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Thread started 28 Jan 2016 (Thursday) 13:28
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Upgrade PC or get a new one (for 5DsR photos)

 
KatManDEW
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Jan 28, 2016 13:28 |  #1

My 4-1/2 year old, first generation Core i7-950 PC us struggling with 5DsR raw files, especially HDR's. The system has a Gigabyte motherboard, 24 GB memory, three RAID 1 pairs for storage, and a 512 GB SSD for the system drive. I use a Firepro 5900 for 10 bit graphics output to a NEC PA301WSV.

Does it make sense to upgrade my motherboard, or should I just get a new PC? Photo processing is my primary task but I do a little video work as well.

In either case, which CPU and motherboard do you recommend, bearing in mine that I want to maintain the three RAID pairs inside the computer?




  
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tim
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Jan 28, 2016 22:40 |  #2

Yes, upgrading the motherboard, CPU, and RAM would improve performance - it's replacing the computer. You just reuse your case, SSD, and other little bits.

I like Gigabyte or Asus motherboards - get the cheapest MB that supports your CPU and has the ports you need. USB-C, SATA6, you don't need gaming motherboards. Buy RAM from their compatibility list. Get a midrange i7 processor in the current range - i7 5xxx or 6xxx.

Or get a server grade motherboard with ECC RAM and a Xeon processor. It costs about 20% more, for piece of mind. SuperMicro make good motherboards that are reliable and reasonably priced.


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MalVeauX
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Post edited over 2 years ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 28, 2016 22:46 |  #3

Hrm,

I got curious and started searching for anything that showed some benchmarks of how fast certain hardware was able to perform certain tasks, like photo editing. You would think there would be something out there that showed how well certain processors performed with a large file from a 5DsR, or how having an SSD benchmarked with it, or how certain speed and capacity of RAM benchmarked with it, or just general photo editing performance for a task series (such as making an action that does several common editing steps, timing it, and running it a few times to benchmark an average; and do that on several system setups to see if a setup is significantly faster than another for this).

Just looking at some raw CPU type stuff. There seems to be plenty of OpenCL benchmarks to show how GPU's walk over Core i5 CPU's for a lot of CS6 application in editing. But Core i7's latest CPU's seem to beat out OpenCL enabled tests.

Maybe if anyone is interested we can get a group and use a specific test image of various megapixels and create an action or two that will replicate common tasks and benchmark it ourselves here at POTN and get some data on what systems perform ideal so we can work out ratios for top performance per cost, and top performance overall.

Very best,


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KatManDEW
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Post edited over 2 years ago by KatManDEW with reason 'FOrgot something'.
     
Jan 29, 2016 08:45 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #4

Thanks for the reply! Would I need to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch if I get a new motherboard?

Are only some of the i7's Skylake, and do I need that?




  
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adamo99
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Jan 29, 2016 11:25 |  #5

Where are you finding your bottleneck?

Are your working images being loaded off the boot (SSD) drives, or one of the RAID1 arrays? If off one of the RAID 1 arrays, do you have the option of configuring one of them as RAID0, for improved performance? Is it software/motherboard RAID, or are you running off a proper RAID controller?
If the drives are plugged into your mainboard, your CPU is doing all of the RAID processing, in addition to everything else. Get a good RAID controller with a decent sized cache, and it will speed things up.

If you're running out of memory, that can always be added (unlikely, as I've got 24Gb, and it seems to be plenty). If your CPU utilization is always at 100%, there's not much you can do except replace the system board, and upgrade many of the components.

Run your task manager, to see where your system is slowing down, and go from there.




  
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KatManDEW
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Jan 29, 2016 12:19 |  #6

adamo99 wrote in post #17877737 (external link)
Where are you finding your bottleneck?

Are your working images being loaded off the boot (SSD) drives, or one of the RAID1 arrays? If off one of the RAID 1 arrays, do you have the option of configuring one of them as RAID0, for improved performance? Is it software/motherboard RAID, or are you running off a proper RAID controller?
If the drives are plugged into your mainboard, your CPU is doing all of the RAID processing, in addition to everything else. Get a good RAID controller with a decent sized cache, and it will speed things up.

If you're running out of memory, that can always be added (unlikely, as I've got 24Gb, and it seems to be plenty). If your CPU utilization is always at 100%, there's not much you can do except replace the system board, and upgrade many of the components.

Run your task manager, to see where your system is slowing down, and go from there.

Thank you for the reply!

The images are being loaded from the RAID 1 arrays. The HWMoniter app shows all the PC cores pegging at 100% the instant I send images to a HDR app. It takes 3-5 minutes to do a HDR. A friend of mine just got a relatively inexpensive laptop and the same process takes 20-30 seconds with that laptop.


Would I have to reinstall Windows 7, and all my software :-(, if I get a new motherboard?




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 29, 2016 12:26 |  #7

Heya,

Pretty sure your CPU is tiers faster than even the best laptop CPU for what you're doing. Your issue is elsewhere.

Loading several images from slow HDD's, especially those being served through a RAID 1 array, will be slow. That's your #1 bottleneck. That has to be read and served through the bus to the RAM for use. Your bottleneck is between the data itself and how it gets to your RAM.

Very best,


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KatManDEW
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Jan 29, 2016 14:05 |  #8

MalVeauX wrote in post #17877809 (external link)
Heya,

Pretty sure your CPU is tiers faster than even the best laptop CPU for what you're doing. Your issue is elsewhere.

Loading several images from slow HDD's, especially those being served through a RAID 1 array, will be slow. That's your #1 bottleneck. That has to be read and served through the bus to the RAM for use. Your bottleneck is between the data itself and how it gets to your RAM.

Very best,

My friend's laptop is core i7 at ~3.2 ghz. He is loading files from a networked software 1 RAID array.

I would love to be able to just add a RAID controller, but I have to do something because my system just horribly slow the way it is.

Do you have a RAID controller recommendation?

Thanks!




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 29, 2016 14:13 |  #9

Heya,

The i7 in the laptop is not at all the same as a desktop i7, hz for hz, the laptop processor is significantly lower power and has less performance. Mobile CPUs are not in the same league as desktops, even some of the older ones.

That said, newer buses and architectures can make a big difference in performance and you're on an old bus. Having a faster bus, faster RAM, along with faster drives could contribute to an overall performance increase.

The way you've described it, it's almost as if there's some bloat some where that is seriously throttling what you're doing.

I would actually like to test a 5DsR file(s) with an action to time it and see how long it takes my aged system to load & process it. I use Photomatrix for HDR processing. Something that can be replicated by others, so we can figure out what helps the most. That kind of information would help guide you so you don't spend a few hundred to a thousand dollars, and sit there for 3 minutes still.

Very best,


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KatManDEW
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Jan 29, 2016 14:23 |  #10

MalVeauX wrote in post #17877962 (external link)
Heya,

The i7 in the laptop is not at all the same as a desktop i7, hz for hz, the laptop processor is significantly lower power and has less performance. Mobile CPUs are not in the same league as desktops, even some of the older ones.

That said, newer buses and architectures can make a big difference in performance and you're on an old bus. Having a faster bus, faster RAM, along with faster drives could contribute to an overall performance increase.

The way you've described it, it's almost as if there's some bloat some where that is seriously throttling what you're doing.

I would actually like to test a 5DsR file(s) with an action to time it and see how long it takes my aged system to load & process it. I use Photomatrix for HDR processing. Something that can be replicated by others, so we can figure out what helps the most. That kind of information would help guide you so you don't spend a few hundred to a thousand dollars, and sit there for 3 minutes still.

Very best,

Thanks so very much for the help. I use Photomatix and Lightroom HDR. I could put some files on Dropbox for you to try.




  
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RichSoansPhotos
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Jan 29, 2016 16:24 |  #11
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KatManDEW wrote in post #17877530 (external link)
Thanks for the reply! Would I need to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch if I get a new motherboard?

Are only some of the i7's Skylake, and do I need that?


No you don't need to re-install Windows 7, the OS might ask for a new activation process though, as you might change cpu and ram and maybe some other components, but Windows 7 may (or may not) just ask activation key




  
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MalVeauX
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Jan 29, 2016 18:11 |  #12

KatManDEW wrote in post #17877970 (external link)
Thanks so very much for the help. I use Photomatix and Lightroom HDR. I could put some files on Dropbox for you to try.

Heya,

I'm running Photomatrix 5.0.3, older, no reason to update so I just tend to stay with what works for me.

Anyhow, shouldn't effect much.

If you want, let's make a test that can be re-run by anyone with the files & photomatrix. We can start with the RAWs for a HDR. If you have some images you wouldn't mind donating to those of us without a 5DsR, pick a set that you want to do HDR with (3 images minimum I assume?) and have those RAW files on a dropbox. We can then establish the settings and what to do in Photomatrix and I think we can save a template that we can all use (ie, the alignment settings, clean up (denoise, chromatic aberrations), deghosting settings, tonemap settings (use whatever you want and save it as a Preset that you can then share with us so we all process it the same way). Then we can time various processing moments with a stop watch like loading, converting, merging, processing, etc, and see what we come up with?

Very best,


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KatManDEW
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Jan 29, 2016 21:43 |  #13

MalVeauX wrote in post #17878215 (external link)
Heya,

I'm running Photomatrix 5.0.3, older, no reason to update so I just tend to stay with what works for me.

Anyhow, shouldn't effect much.

If you want, let's make a test that can be re-run by anyone with the files & photomatrix. We can start with the RAWs for a HDR. If you have some images you wouldn't mind donating to those of us without a 5DsR, pick a set that you want to do HDR with (3 images minimum I assume?) and have those RAW files on a dropbox. We can then establish the settings and what to do in Photomatrix and I think we can save a template that we can all use (ie, the alignment settings, clean up (denoise, chromatic aberrations), deghosting settings, tonemap settings (use whatever you want and save it as a Preset that you can then share with us so we all process it the same way). Then we can time various processing moments with a stop watch like loading, converting, merging, processing, etc, and see what we come up with?

Very best,

Sounds great! I get the files up ASAP. I have a all weekend gig to shoot right now and I have to get to bed.




  
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KatManDEW
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Jan 29, 2016 21:44 |  #14

RichSoansPhotos wrote in post #17878109 (external link)
No you don't need to re-install Windows 7, the OS might ask for a new activation process though, as you might change cpu and ram and maybe some other components, but Windows 7 may (or may not) just ask activation key

Thank you!!!




  
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Jan 30, 2016 08:49 as a reply to  @ KatManDEW's post |  #15

I'd like to do some testing as well. I hear a lot about people having trouble with large 5DS files but would like to experience it myself.

Also, do you have a video card in your system? Lightroom CC takes advantage of the GPU for processing files as far as I know, not sure about Photomatix. This might help tremendously for large files. I use on-board graphics and have no problems with speed, but I only have a 20MP camera... :)


-John

  
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Upgrade PC or get a new one (for 5DsR photos)
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