Need Assistance with PC Specs

Started Jun 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
teseg Senior Member • Posts: 2,208
Re: Need Assistance with PC Specs

theswede wrote:

You'd be surprised how much more taxing 32 bit float per channel operations become, and those are around the corner. CPU will soon be the new constraint of image processing again.

And so few applications will require 32-bit FP calculations it will be a non-issue.

Why would anyone use anything else when it's available?

Large OEMs absolutely do get discounts on their components. It is because they purchase in bulk and can therefore negotiate lower per-unit pricing. This is a major reason why OEMs can offer lower system prices than individuals can attain.

And those who OEM manufacture motherboards and GPU's get the same discounts on their components. They also purchase in bulk. Therefore there is no price advantage to either part.

OEM quality will suffer more the lower the prices go. But this does not equate to a bad product, per se.

The same goes for buying individual parts and building a system. If you do not wish to have the top quality, buy cheaper parts and your computer will be cheaper.

There is no way I could get a comparable quality system to the one I built myself from an OEM at the same price. Yes, I could get a cheaper system, but if I had gone down in quality on parts I could have built an equivalent quality system even cheaper.

The only exception is the fully integrated, ultra cheap systems like the Asus Eeebox and similar. Those are cheap because they completely bypass modularity, and there is no way to assemble a system as cheaply as that on your own. But any "classic" system built from COTS parts can be built at the same price or cheaper by buying the parts separately.


My hobby is photography, not computers (this IS a photography forum).  I've been buying (lower end) computers for over 20 years (actually my first was a Radio Shack Color Computer dating back to around 1982 where my dad spent an extra $100 to get 6mb RAM vs. 4mb... so that is 30 years).  Electronics fail from time to time, and certainly those that add stresses to the system by overclocking, etc... increase that risk. But all my cheapy computers have not failed despite years of significant use.  I've only bought new computers because performance of the old lagged so badly I was forced to.  Maybe I've been lucky.

The point I tried to make is a descent (brand new) photo-editing computer that will remain viable for the next 3-5 years should have:

  • a better CPU - Gen 3 or 4 I7
  • a lot of RAM - 32GB would be better to deal with future needs
  • SSD for OS (256GB+), applications and work space + large HDD (1.5TB+) to archive files 
  • For photo editing a strong GPU is not really required, but if video editing might be in one's future, maybe a better GPU (I'm not into video so I do not know this as a fact)

Certainly a self-assembled unit can be done cost effictively with quality.  But if I'm a photographer vs. a computer techy, in about 30 minutes I can drop in an SSD  (complete with cloning/OS reinstall) + RAM into an off the shelf computer and generally it will "just work"... all for <$1K.  My time is valuable so researching what I need to build and assemble my own system would be a huge opportunity cost for me... and I would argue far outweighing the cost savings of a custom build as I spend hours researching, hemming and hawing about all the parts I need and then more research to get value pricing... and finally assembly... and having my fingers crossed it will work right with the first start.  How many hours of research would I have to do to even understand there are lacquered and un-lacquered motherboards (mind you, I've been using computers, without component failure, for over 30 years)?

If I want the Leica of computers, yes, I want to build it by hand myself.  If I want to process tens of thousands of photographs over the next 5 years, the entire process can be done with a quick on-line order and a couple of hours of assembly in an afternoon for less than $1K... and I guarantee my photos will:

  • look identical to those processed with a hand-built system
  • be post processed just as quickly then by that of a hand built system


  • my slightly modified off the shelf system will highly likely be replaced years out because its technology will be outdated vs. component failure 
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