Desktop PC choice


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 10:41
Hi All
While we'd all rather spend money on our cameras/lenses I am going to have to update my desktop soon.

Looking for home use on stills/raw processing. Mostly use Elements 12.

Choice seems to be between Intel i7 and AMD A10. The Intel machines seem to be 200+ more expensive.

Does anyone have real world experience of these processors (backed by 8 gig ram and a I gig graphics card)?

I know SSD drives are great but not many reasonable price machines include them so maybe that's a post purchase upgrade?

K10D,KX, DA 18-55, DA 17-70 AL(IF) SDM, DA*50-135, Sigma 70-300, DAL 50-300mm, Kenko 1.5x, loads of SD cards and even more optimism


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 10:53
Hi There

I'd get more memory if you can, although 8Gb is a decent amount 16Gb gives you much more breathing room when using image editing programs working an raw files. Especially when the the trend is for bigger files with each generation of camera..

I use Mac's rather than PCs but the only advice hold true for both.

FF: Pentax K-1, D-FA* 70-200, D-FA 24-70, D-FA 100, D-FA 28-105, FA 77, FA 43
APSC: K3, K5, DA*50-135, DA*300, Sigma 17-50, Sigma 10-20, 18-55mm, DA 55-300mm, DA35, 1.4TC
4/3: Q10, Q, 01, 02, 06
Fuji XT1, XF18-55, XF27


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 12:22
I always build my own, that way you get the best bit for less, and you have full control of what goes in it.

the only downside is if you cant manage to build it...

for desktops I usually go for AMD CPU's never had one fail & you seem to get a bit more for your money than you do for an Intel.
So go for the AMD, add some more RAM and go for a 2Gb video card....
A few bits & Bobs


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 13:30
For Elements 12 you don't need too high a spec.

A lot depends on whether you want to overclock or not.
Personally I prefer not to and always use Intel. Are
AMD still being developed?

For editing Intels are faster than AMD's I bought an i5 4440 after
looking at this chart...... Most Intels were within
25-30 secs so very little return for more money and
twice as fast as an AMD - A10 6800K

Beware of CPU and memory benchmarks.... they mean little in the
real world.

This page tests some CPU's ....

A 64bit OS is probably an advantage. Memory speed isn't
too important as long as it's 1333MHz or higher. I use
8GB which seems OK. I can't see any difference running
at 1333 or 1866 which is the XMS profile.

Gigabyte boards seem to have a slight edge on the Asus boards
at present and it depends on what you need I needed rear
eSATA ports so I went with an older board Gigabyte z87x-ud4h

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Last Edited by Algernon on 05/09/2014 - 13:36


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 15:18
This is just a general point. I have a Toshiba laptop (now over 2 years old) that is used mainly for processing photos and using the Interweb. It cost about 350, has an AMD processor, 4GB RAM, a Radion GPU, and Windows 7 64-bit OS. When used at home it is connected to a separate monitor, plus a wireless keyboard and mouse; and of course, I can take the laptop with me when I go away from home. I usually have at least the web, Photoshop Elements, and PaintShop Pro running concurrently, and the speed of processing photos from a K-5 II seems fine to me. So it just seems that some suggestions on this and other forums can be somewhat OTT, if all that is required is a machine for processing still images. But obviously, each to his own.



Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 16:38
You could always go for a barebones system, and add your own GFX card and hard drives.
Novatech are highly rated.
Pentax K-3, Pentax K-5.
Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6, Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 WR, Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8
Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8, Pentax D-FA 100MM f/2.8 Macro WR, Pentax DA*300mm f/4.0


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 16:43
I bought an AMD A8 PC with 8Gb a year ago and it handles everything with ease. A bigger disk and more memory will be a better investment than the fastest CPU.


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 16:56
I still just use the internal graphics which make use of some Intel software.
It seems fast enough. I might try a card later for video.

USB3 is essential on a new board. Some USB3 flash drives can
read at over 200MB/s.

One tip about external backup drives.... try to standardise on the
power supply so that you don't need a different one for every
drive. Mine are mostly 12V 3 amp circular plus +ve centre.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Last Edited by Algernon on 05/09/2014 - 16:58


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 18:15
Intel i7 internal graphics only (no card) running a load
of Adobe stuff and 11 No. 1080p videos.......

It looks like at least a GeForce GT 640 would be needed to
show any improvement, but that means a big fan blocking off
some PCIE slots which can be used for other things such as
an IDE Card.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 18:30
To be honest most modern computer can run photoshop and similar editing prigrams without much issue. If your work is dependant on editing lots of images then get the fastest you can afford. For hobby use an i5 processor is fine and instead concentrate on the peripherals, better mouse / trackpad better monitor 24" IPS should be a minimum. These will make more difference to your editing than the fastest all singing pc.

I used to have an i7 16gb ssd laptop and moved to an i5 8gig mac. When editing my club stuff usually 500 images the difference in time is around 10 mins and most of this time is on the export part. So don't worry about pc speed unless absolutely necessary.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 18:39
I have an i5 and it is easily fast enough for Elements, even when making pretty big panoramas.


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 19:38
I'm on my second 8 core (4 actual, 4 virtual) i7 PC having owned the original 920 release. Brilliant as they cope so well multi tasking!

I bought mine two years ago, mid range Lenovo from John Lewis (extended warranty included) for 699. Lots of new models come along around now. My son has just bought a Dell, my it is quick as it does have the SSD for programs and OS. He paid 1100 though.


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 19:51
I am using an AMD A8 - 6500 3.5GHZ quad core with 8GB Ram And 64bit OS and it handles LR and PS simultaneously with no issues - fast and reliable at a very good price!

No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 21:17
Thanks for all your inputs. As Algi said it's the real world performance that matters and so I feel I now have that from you all. Self build is very tempting but then so is the John Lewis 2 year warranty. I wonder if upgrading the ram or adding a second hard drive would void such a warranty?

K10D,KX, DA 18-55, DA 17-70 AL(IF) SDM, DA*50-135, Sigma 70-300, DAL 50-300mm, Kenko 1.5x, loads of SD cards and even more optimism


Link Posted 05/09/2014 - 21:23
The days of warranty sealed PCs are long gone. My latest Lenovo was easy slot in for my 1 TB back up drive from my old machine, very simple, no screwdrivers. Came with instructions on how to do all this. Same applies to RAM. If in doubt ask the retailer.
Last Edited by wvbarnes on 05/09/2014 - 21:38
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