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Photo editing set up help

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October 25, 2010 11:09:20 AM

I want to upgrade my wife's photo editing machine/set up. I was thinking of 3 different options. First just upgrading her current machine. Second to buy/build a cheap machine. Last option woud be to get a NAS server with a RAID set up. I know the NAS server wouldn't improving her current machine, but she is also hurting for space. She has 500GB of HDD space, but less then 100 free. As a back up she has a 500 GB external, but that is almost full as well. I would like to do this for a cheap as I can. I'm not exactly sure what the best thing to look at for photo editing, I would assume RAM is a major issue. I figured there are lots of people on Tom's hardware that know more then I do, so I thought it would be best to ask.

I am going to get a new GPU for my machine, so I would have an old 8800 GTS I could use for her, but I wasn't sure if a cheap workstation GPU would perform better for her. (If I built/bought a machine)

Another seperate question, what is the best thing to look for in monitors? Does it change when thinking about photo editing? I'll be giving her an Acer P223W.



This my wife's current set up for photo editing. It is just a frankstein machine I put together from my old computers.


Windows XP 2002 Version
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 2.02 GHz
2.00GB of RAM
GeForce 7900 GT
430W PSU

HDD:

300GB 7200RPM
200GB 7200RPM

If I left out some information that is needed just let me know, and I'll add it when I get home. Currently at work so going off memory.... Thank you for your help/advice/information.

Frankie

More about : photo editing set

October 25, 2010 12:16:44 PM

I saw that, but my initial question is what would be better to upgrade my current set up, build a new system, or go with just go with a NAS server to solve the storage issues.

If this makes it easier....

Approximate Purchase Date:

Budget Range: 500 USD, but I am flexible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photo editing

Parts Not Required: Read OP


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: German, but can/will purchase from US


Parts Preferences: I prefer NVIDIA over ATI


Overclocking: No


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)


Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)
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October 25, 2010 12:22:21 PM

Few questions....
- What is the workload? Is she professional or is that a hobby?
- What software will you use for editing.
- What type of editing you planing? What is the file size of files she working on?
- Why second computer for NAS?
- Budget?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 12:41:10 PM

hmm...USD 500 is only about €350.
Win 7 x64 home premimum will cost you about €90.
Top see for the upgrade possibility please post the details of what you currently have, namely your Mobo, RAM, and PSU.

hmmm...NAS is something else...do you need NAS more than a stronger PC or do you need a stronger PC more than NAS?
How many PCs or any more gadgets which will gain benefits of getting a NAS?

BTW :
1. newegg doesn't ship to Germany.
2. if you are living in germany, it is better to get things from Germany with their 2 years warranty.
3. Have you count the custom tax for buying things outside european union?

check out these websites :
alternate.de
kmelektronik.de
mindfactory.de
arlt.com
atelco.de
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October 25, 2010 12:47:16 PM

arkadi said:
Few questions....
- What is the workload? Is she professional or is that a hobby?
- What software will you use for editing.
- What type of editing you planing? What is the file size of files she working on?
- Why second computer for NAS?
- Budget?


1. She is a professional, but only working part time. About 4 jobs a month, 100+ photos a job.
2. She is using CS2
3. File sizes are between 6-8MB before editing and 2-3MB, for type of editing it is mainly cropping and color/lighting corrections
4. I was thinking of using a NAS for storage, because we are running low on storage space. For every picture she take she uses between 16-22MB (she keeps the original image and edited and then backs it up on her external). Another reason is just so I can play with a NAS storage/RAID set up, I have never done it and want to learn :) 
5. I wanted to keep it around 500 USD, but I am flexible.

Thanks for replying, sorry I didn't add this originally. I wasn't sure what all was pertinent.
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October 25, 2010 12:53:39 PM

guanyu210379 said:
hmm...USD 500 is only about €350.
Win 7 x64 home premimum will cost you about €90.
Top see for the upgrade possibility please post the details of what you currently have, namely your Mobo, RAM, and PSU.

hmmm...NAS is something else...do you need NAS more than a stronger PC or do you need a stronger PC more than NAS?
How many PCs or any more gadgets which will gain benefits of getting a NAS?

BTW :
1. newegg doesn't ship to Germany.
2. if you are living in germany, it is better to get things from Germany with their 2 years warranty.
3. Have you count the custom tax for buying things outside european union?

check out these websites :
alternate.de
kmelektronik.de
mindfactory.de
arlt.com
atelco.de



newegg.com will ship to me, as I have an APO mail box.

Yea I know the NAS is a totally different question, but I wasn't sure if something easy as just some new/more memory will make difference in her PC. If that was the case I would get the memory and do the NAS, but if the consensus is to go for a better PC then I would do that. The NAS is just a bonus project I want to do. I have a PS3 and Xbox and we use to stream movies/music from, and that is currently stored on my wife's computer.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 1:02:02 PM

edfent said:
newegg.com will ship to me, as I have an APO mail box.

Yea I know the NAS is a totally different question, but I wasn't sure if something easy as just some new/more memory will make difference in her PC. If that was the case I would get the memory and do the NAS, but if the consensus is to go for a better PC then I would do that. The NAS is just a bonus project I want to do. I have a PS3 and Xbox and we use to stream movies/music from, and that is currently stored on my wife's computer.


Hmmm...
now do me a favor. Ask her if she is still satisfied with her current PC regardles of the storage problem.
If she said yes, than take the NAS. If she said No, then upgrade the PC and postpone the NAS.
I see, you would tend to prefer a NAS.
Yes, You will definitely gain much benefits from NAS with your PS3 and other stuff.

please also post your mobo, psu, and RAM specs, if you decided to upgrade the pc too.
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October 25, 2010 1:08:38 PM

guanyu210379 said:
Hmmm...
now do me a favor. Ask her if she is still satisfied with her current PC regardles of the storage problem.
If she said yes, than take the NAS. If she said No, then upgrade the PC and postpone the NAS.


It is definitely slow when she is opening up all of her photos, and she would like it to run faster. Question for you... for photo editing is it using a lot of memory to open all the photos or is the CPU handling a lot? I just don't know what component is carrying the work load when transfering images from a complact flash to her HDD, and when she is editing. I've tried to look this up, but haven't found a good source. Thanks
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 1:26:52 PM

Photo editing will need both proc and RAM.
The RAM need is depending on the resolution you are working. If you edit high resolution pictures, you will need plenty of them.
Better proc with more cores will also help you a lot.

An adeguate GPU is also needed, onboard GPU tends to slow down the process, but gaming classed GPU is not needed. 256MB or more GPU RAM is also recommendable.

Photo editing will also involve fast transfer to and from the HDD, I would say get a faster HDD or RAID them internally not as NAS.
NAS is something you would need to gain access to files from multiple gadgets but not for gaining speed in editing process.
SSD is fast but too expensive (no SSD for you), I recommend the raptors from WD and/or RAID-ing HDDs.

You will also then need 64 bit OS to handle more than 3GB RAM.

Newer CS version with multithreading capability is also recommendable.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 1:30:35 PM

I know that your budget is only about USD500 which doesn't give you much space getting both the upgrades and NAS.
I also assume your "flexible" budget will not go for both.
This is why you have to take decision, better PC or NAS.

I also see your desire to upgrade the monitor. If you are going pro, yes better monitor with better color room is definitely needed.
The best monitor for photo editing is the EIZOs, but they are not cheap.
Several monitors from Samsung, Apple and NEC are also recommendable for photo editing.
Note : Choose no ordinary LCD panels (TN). Get S-IPS, or S-PVA/MVA LCD panels.
Trust me, you will see the colors better using those monitors.
so..decide..decide..decide.. :D 
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October 25, 2010 3:04:33 PM

I guess you have X2 3800+ for 939 socket, than the only upgrade you can do is the RAM, it can help, but not by much.
If it only storage problem, and she is happy with the performance, you can add some ram, and get new hard drive, Samsung F3 are cheap and fast. CS2 is hardware limited as far as Ram and GPU, but with simple editing like yours, i think you can manage.
Screen and NAS are expansive, so you will have to consider it separately. I am not sure that expansive screen is a smart move for small work load like yours, in any case, i am not sure how you can manage with 500$.
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October 25, 2010 4:06:50 PM

Thank you very much for the replies. It definitely looks like I will be building her a new PC, and I will have to up my budget. I am going to see if I can pull it off for around 700-800 bucks. I was just hoping for the 500 dollar range because I thought I'd be able to use a lot of her old parts.

I'll put together a setup and post back tonight (hopefully), and get your opinions again. Thank you again for the information.

Frankie
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2010 6:32:18 PM

OK, you have then decided to get a more powerful PC.
700-800 bucks?
If you already have the monitor, mouse, keyboard, OS, and perhaps also your old case, you will have a very nice configuration with that kind of money.
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October 25, 2010 10:02:55 PM

I didn't get to finish putting a system together, but I'll finish up tomorrow. I do have the OS, mouse, keyboard and a case if I use it. From what you were saying though I might look at another monitor for her. We'll see how the machine adds up.
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October 26, 2010 7:36:25 PM

So this is what I have so far. Please let me know if I could pick something else for a better price.

GPU- Quadro FX 380 512MB -119


HDD- Samsung F3 - 70


CPU/MOBO- i7 860/GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 -385


RAM- CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) -90


Monitor- PLANAR PX2210MW -220



I have a 430W PSU, but I'm not sure if it is strong enough. I also have a Antec P190(?) case I can use. I am also just guessing on that monitor, so I know I definitely need help there. Last but not least I think I went for overkill on the CPU....

Right now it will cost me 884 USD, any ideas to hopefully trim the price down a little that is great. Or at least let me know what I picked right. Thank you for your time.

Frankie
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2010 7:33:37 AM

1.i7 8xx is not even on my wish list. I choose only i5 7xx or i7 9xx, budget class or performance class, and i7 8xx doesn't belong to both classes. I would however recommend X6 1055T for photo editing (non gaming).
BTW : X6 1055T should be cheaper than i7 860, AM3 mobos tend also to be somehow cheaper.

2. The monitor you have chosen has only TN LCD panel type, which is only suitable for multimedia and gaming needs. For professional photo editing purposes, I would recommend something with at least with S-PVA LCD panel type, S-IPS is even better but a little too expensive.
TN LCD panel type is however the cheapest among the other LCD panel types which I have mentioned.

3. Do you have already a copy of Win 7 x64 home premium? If not, than it is recommendable to get one. Be sure to get the 64 bit version so that you can gain maximum advantage of the 4GB RAM.

4. About your PSU. 430W should be enough and Antec is a very good brand, but I think it will be OK

5. You might want also to start considering of having a newer version of photo editing software which has better support to multithreading. This will give you full advantage of the multi-cored proc.
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October 27, 2010 8:30:01 AM

Thanks for the reply.

1. Thanks for the info. I wasn't really aware of the difference between the intel 800 series and the 900 series.

2. Yea I couldn't seem to find a IPS monitor that was less then 500-700 USD. Are they out there or am I going to have to pay that much for an IPS monitor.

3. Yes I'll have Win 7 x64.

4. I may end up getting a new PSU anyways. I need to buy myself a new case because that Antec is my current case. Good to know that 430w should be alright.

5. I should have a new version of photoshop as well.

Thanks again.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2010 9:05:09 AM

1. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/desktop-cpu-charts...
Of course you gain some performance increase compared to X6 1055T or i5 750. But I don't really like the pricing of the i7 8xx. I prefer to go budget (X6 1055T or i5 750) or high end (i7 930). But, it is your choice. From my personal view, X6 1055T should be enough, but if you have the money than go for it.
Yes! I don't like something hangging between budget build and power build. It is just personal taste, no big problem here.


2. Yup. IPS is expensive. Try to look for PVA, it should be cheaper than IPS but still more expensive than TN. IPS is top notch but d*mn expensive, you can try to get the PVA.
Quality for photo editing :
IPS>PVA>TN
Price :
IPS>PVA>TN

3. Yup 430W should do just fine for your system, in fact you still have relatively big free room to breath with 430W, if it is in a good condition.

4. For the case, try to consider Antec 300 if you need one.
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October 27, 2010 12:14:12 PM

AMD CPU - 200

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

MOBO -90

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

Monitor -NEC - 339

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

It is tough to find PVA or IPS monitors for less then 300 USD :) 

What is your opinion the the GPU, Quadro FX 380. The 380 is 64bit where the 580 is 128 bit, I'm not sure how big of a deal this is. Both are 512MB.

With that new monitor my system is at a grand total of 909 USD... so much for a budget machine haha
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2010 2:14:08 PM

Yup...so much for budget PC with that monitor.. :D 
That type has not the best IPS but at least it is affordable.
Other or better IPS LCD monitor could cost even above USD1000.
One thing to remember, that IPS monitor you have chosen has only 14ms response time.
This could be not 100% suitable for gaming (fast gameplay like in first person shooter), since it would have noticeable ghosting effect for fast movement.
IPS is much more efficient to be used for photo editing or watching movies, since IPS can produce better colour reproduction (less color distortion also), wider viewing angle, contrast and sharpness than TN.
TN type however can react faster, and therefore more suitable for gaming.

I have not used workstation GPUs intensively.
Fx580 is definitely better than fx380.
I will leave this for someone else to answer.
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!