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Thread: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

  1. #1

    Default Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Hi all,

    I believe that many of us has our own opinion on what kind of PC (desktop/laptop) is best suited for photo post-processing (I personally uses Lightroom). While I am considering on getting a new PC, I would love to hear from all professionals out there on what you all think what is crucial for photo post-processing

    To bound the area smaller, we look at the following items:
    1) Processor (CPU)
    2) Memory (RAM)
    3) Graphic Card

    Do you think which of these is directly affecting the ability of post-processing?

    And, what's the optimal amount/number of each items above (money-performance balance) to get Lightroom run flawlessly?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ch3nyong; 7th January 2009 at 07:16 PM. Reason: apologize for the incorrect usage of terms :) workstation -> PC

  2. #2

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Topic been discussed to death...
    But just to add 4)Software.
    Namely Vista64, so you can run more ram.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Processor and RAM - they go hand in hand like traffic and weather. Graphic card, I guess it's more for 3D sort of rendering.

    FYI, lightroom runs a lot faster on my MacBook Pro (2.16 Intel Duo Core, 2.0GB RAM) than PowerMac G5 (2.00Ghz Duo G5, 4.00GB RAM).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    I am looking at this model from Acer.
    Quad core, 2-4gb ram, onboard geforce 7100 or 9300. not sure of exact specs as it diff from leaflet during Sitex. But the price was $899 then, without monitor and etc.

    http://www.acer.com.sg/public/page4....&crc=540304682

    it should run photoshop and any software well, on 1 single display.
    and play some legacy games...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    workstation purely for photoshop...

    Xeon Quad Core
    Nvidia Quadro or ATI FireGL
    32Gb Ram
    5x SAS HDD running Raid 5
    1x SAS HDD running OS
    64Bit OS

    cos, the rest are only PCs, not workstations...
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    workstation purely for photoshop...

    Xeon Quad Core
    Nvidia Quadro or ATI FireGL
    32Gb Ram
    5x SAS HDD running Raid 5
    1x SAS HDD running OS
    64Bit OS

    cos, the rest are only PCs, not workstations...
    Make it
    5x SAS RAID6 for storage
    2x SAS RAID1 for OS/Programs
    2x SAS RAID0 for Swapfile.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Sorry for the incorrect usage of term I mean, PC..

    Rendition, from your case you're saying CPU is the core that affects the performance?

    Btw, has anyone seen their lightroom occupying more than 500MB on a single instance? Just curious..

    Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by ch3nyong View Post
    Hi all,

    I believe that many of us has our own opinion on what kind of PC (desktop/laptop) is best suited for photo post-processing (I personally uses Lightroom). While I am considering on getting a new PC, I would love to hear from all professionals out there on what you all think what is crucial for photo post-processing

    To bound the area smaller, we look at the following items:
    1) Processor (CPU)
    2) Memory (RAM)
    3) Graphic Card

    Do you think which of these is directly affecting the ability of post-processing?

    And, what's the optimal amount/number of each items above (money-performance balance) to get Lightroom run flawlessly?

    Thanks!

    Invest a MAC... It will not crush, hang, or lag.. it will work flawlessly on lightroom and worth every penny for investing the MAC.....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvinkhoo View Post
    Invest a MAC... It will not crush, hang, or lag..
    You wanna start debate ar?lolDont hang? the spinning wheel of death anyone?.
    Anyway, lets not go off topic lah.
    Last edited by redmonsoon; 8th January 2009 at 01:41 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by ch3nyong View Post
    Sorry for the incorrect usage of term I mean, PC..

    Rendition, from your case you're saying CPU is the core that affects the performance?

    Btw, has anyone seen their lightroom occupying more than 500MB on a single instance? Just curious..

    Thanks!
    CPU and RAM are both important. Now...I think you should be looking at 8GB at least with Vista64. I've saw lightroom going to 700 to 800GB RAM when there are many files.

    I did a config for a Photostation last year...get some ideas from here.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    I am using a XP laptop for PP...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    It all boils down to how much post processing are you doing. What is the size and dpi of the graphic you are processing.
    I have tried processing A0+ poster on Pentium 4 2.4Ghz 2GB RAM with good graphic card before. Image editing is not as consuming as video editing or 3D Animations.

    Right now i am using Core 2 Duo 7200 with 4GB RAMs and a average graphic card of 256MB RAM. Still able to do quite alot of editing.
    Graphic card is the most important for images because poor graphic card does not have a wide range of colors and rendering. What is the point of doing things fast at a poor/lower quality?
    Ask yourself, You want speed or you want quality?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by playplay View Post
    Graphic card is the most important for images because poor graphic card does not have a wide range of colors and rendering. What is the point of doing things fast at a poor/lower quality?
    Ask yourself, You want speed or you want quality?
    Curious... would the graphic card affect the quality of the PP? I thought it would only affect the speed only as its the CPU that is doing most of the calculation....

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    Curious... would the graphic card affect the quality of the PP? I thought it would only affect the speed only as its the CPU that is doing most of the calculation....
    That's what I thought also. But I did see the Mythbusters on Nvidia 'Mona Lisa painting', and they did explain that rendering was faster and you could get better tones. It was a comparison between a CPU and a GPU iirc.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member phoakm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Share experience:

    Current system running Core i7 920 with 6 gig ram (expandable to 12 gig for future). Running 3 softwares concurrently (not including softwares running background) - Lightroom 2, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Professional Portraits, all of them are 64 bit. Reasonably fast. BTW, 200 gig images in my storage drive, minimum lags.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by phoakm View Post
    Share experience:

    Current system running Core i7 920 with 6 gig ram (expandable to 12 gig for future). Running 3 softwares concurrently (not including softwares running background) - Lightroom 2, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Professional Portraits, all of them are 64 bit. Reasonably fast. BTW, 200 gig images in my storage drive, minimum lags.
    XP 64 or Vista 64 or Win7 64?
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by robotech View Post
    CPU and RAM are both important. Now...I think you should be looking at 8GB at least with Vista64. I've saw lightroom going to 700 to 800GB RAM when there are many files.

    I did a config for a Photostation last year...get some ideas from here.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member phoakm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    XP 64 or Vista 64 or Win7 64?
    vista 64
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    workstation purely for photoshop...

    Xeon Quad Core
    Nvidia Quadro or ATI FireGL
    32Gb Ram
    5x SAS HDD running Raid 5
    1x SAS HDD running OS
    64Bit OS

    cos, the rest are only PCs, not workstations...
    for Photoshop, Quadro and FireGL won't make a diff over regular graphics cards... plus much more ex... might as well save the money for dual Xeon man or even more RAM ... and RAID 0 that OS disk with a pair of drives...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Questions on Work Station for Post-processing

    Quote Originally Posted by playplay View Post
    Graphic card is the most important for images because poor graphic card does not have a wide range of colors and rendering.
    graphics cards do not affect range of colour and have negligible effects on rendering especially if using digital display and interface such as DVI... a properly profiled monitor is far more important... what a graphics card can do is facilitate image rendering in Photoshop CS4 in zooming and rotation of the image which at the moment doesn't really require high end cards, and in future possible Photoshop CS4 filter plug-ins written to utilize GPU processing...
    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    That's what I thought also. But I did see the Mythbusters on Nvidia 'Mona Lisa painting', and they did explain that rendering was faster and you could get better tones. It was a comparison between a CPU and a GPU iirc.
    what they are illustrating is an analogy of the difference between how a CPU and a GPU "thinks"... basically, the CPU is designed for sequentially processing, each core working one instruction at a time in a queue, whereas the GPU is designed to perform numerous parallel instructions... that is of course a massively simplified take on the matter (just as the painting demonstration was as well), but in any case, it is a hardware functionality demonstration and has nothing to do with the fact that Photoshop does not at the moment utilize the graphics card for anything other than rendering the 2D image on the screen and (with Photoshop CS4) render smoother zooming and rotation... that is a programming decision by Adobe...

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