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11-28-2015, 11:20 AM   #1
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New computer recommendations

Hello,

I'm getting a new computer and I need some advice about CPU and graphic card. I'm will be using it for Lightroom + Nik suite, some Photoshop but not that much and 1080p movies. I'm not into video editing.

- what CPU to buy? I have to decide between i5 4690k vs i7 4790k. Does it worth the difference to get the i7 ?

-what graphic card to get? I heard that nVidia is better for Lightroom than AMD because of CUDA (although I don't understand why), can somebody recommend some specific models?

I need a build that will be able to handle 36mp (or even more) files considering I'm planning to get the upcoming Pentax FF.

Thank you!

11-28-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/lightroom-gpu-faq.html
11-28-2015, 06:06 PM   #3
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I was in the same place as you for a long time debating how I'd build my new computer, when my 2 year old son decided to power on and off my poor 8 year old desktop repeatedly until it fried the power supply...anyways he kind of forced my hand, so I just ordered an HP Envy 750-177c w i7 6700 and 16 GB ram via Costco's Black Friday deals...it was significantly cheaper that way and I got the new Skylake chip. I can add a graphics card later but even with LR6 it never seemed to improve speeds whether or not I leveraged a graphics card - it's all about CPU horsepower and RAM. Per BC's note above LR does have better support for nVidia cards...anyways point is you may be able to get away with an off the shelf build and get more for less. Hope this helps!

One more interesting thread from Adobe re graphics card acceleration - probably not worth the effort (at least yet): https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1828580

Last edited by slipdm16; 11-28-2015 at 06:30 PM.
11-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #4
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diminishing returns kick in after 4 cores so an i5 should be fine, most actions in lightroom are single threaded, the real performance increases come from memory (keep in mind that both the i5 and i7 are capped at 32gb max)

11-28-2015, 07:55 PM   #5
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Invest the money in a good 4k monitor, and skimp everywhere else
Fast RAM is probably a good idea (Most CPU's have < 8Mb CPU cache, and RAW images tend to be much bigger!)
Get a good SSD. If you really want to push the boat out, get one of the 512Gb Samsung M2/PCI-e SSD's (approx 4x faster than a normal SSD).
As for graphics cards, these are easy to upgrade in the future if needed. I'd be tempted to just spend the money on a monitor, and upgrade if you feel you need to.

Most image processing is IO bound, and not CPU bound (I speak from experience here, my day job is writing CPU/GPU optimised code for graphics processing). *IF* the code is optimised for GPU, then this can be a huge performance win (typically a good GPU will have memory speeds faster than 5000Mhz, compared with main system ram of 1600 -> 2133). I was under the impression that lightroom was starting to utilise pixel & compute shaders in OpenGL 3/4, but I wasn't aware of a Cuda requirement? (Honestly, as a software developer, I can't see why anyone would target cuda when OpenGL/OpenCL has wider support?). Personally speaking (as a developer), I've always found the ATI drivers to be better than the Nvidia ones (admittedly, updating ATI drivers can be a ballache, usually requiring some 3rd party driver-removal tool). For actual OpenGL/OpenCL support though, ATI is always better (unless you're using linux maybe).

Just checked here: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/lightroom-gpu-faq.html

Yup, OpenGL 3.3 only (which even the Intel onboard GPU will support)

The only practical reason why an i7 may be better than an i5, is simply larger cache memory on the CPU. (That's also the only reason you'd consider a Xeon over an i7). A 'k' series i5 or i7 will allow you to use higher than normal memory speeds, but to be honest it's going to be hard to go wrong with any desktop offering right now. Invest in the monitor, a good SSD(or two), and then any i3/i5/i7 you throw at it, will be a joy to work with.
11-28-2015, 07:59 PM   #6
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I good friend set this up for me mine will be on Linux but this is a great deal in terms of processor
Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960, Corsair Air 240 - System Build - PCPartPicker
11-28-2015, 08:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratcheteer Quote
(keep in mind that both the i5 and i7 are capped at 32gb max)
The limit is 64Gb. If you need 1000 x 24mp raw files open at once, that might be an issue!

---------- Post added 11-29-15 at 03:08 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by naldopr Quote
I good friend set this up for me mine will be on Linux but this is a great deal in terms of processor
Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960, Corsair Air 240 - System Build - PCPartPicker
I'd choose a better processor personally. The Xeon's are ok, but you lose the onboard GPU (good for powering down that power hungry geforce when you're browsing the web), and there's no support for DDR4 (not to mention being tied to the legacy 1150 socket). For most people, a skylake i5/i7 is a much better CPU.
11-29-2015, 12:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
The limit is 64Gb
thats dependent on motherboard, not all of us have money to burn on ecc ram

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
get one of the 512Gb Samsung M2/PCI-e SSD's
better off getting a small intel ssd and using the smart response technology and 2 2tb hdd's running in raid 1

by the way ssd failure is heartbreaking I've had 2 samsung ssd's die on me in the last year

11-29-2015, 07:27 AM   #9
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I'm thinking whether or not to invest in the new Skylake platform. Current offers are more expensive than 1150 platform, and I tend to upgrade my PC very very seldom. Until a month ago I was running LR 5 on a Phenom X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz and some old 5200 rpm HDD, 4GB RAM. Tweaked the hell outta OS and it worked just fine for my needs, I don't import more than let's say 50 pics per week on average. But I changed countries and the old computer stayed home - I need a new one so I thought a bit more speed won't hurt. I'm afraid if I go with Skylake I will end up spending more for possibilities to upgrade which I will never use )
11-29-2015, 09:14 AM   #10
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Buy the most processor you can afford. RAM is cheap. GPU upgrades are easy.
11-29-2015, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
New computer recommendations
Is buy a Mac the correct answer.

My apologies I could nae resist that.
11-29-2015, 09:21 AM   #12
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It's only the right answer if you like being stuck with what Apple chooses to grace you with.
11-29-2015, 09:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
I need a build that will be able to handle 36mp (or even more) files considering I'm planning to get the upcoming Pentax FF.
If you have a fast HD and enough RAM (both upgradeable over the life of a system), this is the current Lightroom bottleneck and dependent entirely upon the CPU. So I'd go for Skylake if you can afford to.

I'm waiting for Thunderbolt 3 for the increased data throughput.
11-29-2015, 09:34 AM   #14
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And if you like spending 3 times the amount of money a IBM style costs.


Getting back on subject, I think anything you buy off the shelf would work.


Unless you are also into heavy gaming or doing heavy graphic art or digital FX, you really don't need a super fast processer or high price graphics card.


I think the i5 CPU and a 750 line graphics card with 1 or 2 gigs of onboard ram will work fine.


I would get at least 6 gigs of system ram though.
11-29-2015, 09:55 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
It's only the right answer if you like being stuck with what Apple chooses to grace you with.
Kind of like Pentax is only the right answer if you like being stuck with what Ricoh chooses to grace you with.
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