Building an editing computer

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by uplander, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.E. WI.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Without going overboard. I want to build a computer with photo editing, web building, some video editing and storage in mind. What processor would you go with?

    i7, i5 or other and which version and why?
    is 8 GB DDR3 enough or should I load 16 GB or even more?
    What video card?
    Internal hard drive.
    2TB RAID 0 striping
    1TB RAID 1 mirror (2 x 1TB )

    Ext storage
    Seperate stand alone large 1TB or bigger HD's
    or go the toaster route with with smaller hot swappable internal HD's

    Another thought is going with a a single 1 or 1.5 TB internal HD in the computer and a toaster/ HD duplicator and make a complete mirrored internal HD with OS in case of HD failure.

    Another question to throw out there is. If you have a RAID 0 (2x 1TB) internal setup which has your OS on it. Can you mirror each of the HD's on a duplicator and and swap both out if you have a HD failure and get a successful restart of the computer and software? I would have all the other files backed up elsewhere to easily reload. I just would like to have a quick and easy way of getting back up and running in case of a failure without all the OS and program reloading.

    I know I'm throwing a lot of ideas out there, but I'm just trying to think all my options through and getting input to what I might be missing. I'm hoping that picking the collective Photo Forum brain can save me time and money and maybe enlighten others here too.

    Discuss!
     
  2. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    3,570
    Likes Received:
    295
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    what you should consider for an editing pc is, a decently fast cpu, alot of ram (8 gig is enough) and a lot of storage space.
    raid is a good idea.
     
  3. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would go with either an i5 or i7, not a major issue... cost is more of a concern there.

    Get 8GB or 16GB of RAM... whatever you can afford.

    For storage, get a NAS if you're serious. Here's a good one: ReadyNAS NV+ - NETGEAR.com

    For video, if all you're doing is image editing and not gaming or video editing, get just about anything mid-tier from ATI or Nvidia.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Irrelevant. For the most part this will only play a role on filters being applied to large images or heavy work such as batch image processing. In this department my Core2Quad is sufficient, as was the Core2Duo preceding it. Though that started showing signs of age when applying unsharp mask to a 60mpx image.
    Working on 20mpx images with multiple layers in 16bit in Photoshop while having Lightroom open I am peaking at around 4GB. 8GB will be fine. When rendering large panoramas (100+mpx) The more ram you have the more points you can extract from your images. Generating 15points per image on 15 images chews about 3GB. Generating 50 ground my computer to a halt when the 4GB of ram ran out. I don't see why you would need that many but this is definitely an area where more ram = better. If you work with large pictures then go 16gb, it's not like the stuff is expensive.
    Don't skimp. More and more programs come out now with GPU acceleration in both the UI and the calculations. Photoshop's zooming functions are now GPU accelerated, as is AutoPanoPro 2.0's panorama rendering and the GPU is much faster at these tasks than the CPU. I suggest an Nvidia 285 series, or ATI 4870 series at a minimum. Will make for a decent gaming system too.
    What's important, uptime or speed? Don't think RAID1 is a backup solution it is NOT. I go for speed and would say get a 2TB Raid0 array. (what I currently use so I may be biased :) )
    Is this backup? Then don't go hotswappable or some other fancy thing that stay permanently plugged into your computer. Plug it in once, do a backup, take backup to work (don't leave it in your house). A backup should not perish if your house gets robbed, burnt, or taken out by lightning. Bring it home once a month or once every 2 months and do a backup again and then back to work it goes. If you cry about a disaster taking out your data then you're doing it wrong, also if you cry about your backup failing your also doing it wrong. If both backup and computer fail at once you're one unlucky man!

    Backups take time, and the longer a backup the more chance of screwing it. I don't recommend mirroring your entire HDD as a backup option. Just the critical files. I would advocate though making a single backup image of your windows partition straight after you installed all your programs. This kind of a zero day image combined with a backup is why I look forward to harddisk failures since they give me an excuse to start with a fresh windows install but at the same time it only takes me about an hour to do it with all settings intact. It's a good thing to consider from the get go.
    This is called RAID0+1, RAID1+0 or sometimes RAID10 and seems to be somewhat standard on raid controllers these days. Needs 4 HDDs though.
    I separate my highspeed and high availability duties. I have a separate computer (but a fancy NAS box will do) that acts as a file server and runs RAID1. My main machine runs RAID0. My photos are on the file server, as are anything else that's important, that takes care of availability. Once every 2 months I backup the RAID1 array to an external HDD and take it to work that covers me from all angles.

    1. Simple hardware failure is taken into account by the RAID1 array.
    2. Catastrophic multiple hardware failures are taken care of by the backup.
    3. Catastrophic destruction of the house is taken care of by the backup being off site at my work.
    4. Catastrophic destruction of this city is taken care of by the backup being in my desk at work which is in an explosion proof building, although I admit that may be overkill :D
     
  5. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.E. WI.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    Thanks for the time to reply Garbz.

    On the idea of a hotswappable HDD dock instead of stand alone ext HDDs .With the hotswapable dock, instead of the cost and cumbersomeness of ext HDDs, the docks use regular interal HDDs ( cheaper) you make two copy's and keep one at home and one in another location. The dock stays connected to the computer but the HDDs just pop in and out like bread slices in a toaster ( hence the nickname). You put the HDD back in its box it came and label it, no cables to fuss with ,smaller in size they store on a shelf or where ever easier. In effect it's the same thing you are doing with ext HDDs but cheaper and easier. Another plus is getting a dock that uses eSATA ports instead of USB 2

    here's one
    StarTech SATADOCK22UE Hard Drive Dock - 2-Bay 2.5"/3.5" SATA to USB 2.0, eSATA at TigerDirect.com
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,523
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    In regards to HDD docks...

    Two more advantages:
    * your are not constantly plugging/unplugging the data connection.
    * your not adding to the mess of unlike power supply/adapters for each brand. No mess.

    Buy a few disks and archive to them as a rotation.. that way you have some sort of incremental type of storage. Store at least one of those disks off site... Mine is at work.

    Two brands that I've had good results:

    Thermaltakeusa Â» Storage Â» Docking Station
    Voyager by NewerTech- Hard Drive Dock for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA Devices provides high-performance and flexibility

    I see the thermaltake branded ones at Best Buy occasionally.
     
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,399
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Flagstaff/Az
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Myself I like to build a top of the line gaming machine, which as a side benefit will process equally well. I plan on doing this later on this year so, Im going to be reading alot on what is now available. The box I have now is starting to show its age.
     
  8. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.E. WI.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm not a gamer and will prolly never use the machine for games but down the road a bit Iknow I will need to edit edit video. I want to get it right now and not have to go "I should have done this" down the road
     
  9. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,399
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Flagstaff/Az
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well I dont game much anymore but, they are built for speed so, they work out as good editing machines as a side benefit. This one i built is just now showing its age a five years old so, I see it as best bang for the buck.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have one problem with HDD docks (and I will say right now I haven't used them and haven't come across the problem myself).

    These docks are brought from a "design restrictions be damned" mentality. They provide functionality that SATA was never designed for and eSATA was designed to address. Namely the insertion rating of the SATA connector. The connectors on motherboards, and harddisks were only ever rated to 50 insertions after which there is no guarantee that the incredibly thin connections haven't worn away from the connector surface. This kind of damage is one of the things the far more rugged eSATA connector addresses (5000+ insertions).

    You may notice a lot of dedicated solutions to this problem which specifically state the insertion rating of the device. I highly recommend you look into a proper external harddisk case with hotswap caddies. The hdd is inserted once into the caddy, and the caddy has connectors with very different ratings on back designed for constant removal and re-connection.

    It's not an isolated problem and I saw a while ago a thread on WD's community forums about a rejected warranty claim with a link pointing to the WD website explaining that a sata connector is only designed for single connection applications.

    This is your data, so do yourself the favour of spending the few dollars extra.
     
  11. wheresnifty

    wheresnifty TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    richmond
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    you may think about getting a high end workstation video card... or 2 of them and set them up in SLI if they are nvidia card.

    Also, is raid 5 still in? THats mirrored with striping as long as you have 3 identical hard drives... its kind of the same thing as raid 1+0 which uses 4 hard drives.

    maybe invest in large SSD cards in striping for super speed then 3 i terabyte drives in raid 5 so you have the speed + backup...

    lol.. its just a thought, i have never worked with raids.
     
  12. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Don't forget a a good or at least decent IPS display;There no sense in spending all that money on a computer if you cant see the results accurately. I would go for multiple displays myself. I seem to be much more productive viewing different info on each screen.

    As a side note:
    Does anyone know If light room will work with more than 2 monitors. I would love to have one screen for the main view, one Loupe screen for landscape oriented photos, and one screen in portrait orientation. Can you view two Loupe windows at once? can it be configured To display images on correctly oriented screens automatically?
    Anyway I guess I could email Adobe.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
build a computer for photo editing
,
build a pc for photo editing
,
build photo editing computer
,

building a computer for photo editing

,

building a photo editing computer

,
building a photography computer
,
building photo editing computer
,
computer build for photo editing
,

how to build a computer for photo editing

,

photo editing computer build