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06-04-2015, 08:15 PM   #16
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I've got a 3.4ghz i7 imac with 32gb ram, ssd & external thunderbolt drives.

It crunches my canon slr files like they are nothing but the 645z files are a bit painful. I'm really undecided whether to hand build a crazy PC or wait for the next gen of cpu's to make their way to apple land.

06-05-2015, 01:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
DONT waste money on intels extreme cpus. your throwing money away for no reason.
I would say this is subjective, the 5960X is a magnitude faster for tasks like rendering, which may or may not be worth the expense if time is money. But, since this is a photography forum and we're talking about Raw processing an all that entails (HDR, Panos), then I would say yes, a top-end i7 is enough.

QuoteQuote:
look at the 4790k or hold out for Skylake that should be here in a couples of months. I would wait in either case because it will drop the price of the current socket motherboards saving money. Will also effect ram pricing, as it already has. Ram prices have steadily dropped a couple bucks a week, but has not come even close to the DRR3 pricing of 2 yrs ago with 16gb being $65 compared to todays $95.
I'll wait for Skylake to see what the new generation FinFet process brings to performance, but I'd rather have an 8-core for rendering purposes, and if trends are anything to go by, the Skylake-E/EP processors won't be out until 2017. I expect Skylake to be around 10~15% faster per core than Haswell, just like every generation that came before since Nihalem.

QuoteQuote:
Also ignore AMD for the most part. AMD is struggling to keep up and they arnt pricing like they use to in an attempt to compete that way. You get more performance for the same money with intel when compared to AMD. Talking CPUs not graphic cards.
Since we're talking future tech, AMD is set to release their Zen CPUs next year, which could be something special, who knows. As long as Intel and Nvidia continue to have dominance on the market, we can expect to see $300~$1000 CPUs and GPUs continue to exist, when a decade ago, a $500 chip was considered balls-out expensive.
To be fair, hardware is also no longer obsoleted every 6 months, so you could say that the amount of money spent transitioning to new hardware hasn't really increased all that much.
06-05-2015, 04:47 AM   #18
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Mine is a 2.6 i7 MBP retina with 768GB SSD and 16GB RAM with an Nvidia Geforce GT 650M 1024mb graphics card. Bought the laptop just over 2 years ago.
06-05-2015, 05:28 AM   #19
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I built a new one earlier this year. I was shooting for quick but low power to minimize heat output. Thus, I'd rely on an on-chip graphics first, to see how well it did. A smallish case - I think I made a mistake here, and a not huge power supply. Overall, very good results. It's quick, has handled all the graphics and processing I've thrown at it with no troubles. You don't need a big graphics card to process photos - you simply don't. If you're gaming sure. If you're doing video maybe, I don't do video.

Motherboard. GIGABYTE GA-B85M-D3H LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard.
I like the UD series from Gigabyte, they're doing it right.
GIGABYTE GA-B85M-D3H LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.com

CPU: Intel Core i5-4590S Haswell Quad-Core 3.0GHz LGA 1150 65W BX80646I54590S Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4600
Lower energy setup with onboard graphics. I wouldn't put it in a game rig, but this has been great on the general purpose rig. Using stock cooler.
Intel Core i5-4590S Haswell Quad-Core 3.0GHz LGA 1150 65W BX80646I54590S Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4600 - Newegg.com

RAM. 8GB DDR3.
Good enough so far.

Case. Fractal Design Core 1100 Attractive, well built but insufficient HDD space. I should have thought things through a bit more. Mounts 2 HDDs with no problem, a third will be a challenge. Plenty of space for a SSD even with all the HDDs it can handle. I think I'd pick a slightly larger one next time, or look for a cage. I like Fractal Design and Corsair.
Fractal Design Core1100 (FD-CA-CORE-1100-BL) Black MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com

SSD: SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" 500GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
As inexpensive as these are now, and after seeing how well it performed in my game rig I could not resist.
SAMSUNG 840 EVO SSD 500GB MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive - Newegg.com

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W
Bronze status PSU. Unfortunately, not modular so you will have to find somewhere to stuff all those excess cables.
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Intel Haswell Fully Compatible - Newegg.com

I did not add a card reader. I found this little USB 3 stick. So far so good.
Transcend TS-RDF5K USB 3.0 Support SDHC (UHS-I), SDXC (UHS-I), microSD, microSDHC (UHS-I), and microSDXC (UHS-I) Flash Card Reader - Newegg.com

Storage Drives: 4TB drives are inexpensive now. Not super fast, but once they wake up they move well enough.
HGST Deskstar NAS H3IKNAS40003272SN (0S03664) 4TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" High-Performance Hard Drive for Desktop NAS Systems Bare Drive - Newegg.com

06-05-2015, 07:11 AM   #20
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Thank you SininStyle so much for the articles. They are exactly what I was looking for. The Z97 with the 4790K currently sells for about $520 at newegg, while the i7-5930K alone is $580. Add in a decent motherboard, and you're near a $1,000.

So it's pretty much a no brainer in terms of value, the Z97 is the clear winner. However, the i7-5930K using the X99 chipset will have USB3.0 and USB3.1 ports, and more PCI-Express slots running at 16x than the older Z97 chipset. Plus the Z97 chipset is limited to only 32GB of RAM, while the X99 can use up to 128GB. And based on the RAM article, more is better; especially with files over 1GB.

If the price was about the same, I'd certainly go with the X99 system. But considering what I'm using, either of the two would be a massive improvement.

thanks to everyone who replied to my question.
06-05-2015, 07:56 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrankC Quote
Thank you SininStyle so much for the articles. They are exactly what I was looking for. The Z97 with the 4790K currently sells for about $520 at newegg, while the i7-5930K alone is $580. Add in a decent motherboard, and you're near a $1,000.
The MSI X99A SLI PLUS is $240 and regularly discounts to under $200, so more like $780 for the cpu+mobo.

Broadwell just launched a couple days ago, an i7 5775C will give you about the same performance as the 4790K, but with a considerably faster integrated GPU. Even so, Skylake is literally just a couple months away and most major manufacturers already showed off their new 170 series boards, if you're considering Z97 I'd suggest to rough it out a while longer, unless this is a burning issue.

QuoteQuote:
So it's pretty much a no brainer in terms of value, the Z97 is the clear winner. However, the i7-5930K using the X99 chipset will have USB3.0 and USB3.1 ports, and more PCI-Express slots running at 16x than the older Z97 chipset. Plus the Z97 chipset is limited to only 32GB of RAM, while the X99 can use up to 128GB. And based on the RAM article, more is better; especially with files over 1GB.
Having more x16 slots isn't of particular use unless you'll have multiple GPUs installed, but it can come in handy for PCI-E SSDs, new boards may have up to two M.2 slots - throw a couple of XP951s in there for a terabyte of 2GB/s storage. RAM really only matters up to 16GB for most things, I've been told that someone's multi-layer After Effects project took up 22GB of RAM, and only because a lot of cache frames were added. I'm not sure how the average person can possibly make use of more than that. Check out this video:
06-05-2015, 08:20 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
The MSI X99A SLI PLUS is $240 and regularly discounts to under $200, so more like $780 for the cpu+mobo.

Broadwell just launched a couple days ago, an i7 5775C will give you about the same performance as the 4790K, but with a considerably faster integrated GPU. Even so, Skylake is literally just a couple months away and most major manufacturers already showed off their new 170 series boards, if you're considering Z97 I'd suggest to rough it out a while longer, unless this is a burning issue.

Having more x16 slots isn't of particular use unless you'll have multiple GPUs installed, but it can come in handy for PCI-E SSDs, new boards may have up to two M.2 slots - throw a couple of XP951s in there for a terabyte of 2GB/s storage. RAM really only matters up to 16GB for most things, I've been told that someone's multi-layer After Effects project took up 22GB of RAM, and only because a lot of cache frames were added. I'm not sure how the average person can possibly make use of more than that. Check out this video: https://youtu.be/ajyzZ-zaq0o
thanks. I am going to wait a bit longer for the new chipset to be released. I'm not in a production environment, so I have the luxury of being able to hold tight for as long as I want.
06-05-2015, 08:54 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote

Having more x16 slots isn't of particular use unless you'll have multiple GPUs installed, but it can come in handy for PCI-E SSDs, new boards may have up to two M.2 slots - throw a couple of XP951s in there for a terabyte of 2GB/s storage. RAM really only matters up to 16GB for most things, I've been told that someone's multi-layer After Effects project took up 22GB of RAM, and only because a lot of cache frames were added. I'm not sure how the average person can possibly make use of more than that.
Heavy-duty video and CGI stuff really needs a workstation build - some serious heft. For photos, not nearly as much.

Multiple PCI slots don't mean much as you say unless you're linking video cards, which really isn't needed for anything but driving large monitors for action games. Though you can link mid-tier cards to get great performance at lower price, but at higher power draw in many cases.

The PCI and M.2 mount HDDs are coming along. If you want to spend now, they're available but in 1 or 2 years most of us will be building with them for fast rigs. That alone is a good reason to find a board with a couple x16 PCI slots. Four slots? Overkill.

Intel 750 Series 400GB Versus Samsung SM951 512GB
Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB m.2 PCIe SSD Review
Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe SSD Review

Those are worth keeping an eye on, since they're so much faster than even SATA SSDs are. Very interesting.

06-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #24
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Been looking online for one. Looking for opinions on this one: Dell Alienware X51 Full HD Gaming Desktop, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 645 AX51R2-5726BK
Just planning on using LR & planning on getting a K3.
06-08-2015, 05:36 AM   #25
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Alienware's back to building pretty good game rigs now. Certainly it has enough horsepower for what you want to do. It's probably overkill for a lot of what you'll do but if you want to play games too, it's not a bad option.

woot.com often has game rigs on closeout as well.
06-08-2015, 06:24 AM   #26
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Alienware was great back in the day but they were bought by Dell. Since then it is hard to call it quality. Its just more mass production with a different sticker.
06-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
Alienware was great back in the day but they were bought by Dell. Since then it is hard to call it quality. Its just more mass production with a different sticker.
Remember Voodoo PC? same fate, different buyer... if I recall HP bought them. They were the first custom system builder to introduce the concept of cable management, even though grommets and back-panel routing space haven't been invented yet. Hard drives still used those flat IDE cables, so they made art out of them by folding the cables like origami. Water cooling was so exotic, no one dared to even try their hand at it except for dedicated enthusiasts and Boutique builders like Voodoo PC. Those were the good ol' days.
06-08-2015, 07:19 AM   #28
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Dell has been allowing Alienware to have a bit more of a free hand recently. They're trying to claw back up. Certainly they're not on the top tier of game rigs with the likes of Falcon Northwest or Origin, but they're good mid-upper tier. Whether they're worth the price is questionable unless you're gaming. Most will build rigs for you, and the likes of Cyberpower survive on custom builds from fairly broad hardware choices. I bought one from them back in 2006 (I think) and it was pretty good.

Even though it's a bit more expensive, I generally have been building my own rigs for a while now. I tend not to overkill on processor though the motherboard must be capable of substantial mid-life upgrades should they be required.

BTW the closed-loop water coolers have taken over for two reasons - they're not expensive anymore and they put FAR less stress on the motherboard during shipping than a big air-cooled radiator block. That assurance alone is worth the purchase.
06-08-2015, 07:48 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Dell has been allowing Alienware to have a bit more of a free hand recently. They're trying to claw back up. Certainly they're not on the top tier of game rigs with the likes of Falcon Northwest or Origin, but they're good mid-upper tier. Whether they're worth the price is questionable unless you're gaming. Most will build rigs for you, and the likes of Cyberpower survive on custom builds from fairly broad hardware choices. I bought one from them back in 2006 (I think) and it was pretty good.
Origin always makes me think of EA's game service and I'm not a fan of the cases... if you're going the custom route, it's all about the looks right? Maingear, Digital Storm and Puget all make nice systems as well, but I'd still rather build a system myself.

QuoteQuote:
Even though it's a bit more expensive, I generally have been building my own rigs for a while now. I tend not to overkill on processor though the motherboard must be capable of substantial mid-life upgrades should they be required.
I didn't know buying stuff yourself was worth more than having an expert build and test the hardware for you... a pre-built PC will always more expensive in some way, and the difference can grow to over $1000 on high-end machines, but the service could arguably be worth it.

QuoteQuote:
BTW the closed-loop water coolers have taken over for two reasons - they're not expensive anymore and they put FAR less stress on the motherboard during shipping than a big air-cooled radiator block. That assurance alone is worth the purchase.
If you're building the PC yourself, then there is no stress during shipping to worry about, but you could always zip tie the cooler to the top of the case if you're really worried about this. Or buy a horizontal case like a Case Labs Mercury, and then nothing will sag or apply undue forces.

Air coolers have their own advantages. There are less parts to break (just the fan vs. fan, pump and sealing) and if the fan does break, the tower can continue to cool the CPU from the air being moved by the case fans, while the water unit will stop cooling immediately. Also, a top-end cooler like the Noctua NH-D15 is cheaper than most 240mm AIOs, while also offering about the same level of performance even under overclocking.

Water cooling can be stuffed into an ITX case though, so if you're going the compact route, which is the one also more likely to see movement stress, then a closed-loop cooler is the better option. Additionally water cooling can be applied to the GPU as well, which I think is a more interesting endeavor as GPU temps will drop from 80c to 50c, versus a few degrees for the CPU.
06-08-2015, 08:20 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote

Air coolers have their own advantages. There are less parts to break (just the fan vs. fan, pump and sealing) and if the fan does break, the tower can continue to cool the CPU from the air being moved by the case fans, while the water unit will stop cooling immediately. Also, a top-end cooler like the Noctua NH-D15 is cheaper than most 240mm AIOs, while also offering about the same level of performance even under overclocking.

Water cooling can be stuffed into an ITX case though, so if you're going the compact route, which is the one also more likely to see movement stress, then a closed-loop cooler is the better option. Additionally water cooling can be applied to the GPU as well, which I think is a more interesting endeavor as GPU temps will drop from 80c to 50c, versus a few degrees for the CPU.
Absolutely if you're going to move the system around consider the closed-loop water cooler. They're much less stressful on the motherboard.

Air coolers also tend to be easier to clean. The fans are typically just clipped onto the radiator, so you can remove and vacuum. Water cooling radiators are sometimes tougher to clean. Good cases have removable filters, and bottom-mounted PSUs do help keep dust out of the case but it's going to get in there despite what you do. I try to open the case and give it a good cleaning every six months. So many cases now have a lot of mesh and openings, so a top-mounted radiator (or fan in an air-cooled setup) can really cool everything very well. I've got a Hyper 212 in my game rig. It's big, pretty efficient and not expensive.

If I were spending over $2K on a game rig, I'd probably have a boutique builder make it for me. That said, I have never had trouble building and running a machine. Except for one time - I had a bad RAM stick. That took a long time to diagnose. I'm sure the builder would have found it. My game rigs tend to be in the $1K range, the GP rigs tend to be less expensive - mostly that's lower-horsepower graphics card savings.

I'd also remind people not to over-build for their purpose. Higher wattage components can mean more heat. Then again, overtaxing your components can build more heat. It's a balance. The system I outlined above for my General Purpose rig runs very cool. My game rig runs a lot cooler than its predecessor, mostly because I'm not pushing the CPU into the 95% zone very often.
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