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Forum: Pentax K-1 03-20-2016, 11:01 AM  
Computer specs for K-1 Post Processing
Posted By Austro-Diesel
Replies: 14
Views: 2,061
Thunderbolt is the most expensive way to connect peripherals! One should think twice before investing in this technology.

A single SSD transfers data so fast, that you will hardly feel the difference to a RAID 0 of two of them. The greatest benefit is the negigible latency of the SSDs. The usage of two storage devices as a RAID 0 raise the risk of data loss, one should think about this.

The graphics acceleration, maybe there is a larger difference. But the 5K iMac has a lot more pixels to calculate too, so the load to the GPU and CPU is much higher. Many programs don't use the potential of graphics acceleration efficiently, as for Lightroom 6.x I don't know this in detail.

Surely a Intel i7 with 4 GHz is noticeable faster than an older type Mac mini with 2,3 GHz ... theoretically 75%, in real less. You only have to pay some bucks, only 3.380 Euro in Austria (16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD).

The thread opener sounds as he is using a rather simple workflow. Not every program works great with the newest OS version, which is the only choice with modern hardware. So I would recommend to try the existing hardware first.
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-20-2016, 08:46 AM  
Computer specs for K-1 Post Processing
Posted By Austro-Diesel
Replies: 14
Views: 2,061
A Mac mini mid 2011 is not really comparable to the late 2012 model, which has a faster memory bus and is quite a bit quicker. Clearly, newest hardware is the best -- and the most expensive.

The built in SSD of a late 2012 Mac mini is a standard 2,5" drive and can be substituted by any other SSD. Changing the drive is a bit fiddly and you need some special tools, not expensive, e.g. from ifixit.com. The ifixit-Youtube-tutorials are very helpful for the first time disassembling the Mac mini.

About 30 minutes for the first time.

Buy an empty external USB-3.0-box for a few bucks for temporarily adapting the old drive externally to the Mac and use Carbon Copy Cloner or similar to transfer the installation with all other data to the new drive. Test each program, some may ask for the license key (e.g. Microsoft Office).

About 20 minutes for transferring the installation.

Don't use most 7.200 rpm Harddrives in the Mac mini, as they get hotter than the slower spinning ones, this can be an issue in the small box.

Ready, have fun.
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-20-2016, 06:27 AM  
Computer specs for K-1 Post Processing
Posted By Austro-Diesel
Replies: 14
Views: 2,061
Don't worry, be happy.
Forum: Pentax K-1 03-20-2016, 12:28 AM  
Computer specs for K-1 Post Processing
Posted By Austro-Diesel
Replies: 14
Views: 2,061
The most important questions: Which type of software will you use? Do you use a RAW workflow? Do you make extensive use of local adjustments before converting the RAW?

For my own I use exactly the same hardware (Mac OS X 10.9.x) with PhotoShop CS6 and Lightroom 6.x for developing K-3 DNGs and it feels okay. The Mac mini i7 "late 2012" is a very felicitous made computer, works well up to the 27" display class (2.540 x 1.440 pixels).

I tested DxO 8.x and Capture1 9.x for a few hours, but I'm not "compatible" to the DxO working scheme and it seems to work not really fast. Capture1 felt good to me and delivered good to superb picture results, but wasn't faster than Lightroom at all. The performance of the Pentax software is a shame.

Surely there will be some deceleration with the taller RAW-files of the K-1, but nothing I would worry about. Working on Nikon D800 NEFs showed me that the hardware is quite okay. The more local adjustments are done in Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom the more you will feel the lack of processing power; PhotoShop works quite fine even with large files. In Lightroom you can adjust the amount of cache to increase speed too.

Lightroom stores the catalogue only at local mass storage and uses a disk cache heavily. This is done to ensure the integrity of the database and best responsiveness. Be sure to use the SSD for both. So you may install a larger SSD like the Samsung 850 Evo (or Pro, but for workstations not really necessary) with 1 or 2 TB space which I recommend. Most SSDs exceeding 256 GB are faster at writing because more chips are used. The 850 PRO is faster at writing very large amounts of data and last longer too -- both facts are more or the less not critical at most personal computer settings. Most SSDs last longer with more unused space on them. Use a tool like "Trim Enabler" to reduce wear on non Apple SSDs.

RAW data can be stored everywhere, internal or external disk or over the LAN. Usage of a NAS system will slightly slow down working speed, depending to NAS disk and CPU performance, RAID level and LAN limitations.

At my bureau (photography, graphic and prepress services) we use two Mac mini i5 each with a software RAID 1 of built-in SSDs with Samsung 840 EVO 1 TB as servers for 10 workstations like Mac mini i7. This setting works completely problem-free for over one year, with total abscence of any noticeable latency.

But the wear of the 840 EVO desktop SSDs is critical, after one year of usage the wear level is 85% at one server, 60% at the other, so I replace them to the far more resilient Samsung 850 PRO with 2 TB at the moment. I recommend using the "old" AFP network protocol for trouble free networking, avoiding SMB with this OS generation.
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