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Author Topic: Computer dying. Need recommendations on parts for a new one.  (Read 1685 times)
bernie west
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« on: August 16, 2013, 02:29:30 AM »
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Hi all.  My current old computer is packing it in.  I'm going to build a new one that is to be focussed on image editing.  I know enough about general computer hardware, but when I did an online search for options, there is a staggering amount of choice.  So much so, I barely know where to start.  Essentially I need a cheap machine as I don't have much money.  Perhaps a lower/middle range computer with room to upgrade in the next year or so.  My current machine is 6 years old, so pretty much anything but a barebones system will be better than what I have now.  I just need the box, as I have a serviceable monitor that will last a bit longer.

What are the major features one needs for a large-image editing machine?  What's more important in regards to a bottleneck - CPU or the Bus (FSB?).  I'll obviously get as much ram as I can afford, and make sure I can up it to say 32Gb when needed in the future.  I've got a 60Gb SSD at the moment, and I believe I should be able to fit Windows 7 Pro and my image editing software on there.  I'll use a second mechanical drive for data.

At this stage, I would be happy to have onboard graphics, if they are good enough to run CS4, LR4 and Nik.  I can upgrade later, or even just chuck in my current serviceable graphics card.  Ultimately I would like to have dual monitors running, including one HD at minimum.

At this stage, I would like the machine to run quickly while editing in LR->PS->Nik with Tiff files, simultaneously.  All my images are 12Mpx 5D raws, but early next year I hope to move up to the 6D.

I'm figuring in terms of being able to upgrade in the future, I'd focus on an upgradeable motherboard now.  Is that right?

Anyway, after doing some research on the net, I constructed a somewhat random collection of parts, based on a build on Anandtech.  This is just a starting point, I guess.  I'm not particularly wedded to any of these components.

Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 CMY16GX3M2A1600C9B 1600MHz Dimm, Unbuffered, 9-9-9-24, Vengeance Pro Blue a
Internet Price: $179.00

Motherboard: ASRock 970-PRO3.R2 AM3+ AMD970 4*DDR3 SATA3 USB3.0 2*PCIEx16 RAID a
Internet Price: $89.00


CPU: AMD FX 6300 6-CORE BLACK EDITION CPU 3.5Hz 95W a
Internet Price: $145.00

Antec 350W Basiq ATX Power Supply a
Internet Price: $42.00

Antec Three Hundred TWO - Black Mid-Tower Gaming Case, The Essentially Cool and Quiet Case, No a
Internet Price: $77.00

Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM(Microsoft OEM Terms&condition apply)
Internet Price: $169.00

Total: $700 approx.

Note: these prices are from my local online shop (I can order online and pick up locally).  Stuff is just more expensive here in Oz.  Oh, and I could probably chuck another 100W on that PSU I suppose.  That's probably only another 10 or 15 dollars.

Cheers for any help!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 02:54:00 AM by bernie west » Logged
Rhossydd
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 03:19:29 AM »
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That mainly sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Now SSD costs have fallen I'd suggest putting in a larger system drive (240gb?), 60gb is going to be tight for OS, applications and the 30% recommended slack space on SSDs, especially if  you're going to put your LR catalogue & previews on it. FWIW my LR catalogue and previews take up 91gb (26k images), so that's tight even on a dedicated 120gb drive now.

Quote
I'd focus on an upgradeable motherboard now.  Is that right?
I think 'upgradable' is a bit of a myth. By the time you need something significantly faster technology has moved on and you'd need a new motherboard anyway. Adding more ram is also less easy than it once was. At the levels of performance we see now compatibility becomes critical and even different revisions of the same memory sticks might not work correctly together.
3.5ghz + 16gb ram is likely to be fine for a few years anyway.


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bernie west
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 05:30:45 AM »
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Thanks for the tips.  If that sort of hardware is in the right ball park, I'll restrict my search to that sort of level.
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tastar
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 07:59:08 AM »
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I don't understand the build-your-own logic in this case - the byo's seem to be OK if you are going to go high end and totally custom, but this is a very basic machine. Here is an "assembled" HP desktop - new Intel Haswell Core i7 processor, just 4GB of memory (upgradeable to 32GB), just a 500GB hard drive (room for at least a couple more including an SSD), Windows 7 Pro and a 3 year warranty - it should sell for a little over $900.00. The Passmark CPU mark on the AMD in your machine is 6,383; the Passmark benchmark on the HP is 9,960 about 50 percent better. The HP has on-board graphics, but it's the new Intel HD 4600 graphics, which is much better than the previous generation (and you can add a faster card down the road). You would probably need to spend a little time getting rid of the HP craplets, but once they are gone, you'll have a really nice machine for not a lot of cash, and in my opinion, something much better than the $ equivalent of a build-your-own.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 08:56:18 AM »
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I don't understand the build-your-own logic in this case - the byo's seem to be OK if you are going to go high end and totally custom, but this is a very basic machine. Here is an "assembled" HP desktop - new Intel Haswell Core i7 processor, just 4GB of memory (upgradeable to 32GB), just a 500GB hard drive (room for at least a couple more including an SSD), Windows 7 Pro and a 3 year warranty - it should sell for a little over $900.00. The Passmark CPU mark on the AMD in your machine is 6,383; the Passmark benchmark on the HP is 9,960 about 50 percent better. The HP has on-board graphics, but it's the new Intel HD 4600 graphics, which is much better than the previous generation (and you can add a faster card down the road). You would probably need to spend a little time getting rid of the HP craplets, but once they are gone, you'll have a really nice machine for not a lot of cash, and in my opinion, something much better than the $ equivalent of a build-your-own.

Why build?  Better parts than that HP will give you.  For 900 bucks a DYI, with quality parts will be a much better value than that HP
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 09:30:23 AM »
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I'll let this be the odd post out:

CPU:  I'd stay with Intel.   More value and performance imo.

RAM:  $171 for 16gb is pricey.  I just bought 16gb (2x8) 1600 DDR3 from Crucial for $121 wiht a lifetime warranty

PS:  Underpowered for a 95watt CPU imo.. especially if  you might want to add a video card at a later date.


Overall quality of your case, PS. etc.. is low.  Not ideal for a DIYer.  These are the level of components you get on a cheap pre-built and they come with warranties.




Another direction:  Consider a quad-core Mac Mini.  I just picked up a refurb for $545, added 16gb of RAM for $121 and a super fast SSD for $279.  If you don't like OsX you can run bootcamp on it and use Windows, though I found OsX very easy to transition to and not much different from Win7.    This machine will run circles around what you're proposing in both build quality, size/noise, and benchmarking performance.  It also easily runs my two NEC 2690's, the included wifi is very speedy, 4 USB3.0 ports, and more.  It makes zero noise/heat.   Keep in mind you can also build a mobile based CPU intel machine in your own mini case.. but I think it would be hard to beat the Mini and it comes with a warranty and upgradable warranty options.

But a low end AMD machine for more?  Not imo..
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tastar
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 10:39:14 AM »
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Approximate component costs for the HP 800ED tower that I recommended above:
Intel Core i7 4770: 325.00
Intel brand Q87 chipset motherboard: 120.00
4GB PC1600 DDR3: 40.00
500GB hard drive: 65.00
Slim DVD writer: 35.00
Super high efficiency power supply: 50.00
Good quality mid-tower case (the HP case is really nice): 60.00
Windows 7 Pro (which is a downgrade license from Windows 8, and also comes with the PC): 170.00
Total cost of components: 865.00
Selling price of HP PC: 919.00

Intangibles: 3-year on-site warranty in the U.S. (you'll be lucky to buy hard drives,motherboards and power supplies with 3 year warranties), cost of assembly, risk of making mistakes, etc. It would be extremely difficult to build an equivalent system for less than the HP.

I'm not trying to sell HP's (we do sell them and they seem to be extremely reliable), I'm just trying to counter the opinion that it's cheaper and better to build your own basic computer. We previously built PC's and got burnt by 1 year warranties, popular brands like Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, and minor compatibility issues that would consume a lot of time.

Tony
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PeterAit
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 10:50:37 AM »
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I hope your CPU runs faster than 3.5Hz <g>! GHz of course.

My only suggestion would be to get a mechanical RAID 0 array for your image files. Some motherboards have RAID support built in.

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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 07:25:19 PM »
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I hope your CPU runs faster than 3.5Hz <g>! GHz of course.

My only suggestion would be to get a mechanical RAID 0 array for your image files. Some motherboards have RAID support built in.



Two abacuses striped?   Might be interesting..  Grin
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PeterAit
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 07:58:29 AM »
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Two abacuses striped?   Might be interesting..  Grin

LOL, might be a match for the 3.5 Hz processor!
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Peter
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bernie west
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 08:41:18 AM »
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Hahaha...

I ended up buying a used one on ebay tonight.  It's an i7, but only second generation (i7-2600).  Looking at the benchmark scores, it still does better than the new i5's.  16Gb of ram and a heap of other goodies including an excellent case and liquid cooling (will be handy for processing images in the middle of summer here).  A good graphics card too (nVidia GeForce GTX570), so I hope I can access the GPU for some smooth/quick zooming and panning in PS and Nik (not sure if LR uses the GPU).  Once I buy Windows 7 for it, it will come to about $900.  I hope that's a reasonable price.  Either way, it should crap all over what I have now (and it's got a billion times the Hertz than my initial build in the OP... Wink ).

Cheers for the advice everyone.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 08:43:09 AM by bernie west » Logged
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