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Lightroom Rig

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November 1, 2009 8:33:42 PM

Friends,

I'm planning on buying a Dell XPS 9000 to use as a Lightroom (and some Photoshop) workhorse. I am a wedding photographer so I go through tons of pictures and every second counts. With money as no object, what would be the best choices for my system to be as speedy as possible without being wasteful. I don't really play games.

Also note I'm running a 30in and 24in monitor.

I was looking at a i7-975 with 12 gb ram and a hd5850. I also plan on putting a Intel SSD for the boot. This all being said, I really don't know too much about the benefits of these things (ie i7950 vs i7975).

Thanks for your help!
Eric

More about : lightroom rig

November 1, 2009 8:55:08 PM

"what would be the best choices for my system to be as speedy as possible without being wasteful"
please define the term wasteful: if you mean excessive horsepower, then you are definatly being wasteful ;) . it appears that the top of the line stuff has caught your eye. if you honestly have NO money restrictions, then by all means get it and enjoy.
a b à CPUs
November 1, 2009 9:00:32 PM

Would be cheaper to build your own with a i7 920 and overclock. If money is no object and you are not tech savy, then by all means get the dell.
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November 1, 2009 9:13:00 PM

Thanks for the responses!

I guess the question is is the extra ram necessary? is the 5850 necessary? is the i7975 necessary? ssd boot drive? I'm all for getting it if it helps, but if perhaps there is no benefit of the graphics card over a lesser one, then I don't need to waste any money either.

I also have been poking around at the workstation side of dell. They all seem to have xeon processors, yet they cost more for similar specs.

Thanks again! I can use all the advice I can get,
Eric
November 1, 2009 9:40:40 PM

so then, are you planning on building your own or buying one?
the specs i would recommend (for similar performance) are as follows:

CPU: core i7 920 or i7 950.
the 970 processor is called an extreme edition processor, this means that intel has done some minor changes to the processor to make it more overclock friendly and they also mark it up to $1k. the two i have listed are 1/4 to 1/2 the price respectively. they also have similar performance.

GPU: ATI 4850.
this card is powerful enough for many games, it is powerful enough for whatever you need it for. the one you were thinking of is the newest and is very hard to get right now. this one is much cheaper and should not give you an noticable performance difference.

RAM: 6 gigs should be sufficient.

hard drive: HDD vs SSD:
if you have a deep wallet, go with SSD. they have a maximum capacity about now of 256 GB. if that is enough, feel free to get one. they do have a large performance over HDD. HDD, however, are reasonably fast and are easily 10x less than SSD along with a huge capacity boost.


hope this answers your question and helps you with your final desision.
November 1, 2009 9:43:32 PM

cheepstuff said:
"what would be the best choices for my system to be as speedy as possible without being wasteful"
please define the term wasteful: if you mean excessive horsepower, then you are definatly being wasteful ;) . it appears that the top of the line stuff has caught your eye. if you honestly have NO money restrictions, then by all means get it and enjoy.


I think that excessive horsepower would be wasteful. Of course, I would take nearly any benefit. Even if I shave a half a second off preview-generation, that multiplies by 3000 (pictures) per wedding - a lot of time waiting!

I guess I should also state what I use now that is too slow:

Intel Pentium D CPU 3.20GHz, Win 7 64bit, 4 gb ram, and a nvidia 8500 gt.

Would I be seeing a big difference?

Thanks,
Eric
November 1, 2009 9:47:51 PM

cheepstuff said:
so then, are you planning on building your own or buying one?
the specs i would recommend (for similar performance) are as follows:

CPU: core i7 920 or i7 950.
the 970 processor is called an extreme edition processor, this means that intel has done some minor changes to the processor to make it more overclock friendly and they also mark it up to $1k. the two i have listed are 1/4 to 1/2 the price respectively. they also have similar performance.

GPU: ATI 4850.
this card is powerful enough for many games, it is powerful enough for whatever you need it for. the one you were thinking of is the newest and is very hard to get right now. this one is much cheaper and should not give you an noticable performance difference.

RAM: 6 gigs should be sufficient.

hard drive: HDD vs SSD:
if you have a deep wallet, go with SSD. they have a maximum capacity about now of 256 GB. if that is enough, feel free to get one. they do have a large performance over HDD. HDD, however, are reasonably fast and are easily 10x less than SSD along with a huge capacity boost.


hope this answers your question and helps you with your final desision.



Thanks for this response!
I appreciate the time you've taken to answer me. As far as the SSD goes, I wanted to use it to store the Lightroom Database. I believe that's where the thumbnails and previews are kept so it needs to be on a different drive than the pictures themselves. Would having this database on the boot drive be a good choice, or would I need two ssd drives? The database folder is about 20gb or so...

Thanks,
Eric
November 1, 2009 9:49:44 PM

"Would I be seeing a big difference? "
well, you would see a difference in that pictures would render quickly, buttons would be responsive all the time, and stuff like starting photoshop would happen in a couple seconds.
November 1, 2009 9:54:04 PM

put 12gb of ram since it's better if your looking through 8+ high quality pictures at same time
November 1, 2009 10:07:49 PM

"Would having this database on the boot drive be a good choice, or would I need two ssd drives?"

like i said, SSDs come with a max capacity of about 256 GB. after partitioning, installing windows, the magical loss of space, ect. it will leave you with 230 ish. you should have enough, but a SSD that size costs a fortune $500 - 1000. HDD have reasonable speeds, but they have a giant capacity, for example, a 1TB ( 1000 GB ) HDD can cost as little as $80. the only time a drive affects your performance is when you are loading something. this ranges from booting to opening your Lightroom Database. to see the true difference between you can do a google search for HDD vs SSD speed comparisons. you should consider HDD as a viable option because you can save a lot of money.

if that is all you are storing on your boot drive then there should be no problem, if you want to store more stuff over time i would recommend another SSD.
November 2, 2009 1:21:09 AM

Thanks again for all your replies. Would a crossfire setup benefit my needs at all? I just want to minimize the time it takes for thumbnails to go from blurry to clear... The "thumbnails" are pretty big and fit about 6 - 12 per screen (30in")

Thanks again. I apologize if the answer is totally obvious. I do realize that crossfire setups are typically for gamers.

ERic
November 2, 2009 10:33:10 PM

crossfire is a good idea if your a gamer a couple of years ago. now graphics have gotten good enough for a single card to play almost any game. if you have a powerful card, you don't need any more. the only people that use crossfire are enthusists that want seamless frame rates at a huge resolution. you don't need a crossfire setup.

Two are better than one but you wont get a huge boost so don't go crazy for it.
!