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03-11-2013, 12:36 AM   #1
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Posts: 12
Help me re-build and/or upgrade my do all box, please.

Hi all,

My desktop system has lost its main screen (no power at all) and my second screen is an old CRT that now displays just half of my desktop and is horribly distorted with concave edges - the osd no longer works for shape adjustment but I can scroll horizontally to see all my desktop - which as you can imagine is not very much fun let alone efficient! I wonder if I had a power surge for both screens to go together; and I have no other screen to test my graphics card on.

The box itself is probably worthy of keeping and/or adding to. I am looking to get a new IPS aRGB 10bpc monitor and graphics card to support 10bpc. I like dual screen efficiency but would consider one large screen. My main (dead) screen was 24" 16:10 1920x1200 (.27mm pitch) which is minimum size and pitch I am hoping to replace - would love dual 27" for the extra size and resolution but not sure budget will allow considering all the other ingredients I need to get good colour flow.

Let me say here I am not a professional and really need help to select the best (for money) components for camera to print. More to the point I am an aspiring novice who wants to ensure it is not my workflow (hardware or software) holding me back - so maybe one day I will be worthy of my workflow!

I have recently researched (until my head hurts) and realised how inadequate my set up was and want to rectify it with some help from you please.


Currently I have a box that was built for me from an online store. I will try to list all the relevant components:

Mobo: EVGA Classified 760 SLI
CPU: i7 920 Bloomsfield Revision D0 (stock@2.66GHz)
RAM: Corsair Dominator GT 6GB CL7 1600MHz in tripple channel
GPU: EVGA GTX 275 FTW - hoping to add a Quadro and retain the 275 as Physx (help?) to keep performance for occasional gaming but most importantly for 10bpc colour flow - how do I set this up/will it work?
PSU: 1000W
HDD: 500GB SATA 7200rpm (2x), 160GB SATA 7200rpm (1x)

OS: Windows XP SP2 - looking to upgrade this to OSX and/or Arch Linux (and yes I know my box is not manufactured by Apple)
RAW Converter: PDCU4 - again looking to change to Darktable (not Darkroom)
Image Editor: GIMP 2.8x

Screen(s): 1x dead, 1x CRT that gets blurry after a while - looking at Dell U2413, U2713, U3014 but think I might prefer glossy?
Colour Calibrator: None!
Printer: Brother DCP6690CW - but would use a photo lab with the image colour profile embedded as aRGB or their printer profile.


So to condense, what can you suggest please;

1. 1 or 2 screens aRGB and 10bpc
2. 10bpc graphics card with Display Port out - and that will work with GTX 275 FTW physx? - Quadro 600? Quadro FX3800? FirePro V3800 - what about daisy chaining with DP1.1a? - which card is more likely to work with OSX?
3. Colour calibrator - xrite i1 for dell I believe? Spectrophotometer ColourMunki for printer profiling?

I would really appreciate input to get my workbench up to 10bpc. Have I missed something terminal...

03-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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Miguel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,735
Welcome!

Please search the forum for display recommendations. there are a few good choices.

If you want to build a Hackintosh, then head over to Tonymacx86 for the latest recommendations. I built a photo processing workstation last year and you really have to spec it right. It is also a moving target that is affected by each OS-X sub-release. Well worth doing though.

M
03-11-2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
Thank you for the welcome!


I must admit the display choices per se I think I can manage but I asked here because every situation is unique (and yes I have searched - all over the web). My main emphasis is that I am replacing my screen(s) on the basis of 10bpc throughput. I imagine it is the graphics card where I should start? - but with consideration for all else mentioned earlier.

Maybe I should ask individual questions like; if a card has a single DP1.1a output can I daisy chain 2 or more of the Dell monitors I mentioned? I realise HDMI wont carry enough data so I need DP. Will a physx set up work for what I am suggesting? - under Linux? - under OSX?

BTW thanks for the Tonymacx86 recommendation - I have come across that site and some on their forum are using a similar box to mine so should be do-able - I hope! We just bought an iMac for my partner and I must say I like it (when I am allowed to use it).
03-12-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,735
From what I understand the AMD Firepro and a few Nvidia Quadro carsds support 30-bit color output on higher end wide gamut displays. For a self-proclaimed novice, I'm curious about the output requirements that are driving you to these choices?
Thanks

M

03-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
QuoteQuote:

"self-proclaimed [aspiring] novice"
That's not to say I am aspiring to be a novice...


As said I want to settle on a 10bpc thoughput, hardware and software, for camera to print.

1. I want to see the colours, without proof, that will print i.e. the printer' profiles full gamut (as the working space) whether aRGB or native (with less clipping or rendering than sRGB) while working with the file
2. I want to see the gradation, or see (any) posterization, that will print i.e. the transition of colours already in the printer' working space (whether aRGB or native) while working with the file

In short I want to preview the quality of the print natively while working on the file. Emphasis on quality, whether for sale, worthy of price or for my own discernment.


Perhaps proofing on an 8bpc sRGB screen is more than adequate? Perhaps the starting point is not the graphics card but a question of (preferred) workflow?

I am read (somewhat), I am intelligent (in my modest opinion), perhaps enough so, to realise I need help.
03-14-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,735
I think you are over-reaching a bit based on lack of real world experience.

Soft-proofing is an imperfect estimation at best. A monitor really cannot convey the feel of a print on matte or textured fibpne art paper. Period.

I don't know what you mean by the native working space. For raw images you choose. Most commercial lab printers use sRGB; a few speciality houses use adobeRGB, but your image better be inclusive of those additional colors to be worth it. And you need to have a good relationship with a printer for him or her to work the magic.

I would not spend my money on ultra high-end graphics cards and displays until my working knowledge of color management is well proven, and my prints hold high value. A friend of mine is considered one of the best landscape photographers in the US. He also prints his own work. He currently has an art exhibition of a dozen framed 48-in color & B&W prints, each selling for about $2800-3000 USD. The work makes me smile and cry at the same time He seems to get by with those ancient 8- bit per channel video cards on a three year old Mac. YMMV...

M
03-15-2013, 04:14 AM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
I think you are over-reaching a bit based on lack of real world experience.
And how would I gain real world experience with 30bit throughput based on this opinion?


QuoteQuote:
Soft-proofing is an imperfect estimation at best. A monitor really cannot
convey the feel of a print on matte or textured fibpne art paper. Period.
I said without proof, on this we agree. Though profiling a paper, texture or ink combination is another option. And again experience will come, over whatever period.


QuoteQuote:
I don't know what you mean by the native working space. For raw images you
choose. Most commercial lab printers use sRGB; a few speciality houses use
adobeRGB, but your image better be inclusive of those additional colors to be
worth it. And you need to have a good relationship with a printer for him or her
to work the magic.
By native working space I mean the printers profiled colour gamut, just as aRGB or sRGB has a gamut profile. I know that RAW files have no colour space assigned, though cameras are capable of having their gamut profiled also. Nor did I say most labs, I said I "would use a photo lab with the image colour profile embedded as aRGB or their printer profile." obviously this would be a print lab that uses one of these profiles i.e. aRGB or its printer profile. As for the image "better be inclusive", this is bad perspective. Not using an inclusive colour space negates any chance of seeing more saturated colour from such a less inclusive space, so you will never see these colours if your image does include them, how is sRGB ever going to provide these colours? And I don't see the need for a relationship of any sort if you have a good measured colour flow, I am the editor and I want to see on the print what I saw on the screen. I don't want the print lab to work their magic, I want my image, in print!


QuoteQuote:
I would not spend my money on ultra high-end graphics cards and displays
until my working knowledge of color management is well proven, and my prints
hold high value. A friend of mine is considered one of the best landscape
photographers in the US. He also prints his own work. He currently has an art
exhibition of a dozen framed 48-in color & B&W prints, each selling for
about $2800-3000 USD. The work makes me smile and cry at the same time He seems
to get by with those ancient 8- bit per channel video cards on a three year old
Mac. YMMV...
Maybe you won't spend money on 30bit capable hardware but should I, this is the point of my thread, except I had hoped to arrive at a discerned reasoning rather than such a subjective and pessimistic approach which appears based primarily on my use of the word novice, which I feel you are conveying. Your friend is presumably comfortable with a proof approach for his workflow, or he has no issues with posterization (perhaps he has more data than most). or he is printing in sRGB. How much would he get for a print that has colour banding or is just not saturated? Even B&W benefits here. I would find it more productive if you told me how his workflow benefits him so it may benefit me and all who may read this thread.

Last edited by Tax(my)Pen; 04-07-2013 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Minor (but significant) correction.
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