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Thread: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!

  1. #11
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Oh my! Those American prices are insane!!! The USD prices are exactly the same prices as I pay in Euros for...which is 1.3x more expensive [:|]


    Anyway I have looked around a bit at the websites that you both mentioned and it seems like you have all sorts of other brands and prices, so it's hard for me to give good advice about the buying part.


    I still hove some remarks:


    Alex, does your budget also include the monitor(s). You can better buy 1 good IPS monitor than two bad TN monitors. I have bought the NEC EA231 WMi myself about a month ago and it's truly amazing for photography and video-purposes. Highly recommended.


    And yes the on-board soundcard. Mostly 5.1 or 7.1 is good enough for most people. Obviously a true soundcard would produce better results, but you would need good speakers as well and a very sensitive ear []


    Daniel, I like your recommendation in general. However I'm not getting the 16GB ram part. I personally have plenty with 6GB 1600MHz. And honestly I don't see the benefit of 16GB. It looks like quite the overkill to me. I think 99% of the time 8 will do great (4 would even do good). Plus Alex could update the RAM later on if he thinks he needs more and safe some money now.


    Also there's no W7 included in the package.


    About the SSD, I think it's still too expensive and I'd rather buy a faster processor for the extra cash. Again an SSD could be a great future update when prices get lower. At this point, I think they're just too expensive per GB. Please convince me why this is necesary.[:P] A RAID set-up would be very fast aswell and a lot cheaper.


    Oh I also see you use a mini-atx case in your second list. Wouldn't that be too small and tight. I personally have a CoolerMaster CM690 which is quite large (ATX) and easily fits multiple HDD's, PCI-cards a big processor cooler etc. The Antec probably has a better build, but if it's really worth it...


    Good luck Alex!

  2. #12
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    The USD prices are exactly the same prices as I pay in Euros for...which is 1.3x more expensive

    Plus we don't have any VAT. (Actually, we do, but I've never yet met anyone who actually pays it when buying online.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    Alex, does your budget also include the monitor(s). You can better buy 1 good IPS monitor than two bad TN monitors.

    I second this advice. I'd recommend a $700 NEC.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    Daniel, I like your recommendation in general. However I'm not getting the 16GB ram part. I personally have plenty with 6GB 1600MHz. And honestly I don't see the benefit of 16GB. It looks like quite the overkill to me. I think 99% of the time 8 will do great (4 would even do good). Plus Alex could update the RAM later on if he thinks he needs more and safe some money now.

    I had 8 GB of ram in my workstation about 6 years ago, so I guess I've just come to rely on having lots of ram. I could make do with less, but I like it when the operating system caches an entire day's shooting (say, 8 GB) into memory, so I can flip around the files from the whole day really fast. And it's just so cheap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    Also there's no W7 included in the package.

    Yeah, that's another expense.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    About the SSD, I think it's still too expensive and I'd rather buy a faster processor for the extra cash. Again an SSD could be a great future update when prices get lower. At this point, I think they're just too expensive per GB. Please convince me why this is necesary.[img]/emoticons/emotion-4.gif[/img] A RAID set-up would be very fast aswell and a lot cheaper.

    Well, I have three 6 TB raid arrays (6 TB RAID-5) and they can easily blow away the SSD on sequential I/O (I've only measured 330 MB/s on Windows, but I can get faster than that on Linux), but I've found the latency (random I/O) to be pretty poor compared to SSD. So if you're working your photos in a sequential manner and not doing anything else, RAID would be better than SSD, but if you want to use the same disk for multiple things at the same time, the performance goes to pot. One solution to this is to use JBOD and divide the disks up by their purpose (scratch files on one, images on the other, OS on the third, etc.), but I find that this results in hassle and reliability issues (restoring from back takes more time than just replacing a raid disk).


    Of course, it's only sensible if the important part of your work fits into a reasonably -priced SSD.For me, I can get several week's worth of photos onto a 120 GB SSD along with the O.S., applications, temp files, etc. When I'm done with them, I just copy them to the hard drive. Plus, SSD is simpler than a raid array.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    Oh I also see you use a mini-atx case in your second list. Wouldn't that be too small and tight.

    Whoops! Yeah, don't buy that one, Alex. Glad you caught that, Jan. I really love my Antec P183 (I've got 8 disks in it right now), but it's too large and expensive for most folks, so I was trying to see if they a smaller one. Thanks for the correction.

  3. #13
    Senior Member jks_photo's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    alex i

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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Truth be told, my budget *might* be slightly higher soon - I

  5. #15
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Niedra


    My budget was originally in the neighbourhood of $1200. Now it may be somewhere in the mid $1000s to quite possible $2000 range.


    Yeah, things can change. Quickly. [img]/emoticons/emotion-1.gif[/img]


    Certainly, though, in a good way.

    Oh don't you worry, we willempty your budget in no time []


    Now that the budget is more clear, some of my opinions could change a bit [A] But the most important thingis that you really look out for a good IPS panel monitor(NEC, Dell, Eizo etc etc). It will really make a lot of sense if you see the difference and it will probably improve your work(flow) a lot!


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning


    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    The USD prices are exactly the same prices as I pay in Euros for...which is 1.3x more expensive

    Plus we don't have any VAT. (Actually, we do, but I've never yet met anyone who actually pays it when buying online.)


    Ah now the prices make more sense. I think that if I would have to do a large investment, like a 1D4 body or something, I could almost buy a ticket to the US, have a little vacation, shoot some great shotsand return with a great camera for the same money that would have bought me a 1D4 here [:P] Unfortunately I won't be able to try this out anywhere soon, plus I'm very happy with my current gear [A]


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning


    I had 8 GB of ram in my workstation about 6 years ago, so I guess I've just come to rely on having lots of ram. I could make do with less, but I like it when the operating system caches an entire day's shooting (say, 8 GB) into memory, so I can flip around the files from the whole day really fast. And it's just so cheap.


    It is indeed cheap. When I build my pc about 1,5 years ago prices where the same. They raised enormously after that and they are back on the same level about now. Actually the i7-920 that I have costs just as much now as it did 1,5 years ago [A] I'm still not convinced that you "need" more than 8GB (dual channel) or 12GB (triple channel). However if you have to work on a daily basis with memory hungry programs and actions I could see why. But for normal use and the occasional big rendering and video-editing it shouldn't be too big of a deal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning


    Well, I have three 6 TB raid arrays (6 TB RAID-5) and they can easily blow away the SSD on sequential I/O (I've only measured 330 MB/s on Windows, but I can get faster than that on Linux), but I've found the latency (random I/O) to be pretty poor compared to SSD. So if you're working your photos in a sequential manner and not doing anything else, RAID would be better than SSD, but if you want to use the same disk for multiple things at the same time, the performance goes to pot. One solution to this is to use JBOD and divide the disks up by their purpose (scratch files on one, images on the other, OS on the third, etc.), but I find that this results in hassle and reliability issues (restoring from back takes more time than just replacing a raid disk).


    That's exactly how I do it. 1 fast HDD for windows and programs and the photos and videos are located on a RAID-0 set-up of 2 disks. I like it a lot and it works very fast without noticeable lag.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning


    Of course, it's only sensible if the important part of your work fits into a reasonably -priced SSD.For me, I can get several week's worth of photos onto a 120 GB SSD along with the O.S., applications, temp files, etc. When I'm done with them, I just copy them to the hard drive. Plus, SSD is simpler than a raid array.


    Hmm...last Saturday I shot some Ice-skating and I came home with almost 45GB of footage. (My girlfriend helped me with that [:P]) I'm not seeying that going along the OS, programs like CS5, some games and some big school related software....


    But since his budget is raised and prices are so cheap for you...I'm less against the SSD [] I don't know the brand that you took, is it better than let's say the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB? (Which is as far as I know performing very good)


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Browning
    . I really love my Antec P183 (I've got 8 disks in it right now), but it's too large and expensive for most folks, so I was trying to see if they a smaller one. Thanks for the correction.

    No problem, I have made similar mistakes like that myself by not reading carefully at times where I should have[] For me the Antec cases where just too expensive. Yes they're probablybetter build, other material, better soundproof etc. But for me most of these don't really matter, since it's just standing there. I don't really care for a good looking case, it's all about the inside for me [A] Nah I'm pretty pleased with the looks of my CoolerMaster and it cools very good!


    Quote Originally Posted by jks_photo
    if money is no object I sugeest you go for the i7 triple channel ddr3 ram setup. get as much triple channel ram you can afford and go with a good video card a high capacity [maye at least 800w] power supply

    Yeah with the increased budget, a better processor might be interesting. However a good monitor, disks/SSD etc etc will empty the budget quite fast.


    Concerning the video-card. As long as you're not a DIE-HARD gamer, most video-cards will do great. The 5000 series ofATI(5770, 5750 etc) are more than fast enough with their 1GB of memory. You might not get 200 fps on the maximum settings of a serious game, but who needs that with photos and videos anyway []


    800W for a power-supply is quite the overkill. The newer processors like the i5 are not that power-hungry as the i7 triple channel ones and with only 1 video-card 500W would be more than plenty. As long as you're not wanting to do SLI or Crossfire, it will do perfectly fine. You're better of buying a quality PSU with a good and steady flow and good efficiency.


    Anyway good look Alex! I think you can create quite the PC for your budget []


    Jan

  6. #16
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Paalman
    don't know the brand that you took, is it better than let's say the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB? (Which is as far as I know performing very good)

    Yes, they both use the exact same Sandforce SF-1200 controller, so the performance should be very similar.

  7. #17
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Alex;


    Seems like everyone has this more than covered on the technical end, so I won't expose my ignorance by trying to add anything here...[:P]


    But I did notice that you're from Canada, so may I recommend that you check ncix.com for some pricing (I notice you're already using tigerdirect which is the other site I usually check for computer parts pricing).


    Have fun picking out your computer!


    Stephen

  8. #18
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    I see everyone has their own preferences, whatever works for them is right for them.. I built my own pc

  9. #19
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Niedra
    I will almost definitely PM one or all of you with questions regarding my choices




    No, No, No Alex, don't bait us with a good string, then leave us hanging while you jump off in to those PM's [:|]. Actually, I am very interested in hearing what you ended up with and the questions/answers that lead to your decisions; I am fixing to build my next one, so this is all great info for me as well.


    Thanks,


    Bob
    Bob

  10. #20
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Workstation - Need guidance!



    Alex, et.al, ---Just wanted to see how your new system build was going. Any Recommendations, warning or horror stories? Its been a few years since I have done a complete build; but, you got me motivated to start on my own. So far I have collected:


    Intel I7-950 processor


    Asus Sabertooth X-58 Motherboard


    G-skill 6gig 1600, triple channel memory


    what I still need to get:


    Case with lots of cooling fans


    Power supply---800 watts or better


    What I currently have and plan to install in the new build:


    2- Western digital HD
    Bob

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