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Thread: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

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    Default recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    dear all,

    able to advise me which brand of computers (in term of graphic display) for purchasing?

    or what to look up for when purchasing computer.

    many thanks in advance.

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    Member suebotti's Avatar
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    I use Macbook Pro 15.

  3. #3

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    In terms of display, once you calibrate your monitor (which you should since you sound like you do care about accurate colour display), there shouldn't be much of a difference what brand you use.

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Photo editing does not require any specific graphic hardware. It's 2D bitmap images, not 3D rendering. Any entry level graphics card will do the job. Only if you want to use a second display you might need a better model with 2 independent video outputs (DVI, HDMI). For displays, have a look at the subscetion 'Digital Darkroom. In general IPS displays are preferred because of their better colour accuracy. Apart from the display, do get a hardware calibration device (e.g. Spyder3 or better).
    EOS

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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    thanks for all your input.

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    Would like to add on to the thread with related query, is there a disadvantage adding too much ram? I willing be mostly doing photo edit but might be work with D800 output kind of file size (36MP), doing HDR and multiple layering in photoshop kind of work.

    Current using 6GB ram kit but looking to max out my X58 board with 24GB, six pieces single channel value ram. (Costing only > $150) I'm not sure if this is a good idea.
    Equipment: D800|D700|11-16|28-75|105 Micro VR|50 F1.4G|85 F1.8G
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  7. #7

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Would like to add on to the thread with related query, is there a disadvantage adding too much ram? I willing be mostly doing photo edit but might be work with D800 output kind of file size (36MP), doing HDR and multiple layering in photoshop kind of work.

    Current using 6GB ram kit but looking to max out my X58 board with 24GB, six pieces single channel value ram. (Costing only > $150) I'm not sure if this is a good idea.
    Hi, From what I read photo editing software like Lightroom require 2 gb minimum and more is better because the software is a database type (organising photo collection)and can do some post processing but it's processing algorithm is more sophisticated meaning it gets a better output in terms of colour space etc.Of course more ram is better but maybe the money can be better used
    to get a faster video card with more memory and thus give faster processing.The video card may be the bottleneck.Or another harddisk
    for backup and storage? The photo editing workflow should be carefully planned to avoid unexpected failure of software corruption and hardware breakdown.Where you alocate your editing work ,master copy and original source files is important for efficiency.Don't put everything in C: drive external backup is wise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack

    Hi, From what I read photo editing software like Lightroom require 2 gb minimum and more is better because the software is a database type (organising photo collection)and can do some post processing but it's processing algorithm is more sophisticated meaning it gets a better output in terms of colour space etc.Of course more ram is better but maybe the money can be better used
    to get a faster video card with more memory and thus give faster processing.The video card may be the bottleneck.Or another harddisk
    for backup and storage? The photo editing workflow should be carefully planned to avoid unexpected failure of software corruption and hardware breakdown.Where you alocate your editing work ,master copy and original source files is important for efficiency.Don't put everything in C: drive external backup is wise.
    Pretty sure with the little amt of $150, I can barely get anything else. Maybe a 2TB backup drive. My gfx card is already too good for photo editing... RAM seems like the only logical step for improvement in my system.
    Equipment: D800|D700|11-16|28-75|105 Micro VR|50 F1.4G|85 F1.8G
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  9. #9

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Pretty sure with the little amt of $150, I can barely get anything else. Maybe a 2TB backup drive. My gfx card is already too good for photo editing... RAM seems like the only logical step for improvement in my system.
    Hi,I don't know how reliable is a 2TB harddisk as the data is packed ever closer than ever even if they have multiple magnetic platters.
    Met an engineer analysing HD reliabity issues for a well known HD company,he "advises" to stick to a smaller Hd like 1Tb and use 2
    pieces if wanted.Also solid state harddisk have heat problems so smaller hd is safer and you don't put all your eggs/photos in one basket.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by foofoo
    dear all,

    able to advise me which brand of computers (in term of graphic display) for purchasing?

    or what to look up for when purchasing computer.

    many thanks in advance.
    Tell us your budget first and we can tell you what to get.

  11. #11

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by foofoo View Post
    dear all,

    able to advise me which brand of computers (in term of graphic display) for purchasing?

    or what to look up for when purchasing computer.

    many thanks in advance.
    Before embarking on expensive solution or an overall solution. I have questions for you.

    1) What is the purpose of your usage ? Are you planning for a business requirement or serious hobby or just casual hobby.
    2) What is your intended budget for these equipments. It can be a few hundreds to a few thousands depending on how far you want to go. While cost effective is always the way to go, it might not work if you are a person concern about time it takes to perform the job and accuracy and precision of the job. Some are tolerate slow systems and say it's ok, while some can just curse over the already top-end machines.
    3) Do you have any preferences and branding requirements for your system ?
    4) Do you have existing system and storage devices that you would like to use the new system with ? Perhaps you do have some firewire devices or just mainly USB ones.
    5) Do your usage purpose demands highly accurate colour reproduction ?
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    Tell us your budget first and we can tell you what to get.
    sin$2000 to $2.2K

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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    Before embarking on expensive solution or an overall solution. I have questions for you.

    1) What is the purpose of your usage ? Are you planning for a business requirement or serious hobby or just casual hobby.
    foofoo: just a hobby, no doing for business.
    2) What is your intended budget for these equipments. It can be a few hundreds to a few thousands depending on how far you want to go. While cost effective is always the way to go, it might not work if you are a person concern about time it takes to perform the job and accuracy and precision of the job. Some are tolerate slow systems and say it's ok, while some can just curse over the already top-end machines.
    foofoo: Sin$2 to 2.2K
    3) Do you have any preferences and branding requirements for your system ?
    foofoo: no really,
    4) Do you have existing system and storage devices that you would like to use the new system with ? Perhaps you do have some firewire devices or just mainly USB ones.
    foofoo: No existing system to use with new system.
    5) Do your usage purpose demands highly accurate colour reproduction ?
    foofoo: not really lah, just a hobby

    thanks .... foofoo

  14. #14

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack View Post
    Hi,I don't know how reliable is a 2TB harddisk as the data is packed ever closer than ever even if they have multiple magnetic platters.
    Met an engineer analysing HD reliabity issues for a well known HD company,he "advises" to stick to a smaller Hd like 1Tb and use 2
    pieces if wanted.Also solid state harddisk have heat problems so smaller hd is safer and you don't put all your eggs/photos in one basket.

    No storage solution are safe. So whichever you get, it just fail on you when you don't need it to. If your engineer acquaintance can't guarantee you 100% that your 1TB HD will not fail the moment you plug into your system, then that amount of chances is probably just a false sense of assurance.

    Did the engineer let you know that we are already at single atom storage density in the current research technology ? Thus 2TB and 3TB are no longer news in the leading technology that we have already encountered.

    I have no idea where you get the idea that SSD have heat problems ? While the notion of no moving parts means less heat produce is a fallacy, I have not really come across major announce that flash technology have potential heat issues. So does your lithium battery, isn't it ? And we are still standing by it all the time despite the ever reported battery meltdown and explosion cases. Hence smaller is not better. Smaller is just smaller.

    I do totally agree with don't put all your eggs in one basket theory. It works for everything including your data, thus good redundancy and backup plans are the way to go. Unfortuantely, I don't find a lot of people around me practicing data redundancy. Most are just waiting for D-day to approach. Somehow unless you are in the IT industry looking at how common equipments fails, they thought electronics are robust. On the another hand, I feel electronics are so volatile and unreliable that they fails all the time, just that it haven't happen to you only.
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
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  15. #15

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by foofoo View Post
    foofoo: not really lah, just a hobby

    thanks .... foofoo
    In that case, just get a i5/7 core with any speed above 2.5Ghz if possible. For current trend of ever increasing memory consumption for higher and higher megapixels RAW and JPEG files, I say you stock up between 4GB and 6GB of memory depending on your configuration. If you are in for faster loading speed of your images, SSD is the way to go. SSD is expensive and definitely not for those with a shallow wallet. If not, your alternative is 2 hard disks in RAID 1. Rotational speed to be at 7200rpm or 10Krpm for desktop. 10Krpm for SATA is meanwhile the WD Raptor at 600GB. Not cheap, but that's as far as you can go for SATA in the consumer market. For your hobby purpose, I say just go for WD Black Scorpio or equiv branding at 7.2Krpm type of drives. I recommend RAID 1 for it can be faster for read (depending on your H/W RAID system). For display, I say any decent LCD or LED display is good for start. While some might prefer high end display, that's good to have if you have the bucks for it. Colour calibration in my opinion is a waste of money if you are not in business requirement or if you do not have a end-to-end requirement for colour consistency. It means from camera to display to printer to hardcopies. If it just end up on your screen and in the web, then you will wanna only consisted colour calibration when you have settle the rest of the cost.

    If you are a mac user, just get a iMac and you are good to go. If you are a Windows users, then you will need to consider existings Dell, HP blah blah brands unless you like to build your system together yourself. Graphic card wise, I say a decent 150bucks graphic cards will be good enough. Unless your system also does 3D stuffs and gaming purpose. Despite nowadays more and more graphic softwares says they offers GPU accelerated features, my personal experiences with these features are they are larger over-rated. Photographers most common manipulation workflow doesn't make use of them sufficiently, unless you are like me playing with Kinect 3D scanning which requires CUDA or perhaps you like Solidworks and 3D Studio Max etc softwares too.

    Unless you like to use "friendly" software from the Internet, you will need to also consider the cost for software like Lightroom, Photoshop and so forth to enhance your user experience manipulating photos. They can cost more than your system. If you do a lot of photoshop editing, a good tablet like intuos might be on your consideration list too. How about a decent inkjet printer ?

    Once you gather all your necessary equipments and software, I say it's around 2K to 3K for a sufficiently decent setup to last you for erm...1.5 to 2 years, before your thoughts go upgrade comes again. Upgrades gradually I mean.
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
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  16. #16

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    -Intel i7 2600k + Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 and overclock it
    -2 x 8GB/4 x 4GB RAMs, memory is cheap now
    -120GB Intel 510 SSD
    -1TB x ?, you decide, Hitachi/Western Digital will be good
    -Geforce GTX 560 1GB/ATi Radeon 5850 1GB
    -FSP Aurum 650W Gold modular power supply unit
    -Sony 24x DVD-RW
    -Coolermaster heat sink fan/Antec water cooling kit
    -choose your own case
    -Dell U2312HM

    should hover around $2k.

    if you want redundancy, built a NAS system later on, can double up as network media player too. must warn you first, once you go SSD, there will be no turning back.

  17. #17
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Would like to add on to the thread with related query, is there a disadvantage adding too much ram? I willing be mostly doing photo edit but might be work with D800 output kind of file size (36MP), doing HDR and multiple layering in photoshop kind of work.
    Current using 6GB ram kit but looking to max out my X58 board with 24GB, six pieces single channel value ram. (Costing only > $150) I'm not sure if this is a good idea.
    Only if you install the 32bit version of Windows. Then, everything above 4GB is completely unusable and will not be shown in any resource overview. In order to utilize memory above 4GB you must install the 64bit version - preferable for OS and Lightroom / Photoshop. Since there is no price difference there is nothing to worry here.
    EOS

  18. #18

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    -Intel i7 2600k + Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 and overclock it
    -2 x 8GB/4 x 4GB RAMs, memory is cheap now
    -120GB Intel 510 SSD
    -1TB x ?, you decide, Hitachi/Western Digital will be good
    -Geforce GTX 560 1GB/ATi Radeon 5850 1GB
    -FSP Aurum 650W Gold modular power supply unit
    -Sony 24x DVD-RW
    -Coolermaster heat sink fan/Antec water cooling kit
    -choose your own case
    -Dell U2312HM
    sorry tecnica, borrow your recommendation

    to the TS:
    1. no disrespect to anyone, but I would not recommend overclocking to people who are seeking advise on what computer to buy... overclocking includes a risk to components and system operations, and should be done only by people who can and are willing to take apart their systems if/when problems arise...
    2. SSDs are more responsive but expensive... if you want to stretch your budget, you might want to use harddrives instead for your system drive (the drive where you install the Windows and typically your other programs)...
    3. have another drive for your pagefile/scratch drive... especially if you are going to use Photoshop cause it requires a scratch drive to write a temporary file in case there is insufficient RAM, and will write edit history information to the scratch even if you do have enough RAM
    4. have more harddrives to store your images... if possible, have them set to RAID 1, which takes up multiple drives, shows them to the operating system as a single RAID 1 drive, and then when data is copied to the "single" RAID 1 drive, the data will be duplicated and copied into all the multiple drives in the RAID 1 system... if one drive breaks down, the RAID system allows a new drive to be plugged in to rebuild the system so your data is safer... a RAID system can be within the computer itself or an external system... if in doubt get someone familiar to it to set one up...
    5. if you are not into games, a lower end graphics card would suffice...
    6. just use the heat sink fan that comes with the processor... if you find it's too noisy, then get a quieter cooling system...
    7. get the Dell U2410 instead... for a bit more money it has better colour than the U2312HM...


    to Cowseye
    1. other than what Octarine mentioned, the only problem with having too much RAM is that money empties from your wallet...
    2. with $150, you could also get more memory cards to hold your 36MP images

  19. #19

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    sorry tecnica, borrow your recommendation

    to the TS:
    1. no disrespect to anyone, but I would not recommend overclocking to people who are seeking advise on what computer to buy... overclocking includes a risk to components and system operations, and should be done only by people who can and are willing to take apart their systems if/when problems arise...
    2. SSDs are more responsive but expensive... if you want to stretch your budget, you might want to use harddrives instead for your system drive (the drive where you install the Windows and typically your other programs)...
    3. have another drive for your pagefile/scratch drive... especially if you are going to use Photoshop cause it requires a scratch drive to write a temporary file in case there is insufficient RAM, and will write edit history information to the scratch even if you do have enough RAM
    4. have more harddrives to store your images... if possible, have them set to RAID 1, which takes up multiple drives, shows them to the operating system as a single RAID 1 drive, and then when data is copied to the "single" RAID 1 drive, the data will be duplicated and copied into all the multiple drives in the RAID 1 system... if one drive breaks down, the RAID system allows a new drive to be plugged in to rebuild the system so your data is safer... a RAID system can be within the computer itself or an external system... if in doubt get someone familiar to it to set one up...
    5. if you are not into games, a lower end graphics card would suffice...
    6. just use the heat sink fan that comes with the processor... if you find it's too noisy, then get a quieter cooling system...
    7. get the Dell U2410 instead... for a bit more money it has better colour than the U2312HM...
    no problem man~

    1) overclocking brings out the best in the system and the i5/7 k-series are meant to be overclocked, hence the k designation. do so within the threshold and you are generally safe.

    2) pretty much personal preferences i would say and depends on budget. but for speed/efficiency sake, i will recommend SSD for operating system and important softwares. mechanical HDD for storage and rest of the stuffs.

    3) just get more RAMs, they are dirt cheap now.

    4) since you are going into RAID which involves reasonable amount of technical knowledge, then 1) should be pretty much within ability too?

    5) in current days, those mid-range cards that i recommended are very affordable and within budget. a good system should have parts to complement each other and not lean on either side of the spec sheet.

    6) if you are doing 1), you DEFINITELY need a good heat sink fan, it is not for reducing noise only, main purpose is to reduce heat output.

    7) this, i have no comment because i actually want to recommend the U2711 but it will bust the budget.


    to add on further, overclocking these days is not rocket science. it is much much simple now then before, some systems even come with very nice UI, instead of going into the BIOS to tweak the settings. drop by sim lim square, get PC Themes to set up a DIY computer for you. they provide good + friendly service, competitive prices and is highly rated in the computer hardware community.

    just to share, till date, i am onto my third custom computer system. i hand pick the parts myself, put them together and overclock the CPU. the last one i had was an Intel Core 2 Duo which i used for a good 5 years(overclocked from day 1) before i change to my current i7. the former did not break down, it is the fact that softwares are getting more hardware demanding and i had no choice but to upgrade to my 2600k. my C2D is still useable but it is currently sitting in one side of my room, waiting for a a few components before it starts slogging for me again.

    TS, all being said, if you are not confident in such DIY system, then head to Dell's website and order a factory spec one. Dell's service support is good, anything wrong you just give them a call and they will do onsite assessment and advise you on the procedures.

    cheers~
    Last edited by tecnica; 4th March 2012 at 02:54 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine

    Only if you install the 32bit version of Windows. Then, everything above 4GB is completely unusable and will not be shown in any resource overview. In order to utilize memory above 4GB you must install the 64bit version - preferable for OS and Lightroom / Photoshop. Since there is no price difference there is nothing to worry here.
    Thanks
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