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Sensible PC spec for editing?

Posted 14/10/2016 - 11:48 Link
I bought ACDSee 9 earlier in the summer (should have clicked that it was on offer for a reason and 10 was about to come out).

My laptop meets the minimum specs, but it's not particularly fast or smooth. Googling for answers brings up the usual suspects, but they're all advocating spec's which would cost 800-1000, which isn't my budget!

Anyone built a PC recently for managing/editing photos for a sensible budget (~450)?
Edited by thisisnotaspoon: 14/10/2016 - 12:10
Posted 14/10/2016 - 12:41 Link
Have you investigated whether you can increase the memory in your laptop.
Posted 14/10/2016 - 14:28 Link
Extra RAM memory if possible helps especially if the machine is using shared main RAM memory for graphics rather than often faster dedicated. Windows 10 uses less than previous versions but 4gb RAM would be a minimum if shared graphic memory.Most laptops have a cover underneath to allow one extra chip to be fitted. Crucial do guaranteed upgrades if you give them your model number.

Software optimised for Windows 10 in 64 bit mode also makes as big a difference I find, especially with all the modern multi core Intel processors from the cheap i3 to the posh 8 core i7 ranges. I have no experience of the AMD chips.

Otherwise make sure minimal add ons/apps are using memory at start up, that you don't have a very high res image/images as background (resize them to your screen resolution) or a desktop cluttered with files rather than shortcuts.

Finally ensure Windows own or any ISP provided management software (Norton/McAfee) auto clean up and defragmentation weekly checks are operation while the computer is on, preferably not when you are working. I've checked many laptops where such servicing is set for 0200 am but the owner turns it off before bed!

Hope that helps.
Posted 14/10/2016 - 14:30 Link
Maybe I'm lucky but I use a three year old laptop with a Pentium dual core and 8gb RAM. The graphics are the old HD2000 on board.

Windows 10 64 bit.

I use LR, Corel PSP and DxO 9 without problem.

I wonder sometimes about minimum spec.

Having said that, I don't batch process. I guess that if I did I would need better resources.


Edited by Simonmac: 14/10/2016 - 14:31
Posted 14/10/2016 - 17:21 Link .

Generally, i3 will suffice, but I5 would be more future proof; RAM is what you want a lot of. The performance difference in Photoshop between an equal system with 4, 8 or 16 is clearly visible. It's worth every penny. GPU, integrated is plenty; GPU acceleration function in photo editing programs often causes more hassle than it's worth.

So a 3GHz+ clocked CPU (i3 or i5) with a fast drive (7200rpm) and abundant RAM (16GB) is sufficient for extremely comfortable photo editing and many retailers in the UK will offer custom systems at around 500GBP.

You could just try to hunt the parts yourself and probably assemble it all for 50-80 quid cheaper. Bear in mind Black Friday is coming up; you may be able to get a decent deal on a package from a place like Scan, Aria or Overclockers.
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Posted 14/10/2016 - 18:33 Link
I use a desktop and checked only days ago on prices and quite well spec's ones start around 400 for the box alone. I did not check laptop prices.

I prefer the desktop option and my somewhat elderly Pentium 4 3.2ghz, now windows 7, with 2gb of ram works pretty well.

I had been looking at costs wondering how much faster a new PC would be in real use.

The PC in question was an xp machine with 1gb ram but older type ram, I not only increased the amount of ram to the amount restricted by the motherboard (seems odd but I stuck to the specs) but updated the type and amount of ram to the most up to date ram it could use.

I noted that whist using the pc that without being connected to the interet it is noticably faster than being connected.

Have you tried using your lap top for editing with wifi off - if so you may use it that way and/reconnect to wifi once you are ready to use the tinterweb

My home pc is quick enough for me not to bother disconnect it from the router but if i am in a rush I may do so.

My work pc has an i3 (I think) clocked at 3.4ghz and 8gb of ram - it is not noticably quicker than my home pc which surprised me - but unplug the internet cable and it flies along in comparison.

If turning wifi off (assuming you have it connected in the first place ) speeds yours up enough (if at all) you may avoid the need to upgrade.

My assumption is that the internet and the associated programs do enough to slow matters down significantly.

if you need to upgrade it try an internet search as the advice above seems the same or similar to the info I read only days ago.

I hope this helps.


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Posted 14/10/2016 - 21:09 Link
I don't think you would need to pay any more than 300.00 for a desktop, and 350 for a laptop that would be plenty powerful enough for photos. I currently use a Win10 Lenovo laptop, i3, 8GB ram, that cost 289.00 on special at Curries...... It's completely fine for RAW conversion and PS CS2 free licence that I use.

Where you can really spend more is on the best sophisticated monitor types, but I've never bothered, I'm content with the standard sort of HD screen you get on laptops.
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Posted 15/10/2016 - 13:07 Link
Think about it this way:
If you use on-PC software, all you need is something that is faster than your keystrokes or mouse clicks.
Like Nigel says, you do not need a super duper monitor, but a big one is nice.
A big one that is matched to your printer is even better.
I used to use a 17" square LG, and what I saw on the screen came out of the printer.
I replaced it with a 22" widescreen LG, and have to make a set of adjustments in PS or elements to get the printout I want. It only takes seconds but those seconds eat up any speed advantage the PC has.
An accurate (but totally useless) answer would be a PC that is fast enough for you, with a suitable monitor.
Think before you buy!

And the same question used to be asked about PCs for word processing years ago.
Rven when processor speeds were down to a few hundred Hz, and RAM at about 640K, the PC was always faster than the person at the keyboard.

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Posted 15/10/2016 - 16:36 Link
The current laptop is an i3 2.4ghz dual core, been a while since I took an active interest in computing but IIRC that's 2x 2.4, whereas even a basic new PC would be 4x 2.7 (i.e. over 2x the power?).

More RAM would probably help. But it also overheats, even when on a laptop stand at my desk so it needs new fan too.

And file transfers take ages by USB-2, so USB-3 would be nice to have.

It was as cheap as possible to get a laptop 5 years ago, so it's probably a bit underpowered even though it's faster than it used to be with a clean install of windows 10.

You could just try to hunt the parts yourself and probably assemble it all for 50-80 quid cheaper. Bear in mind Black Friday is coming up; you may be able to get a decent deal on a package from a place like Scan, Aria or Overclockers.

I was looking at uk.pcpartpicker, problem is, with 10-15 parts to pick, even when just trying to match a 400 PC from Curry's it comes out at 700 by the time you've added 20 of RAM, a more efficient PSU, slightly faster HDD, sightly quieter cooler, all those 20's add up!

I suppose the sensible thing to do (and the way they get the prices down on off the shelf builds) would be to just go with the 5 case, PSU, fan etc, and then upgrade to the 40 ones when funds allow.
Posted 15/10/2016 - 17:09 Link
Intel is faster than AMD for Photoshop. I went for an Intel Core i5 4440 (145) and 16gb Skill RipjawsX RAM. I can't see a lot of difference from 8GB.

The stock Intel 4440 FAN is very quiet no need to replace it unless you want to overclock. I don't think the 4440 can be overclocked.


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Edited by Algernon: 15/10/2016 - 17:10

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