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Thread: Hardware recommendations/upgrades for LR4

  1. #1
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    Hardware recommendations/upgrades for LR4

    Hi all, I'm new here. I've been using LR since version 2 but not much, still learning.
    I built a system recently that I think could use a little tweaking. Here are the essential:
    Win 7 64bit
    16GB Ram
    i7-2600
    500gb sata 3.0 7200 HD
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti video card (4GB)

    I know upgrading to a SSD is going make a big improvement in performance, but would a different video card help, since SSDs are so expensive right now.

    Any hardware experts with recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I have just had a computer built that is identical in spec to yours apart from the drives. I have 2 x 500 Gb SATA 7200 HDD and one 2 Tb SAta 7200 drive. (my Nvidia GTX 550Ti card is only 1 GB - don't think it comes in a 4 GB version, does it?) Anyhow that should be quite sufficient for LR4 and even PS. CS6. It looks as though you can get a marginal improvement in start up speed and opening the programme with an SSD . But is it worth the extra money? It is also suggested that SSD drives are not so good for constantly writing data to and that an ordinary spinning disc drive would be better. Also a SSD big enough to store loads of data will be very expensive. I would suggests you buy a second SATA HDD drive. I have my OS and programmes on one, my LR catalogue and backups on the second and all my data on the big one.

    Use the cash you save towards something else. A better printer? A new lens?
    Jeremy Whigham
    Canon 5DIII, Canon 7D.


  3. #3
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    You should have no performance issues with that hardware. I would also recommend a second hard drive. Right now the price to performance ratio for SSDs is too high and makes it not worth the expense. If you are having performance issues, you need to look elsewhere. What do you have that starts on boot? How often do you defragment your hard drive?

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, I do have multiple drives, so storage isn't an issue. I have a 1.5TB for my catalogs. I just expected the startup of LR or CS5 to happen a little quicker, I know a SSD would help by thought maybe a better GPU or one with more memory would be of benefit until SSD become more reasonable in price. Right now the OS and profile, etc takes up about 160GB on a 500GB boot drive so I'm planning a 250+-GB SSD sometime in the future.

  5. #5
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    A faster video card is not going to make much, if any, difference. "Faster" in video card terms usually means 3D performance, ie games or high end applications like CAD programs that make use of it. Until this past summer I worked at a video game developer and the 3D games we were working on (using the Unreal game engine) ran great on that model of card (I had one in my machine, and I was just an IT guy, not a game developer).

    You can gain some speed with a second internal drive for your data and Windows swap space, but with 16 GB of RAM, you are probably not swapping out very much.

    Now, if you want to get all mad crazy like, then get two SSDs and configure them in RAID 0. That would be speedy.

  6. #6
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    That would be crazy, I've been watching drive prices since the floods in Thailand and prices are starting to drop. But SSD's are still a little pricey, if a 250GB would get down below $250US I would make the jump. Who know we might see that in a few months

    I don't game or anything like that with my computer, I'm an IT/Security guy and photography hobbyist so 3D is of no interest, but I know GPUs can sometimes assist in graphics performance and didn't know if LR or CS5 would take advantage of them.

  7. #7
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    I have a 1Gb Nvidia GT250 and it's plenty for CS5 and LR. In all honesty, I can't see you getting any improvement with a new GPU. I chose a SSD when my new PC was configured and don't regret it. It's only 80GB but it is only used for the OS and programs. Applications open very quickly and when I go back to my old PC it drives me nuts now, waiting for CS5 to open.
    ~ Trevor ~

    Canon 5D Mk2, 60D, 7D and too many lenses to mention, apart from my 21mm Zeiss of course.
    Scotland Imagery

  8. #8
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    My understanding is that LR does not make use of the features of a GPU. CS does a bit but your card is quite adequate for the that. I am not very techically minded but it makes use of the memory and of CUDA cores. Your card has 192 of those (but don't ask me exactly what they are!). There is a review here:
    http://www.cgchannel.com/2011/03/rev...ative-suite-5/

    which concludes that: With Photoshop, I feel that it is safe to say that any recent Nvidia or ATI card with at least 1GB of RAM is more than enough computing horsepower for all of the GPU-accelerated features, even with the very largest images.
    Jeremy Whigham
    Canon 5DIII, Canon 7D.


  9. #9
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    I have my built in Intel video card, but then again I have a Mac I am running on a 4 year old Mac Mini with very acceptable performance.

  10. #10
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    Good day,

    I will have to change my graphic card which is a Nvidia GeForge 9500GT (256mb) and I wonder if with 3.6 or 4.0 I can apreciate an improvement by using a better or faster card, with at least 1GB memory as somebody mentioned

    Thanks in advance

    ciao

    Nicola

  11. #11
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    Have you considered overclocking? I am running my 3.2 GHz AMD X6 1900T BE at 3.9 GHz. The speed difference is easy to notice on heavy compute operations like producing a bunch of JPEGs. Between the OC and my 240 GB SSD boot drive, things are pretty snappy.

    Note, don't jump into OC unless you have the right motherboard, cooling, memory, etc., and understand the risks...
    Last edited by mhilbush; 14 Apr 2012 at 6:18 am.
    Mark


  12. #12
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    Mhilbush, thanks for your suggestion, I will look into different configurations and see what looks best

    regards

    Nicola :-)

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