New Computer Build

tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
edited December 2014 in General Discussions
New computer to replace my old build that is 6+ years old now.

Two configurations I am looking at are X99 motherboard, I7 5820K with DDR4 RAM vs Z97 motherboard, I7 4790K with DDR3 RAM. Both setups with something like the GTX 760 or R9 270X or 280 graphics card.

500 GB solid state drive that I will purchase now/soon to use on my current machine until I get all the parts for the new one. Get 2 x 5 TB internal drives for storage and backup.

With costs being a factor I will have to skimp a bit more on some of the parts if I get the newest stuff compared to the DDR3 RAM setup.

Thoughts?
Post edited by tcole1983 on
D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
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Comments

  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    edited December 2014
    I was looking at a new CPU as well. With a D810 I am now likely having to build a raided storage, but most of the good raid cards require server MBs. I was looking at the X99/5820 set up as well, but ultimately there is nothing wrong with my current processor or memory (I have a 4 year old system that chugs along nicely) so decided against it. My biggest need is for storage, if I pull the trigger it will be on a server MB to go with a good RAID card along with some SAS drives. I might just cheap out and stick a new HD in my current system. I also thought about converting my router into a hypervisor-based machine and running network attached storage...but I just don't trust the Internet these days enough to do so...a separate NAS running off a second MOBO jack or ethernet card is a possibility but is expensive enough that I would prefer to just upgrade the main computer for only a little more.

    @tcole, what is limiting on your current system?
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • SportsSports Posts: 365Member
    You need a graphics card for games, but not necessarily for photo editing.
    Many Z97 MBs offer 2 video outputs and/or 4K directly from the CPU, but you need to investigate the details to get the right stuff. I have an i7 4790 that supports it, but I don't know about the 5820.
    If it doesn't work out, or your needs change, you can always buy a graphics card later.
    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Get a Mac and you'll never look back:)
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    Get a Mac and you'll never look back:)
    The problem with this is that even the current top of the line mac mini has about the same computing power as my 4 year old computer (which I bought for a quarter of mac's price BTW).
    I like OSX but the mac also does not have nearly the same sophisticated tools available for blocking things that hackers have at their disposal these days.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    Not exactly true...

    I have the (2013) Mac Pro and in my opinion nothing comes close in the PC arena in terms of power for that price. I know it is an expensive piece of computery, but you get a whole lot of equipment. I only use a Mac Mini for media box with my TV setup, so can't speak for them. But, I certainly don't know where you can get a 3GHz i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD setup for a quarter of USD1.200,- Not here in Greenland...

    However, I run a Mac only household, and we never, not even once, have had problems with hackers, viruses, trojans, or anything the like, and all I use is a firewall on my internet, a secure WiFi network, ClamXav sentry and AdBlock Plus on all Macs. I have two ReadyNAS boxes that are open to the internet (HTTPS and port forwarding), and again, never have had any scares.

    When I say it is safe, I can guarantee you I am a critical user... I have worked as CISO in two big European companies, and currently am the CTO at a tech house...
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited December 2014
    Mac isn't an option. Won't happen. I just got an iphone 6 for work and want to smash the thing 8-}

    Current setup is Radeon HD 3870 graphics card, 4GB DDR2 800 RAM, Intel Q6600 core 2 quad core 2.4 GHz, Intel D975XBX2 motherboard.

    Basically looking for gains in almost all aspects. I know the graphics card isn't important for most of what I do, but I play a game every once in a while. Need more and faster RAM, CPU is OK, but it maxes out when editing pictures. USB 3 would be nice when transferring files. Basically I can't do anything with the motherboard I have as I could only add 4 more GB of RAM, but it costs way too much now because it is hard to find.

    I was really waiting for the DDR4, but it seems like it might not be that beneficial or cost friendly.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    edited December 2014
    Not here in Greenland...
    Must be great for you, but here in the good ole USA mac's are targeted frequently as most executives use them when traveling... its just not widely known. You really can't trust anyone these days, and that is the major problem as virtually every system is compromised.

    @Killerbob, what firewall are you running that's good for the mac?
    Also, check out this well publicized link on the Synology NAS
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8337/synology-advises-users-of-synolocker-ransomware
    or other goodies that may hit a little closer to home:
    https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/103175-rootkit-on-my-readynas-516-check-your-boxes/

    I still stand by the notion that connecting a NAS to the Internet is too risky.
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    @manhattenboy, at home as well as at work I use a Fortigate FW, and my inside switches are Apple TCs. I know I can't trust anyone, especially when I travel to the US, which is why I depend solely on my VPN connections when doing anything remotely sensitive. If I am traveling "heavy" I bring a small Fortigate Switch/FW...

    As for NAS vulnerabilities, my ReadyNASes are inside my LAN, and are "only" accessed from outside by way of HTTPS/MAC addressing/ID-PW. I have been using that setup for years, and NEVER had any problems. Also I keep everything updated.

    I am not saying anyone is immune to the idiots out there, just that good precautions go a long way. In addition to protecting my network, I have both a cold and a hot backup, the cold one stored elsewhere. I juggle between the two and hence if anyone screws with my system, I can restore from backup at anytime, having only lost hours of data, never days...

  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I am using a recent (last month) mac pro with 6 xeon e5 cores and two v500 video cards. Internal SSD as the system drive, and all data on a 4 bay thunderbolt 2 enclosure ( OWC thunderbay 4) which is a 20 gbit/sec I/O channel (usb 3 is 5 gbit/sec). The internal backplane is 30 gbit/sec (SATA2 is 6 gbit/sec). Nothing I have seen in the PC world approaches this for real computing power, which more than just the cores and RAM amount. Gaming machines which come close are actually more expensive. This machine is currently $3,500 at B & H.

    I run hourly (time machine), and daily (using CCC ) backups to locally attached drives, again to drives which are detached from any computer after backup, and to a NAS (synology 412+ which is only operated inside my firewall) in a secure separate part of the house. I also rotate weekly backup drives to my childrens homes.

    All backup drives are encrypted.

    I also operate applications from an ID that has no admin privileges and is locked out of updating system libraries.

    Is all this a pain in the ***, yes, but I have never lost a byte of data either professionally or personally in 40 years, nor had any hacking or malware issues since I switched to Mac.

    In the last week I have had two friends who a short while ago told me that security was too inconvenient, lose their data to ransomware hacks.

    I made the change when I got tired of periodically wiping my Windows C drive and re-installing both Windows and my applications from distribution media as the only reliable method of eliminating malware (for a short while).

    No configuration is hack proof, but OSX is BSD Unix, and much easier to secure than Consumer windows, particularly if mated to good operating procedures. Windows NT is a commercial operating system , is a completely separate product, and won't even run most of the consumer applications.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Oh gosh...not a PC vs Apple argument. Can we keep it on topic?

    There isn't anyway I am buying Apple and it is about building a computer.

    Maybe this is the wrong forum for this discussion...thought more might have experience with PC building, but doesn't seem like many do.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    I have a 250 GB SSD and a 1TB internal. I backup the SSD on a daily automated basis to the 1TB internal using Macrium Reflect. I have an image with all the programs on it that I like before I started using it seriously. Every six months I restore that image and update the programs. I find that this neutralized that slow and inevitable slowdown of Windows as the junk creeps in.

    The 1 TB internal is backed up to two 1TB externals once a week. Photos are on a 2 TB external that is backed up to another two 2 TB external once a week. I use SyncBack for this. Once a month I take one of each to the bank and swap them out of a safety deposit box.

    Most non photo data is on my 1TB internal. "Daily update files" (eg. Email) are backed up on Mozy continuously.

    Almost as good as the RAID setup with a mirrored site in another city at the office that the IT department administers (they report to me). But a fraction of the cost........
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    :) No more concerning types of computers...

    However, make sure you get the fastest storage you can afford, internally and externally. For any photography work the de facto standard is the Adobe Creative package, and in here you can define you various storage types. Having the app on a super fast SSD or even better, on a PCIe based storage solution, is good, but having a separate (equally fast) scratch disk, is even better. Also where you store your files is important.

    A USB3 solution will seem slow in comparison to a Thunderbolt solution. Thunderbolt is simply that much faster. A USB3 is theoretically 5GB/s, a Thunderbolt 10GB/s, and a Thunderbolt 2 20GB/s. Hence the interface can/will be a bottleneck on USB3, but not on TB, or TB2. This is important when you're talking external storage.

    I mention this because storage is much more likely to be your bottleneck in almost any computer you buy today (unless you game, in which case the graphics card of course is). Any i5/i7 CPU, on any modern MoBo, with a decent amount of RAM (16GB+), and (almost) any new graphics card, will be far enough for any photo editing. Storage however is the key in dealing with big apps and big files, and hence you should really focus on the storage.

    And before the video folks go beserk; I know that for video editing anything I just said may not hold true... :)
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Even editing 36mp D800/810 files, my mac pro with 6 xeon e5 cores and two D500 video cards renders images notably faster (2-3 times faster for capture, 5-6 times faster in PS / ACR) than my quad core i7 mac mini, each with 16gb RAM. I do not know if the drivers are the 6 3.5 ghz cores vs 4 2.6 ghz cores, the much faster video cards, or the 30 vs 6 gbit/sec backplane, most likely all of them. The reason for the greater improvement in PS / ACR is that they are configured to use the GPU's in the graphics cards as accelerators.

    When writing the output files, Thunderbolt 2 is noticeably faster than SATA even with the same 7200 rpm 3TB drives.

    I will be trying a raid 0 array of two SSD's in the thunderbolt tower for even faster write speeds. I did not use raid 0 with spinning drives because if one fails, the entire array is lost, but I have more confidence in SSD's, all rigorously backed up of course.

    . ... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,295Member
    @ tcole - your system sounds similar to my current Win7 box - all programs on an SSD (250 GB or so, IIRC), then data stored on one of two internal 3TB drives. Data then backed up to the other internal drive as well as an external 3TB drive. Haven't tried setting up a NAS yet.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited December 2014
    You can get dedicated NAS devises pretty reasonably these days .. they usually include Raid so the data stored on them are quite safe. You just have to buy the hard drives plug them in (get a spare one) and you are set.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Having tried many NAS arrays, I think the synology are the easiest to set up and very reliable.

    ..H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    edited December 2014
    Even editing 36mp D800/810 files, my mac pro with 6 xeon e5 cores and two D500 video cards renders images notably faster (2-3 times faster for capture, 5-6 times faster in PS / ACR) than my quad core i7 mac mini, each with 16gb RAM.
    An example:

    On my Mac Pro I have recorded the following speeds;

    Internal PCIe SSD - 970MB/s write, 990MB/s read
    External TB2 SSD Raid0 - 750MB/s write, 990MB/s read
    External TB2 PCIe SSD - 520MB/s write, 710MB/s read
    External Ethernet NAS Raid5 - 110MB/s write, 110MB/s read
    External USB3 HDD - 55MB/s write, 58MB/s read

    You are right that the drivers behind the faster Mac Pro are a bit of everything, but a major one which you do not mention is that your Mac Mini probably runs of a HDD or an SSD. Your Mac Pro runs of PCIe SSD storage, which is much faster.

    As for storing big files on NASes, that is a very sound and safe solution, but it is inherently slow. Most NAS systems utilise the Ethernet connections, i.e. is connected via your LAN, and even with Gigabit networks, they are not nearly as fast as an Thunderbolt connected storage solution. This especially is true when working on 100MB PS files...
    Post edited by Killerbob on
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    @killerbob

    Thank you for the benchmarks, they are very helpful, and your analysis is right on. My mini runs an SSD internally, but all photo storage was to the same thunderbolt 2 enclosure, the mini itself only supports T1.

    I use NAS for incremental backup to another more secure location, and for moving data between systems. I keep only system and application program libraries on the internal PCie SSD of the mac pro, and all data on a Raid 1 array on the Thunderbolt 2 enclosure (an OWC thunderbay 4). That is why I will be trying a raid 0 array of two SSD's in the thunderbolt tower.

    Regards ... Harold
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I will just have to see how the prices are when I get the funds to buy those parts. Just like camera stuff I hate to buy things that already have newer versions. Even if I couldn't get tons of DDR4 ram the prices will come down later and I could get more at that time.

    I need to look up the NAS and storage options. I am not up to date on that stuff.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited December 2014
    I must admit I have been out of touch with the PC tech .. My pc has been serving its purpose admirably and I have no need for an upgrade although the specs are a bit low these days.. my recent upgrading to Mint 17.1 has been a lot of tech fun and good old linux speeds up as you upgrade instead of windows that slows down the longer you use it ! However, this thread had got me looking at some of the new tech and one thing that caught my eye is the SSHD drives. These hybrid drives seem really interesting and real world useful. especially for me who boot up multiple operating systems. The automatically configuration of the drive structure and allocation of sectors to the NAND makes alot of sense for my multiple OS systems so that I can get the advantage of the speed of SSD and not worry abut configuring multiple OS in different ways.

    PS oh one more thing about the Hybrid drive.. it includes capacitors that have enough power to flush the cache in case of power cuts! No worries about your low level data not being written !
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 303Member
    So, one thing compelling me to use darktable is its incorporation of OpenCL to offload graphics processing to video card GPUs. Anybody have any experience with that in darktable, or any other post-processing software?
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Photoshop CS-6 has in performance preferences, the ability to specify offloading graphics processing to video card GPUs .

    It screams on the new mac pro. (whose video cards can support 4 concurrent 4K monitors).

    I do not know darktable, but offloading offload graphics processing to video card GPUs is certainly beneficial if you have high end video cards,

    ...H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    FWIW, Lightroom takes approximately, roughly, essentially ZERO advantage of the GPU. Even version 6 will not have that support. Photoshop uses it, but only for these sorts of operations: Liquify, Warp, Lighting Effects and the Oil Paint filter. The only way to know if darktable's implementation of OpenGL is effective with your GPU is to try it. You may find it is faster with GPU support turned off.

    GPUs are primarily designed for video games, any other benefits are purely accidental, or coincidental if you are an optimist.

    Just for completeness sake, here are all of the other functions that use the GPU in some way:
    Scrubby Zoom.
    Heads Up Display (HUD) color picker
    Color sampling ring
    Brush dynamic resize and hardness control
    Bristle Brush tip previews
    Rule of thirds crop grid overlay
    Zoom enhancements. Smooth display at all zoom levels and temporary zoom
    Animated transitions for one-stop zoom
    Flick-panning
    Rotate the canvas
    View nonsquare pixel images
    Pixel grid
    Adobe Color Engine (ACE).
    Draw Brush tip cursors
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    At least for my build I am not super worried about the graphics card. My hd3870 still runs whatever I play. I wouldn't spend more than $200. The ok graphics cards now are ten times more powerful than my current one.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,221Member
    edited December 2014
    So, one thing compelling me to use darktable is its incorporation of OpenCL to offload graphics processing to video card GPUs. Anybody have any experience with that in darktable, or any other post-processing software?
    I have used darktable, and Rawtherapee (both open source RAW editors based on the same underlying software) and it's an interesting piece of software. Very powerful RAW editing tool, but you'll need other software to do more serious work. It has features that Lightroom does not have, but then again Lightroom has tools darktable does not. darktable's UI is tedious at best, with way to many duplicated elements and it takes twice or three times as long to get the same results as more mainstream software. That said there are times when the extra work required pays off, but there is no way of knowing that ahead of time.

    Most modern RAW editors take advantage of the GPU via OpenCL (Adobe products aside), so there is nothing special about darktable in that regard.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
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