/ Pc for photo processing

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Joss - on 12 Oct 2013
Im looking for a new PC. Ive taken up photography over the last few years and so I want a PC thats going to be able to handle processing RAW files and editing in Lightroom/PS.
What sort of specs should I be looking at..? memory, processors etc
John2 - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss: I use Lightroom on a laptop with an Intel i5 processor and 8 gb of memory. It works fine. Memory is very cheap, so if you see a well-priced PC with an i5 and 4 gb of memory it's cheap to upgrade to 8 yourself.
ChrisJD on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss:

Do you have a budget?
Jimbo C - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss:

I guess plenty of RAM and disk space, but for any modern CPU, running Lightroom should be a doddle (Lightroom 4.4 works fine on my 4 year old PC with 4GB RAM and Intel Core 2 Quad 2.5GHz).
ChrisJD on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss:

Posted this before:

Here are some tips on optimising PC for LR.

http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/blog/will-an-ssd-improve-adobe-lightroom-performance/



I specced my PC for LR4 and HD video editing/rendering. After a fair bit of research, decided to separate OS, LR catalog and images onto different disks

OS Disk: SSD. Needs to be large enough to deal with LR storing cache for Video, which you can limit via preferences. I went for Vertex 4 240 GB.

LR Disk: SSD for catalog and image previews. I always render 1:1 and never purge, preview files currently running at 70 GB (can alter via preference). I went for Vertex 3 120 GB, should have gone bigger

Data Disk: 4 GB Hitachi.

LR Catalog backs up to Dropbox (previews don't back up), which means I can access catalog on network (with care) and remotely. Data backups to NAS (RAID 2 disk) and a 4GB USB external drive.

Processor, i7 Hex core, over-clocked to 4.2 GHz
RAM: 32 GB
The Lemming - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss:
> Im looking for a new PC. Ive taken up photography over the last few years and so I want a PC thats going to be able to handle processing RAW files and editing in Lightroom/PS.
> What sort of specs should I be looking at..? memory, processors etc

Photo editing does not take a lot of processing power. Any computer that you buy off the shelf from the cheapest at PC World to the most expensive custom build will do the job perfectly.

However if you are going to do video editing or play fairly recent PC games then you are going to need some processing grunt.

May I suggest that you choose a computer with an Intel processor rather than an AMD processor. its just that Intel are the Daddy and AMD are way, way behind no matter how cheap they are.

Try and get an Intel i3 processor at the very least and if you are feeling flash with lots of money then go for an Intel i5 processor.

Your next big headache will be to go Windows 7 or Windows 8. Good luck on that one. :-)

davidbeynon - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to Joss:

Memory is cheap and makes the biggest difference for photo editing, especially if you get into panoramas. My laptop currently has 8gb, which is acceptable.

Processors are all pretty good these days. Less important than memory, as running out and starting to swap murders performance on any CPU.

Hard drives are an interesting one. If you plan on keeping a lot of pictures around then a large drive is obviously a good thing, but they do fail so a NAS or external drive for backing up is a really good idea. I lost some pics recently do a drive failure and was mightily pissed off.

SSDs are nice if you can afford them, as they are insanely fast. The downside is that although failures are rare, unlike a normal HDD you get no warning that they are on the way out. This makes them v fast for image loading which helps a lot with RAW conversion and batch jobs but you realy need backups.

All gfx cards will do the job. Something middle of the road by nvidia or ati will be fine. Spend the money on a good monitor.
Dan Arkle - on 12 Oct 2013
Chris JD has the good advice here. Any budget pc will do the job, but with long delays as it churns through the data. For speed you want multiple drives and and at least one ssd drive, the more the better.
Dan Arkle - on 12 Oct 2013
John2 - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Dan Arkle: I'm sorry, that's not true. My lowish-end laptop does not run Lightroom with long delays. My main machine is a desktop with more memory, an SSD and four drives, and it is quicker than my laptop but not dramtically so.
ChrisJD on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to John2:

As I said in my post - built PC for LR and HD/2.7k editing/rendering. The latter is where the grunt it can can deliver really really shows.

In LR, the speed shows (compared to my old pc) in rendering 1:1 previews and responding to editing with brushes etc. It is much much improved. Plus it never falls over (runs out of umph or resources etc) if you want to do something else at the same time as having LR open/doing-something in the background.

John2 - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: My point is that if you want to do a moderate amount of editing in Lightroom, not rendering 1:1 previews and not engaging in large-scale batch operations, then a lowish-spec laptop is perfectly adequate. My old laptop had 2gb of memory and an older-genration processor (can't remember which) - this was completely inadequate for running Lightroom. But my i5 one is perfectly adequate.
ChrisJD on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to John2:

I'd agree with that. Depends if you want adequate.

The OP was after "want a PC thats going to be able to handle processing RAW files and editing in Lightroom/PS. "

Just sharing my experience of how I approached speccing up a PC that I wanted to last a good few years (at least three before I get tempted with new shiny stuff, lol).
Dan Arkle - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to John2:

Thanks, I am happy to be corrected . My previous machine was infuriatingly slow taking ages to generate the previews and export photos. However most annoying was a delay in showing any changes made in the develop module. The machine specs were just a touch lower than entry level stuff today.

Ssd's make the whole machine experience much better, but it is photoshop in particular where it speeds things up
davidbeynon - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Dan Arkle:

I found that raw processing on my ageing laptop became almost instant as soon as I went for an SSD. I always assumed the software was just inefficient, but it seems that it was utterly dominated by load times.
Flat4matt - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Are AMD really that behind? I'm in the process of deciding what spec computer to buy for processing my gopro footage. The intel i5 4670 has been recommended but then the amd of similar spec is cheaper but is the intel worth the extra?

From a personal view regarding photoshoping etc, any half decent laptop will suffice. I was processing my images in cs3 extended for years on my vaio laptop which spec really isn't any thing special and never had any issues with performance, well until the harddrive packed in abiut 4months ago!!!!
Back up back up back up!!!!!!! You know the score with that one :-(
davidbeynon - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Flat4matt:

Not really. Intel have the upper hand on speed at the high end right now, but the difference isn't really all that huge.

Whether it matters depends on whether you want a bleeding edge machine or are happy with a middle of the road spec. If you go for the latter then you will get about as much computer for your money with either.

Someone will start talking about benchmarks in a minute. I have never seen a benchmark that even vaguely approximated the way a machine is actually used.
itsThere on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Flat4matt: It depends how much money you have. AMD has more bang for a lower cost, but if you can afford an i5 and above then intel is the way to go.

However this could all change if the people who make the programs like lightroom, photoshop, start to better optimize their program for hyerthreading or 8 cores. You also need an os that can do this.

AMDs first 4,6,8 core 41xx 61xx and 81xx series were hitting the benchmarks of their previous Phenom proc, but the new 43xx.. is suposed to be much much better.

Save money on the procc and get more ram and a ssd. You can have a silly fast cpu, but its pointless if you cant get the data off your hdd fast enough. Dont forget to check your OS and hardware can take the extra ram. I have a friend who upped his mac to 16gb, but the apple webstite showing how to change the ram (which he posted on fb), says the max is 8gb. Dont know if he knows this. It was faster anyhow, but only half of his 120 of ram could have been in use.
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ChrisJD on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Flat4matt:

When I specced up my PC a while back (custom built by Scan UK) I used this site as well to help guide (make me think about) on other components - especially MB & videoCard - for PC aimed at LR/Video.

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+DIY9+Sneak+Peek+Its+Time+for+Sandy+Bridge+E/0xe9b142f408a...

(spec doesn't seem to have been updated since May, but hopefully helpful)

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