What computer to easily process D800 files?

Started Jul 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
AlephNull Senior Member • Posts: 1,552
Re: What computer to easily process D800 files?

The 2600K / 3770K / 4770K CPUs are fast, but they have limitations - they are all dual-channel for RAM.

I suggest, strongly, that you should consider using a different family of CPUs that supports quad-channel RAM. My personal choice is currently the 3930K - six physical cores, hyper-threaded, means 12 simultaneous threads. It supports quad-channel RAM, and up to 8 DIMMs (up to 64GB of RAM), and it has 40 PCIe lanes (compared with the 20 PCIe lanes on the mainstream CPUs).

Sometime late this year there will be a new range of -E CPUs (the Ivy Bridge-E range) - they will still be quad-channel, and they will still be a better choice for heavy-duty PhotoShop that the mainstream chips. They aren't as cheap, but having double the memory bandwidth makes a difference

I do NOT recommend getting a single large SSD. Instead I suggest getting a smallish SSD for the OS and software, and then one or more medium to large SSDs to use as staging drives for the images. That way you can replace the staging drives if you wear them out.

Don't go overboard on the graphics card if you are only processing stills - Photoshop doesn't make great use of the GPU when processing stills (video is different).

I also recommend getting a 80+ Platinum power supply.

It may sound odd, but I don't put a magnetic drive in my PhotoShop machine - I keep the magnetic storage in external RAID boxes.

There is no laptop CPU which comes close to the processing power of a full-powered desktop CPU. That's understandable - mobile CPUs are optimised for lower power consumption, not maximum performance. Feel free to use a laptop because it's convenient, but don't claim it's "just as powerful".

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