Recommend computer configuration for processing digital images?


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#1
Hi, I wonder if you could recommend a good computer configuration that will help in photo-processing. Some problems I have are:
i) computer crash [when I use photos from nikon, canon and olympus (I have a mix of cameras, dslr and compact). Could be due to software conflicts? or hardware driver conflicts?].
ii) slow processing time [especially when I have more than a thousand holiday shots to process; conversion into slideshow also hampered as software suddenly hang or stop, due to massive data].

Need your advice on:
i) hardware (processor, any special graphic cards)
ii)soft ware
iii)advantages (stability, fast speed)
iv)cons (conflicts, crash)
v) what configuration you are using?
Thanks.
 

windforce

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Oct 14, 2007
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#5
i) hardware (processor, any special graphic cards)
DIY Desktop QuadCore Q6600, 2Gb Ram, Normal graphic card, LCDs
ii)soft ware
Adobe Bridge + PS CS3 on Win XP
iii)advantages (stability, fast speed)
No major probs
i shoot with Raw with D70
Processing Raw or Jpeg is easy with Bridge or CS3
Slide shows using bridge
iv)cons (conflicts, crash)
Bridge seldom crashes even if i batch process in hundreds
v) what configuration you are using?

The desktop is onli cost me 1.5k SGD n screens $400 each for 22"
Realli good setup and haven got any probs after 1 year +

Not sure how others process but i find this rather easy n comfortable, most imptantly very tidy and fast.
 

roygoh

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Jan 18, 2002
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#6
All threads by TS of the same title merged.

Reminder to TS, please do not post the same question all over the forum. Thanks.
 

jimmyc

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Jun 7, 2002
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#7
nowadays shld go for vista 64bit but the requirements are higher

Q9300 is the successor for Q6600 (smaller cache but better efficiency. less power req)

get motherboards with intel P45 chipsets or better (range from $200 plus)

get tons of ram! ddr2 cheap so i suggest a min of 4gig*
* will use only 3gig with 32bit os but huge difference for me! if 64bit os go for more!

any current graphic cards like ati 4850 or the generation before

hdd get western digital current fave 640gig cheap and good or samsung f1 *
* any hdd with 320gig or more storage per platter. cheap, quiet and fast!

and it should last you for some time!
 

Benosaurous

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May 21, 2008
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#8
dont know about mac, but for windows, i would say, the most important thing is get yourself a high quality crt monitor that can display true colors at the right color temperature to ensure u can print what u edit correctly. and get the spyder thing to help tune the colors if you have the money.

if you love lcd that much, still buy a secondary crt monitor and link them up with dual graphic card (or any which has 2 output), so that you have 1 screen for casual play around and the other crt monitor for work only.

actually processing wise, 2gb ram with a 2.8ghz dual core is more than enough (of course more dont hurts :) ), unless u are using as a profession which requires you to process thousands of photos in a day. I do ps-ing while batch processing photos with this specs.

Hope that helps :)
 

Parka

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Nov 18, 2005
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#9
Any quad core proessor with 4gb ram is comfortable.
Get 2 harddisk, one for scratch disk purpose.
Graphics card not of paramount importance.

Choice between Mac or Windows depends on what software you'll be using. Mac doesn't need much OS maintanence => Save time
 

hazmee

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May 9, 2004
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#12
Can't agree more. I only like white.
White iMac you mean? If it is, then I have to say Apple put cheap stuff on their later models when compared to the white one. From S-IPS panels to crappy TN panels. Even their latest aluminum iMac models with S-IPS LCD has backlight bleeding problems and uneven display. Oh well, that's the whole reason why iMac's are much cheaper now.

Actually back to TS, you can go down to Cybermind at Funan. Ask the one of the nerd/geek there to recommend you a solid system for photo editing. They are pretty reliable. It shouldn't cost more than 1.2K for a decent hardware nowadays. My recommendation for a PC-based hardware:

3Ghz Duo Core
4GB RAM
Any Asus motherboard with Intel chipset
GeForce 8800GT 512MB graphics card
Windows Vista Business

The rest like DVD, hard disk, casing... you can check at the shop. Any generic one would be fine.

The most important part after that is your display monitor. Do not be stingy on getting a good display. A decent calibrating device would be a must too. A lot of my friends who went cheap on their display now regretted not investing a good one. It really affects your final print.

For displays:

Samsung 245T - very ex but powah! 24" goodness and cost about S$1K
LG2000CP - ex for a 20" but the reviews say powah! S-IPS panel ftw!! S$599++

Calibrator:

Spyder2Express - Simple and easy to use. S$159 from cathay and S$130 from an MO here

If you are hell bent on getting an Apple system, there are a few things you need to think about. You are basically locked into their hardware system which I feel is way overpriced and you can't customise your own parts. You are paying more for design. Other than that, Mac OS rocks!
 

Hollud

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Jul 15, 2008
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#13
I'm currently using a MacBook (Core Duo version - the 32 bit processor) with 2 GB RAM and using iPhoto on Mac OS X Leopard with RAW photos shot on a Canon EOS 350D. It's not the fastest system in the world but I can download about 100-ish photos, tweak them and (get selected ones) online with relative ease.

Windows (especially Vista) isn't exactly the most ideal platform for going through your digital workflow given its relatively resource-hungry nature. Also, to make the most out of your hardware, a 64-bit platform would be the way to go. Most versions of Windows are 32-bit... unless, of course, it's written on the box that it's a 64-bit Edition. But then, you'll get driver compatibility problems because some companies only have drivers for 32-bit Windows and those won't work properly with 64-bit versions. Let's not start on memory limitations, shall we?

To be fair, Windows does have it's advantages. But it's not in the media/creative department. Weighing on between Windows and Macintosh, I trust my Mac because it feels far more responsive and capable of juggling all the photos that I take and the videos I edit. Whether or not it's using Photoshop or Windows Live Gallery, Windows just doesn't cut it. Even my sister (who studied Mass Comm in TP - I believe they call it CMM) opted for a Mac rather than a cheaper alternative on Windows.

Moral of the story? If you can afford it (and are willing to stick to the whole Apple eco-system), go for a Mac-based workflow. I grab my RAW files straight off the camera and into iPhoto. No need for RAW converting software. It'll happily gobble up my 2 GB CompactFlash card with delight. No questions (or errors) asked.
 

Apr 10, 2006
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#14
I would like to add that if you are going for a Macintosh-based notebook computer, try to get a better graphics card. Many of the applications on the Mac OS X depend on your graphics card, like your Aperture or iPhoto, which uses graphics cards for rendering. The thing however is that, even the MacBook Pro display doesn't look ideal for editing -- I find the colour rather strange and somewhat inaccurate when placed side by side with Apple Cinema Display or even the white iMac (after all it's only this 18-bit display pretending to be 24-bit via dithering), so for work that involves colour - do consider a better screen... but then if you are purchasing a screen along with your MacBook Pro... why not get a desktop? The MacBook Pro screen is also uneven in its lighting across the screen I find... and this is particularly obvious during the start-up screen (the same problem doesn't show on the white iMac).

And thinking of system configurations, my MacBook Pro has a IC2D Penryn 2.5 Ghz with 4 Gb RAM and the Nvidia 8600M Gt 512 Mb card... it's quite capable processing thousands of photos.. not at a very fast rate... but definitely alright if your load is not more than the thousand. These files that I have mentioned are mostly raw files, and they are shot on a 30D.

I won't talk about my experience with Windows as I may eventually sound biased against it... but indeed the Mac does 'feel' better. Well, it's more expensive, but afterall, it's the user experience that matters right? It's how you feel towards the gear you have that will affect your work, rather than how your gear truly is at times, though gear is truly limiting as well.
 

#15
Is it ok to go for an onboard graphics card?

Since photo processing is not graphic card dependent?

This way we can save about 300-400 on a graphics card and invest in more ram or a larger LCD.

:think:
 

sadwitch

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Dec 25, 2007
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#16
dont know about mac, but for windows, i would say, the most important thing is get yourself a high quality crt monitor that can display true colors at the right color temperature to ensure u can print what u edit correctly. and get the spyder thing to help tune the colors if you have the money.

if you love lcd that much, still buy a secondary crt monitor and link them up with dual graphic card (or any which has 2 output), so that you have 1 screen for casual play around and the other crt monitor for work only.

actually processing wise, 2gb ram with a 2.8ghz dual core is more than enough (of course more dont hurts :) ), unless u are using as a profession which requires you to process thousands of photos in a day. I do ps-ing while batch processing photos with this specs.

Hope that helps :)
Have to agree with the CRT if its very critical photo work.... there's no LCD (except the Eizo which cost $$$) that comes close to the reproduction of colours like a CRT. Moreover you don't have a problem of viewing angle tone changes (which i read even some Eizo suffers).

A good 2nd hand 21" CRT (go for the trinitron tube) would probably be 150-200 vs the not so colour accurate 24" LCD for $700+++
 

hongsien

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Mar 11, 2002
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#19
3Ghz Duo Core
4GB RAM
Any Asus motherboard with Intel chipset
GeForce 8800GT 512MB graphics card
Windows Vista Business

For displays:

Samsung 245T - very ex but powah! 24" goodness and cost about S$1K
LG2000CP - ex for a 20" but the reviews say powah! S-IPS panel ftw!! S$599++

Calibrator:

Spyder2Express - Simple and easy to use. S$159 from cathay and S$130 from an MO here
Hi,

I am also thinking of making my own PC, as for the LCD screen, which one would you recommend? The Samsung or LG above or the EIZO?

Cathay was selling the Eizo 21" for SGD 1500 or so

HS
 

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