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Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 14:40
I'm buying a new computer. My laptops are 6 years old and I worry they will die soon. My SONY VAIO are long gone. They were wonderful 15 years ago.

I will keep using my AIR 11, and will retire the HP 17", both have been great.

I wanted to buy an upgraded MAC Mini, but Apple made the new model a lesser box. Goodbye Apple.

So I am upgrading a low end Costco HP Envy 700 tower, that has 32 GB ram. I will add 500 GB SSD, a better Video card and move to RAID external NAS later this year.

This should be a good box for big scans, video editing, 2 monitors and modular enough to keep it going until we reach a computing breakthrough.

I wonder about storing the HP laptop, as I had it offline and powered off for several months this summer and it did not like reentering the world. Needed a ton of updates.

I find both IOS Mavericks and WIN 8.1 work fine. I worry about Apple's commitment to computers beyond handheld.

Amazon will deliver the upgrades Monday, the new box is still somewhere else.

Kinda antsy to get it running....

We can't live in our digital and film world without a better box every 5 years...

Corran
3-Jan-2015, 14:54
Just curious, but if you are already putting in several upgrades like that, why not go whole-hog and build it from scratch?

Good call on the NAS. I just last week had a sudden catastrophic HDD failure of my work drive, but of course all my data was safe on an external NAS. No data loss, just a bit of productivity/monetary loss. Bought another 4TB work drive and copied 2TB of data onto it (multiple backups, of course!).

HMG
3-Jan-2015, 15:04
Don't forget to allocate some time to remove the bloatware that HP probably installed. All the other's do the same.

It's hard to beat the costco price on desktop, even by building your own machine (unless you're installing Linux).

Preston
3-Jan-2015, 15:17
There's a nice little program called PC DeCrapifier (http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/) that will uninstall the bloatware. It gets good reviews.

Congrats on the new box, Randy. Sounds like it should get the job done. Be sure to download and install the latest version of the driver for your new video card.

--P

Luis-F-S
3-Jan-2015, 15:18
I worry about Apple's commitment to computers beyond handheld.


Yup, I bought my first Mac in 1987. Currently have eight Macs. Guess they're still committed to computers other than handheld.

Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 15:31
I think the Costco deal was cheaper than self build. I'm not a gamer, so I don't need the absolute best of everything. I wanted max ram, and SSD is the way to go as my AIR 11 proved to me long ago. $200 for 512 gb SSD!

Yes, stripping out all extra software will be first. I try to get ahead of failure (a losing battle).

Linux has been a problem for me, not ready for the way I want do things. imho

I find using the latest WIN or IOS is fine. Ubuntu drove me crazy about 7 years ago. GIMP is a Gimp!

I use Adobe a lot, Open Office and Google apps do all the rest. I gladly buy 100 gb of Google cloud for $2 a month.

After I get up and running with NAS, I need to get all my old hard drives data onto it. I have every hard drive (about 20) since I started with modern computers in 1997, when my Compaq laptop cost $3500. It was dog slow at Photoshop, then the Vaio's which beat any Mac for years in video editing. Sony camcorders with Firewire and a Vaio was a great combo.

I'm a gear head...

Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 15:32
Yup, I bought my first Mac in 1987. Currently have eight Macs. Guess they're still committed to computers other than handheld.

I'm not going to dispute Macness.

What are you doing with 8?

Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 15:57
There's a nice little program called PC DeCrapifier (http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/) that will uninstall the bloatware. It gets good reviews.

Congrats on the new box, Randy. Sounds like it should get the job done. Be sure to download and install the latest version of the driver for your new video card.

--P

That will make it easier. Have you used it? I always worry these things install their own dangers.

Thanks for the tips!

Preston
3-Jan-2015, 17:51
Randy, I haven't used it, but know others who have, and they give it a 'thumbs-up'.

Here's an article at How To Geek (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/6086/remove-garbage-software-from-your-new-or-old-computer/) about the program.

My current computers (workstation and a laptop) were built by Puget Systems (http://www.pugetsystems.com/). They don't put any of that junk on their machines.

--P

Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 18:20
Randy, I haven't used it, but know others who have, and they give it a 'thumbs-up'.

Here's an article at How To Geek (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/6086/remove-garbage-software-from-your-new-or-old-computer/) about the program.

My current computers (workstation and a laptop) were built by Puget Systems (http://www.pugetsystems.com/). They don't put any of that junk on their machines.

--P

Thanks for the 'How to Geek' link. The Puget systems look great, but are nearly double the price of what I am doing.

I have to keep some money for FILM! :)

I'm going to run 'De Crap' on this box tonight.

jnanian
3-Jan-2015, 18:42
Yup, I bought my first Mac in 1987. Currently have eight Macs. Guess they're still committed to computers other than handheld.

we stick with macs here too ...
got our first in 86 and have had ... a bunch of them .

Randy Moe
3-Jan-2015, 18:47
Just in case you didn't notice. I use both Mac and Win.

Neither is perfect.

Jac@stafford.net
4-Jan-2015, 09:24
we stick with macs here too ...
got our first in 86 and have had ... a bunch of them .

For the most of my last position before I retired my employer made certain that I had the top-of-the-line Mac every year, and let me keep the ones I found most useful so I ended up with a few at a time. What a roller coaster ride! It was pretty good until Apple lost its mind after Jobs left and Apple had an irrational line with some poor components. So, since 1963 when I met personally with Steve Jobs and his friend, Bob Noyce a couple times for brain-storming sessions, I've been a hands-on Mac guy.

Today at home it is much more modest with a laptop air, an iPhone and an iPad.

Remember the Macintosh IIfx of 1990? $12,000!
The Power Macintosh 6100 DOS? (I think I got that right) Yes, DOS as well as Mac, shared RAM and disc. I still have that one in storage.

I put up our first web server in 1995 using a stack of 'pancake' Macs that handled demand using DNS Load Balancing, a tactic that worked very well for the early, simplified NCSA clients, and was not good later with more sophisticated clients. Funny, because that year our Internet connection to the world was slow 64 kbit/s X.25 that was rather familiar since I had much earlier programmed the billing system for a (or the) major phone service provider.

Ah, the days when I had a brain.
Today I am fond of slowness. Film for the most part. Simple.
.

Randy Moe
4-Jan-2015, 13:21
I am transitioning to stand up computer bench, with adjustable stool for occasional sitting. It is working out well and I save space by putting the box, second scanner, drives, below and have my V700 on my right ready to use anytime. I will be using twin ASUS monitors on a double arm stand, perhaps one vertical and one horizontal. I am waiting for the stand. The bench is 16" X 65" and 39.5" high. It's mounted to a hallway wall, in unused space. Tripods store underneath.

Made from free 1-1/2" bamboo, all I did was round the corners. This Italian modern stool was free also. I scavenge most household items.

Corran
4-Jan-2015, 14:42
...perhaps one vertical and one horizontal.

I've tried that before, didn't like it. But maybe it'll work for you.

Right now I'm considering buying a Surface 3 Pro tablet for on-the-go computing, especially audio/video/photo editing. I have a lot of work coming in. I would like to make it work as a wireless second monitor with my computer at home, but I don't know if it's possible! I have big pro audio speakers setup in an equilateral triangle at my desk, which precludes using dual monitors in the normal fashion.

Leszek Vogt
4-Jan-2015, 15:25
Randy, you could go to nearest Fry's (@Downers Grove, IL), which appears to be 15mi W. of Chicago...and likely find something digestible there. I got a real nice Acer and they stripped all the bloatware and installed 32GB of memory (max that the machine can take)....and they tested the rig repeatedly....soo I wouldn't have any issues with it. So far so good...and it's been around a year since. Good luck.


Les

Randy Moe
4-Jan-2015, 15:42
Randy, you could go to nearest Fry's (@Downers Grove, IL), which appears to be 15mi W. of Chicago...and likely find something digestible there. I got a real nice Acer and they stripped all the bloatware and installed 32GB of memory (max that the machine can take)....and they tested the rig repeatedly....soo I wouldn't have any issues with it. So far so good...and it's been around a year since. Good luck.


Les

Thanks for the advice. Fry is about 45 minutes each way. I have bought from them in the past. Costco delivers, gives 2 year warranty and will take it back up to 90 days.

I ordered it NYE, should be here in 10 days. I have had good luck with all my computers, over 18 years, never a hard drive failure, one motherboard fried, that Sony replaced in my kitchen in 20 minutes. I used to use the buy at work program and bought a new one every 18 months. They had great deals with interest free automatic payroll deduction. It was their way of getting their workforce computer educated. It worked! But I'm retired.

I will burn it in immediately and make it work hard for at least a month.

I am way over due for a new box, and this one is the cheapest yet, even all maxed out with upgrades.

Richard M. Coda
5-Jan-2015, 19:41
Go to an Apple Store and have a look at the new Retina iMac... very impressive. I bought a 27" iMac Christmas 2013 so I'll have to wait another year, but bought the 15" Retina MacBook Pro this Christmas to replace my aging 17" MBP. The retina display is beautiful, especially for photography.

Randy Moe
5-Jan-2015, 20:16
Go to an Apple Store and have a look at the new Retina iMac... very impressive. I bought a 27" iMac Christmas 2013 so I'll have to wait another year, but bought the 15" Retina MacBook Pro this Christmas to replace my aging 17" MBP. The retina display is beautiful, especially for photography.

I'm done with new apples. Too expensive and too closed an environment.

I am on my AIR 11 right now, maybe I will replace the SSD, as it's old.

Since Adobe is now cross platform and I can buy a way faster and cheaper Win box, that's my path forwards. Speed is what I want for affordable rendering.

The OS no longer matters. They are nearly the same.

Monitors I have are great.

Randy Moe
15-Jan-2015, 21:14
Took 10 days to get the Costco HP Envy 700. Since I have never done any of the mods I just did, it has taken me several days to do it. I installed a 500 GB SSD $200 and a GEFORCE GTX 750 graphics card $130. Lot's of tips online that omit basic ideas for newbie. I wrote replies to MS help as they were obscure also. Cloning drives is phooey and a waste of thought.


Several tips that are not obvious.

Do one change at a time. I did, but in the wrong order, read on.

You can turn off and disable your old video drivers and the display will work good enough to use the monitor and install new display drivers after you physically install the new card. This freaked me out as nobody says the darn monitor will continue working if you remove and disable drivers. DUH! One sentence would have saved hours. Experts are blind.

Next install the SSD, connect it up as a spare or slave. Leave the main HD alone. Now FORMAT the SSD.

Don't clone, just find the obscure WIN8.1 widget where you copy your recovery files to a bigger than 16GB USB thumb drive and then leave that USB plugged in the computer. Shut down, swap the Sata data wires between the old drive and the new drive and THEN allow recovery to re-install everything onto the new SSD from the still plugged in USB. Once you click that final recovery button it finds it own way. Wait for a while. Go watch TV. Then check it works all a few times and finally reformat your old drive to use for backup.

Before I did all this I backed up all my pictures and video to Google Drive and a local NAS.

However do the HD swap first as the old display drivers will be re-installed and confuse the new graphics card until you repeat all my first steps.

Now this thing works very well.

Tonight I install all software. AND I need to remember on this box to allocate Lightroom and Picasa storage to USB 3 external drives. LR and Picasa can get crazy if you don't save to the permanent storage place.

This is my first USB 3 computer and external USB 3 storage drive and they are amazingly fast. The NAS is on the ATT dog slow wired network. But it works and will be the primary backup, then Google cloud and lastly the internal spare drives. The USB3 external will be for active use.

This probably is no help to newbies and a joke for experts, but it works for me. :)

Leszek Vogt
15-Jan-2015, 21:34
I feel yer pain, Randy. I had this wild idea of putting one together from scratch > and sooo glad I didn't.

Les

Corran
15-Jan-2015, 21:37
Sounds more complicated than just building your own.
Les, if you ever have that idea again, go for it! It's so simple.

Randy Moe
15-Jan-2015, 21:57
I feel yer pain, Randy. I had this wild idea of putting one together from scratch > and sooo glad I didn't.

Les

I almost did that, but I think this was was cheaper.

At one time I was also considering building a fake MAC, but too expensive a folly.

This thing has Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (3.5GHz) I think it is 8 cores
32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM

and now 500GB ssd with real good graphics, gaming style, yet does not require a bigger power supply. I don't game at all, but these cards are good for 3 screens and I see some use them for video processing.

This is a standard big box and is wired internally for most anything.

2 fans on the display drive, one on CPU , one for PS and one just blowing out. All very quiet and spinning slow.

By tomorrow i hope to exercise it with some big files in PS and Premier. Maybe then it will heat up.

This one cost me $1300 total which is 1/2 the price I paid for my HP Pavillion custom laptop in 2009. The laptop used to do TV and DVR with remotes, but that all became 'legacy' and drivers no longer available after 2 OS upgrades. It was meant for my VW Bus 3 year camping trip, then I lost my health and now I have regained it, but no more 3 year camping plans until bug out time...

Preston
16-Jan-2015, 13:02
Randy,

Sounds like you've got this set up pretty well. The Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (3.5GHz) is a Quad Core, but it will serve you well. The SSD and the amount of RAM you have installed will be great for performance. You'll be amazed at how much the SSD speeds things up.

There is a small program called CoreTemp that will monitor your CPU and GPU temps. If you're really into seeing what happens under max load, you can run Prime95 and CoreTemp to see what's happening, but this isn't really necessary unless you suspect temperature issues.

Have fun!

--P

Randy Moe
16-Jan-2015, 16:35
Randy,

Sounds like you've got this set up pretty well. The Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (3.5GHz) is a Quad Core, but it will serve you well. The SSD and the amount of RAM you have installed will be great for performance. You'll be amazed at how much the SSD speeds things up.

There is a small program called CoreTemp that will monitor your CPU and GPU temps. If you're really into seeing what happens under max load, you can run Prime95 and CoreTemp to see what's happening, but this isn't really necessary unless you suspect temperature issues.

Have fun!

--P

Thanks Preston. I thought it was 4 core, but in Device Manager it shows 8 processors. Doesn't really matter to me, as you say this thing is fast.

Now I am changing the SSD in my 2010 AIR 11 as I don't want a failure and the OE 64 GB is simply too small, so in a few minutes I will do a OWC 256 GB SSD swap for tonight's entertainment. Then the old drive becomes an external USB drive.

I figure 5 years of use is enough for a SSD. I always round up.

jp
16-Jan-2015, 18:00
4 core shows up as 8 processor because of hyperthreading. Hyperthreading appears as double the number of processors.

Randy Moe
16-Jan-2015, 18:43
4 core shows up as 8 processor because of hyperthreading. Hyperthreading appears as double the number of processors.

ad gimmick

koraks
17-Jan-2015, 11:30
Not necessarily. Obviously, the number of cores is in reality only four, but in applications that support multiple cpu's, hyperthreading does make a big difference.

Randy Moe
17-Jan-2015, 11:54
Not necessarily. Obviously, the number of cores is in reality only four, but in applications that support multiple cpu's, hyperthreading does make a big difference.

I assume Photoshop and Premier does...

Randy Moe
17-Jan-2015, 12:06
Now the Mac AIR 11 update. Not so simple either as poor advice abounds even misleading things from Apple. Apple also changes terminology constantly.

Physically installing the OWC 240 GB drive was 7 minutes, if you have the right tiny screwdrivers. Then OWC and Apple both drop the ball. I ended up with 3 locked drives all unusable. Internet said this was bad news. 3 because I made 2 separate Time Machine backups and somehow messed up the new drive. Nothing would work at all, except some sort of safe mode. which of course is not called safe mode as MS uses that term. Still don't know what Apple calls it.

Nowhere except in my original packaging did Apple or OWC recommend reboot from my original Apple USB, which saved the day. It unlocked everything, found the new SSD and after multiple hours of upgrades I got the 5 year old computer into 2015.

All is well in my computer paradise/nightmare. Now I can actually use it all once again. And I never called anybody. :)

Kodachrome25
17-Jan-2015, 15:56
I just put a new processor in my 2012 MacPro, 6x 3.46ghz Intel X5690.

The machine now sports that, 4x 4TB in Raid-5, two 12TB external volumes in Raid-1, 6TB of offsite drives I take to my print finishing office, several legacy externals, a GTX 680, 48GB of ram, a 240GB SSD for scratch in optical bay two, twin EVO 840 500GB SSD's in RAID-0 in a Apricorn Velocity-2 Duo PCIe card and USB3 / eSata on another PCIe card.

Pretty much set for awhile, the 3.46 chip is a nice upgrade, the faster the computer, the less time I am stuck on it and can get back to shooting or the darkroom...

Randy Moe
17-Jan-2015, 17:08
I just put a new processor in my 2012 MacPro, 6x 3.46ghz Intel X5690.

The machine now sports that, 4x 4TB in Raid-5, two 12TB external volumes in Raid-1, 6TB of offsite drives I take to my print finishing office, several legacy externals, a GTX 680, 48GB of ram, a 240GB SSD for scratch in optical bay two, twin EVO 840 500GB SSD's in RAID-0 in a Apricorn Velocity-2 Duo PCIe card and USB3 / eSata on another PCIe card.

Pretty much set for awhile, the 3.46 chip is a nice upgrade, the faster the computer, the less time I am stuck on it and can get back to shooting or the darkroom...

Sounds like a great box, but what people do with the new MAC black donut, seems kinda tight to do what you did.

Maybe I should have bought an iMac with with the 5K monitor, fully maxed out at B&H it costs $4200, but has a great screen!

Kodachrome25
18-Jan-2015, 00:48
Sounds like a great box, but what people do with the new MAC black donut, seems kinda tight to do what you did.

Yeah, like impossible actually. I considered waiting for the new machine but needed to upgrade badly from my 2006 rig so I went for the previous version in a hex 3.2 in 2012. There is so much expansion possible on the version I have it is just silly. The new ones are great and companies like OWC and Pegasus are starting to put out nice Thunderbolt solutions, but it is all so expensive.

The other thing is I am not sure how robust USB3 or TB converted to FireWire for scanning is yet, in my case a 9000ED that works stellar with my current setup.

I figure at about version 3 of the new Mac Pros I ought to have a better idea what direction to take. But this current rig is a monster, with exception to the high end GPU's in the new ones, it gives even the high spec'd new dog a run for it's money.

Randy Moe
18-Jan-2015, 01:02
The OWC SSD made my puny AIR II better than new. I guess the newer SSD runs faster. I don't do performance tests, but the AIR is doing everything better with it's 4 GB ram...I wish I could change that. Even the touch pad is snappier.

I have all I need for what I do. I hope to be set for 5 years.

Kodachrome25
18-Jan-2015, 01:12
The OWC SSD made my puny AIR II better than new. I guess the newer SSD runs faster. I don't do performance tests, but the AIR is doing everything better with it's 4 GB ram...I wish I could change that. Even the touch pad is snappier.

I have all I need for what I do. I hope to be set for 5 years.

Going to an SSD is the single best improvement you can make on any computer coming from a regular spinner and they have really come down in price. The new generation blade style SSD's are criminally fast, the 1TB one in my 13" Retina MacBook Pro scorches along at 700-900MB per second, easily saturating USB3 at over 500MB per second with another SSD on the end.

Between the 13" and the McMonster, I think I am set for 5 years too....

Corran
18-Jan-2015, 08:49
Randy I think the AIR used some older SSD tech originally so yes you definitely upgraded.

Mine is only 2.5 years old but I'm thinking about getting a newer model to keep it fresh with a bit more space (it's 128GB right now) and using the 128 for a scratch disk.

8x10 user
18-Jan-2015, 15:14
You should be able to turn hyperthreading off in bios to compare speeds. I did tests with my own 12 core (24 thread) monster and it does actually make a big difference. I'm getting almost 2k points in cinebench R15; still well over the newest mac pros even though I built my system 5 years ago.

I hear good things about the Haswell 8-core. Skylake is coming which is supposed to offer a huge performance increase.

Kodachrome25
19-Jan-2015, 11:04
Interesting...

So out of curiosity I connected my Nikon 9000ED scanner which uses FW 400 on to my 13" Retina MacBook Pro via the scanner's FW400 to 800 cable and an Apple FW800 to Thunderbolt adapter and fired it up. I did a test scan, it worked just fine. Food for thought but not my bank account...

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 11:26
Interesting...

So out of curiosity I connected my Nikon 9000ED scanner which uses FW 400 on to my 13" Retina MacBook Pro via the scanner's FW400 to 800 cable and an Apple FW800 to Thunderbolt adapter and fired it up. I did a test scan, it worked just fine. Food for thought but not my bank account...

Firewire has worked fine for a very long time, real sorry it was sorta eliminated, Apple doesn't like Sony and visa versa. I still use it with my aging HP laptop. And on that note, I am waiting for another SSD for this 6 year old HP DVT7. May as well flog this old thing some more. I'm setting up 40" Sony Bravia with laptop for tethered shooting with D750. ULF viewing screen, all mounted on an Arkay Studio stand. Still need to get it all to work with WIFI mirroring on Droid.

Willie
19-Jan-2015, 13:00
Why not an off the shelf GAMING computer. They generally have high end graphics cards and the performance makes them excellent for editing and working with images. Many do not come with all the junk programs pre-loaded like so many off the shelf computers do.

Saw this method with a friend and after seeing his I went for it. Great for Photoshop, scanning and images. Fast, fast, fast processing. I don't do gaming at all but the computer has all I want and need for image control.

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 13:12
Don't gaming computers come with preinstalled games and offers?

Corran
19-Jan-2015, 13:43
No.... They are usually custom-built rigs by specialty companies (AlienWare, etc.).
BYOG (Bring Your Own Games) :)

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 13:55
They are expensive, I checked.

Show me better specs for $1200. I could return all this.

Preston
19-Jan-2015, 14:31
Gaming computers are generally not optimized for 2D imaging work and one would likely wind up paying for capabilities that may not be utilized, especially where video cards are concerned. Some video cards are very, very expensive, so balancing real needs with this cost is advisable. Also, if one is considering such a machine, it would be wise to check if your monitor(s), scanner and imaging software are compatible, especially with the video card.

Gaming machines also tend to have higher noise levels due to cooling fans, require larger power supplies, and are more susceptible to temperature issues. Added software and trial software depends upon what the vendor has to install due to contracts with third parties.

--P

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 14:44
That's why I got a GTX750 card, it has low power consumption, yet has 3 display capabilities. This box is barely warm and the fans are slowly spinning. Very quiet, way more quiet than my tortured HP laptop. Perhaps an SSD will help that old thing. If it doesn't, I will put it's SSD in the new box and recycle the remains.

I research everything I buy to death. I like to shop!

Preston
19-Jan-2015, 15:01
Randy, I think you did very well in terms of specs and price on your new machine. It should serve you well.

The SSD in the laptop will certainly make it quieter, and the increase in performance will be noticeable. I certainly noticed the difference when I installed an SSD as my primary in my Puget Systems workstation. The laptop I bought from them came with an SSD, and it's very quiet.

--P

Kodachrome25
19-Jan-2015, 15:24
OWC is about to release a pretty slick new TB2 dock that has among other things, a FW800 plug:

https://eshop.macsales.com/preorder/OWC-Thunderbolt2-Dock/

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 15:36
Maybe OWC should make Macs the way we want them.



I will say this about this AIR II the keys kept their paint, the metal still shines aand I did drop it once and put a dent on the screen housing. Still ticking.


OWC is about to release a pretty slick new TB2 dock that has among other things, a FW800 plug:

https://eshop.macsales.com/preorder/OWC-Thunderbolt2-Dock/

Kodachrome25
19-Jan-2015, 15:45
Maybe OWC should make Macs the way we want them.



I will say this about this AIR II the keys kept their paint, the metal still shines aand I did drop it once and put a dent on the screen housing. Still ticking.

They have sure made my life easier over the years with lifetime ram warranties, all kinds of slick drive cases and what not. I just want significantly faster RAW file export times, nothing takes advantage of lots of cores and current clock speeds are just hitting 4.0Ghz so my 3.46 is not far behind. I guess one of the positive outcomes of all this is my using more and more film and doing more darkroom work, there is a heck of a lot less chasing tech around for that.

Randy Moe
19-Jan-2015, 21:25
Well, maybe I'm learning something. I bought a Sabrent Dual Bay Hard Drive docking station. This thing works best of all, for $40 it clones your old to new hard drive without a computer. Put your old hard drive in slot 1, put the new hard drive in slot 2 and push 2 buttons. 1 hour later, I installed the new SSD in my old WIN laptop and it booted in seconds, it used to take 2 minutes.

Everything on the old drive is now on the new drive working 10 times faster. I also put in a new BIOS battery.

The fans in this one are also slowed way down, but I know they need cleaning. Thar requires deeper surgery.

Now I will partition and recover to bare OS with only ADOBE loaded and use for tether.

The Sabrent box also works as a hot swap external USB3 Dual drive, holds 3.5 or 2.5 SATA drives up to 3TB per bay, part # EC-HDD2.

8x10 user
20-Jan-2015, 17:39
Gaming computers are generally not optimized for 2D imaging work and one would likely wind up paying for capabilities that may not be utilized, especially where video cards are concerned. Some video cards are very, very expensive, so balancing real needs with this cost is advisable. Also, if one is considering such a machine, it would be wise to check if your monitor(s), scanner and imaging software are compatible, especially with the video card.

Gaming machines also tend to have higher noise levels due to cooling fans, require larger power supplies, and are more susceptible to temperature issues. Added software and trial software depends upon what the vendor has to install due to contracts with third parties.

--P

Some "gaming computers" have low noise and very nice cooling systems. Look for ones with big 200-300mm fans like the cases made by cooler master. Performance custom PC's are nice but yes, it would be better to get one that is optimized for workstation rather then gaming use. Video cards are very fast but not all tasks work on them pretty much any modern video card will work fine with photoshop. You will see more performance increases from moving to a higher Ghz and higher CPU as well as I/O devices (ram, hard drive speed, ect.). Games dont utilize higher cores all that well so gaming computers tend to be duel or quad cores with expensive video cards. Someone who builds custom computers can help to configure one with faster memory and CPU speeds then "stock". Often times the specified speeds on high performance ram assume an overclock of the memory settings. Not all motherboards will allow this and changing these settings is not recommend for someone until they research how to overclock safely. Newer CPU's can overclock single threaded applications on demand with turbo multiplier settings. The last I checked AMD CPU's were doing well for lower price points and had good memory bandwidth. Some computer manufactures like puget sell pre-overclocked performance computers for workstation use. They can even make it look like a fish tank.

djdister
21-Jan-2015, 13:30
My 5 year old Windows 7 box is getting long in the tooth - getting slow, hangs unexpectedly and etc, and I need to replace it. I'm tempted to make the jump to one of those 27" iMac boxes, mostly for better performance, but also because I think Windows 8 sucks and it will just slow down over time like Win7 has. I use Photoshop and have an Epson v750-M and 3880 printer, so it has to be either a Windows or an iMac, as much as I would rather use a Linux box. Aside from having to pay considerably more for the privilege of using an iMac, are there any good reasons to stick with a Windows machine?

Randy Moe
21-Jan-2015, 13:32
My 5 year old Windows 7 box is getting long in the tooth - getting slow, hangs unexpectedly and etc, and I need to replace it. I'm tempted to make the jump to one of those 27" iMac boxes, mostly for better performance, but also because I think Windows 8 sucks and it will just slow down over time like Win7 has. I use Photoshop and have an Epson v750-M and 3880 printer, so it has to be either a Windows or an iMac, as much as I would rather use a Linux box. Aside from having to pay considerably more for the privilege of using an iMac, are there any good reasons to stick with a Windows machine?

I think MAC and WIN are so similar, take your pick. I use both. Both work fine for me. I use the latest OS always.

Corran
21-Jan-2015, 13:36
Exactly.

And Win7 doesn't slow down over time. You've got something else going on. Take a look at the processes running on your computer after a fresh boot up. Then go to Run -> MSCONFIG and look at the processes that are automatically opened on startup. If there's junk in there you don't need, get rid of it. If you don't know, Google it, and you'll find a site describing what it is and why you do or don't need it.

Many programs have autoloading installation or update programs that never get purged from the startup list, so oftentimes I've helped friends purge dozens of errant programs on boot-up. FYI, Photoshop (anything Adobe actually) is one of the worst culprits for this!

You should clean out this start-up nonsense once a year at least. Also make sure you don't have more than one antivirus program running, that's a common cause for problems.

Now they've added standard GUI support to Win8 so I doubt it's much different than Win7. Think of it as Win7.5.

HMG
21-Jan-2015, 13:38
My 5 year old Windows 7 box is getting long in the tooth - getting slow, hangs unexpectedly and etc, and I need to replace it. I'm tempted to make the jump to one of those 27" iMac boxes, mostly for better performance, but also because I think Windows 8 sucks and it will just slow down over time like Win7 has. I use Photoshop and have an Epson v750-M and 3880 printer, so it has to be either a Windows or an iMac, as much as I would rather use a Linux box. Aside from having to pay considerably more for the privilege of using an iMac, are there any good reasons to stick with a Windows machine?

Before you replace it, consider the following:
- Back up everything, format your HD (check for errors) and go back to a clean install of Win7
- Add memory
- Consider a better graphics card

There's a good chance you'll get another couple of years out of your existing machine. Even the clean Win7 install can make a noticeable difference.

jp
21-Jan-2015, 13:46
My 5 year old Windows 7 box is getting long in the tooth - getting slow, hangs unexpectedly and etc, and I need to replace it. I'm tempted to make the jump to one of those 27" iMac boxes, mostly for better performance, but also because I think Windows 8 sucks and it will just slow down over time like Win7 has. I use Photoshop and have an Epson v750-M and 3880 printer, so it has to be either a Windows or an iMac, as much as I would rather use a Linux box. Aside from having to pay considerably more for the privilege of using an iMac, are there any good reasons to stick with a Windows machine?

You might physically dust it out. If the CPU chip's fan is full of dust and cat fur, it could slow down by reason of thermal throttling down. Lacking that, have a local computer shop evaluate it for spyware or physical problems. I use linux for web browsing (ubuntu on the desktop or chromebook) and Windows 7 for scanning/printing to keep the windows computer clean of the stuff that happens to people who do all their browsing in Windows. Win 8.1 isn't bad if you're shopping for new computers. Windows 10 will be out shortly; My office has tested a preview and likes it. maybe a cleaning will hold you over till that comes along.

HMG
21-Jan-2015, 13:58
There is a free program - HWiNFO (http://www.hwinfo.com/download.php) - that is useful for monitoring system activity and conditions.

Preston
21-Jan-2015, 14:34
DJ,

Bryan makes an excellent point about cleaning things up. There is a nice little free program called CCleaner that has a tool for cleaning up programs that run at startup, among other things. It does have a Registry cleaning tool also, but such a tool won't increase performance, and may cause issues. Another handy tool is Disk Cleanup. It's part of Win 7. It will analyze your disk and will show you files that can safely be removed. It's also a really good idea to check for malware. MalwareBytes has a free application that will do a good job of looking for baddies and assist you with removing any that are found.

As HMG says, you can always go for the 'nuclear option' and do a clean install of Win7. If you're considering upgrading hardware such as adding RAM and/or a new video card. It's best to do as he says above. If you can afford it, I'd suggest going with an SSD for your primary drive. Doing so will provide a marked increase in performance.

If you add the HDD as your primary drive with a clean install of Win 7, proceed as follows:

1. Back up all your user files to an external drive or another internal drive. (Note: You don't want to backup system files, since Windows will install new ones)
2. Unplug and remove the old drive and replace it with the SSD.
3. Unplug any other internal and external drives, for now. (This ensures that Windows is installed on the correct drive, and other drives are not accidentally reformatted.)
4. Install Windows to the new SSD
5. Update Windows via Windows Update
6. Download and install any required hardware drivers, e.g. video card, printer(s), etc. from the manufacture's web site.
7. Reboot the machine.
8. Re-attach any drives you unplugged in step 3.
9. Reboot to see if all the drives are recognized.
10. Install your programs and update them, if necessary
11. Copy your user files to the new drive from your backup.
---Finis

--P

djdister
21-Jan-2015, 14:44
DJ,

Bryan makes an excellent point about cleaning things up. There is a nice little free program called CCleaner that has a tool for cleaning up programs that run at startup, among other things. It does have a Registry cleaning tool also, but such a tool won't increase performance, and may cause issues. Another handy tool is Disk Cleanup. It's part of Win 7. It will analyze your disk and will show you files that can safely be removed. It's also a really good idea to check for malware. MalwareBytes has a free application that will do a good job of looking for baddies and assist you with removing any that are found.

As HMG says, you can always go for the 'nuclear option' and do a clean install of Win7. If you're considering upgrading hardware such as adding RAM and/or a new video card. It's best to do as he says above. If you can afford it, I'd suggest going with an SSD for your primary drive. Doing so will provide a marked increase in performance.

If you add the HDD as your primary drive with a clean install of Win 7, proceed as follows:

1. Back up all your user files to an external drive or another internal drive. (Note: You don't want to backup system files, since Windows will install new ones)
2. Unplug and remove the old drive and replace it with the SSD.
3. Unplug any other internal and external drives, for now. (This ensures that Windows is installed on the correct drive, and other drives are not accidentally reformatted.)
4. Install Windows to the new SSD
5. Update Windows via Windows Update
6. Download and install any required hardware drivers, e.g. video card, printer(s), etc. from the manufacture's web site.
7. Reboot the machine.
8. Re-attach any drives you unplugged in step 3.
9. Reboot to see if all the drives are recognized.
10. Install your programs and update them, if necessary
11. Copy your user files to the new drive from your backup.
---Finis

--P

Thanks all for the in-depth replies. At the very least I need to check the startup programs and the registry, but I think an SSD upgrade of the primary drive is also called for. I already have an external backup drive, so starting over on a fresh SSD wouldn't be that painful to do. Thanks again...

Randy Moe
21-Jan-2015, 16:12
Just got an email from Microsoft about the new Windows Basics. It is only available in my email, one statement struck me as pertinent.

'Helpful tip: With the Windows 8.1 Update, your PC isn't slowed down when you have extra apps open, so you don't need to close them. But if you really want to close an app, just drag it to the bottom of your screen. You can easily minimize or close any app with the mouse or keyboard friendly commands.'

I probably got this email as I just upgraded my 2 PC computers to WIN 8.1 latest update.

Also signed up here for a new Windows newsletter. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/newsletter-signup

After signup I got this, 'Your first newsletter from Windows will arrive soon. Inside you’ll find tips and tricks to make your PC more beautiful, more flexible and very, very fast. In the meantime, visit Windows.com to get the most out of Windows.'

Notice they emphasize very very fast.

ymmv

Jac@stafford.net
21-Jan-2015, 17:49
Not necessarily. Obviously, the number of cores is in reality only four, but in applications that support multiple cpu's, hyperthreading does make a big difference.

How do we know whether an application uses "multiple CPUs"?

jp
21-Jan-2015, 19:06
How do we know whether an application uses "multiple CPUs"?

Run task manager while the app is busy doing something. It will show the cores/cpus utilization. Photoshop also uses the video card processor (GPU) which does not show in the task manager.

Hyperthreading does make a nice difference. When it first came about for Intel, they were busy trying to sell multiple CPU computers which were relatively expensive and complicated. AMD came out with dual-core CPUs that were a huge bang for the buck. Intel then brought forth hyperthreading which was a small bang for the buck compared to dual core and many people called it hype as it was not as competitive. We don't need that comparison now, it's here to stay and Intel and AMD both make nice multi-core CPUs.

Preston
21-Jan-2015, 19:51
With regard to Hyperthreading...

As has been said, if you have a Quad Core CPU and Device Manager or Task Manager shows 8 CPU's, then hyperthreading is supported by the motherboard and is enabled. If you have a quad core CPU, and Device Manager shows only 4 CPU's, then either hyperthreading is not supported by the motherboard, or is disabled in the BIOS.

--P

paulr
31-Jan-2015, 13:01
How do we know whether an application uses "multiple CPUs"?

It ends up being a more complicated question than this. Different tasks in photoshop behave differently. Some can only run on a singe thread, many can be threaded to two or four processors (with varying degrees of efficiency), and a small number scale to four or more processing.

There are few situations besides serious multitasking—like transcoding video in the background—where you'll see a significant performance improvements in photoshop with 6 or more threads. The program is highly dependent on single core speed. Which means, all else equal, you'll get better PS performance from 4 cores running at 3.5 ghz than from 8 cores running at 3.0.

Hyperthreading slows down Photoshop very slightly for most tasks, according to benchmarks that I've seen. It seems like a feature that either offers a small improvement or a small hit, depending on the nature of the task.

What annoys me most in PS that saving and opening files is single-threaded. This becomes an issue with any compressed format, like PSD and compressed TIF. Especially with a many-layered file, the processor becomes the bottleneck, not the disk. At least they've been able to move this task to the background, but it still slows me down more than anything else.

I just upgraded from a 2008 8-core mac pro to a 2010 6-core. The 6 core at 3.33 ghz does better than any of the other pre-Darth Vader macs in PS benchmarks. The single-thread performance is 40% to 80% higher than on my 2008 machine

Apple really doesn't make a state of the art PS machine right now. The new mac pro is a video editing / motion graphics monster. But it's all about those workstation-class video cards. A waste of money for PS*. For me, though, Mac OS is such an advantage over Windows that I will wait. It's hard to imagine a level of performance improvement that would lure me to a platform I can't stand. I also like the industrial design, reliability, and ease of maintenance of the old Mac pro towers.

*Some features (like sharpening filters) use the gpu in Photoshop CC. I have yet to meet anyone who uses CC. In CS6, the only features that use the gpu involve screen drawing (like brush animation) and not actual image rendering. For these CS6 features, any decent gpu is adequate.