16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 31, 2012 8:29 AM by trshaner RSS

    Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4

    1100DPSE9

      Hi all,

       

      I am running LR4 on Win 7 32 bit, 3gb ram, intel core 2 duo 2.53ghz, ATI Radeon HD3650 512mb graphics.

      Using a Canon 7D in raw so average image is 25mb.

      Catalog right now is 14000 images and growing fast.

       

      I have need a new computer and have made the decision to stay with windows.

       

      Buying a desktop and the only thing I use this computer for is photography.

       

      I am looking to get something as fast as possible, on the other hand I don't want to throw

      away maybe 500 extra USD for only a 5% increase in performance speed on LR4 and I have

      no idea where to start. Is there anybody out the who can give me some advice on what I should

      go for keeping in mind the law of diminishing returns financially.

       

      Where I am right now is somewhere around the 1000 USD price point for an core i7 3.6ghz

      10GB RAM, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7570, and 128GB solid state drive to run LR4 on. (i am ok

      on knowing what my hard drive needs are)

       

      Can I get away with say 90% of the performance above with an i5 instead? Is the solid state drive

      always worth it no matter the processor?  What about the graphics card, should I worry about the

      GB on it? I want to be able to have a two monitor setup.

       

      I know this is a really open ended question but I would appreciate if anyone can give me any feedback.

      If I can save 300 dollars or so I could use that money to buy another flash or maybe a midrange prime,

      so I just don't want to toss money out the window that is not going to speed up my workflow.  I may be

      expecting too much here but I just don't want to see any "loading" wheels when going 1:1, I want to be

      able to switch between modules instantly and I want to be able to export 100 jpgs without sitting around

      for a half hour or more.

       

      If anyone can give me any advice I would really appreciate it!

        • 1. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
          Scooby007 Community Member

          If you want to increase performance, just get a tower (much more power for the money than a laptop, and a whole different set of more powerful CPUs available), a very fast cpu (I would definitely not get an i5), a 64 bit OS (critical to access more ram), and as much ram as possible (I would go for 16)

           

          CPUs - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html (I'm guessing the one you're considering @ 3.6ghz is the i7 3820 - which is blazing fast and very affordable

           

          If I can save 300 dollars or so I could use that money to buy another flash or maybe a midrange prime,

          so I just don't want to toss money out the window that is not going to speed up my workflow.

           

          I would forget about saving 300 and instead maybe even spend more than your original budget ($1k is cutting it close, $1,200 more doable). Computer is a long term investment, usually at least 2-3 years. The extra $ is soon forgotten and you make it back in no time at all - the payoff in being able to work faster is immense, dwarfing any up front savings IMO

          • 2. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
            1100DPSE9 Community Member

            Thanks Brett,

             

            So you are saying if I take it up another level (to the 1200 USD pricepoint, I am familiar with these types of machines)

            from where I am looking at (1000 USD) and I will be able to see significant improvements in my workflow speed?

            • 3. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
              Scooby007 Community Member

              I don't think you can quite get into the very fast cpus at 1k, not at NewEgg anyway, maybe if you did a build. I jumped up to $1,200 (computer, no monitor) and got the i7 2600k, which at the time was the fifth fastest consumer cpu available out of hundreds, 16gb ram, big hdd, esata ports (important for me), etc.

               

              For me this was coming from an i3 2.2, 4gb ram setup, and the difference was astounding, as one might expect.  LR was at least 3x faster across the board (I did some time tests for preview rendering that were 5x faster - 10 minutes instead of 50), I can edit full 1080 video real time in Vegas where I could barely even play clips in VLC before, etc. etc., I can scrubby zoom on a 1gb file in Photoshop as smooth as butter. Best $1,200 I ever spent.

              • 4. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                1100DPSE9 Community Member

                Thanks again, very helpful especially to remember video if I start going there. Will check out

                newegg, haven't thought about them since the early 90's in manhattan.

                • 5. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                  Scooby007 Community Member

                  I have need a new computer and have made the decision to stay with windows.

                   

                  kudos on that too, win7 is a brilliant operating system - fast, stable, efficient and productive, highly customizable, beautifiul to look at

                  • 6. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                    trshaner@optonline.net Community Member

                    I good site for checking relative processor performance:

                     

                    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

                     

                    The PassMark performance numbers closely reflect differences in performance with LR's  CPU intensive operations. Since memory is so cheap today I would also recommend 16GB upfront over the 10GB you have listed.

                     

                    Intel Core i7-3930K @ 3.20GHz13,537  $599.99*

                    22.56 Price/Performance

                     

                    Intel Core i7-3820 @ 3.60GHz9,646  $311.44*

                    30.97 Price/Performance

                     

                    Intel Core i5-2550K @ 3.40GHz6,850 $229.99*

                    29.78 Price/Performance

                     

                    The i7-3820 provides the best price/performance at a "cost" difference of about $80. Actual costs will be higher and is dependent on your source (Dell/HP versus DIY). There are also other considerations such as support for Virtualization (VT/d), which the i7 supports and i5 does not. This allows you to run Windows 7 'XP Mode' with hardware assist, for support of legacy software that won't run under Windows 7, etc. IMHO, this alone is worth the extra $80+.

                    • 7. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                      areohbee Community Member

                      AMD-based systems run Lr4 super-good too!

                      • 8. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                        1100DPSE9 Community Member

                        Very helpful information trshaner..  It looks like I am definintely going to be going with the higher spec model than

                        I originally looked at.  I did see the top level i7-3930k in my research.  Also sold on 16GB ram.

                         

                        I am wondering if I would see a noticeable increase in performance with a solid state drive?

                         

                        For example, on initial imports bring them into the SSD with a second copy sent to the conventional

                        hard drive.  When I am done working on the photos and as the solid state drive fills I can offload them

                        as neccessary.

                        • 9. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                          vbnut

                          Anyone have any thoughts (pro or con) on getting an Intel Xeon computer (Windows7) to run LR4 (and some virtual machines)?  This article (admittedly Intel propaganda and a bit dated) claims Xeon is faster than i5 and has better graphics performance and ECC (better reliability) that i7.  Does anyone have a personal experience to confirm or contradict this?

                          • 10. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                            SistersCountry Community Member

                            I just finished putting a system together that I spec'd out for LR4 and CS5/6. I think the advice of going a little stronger than you planned by just a few hundred dollars will pay off in another year or two of use than if you cut corners going in. When spec'd mine I ordered the i7-2600k like Brett did and I think it is a darned good choice. It sits right next to the i7-3820 in value and performance on the CPU Charts that TRShaner is referring to. I do see posts that gamers are shying away from the 3820 as it is not overclockable like the 2600k is. That may not be an issue here but I purposely went with the overclockable chip along with a rock solid overclockable Intel Z68 motherboard just for future options. The chip price is not quoted below as NewEgg had run out of the 2600k when I submitted the order. After researching a fair amount I stepped back just a tad on the video card where I could have spent about $60 more as this GTX460 should be fine when not running 3D games. It seems that CS and LR are not extremely dependent upon the cards in the way games and full video are.

                             

                            I chose a 64gig SSD and just have Windows 7 Pro 64bit and swap files on it. My Program Files are on a 7200RPM SATA drive and I am using a different SATA HDD for the photos. I don't have experience as to performance benefits with actually handling the photos on a SSD but I do know that there are some issues with longevity when they are constantly rewriting files. I couldn't afford to invest too much in SSD's but I did want the OS on one. These are NewEgg prices that I paid last month and I did get a couple of rebates ($65?) that aren't listed here which I am now receiving. The i7-2600k added $338 with shipping and the items below were $730 with shipping. Total less than $1100 shipped (plus rebates to boot) but this is no monitors or HDD's.  The Ram chips are 1600ghz chips that can be used with this motherboard. This MB also has USB 3.0, bluetooth and wireless built in and also uses inVirtu technology allowing the onboard GPU to be used in combo with the GTX460. I upgraded CPU Fans and power supply is a good 500W gold rated one. NOTE: I have ordered 8 more gigs of RAM that I now see this combo would be using nicely now that I have played with it a while. I should have ordered the 16megs at the get go as this combo knows how to use it well. Add another $46 to get to 16gigs.

                             

                            Gary

                             

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                            • 11. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                              1100DPSE9 Community Member

                              Thanks sisters, also very helpful. I appreciate everyone's input. I feel confident now that I will be able to get the performance

                              I am looking for without spending more than I need to.  I am about 2 months out from buying (this is about how much HDD space

                              I have left).  Going to use this time to research building my own custom system to see if I can save some money.

                              • 12. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                                areohbee Community Member

                                1100DPSE9 wrote:

                                 

                                Going to use this time to research building my own custom system to see if I can save some money.

                                 

                                Dunno how much money you'll save, but you can assure you get just what you want that way, and your system will be clean...

                                • 13. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                                  SistersCountry Community Member

                                  Newegg has a couple of very good videos on their site dealing with selecting components as well as the actual assembly of all of the parts once you get them. This was my first build and I enjoyed the process, especially the research side. Also... tomshardware.com is a great resource with wonderful hardware forums and comparitive reviews.

                                   

                                  As Rob points out, you don't get any of the usual software bloat when you build your own! Good Luck

                                  • 14. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                                    JoJo310512

                                    Hi all, I am in the same boat. I am looking for a computer that will be mainly used for photo editing in  LR3 and eventually 4. As well as Photoshop.

                                     

                                    Right now I am running it on a 6 year old Gateway computer and it's starting to get sluggish and crashes every now and then. It's time to upgrade and I'd like to get something that is more than powerful enough to run LR well into the future.

                                     

                                    I am not too knowledgeable about computer hardware, and won't be able to build my own. I may be able to install extra RAM, but that's about it.

                                     

                                     

                                    Would someone maybe be able to post some links to computers that would be good out of the box to run LR4? I am looking to spend around $1200 max. I would love to have USB 3.0, a DVD-RW, and at least a 1TB hard drive, and a 64-bit system. Other than that I have no clue about SATA and all that technical stuff... Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

                                    • 15. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                                      1100DPSE9 Community Member

                                      After getting good advice here from everyone and doing some research I have found the best price and ease of shopping from HP. I am going with the HP pavilion HPE H8qe.  Bumped up with the core i7 3230K and 16gb ram 2TB HDD, price is 1479 USD.   Baseline i7 2600 and 8gb ram is only 1099.   Video card is still up in the air but the baseline card is more than enough for photography. Video editing is another thing though.

                                       

                                      I am going to add on an solid state Disk drive and a second internal but have found it cheaper to do it in my own after i get the computer.

                                       

                                      Just my own 2 cents on what has worked for me after doing a lot of comparison shopping online.

                                      And of course this is a windows perspective only, not certain if Mac is an option for u or not but my priority

                                      was performance and cost. I have had zero problems with win7.

                                      • 16. Re: Advice on new computer for Lightroom 4
                                        trshaner CommunityMVP

                                        Just be aware that the Intel next-generation Ivy Bridge processors and chipsets will launch this April 29th for laptop and desktop platforms. The biggest difference between the Sandy Bridge (current) and the new Ivy Bridge desktop and laptop platforms are improvement in native graphics performance (GPU) and power reduction due to 32nM > 22nm die reduction (Tick-Tock). For the first time, the Intel's graphics core will have enough performance to support applications like PS and LR, which means it will be possible to configure a good performing laptop or desktop graphics system without using a separate graphics card. It still won't be enough for serious "gamers," but should run most games reasonably well. There is also some modest improvement in processor performance, as expected.

                                         

                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture))

                                         

                                        http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/processors/intel-ivy-bridge-vs-sandy-br idge-1026232

                                         

                                        http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=743

                                         

                                        On the flip side prices should drop for Sandy Bridge systems as manufacturers "phase-in" the new Ivy Bridge models. Keep an eye on resellers like Amazon and Costco for special deals on HP systems being phased out.