Question for the DIY crowd: PC Builds for Digital Imaging Workstation

Started Jul 18, 2013 | Questions thread
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ArvinC New Member • Posts: 24
Question for the DIY crowd: PC Builds for Digital Imaging Workstation

Hello everyone!

I'm an old, DIY PC guy since the days of the AMD Athlon XP vs. Intel Pentium 4 wars. I've built about 22 PC's for friends and family over the years, for various purposes from general use to PC gaming. With my renewed love with photography, the itch to build a new box is back this time with the intended purpose of building a dedicated Digital Imaging workstation and archiving solution.

First, my current (and last build) build is now going onto 5 years old: Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q9450, 8 Gigs of DDR2800 RAM, 128 Gig SSD with Windows 7 Ultimate install and 3 TB hard drive for applications and data. For video, I'm running a NVidia GeForce 260 GTX GPU displayed on a Dell SP2208WFP 22" display with True Color technology.

Admittedly, at the time, this box was built for gaming and general use.  Since getting back into photography (first with Sony's NEX-5 and now with the A77), I've wondered what a more "modern" build can do.  Admittedly, this box runs Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Elements 11 with very little problem.  However, my CPU does not feature Hyperthreading, so I don't get the speed bump of 4 extra threads that Lightroom and Photoshop can support.  Also, this platform is obsolete in terms of performance upgrades:  the socket is maxed out CPU-wise and I'm hampered by the DDR2 speed and capacity.  But like I said, it runs my photo apps just fine...

So, if you were me, would you build a new box?  Or, would you sink the money into something like a 30" professional display?  If you did build a box, would you build it with server-class components and a workstation graphics card for maximum stability and reliability?  Or is that just over-kill for a non-professional (but extremely avid) shooter?

Decision, decisions...thanks for reading and for any of your thoughts!


Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony SLT-A77
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