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| p.2 #10 · Computer Build for Photo Editing - Need Recommendations |
I just last month retired my 2005 machine. If support for XP was not going away, I likely would have kept it as my main editing platform for a little longer. My computer never really seemed to slow down as it aged; it was the only machine I did my work on so I had nothing to compare it to. And, as a general rule to keep me from premature hardware lust, I start ignoring benchmarks when my computers are about three years old.
Your list is interesting, but a bit puzzling and maybe not all that relevant since software and hardware can both be upgraded. No one is locked into using IE 6 forever or frozen out of installing Chrome (ick) if that's what they want to do. One need not keep a camera the same vintage as the computer either since every new version of Adobe brings updated camera support. Over the course of the years I added a new graphics card and an SSD to my 2005 machine. Up until the end, it was completely sufficient for ~90% of my daily processing. The only time I felt the full effects of limited RAM was when I was working on large files for print output (e.g., 24x36). The SSD (used for scratch, NOT for the OS) helped mitigate that to some extent.
Now it's 2012, I have a new computer and I fully expect to ride it into the dirt just like I did the last one (and the one before that). I understand that some people can't fathom using a machine for so long and feel that any computer approaching three years of service is a relic. That's fine. I don't care if they build five computers to my one. I rather spend my money on lenses.
It is just some food for thought how much our media has changed, from the size and volume of files to the richness of the online experience, which has become a big deal.
This is just the browsers, and for something related to us, the Adobe collection has added a lot of tools that are CPU and memory (both bandwidth and amount) intensive as well, puppet warp, healing and fill come to mind and there is support now for GPU acceleration.
Of course all these new features added you do not have to use, but then you might as well not upgrade from CS2, LR1 and IE6
Lightroom did not exist by the way, so when that got released 2006 people were scrambling to upgrade their RAM and HDDs but things like the spot brush tool would still be painfully slow because it was dependent on the CPU only.
An SSD drive upgrade is definitely noticed as well as RAM amount, but this is only because you did not have an SSD or RAM maxed out. Where would you go if your 2005 PC already had a 5 drive raid0 and maxed out the RAM you can put in the motherboard?
Video card of course is great as well, but that does not add much to saving or loading files, moving sliders around in LR, etc. not yet anyway.
I ran that benchmark for gigapixel PTGui, and with a stopwatch it ran to 1min 40sec; that completes everything from pressing 'create panorama'. This is a simple modern PC, and it's an order of magnitude faster than my old 2005 (modernized) PC which is running it at 10+min
The D800 files are a good example and the main reason I chose to upgrade. My flow is using C1Pro and it was absolutely unbearable to wait for the loading times, changing of any of the sliders, etc, I can't quantify it in seconds, but there was nowhere to go in regards to upgrading the PC. Ram maxed out, SSD drive, GPu accelerated and support video card...
I feel you win regards to WindowsXP, but surely it is not just because Microsoft is pulling support? Security patches will be available you're just missing out on any new features.
Of course, this whole conversation is dependent on your usage habits and whether you want to do 'more' and use the latest available tools and apps.
I have older family members still on windows XP and Win98SE and they are happy (with no point of reference) with everything that they do.