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Thread started 13 Jul 2015 (Monday) 00:46
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Speed up PC for photo editing? What to upgrade?

 
oharing
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Jul 13, 2015 00:46 |  #1

I would love to make my pc faster for photo and video editing. Adobe is trying to help us with some ionstructions on their website but it is not clear how much processing power I gain via replacing one or two components of my desktop.

I have read tons of threads on the issue however but I don't seem to find the right way to do it...

I would like Lightroom to respond faster when I switch between two images. I would love Portraiture to finish processing the photo I am working on faster in Photoshop, etc

My PC: Windows 7, CPU: i7 3770K, Memory 16GB

My question:
- How much speed do I gain by upgrading the memory to 32GB?
- Would an expensive video card help? Which one?
- Should I upgrade my CPU? Which one do you recommend?

Have you done these modifications before? What is your experience? Which upgrade yielded the best results?

Thanks so much!


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Kolor-Pikker
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Kolor-Pikker. (4 edits in all)
     
Jul 13, 2015 07:54 |  #2

oharing wrote in post #17629583 (external link)
My question:
- How much speed do I gain by upgrading the memory to 32GB?

Zero. 16GB is easily enough to run Lightroom and other programs at the same time.

- Would an expensive video card help? Which one?

There are few Adobe applications that are GPU accelerated, and Lightroom is not one of them, it's all CPU.

- Should I upgrade my CPU? Which one do you recommend?

Your current CPU is good enough, if it's not overclocked, overclock it, that is why you bought a K series right? Clock speed is the only thing that matters in Lightroom.

If you don't have one already, try installing an SSD, Lighroom reads and writes a lot of data and an SSD has the biggest impact on speed. Make sure the catalog is stored on the SSD at least.


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nighthawk82
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Jul 13, 2015 08:37 |  #3

I agree. Your system is already very well equipped for photo editing. SSD is the only viable hardware upgrade you can make.
Just a little correction for the above response though: Lightroom DOES support GPU acceleration as from Lightroom 6/CC. Although that's very recent.
Photoshop has taken advantage of GPU's for a while though. So a high end GPU can help a little bit, but really anything by NVIDIA should give a small boost, and spending lots of money to upgrade a mid-range NVIDIA card to a high end NVIDIA card probably will be a waste. Again you don't say what graphics card you have so hard to say if you will benefit.

If you are still not satisfied with performance (or have seen better on a friend's machine or something), then you should have a look at the software side of things. Programs hogging memory/CPU, virus scanners running in the background, malware, etc etc.


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Jul 13, 2015 08:53 |  #4

Agree with the above recommendation for an SSD. Also, if you are using LR:


  1. In addition to the OS and your program installs, ensure your Catalog and Previews are also on the SSD.
  2. Under Preferences -> File handling, set the Camera RAW cache to a larger number. I use 25 GB.
  3. Under Catalog Settings -> File Handling, set the Standard Preview Size to a number larger than your screen width dimension. For example, my screen is 1920 x 1200 so I have it set to 2048 (preview quality High and discard 1:1's after 30 days).

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Kolor-Pikker
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Kolor-Pikker. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 13, 2015 09:10 |  #5

nighthawk82 wrote in post #17629882 (external link)
Just a little correction for the above response though: Lightroom DOES support GPU acceleration as from Lightroom 6/CC. Although that's very recent.

I also want to correct this correction in that if your CPU is fast enough already, switching to GPU rendering mode may actually slow you down unless the GPU is fast enough. To put it another way, if you were to have a 4790K installed, having no GPU acceleration would actually be beneficial, while if you had a G3258, a fast GPU would improve responsiveness. This is because the two types of processing do not work in tandem, you either use the CPU or GPU, but not both, there are no consumer programs that I know of that can work on the same data set using two different types of processors.

This information is based on GPU rendering in Photoshop, so if Lightroom has similar underlying code, it may not help much. In time more programs will utilize GPU processing for more and more things, but for the time being you'd have to spend way too much money for a slightly smoother experience. Additionally, while a faster GPU will likely speed up only display rendering, a faster CPU will speed up everything.


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nighthawk82
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Post edited over 3 years ago by nighthawk82.
     
Jul 14, 2015 01:32 as a reply to  @ Kolor-Pikker's post |  #6

I do not fully agree with you. Lightroom is heavy on graphics as well processing. Having a GPU to help out (note.. not replace) can free the CPU to do other tasks. When you edit an image in Lightroom, there's the rendering part which is totally graphics based, then there's the catalog update, XMP update, and a whole bunch of other crap that Lightroom does under the hood. Having the GPU do the rendering instead of the CPU could very well be slower if you compared them head to head. But having the GPU do the rendering while the CPU simultaneously does all the other administrative and background tasks will still work out faster than having the CPU do the rendering and then the other tasks in series. This is the same in games. The GPU renders the current frame while the CPU works on the physics engine, controls etc.

I do understand that multi-cores and hyper threading helps do things in parallel, but the end result is that having a GPU to do some stuff is like having half an extra core. It's like having a 5 year old child help you work on your car. He can't do much with lifting or undoing rusted nuts, but if he can just simply hand over that wrench while you're stuck under the engine of your car holding a 20kg manifold in place, it helps immensely!

So, a GPU can help if utilized correctly. And if you're equipped with a GTX980 or something of that sort, it will put any CPU to shame in any rendering speed competition, regardless of how powerful that i7 is.


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groundloop
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Jul 14, 2015 18:38 as a reply to  @ nighthawk82's post |  #7

I'll second nighthawk's comments and can back it up with real-life experience. I upped my RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB and added a middle of the road graphics card a little while back and timed several operations in Lightroom CC after each upgrade. The RAM made virtually no difference, while the graphics card made little or no difference for some operations but significantly improved rendering times for some heavily edited photos I had (large areas with a lot of adjustment brush work).




  
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Jul 14, 2015 19:26 |  #8

SSD will give you the biggest gain - Samsung 850 (external link), suggest 120GB is probably enough. Put your OS, programs, catalog, and cache on the SSD, keep your images on a fast internal disk - WD Black, Seagate, or my pick HGST (external link).

RAM may help a tiny bit, mostly as a disk cache. Video card, not really. CPU, 5%, 10% better maybe.


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oharing
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Jul 17, 2015 12:49 as a reply to  @ Kolor-Pikker's post |  #9

You have saved me some money! Thanks so much!!!!!


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oharing
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Jul 17, 2015 12:51 |  #10

Bob_A wrote in post #17629896 (external link)
Agree with the above recommendation for an SSD. Also, if you are using LR:


  1. In addition to the OS and your program installs, ensure your Catalog and Previews are also on the SSD.
  2. Under Preferences -> File handling, set the Camera RAW cache to a larger number. I use 25 GB.
  3. Under Catalog Settings -> File Handling, set the Standard Preview Size to a number larger than your screen width dimension. For example, my screen is 1920 x 1200 so I have it set to 2048 (preview quality High and discard 1:1's after 30 days).

Hi! I am doing it right now!!!!!! :):):)


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 17, 2015 12:55 |  #11

oharing wrote in post #17629583 (external link)
...

My PC: Windows 7, CPU: i7 3770K, Memory 16GB

With these high end CPU and RAM, you will need to look elsewhere tp upgrade IMHO
The most likely issues are storage subsystem.

My question:
- How much speed do I gain by upgrading the memory to 32GB?
- Would an expensive video card help? Which one?
- Should I upgrade my CPU? Which one do you recommend?

Video card will not help, (although I did not see what you have, even an on-board motherboard/cpu based one will be fine)

SSD and fast scratch disk.


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oharing
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Jul 17, 2015 13:02 |  #12

Kolor-Pikker wrote in post #17629919 (external link)
Additionally, while a faster GPU will likely speed up only display rendering, a faster CPU will speed up everything.

this does make sense! Thanks!


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oharing
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Jul 17, 2015 13:05 |  #13

groundloop wrote in post #17631761 (external link)
I'll second nighthawk's comments and can back it up with real-life experience. I upped my RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB and added a middle of the road graphics card a little while back and timed several operations in Lightroom CC after each upgrade. The RAM made virtually no difference, while the graphics card made little or no difference for some operations but significantly improved rendering times for some heavily edited photos I had (large areas with a lot of adjustment brush work).

Thanks!!!!


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oharing
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Jul 17, 2015 13:38 |  #14

tim wrote in post #17631816 (external link)
SSD will give you the biggest gain - Samsung 850 (external link), suggest 120GB is probably enough. Put your OS, programs, catalog, and cache on the SSD, keep your images on a fast internal disk - WD Black, Seagate, or my pick HGST (external link).

RAM may help a tiny bit, mostly as a disk cache. Video card, not really. CPU, 5%, 10% better maybe.

Why did you buy HGST? Reliability?


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tim
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Jul 17, 2015 15:14 |  #15

oharing wrote in post #17634706 (external link)
Why did you buy HGST? Reliability?

Yes. Read this (external link).


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Speed up PC for photo editing? What to upgrade?
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