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Which CPU chip?

Discussion in 'Equipment & Services Talk' started by Westcoastbmx, May 5, 2012.

  1. Westcoastbmx

    Westcoastbmx New Member

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    I am having a hard time in which chip to put into my new computer...in regards to the ivy bridge I7 or the Sandy Bridge I7. i7 3770K or the old I7.3930k.

    I am upgrading from a dell XPS Gen 4 Pentium 4 HT purchased in 2005. I am going to use Lightroom 4, adobe photoshop and various video editing programs.

    I hope to max out the ram to 16 and stick with a sata drive for now.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
     
  2. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    Whenever I want to compare CPU or Video Card performance I usually head over here. Some interesting results.....I was actually surprised at the difference between Ivy and Sandy Bridge, as the first review I saw indicated not much difference, but the results at Passmark seem to indicate otherwise.
     
  3. Westcoastbmx

    Westcoastbmx New Member

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    In addition to the speed should I take into consideration the USB 3.0 or thunderbolt?
     
  4. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Well, I know Thunderbolt is coming to the PC world, though I don't think it's very prevalent yet. If I was configuring a new PC today, in an ideal world I'd be looking for a motherboard which offered Ivy Bridge, USB3.0 (would expect that anyway as today's standard) as well as Thunderbolt support.....they may exist (I haven't looked very hard), but doubt there'll be many at the moment.
     
  5. Westcoastbmx

    Westcoastbmx New Member

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    Great! There just starting to roll out all the thunderbolt devices..Intel is promoting it quite a bit for 2012.
     
  6. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    If you're buying now, just make sure you choose your motherboard wisely. This looks promising.
     
  7. Westcoastbmx

    Westcoastbmx New Member

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    I havent built a computer before... Usually purchase a Dell but the HP's look a lot better than the XPS.
     
  8. Brad Snyder

    Brad Snyder Lightroom Guru Lightroom Guru

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    I've built a bunch of them, but in the recent past, when I throw in the cost of a legit Windows license (even sys-builders OEM) pricing, it seems like the big boys can beat my DIY price. And I count my labor as break even, it takes about as much time to build a system as it does to remove all the crap-ware from HP and Dell.

    Any thoughts on more competitive system configurators? I recently had a crash/scare, and was shopping for an emergency replacement system in a hurry. I found these guys, and they looked pretty good and competitive. (Jim, I presume they're not active in the UK)
     
  9. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    I wasn't necessarily thinking about building your own, but there are system builders out there that would give you a much greater degree of choice and flexibility than the mainstream guys like Dell or HP. I've just checked my favorite builder in the UK and can get Ivy Bridge and several of the ASUS motherboards that are included in that article I linked you to. Would tick my boxes! I assume you're US-based, and I know there are similar builders over there as well.

    Brad, was there meant to be a link in your post?
     
  10. Brad Snyder

    Brad Snyder Lightroom Guru Lightroom Guru

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  11. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Thanks Brad. Yeah, not available over here.

    Like the choices, even down to the colour of the coolant in the CPU Liquid Cooler. :D
     
  12. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Jim,
    I am new to this forum and I am struggling with wether its worth it to go for the Intel Core i7-3930K which supports 64gb of ram, or go for the newer and cheaper Ivy Bridge i7-3770 cpu which supports 32GB of ram.

    Right now I am still running a 2009 Mac Pro 2.66 ghz with 16gb of ram a couple of SSD's for OS, Applications, and cache/lr4 catalog.
    I am shooting with a Nikon D800/E 14bit NEFS.
    RIght now it takes what seems forever to import 50 images and generate 1:1 previews on my Mac Pro.
    I was hoping for newer Mac Pros but that was not to be, I just can't justify spending $3K for a "new" 6 core Mac Pro which is basically still 3 yeard old technology, so I am looking at Windows 7 64bit system.. Windows does not scare me at all btw.

    From what I have read about LR4, CPU speed is the #1 thing that will effect performace, and will not take advantage of more ram, more cores, etc.

    What is your take on this.

    If I was a heavy PS6 user, which I am not, I would for sure go for the i7-3930K just because the MB can access 64gb of ram which PS6 would for sure use though it is not clear if this is the case for LR4.

    Steven



     
  13. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Hi Steven, welcome to the forum.

    To be honest, I'm a bit reluctant to offer my take on the best hardware, especially for LR4. One of the oddities of the LR4 performance issues which are still affecting some users is the fact that in a lot of these cases the hardware in use is actually quite highly spec'd....certainly much higher than my first gen i7 system. The other problem is that performance expectations are generally quite subjective, i.e. what may be perfectly acceptable to me may be totally unacceptable to you.

    So with those caveats in mind:

    CPU...I use a 4 core system with HT, and have found that LR3/4 will happily drive all 8 processors. I expect that on a 6 core system with HT that LR again will happily use all 12 processors (I think Victoria can confirm that when she gets back). So either of your 2 options should be viable, and given that they are way more powerful than my (now modest) system, either should perform well.

    However, with such a powerful CPU the biggest problem by far will be feeding data quickly enough to make best use of all that power. Even with my first gen i7 I have never been able to max all 8 cores even when doing high-activity tasks like multiple exports....LR4 gets me closer than LR3, but it never gets red-lined. The problem in my case is that my 4 internal drives are all standard 7200 drives on a 3gb/s bus, so if I was bothered by this I would be looking at adding either SSD or 10k drives into the mix. That may be something you'd need to pay attention to if going for a very powerful CPU.

    RAM....I have 12gb and that is probably more than enough. 64gb, IMO, would be a waste of money unless you have something else that would use that amount. If I was building a new system (maybe next year), I'd probably be looking at 24gb maximum. So the fact that the 3770 only supports 32gb just wouldn't be a factor in my decision-making.

    Hope that helps.
     
  14. Paul Treacher

    Paul Treacher New Member

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    Jim,

    In one of your posts you mention your favorite builder in uk, can I ask who it is? I am thinking of an upgrade and after having a couple of Dell's in the last 10 years I find their new business model where you can no longer "customise" the way you could frustrating. They still have a customise option but when you follow it you can't actually "customise" the PC but merely spend more money on periherals etc.I am therefore likely to look elsewhere where I will have more choice about what goes into my next PC.

    Paul
     
  15. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Paul, both my son (gamer) and I have a similar setup which we bought from PC Specialist, the only major differences being he had a more gamer-friendly graphics card and I had more internal Hard Drives. We've been very happy with both the systems that we had configured and the support.....we only had one subsequent problem on my son's system which was related to a defective batch of liquid CPU cooler that was installed. So not their fault, and quickly and speedily remedied. Other than that, no issues at all.

    They'll certainly be the first place I go to when I next upgrade, though I see from their website that they are about to introduce an 'upgrade your existing PC Specialist system' option, which might save a few bob.
     
  16. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Jim,
    Thanks for your input.
    I have put together for the mean time the cheaper system using the i7 3770 chip, with 32GB ram.
    I did a quick comparison to my older 2009 Mac Pro 2.66Ghz with 16gb ram, same SSD setup on both my Mac and my Win7 box.
    I did an import of 39 D800/E 14 bit NEFS 1:1 previews
    On the Mac Pro it took 6 minutes 34 Seconds
    On the PC it took 4 minutes 41 Seconds.

    So in all some improvement, I was hoping for twice as fast as my 3 year old mac, but not quite there.
    My i7 3770 chip is running at 3.4ghz then it has 3.9ghz turbo mode, not sure it running at that speed though.
    I opened up resmon.exe to see what was going on, first off as far as I can tell LR will only use up to 4gb of ram, at least during the import process and then I noticed all 8 cores of the CPU all at around 100% so I guess it does use all the cores.

    Steven

     
  17. b_gossweiler

    b_gossweiler Lightroom Guru Lightroom Guru

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    I can confirm that. I'm using an i7-980x (6 cores) with HT on Win7 64Bit and LR happily uses all 12 threads.

    I have 24GB of RAM on my Desktop machine, but I never see applications using all of it. On Win7, the remaining memory can be used as cache (it's called differently in Win7) though, which helps reducing I/O.

    Beat
     
  18. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Beat,
    So am I correct to assume that LR by itself will not use more then 4GB of ram at any given time and all the extra ram Windows will use for cache, etc.

    Steven

    QUOTE=b_gossweiler;116136]I can confirm that. I'm using an i7-980x (6 cores) with HT on Win7 64Bit and LR happily uses all 12 threads.


    I have 24GB of RAM on my Desktop machine, but I never see applications using all of it. On Win7, the remaining memory can be used as cache (it's called differently in Win7) though, which helps reducing I/O.

    Beat[/QUOTE]
     
  19. b_gossweiler

    b_gossweiler Lightroom Guru Lightroom Guru

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    I'm not saying it won't, but I've never seen it doing it, even while doing large exports, web gallery building and alike.

    Beat
     
  20. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Interesting. How exactly did you do the import? From card/camera using COPY, or direct from a hard drive using ADD?

    Are those files the 36mp variety? What's the average file size?

    Where is the catalog located, SSD or ordinary HD? And where are the ACR cache and the image files?

    This is the CPU activity when rendering 1:1 previews of my 21mp raw files:

    Capture1.JPG

    Is yours similar?
     
  21. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Jim,
    Basically here is what I do.
    I copy the 14bit NEFs to a Hitachi 4TB drive.
    The catalog is on it own Sata III SSD, I have specified a 30GB cache in LR4.1
    I am doing an "Add"
    In my preset I use for my D800/E I am applying some sharpening, Lens Correction, and some clarity, noise reduction at 0
    I will run the test again using the task manager and see if it looks like yours.

    Steven
     
  22. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    And where is the ACR cache in relation to the catalog and image files?

    How is that 4tb drive connected?

    Reason for all the questions is I'm just trying to gauge that import time against my own system.....just using ADD, my import time for 39 21mp raws, rendering 1:1 previews (but with no import preset) was 2mins 33 secs, just a touch under 4 seconds per image compared with your 7.2 seconds per image. Obviously we have to allow for the larger file size of your D800 files, plus the develop preset, but I think I would have expected a faster time on that processor.
     
  23. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Jim,
    ACR cache on the same SSD as the LR catalog.
    Hitachi 4TB drive hooked up Sata III port, so I good there.
    I just did another import with 21 D800 NEFS with Windows Task Manager open and looking at "Performance" it bounces around from 15% to 100% I assume for every image it loads and interesting I saw Memory go up to a little over 5gb but never any higher.
    I guess I can try another import but have no presets applied. I beet that will make a difference..
     
  24. Jim Wilde

    Jim Wilde Lightroom Guru Staff Member Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Update: just redid that import test, but this time used one of my presets which applies Lens Correction and clarity. Surprisingly (to me at least) that had quite an impact on the overall speed, elapsed time now up to 4min 5sec, just over 6 seconds per file. That makes quite a difference and makes your timings a lot more reasonable. Interestingly, the CPU activity profile changed as well:

    Capture2.JPG

    If you're in the mood, it would be useful to run your import again, but this time without any develop preset, i.e. just using the Adobe default settings.
     
  25. kuau

    kuau New Member

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    Again just to clarify, I think for what I have in terms of a system is working fine, considering what I am asking for it to do, All I am trying to quantify is how much faster would a [h=1]Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz which costs about $560.00 US, plus I would need a new mother board, another $300.00 be over what I have now?[/h]10% faster? 20% ???

    Steven
     

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