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Haswell build for Photoshop CS6/Lightroom 4 work

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November 4, 2013 8:47:24 PM

Hi,

Based on your suggestions in the past I came up with this configuration:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/motiver/saved/2JQW


Is this any good for the price? Note that I already have a i7-4770K. So, don't factor that in the cost. Also, I included a monitor with this configuration which I decided to buy. If you have better suggestions for monitors for photo work in this price range, please do suggest.


I have windows 7 home premium so I can go only up to 16GB RAM. I hope it is enough for large panoramas that I stitch occasionally (about 3GB in size sometimes) and heavy layering on photos. i don't do any 3D work video editing. Purely photos.


Please comment and suggest.

Thanks.
November 5, 2013 7:24:57 AM

motiver,

Your configuration appears to have a lot of good points. A couple of suggestions>

GPU > If you're using CS6, you will have a benefit from CUDA acceleration. And as you're using large files, I would recommend a GTX 760 and in particular a 4GB version.

Storage Drive > I'm in the middle of looking for a storage drive for a new HP z420 system, and while Seagate Barracuda has a very good performance / capacity / cost ratio, from user and comments among IT persons of my acquaintance, I am worried about quality in a workstation environment over long processing slogs.. And, again, in respect of your maximum file size, you might consider the Seagate Constellation ES.3 with it's unique (I think) 128MB cache, and a 5-year warranty. Yes, more money, but might be cheaper in the long run- reliable and lasting longer. Over the years, the difference between drives having 8, 16, 32, and 64MB cache , including those made at the time- has seemed to me dramatic, so the 128MB is very intriguing.

Monitor > If you are concentrating on Photoshop and rendering, I would suggest 1. a 27", 2560 X 1440 monitor possibly Samsung, Viewsonic, ASUS. and 2. By all means sort through the reviews but If at all possible, see the monitor in person and fondle the controls and check the range of control. This is crucial. Even after a lot of personal evaluation, I bought an HP 2711x (1920 X 1080) and ever since I've wished for better text display quality, and more linear controls as I've never been able to have the display anywhere near the prints. The size is critical too so you can have all the menus running and still have large image. If you like the U2412M 24" in particular- get two!

Cheers,

BambiBoom

1. Dell Precision T5400 (2009)> 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > HP 2711x 27" 1920 x 1080 > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup Pro, Corel Technical Designer, Adobe CS MC, WordP Office, MS Office > architecture, industrial design, graphic design, rendering, writing

2. HP z420 (2013)> Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 > Samsung 840 SSD 250GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi // Windows 7 Professional 64 > AutoCad, Revit, Inventor, Maya (2011), Solidworks 2010, Adobe CS4, Corel Technical Design X-5, Sketchup Pro, WordP Office X-5, MS Office
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November 5, 2013 7:48:41 AM

bambiboom said:
motiver,

Your configuration appears to have a lot of good points. A couple of suggestions>

GPU > If you're using CS6, you will have a benefit from CUDA acceleration. And as you're using large files, I would recommend a GTX 760 and in particular a 4GB version.

Storage Drive > I'm in the middle of looking for a storage drive for a new HP z420 system, and while Seagate Barracuda has a very good performance / capacity / cost ratio, from user and comments among IT persons of my acquaintance, I am worried about quality in a workstation environment over long processing slogs.. And, again, in respect of your maximum file size, you might consider the Seagate Constellation ES.3 with it's unique (I think) 128MB cache, and a 5-year warranty. Yes, more money, but might be cheaper in the long run- reliable and lasting longer. Over the years, the difference between drives having 8, 16, 32, and 64MB cache , including those made at the time- has seemed to me dramatic, so the 128MB is very intriguing.

Monitor > If you are concentrating on Photoshop and rendering, I would suggest 1. a 27", 2560 X 1440 monitor possibly Samsung, Viewsonic, ASUS. and 2. By all means sort through the reviews but If at all possible, see the monitor in person and fondle the controls and check the range of control. This is crucial. Even after a lot of personal evaluation, I bought an HP 2711x (1920 X 1080) and ever since I've wished for better text display quality, and more linear controls as I've never been able to have the display anywhere near the prints. The size is critical too so you can have all the menus running and still have large image. If you like the U2412M 24" in particular- get two!

Cheers,

BambiBoom

1. Dell Precision T5400 (2009)> 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 500GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 2496 Sound Card > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > HP 2711x 27" 1920 x 1080 > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup Pro, Corel Technical Designer, Adobe CS MC, WordP Office, MS Office > architecture, industrial design, graphic design, rendering, writing

2. HP z420 (2013)> Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 RAM > Quadro 4000 > Samsung 840 SSD 250GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > M-Audio 192 sound card > AE3000 USB WiFi // Windows 7 Professional 64 > AutoCad, Revit, Inventor, Maya (2011), Solidworks 2010, Adobe CS4, Corel Technical Design X-5, Sketchup Pro, WordP Office X-5, MS Office


Thanks for the suggestion. I read the CS6 uses OpenGL and OpenCL and CUDA is used only for certain aspects like liquify and oil painting, etc. which I have never used in the last 6 years of me using photoshop. Having said that, do I need a dedicated GPU at all? I am thinking of not going with a GPU since I hear haswell's integrated graphics are pretty good and load up on more RAM or invest in a better monitor. Maybe I can upgrade to a dedicated GPU in the future?

What do you think?

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November 5, 2013 3:56:51 PM

motiver,

Yes, the situation with GPU's becomes more complex as different applications among those of the same maker are now diverging in system requirements for the best results. This is especially true of Autodesk, and to some degree, Adobe. I'm at the point where I think it may be advisable to have two graphics cards, one CUDA, and the other Open GL / CL oriented and run them with multiple configurations.

Between posting to this thread and now, I received and installed a new Quadro 4000 in the Dell Precision T5400 and which nearly doubles the 3D performance in Passmark benchmarks- and which has much better Open GL performance than the previous Quadro FX4800. The system rating raised from 1859 to 1977. Still, a few casual tests in Sketchup show performance quite similar and it's only Solidworks that the 4000 really shows it's stuff. The Quadro 4000 is a hot running one too- 87C.

So, anyway, the world of GPU's never becomes any simpler!

You mentioned using the IG of the Haswell and I would say, it's worth trying as in 2D, it's really good, a big improvement on HD 4000. I did a baselines "advanced" search on Passmark for > "i7-4770K > ASRock Z87 Extreme4 > HD4600" to try and gauge the potential performance of your system and >

With HD 4600 graphics (9 results) >

System Ratings = 3949 > 1917
CPU= 11729 > 8472
2D= 1049 > 928
3D = 689 > 560

With a GTX 760 (10 results) >

System Ratings= 5046 > 2677
CPU= 10925 > 8934
2D= 1184 > 878
3D = 5741 > 4840

These systems mostly had 8GB RAM and SSD's. Systems with 12 and 16GB performed about the same in 2D, but of course the file sizes for the tests do not include those on the scale of your use.

A small sample either way, but tells an interesting story in that in a 2D world, the HD 4600 does extremely well. For comparison, my new Quadro 4000 makes 505 in 2D and 1999 in 3D. I had been concerned that the HD graphics somewhat subtracts from the CPU performance but the Passmark figures say otherwise. There is component in 2D rendering- reflections, particles, fluids, where the CUDA acceleration would help, but the i7-4770K architecture is so strong, it appears the HD4600 might do very well.

The thing is whether you will be encountering 3D modeling in 3D graphics effects- extrusions / shadow effects, but I would say that unless that is very elaborate and involves building large polygon count models to extract 2D images, the HD 4600 might even work for that- up to a point. the HD4600 is still better in 3D than a Quadro K600.

Sure, give the HD 4600 a try to start and put the GPU cost into a good 2560 X 1440 monitor! I'd certainly be interested in your results.

Cheers,

Bambiboom

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November 5, 2013 4:50:15 PM

That's an awesome post. Thanks a bunch. I decided to go without a GPU (I can always add one later :)  ). I don't think I need to overclock either i7-4770K is plenty of power for the work I am doing. I am not a gamer. So I don't think I will need anything other than the stock cooler (heatsink) that comes with the processor. I might buy a thermal paste though. Even the RAM I will go only 16GB for now. I can always expand it later :) 


Any suggestions on the case and the MOBO? Do I need the Z87 extreme if I don't plan to OC? I am hearing mixed reviews for everything I see online.

Thanks,
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Best solution

November 5, 2013 6:31:34 PM

motiver,

Motherboard > As for the motherboard, I'm not terribly knowledgeable with Haswell but Z87 is the right chipset and I like in general ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, Supermicro, and for my 8X Xeon E7 system, a Tyan that supports 4096GB of RAM. I figured once that 4TB of RAM in 32GB modules could cost $60,000.

I think the choice between the various ASRock Z87 boards depends on the slots you might need. T sort of base Z87, the Pro (about $105) has 1 PCIe 3.0X16, plus a couple of PCI and the Extreme 4 (about $125) has 2-3.0 x16, a 2.0 x16 and an x1. For the extra $20 I think I'd have the better range of slots- and the gold caps. You never know, you might go from HD4600 to dual something or others, add a great sound card or two, a Revodrive, who knows. If you're sure you won't have these things, or have several PCI peripherals, by all means the Pro would be fine.

Diversion > WiFi > The funny thing is, in my new HP z420 I had to buy a USB WiFi adapter (Linksys AE3000- $50) because the MB only has one PCI slot and I needed that for an M-Audio 192 sound card. By the way, if you use WiFi- and the board has a PCI slot, I had amazing luck for 4 years with a $15 used Linksys 600N- self-installed and runs at 130-144MB/s. The AE3000 is better- I pick up 9 networks as opposed to 3 with the 600N- in a suburban neighborhood where the nearest house is 80' away. -Sorry, I get off the subject so easily.

Case> For this kind of use, I like cases to be a little oversized- easy to work on, room for more drives, large and/or multiple graphics cards, etc., good airflow. My preference too is for very plain design- not distracting, boy-racer stuff. Another important feature is quiet. Gaming casing tend to have fan grills all over and while they're great in getting the heat out, so does the noise follow.

Here's the kind of thing >

LIAN LI PC-K7B USB3.0 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case > $75.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another one I like is >

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case > $70

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

> but this one may have bit too much openness- fan noise.

I think it's worth getting a good quality case too that could expand into a second incarnation. You may want someday to have a dual 8- core Xeon rendering hot rod with a pair of Quadro K5000's and a 7-drive RAID 10 and such a thing could just plug into >

Corsair Obsidian 750D Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case > $160

LIAN LI PC-A75 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case > $170

These are not cheap, but I think a solid, substantial, dignified- and quiet- looking system makes for a great working mood.

Just for reference, this is the case I'd use for my dream system >

Case Labs Mercury S5 > $260.
http://www.caselabs-store.com/mercury-s5-case/

Good project and it seems you're approaching it with good information and attitude.

Cheers,

BambiBoom






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November 5, 2013 6:46:56 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I am excited to order all my stuff.
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