What computer to easily process D800 files?

Started Jul 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
moogle73 Forum Member • Posts: 63
Re: What computer to easily process D800 files?

hajagosb wrote:

At the moment, I'm using an almost two years old Dell XPS laptop with SSD drive, 16GB RAM and i7 processor running Windows 8. It should be fast.

I'm doing heavy retouching often, 2-4 GB layered Photoshop files and sometimes for events processing a lot of files in Lightroom. And my computer feels kind of slow for both.

What do you have, where it's really fast in response? What should i focus on choosing a new computer, more memory, or faster processor? I'm going for a desktop now.

Well I am fairly knowledgeable in IT, for starters I would defiantly ditch the laptop and go for a desktop on your next build. Generally laptop processors are not as "fast" as desktop processors, laptop processors are built to be mobile being paramount not pure processing. So they have build in power saving features, also usually run a slower clock speeds to generate less heat as heat is a major problem with laptops... all in all its not apples to apples, an I7 desktop processor will always outperform an i7 laptop processes. So imo desktop build is a must if your looking for the best possible performance. Also while on the topic of processors, most high end photo editing programs such as Photoshop are written to take advantage of multicore with most of its calculations (not everything). So having more cores with the same clock speed will be better than having less core at the same clock speed. Its not going to be a liner improvement, hence if an i3 has 4 core an an i7 has 12 cores, the i7 wont be 3 times as fast, it will probably be more like 50% faster, but never the less, it will still perform better. It all just comes down to what your willing to pay for. But I would say get the latest processor (its usually the smallest size) that has the highest clock speed, and highest amount of cores you can afford or feel comfortable purchasing.

secondly you will want to load your rig with fast ddr3 ram. Ram is "dirt cheap" now (relitive to what it was 5-10 years ago) Im currently running 32gb of ram on my desktop, and there is no such thing as "not enough ram" if you have the money, and the slots on your motherboard to support it, put it in. Likewise if running an x64 windows, and a current version of Photoshop, Photoshop is written to use ALL available ram, its not capped at say 2gb or 4gb like some programs, if you have 32gb of ram, Photoshop will utilize all 32gb if it has to.

third, hdd, Solid states will access data faster, but large solid states don't come cheap. again if money isnt that huge of a concern (within reason obviously) I would say get a large like 512gb ssd as your primary hard drive, install and run all programs off of it, as well as process all photos from this drive. Then get secondary and third slave "data" drives, of 3-4tb drives, store all your photos and data on these drives when not directly editing them, for long term storage.

fourth, do get a video card, and a "decent one" at that, again some photo editing software including Photoshop are written to take advantage of GPU's as well as CPU's. I have always been an nvidia guy my self, but ati makes solid products as well. I would look for one with 1-2gb of ram, more if you can afford it, but its not critical.

fifth, get a good case! you dont need watercooling, but you will need good air flow. So you will want a large case, with multiple large 120mm or bigger fans. My current rig has 7x 120mm fans (2 of which are high airflow) and I can overclock my rig with no heating issues if I want (although I never need to) but just having so much airflow keeps your pc components happy and cool.

sixth, dont skimp on power supply unit either (assuming your building your own and not buying a pre-built one) reason being psu's are usually the ugly step child forgotten in a pc build because its not "fancy" and you cant "brag about it". But the simple fact of the matter is the psu is the 1 major weak point in the whole rig. If you get a cheap $30 psu, and it goes south and sends a surge into your pc, guess what, you just fried every component in your computer probably costing you $1,000+ dollars plus loss of data (if you don't have external or off site backups of your data) all because someone was cheap on the psu and wanted to spend $30 instead of $120 on it. Now like everything the $120 one may fail too, but they are built much better and to a higher standard, hence the major failures occur much less. I have seen psu's fail and fry components in a pc many times.

and lastly for the love of god make sure your OS is 64bit, I know its nearly impossible to buy 32bit OS's anymore, but still, it needs to be said lol. (plus you cant get anymore than 4gb of on a 32bit system anyway so I doubt its something someone would do but needs to be said)

Now my rig is about a year or so old, so mines not the newest kid on the block either but it goes as follow (and was built by me)

CPU- i7-3770 3.40ghz
Ram -32gb ddr3 (dont remember the exact speed would need to look up)
GPU- Nvidia GTX 550ti 2gb ddr5
HD - multiple drives (4 to be exact)
OS - Windows 7pro x64
PSU - OCZ 600w

hope that helps lol

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