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Thread: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

  1. #1

    Default Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Thinking of upgrading my PC as it takes forever to load and edit the huge RAW files from my D80. I'm currently using an AMD 3200 with 1GB RAM. Which CPU should I upgrade to? Does intel dual core provide any benefit when it comes to editing RAW files? How much RAM do I need?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    get a 64bit processor with ram max to 4gb but if you are using mac should not be a issue since i am using 1gb of ram still can do raw editing smoothly.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Is RAW editing performance more dependant on RAM or CPU?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder View Post
    Is RAW editing performance more dependant on RAM or CPU?
    i'm guessing here
    but most common processing processing priority goes like this:
    processor -> processor cache memory -> Motherboard chipset -> RAM -> HDD seek/read &write.

    if your PC have enough free RAM to mount all RAW data and the raw editing aplication, you probably suffer from your CPU limitation.
    To know the amount of RAM needed, you should refer to your raw editing application's recommended RAM.

    your statement said that loading RAW files also very slow, you could use faster HDD too. striping 2 hard-drive (with good backup routine!!) could improve HDD speed.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    sometimes it also dependents of how the software handles the raw. For adobe it is very ram processing but for apple aperture very dependent on both ram and graphics card but having a better processor makes it easier to handle raw faster and also of their ability to support faster ram and faster HDD. You als had to consider about how much ram being used by your operating system especially windows vista which tends to eat alot of ram. For tedious editing i will suggests you to disconnects any networking devices during your editing to cut down number of work processes in order for you to do the editing.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder View Post
    Thinking of upgrading my PC as it takes forever to load and edit the huge RAW files from my D80. I'm currently using an AMD 3200 with 1GB RAM. Which CPU should I upgrade to? Does intel dual core provide any benefit when it comes to editing RAW files? How much RAM do I need?
    a raw file from D80 is about 16mb in size, unless yours is bigger...Your system is fast enough to load smooth...my laptop with Pentium M 1.86 and 1GB ram loads it very smoothly...but then again...my laptop have min software install...just adobe and lightroom

    its time for you to clean up your system...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    The other half of RAW editing is the software that you are using...

    If you are using Capture NX, you better upgrade your PC to the max otherwise if you are using Adobe Bridge/CS3, then you just need to upgrade RAM first and see what happens.

    If you are not satisfied, then take the RAM that you've bought and plug it into your new processor and motherboard.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    How much junk programs do you have running at load up ? Anti spam, anti spyware, do this, do that application suck up ram and processor time. An almost full primary hard disk also adds to your woes.

    Would suggest you look at these before adding RAM - ok only if your RAM is the newer type so you can port it over the next system ie if your RAM is older than DDR's then its likely that adding RAM will be a costly and pointless exercise.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    note that current windows XP only supports up to 3gb ram
    additional units of ram will be rendered useless to the system...

    i'm using amd64 X2, 2gb ram.. its smooth la..

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Quote Originally Posted by red_ryder View Post
    Thinking of upgrading my PC as it takes forever to load and edit the huge RAW files from my D80. I'm currently using an AMD 3200 with 1GB RAM.
    i'm a Canon user, so not too sure if my situation applies to yours. My guess if it takes a long time to load, the bottleneck is your harddisk. If the drive your picture is on is the same one as your windows swap file and is also the system drive, then it is most likely the harddisk bottlenecking the system. You can try putting the data on a physically separate drive, or better still, get two drives and form a stripe set (remember to backup).

    1GB RAM is not really enough for RAW work (for me anyway), 2GB is a lot more comfortable.

    The harddisk affects how fast (or rather, how slow) the files load up and save, RAM affects how many files you can effectively work with at one time, and the CPU affects how fast one file conversion goes (assuming you have enough RAM). The graphics card doesn't really make a speed difference for editing images. You should upgrade your components accordingly.
    Last edited by ST1100; 11th July 2007 at 11:53 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    upgrade the process to a opteron 16X or 17X series or if u can still find the s939 dual core processor, it good enough. another 1GB of ram is good to have but not really needed. I agree with what ST1100 and suggest u to do a RAID 0 too.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Best is to upgrade all to the max. every single hardware plays a part.. from CPU to motherboard to ram, hdd, graphics. If you can get a major upgrading.. upgrade on this sequence first..

    1) RAM to 2GB or 3GB, depends on your MB have how many slots. (photoshop does require lotsa ram)

    2) Get 2 same capacity HDD and install to Raid0, this should improve overall read/write speed.. naturally try to get SATAII if your mb support.. dun go on the slower IDE.. SATA I still ok if you don't have SATAII

    3) CPU, dual core does have a significant improvement over single core.. quad-core also outperform dual core.. for Intel, after core2duo.. there's still core2quad and core2extreme..

    4) graphic card do not make so much a difference as long as you have a pretty decent one.. my 7300GT works very well for me.. don't see any significant differences vs 7900GT or 8600GS which I installed for my customers

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    PC has yet to move to 64bit wagon. Apple latest OS codename Leopard has adopt native top to bottom 64bit environment. Processing relies more on the ram least on HDD.

    If you are working on Raw editing, you may want to get a iMac when Leopard is offically launched. Cheers

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Not quite true.. There's already 64bit windows.. just that most of the applications have yet to move into 64bit. Some normal consumers don't find a point to buy 64bit windows if they can't install the software they need, games, etc

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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Drivers for 64bit vista is seriously poor.

    So don't consider it for the moment - until support improves. Then probably it'll be time.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    just get amdx2 with 2GB ram which I have now.
    If you feel much richer enough go for Core2 intel 6600 and above with 2GB ram as well.
    Use XP2 for now. Vista still unstable.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    What you need is RAM and RAM speed, 2GB min better 4GB (must turned on the 3GB switch in order to allocate 3GB to programs) of the fastest RAM, 800 mhz DDR2 should do the trick.

    Next is the CPU, go with a Core2 Duo, I heard prices is due to be cut soon.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    As for Raw processing, Dual Core more han enough, Get E6350. Ram 2 Gig.
    As i said, this is more than enough. I am using E4300 and 2GB ram. Everything smooth, Raw processing + so many application on at the sametime

  19. #19

    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    Quote Originally Posted by mylica View Post
    As for Raw processing, Dual Core more han enough, Get E6350. Ram 2 Gig.
    As i said, this is more than enough. I am using E4300 and 2GB ram. Everything smooth, Raw processing + so many application on at the sametime
    there is no such thing call more than enough.

    for Raw processing, it's probably sufficient. However, will the TS move ont to do some post processing work/ editing /touch ups etc etc. once you launch CS3, or even CS2, resources are being gobbled up at an alarming rate.

    Layers, we have not even started on that yet ...
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Recommendation for PC specs for RAW editing

    RedRyder, how long does it take to open a RAW file? What is your digital workflow? Flash media -> HDD -> ACR -> PS? Maybe if you post this other Nikon users will be able to compare and post results on their hardware.

    I am currently doing editing on a Mac Mini (PPC G4 1.42Ghz/1GB RAM) and use a combination of iView Mediapro & Photoshop CS. Mediapro is a very fast image browser using very little CPU/RAM resources, i can then choose to send to Canon's raw s/w (DPP) or direct to Photoshop to make adjustments to the RAW files. If i use DPP to browse it's slower as it doesn't use a database index but DPP shows all the non-destructive edits applied to RAW files in it's browser. In short, you may not need to upgrade h/w but find a s/w solution that works better with your PC which could be cheaper.

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