Digital Darkroom Computer

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by uplander, Apr 3, 2008.

  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
    I am planning a digital darkroom. I'm going to have a dedicated computer and moniter. The choices are buying an off the shelf computer ala Dell or Lenovo ect. ect.. Or buying a barebone kit and building a custom computer. Either way, what would you put in it and what would you leave out, hardware and software.

    I have an idea of what I want but would like to hear what others would do and see if I am missing somehting and as always a good discussion tends to create the best engineering.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm no expert, but I'd suggest that you load up on RAM. I've heard that a high end video card isn't really necessary for photo editing so don't waste money there. You may want plenty of storage space for photo storage and backup.

    One thing would probably be a good area to spend money would be a good quality monitor and calibration system. Most LCD monitors have the brightness cranked up too high for accurate color editing.

    You might consider a tablet for photo editing. Wacom seems to be the brand of choice.
     
  3. I rarely give this answer, but you're going to want the best.

    Fast processor - image processing is resource-intensive, so get something fast

    Big RAM - image files can be big, you may have several open, and you want your system to switch back and forth easily.

    Big Hard Drive - oh my, image files add up quickly.

    Back-up Device - you want to back your images up to an external hard-drive, and /or burn them to DVDs.

    A good printer. I like Epsons.

    Color-calibration tool - get a color spider or something like that. They're not that expensive, and well worth it.

    Agreed with Mike, a high-end video card is NOT mission-critical, that would only be for video or games.
     
  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
    I'd say:

    Reasonable processor: I edited photos a few years ago too, even my cheap Core2Duo 6300 makes short work of editing images under 50mpx.

    Big RAM: A must. Photoshop quickly consumes 2gb when you get the layers going.

    2 HDDs in Raid0: Speed is key here often.

    Backup device.

    High end Screen. Common LCDs are crap. Look for high end panels like the Apple Cinema displays, NEC Spectraview, Eizo, Samsung ColourSmart, and any other In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. This makes a hell of a lot of difference.

    Good printer as mentioned.

    Good video card is not critical in one sense, but be aware that some video cards are crap for 2D. My Nvidia 7600GTS for instance shows significant branding in gradients using DVI at 1920x1200.
     
  5. chinpokojed

    chinpokojed TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    http://www.apple.com/macpro/

    8 Core Mac Pro with at least 8GB of ram.

    For a backup solution I recommend getting at least a 1TB NAS device and setting it up as a RAID 5, and also backing up to DVD or CD. A more pro solution is a tape system, but more expensive in the long run and slow to backup or restore.

    Get a Dell 30" or 24" ultrasharp display or one of the Apple Cinema displays and the Xrite EyeOne calibrator.

    Printers are a whole other can of worms, let me know how big you want to print and I'll tell you the printer ;)
     
  6. 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 suggestions.
    I hadn't thought of doing a RAID setup but it really is the way to go with all computers nowadays. I really need to research more on monitors .calibration devices and such.
     
  7. 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
    Just bear in mind that with RAID0 your reliability halves. Investing in a solid backup solution is more important than speed. I would not RAID0 unless you have some kind of other redundant storage. (RAID1 array, external drive, and more importantly copies of everything in 2 places)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

darkroom computer

,

digital darkroom computer