Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    97
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Question Upgrading a computer

    Finally my 6 year old production computer is no longer able to handle the requirements of Photoshop CC and I need to think about upgrading the box. Sigh, it has been a great 6 years.

    The current box is a wonderful ANTEC p182 tower with an ATX mobo (Gigabyte GA-EPO35-DS4), a Max of 4 GB RAM, an INTEL Core2 Quad Q6600 LGA 775 CPU, three HDs, two optical drives, a floppy drive, a ZOTAC GeFORCE GTX 560 nVIDIA video card, and an FSP AURUM Serie4s Gold 600 Power supply. There are also a number of NASes and external hard drives for backups & internet access. The software is WIN7, 64 bit.

    I know the mobo/RAM/CPU must go. Does the video have to go? If not, how do I get VRAM on a newMOBO/CPU? Does the power supply need to be replaced? I'm also think of moving to A 240 GB or so SSD.

    I have been looking at the class of LGA 1150 as the next mobo/CPU (maybe ASUS Z87 Sabertooth + Intel Core i5 4670K) But I am open to suggestions. I am interested in Photoshop and database work, not gaming. (My system includes two high end monitors and a another computer, all working through a KMVS.) I do go for 5 or so years between upgrades.

    It is possible I might buy another box and come out with a third computer using the hand-me-downs to put on the house's ethernet system as a Microsoft Media Station to handle TV recordings, etc. Does that make sense?

    What say ye?

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,624
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 526 Times in 475 Posts
    Moved post to the more appropriate Hardware Forum.

    Jerry

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,137
    Thanks
    202
    Thanked 206 Times in 198 Posts
    You didn't say how much memory you currently have, nor how big your primary hard drive is. But you seem to have plenty of total hard drive space.

    You have Windows 7 - 64 bit, which means that you don't need to upgrade the OS.

    If it were me, I would simply upgrade the system to 4 GB of RAM, and perhaps put the OS on the SSD as you described. Doing just those two steps should bring you up to date.

    That is, unless you want to go above the 4 GB limit on RAM. Then it would be time to get a new motherboard or a new computer.

    Memory is cheap, especially on Ebay. Bring it up to 4 GB, and see if things are ok after that. I suspect that they will be.

  5. #4
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    277
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 63 Times in 53 Posts
    Your current setup appears to be adequate for database work but this is a bit of a guess 'cos you don't mention the current HD specs (setup, capacity, interface, speed, cache, etc.)

    It's difficult to advise whether it's adequate for use with Photoshop. Photoshop needs as much RAM as possible (both onboard 'fast' video RAM and 'ordinary' RAM) plus HD oomph (speed and cache) to use its own temporary 'scratch disks' efficiently.

    Is it the 1Gb or 2Gb version of the ZOTAC GeFORCE GTX 560 card? Do you need 2D or 3D capability?

    Windows 7 begins to work efficiently with 2Gb RAM for its own processing. The 64-bit version uses 4Gb efficiently but doesn't have a lot left for other CPU/RAM intensive processes. If you don't have a lot of RAM (and thus can't dispense with the swap file) then you need the swapfile on a seperate [fast... but not SSD] disk to the 'system' [OS] disk for efficiency.

    I'm not familiar with the Gigabyte GA-EPO35-DS4 mainboard but if it can only address 4 Gb RAM maximum then this will hold back both Windows 7 x64 and Photoshop.

    Hope this helps...

  6. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Posts
    2,138
    Thanks
    102
    Thanked 207 Times in 181 Posts
    Your current CPU is the equivalent of a Haswell/Ivy i3, to give a baseline.


    For workstation usage such as yours, a low Xeon v3 CPU (1230?) on a B8x (Business class) or H8x chipset (Consumer), rather than a Z87 (Enthusiast/Overclocker) might be a good middle ground.

    I'm not fully up to date on nVidia graphics, but I'd suggest that your current 560 GTX should be fine for your usage for ~3 more years. A 240-256GB SSD would, for most purposes, be a worthwhile addition for the System drive.

    If the Aurum is still reasonably new, say 3/4 years old, it should still be trustworthy for another couple of years or so. If it's any older, consider a new PSU (Seasonic/XFX would be my choice).

    The case will be fine, it's a great classic design.

    Somewhere between 8/16 and 32GB (64GB might require a different CPU/chipset) of RAM, depending on your usage; if you select a 'board with 4x RAM slots, you could begin with 8 or 16GB and double it when you feel your workload needs it.

    A smaller SSD (60-64GB?) could be added as a scratch disk for the heavy Adobe software.

    Non Pro or higher versions of W7x64 are limited, iirc, to 16GB RAM, W8 increases those (artificial - licensed, not physical as erroneously claimed by MS*) limits to 128GB. * http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=vs.85%29.aspx

    Moving the older innards to create a Media server, especially if it's always on, feels like overkill on the CPU front, I'd want to limit the maximum speed to the minimum (~1.6GHZ?), I'm pretty confident it would do the job fine like that.



    There's some decent info and tests, etc on the Puget site for PS, hardware and more that you should find of use: http://www.pugetsystems.com/all_articles.php


    (Rick, not sure why you suggest "[fast... but not SSD]" when it comes to an additional swapfile, if it's not a System drive, the SSD will have far fewer background writes anyway. I have a dual SSD system with (small, fixed) swapfiles on both, plus a larger, variable swapfile on the only HDD. Windows will pluck any needed paged out data from the disk with the lowest disk queues/fastest access times at the time the data is needed. Could you expand on your reasons for/understanding of why a secondary paging file should not be on an SSD?)

  7. #6
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    277
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 63 Times in 53 Posts
    Hi satrow... my only thoughts were about not using an SSD for Photoshop's 'scratch disks' as I'm not yet convinced that PS running in Windows adheres to (or has ever adhered to) MS guidelines about swapfile usage. In my opinion, PS's 'scratch disk' usage would be better directed, if possible, to a non-SSD HD to obviate any potential risk of constant overwrites. (And I'm more than ready to accept that I'm wrong... but just need re-assurance... with citations )
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2014-03-06 at 19:18.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Rick Corbett For This Useful Post:

    satrow (2014-03-06)

  9. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,391
    Thanks
    127
    Thanked 486 Times in 447 Posts
    Yeah, I like the Antec case, I think it's fine. Your GPU is OK too.

    Consider a 2011 socket with the X79 chipset. That'll give the option of going 6 core for a measly 500 dollars.
    I can attest to the 6 core's fantastic multitasking capabilities, especially with something like Photoshop and or databases.
    For memory, something like 12GBs running at least 1600MHz would be very decent too.

    SSDs are a must nowadays, but don't forget that you'll have at least 5 more ports on your new mobo
    to slap a few 2 or 3 TB drive on for superior internal storage.

    One more thing, don't do the store bought crap, build your own from the ground up.
    Don't go cheapo either, come up with a decent budget of a few grand.

    There's nothing like the feeling of spending a good couple of months researching all your components and compatibilities,
    and then finally sitting down to do the actual build...and getting everything you want to boot.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-03-06 at 19:29.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  10. #8
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Posts
    2,138
    Thanks
    102
    Thanked 207 Times in 181 Posts
    LOL @ Rick: an SSD (or any drive) dedicated to a scratch disk for PS is (almost) completely divorced from Windows 'interference', or it can be tweaked that way (no System restore running, etc.). It's not used by Windows at all, so adhering to any MS dictat on swapfile usage (which seems to change frequently) is pretty much irrelevant.

    If you make money from PS, or waiting for PS is taking too much of your time that you could otherwise make better earnings potential from, speeding it up should be a priority. Smaller but still recent generations of SSD are getting cheaper all the time, if a $50 SSD saves you 10+ hours of otherwise paid time, it's worth the initial outlay, in my book.

    Now if it were a discussion on a scratch disk for Premiere, my opinion would be somewhat different, sequential reads versus constant SSD writes and all that ...

  11. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,391
    Thanks
    127
    Thanked 486 Times in 447 Posts
    You could also employ a second SSD exclusively for the scratch usage and other intensive read/writes, like video encoding, as an example.
    That would effectively cut down on the ware level on the primary drive.

    But all of this would be considerably less of a concern in a 64 bit computing environment with plenty of fast RAM, than it would be in an antiquated 32 bit environment.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-03-07 at 12:24.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  12. #10
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    97
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Sorry I did not get in the weeds enough.
    The PS is from June 2012.
    My current set of HDs on this machine.
    The C: drive is Hitachi 750 GB/7200/32MB, SAta-3g. Built Feb 2008
    The F: drive is SeaGate Barracuda ST2000M001/1.5 GB/7200/64mb Installed June 2009
    The G: drive is SeaGate Barracuda ST2000M001/ 2TB/7200/64MB. Installed Dec 2012

    I do a bit of Premier and will in the future do more. More and more family photography is in video these days.
    My thought on the HDs is to replace the current C: drive with a 200+GB SSD for all the EXEs plus the Elements catalog. (I prefer the keep catalogs off the C: drive but the speed up and the newer generation of DB programming probably leans toward hosting both together on an SSD.) That small drive now used as a the C: could be fully dedicated as a scratch drive and when it dies, well, it won't hurt too much.

    I have a number of external derives, several of which can support USB3 and/or eSATA. I'd want any new mobo to have a number of of USB3 & eSATA ports (and USB2 ports as well).
    I have built all my 'puters since 1988. I agree totally that I can do better to my specs than buying from whomever. I'll look into the 2011 with an x79. It might break the bank but, heh, I only build every 5 or so years.
    On Photoshop sites, the consensus is at least 16GB RAM and a lot of folks are up to 64 GB. FYI: (The first hard drive I attached to an IBM PC was 10 MB and required a patch to DOS 2.2. Times they are a-changing.) My current 4 GB RAM, max for the mobo, is known apparently to be too low for a number of PS functions, regardless of scratch space!
    Do you think the PS will support this configuration?

  13. #11
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,095
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 240 Times in 233 Posts
    You must have some "Bert Monroy" sized images or work with 400 layers or something eh? I happily clunk along with CS5 and a few 5-12 MB images and layers on a single core Athlon 4000+ with 2 gigs of RAM.

    Anaway, you could go to this power supply calculator page to find out what you need or have is enough.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to F.U.N. downtown For This Useful Post:

    LinusF3 (2014-03-09)

  15. #12
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    97
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Thanks to all. I've now recast my issues into two different requests because, in part, from the very helpful information from y'all and from Photoshoppers on other sites. One question addresses the OS issues in the changeover; the other, certain specific hardware issues.

    I found myself constrained by three hardware issues as you will note:
    The ability to handle at least up to 64 GB of memory
    ATX size only, not extended
    generous number of ports internal, external, eSATA, USB 2 & 3, IEEE 1394.
    And handling these issues helped constrain my choices. Have I done well?

  16. #13
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    50
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    I gutted my box and put in an Asus P8Z77-v with i5-3570k (3.4Ghz) 16 GB Corsair ram at 1888 MHz, 128 GB SSD for C: drive With Win7 Pro 64, 2nd drive a 500 GB WD for data and programs, and a 3rd drive with Mac OSx Mountain Lion, a 750 w Corsair PSU, a Coolermaster EVO CPU cooler and Asus DVD writer. The 500 GB drive was the only thing kept from previous setup as the other drives I had were IDE not SATA. Things run very smooth, and I think I got everything for about 800 bucks.

    You didn't mention (or I missed) if your F and G drives are SATA or not. It is getting harder to find quality boards with multiple IDE headers, and SATA is much nicer.

  17. #14
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    97
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    All my HDs are SATA-3 and the SSD is SATA-6. The mobo has plenty of SATA-3 connectors and one SATA-6 connector. Life is good. But I did check to make sure after reading your post. FYI: there are IDE-to-SATA cables at Monoprice. My other PC has one drive hooked up that way and it has worked flawlessly for a handful of years.

Posting Permissions

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