Computer upgrade/rebuild help

Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,849
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I need to build a new system, which will only be used as a photo system-
PC based, running LR3, CS5, as the main programs.
My present system bogs down as I try to fly through 800 sports images to pick out the 3 I want to submit.
I know little- (nothing), about hardware. My local IT guys can help- but they are not sure of what Photoshop and Lightroom really want to be happy.
So I thought I would ask here.
Would someone be willing to map out a system that would be optimized for this work? For your help and work I will make a nice donation to this board.
I was thinking of 2 ssd drives, one for programs, one for a scratch disk. Separate large data drive. 16g ram. I know nothing about overclocking- but if that will make it faster I will do it. Video card needs to run 2 monitors, (maybe 3 in the future). System is not used for anything else. No gaming, no internet connection except for adobe/microsoft downloads and image uploads.
Budget- call it $2500, but as little as I can get away with, but as much as I need.
Thanks
Gary
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
274
Location
Montreal, Québec
Hi, the following could be a good starting point.
I have actually just built the first of a serie with these specs.
There can be many variations but this my built.

Motherboard
BOXDP67BG S.1155 P67 ATX RETAIL 4D. DDR3-1600, GB LAN

CPU LGA 1155
Intel Core i7-2600K

Ram (for a photo pc using Photoshop 16gb. is a good starting point)
8GB DDR3-1600 Non-ECC CL9 (Dual Channel) XMP
Manufacturer Part No.: KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX

Hard drive
2 SATA2 1TB 7200 64MB BLK WD1002FAEX (Sata6 Caviar Black)

Video Card
Any good average card is ok for photo
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
4,830
Location
Newcastle, Wa
I would tell your guys, a fast gaming pc without the high end graphics card as a base is a good place to start. Photoshop/LR likes a fast CPU and lots of fast memory. Since you may use up to 3 monitors, a motherboard with 2 to 3 PCIe slots for low end graphics cards.

The new Intel CPU's are very good at photo processing. Something like a Intel i7-2600k that can be overclocked. One of the newer motherboards based on the Z68 chipset that allows you to combine a small SSD and a standard mechanical hard drive to get the speed of a large SSD. A second large hard drive to load your applications and don't forget a large external drive to backup your photo's to.

Good motherboards that meet the above specs and overclock very well:

Asus P8Z68-V-PRO or ASrock Z68 Extreme 4

8 to 16 GB of 1333 or 1600 dual channel 1.5 volt memory depending on how many files you work on at once. I have 16 GB and 2 D3x files use most of it. There are lots of companies that make good memory.

Don't go cheap on the power supply, one of the most important components and make sure you have power for expansion. Corsair makes some of the best these days.

If you overclock you will want a good computer case that provides plenty of good quiet cooling. I just made a computer for my Son in law and Daughter using this case. It is very nice.

I upgraded my system a few months ago, but if I were to do it today I would use:

Asus P8Z68-V-Pro motherboard, with a DVI port on the motherboard you have the option of using the internal graphics to start. You can add graphics cards later if needed.
Intel i7-2600k CPU
CPU cooling for Overclocking, Corsair Hydro Series™ H60 (I have one of these on my overclocked system, keeps the cpu very cool)
Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1600 1.5v to start. With lots of RAM you probably wont need a scratch disk.
Hard drives, a small OCZ Vertex SSD combined with a larger Western Digital Black as primary
A large Western Digital black SATA III for data.
Power, Corsair Gold AX750 — 80 PLUS® Modular.
Case, Corsair Graphite Series™ 600T Mid-Tower Case

I think that all comes in around $1300 for high end parts plus whatever they charge for putting it together.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,985
Location
UK
Probably going down this route myself in the near future and have come up with a base spec which seems to be close to ddieteker recommendations:

ASUS P8P67 Motherboard. I am quite partial to Asus mobo as I have assembled quite a few and all seem to be well designed with enough I/O porsts including USB 3. Bios always seems to have plenty of options and usually have many devotees and the odd forum or two

i7-2600 Intel CPU @ 3.4GHz. I think that this may offer the best 'bang for buck' and is said to be agreeable to overclocking reports suggest that it is not uncommon to reach 4 - 4.5 Ghz @ 1.35 volts. Possibly even further with top notch cooling. So there is a little overhead if you feel the need for speed.

16GB of RAM high speed good quality from one of the major players. Not sure if this still applies but generally the law of diminishing returns applied i.e. spend your money on the highest speed RAM and you would not necessarily see a great improvement in overall speed.

250 GB Solid State Drive for the OS and applications only. Having another small one for scratch disk would be luxuriuos. Photoshop can be quite disk intensive after using up memory therefore fast scratch drive should make a difference.

1 or 2 Terabytes HDD for data

Win 7 64 bit

Graphics card have not really got this far but AFAIK as Photoshop is not particularly video intensive therefore a mid range card should be sufficient and I would go with 1Gb video ram. I used to favour nVidia based cards although there is some suggestion that ATI/AMD have outpaced them. I think I would also consider Matrox based on past usage.

Power supply estimate 600 - 700 watts (a little overhead for future expansion. Plus a nice case with plenty of airflow Antec, Coolermaster etc ?
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
710
Location
Minnesota
I just finished(April)putting together my LR3/CS5 system and am VERY happy with it.
MSI P67A-GD55(B3) mobo w/i7-2600
16GB ram.
120GB SSD for OS(win7-64) and programs(CS5/LR3)
WD 1tb(7200rpm) sata3 that holds my LR catalog and image files.
a pair of 250gb(7200) sata2 hd(from my previous system)in raid 0 used as cache/scratch disc.
750w Corsair power supply
EVGA(nVidia) GeForce GT430 1gb-128 bit video card
all housed in the Corsair 600T case.
Externally I have 3 hdd's with 3tb of space.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
4,830
Location
Newcastle, Wa
you could get a nice apple with $2500

Yes, he could. But on the other hand, most of the recommendations here are just as good (actually better) but cheaper than that $2500 Apple. He also mentioned overclocking, if you can do that with a Mac I would love to know how.
 
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
517
Location
Vancouver, BC
I think everyone loves a good build thread :wink:

Through some recent research both here, and elsewhere, Lightroom especially... like cores. More cores equals faster processing. Photoshop likes CPU speed and it's own scratch disc.

Intel has just announced a new chipset, the Z68. I would strongly recommend this over the P67 Motherboard simply because while not worth an upgrade from the P67, if you are starting fresh, everyone recommends the Z68. The Z68 chipset also allows you to use your own SSD for caching, which will speed up your applications.

Here is what I would do, If I was in your shoes, with that budget. If you don't need monitors and already have an OS, you wont/don't need to hit $2500

Intel i7 2600K CPU (you can O/C this CPU at 4.0GHz all day long, especially with the liquid cooler)
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Motherboard
Corsair Dominator DHX Pro Dual Channel 1600MHz 4x4GB RAM
Corsair H70 CPU Cooler (Liquid cooling made easy)
Corsair AX750 Power Supply (TX750 good enough, but AX750 is the best)
XFX Raedon 5770 Video Card
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 HD x2 (running in RAID 1)
Roswell RC-209 EX Raid Controller Card
Intel 320 Series 20GB SSD (for caching)
OCZ Vertex 2 Sandforce 60GB SSD (for scratch disc)
Antec 300 Computer Case
Samsung DVD Writer
nMEDIAPC ZE-C98 Card Reader

Also keep in mind that Windows 7 64 bit has a whole new way of working with RAM, and that alone will make a huge difference in speed.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,849
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I think everyone loves a good build thread :wink:

Through some recent research both here, and elsewhere, Lightroom especially... like cores. More cores equals faster processing. Photoshop likes CPU speed and it's own scratch disc.

Intel has just announced a new chipset, the Z68. I would strongly recommend this over the P67 Motherboard simply because while not worth an upgrade from the P67, if you are starting fresh, everyone recommends the Z68. The Z68 chipset also allows you to use your own SSD for caching, which will speed up your applications.

Here is what I would do, If I was in your shoes, with that budget. If you don't need monitors and already have an OS, you wont/don't need to hit $2500

Intel i7 2600K CPU (you can O/C this CPU at 4.0GHz all day long, especially with the liquid cooler)
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Motherboard
Corsair Dominator DHX Pro Dual Channel 1600MHz 4x4GB RAM
Corsair H70 CPU Cooler (Liquid cooling made easy)
Corsair AX750 Power Supply (TX750 good enough, but AX750 is the best)
XFX Raedon 5770 Video Card
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 HD x2 (running in RAID 1)
Roswell RC-209 EX Raid Controller Card
Intel 320 Series 20GB SSD (for caching)
OCZ Vertex 2 Sandforce 60GB SSD (for scratch disc)
Antec 300 Computer Case
Samsung DVD Writer
nMEDIAPC ZE-C98 Card Reader

Stupid question- Have you found raid1 to be significantly faster than a single disk? I have read both sides- some say faster, some say no faster, a few say slower write times?
I really appreciate the guidance here- thanks
Gary
 
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
517
Location
Vancouver, BC
Stupid question- Have you found raid1 to be significantly faster than a single disk? I have read both sides- some say faster, some say no faster, a few say slower write times?
I really appreciate the guidance here- thanks
Gary

I wasn't suggesting RAID 1 for speed or performance, but rather for redundancy/backup issues. If you want speed in a RAID, I would recommend RAID 0 Striped with 2 drives (SSD if you want even better performance), this will give you your best performance. If you want to run RAID 0, make sure you have a backup plan or Network Accessed Storage (NAS) device.

If money is less of an option get a card that can support RAID 1+0 (RAID 10). You will need at least 4 drives, but you get the best of both worlds, striped for speed, and parity for redundancy. This is obviously overboard.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,849
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I wasn't suggesting RAID 1 for speed or performance, but rather for redundancy/backup issues. If you want speed in a RAID, I would recommend RAID 0 Striped with 2 drives (SSD if you want even better performance), this will give you your best performance. If you want to run RAID 0, make sure you have a backup plan or Network Accessed Storage (NAS) device..

Now I see, I do have a backup plan that works with a nas server, so since I am simple and raid adds a layer of complexity- I will likely stay with single drives.
The rest of the build looks great- as do several of the others.
Thanks again for steering me in the "right" direction guys
Gary
 

Growltiger

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
13,373
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
How much of a hurry are you in, and how high end do you want to go?

You have had good advice here about using a Sandy Bridge CPU on a motherboard with the LGA1155 socket. But you should be aware of the following info before deciding, in case you want to wait.

The current Sandy Bridge CPUs are limited by only taking dual channel memory, whereas the previous generation i7 processors e.g. 920, 950 etc. can take triple channel memory.

Later this year (2011) Intel will sell higher end Sandy Bridge CPUs that support triple or quad channel memory. These CPUs will not work with the current Sandy Bridge socket which is the LGA1155. The new high-end Sandy Bridge socket for the better CPUs is the LGA2011.

The new LGA2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs should greatly outperform the current range, impressive though they are. But they need a motherboard with an LGA2011 socket.

Next year (2012) should see the new, and even more powerful Ivy Bridge range of CPUs, replacing Sandy Bridge. These will have lower end versions using the LGA1155 socket and higher-end versions using the LGA2011 socket.

So two more significant steps in power are on the way. Some may wish to wait and buy systems using the higher-end socket; at least you should know about this choice.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
6,221
Location
Chicago "burbs"
I'm running an older i7 950 rig (oc'd to 4.0 ghz) which runs both LR3 and CS at light speed. One feature which I'm employing and would suggest is a couple of eSata ports for your large external archive disks. It's a very fast interface.

One more basic reminder. Whenever you build a new rig, don't skimp on the power supply. If you buy a cheap one and it nukes, it can take some of your expensive components with it including your motherboard.

Cooler Master and Silverstone are some of the better ones. I have a Silverstone 1kw PSU that's ~3 years old and never misses a beat. Add up your power requirements for your components and oversize and additional 30 - 50% for added capacity and possible future expansion.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
4,830
Location
Newcastle, Wa
My i7-2600k has been 24/7 now on the 4.5 GHz overclock. Still runs beautifully, I did add a Corsair H60 cpu cooler and an extra fan for push pull. I looked at the H70, but most reviews I read mentioned it was pretty noisy and the H60 with the push pull is about equal in cooling. It is very quiet. eSATA or USB 3 (I am using the USB 3) come on most of the new mid to high end boards. Both boards I mentioned have those. USB 3 for my backup, it is blazing fast, eSATA would be too.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Messages
5,963
Location
SF Bay Area, California
How much of a hurry are you in, and how high end do you want to go?

You have had good advice here about using a Sandy Bridge CPU on a motherboard with the LGA1155 socket. But you should be aware of the following info before deciding, in case you want to wait.

The current Sandy Bridge CPUs are limited by only taking dual channel memory, whereas the previous generation i7 processors e.g. 920, 950 etc. can take triple channel memory.

Later this year (2011) Intel will sell higher end Sandy Bridge CPUs that support triple or quad channel memory. These CPUs will not work with the current Sandy Bridge socket which is the LGA1155. The new high-end Sandy Bridge socket for the better CPUs is the LGA2011.

The new LGA2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs should greatly outperform the current range, impressive though they are. But they need a motherboard with an LGA2011 socket.

Next year (2012) should see the new, and even more powerful Ivy Bridge range of CPUs, replacing Sandy Bridge. These will have lower end versions using the LGA1155 socket and higher-end versions using the LGA2011 socket.

So two more significant steps in power are on the way. Some may wish to wait and buy systems using the higher-end socket; at least you should know about this choice.

This is what I have decided to do.
The systems I have are okay running LR3 and CS5 with 8GB of memory.

Since I'm into video and getting CS 5.5 next week, I needed to upgrade my power supply (Corsair XT 850 watt) and video card.
I opted for an EVGA GTX 570, one of the newer Adobe certified ones for use with Premier Pro.

The card didn't fit in my old case so I ended up with this one due to space considerations. The case comes with an e_Sata port which is useful too.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0334155

I also invested in a USB 3.0 kit from SIIG so I could have 4 USB 3.0 ports on the front of the case.
http://www.siig.com/superspeed-usb-3-0-bay-hub-host-kit.html

So many decisions I know.
Best of luck!

Virginia
aka beaucamera
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom