Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Notts UK
    Posts
    766
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked
    55 times in 52 posts

    2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Hi all,

    In a post a moment ago I said that I was getting my Athlon 3200XP ready for my parents. I'd like to replace it with something decent for not much money.

    The main use will be photography. I use an a900 which gives me 40mb RAW files, and I create some monster panoramas which get printed out 4m long and run close to 1gb when they're still in their 16bit TIF editing state. There might be some very basic gaming, but the apps I'm buying it for are Lightroom 2, Photoshop 4 and a host of little photographic tools like HDR/stitching apps.

    I've got a monitor, case, 7200RPM 150GB HDD, 1TB E-sata external HDD, decent PSU and DVD drive all sorted. I'll need to get myself CPU/mobo/RAM and possibly some basic graphics and maybe a new HDD.

    I like to use a local store, so please take a look here:

    http://www.compuplus.co.uk/COMP-PLIST180609.pdf

    I was thinking along the lines of:

    ASROCK K10N78M 2xPCI-2XPCI-E 2XDDR-II ONBOARD DUAL GEFORCE8 VGA+DVI / 5.1 AUDIO+LAN/1xIDE 6xSATA 2 / NVIDIA GFORCE 8100CHIPSET/6xUSB 2.0 £44.85 (the IDE is important as that'll run my DVD drive)

    CORSAIR VALUE SELECT 4GB KIT (2x2GB) PC5300 DDR2 667.£45.00

    AMD ATHLON X2/7850 BLACK EDITION DUAL 2.8GHZ £54+vat/ £62.10.inc vat

    That would come in at 150 for a very basic spec. I'd add windows 7 64bit when it came out.

    I've got a few options on top of that.

    1) Would I notice the step up to 8gb RAM?
    2) Would a quadcore be a worthwhile investment at £133 for a 2.6GHZ BE?
    3) Would an SSD be a worthwhile addition for an OS/swapfile/apps drive?
    4) PS4 uses some GPU acceleration. Is the onboard GFX enough to take advantage of that, or should I look at say:

    GEFORCE 9400GT SUPER 1GB/DDR/ DVI/HDMI/ SILENT-FANLESS £37.39+vat / £43......inc vat (picked that one because it's silent)

    to give me a bit of a boost in that department? Are there better options in their list?
    5) I intend to use the external HDD on E-sata connected to the PC pretty much permanently instead of getting a 1TB internal drive. I know nothing about E-sata whatsoever - could someone tell me whether this is a good or a bad idea?

    £300 is the absolute tops for this and I'd be a lot more comfortable nearer £200, but I do have some money and I do want to be able to work on my large files. All advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    This is what I would get if I were buying online:

    Phenom II X3 710 ~ £91

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-P...che-95W-Retail

    4gb PC2-8500 RAM ~ £40

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...S-5-6-6-18-EPP

    Asus 760G motherboard ~ £48

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...Board-VGA-HDCP

    ATI and Nvidia cards can BOTH be used to accelerate Photoshop. One of the following would do the job:

    HD4350 ~ £38

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...-D-Sub-S-Video

    9400GT ~ £41

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...D-Sub-DL-DVI-I

    You should be able to get a quote from the shop on ordering some of above bits in.

    Most of the AMD CPUs in the list are actually out of date as there are no lower end Phenom II processors listed which are far better TBH.

    Photoshop does benefit from multiple cores IIRC. With 1gb file sizes definitely it would be useful to have 8gb of RAM though. The most I have had to contend are tiffs of a couple of hundred of mb from negative scans and 4gb of RAM was certainly enough although YMMV.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-06-2009 at 04:49 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Notts UK
    Posts
    766
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked
    55 times in 52 posts

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    So you'd go for a triple core over a dual core - why's that? And is the onboard gfx not enough for PS4 to take advantage of?

    Any opinions on any of the other options? (SSD, 8gb RAM, quadcore etc)

  4. #4
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    If you have to buy from the list I would get the following:

    Intel Q8200 ~ £133

    Asus P5QL Pro ~ £72
    4gb DDR2 RAM ~ £50

    Nvidia 9400GT ~ £43

    This should cost you around £300.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  5. #5
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    So you'd go for a triple core over a dual core - why's that? And is the onboard gfx not enough for PS4 to take advantage of?

    Any opinions on any of the other options? (SSD, 8gb RAM, quadcore etc)
    Photoshop makes use of multiple cores IIRC so it would be better to go for a triple or quad core processor.

    Like I said I find 4gb enough for smaller tiffs under 400mb but since you are using 1gb files 8gb may have an advantage.

    I also specced an alternate build using an Intel processor which you can get off the shelf at the shop which should also be decent enough too. Basically for around £200 I would either get the AMD triple core build or for £300 go for the Intel quad core build which should be faster.

    Regarding the graphics card I would think that an add-in card would be faster for acceleration purposes.

    Regarding SSDs I personally think I would wait a bit until they have dropped in price. I would be looking at getting a newer generation 32mb cache Western Digital or Samsung 640mb or 1tb hard drive which should be good enough and are usually under £70.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-06-2009 at 05:16 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    At home ;)
    Posts
    193
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked
    9 times in 9 posts
    • Cistron's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit iP35 Dark Raider
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E2160@3Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 2GB PC6400 OCZ 4-4-4-15
      • Storage:
      • WD 320GB AAKS
      • Graphics card(s):
      • PowerColor HD3870 SCS3
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Pro82+ 385W
      • Case:
      • Sharkoon Rebel9, two low rpm case fans
      • Monitor(s):
      • Viewsonic Q22wb
      • Internet:
      • cable

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Any opinions on any of the other options? (SSD, 8gb RAM, quadcore etc)
    I'd go for more RAM. 8-16GB, whatever you can grab cheaply. Its speed is not of primary importance, but amount is. 8GB of DDR800 should be quite cheap right now.

    As for the hard-drive, you could have a fast scratch disk with a partition near the outside of the platter. If you can afford it, I believe the WD Velociraptor is a good choice. An Intel SSD would be even better, but is currently out of the 2-300 quid range.

    Do you use a lot of photoshop filters, effects, etc? Check out whether these actually compute better with more cores. If they do, you might end up in a bit of a dilemma: the high-performing Intel i7 core systems require DDR3, which still isn't as cheap as DDR2. The motherboards are very pricey as well. Similar accounts for a Phenom II setup, however the motherboard will be cheaper.

    Any graphics card will OpenGL support will be sufficient for CS4 gadgets.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Notts UK
    Posts
    766
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked
    55 times in 52 posts

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Thanks - this is making more sense now. A final couple of Q's before I go buy:

    I've decided to scrap the gfx for the moment. The onboard gfx will surely perform OpenGL acceleration and the input of the GPU compared to the CPUs will probably be minimal. If I find gfx lacking I can always stick in a card later.

    I'll also not worry about HDDs for the moment. Again, I can keep the cost down now and add one later, simply relegating the current HDD to a 2nd drive.

    If I don't add an HDD I'll need an e-sata connection for the 1TB Seagate Extreme drive. I take it these are add-on cards and not something I'm likely to use once USB 3 becomes prevalent. Am I maybe better off cracking open the Extreme drive and just putting the HDD in the machine? Sounds a bit... extreme (groan)... but worth a look?

    I can use some of the saved money from the extra HDDs and Gfx to put on 8GB RAM to start with - thanks for the tip about the speed not being of upmost importance.

    I think the only point I'm umming and erring on is the dual/quad core debate. Firstly, is the ASROCK K10N78M good enough for a quad core? It looks quide diddy:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=K10N78M

    only 2 RAM slots and 2 PCI. I'm not even sure what the green and little white slots are... they didn't have them last time I bought a PC If I use one PCI slot for an e-sata card, I've only got one left, and I might have to install a wireless networking card for internet in my new flat... Can I get a bigger board for around the same price?

    And finally, bearing in mind that I do a lot of multi-tasking and will generally have msn, skype, outlook, LR2, PS4 and a couple of little photo-apps open at the same time, am I right in saying that the quad-core will be a lot smoother overall, even if it won't 'out-benchmark' the dual core?

    Cheers again!

  8. #8
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere less backstabby
    Posts
    28,789
    Thanks
    3,203
    Thanked
    4,456 times in 3,442 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    Thanks - this is making more sense now. A final couple of Q's before I go buy:

    I've decided to scrap the gfx for the moment. The onboard gfx will surely perform OpenGL acceleration and the input of the GPU compared to the CPUs will probably be minimal. If I find gfx lacking I can always stick in a card later.

    I'll also not worry about HDDs for the moment. Again, I can keep the cost down now and add one later, simply relegating the current HDD to a 2nd drive.

    If I don't add an HDD I'll need an e-sata connection for the 1TB Seagate Extreme drive. I take it these are add-on cards and not something I'm likely to use once USB 3 becomes prevalent. Am I maybe better off cracking open the Extreme drive and just putting the HDD in the machine? Sounds a bit... extreme (groan)... but worth a look?

    I can use some of the saved money from the extra HDDs and Gfx to put on 8GB RAM to start with - thanks for the tip about the speed not being of upmost importance.

    I think the only point I'm umming and erring on is the dual/quad core debate. Firstly, is the ASROCK K10N78M good enough for a quad core? It looks quide diddy:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=K10N78M

    only 2 RAM slots and 2 PCI. I'm not even sure what the green and little white slots are... they didn't have them last time I bought a PC If I use one PCI slot for an e-sata card, I've only got one left, and I might have to install a wireless networking card for internet in my new flat... Can I get a bigger board for around the same price?

    And finally, bearing in mind that I do a lot of multi-tasking and will generally have msn, skype, outlook, LR2, PS4 and a couple of little photo-apps open at the same time, am I right in saying that the quad-core will be a lot smoother overall, even if it won't 'out-benchmark' the dual core?

    Cheers again!
    The fact that the motherboard has only two RAM slots is a major limitation TBH as you would need to get 4gb DDR2 dimms AFAIK if they do exist they are going to be extremely expensive.

    TBH I would order some of the stuff online as you can get some nice AM2+ motherboards for around £60 and under such as the following one:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150278

    As long as the shop does not quote more than £70 you will be fine.

    Since your local shop stocks Asrock which is the budget arm of Asus you should in theory be able to get that motherboard with a triple core processor.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    At home ;)
    Posts
    193
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked
    9 times in 9 posts
    • Cistron's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit iP35 Dark Raider
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E2160@3Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 2GB PC6400 OCZ 4-4-4-15
      • Storage:
      • WD 320GB AAKS
      • Graphics card(s):
      • PowerColor HD3870 SCS3
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Pro82+ 385W
      • Case:
      • Sharkoon Rebel9, two low rpm case fans
      • Monitor(s):
      • Viewsonic Q22wb
      • Internet:
      • cable

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by brammers View Post
    If I don't add an HDD I'll need an e-sata connection for the 1TB Seagate Extreme drive. I take it these are add-on cards and not something I'm likely to use once USB 3 becomes prevalent. Am I maybe better off cracking open the Extreme drive and just putting the HDD in the machine? Sounds a bit... extreme (groan)... but worth a look?
    Does your enclosure sport a eSATA interface? Some mainboards have eSATA connectors, so maybe you should select your motherboard with this in mind.

    I think the only point I'm umming and erring on is the dual/quad core debate. Firstly, is the ASROCK K10N78M good enough for a quad core? It looks quide diddy:

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=K10N78M

    only 2 RAM slots and 2 PCI. I'm not even sure what the green and little white slots are... they didn't have them last time I bought a PC If I use one PCI slot for an e-sata card, I've only got one left, and I might have to install a wireless networking card for internet in my new flat... Can I get a bigger board for around the same price?
    I'm not sure whether the board supports the latest AMD quad-cores (look out for BIOS support and maximum TDP), but if you want raw performance, you might be better off with the Intel-pendant.

    Unfortunately, I don't know what parts of photoshop/lightroom fully use all four cores. You'll have to browse the web and see whether you deem the extra cost worth the speed gain in some situations. I doubt that a few background applications hamper performance significantly. I usually run browser, extra imaging software, Illustrator, inDesign and Photoshop in parallel and it still works smoothly (E8300, 4GB RAM, GeForce9400GT). I hardly use filters and effects, so it might be different for your application.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Notts UK
    Posts
    766
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked
    55 times in 52 posts

    Re: 2-300 quid upgrade for photography

    Thanks for everyone's advice.

    In the end I went for an Asus M4N78, which has 3 E-sata ports built in. I put a Phenom X4 9950 in this and coupled that up with 8GB of RAM. As this mobo doesn't have onboard gfx I added a fanless 1gb Geforce 9400GT.

    With my regular customer discount I got all of that for just under 300 - seems very fair to me!

    It all fits together and posts but unfortunately Windows 7 64bit RC seems to be missing some drivers for installation... Looks like I'm going to have to beg/borrow/steal an OS from somewhere until I can buy the real thing in October.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. In desperate need of an upgrade!
    By Allen in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 30-12-2007, 08:10 PM
  2. #300 upgrade
    By MrP in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-11-2007, 01:47 PM
  3. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 16-11-2007, 11:09 PM
  4. Advice on an upgrade
    By Disturbedguy in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 16-11-2007, 08:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •