Advice for building a PC for Still photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Joe, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing images
    with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can address dual cores.

    Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    planned purchase -

    ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    AMD 4200 X2
    Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM

    Some last minute worries-

    I plan to get Win Media center - any reason not to over XP Pro ( does it
    have the 5 PC limit of XP home)
    I would love to set up a DVR (Tivo like) - Should I put it in m old PC with
    Media center - and use XP Pro in my new machine?

    I used to always want a mobo with multiple PCI slots -(NIC, SCSI, Video, i/o
    Card etc.) theres just no reason for that concern anymore? Correct?

    I need a large case - for multiple SATA Hard Drives in removeable enclosures

    Thanks


    Old Post -
    My Needs -
    medium speed Dual core Processor
    Gigabit NIC
    2 gb RAM would like to be able to go to 4gb - (can I go higher? would it
    help?)
    SATA Controller
    Dual monitor (or triple if possible) Video card - I have no clue about this
    Multiple USB 2.0
    Firewire

    Do you have any hardware recommendations?
    - this was the barebone system I am looking at to start with.

    Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHzw/Asus P5WD2 Premium Barebone (DO you know a
    comparable AMD chip & Motherboard)
    Joe, Feb 21, 2006
    #1
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  2. Joe

    Battleax Guest

    "Joe" <> wrote in message
    news:YitKf.2621$0z.2232@trnddc01...
    > I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing images
    > with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can address dual
    > cores.
    >
    > Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    > planned purchase -
    >
    > ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    > AMD 4200 X2
    > Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    > 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >
    > Some last minute worries-
    >
    > I plan to get Win Media center - any reason not to over XP Pro ( does it
    > have the 5 PC limit of XP home)


    Go for MediaCenter, it's just XPhome with usefull multimedia stuff.
    Unless you have some need to have more than 5 computers accessing at the
    same time.
    Now there's little need for even two machines. USB drives take care of
    backup and storage


    > I would love to set up a DVR (Tivo like) - Should I put it in m old PC
    > with Media center - and use XP Pro in my new machine?
    >
    > I used to always want a mobo with multiple PCI slots -(NIC, SCSI, Video,
    > i/o Card etc.) theres just no reason for that concern anymore? Correct?


    You don't need many slots. Ethernet should be built in to the board, scsi is
    of little use now, video will be PCIExpress slot. Everything else is done
    with USB now (thank God)


    >
    > I need a large case - for multiple SATA Hard Drives in removeable
    > enclosures


    Look at a CoolerMaster CM Stacker, you can't go wrong.
    Battleax, Feb 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. Joe

    Mike Hyndman Guest

    "Joe" <> wrote in message
    news:YitKf.2621$0z.2232@trnddc01...
    > I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing images
    > with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can address dual
    > cores.
    >
    > Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    > planned purchase -
    >
    > ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    > AMD 4200 X2
    > Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    > 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >
    > Some last minute worries-
    >
    > I plan to get Win Media center - any reason not to over XP Pro ( does it
    > have the 5 PC limit of XP home)
    > I would love to set up a DVR (Tivo like) - Should I put it in m old PC
    > with Media center - and use XP Pro in my new machine?
    >
    > I used to always want a mobo with multiple PCI slots -(NIC, SCSI, Video,
    > i/o Card etc.) theres just no reason for that concern anymore? Correct?
    >
    > I need a large case - for multiple SATA Hard Drives in removeable
    > enclosures
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    >
    > Old Post -
    > My Needs -
    > medium speed Dual core Processor
    > Gigabit NIC
    > 2 gb RAM would like to be able to go to 4gb - (can I go higher? would it
    > help?)
    > SATA Controller
    > Dual monitor (or triple if possible) Video card - I have no clue about
    > this
    > Multiple USB 2.0
    > Firewire
    >
    > Do you have any hardware recommendations?
    > - this was the barebone system I am looking at to start with.
    >
    > Intel Pentium D 830 3.0GHzw/Asus P5WD2 Premium Barebone (DO you know a
    > comparable AMD chip & Motherboard)



    Please Santa, I would like the following,

    proc: AMD® AthlonT 64 X2 - 4800+ (Socket 939)

    mb: Asus® A8N32-SLI Deluxe, Socket 939

    vid: Asus® Extreme EN6600GT Silencer /HTD- GeForceT 6600GT GPU w/256Mb DDR3
    & PCI Express x16

    ram:OCZ 2Gb PC3200 DDR Dual Value Series (x2 for 4Gig total)

    74GB Western Digital® RaptorT SATA-150 10,000RPM (OS)
    36GB Western Digital® RaptorT SATA-150 10,000RPM (scratch)

    ....will get data/archive drives later, for now have 200+60Gig 7,200 Maxtors

    MH
    Mike Hyndman, Feb 21, 2006
    #3
  4. Joe wrote:
    > I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    > images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    > address dual cores.
    >

    A PC is a very difficult item to lug around when taking pphotographs. I am
    sure you fill find a digital camera much mor euseful and less time
    consuming.
    Dennis Pogson, Feb 21, 2006
    #4
  5. Joe wrote:
    > I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    > images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    > address dual cores.
    > Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    > planned purchase -
    >
    > ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    > AMD 4200 X2
    > Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    > 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >
    > Some last minute worries-


    Check that the processor/motherboard/OS/video combination will fully
    support the 4GB. You may find 3GB is more cost effective unless you are
    running 64-bit Windows, as there are reports that with 32-bit Windows and
    the dual-core processor, only 3.2GB is usable.

    [Cross-posting trimmed]

    David
    David J Taylor, Feb 21, 2006
    #5
  6. Joe

    l e o Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > Joe wrote:
    >> I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    >> images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    >> address dual cores.
    >> Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    >> planned purchase -
    >>
    >> ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    >> AMD 4200 X2
    >> Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    >> 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >>
    >> Some last minute worries-

    >
    > Check that the processor/motherboard/OS/video combination will fully
    > support the 4GB. You may find 3GB is more cost effective unless you are
    > running 64-bit Windows, as there are reports that with 32-bit Windows and
    > the dual-core processor, only 3.2GB is usable.
    >
    > [Cross-posting trimmed]
    >
    > David



    the board support 4GB max so go for it. You need to fill them with
    identical memory modules for dual channel operation. You may not realize
    all 4GB until Vista arrives but memory's cheap that there's no reason to
    hold back.
    l e o, Feb 21, 2006
    #6
  7. l e o wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >> Joe wrote:
    >>> I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    >>> images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    >>> address dual cores.
    >>> Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's
    >>> my planned purchase -
    >>>
    >>> ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    >>> AMD 4200 X2
    >>> Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    >>> 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >>>
    >>> Some last minute worries-

    >>
    >> Check that the processor/motherboard/OS/video combination will fully
    >> support the 4GB. You may find 3GB is more cost effective unless you
    >> are running 64-bit Windows, as there are reports that with 32-bit
    >> Windows and the dual-core processor, only 3.2GB is usable.
    >>
    >> [Cross-posting trimmed]
    >>
    >> David

    >
    >
    > the board support 4GB max so go for it. You need to fill them with
    > identical memory modules for dual channel operation. You may not
    > realize all 4GB until Vista arrives but memory's cheap that there's
    > no reason to hold back.


    ... and don't be surprised if you get problems with 32-bit Windows until
    then.

    David
    David J Taylor, Feb 21, 2006
    #7
  8. Joe

    l e o Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > l e o wrote:
    >> David J Taylor wrote:
    >>> Joe wrote:
    >>>> I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    >>>> images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    >>>> address dual cores.
    >>>> Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's
    >>>> my planned purchase -
    >>>>
    >>>> ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    >>>> AMD 4200 X2
    >>>> Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    >>>> 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >>>>
    >>>> Some last minute worries-
    >>> Check that the processor/motherboard/OS/video combination will fully
    >>> support the 4GB. You may find 3GB is more cost effective unless you
    >>> are running 64-bit Windows, as there are reports that with 32-bit
    >>> Windows and the dual-core processor, only 3.2GB is usable.
    >>>
    >>> [Cross-posting trimmed]
    >>>
    >>> David

    >>
    >> the board support 4GB max so go for it. You need to fill them with
    >> identical memory modules for dual channel operation. You may not
    >> realize all 4GB until Vista arrives but memory's cheap that there's
    >> no reason to hold back.

    >
    > .. and don't be surprised if you get problems with 32-bit Windows until
    > then.
    >
    > David
    >
    >



    what problem?
    l e o, Feb 21, 2006
    #8
  9. l e o wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >> l e o wrote:
    >>> David J Taylor wrote:
    >>>> Joe wrote:
    >>>>> I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing
    >>>>> images with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can
    >>>>> address dual cores.
    >>>>> Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD -
    >>>>> Here's my planned purchase -
    >>>>>
    >>>>> ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    >>>>> AMD 4200 X2
    >>>>> Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    >>>>> 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Some last minute worries-
    >>>> Check that the processor/motherboard/OS/video combination will
    >>>> fully support the 4GB. You may find 3GB is more cost effective
    >>>> unless you are running 64-bit Windows, as there are reports that
    >>>> with 32-bit Windows and the dual-core processor, only 3.2GB is
    >>>> usable. [Cross-posting trimmed]
    >>>>
    >>>> David
    >>>
    >>> the board support 4GB max so go for it. You need to fill them with
    >>> identical memory modules for dual channel operation. You may not
    >>> realize all 4GB until Vista arrives but memory's cheap that there's
    >>> no reason to hold back.

    >>
    >> .. and don't be surprised if you get problems with 32-bit Windows
    >> until then.
    >>
    >> David
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    > what problem?


    Stability, apparently. I've just bought a new PC and wanted similar specs
    to what was mentioned. The shop I was buying it from spent a week trying
    to get it stable with 4GB and gave up. Sold me the 3GB instead. OK under
    Win-64 and Linux, but not XP. Any profit they made was lost with a week
    trying to get the system working. They tried various combinations of
    memory, processors, video cards etc.

    I'm sure they would have preferred to sell me a 4GB system if they could!

    David
    David J Taylor, Feb 21, 2006
    #9
  10. Joe

    Clyde Guest

    Joe wrote:
    > I'm looking into building a PC for Still photography - Processing images
    > with PhotoMechanic & Photoshop CS2 - Both programs can address dual cores.
    >
    > Answers to my previous post have cemented my switch to AMD - Here's my
    > planned purchase -
    >
    > ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    > AMD 4200 X2
    > Geforce 6600GT 128MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card (dual head)
    > 4gb PC3200 400MHZ CL2.5 DDR SDRAM
    >
    > Some last minute worries-
    >
    > I plan to get Win Media center - any reason not to over XP Pro ( does it
    > have the 5 PC limit of XP home)
    > I would love to set up a DVR (Tivo like) - Should I put it in m old PC with
    > Media center - and use XP Pro in my new machine?
    >
    > I used to always want a mobo with multiple PCI slots -(NIC, SCSI, Video, i/o
    > Card etc.) theres just no reason for that concern anymore? Correct?
    >
    > I need a large case - for multiple SATA Hard Drives in removeable enclosures
    >
    > Thanks
    >


    That would be a hellofa Photoshop PC. I'm using a home built PC that is
    great for Photoshop and certainly less than that.

    I have 2 GB of RAM and the P4 3.2 GHz with HT. I don't have a dual head
    video card, because I don't have two monitors. I'd like that though.

    A couple of questions though... Windows XP naturally only uses 2 GB of
    memory. There are some settings that you can use to get it to use 3 GB
    of memory. That is somewhat limited in functionality and I don't know if
    it works on XP Home or Media Center versions.

    Why don't you use XP Pro x64 Edition? You are paying for the 64 bit dual
    core chip and a bunch of memory, buy the OS that uses those features.
    OK, it won't make Photoshop use 64 bit processing, but the OS will use
    it. It will also use up to 128 GB of RAM. I don't know why you wouldn't
    use any other OS.

    Since you seem to have a bunch of computers around there, put Windows
    Media Center on a computer that will run your media devices - like it
    was designed to do. There is nothing in Media Center that is
    particularly useful for Photoshop; it won't help it. Then run your TV
    receiver/DVD/recorder on the machine where it won't be eating into your
    Photoshop processing.

    I do have a WD Raptor 36 GB 10K drive. I only use it for Windows and
    Photoshop swapping. It does speed things up. Recommended.

    Otherwise, your HD needs will depend on how you use Photoshop. Most of
    the time, my 7200 rpm Seagate is just fine for speed. When I am running
    large batches of stuff through Photoshop, I do notice that the HD is the
    bottleneck. However, it really isn't much of a problem for me.

    Clyde
    Clyde, Feb 21, 2006
    #10
  11. Joe

    Mike Hyndman Guest

    Clyde
    > A couple of questions though... Windows XP naturally only uses 2 GB of
    > memory. There are some settings that you can use to get it to use 3 GB of
    > memory. That is somewhat limited in functionality and I don't know if it
    > works on XP Home or Media Center versions.


    By default, Windows can address a total of 4 gigabytes (GB) of virtual
    address space.
    By default, 2 GB of this is reserved for the kernel (operating system), and
    2 GB is reserved for User mode programs
    When you put a /3GB switch into the Boot.ini file of the operating system,
    you reallocate the virtual address space distribution to give User mode
    programs 3 GB of space and limit the kernel to 1 GB.
    This switch only works in WXP Pro.
    Any extra RAM above this amount is used in preference to the scratch disc. I
    once asked a Adobe engineer how much RAM does PS need and his reply was,
    "more!" ;-)

    At the moment, XPMC is not a "supported" OS as far as Adobe is concerned,
    but I know people who use both without problem.

    Regards
    Mike H
    Mike Hyndman, Feb 21, 2006
    #11
  12. Joe

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 10:33:46 -0600, Clyde <> wrote:

    >Why don't you use XP Pro x64 Edition? You are paying for the 64 bit dual
    >core chip and a bunch of memory, buy the OS that uses those features.
    >OK, it won't make Photoshop use 64 bit processing, but the OS will use
    >it. It will also use up to 128 GB of RAM. I don't know why you wouldn't
    >use any other OS.


    Because many devices don't have 64 bit drivers available.

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
    Bill Funk, Feb 21, 2006
    #12
  13. On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 13:13:07 -0700, in rec.photo.digital Bill Funk
    <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 10:33:46 -0600, Clyde <> wrote:
    >
    >>Why don't you use XP Pro x64 Edition? You are paying for the 64 bit dual
    >>core chip and a bunch of memory, buy the OS that uses those features.
    >>OK, it won't make Photoshop use 64 bit processing, but the OS will use
    >>it. It will also use up to 128 GB of RAM. I don't know why you wouldn't
    >>use any other OS.

    >
    >Because many devices don't have 64 bit drivers available.


    Except the OP asked about a PC specifically for still photography. So. What
    drivers other than a printer and scanner driver are really needed? OK
    monitor calibration SW/driver as well?
    --
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 21, 2006
    #13
  14. Joe

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 16:25:27 -0500, "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN
    SIG!)" <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 13:13:07 -0700, in rec.photo.digital Bill Funk
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 10:33:46 -0600, Clyde <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Why don't you use XP Pro x64 Edition? You are paying for the 64 bit dual
    >>>core chip and a bunch of memory, buy the OS that uses those features.
    >>>OK, it won't make Photoshop use 64 bit processing, but the OS will use
    >>>it. It will also use up to 128 GB of RAM. I don't know why you wouldn't
    >>>use any other OS.

    >>
    >>Because many devices don't have 64 bit drivers available.

    >
    >Except the OP asked about a PC specifically for still photography. So. What
    >drivers other than a printer and scanner driver are really needed? OK
    >monitor calibration SW/driver as well?


    Maybe because the system won't be *ONLY* for photography.
    Just becasue someone says a computer will be used for a certain task
    doesn't mean it will be *only* used for that task.
    While certainly one could build a system that's fully 64 bit
    compatable, it narrows the choices, for what is, in reality, a small
    benefit.

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
    Bill Funk, Feb 21, 2006
    #14
  15. David J Taylor wrote:

    > Stability, apparently. I've just bought a new PC and wanted similar
    > specs to what was mentioned. The shop I was buying it from spent a
    > week trying to get it stable with 4GB and gave up. Sold me the 3GB
    > instead. OK under Win-64 and Linux, but not XP. Any profit they
    > made was lost with a week trying to get the system working. They
    > tried various combinations of memory, processors, video cards etc.


    This is a clear and present indicator for you to put your tail between your
    legs and run as fast as you can from that shop. It seems these buffoons are
    terminally clueless and/or trying to sell mismatched generic memory not
    designed for *your* motherboard. This is never an issue with a good
    motherboard using manufacturer-approved memory

    > I'm sure they would have preferred to sell me a 4GB system if they
    > could!


    They are just so happy to find a home to dump the cheap memory.







    Rita
    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Feb 21, 2006
    #15
  16. Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
    > David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    >> Stability, apparently. I've just bought a new PC and wanted similar
    >> specs to what was mentioned. The shop I was buying it from spent a
    >> week trying to get it stable with 4GB and gave up. Sold me the 3GB
    >> instead. OK under Win-64 and Linux, but not XP. Any profit they
    >> made was lost with a week trying to get the system working. They
    >> tried various combinations of memory, processors, video cards etc.

    >
    > This is a clear and present indicator for you to put your tail
    > between your legs and run as fast as you can from that shop. It
    > seems these buffoons are terminally clueless and/or trying to sell
    > mismatched generic memory not designed for *your* motherboard. This
    > is never an issue with a good motherboard using manufacturer-approved
    > memory
    >> I'm sure they would have preferred to sell me a 4GB system if they
    >> could!

    >
    > They are just so happy to find a home to dump the cheap memory.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Rita


    Well, I don't get that impression. Researching with Google suggests this
    is a known issue, although not one which is widely publicised. Have you
    actually seen a dual-core PC running Windows 32 with 4GB of memory, and
    actually having the 4GB of memory reported? I suspect not. See:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;888137

    As I said, with Win-64 or Linux the system was quite stable with 4GB, but
    not with Win-32. As this is my main production PC, I was not willing to
    take the risk, nor was I willing to live with the current problems of
    Win-64. It also may explain why, on many self-configuration PC Web sites,
    the 4GB option isn't available with Win-32.

    David
    David J Taylor, Feb 22, 2006
    #16
  17. Joe

    No Thanks Guest

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote in message news:W7WKf.24602$...
    > Rita Ä Berkowitz wrote:
    >> David J Taylor wrote:
    >>
    >>> Stability, apparently. I've just bought a new PC and wanted similar
    >>> specs to what was mentioned. The shop I was buying it from spent a
    >>> week trying to get it stable with 4GB and gave up. Sold me the 3GB
    >>> instead. OK under Win-64 and Linux, but not XP. Any profit they
    >>> made was lost with a week trying to get the system working. They
    >>> tried various combinations of memory, processors, video cards etc.

    >>
    >> This is a clear and present indicator for you to put your tail
    >> between your legs and run as fast as you can from that shop. It
    >> seems these buffoons are terminally clueless and/or trying to sell
    >> mismatched generic memory not designed for *your* motherboard. This
    >> is never an issue with a good motherboard using manufacturer-approved
    >> memory
    >>> I'm sure they would have preferred to sell me a 4GB system if they
    >>> could!

    >>
    >> They are just so happy to find a home to dump the cheap memory.


    Nonsense. It wouldn't matter what kind of memory or motherboard you had. It
    is a well known deficiency with windows.
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=...,GGLG:en&q=windows 4gb only seen as 3gb&meta=
    No Thanks, Feb 22, 2006
    #17
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