Computer Video Card and SSD for Photo Editing Speed

Started Dec 6, 2012 | Discussions
xlr8or
New MemberPosts: 19
Like?
Computer Video Card and SSD for Photo Editing Speed
Dec 6, 2012

Reposted from Accessories Talk Forum:

I would like to run Adobe Lightroom 4 (and possibly Photoshop CS6 later) as I'm starting to get into photo editing. My notebook is about 4 years old and runs Win XP. Lightroom 4 however, needs Windows 7 to run. I'm looking at putting together a system that has at least 8MB (and possibly 16MB) of RAM that is either an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU. I'm either going to order or build my own desktop PC and was wondering if the Intel HD 4000 3D Graphics Card or the Intel Integrated 3D Graphics on CPU that some of the Intel chips are running would be sufficient for photo editing purposes. Does the relative horsepower of the video card make much of a difference in the speed photo editing large RAW files or is it more of a function of the amount of memory, the speed of the CPU, and the speed of the hard drive disk?

As a related question, I also have an interest in using an SSD as the boot disk for my OS, software programs, and possibly for a scratch disk for my photo editing. I know how much space my OS and programs will take. What would be a reasonable size SSD to use as a scratch disk for my photo editing along with its other uses as a boot disk, etc. Any suggestions or additional thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

-- hide signature --

Canon EOS 60D
Canon 24-105L f4 IS USM
Canon 70-200L F4 IS USM

Samsung i7
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Bob Collette
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,672Gear list
Like?
Re: Computer Video Card and SSD for Photo Editing Speed
In reply to xlr8or, Dec 6, 2012

I think you'll find that the Intel HD graphics (built into the i5/i7 CPU & Z77 chipset) is more than adequate for LR & PS.  Besides, you can always add a separate graphic card later if you feel the need.

I would suggest that you go with 16GB of RAM.  DDR3 RAM is so cheap now that there's no reason not to get 16GB.  Just yesterday I saw a sale on Kingston RAM- 8GB (2x4GB 1600 speed) for $30 (US).

As for the size of the scratch disk required, to a large extent it will depend upon how much RAM you have and the size of your files.  With 16GB of RAM, you probably won't need a huge scratch disk unless you work with very large files with many layers.

 Bob Collette's gear list:Bob Collette's gear list
Canon PowerShot G3 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
hotdog321
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,522
Like?
Re: Computer Video Card and SSD for Photo Editing Speed
In reply to Bob Collette, Dec 7, 2012

Great advice from Bob, as always. I'm running CS6 and like the i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM since RAM is so cheap. Later add the SSD to give the system a real kick in the pants!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Chris Noble
Senior MemberPosts: 1,128Gear list
Like?
Suggestions
In reply to xlr8or, Dec 7, 2012

xlr8or wrote:

Reposted from Accessories Talk Forum:

At least 8MB (and possibly 16MB) of RAM

Go for 16 GB. Your OS uses everything your applications don't use to cache running processes.

I was wondering if the Intel HD 4000 3D Graphics Card or the Intel Integrated 3D Graphics on CPU that some of the Intel chips are running would be sufficient for photo editing purposes.

Mine is essentially instantaneous and I don't have a graphics card with my i7/16GB/SSD+HDD system.

As a related question, I also have an interest in using an SSD as the boot disk for my OS, software programs, and possibly for a scratch disk for my photo editing. I know how much space my OS and programs will take. What would be a reasonable size SSD to use as a scratch disk for my photo editing along with its other uses as a boot disk, etc.

Get a 256GB SSD as a boot disk. Put your OS, applications, VM Paging File and scratch/preview files on it. You will have 50-100GB left over. You want to leave a fair amount of unused space on a SSD so the TRIM wear-balancing routine works efficiently and infrequently.

Also get an HDD for your data files. Your whole rig will consume around 75W; get a 200W power supply (not more) and you are all set.

I also think a battery-backup UPS is a good investment. "Surge protectors" provide very poor protection against the types of transients that occur during power failures, and your system will run smoothly through short interruptions and power itself down gracefully during long ones.

Thanks in advance!

-- hide signature --

Canon EOS 60D
Canon 24-105L f4 IS USM
Canon 70-200L F4 IS USM

 Chris Noble's gear list:Chris Noble's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
xlr8or
New MemberPosts: 19
Like?
Re: Suggestions
In reply to Chris Noble, Dec 7, 2012

Thanks for the replies so far.  I do think I'll spring for the 16GB RAM with an i7 processor.  I believe that I'll wait on an SSD for the prices to come down further.

Thanks!

-- hide signature --

Canon EOS 60D
Canon 24-105L f4 IS USM
Canon 70-200L F4 IS USM

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Eiffel
Forum MemberPosts: 98
Like?
Re: Suggestions
In reply to xlr8or, Dec 8, 2012

I've yet to see some definitive evidence that i7 processors are better than their i5 equivalents for photoshop or lightroom (there is actually some evidence that the latest versions of lr4 work better when hyperthreading is disabled).

My suggestion would be to replace the i7 by a i5K (say i3570K instead of i3770) and a motherboard which supports overclocking (i.e. Z77 chipset). Without pushing this set up much , my understanding is that this will give equivalent or better performance for a lower cost.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DVT80111
Senior MemberPosts: 1,312Gear list
Like?
Get an i7-3770 and skip the graphic card
In reply to xlr8or, Dec 8, 2012

Use the money to buy a SSD.

HD4000 works fine. I just added a GTX650, don't see hell lot improvement.

 DVT80111's gear list:DVT80111's gear list
Sony RX100 Canon EOS 550D Fujifilm X-E1 Canon EOS 70D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads