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03-28-2015, 05:18 AM   #1

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PP limitations

Since I've purchased a K-3 , I found a new limitation: computing power. Recently thinking of a computer upgrade rather than more photographic gear, I posted here: .

I was surprised that some of Pentax forum member replied with a bit of irony regarding computing speed with various PP software, because I have a Sony Vaio 32 bits, very reliable and still good looking after 6 years of use, BUT very slow to process 24Mpixel images of the K-3. I've tried the same processing on my computer at work (a 3 years old DELL 64bits machine), a lot faster, although I still have to wait a little bit.

So , I'm thinking of a PC upgrade , along with buying a new PP software (some user complained that some of Pentax lenses or some of Pentax cameras are not supported, that's why I wanted to know what is the PP software that best support Pentax gear).

I've seen a number of machines having different versions of NVDIA graphic card and different combinations of RAM, and processor , with and without SSD (solid state drive).

From your experience with PP and computing machine features, what do you recommend ?

Thank you.

Last edited by photolady95; 03-28-2015 at 10:20 AM.
03-28-2015, 05:24 AM   #2
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I am now using the Pentax Digital Camera Utility that comes with cameras for Raw Processing and the free version of Photoshop CS2 for final touches.
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Free Download - TechSpot
I can't imagine you would need anything else.
03-28-2015, 06:17 AM   #3
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64 bit OS with at least 8GB of ram I've got 16GB.
I core 5 processor, If you get one with the 'K' designation you can bump up the speed a little bit through the BIOS without problems.
SSD is nice for your C drive but I doubt you'll see that much difference using it as a scratch drive unless you're crunching video.
Video Card, you don't need a high end unless you Game or Crunch Video.
For a scratch disc I use a second drive with a small partition at the front, 30GB. I assign scratch disc to it along with the Page File.
If you get a Mother Board with the current chipsets, 'Z', get one with the Z designation and a number following, without any following alphabet (ie P xx) They seem faster.

PP adjustments using DXO, Pentax software, ACDSee Pro appear instantly and save instantly.

Good Luck
03-28-2015, 09:26 AM   #4

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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
...I've seen a number of machines having different versions of NVDIA graphic card and different combinations of RAM, and processor , with and without SSM (solid state drive)....
I'm going to assume you want a desktop rather than a laptop.

Graphic card: High speed graphic card upgrades are mostly for video games, graphics production, and some special professional applications. Photo processing won't benefit very much (but it's rumored that Lightroom 6 might be able to do parallel processing on a video card to speed things up).

RAM: 8GB is plenty for photo processing.

Processor: A Core i5 or i7. It gets tricky because there are so many similar processor models. A newer i5 might be faster than an older i7.

Solid State Drive: Photos consume a lot of space so SSD gets expensive. Your options include one large SSD, a smaller SSD for programs and a large mechnical hard drive for photos, or one large hard drive for everything. Multiple drives can give faster performance for more money and more complexity. [you'll also need to think about an external backup drive or online backup because you don't want to lose all your photos if your drive dies]

03-30-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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I think the answers for CPU and RAM are good.

I run a SSD (500 GB) for the system and primary software. I use a standard hard-drive for my photos and extra storage (2Tb) drive. When using LR and other photos software I put the cache and library onto the SSD. This system is pretty fast, but it still isn't super fast. LR is quick, but DxO is just a tad slow with it. I think half the challenge may be in configuring HD and RAM just right.
04-04-2015, 02:42 PM   #6
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One of the recent trends is going for a smaller SSD drive rather than a HD. They're fast and very reliable. If you get a desktop tower, add a couple of hard drives for your photos and files. USB 3 is standard now but there are still a lot of computers being sold that don't natively support USB 3 so avoid them. It makes a big speed difference with external drives. A discrete graphics card isn't needed for photo editing but having one does have benefits as the onboard graphics uses system memory. You will notice a difference if you are shooting and editing video. You should get a minimum of 8GB of RAM and going with 16 won't cost much more. The best thing you can do for your photo editing is get a good IPS monitor and a calibration tool like the Spyder or Xrite system.
04-05-2015, 12:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by thazooo Quote
64 bit OS with at least 8GB of ram I've got 16GB...
I am convinced that this is the main criteria.

The remaining options depend on your personal preferences.
04-06-2015, 02:35 AM   #8
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8GB of RAM and a 64-bit OS isn't enough on my mid-2010 Macbook pro. If you do any exposure blending, panorama stitching, and other layered Photoshop work, 8 gigs disappears almost instantly. I have to downsize the files from the K-3 in order to keep my computer from locking up when doing the above.

For instance, a 4 image panorama saved as a 16-bit TIFF file without any layers (no compression) from Photoshop can be over 800MB in size. I've had to reduce the resolution by 2/3 to get anything my computer could handle when it came to playing with luminosity masks.

Even then, working with a 61MB TIFF, my computer lags severely. I turn off all the other programs and only run Photoshop (I even purge the RAM before opening PS) and still, the computer lags behind.

So, I'm saving up for a newer computer with a faster processor, dedicated graphics card (for other uses), and at least 16GB of RAM. Probably 32GB of RAM. It'll have to be a desktop as well, a 13" screen doesn't cut it for the kind of PP work I've started to enjoy.


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