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Thread started 07 Mar 2016 (Monday) 22:30
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Laptop specs ...... your thoughts

 
Mtn ­ Breeze
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Mar 07, 2016 22:30 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I'm 'hitting the road' for 12 months very soon and am looking to replace my old desktop computer which is just that, old, but more importantly is not practical for my new 'mobile' lifestyle.

Anyway, after much searching on this forum and consulting Mr Google, I went to my local computer guy with a few requirements as far as what I think I'll need as far as specs go. My knowledge of the 'guts' of computers is not great but here is what he came up with. Could you please give me your thoughts on this build ?? I use Lightroom for my editing .....

Lenovo E560
Intel Core i5-6200U, up to 2.8GHz
8GB RAM, DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM SODIMM Memory
128GB SDD
15.6" FHD 1920x1080 Anti-Glare Display
AMD R7 M370 2GB Dedicated Graphics


From what I understand, the above is the standard laptop. Below is what I was looking to upgrade or add to it ....


Adata SP900 512GB SSD Drive
ADATA Durable 2TB 2.5 USB3.0 External Hard Drive Black ..... (for back up)


I realise too that generally speaking, laptop screens don't really cut it for good editing results so have asked for a separate monitor, that being ....


Viewsonic VX2456SML 24" LED Monitor1920x1080 IPS

During my research (mainly on this forum) I did see the i7 processor being mentioned a lot along with 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB, when talking about ideal laptop set ups. Do you think getting those two built in would be of benefit ??

Many thanks,

Matt


- 7D & battery grip, 40D & battery grip, 17-55mm 2.8, 100-400mm L IS USM, Manfrotto 055 & 488 RC2, 3 (55mm) ext tubes.
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MalVeauX
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Mar 07, 2016 22:54 |  #2

Heya,

Depends really on the kind of processing you do.

If you tend to just do a few quick edits in LR, there's no need to get too crazy with the CPU. And if you're generally editing a few photos, your 8GB of RAM is fine (assuming you don't load several hundred RAWs or TIFFs at once).

If you do intense large resolution tons-of-layers type edits, then you would benefit more RAM.

CPU does all the work. Lightroom isn't multi-core optimized, so more cores isn't going to really help you a ton, instead, look for the best single core performance, and that will be your ideal CPU for your needs (Intel tends to have this). Core I5 and I7 would be ideal.

No need for dedicate GPU.

The rest that you listed is fine.

Very best,


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Kolor-Pikker
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Kolor-Pikker. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 08, 2016 06:21 |  #3

MalVeauX wrote in post #17927612 (external link)
CPU does all the work. Lightroom isn't multi-core optimized, so more cores isn't going to really help you a ton, instead, look for the best single core performance, and that will be your ideal CPU for your needs (Intel tends to have this). Core I5 and I7 would be ideal.

It does scale fairly well up to 4 cores, but no more than that, so yes, you need the fastest clock speeds possible.
Everything else doesn't matter as much; an SSD will load your library faster, but won't actually allow you to import/preview/export faster than the CPU can push those pixels.
8GB works just fine on my current system and I regularly push several applications at once.
And the GPU doesn't matter at all, since Lightroom and Photoshop don't have extensive hardware acceleration yet. They can use the GPU, but if it's not powerful enough, it may end up being even slower than just the CPU.

Mtn Breeze wrote in post #17927583 (external link)
I realise too that generally speaking, laptop screens don't really cut it for good editing results so have asked for a separate monitor, that being ....
Viewsonic VX2456SML 24" LED Monitor1920x1080 IPS

Since you expect to use an external monitor, I assume a battery isn't a primary consideration? Because you could get a mini-ITX system that's about the size of a folded laptop (but a bit thicker) for considerably less money, or pay the same for a beefier processor. Just check out the case sizes of some Silverstone cases like the ML06. The whole "laptop" aspect adds a huge price premium to hardware, despite it being possible nowadays to put desktop parts in the same space and with better cooling... as long as you anticipate having a reliable availability of power.


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mrfixitx
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Mar 08, 2016 06:52 |  #4

If you are willing to haul around a 15.6 laptop you can get something with a lot better processor than the 6200U. The big thing is the 6200 suffix indicates U it is a ultra low power dual core chip and not a higher power quad core chip. If you are willing to have a bit thicker laptop you can get one with a quad core chip which will offer substantially better performance. Look for processors with the HQ suffix which indicates higher performance.


Here is a review of one of the best high performance windows laptops out there right now:

http://arstechnica.com …on-of-the-best-pc-laptop/ (external link)

I will say from experience I have an ultrabook with a i7 U series processor and 8GB of ram and the performance in Lightroom with raw files from my 70D is okay for casual use but if I was taking hundreds of shots and having to edit them it would get frustrating. I feel like with the low power processor its good enough to see previews, spot check some files and develop a few here and there but doing batch adjustments and conversion it struggles.

I will say laptop screens have gotten a lot better than they were a few years ago, good laptops screens are now IPS and have 100% of the sRGB spectrum or better. The big thing is editing on a small screen even at 1080p can be challenging so I think your idea of a second monitor is a good idea if you have the space.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt.
     
Mar 08, 2016 08:45 |  #5

mrfixitx wrote in post #17927854 (external link)
I will say laptop screens have gotten a lot better than they were a few years ago, good laptops screens are now IPS and have 100% of the sRGB spectrum or better. The big thing is editing on a small screen even at 1080p can be challenging so I think your idea of a second monitor is a good idea if you have the space.

While the fundamental screens have gotten better, the real issue is inability to alter the hardware settings for both Brightness and Contrast, to be suited well of photo postprocessing. While you can adjust Brightness, there may be no Contrast control or WB control. That leaves you perhaps subject to the issue of print darkness, and the question we hear on POTN, "Why are my prints so dark, they look fine on my monitor?!"
Separate monitors have controls you can set for a lot of things, which are not accessible in the typical laptop.


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MalVeauX
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Mar 08, 2016 10:31 |  #6

Kolor-Pikker wrote in post #17927831 (external link)
It does scale fairly well up to 4 cores, but no more than that, so yes, you need the fastest clock speeds possible.

I'd like to see some proof of that, if you have some links.

It makes no sense that it can utilize 4 cores, but not 6 or 8 cores. That is a big red flag that it isn't working on several threads. Most of Adobe's image editing software (PS & LR) do not benefit multiple cores and in real world tests are dependent on single core speed in benchmarks.

So by all means, if that's incorrect, I'd like to see your source.

Very best,


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Kolor-Pikker
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Mar 08, 2016 11:05 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #7

Here you go: https://www.pugetsyste​ms.com …lti-Core-Performance-649/ (external link)
They test programs with setups ranging up to 20 cores and more. Lightroom basically flatlines at four cores, although having up to six can benefit image export.


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MalVeauX.
     
Mar 08, 2016 11:34 |  #8

Kolor-Pikker wrote in post #17928116 (external link)
Here you go: https://www.pugetsyste​ms.com …lti-Core-Performance-649/ (external link)
They test programs with setups ranging up to 20 cores and more. Lightroom basically flatlines at four cores, although having up to six can benefit image export.

Thank you, very interesting, nice to see they're taking steps forward (obviously still needs a lot of work, it should scale with cores but really doesn't increase after 4 as you mentioned, something else is bottlenecking the system or it simply doesn't benefit past 4 cores).

Unfortunately this only applies to LR6, and not previous versions, so unless the OP has LR6 this doesn't apply. Doesn't apply for me (CS5!).

But it's good to know for the future. I may have to move to LR6 one of these days (I don't use LR at all right now).

Very best,


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Mtn ­ Breeze
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Mtn Breeze.
     
Mar 15, 2016 01:26 |  #9

Thanks very much for all the replies everyone ... very helpful.

After to-ing and fro-ing with my computer guy, I'm going to go with the following ....

- Lenovo E560
- Intel Core i7-6500U Processor (4MB Cache, up to
3.10GHz)
- 16GB RAM, DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM SODIMM Memory
- Intel HD Graphics 520 (after research showed LR doesn't 'like' AMD graphics)
- Upgrade to 512GB Solid State Drive (for LR catologs, OS, programmes etc)
- Replace Optical Drive with Mechanical Hard Drive (1TB) - (for image storage)


Now, my last dilemma, and hopefully some more advice from you guys .... what size and resolution monitor ??

Initially it was going to be a 'Viewsonic VX2456SML 24" LED Monitor1920x1080 IPS'.

After more research on my part, I figure a larger 4k monitor might be better. I've been offered a 28" 4k ex. display monitor from the computer company.
Now I don't understand the whole 30 Hz/60 Hz concept. Could someone please briefly explain this to me ?? Would a 4k monitor be an advantage over a 2k monitor ??


Thanks,

Matt


- 7D & battery grip, 40D & battery grip, 17-55mm 2.8, 100-400mm L IS USM, Manfrotto 055 & 488 RC2, 3 (55mm) ext tubes.
- Powershot A540 and underwater housing.

www.wildnaturenewzeala​nd.co.nz (external link)

  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Mar 15, 2016 08:55 as a reply to  @ Mtn Breeze's post |  #10

Something tells me the laptop wouldn't be able to drive a 4K display properly, certainly not with just the Intel HD graphics.
30/60Hz is just how fast the display can refresh, it's generally a good idea to be able to get at least 50Hz running for interaction to feel smooth, although for photography it doesn't matter as much as motion content.


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RHChan84
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Mar 16, 2016 22:19 |  #11

Higher HZ means faster refresh rate but since your not gaming, it's pointless. If you want to spend the money for a higher refresh rate, then go for it. 30 is enough.


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