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Thread: recommendations for a photographers PC

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Nov 2009
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    recommendations for a photographers PC

    Hi, Im looking to buy a PC for photography use. Typically I shoot 20 to 50GB in a day and then turn RAW files into works of wonder on the pc . Currently there is no video but probably will be next year. I dont store on the pc, once the work is processed then its archived on terrastations.

    Basis is overclocked i7 920.

    Work is demanding so needs something good. Being a photographer means being desititute ... the compromise means a budget a bit over 1k. Bang for Buck isn the name of the game.

    There is little gaming ( just a bit of strategy, age of empires type stuff ) so we can skimp on Graphics card. Not bothered what the case looks like either.

    Fast hard drive and lots of fast memory will be important ... min 6GB and maybe more. Should I look at 10,000 rpm velocoraptor or SSD's. 64GB is probably too small, 200gb would be fine.

    System runs 24x7 so needs to be stable. Is the 3xs cooling enough? Have seen relativly cheep coolit water cooling elsewhere ... is that something to consider?

    I'm local so am happy to pop in and discuss the fine details. Some online recomendations would be welcome so I can be all prepared.

    Whats the lead time on building it?

    Thanks and regards,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: recommendations for a photographers PC

    Very happy with my core i7, which I took up to 3.6ghz. Though you'd be best to get them to do the overclocking as they run a barrage of tests before it leaves the place.

    I'd say you should be thinking about getting the best possible screen with the most possible pixels - I've hearn eizo are good,. I run 2 x 1920x1200 24inch monitors with a modest nvidia graphics card. You might not need a lot of power in the graphics, but check you've got the right connections, and the ability to support large screen areas.

    Photoshopping is fast and stable for me. All cooled on air, no worries there. 32 bit windows 7 pro (recommended for getting the most from the i7) so limited to 3gb ram, though if you do more video with a new DSLR you might consider 64bit OS, then you can have as much ram as you want.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    East Midlands
    8 times in 6 posts
    • NightOwl's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P6T Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.6GHz
      • Memory:
      • 6GB Corsair DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600)
      • Storage:
      • Intel G2 X25-M SSD + 2x Samsung F1 500GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB Gigabyte 9600GT
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster RC-1000 Cosmos
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M IPS LED 24" 1920x1200
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 50 Mbit

    Re: recommendations for a photographers PC

    I concur with jt256 - air cooling is not a problem on the Scan Core i7 systems. I toyed with idea of water cooling myself (for reasons of "quietness") but decided that it wasn't worth the extra £200. In the end I picked a large case with good airflow and went along with the recommendations given to me by Scan re. the number and type of fans needed. I'm not a photographer but I do do a lot of digital artwork that involves lengthy, CPU intensive computations and image rendering (i.e. sheer processing power rather than memory being the main requirement for me) - this is HOT work that can go on relentlessly for hours on end. Cooling has never been a problem. I also work with very large image files in Photoshop (mostly single layer jobs but they can be up to 12,000 pixels on the longest side, involving 120MB+ files) - again, not a problem. Whatever system or spec you pick will be torture tested for many hours by Scan before shipping to ensure total stability and adequate cooling - after all, if they are going to give you a full warranty they are hardly going to sell you something that may melt and be costly to repair, are they.

    If you need lots of memory then you will definitely need a 64-bit OS. I'm perfectly happy with 64-bit Windows 7 in this regard, which can address all 6GB of my installed RAM.

    As for the graphics card I too am not a hard core gamer so a simple one suits my graphical/imaging needs just fine. I opted for a modest, passively cooled one.

    Yes, have a chat with the Scan people, I'm sure they can help you sort out the ideal system for your budget. My experience is that they are professional and good on customer service too.

  4. #4
    Scan Computers PeteG@Scan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    27 times in 24 posts

    Re: recommendations for a photographers PC

    I've mentioned your post to Ant & Pete who deal with video and photo processing machines. I'm sure one of them will be back here to post at some point today

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