Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Apr 18, 2012, 20:27
Post: #1
Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Here's a guide by Popular Photography on optimising your computer system for best performance for Photoshop.

http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2012/04/s...ting-power

Most of it is old knowledge/common sense - beefy CPU, lots of RAM - but it has also been updated to include advice on Solid State Disks which are becoming more common. Their example is to use a 2 drive configuration - a SSD of at least 256 GB for running the apps and also as a high performance scratch disk, and a 2TB or greater SATA drive for storage (i.e. photos).

They also talk a bit on monitors/displays and calibration.

Anyone upgrade their rig recently? Anyone using SSDs as part of their machine?

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 19, 2012, 03:10
Post: #2
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
In a nutshell - no.
I need to read a lot more about it - to understand it, before I add things.

I have sitting at the side of the pc, a seagate 500gb drive in the box not yet been opened. (I am currently using a WD 350gb ext drive )
My intention was to save my files etc. install i-Life 09 I am still on 08, although I have the 09 disc which came free.
I have never researched what to actually save, and am worried I may lose info.

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 19, 2012, 05:44
Post: #3
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
SSDs are good technology and definitely improve app / scratch file performance significantly, but not as much as simply adding RAM, IMO. Depends on your needs.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 19, 2012, 06:58
Post: #4
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
My Desktop is held together with duct tape and super glue... coming up on 6 years old. Only thing that has been upgraded is graphics card and ram..... so i could run twin monitors for flight simming.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 19, 2012, 12:29 (This post was last modified: Apr 19, 2012 12:30 by slejhamer.)
Post: #5
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Is it just me, or do SSDs seem quite expensive for what you get?

Anyway, some of you may remember I lost about 3 years worth of pics on a failed drive a few years ago. Now I back up everything to TWO 2TB drives. Old-school storage has gotten ridiculously inexpensive.

Also I had to replace my video card recently, as the fan burned out and it was overheating, causing the whole system to shut down. Darned HP used a grossly inadequate power supply in the box - not even meeting the requirements of the video card they used! I did not replace the power supply this time (found a low power consumption alternative), but definitely would beef that up if I were optimizing for editing (esp. video work.)

Oh, and fans. A turbocharged cooling system would be important.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 19, 2012, 18:25
Post: #6
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
(Apr 19, 2012 12:29)slejhamer Wrote:  Is it just me, or do SSDs seem quite expensive for what you get?

They are expensive because they are pretty new in the market. However all macbook airs use them, and they are an option for configuration (though expensive) in iMacs and Macbook Pros.

Their main advantage is really fast speeds for random read and writes basically because they don't have to spin a platter round to access data off the disk. So it speeds up workloads that are hard disk intensive. Examples are suspending and resuming your laptop - where the contents of memory are written to disk so it is not lots. I think another benefit would be the scratch disk because Photoshop constantly uses this as a temp area.

Also, all computers use hard disk as swap space - basically shifting programs out of memory when they aren't needed or to free up memory for other apps. So it can speed up your computer if you are swapping a lot.

However for this last use case - your system will swap a lot if you don't have enough memory. So Rob is correct in that adding RAM will usually yield a greater benefit first (and is a good bang four buck too) before resorting to SSDs.

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 20, 2012, 02:54 (This post was last modified: Apr 20, 2012 05:05 by Pavel.)
Post: #7
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I have considered SSDs before replacing the computer. With D800 files, things have slowed down on a new machine and I am thinking of them again. I am a bit worried about setting things up. I would want the operating system, Photoshop and plugins all reside on SSD. I am afraid that the installation may give me trouble.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 20, 2012, 07:44
Post: #8
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
New technology brings new headaches. Better the devil you know?

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 20, 2012, 10:26
Post: #9
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
My Macbook Air uses its SSDs to give it performance that's way beyond what its processor and RAM would suggest, so I'm sold on their utility. I'm not about to put any more money into my 2006 iMac, but I hope to be able to put a small SSD into its replacement as a second drive. I could see using it for the OS, Lightroom and its catalog file, and Photoshop, leaving the rest for a scratch disk.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 20, 2012, 10:47 (This post was last modified: Apr 20, 2012 10:47 by Kombisaurus.)
Post: #10
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Slej, you don't buy an SSD to increase your storage, you buy it to speed up your system.
I run a 120Gb SSD as my boot drive, and I'm happy with the results. The trick is definately to have a regular HDD or two to accompany it, and only put speed-critical files on the SSD.

In my case, I have all my Windows files on the SSD, plus a few programs that tend to have slower start-up times (ie photoshop), plus my Lightroom catalogs and Lightroom preview files, plus any scratch disk, cache data, or other temp data.
I have most of my programs installed on a normal HDD, along with all my documents, data files and photos.

I wouldn't want to go any smaller than 120gb for an SSD, but with judicious use I can happily get by with it (plus 7Tb of normal HDD storage).
The speed increase is noticable during start-up and when using Lightroom, but don't get too excited by the hype. It's not a magic bullet to fix a slow computer. But it can be an excellent way to relieve a common performance bottleneck, and you possibly get better bang-for-buck than spending that extra money on a more expensive CPU.

It gave me a Windows Experience Index of 7.5 (out of 7.9) if that's any guide. That score is both the disk transfer rate score plus my overall score.

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 20, 2012, 11:08
Post: #11
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I don't know anything about SSD's but researching brought me this.

Quote: the moral of the story is that SSDs don't go on forever

article link http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-...est-994095

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 21, 2012, 17:53
Post: #12
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
NT73 Wrote:I don't know anything about SSD's but researching brought me this.

I hear that while that is true, they don't fail as catastrophically. With a spinning hard drive if the platter crashes the whole drive is gone but I think with SSDs you lose a few sectors? at a time and there is a high likelihood that the OS will automatically be able to recover the lost data.

I put a SSD into my media centre PC - basically for the boot and apps partition, and the actual recoded tv goes onto a normal higher capacity Hard drive. It's helped a bit but not as dramatic basically because it's one application running all the time. Like Adrian said, other limitations such as the CPU still apply.

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 22, 2012, 17:02
Post: #13
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
My macbook air is awesome with it's SSD drive. I haven't set one up on my desktop as it is a pretty beefy system already.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 23, 2012, 03:36
Post: #14
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Is a SSD more reliable than a disc based hard drive for storage. Or is it too soon to tell.

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 23, 2012, 03:58
Post: #15
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
(Apr 23, 2012 03:36)NT73 Wrote:  Is a SSD more reliable than a disc based hard drive for storage. Or is it too soon to tell.

I am not sure I should be replying to this, as I do not have any specific knowledge. However, in general equipment with delicate moving parts (such as HD) tend to be more prone to failure than solid state circuitry (such as SSD). Furthermore, I assume that the primary purpose would be to use it for programs you own and as a scratch disk for PS and OS, so that in case of failure, you are out of the cost of the drive and you have to reinstall. I would not expect however, that you would loose a lot of data. Perhaps an image you are working on could be corrupted.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 23, 2012, 05:54 (This post was last modified: Apr 23, 2012 05:55 by shuttertalk.)
Post: #16
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Always backup and you should be fine...

In the IT industry, solid state disks are starting to make their way into enterprise storage arrays as well. They are classed above the spinning disks mainly due to their speed and are priced accordingly. It's too early to tell with regards to long term reliability, and the storage arrays usually have RAID protection (meaning they can lose disks and still reconstruct data).

However, there's an interesting article by tom's hardware here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-...923-9.html

Basically they don't have much data to go by (2-3 years at most), but their conclusion are that SSDs are no more reliable/unreliable than spinning HDDs - mainly because components aren't manufactured to be as reliable as possible - they are manufactured to be as reliable as economically feasible. But they also say to take that with a grain of salt.

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 01:56
Post: #17
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
erm...SATA a good idea, max out on best-quality RAM. I wouldn't and don't trust HDs of any description, and certainly not solid state, to be dependable: just when your back is turned, Sod's Law comes into its random worst!
I've found that sorting out partitions sensibly and having 2 external drives as "double backup", along with an image of your HD, works for me.
Ther's also the Shed Phenomenon(my desccription): this Law states that no matter how large you build a shed, you will always overload it with pointless junk just because of the idea that one has a larger space to fill. Similarly, unless one sharpens up one's "workflow"(yuk, how I loathe that word) by defragging, heavily culling shots, apportioning best place for scratch-disc, reducing virtual memory size, getting on top of Lightroom's unruly and untidy sprawl, etc;...then I've found it pointless to get a larger machine.(The sheer amount of processing power needed just to run the O.S and the latest whizzy interface of one's fave imaging software is huge innit).
I have adopted "reverse" mentality, as I'm blowed if I'm upgrading a pc and OS and Adobe Whatever just to swat 100+MB tifs about. Funnily enough, I cottoned onto this whilst recording music: when I upgraded sequencing ware(Sonar 2 to 6), I found the interface was showier but clunky and wheezy, so I fiched the upgraded plugins and ran them in the earlier version. Thus, managing without CS' or LR's latest bells and whistles is an efficient way of not overloading one's system. Either way, I've found the best "upgrade" has been the mental one in terms of what to put in the "shed" and what to ensure I tidy away before, during and after.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 03:14
Post: #18
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
That sounds fine in theory Zig... except for the "conspiracy" between hardware and software manufacturers to force the user into endless upgrades. >Sad (ok, so maybe it's just a lack of consideration with a sprinkling of greed from Adobe and Apple)

Let's say you're happily plugging away shooting your Canon 350D and processing on Lightroom 3 on a circa-2005 Power Mac G5. Sure it's a bit dated, but it still does the job, right?

So you decide to buy a new camera... a Canon 5D Mark III!! woohoo.. You go out and buy it and start shooting away madly. Until you come home and try to open the files in Lightroom 3....
You quickly find out you need to upgrade to Lightroom 4.1 to work on your photos. Rats. Oh well... that's not the end of the world.
So you upgrade Lightroom only to find out you need to upgrade the OS first (Lightroom 4 on Mac needs a 64-bit OS). Are you kidding me?
But when you buy and try to install OSX Lion, you find out it doesn't support your existing hardware! It requires an Intel-based Mac. And of course, Apple no longer sell OSX Leopard (the latest OS that supported your hardware). That's it. You have to buy an entire new computer, just to install the OS needed to install the software needed to open the photos.
That 5D Mark III just ended up costing you $2000 more than you planned.

It seems to be getting more and more difficult to mix and match peripherals from different technological generations. As soon as you want to upgrade one element, you're forced to upgrade the whole thing.

As far as your shed phenomenon goes, I take a different approach. My attitude is that storage is very cheap, and getting cheaper every day. By the time your hard drive fills up, you can replace it with one that's 5x larger for the same cost. My main Lightroom catalog has around 170 000 RAW files in it and sits on 4Tb of storage. It's fast to use and I can find the photos I'm looking for very quickly thanks to Lightroom's excellent cataloging and indexing tools and me developing a consistent workflow (sorry for using that word).

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 03:27
Post: #19
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I am with you on this Adrian. Just add to it plug-ins. I do like NIK, but this is yet another area of potential incompatibility. Upgrading to 36 megapixel camera and its huge files which grow with each added layer my new computer has become slow. A predictable but strangely unexpected consequence of an upgrade.

Storage is really cheap. Drobo is wonderful - provides bays for 5 drives (you can mix and match). The data are spread on all the drives inserted into the bays. If one fails, orange light appears. You place in a replacement drive and the system will restore itself. It is connected by E-SATA to my computer and it is quite fast. 10 terrabytes space. If it ever becomes too little, I just pop in bigger drive
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 03:42
Post: #20
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
That was one of the points I was trying to make in the 36 megapixels thread. Sure it's nice to have so much resolution on hand but your system needs to cope with the processing of the larger file sizes as well.

Now that Nikon has upped the ante - even 24 megapixels with their entry level D3200 - you can be sure yeh rest of the manufacturers will be following suit.

You can almost hear the computer manufacturers rubbing their hands with glee. Big Grin

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 05:34
Post: #21
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
So when does the 'Intel Super Typhoon 6' processor appear. This really will be the best thing since sliced bread. Rolleyes


Or am I getting cynical in my negligible senescence. Angel
Just looked that up and it sounded ok. Big Grin

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 26, 2012, 22:16 (This post was last modified: Apr 26, 2012 22:17 by shuttertalk.)
Post: #22
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
Stay tuned - apparently there is a "SSD Price War" looming...

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20120425PD202.html

Quote: Leading SSD firms such as Kingston Technology, Intel, OCS, and Crucial are making a play to "squeeze out" their smaller competitors by lowering the average on their SSD products in hopes of creating a price war. The industry's leaders are afraid that smaller companies may begin manufacturing inferior products, which could in turn disupt the development of the SSD market.

Superior products at a cheaper price... bring it on! Big Grin

Minigizmo - Gadget News and Reviews
BookHoot - Ebook News
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Apr 27, 2012, 03:00
Post: #23
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I hate reading these things, to find they are talking about other bits of tech I have never heard of. Then I wonder should I have them, or is my tech so out of date everything needs replacing. Aaargh! Huh

SATA3 ? I think I have SATA, and DEMENTIA 2. Blush

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
May 1, 2012, 00:56
Post: #24
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I'm not sure it's all that bright to "up the ante" in terms of megapixellage and expect consumers to follow up the Size Matters ladder quite as blindlly as once thought.
There are only 2 responses one can have to upgraditis, given(as Ade rightly says) that at some soon point the user will have to refit their pc and software...and this is not taking into account all the other hidden bits you find you need("Does sir require vertical shooting..?..the removal of an AA filter..?..a litle plastic lens-shade thing or the finder it really should have had..?):
One either locks into the belief that permanent readiness to upgrade is what the snapper really really needs to "stay on top of their game"....or one accepts, for a time, a "plateau" of exploring and using well the kit one presently has.
Both approaches give a kind of "peace" but at a cost:
The Annual Upgrader: This user would love us to believe(as he/she already does) that they upgrade because of "professional need"...that this in some way is part of their projection to others that they Really Are Pro and their business would suffer...yea verily the bread would fall from the mouths of their infants if they did not and they would slide into penury or the workhouse without the new Klikon 8DX. Actually, their egos are so hardwired to their cameras, that they are locked into staring fearfully over their shoulder to check if someone's got the New One before they have. Their peace is momentary and needs an annual fix.
The Make Do and Mender: This user, having found a suitable camera, stays with both it and the soft/hardware that they deliberated over 2 years about before buying. They've been careful, weighing up all the sliding costs, and their plateau of peace feels a wide expanse: they fully explore every nook and cranny of pc, software and camera to squeeze the max out of it. Their peace comes from the liberation of stepping off the busy and expensive ladder, lasts a few years longer than the Annual Upgrader...but eventually comes a time when the pc slows to a standstill, batteries become unavailalble or last a day between charges and a decision has to be reached: how on earth to carry on seriously, when That Camera You Really Want costs 3 hundred more than you thought once you've got the vertical grip or finder..and when the PC, O.S.,and imaging ware combine to ensure that your 700-quid camera costs you 3 grand to get a picture from the thing.
"Logically" speaking then, the only snapper who is perpetually happy is either the one who manages to comfortably afford and justify throwing all their spare cash at the issue..or the one who places themselves so outside "growth" that its rigours do not affect them: they spend £500 on a medium-format film camera and class optics for their real stuff, £500 on a P+S that more than copes with the web output you're now largely confined to(the dreams of being David Bailey look like being unfulfilled after all)...the peace of walking away from the playground.
I'd guess if these "types" were true, I'd fall into the latter category without fail: I'd be cacking it if I got a really massive burst of Kititis, as by the time I afforded the camera I'd also need my pc dragged out of the neolithic.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
May 1, 2012, 04:04 (This post was last modified: May 1, 2012 05:56 by Pavel.)
Post: #25
RE: Optimise your computer for Photo Editing
I think that there are many people (and perhaps most) that really do not fall into the 2 categories you describe. Many people do upgrade from time to time but they upgrade very selectively. I will get back to this issue i n a moment.

The first group that you described I see well represented in an equipment forums on Flickr. They have all the latest and greatest in cameras and lenses and switch often. When you look at their portfolio, they are for the most part close to the beginning of their photo journey. If they have no real photo interest, they would be better served with a $100 camera, which would make smart decisions for them. If they really wish to learn (a minority I think), an entry level DSLR camera initially with a single lens would serve them well. My sense if that most of the people in this group do not improve much over time as photographers.

I also know a number of people falling into your group 2. Many are accomplished photographers that over years got to know their equipment and they developed a particular approach, style and they focus on a particular sets of subjects. I know some of these for some time and although they are often superb, they have reached a state of stasis, where they generate excellent but similar photos over and over. This is of course an oversimplification and I know there are photographers fitting into this category that seek to grow both as craftsmen and artists.

A third group tends to use equipment as tools and even if they share the enthusiasm and knowledge of equipment with your group one, the people in this group tend to be enthusiastic photographers first and foremost. The skill level varies from beginners to very advanced, but the best way to recognize them is to examine their portfolio from year to year and look for signs of improvements/changes in techniques, composition and artistic insight. Again, I need to stress that this and any attempt to categorize wide variety of people and approaches is likely to be simplistic and fit some people poorly.

I consider myself to belonging into this third category. It is a far more dynamic category than the 2 proposed. I believe in "triggers for upgrade". Trigger can be an important feature unavailable at accessible cost. The trigger must be something that if available would significantly improve your photos.

For me before the upgrade it was improved dynamic range (by at least an f-stop at base ISO) and low noise (improvement of at least 2 f-stops and preferably 3 f-stops). All that had to be available at a cost I was prepared to pay. The trigger was identified based on the problems I was running into with many/most of my photos.

Another type of trigger is a question of skill level. I do not believe in upgrades unless you can clearly see how (very specifically) an upgrade to a specific camera with specific specs will improve your photos at your current skill level. In order for this to be a trigger, you must have exhausted all the reasonably convenient ways of reaching your objective without the upgrade.

Basically I did not upgrade until both of these triggers were met. My current camera seems to have everything I want except a bright liveview (not a trigger, as liveview is not sufficiently important to me at this stage). The issue is weight (not just mine, mostly the camera's and lenses). As I am getting older, carrying heavy equipment is getting a bit harder. I solved the issue for now using beltpacks. However I foresee a time when I will want a smaller, lighter package to carry around. This would become a trigger only if/when my physical condition called for it.

My wife will be upgrading from G11 to an Olympus micro 4/3, so I see at some future time of getting an extra body and sharing lenses. However right now, if I had a complete micro 4/3 on the table and my current system with D800, I would go with the Nikon every time. So the time to buy anything else is not yet. Wait for the trigger.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
Smile Editing Time in Forums Adjusted to Two Hours Barbara G. 26 872 Nov 3, 2014 11:19
Last Post: MrB
  onOne software's Perfect Photo Suite 9 released. WesternGuy 0 386 Oct 29, 2014 22:34
Last Post: WesternGuy
  Photo guidance for night time F1 grand prix Freeman 7 717 Oct 14, 2014 03:06
Last Post: Freeman
  Mystery early London photo danmdan 5 563 Oct 9, 2014 09:35
Last Post: danmdan
  Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo Pavel 25 6,893 Oct 7, 2014 14:36
Last Post: Phil J
  Photo recovery options shuttercloud 2 326 Oct 4, 2014 13:03
Last Post: Sirlarek
  How do I take a photo that creates a 'string' effect (picture attached kendals 11 3,126 Oct 4, 2014 12:54
Last Post: Sirlarek
  Best photo tip you've ever received shuttercloud 9 1,012 Oct 4, 2014 12:36
Last Post: Sirlarek
  Bought an LCD monitor recently? What's a good one for photo editing? slejhamer 24 9,252 Sep 18, 2014 20:13
Last Post: Pegger3D
  Photo editor for tablets? Daniel_Champion 2 406 Sep 15, 2014 11:09
Last Post: IainWilkie

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)