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Thread started 08 Jun 2010 (Tuesday) 18:32
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Not sure about my upgrade path

 
james_in_baltimore
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Jun 08, 2010 18:32 |  #1

I currently have a core 2 duo system with 4gb(DDR2) of ram. I was using an integrated graphics but just ordered a new video card (ati 5570). I have a 500gb western digital drive(I will probably add another drive sometime soon). I am running windows 7 64-bit.

I bought the video card because I thought it was by far the weakest point in my system and would be easy to transfer if I do a rebuild.

My question is:
Is there any point in my either upgrading to a core 2 quad or adding more RAM? It is either try and get some extra life out of my system this way or have to upgrade sooner to whatever is newer at the time (i7, etc). I don't do gaming or anything, just photography. However, those 5d mk2 files are pretty big and I noticed a rather big slow down in rendering them in lightroom.

Adding another 4GB of RAM would be about $90, and upgrading my core 2 duo to a Q8300 2.5ghz would be $150.


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tim
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Jun 08, 2010 19:47 |  #2

Yes, the latest Core2Quad will improve performance for a reasonable price. Make sure your motherboard supports the cpu you want. I'm finding 7D files a bit big as well, so i'll be upgrading from Q6600 to an i7 before my next wedding season.

4GB is probably enough, but watch your task manager to see. Remember Win7 uses all spare ram as cache, that improves performance, look at actual memory used not cache in use.


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BeritOlam
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Jun 08, 2010 20:54 |  #3

James,

It really depends on your own personal budget, how often you think you need a new computer, etc.

Here's how I break it down for myself --
* Brand spanking new desktop (PC) = around $800
* How long do I think I'll use it before I need a new one = about 4 years
* Net cost = $200/year

Now I factor in a $150 upgrade chip -- that's 9 months worth of net cost on my computer budget scale. So if I was only planning on using that upgrade for 9 months before I move onto something else, it would be a BAD deal. I'd be better off putting that $150 toward something that gives me more powerful hardware, since I'd be paying the same net price on the upgrade vs. a new computer! Understand?

So for me, at that price, I'd probably say you'd need to plan on keeping it AT LEAST 18 months to get your money's worth. Anything less...and you'd be better off putting that $150 toward a new system.


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Jun 09, 2010 05:56 |  #4

james_in_baltimore wrote in post #10327336 (external link)
I currently have a core 2 duo system with 4gb(DDR2) of ram. I was using an integrated graphics but just ordered a new video card (ati 5570). I have a 500gb western digital drive(I will probably add another drive sometime soon). I am running windows 7 64-bit.

I bought the video card because I thought it was by far the weakest point in my system and would be easy to transfer if I do a rebuild.

My question is:
Is there any point in my either upgrading to a core 2 quad or adding more RAM? It is either try and get some extra life out of my system this way or have to upgrade sooner to whatever is newer at the time (i7, etc). I don't do gaming or anything, just photography. However, those 5d mk2 files are pretty big and I noticed a rather big slow down in rendering them in lightroom.

Adding another 4GB of RAM would be about $90, and upgrading my core 2 duo to a Q8300 2.5ghz would be $150.


I process large numbers of 5D2 files using a Q6600 with 8GB of ram.
Adding the extra 4GB made a huge difference.

If your on a really tight budget, then adding another 4GB fo ram and replacing your core 2 duo with a high end Core 2 Quad will make a big difference. The Core 2 Quads are going very cheap as they are being replaced by the i5 and i7 chips.

If you do go down that path, check your mother board is compatible with Core 2 Quads and can hold 8GB of ram. Some of the early, and most of the brand name boards (i.e. dell, hp etc) are limited to Core 2 Duo chips.


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james_in_baltimore
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Jun 09, 2010 06:03 |  #5

BeritOlam wrote in post #10327947 (external link)
James,

It really depends on your own personal budget, how often you think you need a new computer, etc.

Here's how I break it down for myself --
* Brand spanking new desktop (PC) = around $800
* How long do I think I'll use it before I need a new one = about 4 years
* Net cost = $200/year

Now I factor in a $150 upgrade chip -- that's 9 months worth of net cost on my computer budget scale. So if I was only planning on using that upgrade for 9 months before I move onto something else, it would be a BAD deal. I'd be better off putting that $150 toward something that gives me more powerful hardware, since I'd be paying the same net price on the upgrade vs. a new computer! Understand?

So for me, at that price, I'd probably say you'd need to plan on keeping it AT LEAST 18 months to get your money's worth. Anything less...and you'd be better off putting that $150 toward a new system.

Yeah, this was sort of the logic I was working with. I would essentially be spending a bunch of money on yesterday's technology. I am probably better off waiting another year and just upgrading the motherboard, ram and processor all at the same time.


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tim
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Jun 09, 2010 06:08 |  #6

Moppie wrote in post #10329813 (external link)
I process large numbers of 5D2 files using a Q6600 with 8GB of ram.
Adding the extra 4GB made a huge difference.

I find when I use Bridge or batch from RAW to jpeg I don't use the 3.5GB I have available on my XP32 system. Lightroom might take advantage of more RAM for caching, Windows 7 definitely will but i'm not sure how much benefit you'd get. I do find i'm more CPU limited than RAM.

The box I use at work would be nice - dual quad Xeon's (latest generation, 16 threads) with 12GB RAM. I'm using four of those boxes at the moment, 64 CPUs and 64GB of RAM. They're servers though, no video cards AFAIK, running Linux and X.


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james_in_baltimore
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Jun 09, 2010 09:26 |  #7

After doing a little more research, upgrading to a core 2 quad 8300 is very price competitive compared to current processer offerings. An i5 quad core is much more expensive. I think I may go ahead and upgrade as I assume it will make a pretty big performance difference for me. Once it becomes completely outdated, I'll just convert the current rig to a htpc (it is already a micro-atx board).


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aboss3
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Jun 09, 2010 15:04 |  #8
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I'd upgrade to i7 920 or 930....I think you can bypass core 2 quad if your mobo supports it. you'll see an immediate performance gain.
I am running i7 920 @3.4GHz ;) with excellent results. Processes images/videos really fast.


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In2Photos
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Jun 09, 2010 15:33 |  #9

aboss3 wrote in post #10332787 (external link)
I'd upgrade to i7 920 or 930....I think you can bypass core 2 quad if your mobo supports it. you'll see an immediate performance gain.
I am running i7 920 @3.4GHz ;) with excellent results. Processes images/videos really fast.

This is the second time I have seen you mention this. Do you realize that C2D and C2Q chips use an ENTIRELY different socket than the i7 series chips?

C2D and C2Q use LGA775
i7 920, 930 use LGA1366
i7 860, i5s, and i3s use LGA1156

You can't just take any board and throw any chip on it! :rolleyes:


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YP5 ­ Toronto
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Jun 09, 2010 15:44 |  #10

James, another thing you can do on top of your plan is look at an SSD. This will also provide you a lot of feedback in terms of speed in all the things you do on your computer. It is also an investment that will go with you in the future.


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BeritOlam
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Jun 09, 2010 18:48 |  #11

james_in_baltimore wrote in post #10330622 (external link)
After doing a little more research, upgrading to a core 2 quad 8300 is very price competitive compared to current processer offerings. An i5 quad core is much more expensive. I think I may go ahead and upgrade as I assume it will make a pretty big performance difference for me. Once it becomes completely outdated, I'll just convert the current rig to a htpc (it is already a micro-atx board).

James,

What prices are you looking at for the Quad 8300? Because at a place like Newegg, an i5 isn't that much more expensive than the cheapest of Core 2 Quads.

The main (and probably only!) reason I'd go for a Core 2 Quad upgrade is if (a) I could get a really good deal on it or (b) I need an upgrade to the last me the next 18 months and I don't have the money to build a *new* computer!


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tim
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Jun 09, 2010 18:54 |  #12

BeritOlam wrote:
=BeritOlam;10333964Wha​t prices are you looking at for the Quad 8300? Because at a place like Newegg, an i5 isn't that much more expensive than the cheapest of Core 2 Quads.

To go from Core2Duo to i5 you also need a motherboard and RAM, and maybe a video card.


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BeritOlam
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Jun 09, 2010 21:19 |  #13

tim wrote in post #10333991 (external link)
To go from Core2Duo to i5 you also need a motherboard and RAM, and maybe a video card.

Of course....but a Quad upgrade means you are putting $150 toward a system that's around 2 years old.

It sounded like James was 'on the fence' as to whether you upgrade OR build a whole new i7 system. It really depends on what kind of upgrade plan you have in mind, but I think he's borderline either way. I think if he plans on using that system an extra 18-24 months total, then I'd say it's worth the upgrade.

Otherwise, I think it's at least worth considering (a) parting off what you have left in the current system through Ebay (b) and pooling that money +$150 to put it toward a new i7 system.


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james_in_baltimore
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Jun 10, 2010 08:34 |  #14

BeritOlam wrote in post #10334787 (external link)
Of course....but a Quad upgrade means you are putting $150 toward a system that's around 2 years old.

It sounded like James was 'on the fence' as to whether you upgrade OR build a whole new i7 system. It really depends on what kind of upgrade plan you have in mind, but I think he's borderline either way. I think if he plans on using that system an extra 18-24 months total, then I'd say it's worth the upgrade.

Otherwise, I think it's at least worth considering (a) parting off what you have left in the current system through Ebay (b) and pooling that money +$150 to put it toward a new i7 system.


Well, from what I have seen, the i5's in the same price range aren't quad core and performance comparisons are about even and in some cases would favor the quad. Also, Tim's point about having to buy new ram and motherboard significantly impacts the price. Basically, I would have to spend at least $400 and probably more like $500 to realize the same performance gain. I realize that it allows for a longer upgrade path, but I just don't see the point. I still think the logical choice is to upgrade the processor for now, which should last me at least another year, probably 2. At that point I can convert the current system for an htpc or for a media/file server and build a new pc for my main editing box.

I wasn't considering building an i7 system at this point. The discussion was whether a modest upgrade on the current box would give it a longer lifespan.


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james_in_baltimore
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Jun 17, 2010 08:58 |  #15

I just thought I would follow up with my thoughts now that I have upgraded.

I got a great deal on the Q9400 which is 2.6GHz base. I overclocked it to 3GHz with the stock cooler with very little increase in temps and no voltage changes. So I basically moved from a dual core at 2.3GHz to a 3GHz quad core. Once I sell off my old processor (for about $60) and get bing cashback, the upgrade will have cost around $100. For this, I more than doubled my processing power.

The effects in Lightroom working with 5D MKII files was night and day. It was incredibly fast and the only wait I experienced was in the hard drive accessing the original file. Once an image was loaded, all edits and zoom was virtually instantaneous I am very confident that I have delayed any major upgrades now by around 2 years. I still need to work on my hard drive setup, but I am confident my processing power is more than enough for the foreseeable future.

Any suggestions on a good hard drive setup that doesn't break the bank. Should I have the catalog and scratch on one drive and the photos on another? Any thoughts are appreciated.


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