Motherboard recommendations for photo editing?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

My 1996-era BH6 is a very reliable performer, but it is just too slow to
edit digital photographs. Even with 7200 RPM drives, a SIIG IDE card and
an 850 MHz CPU, I spend too much time waiting for images to load and for
operations to finish.

Staying in the Pentium line, what would you recommend for this
application? What would you advise against and why?

Thanks in advance.


Jeff
17 answers Last reply
More about motherboard recommendations photo editing
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    On Sun, 23 May 2004 16:34:14 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:

    > My 1996-era BH6 is a very reliable performer, but it is just too slow to
    >edit digital photographs. Even with 7200 RPM drives, a SIIG IDE card and
    >an 850 MHz CPU, I spend too much time waiting for images to load and for
    >operations to finish.
    >
    > Staying in the Pentium line, what would you recommend for this
    >application? What would you advise against and why?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    >
    >Jeff

    RAM is what you need, and lots of it. But a new P4 2.8 to 3.0ghz on an
    Abit IC7 mb should do you nicely. You will need some new ram too so
    get at least 1gb of PC3200.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    In message <Xns94F294AEAB656jeffsmessages@216.196.97.132>, Jeff
    Lindstrom <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> writes
    > My 1996-era BH6 is a very reliable performer, but it is just too slow to
    >edit digital photographs. Even with 7200 RPM drives, a SIIG IDE card and
    >an 850 MHz CPU, I spend too much time waiting for images to load and for
    >operations to finish.
    >
    > Staying in the Pentium line, what would you recommend for this
    >application? What would you advise against and why?

    I'd say the main thing you are going to be interested in is a board that
    gives you striped RAID. A couple of SATA drives will make a tremendous
    difference to loading speed.
    If you're transferring files from one machine to the other, having
    gigabit LAN would be good.
    Apart from that, almost any chip/config from 2.4GHz up should be fine. I
    doubt whether you'd notice much difference between the speeds. That
    said, you might as well make sure you get a 800MHz FSB hyperthreading
    variant as it tends to be apps like photoshop and premiere that can take
    advantage of the HT.
    IC7
    IS7
    My other half uses an IS7g mainly for photoshop work and its fine. She's
    often got 40-60 layers per image and the load times and any operations
    are virtually instantaneous. We've now gone over to using a gigabit
    switch as the stock photos are archived on another machine and the extra
    transfer speed is noticeable.
    --
    __________________________________________________
    Personal email for Gareth Jones can be sent to:
    'usenet4gareth' followed by an at symbol
    followed by 'uk2' followed by a dot
    followed by 'net'
    __________________________________________________
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    On Sun, 23 May 2004 16:34:14 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >... I spend too much time waiting for images to load and for
    >operations to finish.
    >
    > Staying in the Pentium line, what would you recommend for this
    >application? What would you advise against and why?
    >

    In general terms, waiting for images to load sounds very much like a
    RAM issue. If you dont have enough RAM, the live copy of your image
    that youre editing is being stored in the swap file on your hard drive
    instead of in the RAM. Regardless of how fast the hard drive is,
    it'll never be anywhere near as fast as the RAM. Also, in general
    terms, waiting for operations to finish is often a CPU issue. I would
    start looking at CPU and RAM needs first, and then pick a motherbaord
    that fits those needs.

    Regarding CPU needs, I would go for a something around a 3.0C
    (sometimes just called a 3.0). The 3.0E have more L1 and L2 Cache, but
    run MUCH hotter than the C series, the performance lost by the heat
    seems to more than outweigh any performance gained by the extra cache.
    There are faster CPUs, such as the 3.4, but you'll pay 100% more for
    15% more speed. Regarding RAM, you may want to look at how large your
    swap file is next time you have several large photos open, and add
    that number to your current amount of ram. You'll want to get AT LEAST
    that much RAM, more if you can afford it.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

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  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

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  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    Gareth Jones <usenet@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    > I'd say the main thing you are going to be interested in is a board
    > that gives you striped RAID. A couple of SATA drives will make a
    > tremendous difference to loading speed.

    I know what 'RAID' is, but never heard the term "striped RAID" before.
    Is that an add-on to a board?


    > ... you might as well make sure you get a 800MHz FSB hyperthreading
    > variant as it tends to be apps like photoshop and premiere that can
    > take advantage of the HT.

    It didn't occur to me that 800 MHz speed (from 4 simultaneous 200 MHz
    operations) would require hyperthreading. I use Photo Impact, and I don't
    know if it even supports hyperthreading.

    If my software doesn't support HT, what hardware should I lean towards
    for best performance?


    > IC7
    > IS7
    > My other half uses an IS7g...
    > She's often got 40-60 layers per image and the load times and any
    > operations are virtually instantaneous.

    Good to know.


    > We've now gone over to using a
    > gigabit switch as the stock photos are archived on another machine and
    > the extra transfer speed is noticeable.

    Wasn't planning on that, but useful information.


    Thanks,

    Jeff
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    > In general terms, waiting for images to load sounds very much like a
    > RAM issue. If you dont have enough RAM, the live copy of your image
    > that youre editing is being stored in the swap file on your hard drive
    > instead of in the RAM.

    I am using Windows 98SE, which is limited to 192 MB (although I have 768
    MB in my machine because the memory was so cheap).

    I expect to go to Windoes 2000 or XP with a new machine, so that won't be
    a problem.


    > Regarding CPU needs, I would go for a something around a 3.0C
    > (sometimes just called a 3.0). The 3.0E have more L1 and L2 Cache, but
    > run MUCH hotter than the C series, the performance lost by the heat
    > seems to more than outweigh any performance gained by the extra cache.

    How does higher temperature translate into slower performance? Bit
    errors being corrected?


    > There are faster CPUs, such as the 3.4, but you'll pay 100% more for
    > 15% more speed. Regarding RAM, you may want to look at how large your
    > swap file is next time you have several large photos open, and add
    > that number to your current amount of ram. You'll want to get AT LEAST
    > that much RAM, more if you can afford it.

    Ok.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    In message <Xns94F43EF5E582jeffsmessages@216.196.97.132>, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> writes
    >
    > I know what 'RAID' is, but never heard the term "striped RAID" before.
    >Is that an add-on to a board?
    >
    No, its RAID0 where you use two identical drives and the machine writes
    to the two of them at once. Nearly twice the speed. And it is twice the
    capacity. I.e. 2 * 80GB drives gives you 160 GB


    >
    >> ... you might as well make sure you get a 800MHz FSB hyperthreading
    >> variant as it tends to be apps like photoshop and premiere that can
    >> take advantage of the HT.
    >
    > It didn't occur to me that 800 MHz speed (from 4 simultaneous 200 MHz
    >operations) would require hyperthreading.


    It doesn't. Its just that all the 800MHz FSB chips DO have
    hyperthreading. Some of the lower speed FSB P4 chips don't.
    Also, the increased bus speed, while not a huge impact in reality, can
    only help. Just means you have to but two RAM sticks instead of one.


    > I use Photo Impact, and I don't
    >know if it even supports hyperthreading.
    >
    > If my software doesn't support HT, what hardware should I lean towards
    >for best performance?

    There's not much difference in the price, so you might as well stick to
    a HT chip anyway. The HT chips will run the normal software fine.


    --
    __________________________________________________
    Personal email for Gareth Jones can be sent to:
    'usenet4gareth' followed by an at symbol
    followed by 'uk2' followed by a dot
    followed by 'net'
    __________________________________________________
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    On Tue, 25 May 2004 02:24:56 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:


    > I am using Windows 98SE, which is limited to 192 MB (although I have 768
    >MB in my machine because the memory was so cheap).

    It's not limited to 192mb. When you have over 512mb though you have to
    limit Vcache to 512mb or less or else you will get all kinds of
    errors.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    >> I know what 'RAID' is, but never heard the term "striped RAID" before.
    >>Is that an add-on to a board?
    >>
    > No, its RAID0 where you use two identical drives and the machine writes
    > to the two of them at once. Nearly twice the speed. And it is twice the
    > capacity. I.e. 2 * 80GB drives gives you 160 GB

    Ah... ok.

    The only concern I see is that, if the system crashes (but the drives are
    ok) and I have a file spread across 2 drives, how do I recover it on
    another system?


    >> It didn't occur to me that 800 MHz speed (from 4 simultaneous 200 MHz
    >>operations) would require hyperthreading.
    >
    >
    > It doesn't. Its just that all the 800MHz FSB chips DO have
    > hyperthreading. Some of the lower speed FSB P4 chips don't.
    > Also, the increased bus speed, while not a huge impact in reality, can
    > only help. Just means you have to but two RAM sticks instead of one.

    As cheap as PC3200 is on pricewatch.com, that's not a problem. ;)


    >> If my software doesn't support HT, what hardware should I lean towards
    >>for best performance?
    >
    > There's not much difference in the price, so you might as well stick to
    > a HT chip anyway. The HT chips will run the normal software fine.

    Good to know. Thanks.


    Jeff
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    In message <Xns94F46AA52BD56jeffsmessages@216.196.97.132>, Jeff
    Lindstrom <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> writes
    >> No, its RAID0 where you use two identical drives and the machine writes
    >> to the two of them at once. Nearly twice the speed. And it is twice the
    >> capacity. I.e. 2 * 80GB drives gives you 160 GB
    >
    > Ah... ok.
    >
    > The only concern I see is that, if the system crashes (but the drives are
    >ok) and I have a file spread across 2 drives, how do I recover it on
    >another system?

    That is a problem!
    However with the reliability of modern drives and the speed advantage it
    gives you, I for one am willing to put up with the increased risk.
    Its another reason for making sure you back up regularly!
    (As both our 'his and hers' computers have >240GB RAID0 drives, we just
    regularly make a backup copy of each others vital data on a spare
    partition on the other machine - another reason why gigabit LAN is so
    nice, then archive to DVD every month or so)

    BTW If you are feeling rich and/or paranoid, if you get a board with
    four SATA ports, you can stripe AND mirror disks.
    But you still have the problem if say the motherboard goes tits up and
    the drives are ok. You'll just have to wait to get another replacement
    board I guess.

    --
    __________________________________________________
    Personal email for Gareth Jones can be sent to:
    'usenet4gareth' followed by an at symbol
    followed by 'uk2' followed by a dot
    followed by 'net'
    __________________________________________________
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    >>> No, its RAID0 where you use two identical drives and the machine
    >>> writes to the two of them at once.

    >> The only concern I see is that, if the system crashes (but the
    >> drives are ok) and I have a file spread across 2 drives, how do
    >> I recover it on another system?

    > That is a problem!
    > However with the reliability of modern drives and the speed advantage
    > it gives you, I for one am willing to put up with the increased risk.

    > BTW If you are feeling rich and/or paranoid, if you get a board with
    > four SATA ports, you can stripe AND mirror disks.
    > But you still have the problem if say the motherboard goes tits up and
    > the drives are ok. You'll just have to wait to get another replacement
    > board I guess.

    Is moving two drives from one RAID0 setup to another system with RAID0
    transparent? Will I have to provide any information to the second system
    to get it to read the two disks?


    Jeff
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    Slug <no@email.here> wrote:

    > On Tue, 25 May 2004 02:24:56 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    ><j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >> I am using Windows 98SE, which is limited to 192 MB (although I have
    >> 768 MB in my machine because the memory was so cheap).

    > It's not limited to 192mb. When you have over 512mb though you have to
    > limit Vcache to 512mb or less or else you will get all kinds of
    > errors.

    I've read that, but I have had 750 MB for years with no discernible
    problems (other than the usual Windows cockups).

    So you think I should add these to the [vcache] entry in System.ini?

    MinFileCache=2048
    MaxFileCache=536870912


    Jeff
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 13:12:50 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:


    > I've read that, but I have had 750 MB for years with no discernible
    >problems (other than the usual Windows cockups).
    >
    > So you think I should add these to the [vcache] entry in System.ini?
    >
    >MinFileCache=2048
    >MaxFileCache=536870912
    >
    >
    >Jeff
    >

    Just the MaxFileCache, you don't need to add minfilecache. I have 1gb
    of ram and under Win98 if I don't put that line in the system.ini I
    get all kinds of problems. Some progs won't even install if I forget
    to add that line. I use:
    MaxFileCache=262144

    You've got way too many digits in your MaxFileCache line above. My
    example is for 256mb. 512mb would be 524288.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    On Tue, 25 May 2004 02:24:56 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    <j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >How does higher temperature translate into slower performance? Bit
    >errors being corrected?

    Nothing quite so extravegant, the same problem exists in the simplest
    of electrical components. Whenever temperature rises, the resistance
    in an electrical wire (or printed circuit inside a computer chip)
    rises. Whenever resistance rises, electrical impulses (in this case,
    your data) travel slower.

    Back when 500 MHz chips where the max, there were some people that
    essentially air conditioned their cases with refrigerator compressors.
    Without any traditional overclocking, the 500 MHz chips ran at 1 GHz,
    because reduced heat = reduced resistance = faster transfer. I'm sure
    there's many other examples.
  16. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    tony010409020622@spamthis@hotmail.com wrote:

    > On Tue, 25 May 2004 02:24:56 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    ><j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:
    >
    >>How does higher temperature translate into slower performance? Bit
    >>errors being corrected?
    >
    > Nothing quite so extravegant, the same problem exists in the simplest
    > of electrical components. Whenever temperature rises, the resistance
    > in an electrical wire (or printed circuit inside a computer chip)
    > rises. Whenever resistance rises, electrical impulses (in this case,
    > your data) travel slower.

    I have a post-graduate education in Electronic & Computer Engineering and
    I'm pretty certain it doesn't work like that.

    When temperature rises, resistance *does* increase, but that doesn't
    affect the speed of a (crystal clock controlled) digital circuit. It will
    lower the rolloff frequency, which will round the edges of the clock and
    data signals, but so long as the chips can still respond, the speed isn't
    reduced.



    > Back when 500 MHz chips where the max, there were some people that
    > essentially air conditioned their cases with refrigerator compressors.
    > Without any traditional overclocking, the 500 MHz chips ran at 1 GHz,
    > because reduced heat = reduced resistance = faster transfer. I'm sure
    > there's many other examples.

    Refrigeration is used to lower junction temperatures so melting doesn't
    occur (Cray supercomputers used to use liquid Nitrogen), but if you don't
    increase the clock speed, digital circuits will not work any faster, so
    traditional overclocking does have to be used.


    Jeff
  17. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.abit (More info?)

    Slug <no@email.here> wrote:

    > On Wed, 26 May 2004 13:12:50 -0500, Jeff Lindstrom
    ><j_r_lind@adelphia.net> wrote:

    >> So you think I should add these to the [vcache] entry in System.ini?

    >>MinFileCache=2048
    >>MaxFileCache=536870912

    > You've got way too many digits in your MaxFileCache line above. My
    > example is for 256mb. 512mb would be 524288.

    Oopsie... I thought it was in bytes, not KB (too early in the morning for
    me).


    Jeff
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