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Author Topic: anyone using an Alienware Computer to process photos ??  (Read 2528 times)
Derry
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« on: April 30, 2012, 09:41:06 PM »
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since they run games so quick I was wondering how well they would work processing photos,,

thanks

Derry
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andyptak
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 09:39:55 AM »
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I'd wondered about that too but never figured it out.
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 12:15:36 PM »
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Computer power is computer power. If they can run hard core games, photo processing will be a breeze.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 03:50:37 PM »
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If they can run hard core games, photo processing will be a breeze.
Not necessarily.
Most gamers place a very high importance on graphics performance which is generally unnecessary for photo work.
On the other hand, photo work often requires larger amounts of ram, faster peripherals and fast multiple hard drives to split away scratch disk volumes or library databases away from the system drive. Plus photographers should also have higher expectations of monitor performance with respect to colour accuracy, gamut and ease of calibration.
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dzeanah
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 04:53:33 PM »
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I looked at them the last time I was shopping for a computer, and wasn't impressed.  I built something better for half as much.

If you're comfortable building a computer it's hard to beat Google (to find out what the latest flavor of the month is) and newegg.com or mwave.com.
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Steve House
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 08:55:43 AM »
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What about if the priority applications include BOTH still photo processing (Lightroom/Photoshop) and video editing (Premiere Pro)?  And for good measure, pro-level audio recording and editing (SoundForge, Audition, Nuendo, etc)?  Having a hard time figuring out a configuration that does all of them well.
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fike
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 09:44:13 AM »
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Off the shelf, gaming systems aren't a bad idea for image processing.  But if you really want to enhance performance, system RAM and high performance hard drives are essential. 

Generally speaking, with high resolution images we are not so much processor bound in our image processing.  We are more frequently IO or memory bound.  This means it is hard to get the data (image) into and out of the processor fast enough and the speed of the hard drive, for example, can have a huge effect on your performance.  This is evidenced by photoshop's dependency on scratch disk files.  To minimize this problem, you can use solid state hard drives and/or RAID systems optimized for speed. 

The other thing that improves this situation is lots of memory because it allows you to load the image into memory once and then not have the requirement to "swap" it out to the hard drive. 

The ideal, obsessive-compulsive solution would be a very high-speed SSD RAID OS drive on one SATA channel, a very high-speed SSD RAID scratch disk on a different SATA channel, and a third SATA channel with another, you guessed it, very high-speed SSD RAID data disk. Combine these 6 SSD drives with 16GB of RAM, and you will be rolling along pretty fast. This is a bit impractical for most people, but it would be a pretty fantastic setup.  Gaming machines are typically single hard drive setups. 

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Steve House
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 10:08:32 AM »
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Was considering something like that ...  SSD system/applications drive, SSD temp file/scratch file/ACR cache/Lightroom Catalog drive, and 2 conventional or hybrid drives in a RAID 0 storage array.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 11:26:44 AM »
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Was considering something like that ...  SSD system/applications drive, SSD temp file/scratch file/ACR cache/Lightroom Catalog drive, and 2 conventional or hybrid drives in a RAID 0 storage array.

Building your own rig can be a lot more economical and put the performance in the places where you really need it. I'm in process of building a new photo editing rig right now. Only piece I'm missing is the processor and that's going to arrive in the coming week.

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor $295.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $174.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $89.99
AMD 100-505649 FirePro V4900 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 Workstation Video Card $159.99
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) x 2 $295.98 ($147.99 each)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $99.99
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W Power Supply $149.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99.99
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner $18.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 CPU Cooler $34.99

One SSD for the OS/Programs, second SSD for the LR Catalog/ACR/scratch. I'm reusing 4TB of WD Caviar Black drives from my prior computer for storage. The AMD FirePro video card will allow me to use my Dell U2711 in 10bit mode for Photoshop (no more on screen banding). I plan to overclock the CPU to 4.2-4.4GHz, which is easily doable.

All this for around $1400, and it will run circles around most anything commonly available on the market right now for Lightroom/Photoshop.
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 11:46:38 PM »
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For image editing, I would dedicate a system for that..but if you build a system based on video editing, it will do all others just fine. You would have to configure your drives layout a bit different.

I run 3 main systems. Email and accounting, Image editing, a capture and editing system. All content on network drives.

Why stuff one system with so many resource hog apps?  Yours system will simply run smoother longer.

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If you buy a camera, you're a photographer...
bray211
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 08:30:24 AM »
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@ sheldon n.
"Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor $295.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $174.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory $89.99
AMD 100-505649 FirePro V4900 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 Workstation Video Card $159.99
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) x 2 $295.98 ($147.99 each)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $99.99
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W Power Supply $149.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $99.99
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner $18.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 CPU Cooler $34.99"

With that setup I would go for Windows 7 Professional, Home Premium maxes out at 16gb of RAM.  I suspect you will plan to use that rig for a few years and probably put in more ram when the price of 8gb and 16gb sticks drops.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx#physical_memory_limits_windows_7
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 05:26:21 PM »
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Thanks... I considered that too, but I've been living on 8GB for the last 3 years without much difficulty... so 16GB is going to be heaven for me!

Just had the CPU arrive in the mail today so I'm going to start building it all tonight. Smiley
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bray211
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 09:05:43 PM »
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Enjoy your new build.  I am a couple months away from a new build myself.  That is why I have been lurking around the computer threads on the forums I visit.  Learning quite a bit in the process.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2012, 10:31:28 AM »
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Up and running at 4.4GHz! CPU voltage is set nice and low and temperatures appear reasonable even under heavy load. Should be a nice stable setup for the next 2-3 years.

Haven't gotten all the photo software installed but everything seems to be quite good with the basic build.
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