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10-29-2019, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I'm using LR and mostly shooting/processing "neat". I don't have a super intense box , and I do OK. I am required to hand in TIFF files, though, and if there's a bunch it takes a few minutes to export.

Merges, panos? Well, now things start to get sluggish. My machine can choke on just 2 images merged into a Pano---I've had it crash/freeze. Gigapixel AI working with TIFF files? sloooooooooow, as in 20 minutes or so. Definitely time for a new box---that and a RAID are where my G.A.S. impulses are going right now.


That describes my situation pretty well, though I was able to make a 1.5 GB image composition using Photoshop and Photomerge. I have 16 GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD for the Photoshop scratch file, and a 1.5 TB disk drive. That drive is starting to fill up, and I have an 8 TB drive ready to be installed. The processor is nearly a decade old now.

I make backups (daily, weekly, and monthly) to an external Unraid server with (currently) 13 TB capacity. The point of RAID is to increase speed by striping across multiple disks, not to increase reliability, so choose you RAID strategy carefully.

Rick ďsustaining a FireWire interface for the Nikon scannerĒ Denney

10-29-2019, 01:58 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TDvN57 Quote
The CPU automatically goes into overclocking beyond 4ghz, the cooling fan sounds like a 747 preparing for takeoff, but the speed is unbelievable.
If you have thermal throttling on it is unlikely your CPU will remain clocked past 4GHz on all cores for long, The setting is hidden deep within windows but with throttling on the CPU often drops to 3GHz and slower as power consumption rises and the resulting thermal energy builds up. The option can be turned off [do so your own risk FYI]. As you stated, air cooling is very noisy - particularly on laptops as they are used closer to your ears and often have cooling solutions that are heavily restricted by space and available airflow. Water cooling can help get past that but you will have to get a desktop system for that*. This isn't the best solution for everyone, but it isn't difficult to find a water cooling solution design that is efficient enough keep all cores above 4GHz without the CPU literally frying itself. Though if the water pump fails in the water cooling loop, you can have you can end up having your own personal Chernobyl.

* Water cooled laptops do exist, but cost an extortionate amount of money.

---------- Post added 2019-10-30 at 07:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
The point of RAID is to increase speed by striping across multiple disks, not to increase reliability
RAID 0 is perhaps the unsafest mode of RAID for storing important data - the point of data striped Raid 0 is "high capacity, high speed, no redundancy" if one disk in the array fails the whole 13 Tb dataset is completely lost.

The safest raid levels are ones that can sustain one, or better yet, two drive failures with the entire disk arrays data intact. Though this redundancy does come at the cost of speed of the array*, new hardware can use smart tiered SSD caching particularly with fast M.2 SSDs. With 10G networking becoming more accessible the download/upload speed penalties are becoming less and thus the dependability of external storage is increasing to the point where there is little excuse for recklessness.

* Nested RAID levels can pretty much eliminate this.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-31-2019 at 02:49 AM.
10-29-2019, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
...RAID 0 is perhaps the unsafest mode of RAID for storing important data - the point of data striped Raid 0 is "high capacity, high speed, no redundancy" if one disk in the array fails the whole 13 Tb dataset is completely lost.

The safest raid levels are ones that can sustain one, or better yet, two drive failures with the entire disk arrays data intact. Though this redundancy does come at the cost of speed of the array*, new hardware can use smart tiered SSD caching particularly with fast M.2 SSDs. With 10G networking becoming more accessible the download/upload speed penalties are becoming less and thus the dependability of external storage is increasing to the point where there is little excuse for recklessness.

* Nested RAID levels can pretty much eliminate this.


Which is why I suggested thinking through his RAID strategy carefully.

But there are ways to add redundancy without RAID. One is Unraid, which I use on my backup server. Unraid builds network share folders across drives, but does not split files apart. It also maintains a parity drive in the array. With those strategies, a failed disk can be regenerated, but even two failed disks will not make the files on the remaining disks unreadable. And itís cheap.

If I wanted to take advantage of a 10G network, Iíd have to think of something elseóthe consumer computers in that case canít keep up. But I only make deep backups every month.

I do not make a thousand photos a day like some do. Iím careful with the button, and say ď100 MBĒ to myself every time I fire the shutter. But as a long-time large-format photographer, I have never adopted a run-n-gun approach, even when I do events.

The new version of Unraid will, I believe, allow up to 40 TB of storage in its cheaper form. But itís been a while since I built mine, and Iím not up to date.

Rick ďmitigating, not eliminating riskĒ Denney
10-30-2019, 08:25 AM - 1 Like   #19
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I would not go for that old Mac. Not only is it old tech but also unsupported in Software, you'll run into issues.

Currently I'm working on a 2013 Macbook Pro 15'' with current software,
512 GB SSD and 16GB RAM /
2,3 GHz Intel Core i7 (4 cores) /
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB
+ External Display
+ External HD for archiving.

Editing K-1 pixelshift images with 140 MB each works fine, it's not speedy but also not sluggisch. But I wouldn't go for older or lower specs. Better 32 GB. Where it gets slow is larger composites with 20+ layers and file sizes of 800 MB and up.

A well-speced used 5K iMac is a quite powerful machine and as a worthy display for the Z. The cheapest ones I could find on ebay were around 1500 Euro (32GB ram and 1TB SSD) or 2100 Euro with 4 TB SSD.

If you already have a good display, a Mac Mini would also be a good solution. The older ones with 4 cores tend to be a bit better. At some time Apple released less powerful ones with only 2 cores but I can't recall which year that was. Some of them don't have a dedicated GPU but I don't know how much that matters.

10-30-2019, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #20
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I have a custom built i7-7700K based system with all the data stored on a WD PR4100 NAS. Dual monitor with a 4K monitor for preview window. Speed is OK while working with 645Z RAW DNGs on Adobe Lightroom.

16GB RAM and Local SSD for OS and Data drives as well.

Last edited by manishved; 10-31-2019 at 10:24 AM.
10-30-2019, 06:48 PM - 1 Like   #21
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I do all my stuff on a laptop, but I had to update my older laptop to a new one as the RAW files from the 645z slowed it right down (to near death)

I ended up getting a Asus i7 something, 256 SSD + 1TB HDD, 16gb RAM and make sure you get a dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 I think mine came with), or it will suck away some of your RAM!

And Iíve been pretty happy with it....
10-31-2019, 12:38 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
I would not go for that old Mac. Not only is it old tech but also unsupported in Software, you'll run into issues.

Currently I'm working on a 2013 Macbook Pro 15'' with current software,
512 GB SSD and 16GB RAM /
2,3 GHz Intel Core i7 (4 cores) /
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB
+ External Display
+ External HD for archiving.

Editing K-1 pixelshift images with 140 MB each works fine, it's not speedy but also not sluggisch. But I wouldn't go for older or lower specs. Better 32 GB. Where it gets slow is larger composites with 20+ layers and file sizes of 800 MB and up.

A well-speced used 5K iMac is a quite powerful machine and as a worthy display for the Z. The cheapest ones I could find on ebay were around 1500 Euro (32GB ram and 1TB SSD) or 2100 Euro with 4 TB SSD.

If you already have a good display, a Mac Mini would also be a good solution. The older ones with 4 cores tend to be a bit better. At some time Apple released less powerful ones with only 2 cores but I can't recall which year that was. Some of them don't have a dedicated GPU but I don't know how much that matters.
Thanks for the help 👍🏻 I will stay away from that one. I didnít realise it was unsupported software. Thanks for the advice on your spec and how that handles large K1 files and tasks, and potential platforms also.

I am currently using the wifeís MacBook Air. It has 4gb of RAM😂😂😂

---------- Post added 10-31-19 at 12:39 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Timotis77 Quote
I do all my stuff on a laptop, but I had to update my older laptop to a new one as the RAW files from the 645z slowed it right down (to near death)

I ended up getting a Asus i7 something, 256 SSD + 1TB HDD, 16gb RAM and make sure you get a dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 I think mine came with), or it will suck away some of your RAM!

And Iíve been pretty happy with it....
Thanks mate. I appreciate the real-world info 👍🏻
10-31-2019, 09:18 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I built something good several years ago(4-5?) and it is still running fast with no bottlenecks.
Keep in mind if you do stacking or panos, you may need more RAM and drive space.
good luck
I had to dig to find an older post, but I built this in 2013-4 and it is still completely adequate for all of my photo processing, including large pano work.

Intel i-7 4770k 3.5GHz
32 GB RAM
Sabertooth Z87 motherboard
NVIDIA GTX650 graphics board
Dual wide screen monitors (HP ZR24w)
256Gb SSD for boot & some programs
5 or 6 reasonably sized hard drives (1-5TB each)

i used a shopping trick to score everything for way less $. pm me for details if interested.

10-31-2019, 09:56 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TPR Quote
I am currently using the wife’s MacBook Air. It has 4gb of RAM������
Nice, the MacBook Air is so popular. It does almost anything. But I think we can agree that 4GB is a bit slim for the Z.
10-31-2019, 04:31 PM   #25
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While I have contemplated the 645, computing and editing the files has kept me jumping into the deep end here. Thank you for posting this question!
10-31-2019, 05:12 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I built this in 2013-4 and it is still completely adequate for all of my photo processing
Nice rig, I recently I completed a water cooled ITX build based around an Intel 8770K and Nvidia RTX 2070 - both components water cooled the reasoning for this design choice is that air movement through ITX cases is frankly atrocious, so water cooling was and effective way to bypass this design limitation. Dual 1Tb M.2 drives which serve as OS/program space and the other is for immediate photo processing storage. The system had some teething issues due to the RAM and M2 drives getting too hot so I ended up water cooling the 32Gb RAM as well, The M2 drives now have EK Heatskinks installed. The whole system runs at about 16dB cold start Idle***, which rises to a 46dB when operating at peak capacity, and the OS I'm using on it is windows 10.


ITX systems have notoriously limited case space for even 2.5" hard drives, so instead the system has a 10G NIC, I have a 10G switch*, and I have two NAS devices - one 4 bay NAS which is kept onsite, equipped with 2 500gB M.2 cache drives and a 10G Nic, 40Tb worth of Hard drives set up with RAID 10. The off site NAS has 8 bays, 80Tb worth of SED hard drives set up with raid 5. It is connected remotely and accessed ViA VPN for secure off site backup**. Thankfully the NAS features hardware that is compatible with SED drives, and software that allows for scheduled backup between the on site and off-site NAS devices...so I set it and forget it.



QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
But I think we can agree that 4GB is a bit slim for the Z.
16Gb is pretty much mandatory these days, 32Gb is ideal especially for pano work..I think we can agree 128Gb is total overkill, but a day will come when even that isn't enough.


* Which is a multibit switch that also supports link aggregation at full 10G speeds - which commanded a price tag nearly 5X what a standard 8 port gigabit switch usually costs.

** It resides in my brother in laws house, He was happy to have the NAS under the stipulation he gets a 10Tb storage quota, and two VMs on the NAS - which is equipped with a dual port 10G NIC.
*** Measured @0.5m distance All the fans in this system have a 0 RPM mode, so the only thing actually doing anything at cold start Idle is the water cooling pumps.
10-31-2019, 05:40 PM - 1 Like   #27
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If you really want to spend as little as possible on a workable photo computer, consider this: I run Linux (Ubuntu) on a used quad-core i7 HP machine with 16 gig memory. I bought the whole thing from a reputable computer recycler here in Oregon for $325. I spent another $75 or so on an SSD to hold the OS.

It sings with Darktable and Gimp when handling my usual 24-megapixel RAW files. It handles 50-Mp image files from a Canon 5Ds in a more leisurely but reasonable fashion, though if I were shooting commercially with a lot of 50-Mp mages that had to be processed I'd get something faster.

Consider used hardware and free, open-source software.
11-07-2019, 12:20 PM - 4 Likes   #28
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Hi all, well Iíve gone and bought a computer!

I bought a used HP Z420. Itís the Intel Zeon 1620v2 chip running at 3.7 GHz. It has 32gb ram and 256gb ssd for boot and I use it for my initial photo import storage, then transfer after to the 1TB HHD. It also has a NVIDIA graphics card. The condition is perfect and I bought it for...£210.00 🙌🏻

I already had a large screen so I had to buy a mouse and keyboard. I fitted a WiFi card and Iím good to go.

Iíve been using RAW Therapee to edit which is fine for what I need and is free!

The RAW files are coming in at 70MB and the computer is doing it no problem. There is some loading time for the image but nothing terrible (a few seconds). I may upgrade to more RAM at some point or look at over locking the CPU a little...

Thanks for all the advice and for sharing your stories. I have decided to have SD1 in the 645z to be RAW and SD2 to be JPG. So for my workflow I will run with the jpeg initially then defer to raw once I have narrowed down the selection.

I have my first portrait shoot with the camera this weekend so very excited.
11-07-2019, 12:33 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by TPR Quote
I have my first portrait shoot with the camera this weekend so very excited.
Congrats, hope the shoot goes well!
11-08-2019, 09:51 PM   #30
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Sounds like a great deal you got. Post some photos!
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