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Author Topic: Updated; Re:need a pc for under US$1000 (now $1500)  (Read 6492 times)
Rocco Penny
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« on: July 21, 2011, 06:15:32 PM »
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Some time ago I asked about buying a computer that would better suit my needs.
Making large stitches and so on has me just about fluxomed by the wait.
I have a system so can still operate,
in addition,
I waited 2 years longer than I wanted to and as the result can spend an extra $500
So for under $1500 I have come up with some silliness to stretch my skill.
I7 2600K+Asus p8p67 deluxe,
corsair memory is guaranteed to support the firepro I want,
so, 16gb vengeance 8-8-8-24 1.5v xmp,
GPU a firepro 4800, or if I splurged a v5900 or my dream v7900 unit(is the 4800 as fine as all for 10 bit viewing?)
that is my one real question here, should I work weekends and get the 5900 or 7900?
2 crucial M-4 64gb ssd one for os + rendering software etc. one for scratch and working images
4 hdd rotation with samsung spinpoint f3 1tb units(soft on this too) I'd use any hdd people have good success with,
and since I'm so green I'll use a really efficient kingwin lazer platinum 550w power supply
I'm thinking of an inexpensive box to house all these components.
I'm confident I can do the build.
Taking expense out of it for a moment,
talk me out of purchasing these parts.
Thank you,
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 06:21:48 PM by Rocco Penny » Logged
Raw shooter
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 09:44:46 PM »
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The system you listed looks great. Killer speed.
Since you asked, I guess the monitor would still be the most important component.  Don't know what you're using.
I might switch out the SSD's to Intel and the storage drives to Western Digital Blacks. Maybe a bit larger power supply and for sure add extra fans in a decent case.
Maybe for my taste - two nice monitors over some of the extra drives.  One SSD is fantastic and one big 30 inch IPS monitor would be great.  Adding a second monitor has been blissful.  The monitors will kill your budget, but as a photographer it's a must.
One of the fun parts of hardware is the game of selecting the pieces.  Hope you enjoy the ride.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 10:29:19 PM »
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Great specs - I just received and have been working with this motherboard - impressive.  You might want to consider nVidia graphics - a 470, 480 or even 570.  These are supported by Adobe Premiere 5.5 greatly enhancing Video Rendering.  If you're absolutely certain you won't be doing video production (or not running Premiere) - by all means the ATI looks fine (and runs cooler as well).

Another thing you might want to consider is using a 10k RPM drive for system (I'd recommend either the WD 600 or 450GB as they support SATA 6GB), then adding a small 40GB SSD drive as a cache, the Sandy Bridge chipset directly supports this - you get most of the performance SSD will give you along with capacity at a fraction of the price.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 10:34:25 PM by John.Murray » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2011, 12:11:01 AM »
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Rocco Penny,
Congratulations, the system looks perfect to me.
The FirePro 4800 is fine for 10-bit see http://www.imagescience.com.au/kb/questions/152/10+Bit+Output+Support

------------

John.Murray,
The OP wants 10-bit output, so it must be a QUADRO or FIRE class card connect through the DisplayPort + Win 7 + CS5 + capable monitor.

-----------

To anyone interested:
To know how much power is needed http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
The best Power Supply reviews:  (They have other interesting stuff too)
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power
http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2011, 08:07:23 AM »
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So all this waiting has me thinking too much.
It takes literally 20 minutes to mess with any number of raw conversions, sometimes an hour or A DAY for giant stitches.
Litrally 17 hours.
50 25.4mp raws into a 2 gig machine is painfully slow.
I have the tendency to sit and surf etc while doing this work.
I want to multitask as I'm doing conversions or editing.
I've had it with my machine.
I have done the research to at least vaguely understand the components of a computer, the specific needs that I have would be well served by using reasonably priced hardware in a well thought out plan.
I want to use this computer for rendering
The processor is 100 more than the next fastest, and I wouldn't want to go slower so +100
The M/B is 100 more than the next least expensive set-up so +100 (asus is having problems with s3 sleep signal issues with the deluxe in other than default settings-i could be made to use an intel p8p67 board)
the SSD's are for my own vanity in the face of waiting + 100
I want, and need faster stuff.
The 16 gigs ram are for futureproofing, and I have to get specific ram to match my 10 bit card +50 or 75
firepro is because I have read many reviews of different GPU and decided the firepro line is a good option,
10 bit support pcie 2.0 and an entry level card for 150 if I like it and think I need more power and monitor options later I'll get a different card-or should I work weekends to dabble in professional gear? The 4 display ports on the 7900 got me to thinking how to use them I already have dual 8 bit monitors (HP2475W) one of em is only good for web browsing etc because of the pink tint of the background
I am replacing my current editing monitor with either a spectraview or coloredge-
I don't know which is better for me-
I may pay for both,
set them up at the same time side by side in my studio, and keep the one that works best for me.
Is that ethical?
I think so.
Get both monitors set them up side by side in your viewing environment, and keep the one you like best.
It seems fine if you only open the box for that purpose.
I think for storage I'm getting plainjane f3 spinpoints- 50 bucks a pop has me getting 4 I'll cache on one mirror as they fill change them out for new ones. Takes me about 1 year per Tb
the power supply is adequate
especially for the 4800 option
I'll be sure about temperatures in the case with the correct fans.
I have been really thinking about this and I see this computer as fitting both my needs and desire.

So for roughly 375 more than a bare bones computer I'd have a really great little machine.
Or get a moderately priced HP online for about 1000
If I agressively pursue discounters I could feasably build this thing for 1200 + extras
So for 2 to 3 hundred more and some labor I'll have a vastly superior machine for my purpose.
The hardware is hard to pin down, it changes monthly,
the new boards have sleep issues that occur when set to anything other than default for many people & some with no customizing have the sleep issues.
Only some and many seem to have it occur when monkeying with settings.
So I'm gonna chance it and I only need pcie 2.0
basically have my mind made up unless one of you artist types can talk some sense into me.
Thank you,
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PeterAit
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 08:17:50 AM »
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The system you listed looks great. Killer speed.
Since you asked, I guess the monitor would still be the most important component.  Don't know what you're using.
I might switch out the SSD's to Intel and the storage drives to Western Digital Blacks. Maybe a bit larger power supply and for sure add extra fans in a decent case.
Maybe for my taste - two nice monitors over some of the extra drives.  One SSD is fantastic and one big 30 inch IPS monitor would be great.  Adding a second monitor has been blissful.  The monitors will kill your budget, but as a photographer it's a must.
One of the fun parts of hardware is the game of selecting the pieces.  Hope you enjoy the ride.

Yes, the monitor is essential. On a budget you can get one good monitor such as a Spectraview and a cheapo for the 2nd. Use the good one for your images and the cheap one for non-image display.

As for the ethics of buying a monitor for evaluation and then maybe returning it, all you need to do is ask about the seller's return policy.
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 08:45:27 AM »
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2 crucial M-4 64gb ssd one for os + rendering software etc. one for scratch and working images
4 hdd rotation with samsung spinpoint f3 1tb units(soft on this too) I'd use any hdd people have good success with,
and since I'm so green I'll use a really efficient kingwin lazer platinum 550w power supply
I'm thinking of an inexpensive box to house all these components.

I'll hit these in order:

a.  64gb SSD's for most people come up short on capacity.  SSD's lose performance at the 70-75% fill rate vs. the 50% for hard drives.  Plus you want to leave room for caches and the such.  I'm a big fan of Crucial and have own several (reviews here), but I wouldn't buy their products at this moment.  Top performer for the money is the Vertex3.  I'd also consider the Revodrive.. even the base Mark 1 is an awesome drive when compared to the SATA formats and their new Revo3 is just stunning.  I think a single high performance SSD is fine for both your stated needs, no real need to separate them.

b.  +1 for WD Blacks.  With their low cost there's no real reason not to go to 2tb, 3tb if they come out before you get around to buying your system.  (currently WD blacks are not available in 3tb)

c.  I love green, but I think you're making a big mistake with only a 550watt power supply.  Power supplies are most efficient when properly built (look for the '80 plus' gold or platinum rating) with quality components, they are properly cooled (look for a model with the big fan on top/bottom vs. the small on the rear AND a case to support it), and when drawing approximately 50-60% of their rated max capability.  

So, a gold or platinum 80 plus rated 850+ watt supply with the large fan design.  And I'd also consider how quiet it is, with todays systems there's no reason you can't have a whisper quiet workstation where the power supply is the loudest component.. With quality cases, proper/effective CPU coolers, quality GPU coolers, and correctly purchased fans, you can end up with a system you can't hear from the floor to your ear while standing.

d.  I don't see a CPU cooler.. surely you're not planning on using the stock Intel cooler?

e.  A cheap case ends up costing you more than a quality case for a number of reasons.  First, they'll save you time during the build with everything fitting properly and no sharp edges to cut your fingers on, the best cases come with really great case fans which are quiet and will last much longer than the cheap fans, but most of all the best cases come with great airflow design.. which will help keep your system cool.  Heat kills electronics and you can extend the life of your components by 2-3x over higher temps.  I'm a fan of Lian-li cases, a sweet model which is both small, very quiet, and extremely cool is the PC-V354.  I've built a few of these for clients along these specs and they love them for their size/quietness/cool running.

f.   Another omission is a quality UPS device.  Once you go through the time and expense of building a quality system, you don't want it destroyed (or worse, intermittent bugs) by surges or brownouts..  Or your monitors.  Buy one large enough to support both.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 08:45:52 AM »
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I'll hit these in order:

a.  64gb SSD's for most people come up short on capacity.  SSD's lose performance at the 70-75% fill rate vs. the 50% for hard drives.  Plus you want to leave room for caches and the such.  I'm a big fan of Crucial and have own several (reviews here), but I wouldn't buy their products at this moment.  Top performer for the money is the Vertex3.  I'd also consider the Revodrive.. even the base Mark 1 is an awesome drive when compared to the SATA formats and their new Revo3 is just stunning.  I think a single high performance SSD is fine for both your stated needs, no real need to separate them.

b.  +1 for WD Blacks.  With their low cost there's no real reason not to go to 2tb, 3tb if they come out before you get around to buying your system.  (currently WD blacks are not available in 3tb)

c.  I love green, but I think you're making a big mistake with only a 550watt power supply.  Power supplies are most efficient when properly built (look for the '80 plus' gold or platinum rating) with quality components, they are properly cooled (look for a model with the big fan on top/bottom vs. the small on the rear AND a case to support it), and when drawing approximately 50-60% of their rated max capability.  

So, a gold or platinum 80 plus rated 850+ watt supply with the large fan design.  And I'd also consider how quiet it is, with todays systems there's no reason you can't have a whisper quiet workstation where the power supply is the loudest component.. With quality cases, proper/effective CPU coolers, quality GPU coolers, and correctly purchased fans, you can end up with a system you can't hear from the floor to your ear while standing.

The crucial m4 vs vertex3 debate is hardly dicsernable for me.
The read and write speeds are pretty meaningless. I'll already have 2 original files on 2 other drives, and between the v3 and m4 I can save money w/m4
Is there a problem w/m4 I've overlooked?

The f3 spinpoints are tried and true, cost 50 bucks each, and have very good reviews nearly everywhere.
I'm not sure I need 2 tb drives nor am I prepared to spend over 120 on one drive I'd have almost 500 in drives as opposed to 200 going f3
Is there an aspect of having the wd's as opposed to the samsungs I've overlooked?

The Kingwin is the first platinum 80 plus power supply available on the www
I have run the numbers and even with the ATI firepro V7900 using 150 watts, my particular set-up calls for a 550 watt power supply even using overclocking standards


I won't monkey with any settings except automatic ones
So buying compatible pieces of hardware is most important.
I will get a surge protected power block
Thank you for your responses.
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 12:16:51 PM »
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The crucial m4 vs vertex3 debate is hardly dicsernable for me.
The read and write speeds are pretty meaningless. I'll already have 2 original files on 2 other drives, and between the v3 and m4 I can save money w/m4
Is there a problem w/m4 I've overlooked?

The f3 spinpoints are tried and true, cost 50 bucks each, and have very good reviews nearly everywhere.
I'm not sure I need 2 tb drives nor am I prepared to spend over 120 on one drive I'd have almost 500 in drives as opposed to 200 going f3
Is there an aspect of having the wd's as opposed to the samsungs I've overlooked?

The Kingwin is the first platinum 80 plus power supply available on the www
I have run the numbers and even with the ATI firepro V7900 using 150 watts, my particular set-up calls for a 550 watt power supply even using overclocking standards


I won't monkey with any settings except automatic ones
So buying compatible pieces of hardware is most important.
I will get a surge protected power block
Thank you for your responses.

a.  If read/write speeds are meaningless to you, then consider saving further money and just using a high speed mechanical drive like a WD Rapter 600..   But if you're trying to say the difference between the M4 and the Vertex 3 is meaningless, I'd agree it might feel like that during day to day tasks, but when stressed (several sources pulling data at once) the difference will be felt.  If they're the same price, or even close to the same price, the Vertex3 makes better sense.

And yes, there is something with Crucial you might not be familiar with.  Look at the C300's.. I own several of them.  They've had SEVEN firmware upgrades in a years time.  Many unhappy customers.  I've personally been happy with their products, but I won't buy from them again until they establish a new history of bringing products to market which are more refined and trouble free.

b.  Almost every hard drive is reliable these days, but the WD Blacks hold the edge and if you pay attention in forums you'll see they're the choice of virtually every professional.  You can also get them in 1tb models if you choose and the price difference is small if any.  And I'd rather have 1 2tb drive pulling 5-6 watts than 2 1tb drive pulling a combined 10-12 watts.  Same storage, more power, more heat.  And if you haven't learned it yet, you will soon.  You can never have enough storage.  Never.  If money is an issue, buy two 2t WD blacks, save 10-12 watts total and a bunch of heat, and you'll have slots to add more later when you need them.k

c.  A platinum power supply is great.  But you're low on power.  Study how power supplies work.  They are most efficient when pulling only 50-60% of their rated max load.  You're way over this.  They also produce a lot less heat at 50-60% rather than pushing their max.  Tom's Hardware if I remember correctly had a great writeup on power supplies which breaks this stuff down.. I'd recommend find it and giving it a read.  If you want your power supply to be the most "green", then you want it to be the most efficient.. which means not loading it to more than 50-60%.  And if you understand how power supplies work, then you'd know a 550 watt power supply pulling for instance 500 watts won't pull any less power than a 850 watt power supply pulling that same 500 watts.  BUT, assuming both are say Gold rated, it's very possible the 550 watt supply will be pulling MORE than the 850 watt simply because it's not as efficient at 90% of it's load as the 850 watt supply will be at 60% of it's load.  It's your choice, but I'd do some reading.

d.  A surge protector isn't worth much, most are nothing more than a power strip with a 10 cent MOV (metal oxide varistor).  You need a UPS device rated for brownouts which is by far the most common and most damage causing condition.  These don't come cheap, and you need to buy the right wattage.. it's tempting to underbuy.. if money is a factor let me know and I'll provide the link for the company who sells APC's outlet products at a great savings.  I'm pretty happy with them.  I just moved from overseas and ordered 4 our their units from 1500 watt server class devices, to 750 watt consumer class.. all arrived in perfect condition with new batteries at less than 1/3rd of the new price.

e.  You haven't mentioned the case.. but I'd highly recommend a quality case and power supply.. you'll use them over and over again as you upgrade motherboards/ram/cpu combinations..  A wise buy..

Good luck with your system.  You have enough to go on, just do the reading..
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2011, 12:23:55 PM »
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The crucial m4 is highly recommended so there's no problem there. The spinpoint f3 is also highly recommended, and since no mechanical hard drive can saturate a 3MB/s interface, there's no need for a 6MB/s interface. I would get a seasonic or corsair psu rated at about 650W. Certain antec models are good also. Have you ever seen a review of the kingwin? I wouldn't go by just the platinum rating.

PS: I see that the kingwin is highly rated, but I would still go with a higher power seasonic, corsair, or antec tp series (made by seasonic).
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 12:52:38 PM by new_haven » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 04:09:33 PM »
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a.  If read/write speeds are meaningless to you, then consider saving further money and just using a high speed mechanical drive like a WD Rapter 600..   But if you're trying to say the difference between the M4 and the Vertex 3 is meaningless, I'd agree it might feel like that during day to day tasks, but when stressed (several sources pulling data at once) the difference will be felt.  If they're the same price, or even close to the same price, the Vertex3 makes better sense.

And yes, there is something with Crucial you might not be familiar with.  Look at the C300's.. I own several of them.  They've had SEVEN firmware upgrades in a years time.  Many unhappy customers.  I've personally been happy with their products, but I won't buy from them again until they establish a new history of bringing products to market which are more refined and trouble free.

b.  Almost every hard drive is reliable these days, but the WD Blacks hold the edge and if you pay attention in forums you'll see they're the choice of virtually every professional.  You can also get them in 1tb models if you choose and the price difference is small if any.  And I'd rather have 1 2tb drive pulling 5-6 watts than 2 1tb drive pulling a combined 10-12 watts.  Same storage, more power, more heat.  And if you haven't learned it yet, you will soon.  You can never have enough storage.  Never.  If money is an issue, buy two 2t WD blacks, save 10-12 watts total and a bunch of heat, and you'll have slots to add more later when you need them.k

c.  A platinum power supply is great.  But you're low on power.  Study how power supplies work.  They are most efficient when pulling only 50-60% of their rated max load.  You're way over this.  They also produce a lot less heat at 50-60% rather than pushing their max.  Tom's Hardware if I remember correctly had a great writeup on power supplies which breaks this stuff down.. I'd recommend find it and giving it a read.  If you want your power supply to be the most "green", then you want it to be the most efficient.. which means not loading it to more than 50-60%.  And if you understand how power supplies work, then you'd know a 550 watt power supply pulling for instance 500 watts won't pull any less power than a 850 watt power supply pulling that same 500 watts.  BUT, assuming both are say Gold rated, it's very possible the 550 watt supply will be pulling MORE than the 850 watt simply because it's not as efficient at 90% of it's load as the 850 watt supply will be at 60% of it's load.  It's your choice, but I'd do some reading.

d.  A surge protector isn't worth much, most are nothing more than a power strip with a 10 cent MOV (metal oxide varistor).  You need a UPS device rated for brownouts which is by far the most common and most damage causing condition.  These don't come cheap, and you need to buy the right wattage.. it's tempting to underbuy.. if money is a factor let me know and I'll provide the link for the company who sells APC's outlet products at a great savings.  I'm pretty happy with them.  I just moved from overseas and ordered 4 our their units from 1500 watt server class devices, to 750 watt consumer class.. all arrived in perfect condition with new batteries at less than 1/3rd of the new price.

e.  You haven't mentioned the case.. but I'd highly recommend a quality case and power supply.. you'll use them over and over again as you upgrade motherboards/ram/cpu combinations..  A wise buy..

Good luck with your system.  You have enough to go on, just do the reading..
I emphatically agree with what Steve says about power supplies and cases. I recently got a new Win 7 64 system and went for an Antec Nine Hiundred Two V3 case, which is the first case I've owned that I really think I can use for at least a couple of generations of PC. It is, big, very flexible, quiet, with four big and quiet fans standard and provision for adding two more as needed. Nine internal bays, including a few that can optionally be external, very easy to open, move things around, add or remove drives, etc.

My MB has 12 GB ram, which is plenty for what I do in PS or LR, and slots to add another 12 GB when I get greedy.

Good luck with it.

Eric
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 06:55:24 PM »
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That sounds like something made to run Crysis at max on a 30" screen rather than a stitching and PS computer, as the components are massive overkill for a stills shooter, I don't care how big your stitches are. You could go down a price range or two on every component you list, and still get 90+% of the performance for ~half the price.

I'm not familiar with those GPUs, but have you actually compared 8-bit output to 10-bit? No, looking at a computer/monitor combo at a store doesn't count in most cases, since they make the cheap ones look crappy on purpose. If 8-bit is ok, you could slap an X1950 on it and you couldn't tell the difference in PS. Crysis, certainly.

I'd ask myself whether that 750 USD you could save would make you a better photographer by spending it on a new lens or a workshop, or a bleeding edge computer with a huge premium. But it's your money so go for it if that's what you want...

I second comments on getting a proper UPS and case. Blowing 1500 USD on a computer and having the PSU, mobo, CPU and/or GPU die because of a spike is not nice. Many so-called surge protectors are snake oil and don't do what their name claims. Oh, and you don't have to splurge on a UPS which actually gives you 10+ minutes of power - who on earth takes 10 mins to take down their computer? Good case will allow for better airflow (read: longer component life), and make those Spinpoints and that ridiculous GPU quieter.

Also, you can save quite a bit of money by ditching that one OS SSD. Win7's SuperFetch essentially nullifies SSD performance boost over HDDs as OS disks.

Don't listen to the kilowatt PSU guys, you don't need it. There are good PSU calculators online, use one and add 20% to be safe. High efficiency is good.

I'm never going to buy another WD drive after my raptor died, and it took over a month and numerous emails to get their damn RMA to work (this was via their German branch). These guys who build 135TB (yes, one hundred and thirty five terabytes) storage arrays on the cheap also say WDs (and Seagates) have much higher rates of failure, and swear by Hitachi. I've used Samsungs for years and am very happy with them and the bang-for-euro.

You haven't mentioned how you do or plan to do backups. FWIW I have a daily backup to a HDD which is in my case, a weekly to an offline USB HDD, a monthly to a HDD which I keep offsite (fire, theft, etc.), and CrashPlan for redundancy. And RAID is not backup.

a.  64gb SSD's for most people come up short on capacity.  SSD's lose performance at the 70-75% fill rate vs. the 50% for hard drives.

What do you mean by "performance"? I just ran ATTO benchmark on my Vertex I bought over a year ago, and its read and write speeds are unchanged since it was new. It's 87% full and always has been, and I don't even do garbage collection, idling, or any other kind of maintenance. Is this the same FUD as those claims about short SSD lifespans?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 07:00:56 PM by feppe » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 07:38:19 PM »
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I'd ask myself whether that 750 USD you could save would make you a better photographer by spending it on a new lens or a workshop, or a bleeding edge computer with a huge premium. But it's your money so go for it if that's what you want...

Also, you can save quite a bit of money by ditching that one OS SSD. Win7's SuperFetch essentially nullifies SSD performance boost over HDDs as OS disks.

Don't listen to the kilowatt PSU guys, you don't need it. There are good PSU calculators online, use one and add 20% to be safe. High efficiency is good.

I'm never going to buy another WD drive after my raptor died,

What do you mean by "performance"? I just ran ATTO benchmark on my Vertex I bought over a year ago, and its read and write speeds are unchanged since it was new. It's 87% full and always has been, and I don't even do garbage collection, idling, or any other kind of maintenance. Is this the same FUD as those claims about short SSD lifespans?

Let's take these in order:

a.  I didn't comment on the graphics card, simply because he didn't state his applications well enough.  But a faster GPU does speed up the entire computing experience.  It's an old wives tale that for Photoshop GPU's don't improve performance.

And saying how the money would be better spent on something other than other computer parts is off-topic.  It is possible the money would be better spent fixing the corns on his toes making him more comfortable shooting.. but that's off-topic too.  If this is his budget, and budgets are good things, then lets help him build the best bang for the buck that most closely matches his needs.  I personally run a dual GPU 5970 for the little bit of video rendering I do.. where it makes a huge difference.  For clients doing only still imagery I recommend a lot less.  But sometimes people are undecided on which way they're going to go, or may be thinking of video later and want to future proof.. we just don't know.

b.  Power supplies are one of the most underrated (in area of importance) computer components going.  It's true that you should read reviews on the final models you narrow it down to, but it's also true the 80 Plus ratings are a great indicator on build and component quality.  These ratings are a great place to start in your selection process, but as you said, I'd follow them up with researching your final choices.  More, he might not need a kilowatt.  But if you're going after efficiency and low running temperatures as well as the best quality power, it's a fact most power supplies do this at the 50-60% load.  I've seen more trouble from either low quality or underspec'd power supplies than any other component I can think of.  The cost differential between a 550 and 850 is peanuts.  This is not a good place to save money.

c.  Sorry about your experience with WD.. but this is probably an issue with your local service center than with WD themselves and I wouldn't brand the entire company over one bad experience, or experience with a certain service center.  In Bangkok I could walk into their service center and change a drive in minutes.  WD USA happily transferred my warranty from the states to Thailand with a single email.  I have no complaints.

d.  Everyone is familiar that mechanical hard drives experience load related drops in performance at roughly the 50% mark.  The same is true with SSD's at the 75-80% mark.  Again, a single test doesn't disprove this.  I'm running 7 SSD's myself and perhaps 3-4 times that many I've put in clients computers.  Every time I get a new model I have a series of tests I do.  They do drop performance at 75-80%.  If yours doesn't then that's great for you, but SSD's do experience drops in performance due to use (wear and tear),  and being too full. 

You probably already know that SSD's have more space than is turned over to the OS?  This space is built into the design specs.. so say a 120g SSD might have an extra 20% in reserve.  This 20% comes into play when blocks go bad or under perform.  The controller marks and then ignores them.  There are many reasons you might have obtained 'unchanged' readings.. but SSD's normally change from one test to the other five minutes apart.. You might get one number one time, or another number the next time.  It depends on how the data is arranged, how the test is ran, etc.. that's yours are "unchanged" is really remarkable.  I've never seen this. 

e.  Superfetch nullifies performance boosts of a SSD over a mechanical hard drive?  I'm not even going to touch that one.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2011, 08:09:08 PM »
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a.  I didn't comment on the graphics card, simply because he didn't state his applications well enough.  But a faster GPU does speed up the entire computing experience.  It's an old wives tale that for Photoshop GPU's don't improve performance.

I didn't say it doesn't improve performance. It does. But money spent on a bleeding edge GPU for a pure still PS machine is most likely better spent elsewhere.

I'd like to point out the sweet irony that your tirade about my off-topic rantings was even more off-topic than I was. I was merely giving perspective.

Finally, just because one has a 1500 USD budget doesn't mean all of it has to be spent - in fact, in business that's generally bad. I know that talking about business on a photography forum is as pointless as talking about guns on a knitting forum, but still...

Quote
c.  Sorry about your experience with WD.. but this is probably an issue with your local service center than with WD themselves and I wouldn't brand the entire company over one bad experience, or experience with a certain service center.  In Bangkok I could walk into their service center and change a drive in minutes.  WD USA happily transferred my warranty from the states to Thailand with a single email.  I have no complaints.

If a "premium" product takes a month to RMA, I'm out from the first bad experience. APOS service (including RMA) is a crucial part in making a premium product, and WD EU/Germany clearly dropped the ball on that.

And the guys who have built arrays totaling 16 petabytes probably know reliability better than anyone on any forum. Granted, they don't specify which models they have tested, as I'm sure there are huge reliability differences across models.

Quote
e.  Superfetch nullifies performance boosts of a SSD over a mechanical hard drive?  I'm not even going to touch that one.

Again, on OS drive only. I haven't done any tests since I can't be arsed, and my OS is on an SSD so SuperFetch is disabled. But SuperFetch loads PS into memory based on your usage before you click launch, which makes launching it probably faster than an SSD. Same with any other program. You only load programs from an OS drive. With 16 gigs of memory there's enough to load PS and LR and Camera RAW and Autopano and Photomatix and Notepad into memory for instant launch.

So I stand by my unsubstantiated claim based on MS marketing material and forum gurus that SuperFetch is teh shit. Cache (PS and otherwise) goes on the cache SSD, not on OS HDD/SSD.
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2011, 09:17:21 PM »
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well, all the high end gpus have the same price,
firepro is guaranteed to work with 10 bit screen and CS5.
Yes, I have seen the difference in both speed and appearance between the nice ones and the less expensive ones/
I have 2 IPS 8 bit screens I work with now.
I am ready for the move.
I am not too sure 750 is realistic for the type of machine I want.
Show me...

I am going to get either a spectraview or coloredge.
Whichever I like more in my studio.

I will get the UPS thank you for the tip.

I will think about the powersupply.

I won't change my mind about the 2 SSD's
I'll stay with the spinpoints.
The ram is inexpensive, and as far as the chip and mobo
I'm not sure there is a much better solution for the $
$400 if I get them on sale
A 920 costs 200, a x58 costs 100
I'm not too sure for -100 I want the last generation chip & mobo.
It sure seems like a solid computer and line of thinking.
The rest is quibbling.
So I may save $500 if I get the last generation stuff?
Is that what we're saying here?
Or possibly $750?
It doesn't add up-
BUT if I could save some $ using advice like you all have been giving I will!
Thank you all for your interest in seeing me get the right things.
Have a nice day-
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2011, 07:23:03 AM »
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Yes, what I'm saying is that you can save 500-750 by using "last-generation" components with little to practically no performance hit. Your system sounds like it was conceived by a computer enthusiast who builds her systems with top-tier components for top performance with little concern to money. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but just like cameras, law of diminshing returns accelerates quickly at the high end.

[off-topic warning for the sensitive] Since I assume you are a photographer first and a computer enthusiast second (if at all), it might make more sense to invest modestly in a computer which gets the work done, and spend the rest on photography. Or put it under a mattress; the economy isn't exactly strong..
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2011, 12:23:06 PM »
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I'd like to point out the sweet irony that your tirade about my off-topic rantings was even more off-topic than I was. I was merely giving perspective.

Finally, just because one has a 1500 USD budget doesn't mean all of it has to be spent - in fact, in business that's generally bad. I know that talking about business on a photography forum is as pointless as talking about guns on a knitting forum, but still...

If a "premium" product takes a month to RMA, I'm out from the first bad experience. APOS service (including RMA) is a crucial part in making a premium product, and WD EU/Germany clearly dropped the ball on that.


Again, on OS drive only. I haven't done any tests since I can't be arsed, and my OS is on an SSD so SuperFetch is disabled. But SuperFetch loads PS into memory based on your usage before you click launch, which makes launching it probably faster than an SSD. Same with any other program. You only load programs from an OS drive. With 16 gigs of memory there's enough to load PS and LR and Camera RAW and Autopano and Photomatix and Notepad into memory for instant launch.


a.  That was the point.  Irony often comes out of nowhere..

I do agree it's possible to overspend on a graphics card, or many other parts.  One of the problems with someone posting a list of components and then giving a general "I'm going to use it for photography", leaves a lot of room for interpretation.  The reason I didn't comment on the video card initially is because there just wasn't enough information to comment.  I assume someone going after a workstation card would know what they're for (be interested in video), but that's just my assumption.  I think you made a good point though, examine the needs and only buy what you need now, and consider in your purchase what you think you'll need during the life of the machine.

b.  I'm with you on this.  I don't give a company a second chance to bend me over.  I'm just saying your experience appears to be unique to your local service center, is contrary to my experience in two other countries, and this should be considered.  A poorly run service center is the worst thing for a business, I doubt you're the only one with a bad taste in your mouth.. but really, this isn't the way WD normally does business, at least not in my experience.  And the only time I've had WD failures has been with Raptors, not their storage drives.. they seem to work forever.  I S.M.A.R.T. my drives every few months and they maintain their specs better than anything else I've tried.  But the Raptors were prone to issues..

c.  Sure, Superfetch helps with single programs assuming you have the extra RAM.  But there's so much more to an OS drive than loading PS or any 1-2 main programs. 

I really do think he'd do better with a single higher capacity SSD vs. 2 64g's, and I do think for the  money the Vertex3's are a much better choice.. and if he has the case room and an extra PCIe he's just be stunned by a Revo.. but he might not be at that comfort level yet with SSD's.  In any case, I wish him the best success with his new system.
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2011, 12:49:10 PM »
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firepro is guaranteed to work with 10 bit screen and CS5.
Yes, I have seen the difference in both speed and appearance between the nice ones and the less expensive ones/
I have 2 IPS 8 bit screens I work with now.


I won't change my mind about the 2 SSD's


I'm not too sure for -100 I want the last generation chip & mobo.
It doesn't add up-



a.  I'm curious, what do you hope to gain by going 10 bit?  I've watched people talk about this, and I've even went so far as to take some of my most challenging files to try on 10 bit equipped systems, and I can't tell the difference.  I'm currently using (2) NEC LCD2690uxi2's driven by a dual GPU 5970 (I render a bit of video and this GPU saves me a lot of time), and while I'd like to replace them with the PA271w's for their 3d LUT's, I really can't see much difference that would warrant the upgrade costs.. 10 bit is something I'm just sure I understand the benefits from.

b.  If you still want two SSD's okay.. but do consider the manufacturer.  Drop by Crucial's forums and read a few threads, look at their firmware revision number and read the related forum threads with the grief many had upgrading their firmware, and then ask yourself if you're prepared for that kind of hassle.  My C300's (256g models) are still being used and I like them, but it's been a rough road.  Look at the same history of the Vertex drives and it's apparent OCZ came to market with a more refined product and handled things better.  The 2's were rather slow.. but the 3'd are great.  I have a base Revo in my student workstation and it rocks.  It's performs so much better than the C300's in real life use it's not even a real comparison.  My clients are floored by the performance and most of them have SSD's of some type.  Once the Revo3 is stable on the market I'll move one into my main OS drive position and move the Crucial C300 into a LR work drive.  But I won't be buying any more Crucial products until they make it through a product release and lifecycle much better than they have previously.  There's just no performance or price reason to put the M4's over the Vertex3's..

c.  I agree with you 100% on this.. and I take flak for it.  I'll buy the latest IF there are features I think I might use in the future which might not be mainstream today.  For instance, USB3 on mobo's was considered a waste of money on mobo's over two years ago when I bought my Gigabyte UD7 x58.. but now I'm enjoying USB3 without having to upgrade.  I think an extra few hundred for the latest features most often pay off in the long run.

d.  You still haven't mentioned your CPU or GPU coolers.   Keep in mind, the cooler you keep your components, not only do they last longer, but they run more efficiently and pull less power making a more efficient machine.   Not to mention the noise.. you can achieve near silence with relative ease these days.  It's really satisfying to have a powerful machine which is both quiet and cool..
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2011, 12:52:01 PM »
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Great thread.  I'm almost in complete agreement with Steve.  Experience will make you select certain companies products.  WD for storage is almost a given.  The blacks are my favorite, but as a company (here in the US), WD is king.
On SSDs, experience has led me to Intel.  The 510s currently.  I've had OCZs that worked for a while, then gone - bios can't see them.  Multiple times due to my overemphasis on read/white times.  Bummer each time.  The OS drive, on a SSD, needs to be rock solid - which the Intels have proven to be.  

The OP seems to know what he wants.  I'll bet he will love the system he builds and odds are that the components will all work.  In time, experience will lead him in the best direction for him.  It's great he's building his own.  That is a great skillset for photographers.  The whole subject of photography has shifted to computer hardware and all committed individuals need this to find success.  Best of luck.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 08:00:41 PM »
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So really,
I went and rechecked my numbers.
The 2600K based system I want,
compared to the 920 based system I'm sure would be adequate,
is less than 500.
+50 for the chip, +50 for the mobo, +170 for the ssd's, +75 for the ram
and the debate of which card that supports 10 bit per color viewing could be cheapest at any given point,
is IMO
second to which card will work at an entry level price.  My current 7300GT cost 50 on a hot sale, $150 isn't too much.
But first things first.
The right tool at the right time.
Twelve to fifteen hundred dollars is the way the deck's stacked.
It was 12 to 15 for 920's
12 to 15 for a nice mac-
etc.
12 to 15 seems what I'm going to be paying no matter what.
Maybe if I moved to japan or taiwan I could build a better, less expensive machine with more esoteric and fun parts.
But for here and now,
I'm thinking a top of the line homeowner build would serve my purpose just fine.
And Steve, (may I call you Steve?)
I have viewed side by side, a spectraview and coloredge.
The photographic prints fired off from the computer were exactly as the screen portrayed.
I want to do that.
Do you see?
I want to make my prints nearly exactly the same as my monitor screen.
Better, but nearly an exact match.
So that gazintas=gazoutas
you see?
Thanks again and someone tell me how to get the same computing speed and features like 10 bit pipeline and xmp and pcie 2.0 for $500 less.
I'm all ears
Thank you all Smiley
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