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Author Topic: PC specs for processing large photos  (Read 17091 times)
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2005, 11:14:38 AM »
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It isn't correct tho.  Only a 15 year computer guy here.  But 5 of it was recently spent doing development at a SAN company.

RAID 0 is striped.  RAID 1 is mirrored.

So in RAID 0 each hunk of data is only written to one drive.  It is read from one drive.  But those hunks are alternated so you hunk one is on disk 1, hunk 2 is on disk2, hunk 3 is on disk 1 and hunk 4 is on disk 2, etc.

With RAID 1 each hunk of data is written to both drives.  If one fails you have the second available.  Reads can obviously come from either drive.  (Perhaps this is what you were thinking of.)

RAID 5 is slow to write because the parity information has to be figured out and written.  So each time you write to a disk you have to write the information, read a sector, create the parity information and write that.  It is a single read to get it back.  (Unless you are rebuilding.)
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kaelaria
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« Reply #61 on: December 15, 2005, 11:14:40 AM »
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I should know better than to wade into this mess, but I am a "computer guy", professionally for almost 20 years. So here goes...

RAID 0 writes exactly the same data to each drive in a pair of drives, so write speed is exactly the same as a single drive. [{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Not true at ALL, I hope you mis-typed.  That is the definition of RAID1, not RAID0.  

RAID0 breaks the data into chunks, called stripes, and sends those concurrently to the drives.  If you have a 2 drive RAID0 array, the data is split in half to each drive - hense, the speed boost.

Here is a good article (a test of a specific raid controller chip) with lots of data showing exactly how things break down performance wise on different applications and setups: [a href=\"http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/print/sil-3124.html]http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/print/sil-3124.html[/url]
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jimhuber
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« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2005, 01:18:47 PM »
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Yes, I stand corrected. What I described is RAID 1, AKA mirroring. Sorry, been a while since I did that sort of thing and I don't build anything without redundancy. RAID 0 is striping across two drives so in theory read and write performance could both be doubled.
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jimhuber
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« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2005, 01:35:05 PM »
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"RAID 5 is slow to write" shouldn't be an absolute statement. It is a bit slower to write than RAID 0 given the same number of drives, but much faster than any single drive. The calculation of the check data is also done by the array controller, so it doesn't use the computer's processor(s). I've yet to find a customer that's willing to gain a bit more performance at the price of risking the RAID array be down when any one drive fails, but that's large commercial customers buying servers. If it's a scratch drive with temporary data you don't care about, go for it.

I think we're getting way outside what's useful to most people on this site, though. If they want a quad processor server with a SCSI RAID array to run Photoshop, they'll find a knowledgable vendor to assist them.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2005, 02:20:06 PM »
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We'd all like a DMX.

It should be noted, that RAID 5 is wonderful for data integrity.  So if you really want to make sure that you never lose any photos and do not mind the performance hit RAID 5 is great.  (Provided lightning doesn't whack your entire system.)
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dmerger
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« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2005, 06:43:15 PM »
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Kaelaria (and everyone else reading this thread), I apologize for my acerbic remarks.  I should have used more diplomatic language to make my points.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2005, 09:14:24 PM »
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I should know better than to wade into this mess, but I am a "computer guy", professionally for almost 20 years. So here goes...

RAID 0 writes exactly the same data to each drive in a pair of drives, so write speed is exactly the same as a single drive. But reading from the drives is independent, so read speed is theoretically doubled. "Theoretically" meaning that if the transfer bus can handle it and the controller has sufficient buffer RAM, you get doubled read performance.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53622\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure that this is correct? My understanding is that in a RAID 0 set up, half the data is written to disk A, and half the data to disk B, which, if correct, would mean that the amount of data to write per disk is less than when using a single drive, hence the increase of performance.

What you write looks more like RAID 1 to me.

Am I wrong?

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
kaelaria
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« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2005, 09:38:12 PM »
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As I posted, you are correct.
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semillerimages
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« Reply #68 on: December 23, 2005, 09:14:53 PM »
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I just wanted to add this link, because I too wanted to know if there was an increase in speed using different RAID configurations. Please don't think of it as a slight or anything, but the testing they have done here says differently...

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/ultima...g_pc/page15.asp

Take care,

*steve

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maybe we lost it in the transition to a new server, but I couldn't find any posts indicating Raid 0 was ineffective in increasing the performance of a Photoshop scratch disk - which is the application I have in mind.  In fact a quick review of the links resulting from a google of Raid 0 Photoshop were very consistent in saying that Photoshop temporary files were a sweet spot for a Raid 0 configuration.  I know that raid 0 won't give a boost to normal disk io, but the scratch disk is a special application.  Please let me know of any links that claim the opposite - thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53335\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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semillerimages.com
gerhardp
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« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2005, 07:14:01 PM »
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Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought that CS2 could only use 2 gig of RAM?[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
With a Windows XP standard configuration you're totally right.
Fortunately there are workarounds making your assumption wrong:

If you add the switch /3GB in boot.ini, Photoshop can allocate up to 3GB of RAM. More here:
[a href=\"http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html]http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/320005.html[/url] och här:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platf...PAE/PAEmem.mspx

/G
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budjames
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« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2005, 04:50:43 AM »
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Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought that CS2 could only use 2 gig of RAM?

I have a p4 1.6 with 2 gig ram and a fast couple of HD's with the program on one and the caches/pics on another.

Running batch actions on 240 RAW files (open, PTLens, auto contrast, shadow/highlights, smart sharpen, save) took over 4 hours with nothing else running. The annoying thing is that short of a major system upgrade, i.e. dual processors, etc, it ain't going to get that much better. A wedding can easily be 300 files that need batching.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53482\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It sounds like you need a Mac G5 dual processor workstation. Use the PC for other office tasks.

Bud James
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Bud James
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« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2005, 08:21:27 PM »
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I never received any e-mails indicating responses were added since my last post on the 12th. Probably just as well as it seems this thread has degraded into a nerd-fight over RAID!

Skipping past the RAID debate and back to the topic at hand:

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Daniel,

OK, I'll start.

How about the many applications that you were using on your PC:

- Adobe products -> did you have to buy new licenses,
- ...

Didn't you find that many applications available for PC are not for the Mac?

That lack of application, and the portential cost of migrating licenses are the main reasons why I don't see myself seriously considering that tempting quad core G5 with 8 GB RAM...

Besides:

- are there still SCSI cards available for the G5? Would I be able to connect my Imacon scanner?
- is my Samsung LCD screen usable?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Regards,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53407\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The only Adobe Product that I had was PS CS2 and that did not require a new license. I simply filled out a form and agreed in a contract to destroy the PC copy. They then sent me a full Mac version in the mail.

I have a Po license for Noise Ninja 2 which is good for both platforms.

Focal Blade is not available on the mac but I never use it anymore anyway since I have PK. Unfortunately, PK did need a new license but I was able to use a coupon code for a "two-platform license" which brought the price down to $66.

There are many apps on the PC that are not available on the Mac, however there are equivalents that are just as good or in most cases (for me) better than the PC counterparts. (I have also noticed that the overall quality level of available software on the mac exceeds that on the PC. Particularly with independent developers.) On the PC I used SmartFTP as it was the simplest and most cost-effective FTP tool I could find but on the Mac I bought Transmit which is worlds better in functionality and ease of use.

Other applications I have found open-source equivalents for that are far better than anything available on the PC. One example is in Instant messaging. On the PC the best available was Trillian but it required a license to access its full features. On the Mac I use Adium X.

The only thing I have not found a replacement for on the Mac has been in web development. I used TopStyle 3 on the PC and have yet to find anything remotely as good on the Mac. Odd since many of the top web developers are Mac users... BBEdit comes close but it is a heavy-duty all-around text editor and lacks some of the CSS-centric functionality that TopStyle has and it lacks auto-complete which is a huge time-saving feature.

I should make a note on QuickBooks. It has a Mac equivalent but it is a turd. It lacks many of the features found on the PC version and I've heard it's quite buggy and poorly put together. Basically it exists just so the can claim they support Macs. For this I run the windows version in Virtual PC.

(It's funny but the most stable install I've ever used of Windows is my installation in VPC on my Mac)

In summary, the cost in software for switching to Mac was about $300 USD. $200 of that was VPC.

Most of the software I had on the PC not mentioned here was security and maintenance software. All of which is either unnecessary (anti-virus/anti-spyware) on the Mac or built-in and automated (maintenance) on the mac.

I can't answer your question about SCSI support. You'll have to ask some Apple dealers or poke around some apple-centric forums for that one. Apple dropped SCSI support a wile ago so I'm sure people have found ways around it. Mac nerds are quite hard-core and resourceful in utilizing the Unix underpinnings in OS X I've noticed.

All new Macs (sans the iMac) use a standard DVI connector so your LCD will work just fine.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought that CS2 could only use 2 gig of RAM?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53482\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

On the PC that is correct. The standard version of Windows is 32-bit which limits it to a max of 3GB of ram (2GB for WinXP Home) and PS is limited to 2GB. On the 64-bit version of XP (with a 64-bt CPU) PS can utilize 3GB if enough RAM is installed (6GB max useable by XP-64). Someone mentioned a switch in the boot.ini to allow more ram to be used on a standard windows install but that may not work on all computers. PS on the Mac can use up to 4GB.
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