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Archive 2012 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations
  
 
CorwinGraves
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Hello All -

I've been doing a lot of research over the past few days about building a PC for photo editing. I was initially terrified by the idea, but have since learned that building my own PC may not be as complicated as I had originally thought. That said, I've come across a few great, but old threads that discuss the build process, including complete lists of components that are needed. I'm looking for suggestions on which components to purchase in the current day. In other words, what should I be looking at given the criteria below:

- My budget is approx. $1,000 for this build, but something cheaper would be welcomed.
- I will be using the machine to run PS6 and to edit large panorama files on occasion. I will also be using the machine to run MS Office, browse online, run Itunes, etc.
- I am not a gamer and will likely not become one, as I have three small children who occupy most of my time, and I know that gaming can be a huge time suck.
- I don't work with video.
- I would like this system to satisfy my needs for the next 5-7 years and to have the possibility of upgrading (CPU, etc.)
- I don't need a monitor, as I recently purchased a refurbished NEC that is working nicely.
- I'm not looking for the fanciest, highest price components, but quality is important.

Thanks,

Corwin



Dec 25, 2012 at 07:51 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


There have been a few threads on this in the last 6 months or so. All the advice in those will just be repeated here, so all you need to do is a little trawling and you can find all the info you want


Dec 25, 2012 at 08:35 PM
CorwinGraves
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


15Bit wrote:
There have been a few threads on this in the last 6 months or so. All the advice in those will just be repeated here, so all you need to do is a little trawling and you can find all the info you want


Thanks - that's what I've been doing for the most part, but seems like the posts are either a year or so old, or the post author is looking for something slightly different than what I'm looking for. Maybe I'll do some more trawling



Dec 25, 2012 at 08:51 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Sometimes they pop up in the General Gear Talk forum.


Dec 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
tived
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Ouch, $1000 for a photo editing computer system (box only)

To future proof it, then get a mainboard, with PCIe 3 on it, with as many ram sockets as possible 4-6.

The cheaper way is probably AMD, but either will do, get the fastest you can afford.
RAM, well, get the as much and as fast as you can 16GB to start with
Storage, get two SSD's start with 128GB + 2TB hard drive, later add more
Graphics card, if you get one of the newer INTEL CPU's it will have build in graphics card on the CPU, so use that provided you are not running a 30" monitor.
Get a roomy case, and a GOOD power supply, i can not stress the importance of a good power supply enough.

Mainboards: ASUS, Asteck or Gigabyte

SSD: Intel, Samsung, OWC, OCZ
HDD: Western Digital Black Caviar

It will not be a screamer of a system, but it will be a start. just to put it in perspective for you, I do retouching and panorama's for other photogs, my RAID Controller cost 2x your budget!

All the best, its got to start somewhere, just be patient and drink plenty of coffee ;-)

Merry Xmas to you and your family

Henrik



Dec 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM
ScatterCrSport
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


CorwinGraves wrote:
Hello All -

I've been doing a lot of research over the past few days about building a PC for photo editing. I was initially terrified by the idea, but have since learned that building my own PC may not be as complicated as I had originally thought. That said, I've come across a few great, but old threads that discuss the build process, including complete lists of components that are needed. I'm looking for suggestions on which components to purchase in the current day. In other words, what should I be looking at given the criteria below:

- My
...Show more

Below is a popular minimum configuration people are currently assembling for photo editing. For video with sound, an i7 CPU & more RAM is indicated.

-ATX Case with a minimum of 6 drive bays with multiple fans & optimized air flow
-front accessible USB ports (Firewire too?)
-an adequate Power Supply (most needs are modest)
-Intel i5 compatible Mainboard with 6 SATA ports, USB 3.0 & 4 DDR3 RAM slots
-Intel i5 CPU (Sandy Bridge) & cooling fan
-8GB DDR3 1333 RAM
-128GB SATA SSD (for OS & APPs only)
-two very large SATA HDD’s (one for image storage – one for image backup)
-1GB PCIE GPU (with DVI, if the monitor supports it)
-CD/DVD RW
-Windows 8 (64-bit)
-Adobe Lightroom (64-bit)
-Adobe Creative Suite (64-bit)




Dec 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Ho1972
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


ScatterCrSport wrote:
-128GB SATA SSD (for OS & APPs only)

What's the reason for using an SSD for OS and apps?



Dec 26, 2012 at 01:27 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


For reference, i have:

Old Chieftec Dragon case
Seasonic X560 PSU
Asus P8Z77V-Pro motherboard
I5-3570K overclocked to 4.3Ghz
Scythe Ninja CPU Cooler
16Gb DDR3-1600 RAM
Samsung 830 SSD 128Gb
Intel X25 SSD 80Gb
500Gb Seagate and 640Gb Western Digital Spinning drives
Sony DVD-RW

As i don't play games at the moment, and don't video edit, i don't have a discrete graphics card.

That lot flies along very nicely for everything i do and i reckon would be a good system for anyone. If you do a lot of Photoshop with filters then the i7-3770K might be worth paying extra for, and if you work with really big Panos then 32Gb might be worth considering.



Dec 26, 2012 at 03:34 PM
anthonygh
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


For that money...just buy one ready made unless building one is part of the fun!!


Dec 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM
ScatterCrSport
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


What's the reason for using an SSD for OS and apps?

The SSD loads faster.

With my old dedicated C:/ 80GB 7200RPM HDD, it took nearly 3 minutes from initial boot to get to a working desktop. An SSD takes less than 30 seconds to accomplish the same task. The old drive was at 92% capacity with just the OS, Nvidia, Datacolor, Office, Lr, Ps, printer software & a couple of other small APPs (mail & browsers). It also contained a hidden recovery partition with an image of itself. Any time that I attempted to load anything else, it would go into the redzone as far as remaining space was concerned.



Dec 26, 2012 at 05:47 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



k7xd
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Computers are fast enough that just about any newer quad core is fine for PS.
$1000 budget is nice but probably overkill for most photographers.



Dec 26, 2012 at 07:39 PM
hugodrax
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


No computer you buy or build today will have a new cpu you can upgrade on it 5 years from now. In 5 years not only will your motherboard be obsolete, but so will the videocard, the hard drive, the memory and the SSD.

So the PC you build today, in 5 years donate it and forget about upgrading pieces of it.

I donated this october my Mac Pro I paid 3K for in 2006 and purchased a Mac Mini for 1/3 of the price that is over twice as powerful and consumes a fraction of the electricity as well.



I can do 1080P editing with final cut pro and work with RAW files on my new Mac Mini and it does not break a sweat for less than 1200 bucks.

Amazing how times have changed.
I switched from the world of Windows to Apple in 2006 and never looked back.



Dec 27, 2012 at 01:02 AM
CorwinGraves
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Thanks for all of the commentary. Seems that some are suggesting that my budget of $1,000 is not sufficient, while others believe that it is. In reading through similar posts on here and elsewhere, it seems that it's a realistic target, assuming no video editing, no SSD and an i5 processor.

I may end up simply going with a Dell, though I'm attracted to the idea of building something that is designed with my specific needs in mind. Using high quality components also seems to be a benefit of building vs. buying.



Dec 27, 2012 at 01:42 AM
hugodrax
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


CorwinGraves wrote:
Thanks for all of the commentary. Seems that some are suggesting that my budget of $1,000 is not sufficient, while others believe that it is. In reading through similar posts on here and elsewhere, it seems that it's a realistic target, assuming no video editing, no SSD and an i5 processor.

I may end up simply going with a Dell, though I'm attracted to the idea of building something that is designed with my specific needs in mind. Using high quality components also seems to be a benefit of building vs. buying.


A budget of 1000 is sufficient. You do not need an SSD to edit/process photos. You can buy a decent enough HP or dell desktop to meet your needs if you do not want the hassles or time involved with building a computer. Not sure what you mean by "high quality components."

They all use the same Intel chip and the same intel support chipset and the motherboards are all built using modern automated systems using SMT components.



Dec 27, 2012 at 01:58 AM
hugodrax
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Here is what 1027 bucks gets you which is a fine setup. You will get a good 7 years out of it.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&fb=1&l=en&model_id=optiplex-9010&oc=bpctzbm1ps&s=bsd&vw=classic


Dell OptiPlex 9010 Mini Tower
Processors
3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7-3770 (Quad Core, 3.40GHz, 8MB w/HD4000 Graphics) edit
Operating System(s)
Windows 7 Professional, No Media, 64-bit, English edit
OptiPlex 9010 MT
OptiPlex 9010 Minitower w/ Standard PSU edit
Memory
16GB, NON-ECC, 1600MHZ DDR3,4DIMM edit
Monitors
None edit
Graphics Cards
Intel Integrated Graphics,W/O edit
Removable Media Storage Device
16X DVD-ROM SATA edit
Productivity Software
Microsoft® Office Trial edit
Hardware Support Services
3 Year ProSupport with 3 Year NBD Limited Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis edit
System Recovery
None edit
MISC. Cables & Display Accessories
None edit
Energy Efficiency Options
No ESTAR Settings edit
Boot Hard Drives
1TB 3.5 6Gb/s SATA with 32MB DataBurst Cache™ edit
Second Hard Drive Options
None edit
Hard Drive Mode
No RAID edit
Systems Management Mode
No Out-of-Band Systems Management edit
Security: Dell Data Protection|Encryption
None edit
Wireless
None edit
Keyboard
Dell KB212-B USB 104 Quiet Key Keyboard,English edit
Mouse
Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse edit
1394 FireWire Adapter
None edit
Speakers
Internal Dell Business Audio Speaker edit
Network Adapters (NICS)
None edit
Serial Port Adapter
None edit
Security Software
Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, 30-days edit



Dec 27, 2012 at 02:05 AM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


The only way a computer will last 7 years is if you do not change from what you have right now
* camera
* operating system
* any new release of software like adobe, itunes, internet explorer, firefox, chrome, flash, etc.

You can safely keep adding storage, and maybe max out the RAM for the motherboard that you choose, but that's about it!

Just to give some perspective, 7 years ago it was
-Windows XP2
-Adobe CS2
-IE 6 (!!)
-Chrome did not exist at all
-Firefox 1 after it was 0.something for 3 years
-HTML5 was years away
-iPhone, iPad were years away
-depending on your location your internet was probably 1/4 speed what you have right now,
-500G drives just got introduced and they were SATA 1.
-burning DVDs was how you did backups
-cameras were: nikon d200, d2x, d70s and canon EOS20D, 5D (revolution here), EOS MarkII
-these were dreams: Gigabit ethernet at home, SATA6, good integrated video and audio, 24" LCD monitors, wide gamut devices, large capacity memory cards and USB storage devices
-bluray vs HDDVD fight 2006+

7 years is a very long time in the IT world.

I don't have any good advice since it depends on what you can afford and how often you update things, but if I could afford $1000 every 2.5years I'd replace the whole computer with one like the Dell above or whichever company is around at the time that gives good deals.



Dec 27, 2012 at 03:12 AM
CorwinGraves
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


I suppose my "high quality components" comment came from some of the things I've read, which have suggested that companies such as Dell, HP, etc. use low grade components in their systems. I understand that the processor may be the same regardless, but what about power supply units and other components? Is there a difference in quality between something I can buy at Newegg and something that Dell offers for some of these "other" components?

Thanks to those who have provided system recommendations and possible configurations, and also to the user who provided the system specs from Dell. I may just go that route, but I want to be sure that I'm not missing out on something by not building my own system.



Dec 27, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Mataz426
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


Hello CorwinGraves, first post here. I would recommend building your own PC, I've been building mine since the 90's. PC components are pretty cheap, and you won't get all that pre loaded junk from dell or another manufacture, plus if a part fails (not likely) you can just swap out that part. I would highly recommend a LIAN LI PC-A71F full tower case, it's a tool less and elegant case, and super roomy. Go to hardocp dot com, hardforum, General Hardware, and you will find a lot of builds for you're needs. I would get a core i7 quad core, g skill ram, Lian li case, cheap dvd drive, win7 64, maybe a 128 ssd for the os and a Samsung F1 drive? get the parts from new-egg / amazon.

case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112343



Dec 27, 2012 at 04:18 AM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


this sounds like an advertisement. guy joins forum today and first post is to recommend this case 3 times.
What is so great about this case?

Mataz426 wrote:
Hello CorwinGraves, first post here. I would recommend building your own PC, I've been building mine since the 90's. PC components are pretty cheap, and you won't get all that pre loaded junk from dell or another manufacture, plus if a part fails (not likely) you can just swap out that part. I would highly recommend a LIAN LI PC-A71F full tower case, it's a tool less and elegant case, and super roomy. Go to hardocp dot com, hardforum, General Hardware, and you will find a lot of builds for you're needs. I would get a core i7 quad core,
...Show more



Dec 27, 2012 at 04:30 AM
tived
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations


I also build PC's and repair friends Macpro's as needed. But we are all so different, that what seems logical to me is a nightmare for the next person. Likewise whats sufficient in computing power for one person here would be un=usable for the next person.

windows/mac, to build or buy ready to roll system, get what makes you feel comfortable, within your budget. Educate yourself, look at what gear you shoot with, the size of images you work with, how many images you shoot and how quick you want to process these. Look at your workflow, it can often make up for a slower computer, by improving how and what you do.

I build a Dual Opteron in 2005, added two faster processors in 2007, got a second computer in 2009, but kept using the Opteron till the end of 2010 when I build my lastest system Dual Xeon, like the Opteron its also a "work in progress", as in I buy solid base components which I then add to as I see the need and as I can afford it. I do expect my lastest build to last me almost 5 years, but it will probably look very different by then. I will probably stop adding to it after this year 2013, and then keep it as is till 2015. This is a work machine, it is expected to earn its keep each and every year + also provide me with a handsome profit. You would expect that for the price of a small car.

Can you do the same with a $1k system, probably, on a smaller scale YMMV but you got to start somewhere

Good luck, let us know what you decide to do

Henrik

PS: Mataz426, are you still using DVD drives?



Dec 27, 2012 at 05:41 AM
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