*Video/Graphics card (GPU)

Still not sure yet, but probably a  Nvidia 1GB with a fan

Could someone recommend a particular model please?


*Data Drives

I plan on setting up 3 or 4 WD Caviar Blacks or if I can afford them, RE3/RE4 1 or 2TB drives in Raid 5 in a seperate box (I forget what this is called) as I have heard that this is the best combination of speed and keeping my images safe. I will also have an offsite backup of important files.


Apart from cases, power supply, DVD drives, modems, keyboard, mouse and a monitor - is there anything I have forgotten in this post?

Hopefully I will be buying in the next 3-4 weeks, so I am hoping to decide on exactly what I want so I have time to find somewhere good to buy from here in Adelaide, Australia.

Thanks again in advance

Adam

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B-Ark
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 06:25:55 AM »
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According to this article ...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory...ng-i7,2325.html
... faster memory is a waste of money.
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feppe
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Oh this shows up in here!


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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 06:31:39 AM »
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That's a pretty high-end system you're setting up. You can either buy the latest and the greatest and suffer results of law of diminishing returns and early adopter costs, or you can buy what gives best ROI. It sounds like you're going for latter, so a few points.

You're getting only a marginal improvement going from 930 to 950, so paying double doesn't make any sense.

There shouldn't be even a thought given between HDD and SSD for scratch disk; SSD is much faster. In fact, a second SSD for OS and program files might be justifiable in such an expensive setup. I doubt there would be added benefit of splitting OS and Program Files between two SSDs - certainly for HDDs.

Haven't checked your memory choice, but that's usually where the biggest savings are - you really have to ask yourself does it make sense to pay 20% premium for 2% performance increase (typical case in the bleeding edge).

You don't need 1GB of memory on your graphics card, and this is a place to save on - just make sure it has the connections (quantity and types) you need.

Get a good preferably modular PSU which should have more wattage than you need. This is not something where you want to save.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 08:57:51 AM »
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Consider RAID 10.  It combines the speed benefits of RAID 1's striping with the safety of RAID 5.  (The downside is it cuts your usable capacity by 1/2 instead of by 1 disk.)

Quote from: feppe
There shouldn't be even a thought given between HDD and SSD for scratch disk; SSD is much faster. In fact, a second SSD for OS and program files might be justifiable in such an expensive setup. ...
So the oft-heard caveat about not using SSD's for write-heavy applications (like the scratch disk) as opposed to read-heavy situations like OS/apps is a canard that may safely be disregarded?  And you're saying you would go with SSD for the scratch drive before you would put one on OS/apps?

Nill
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 09:01:26 AM by Nill Toulme » Logged
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