Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 127

Thread: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,074

    Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    So, I've been struggling along with a machine I built in 2001. I'd upgraded everything several times, and it had 2G of ram, etc., etc. Running XP Professional.

    But I finally broke down and bought a new one. Costco had an HP p6787c-b system for sale. Windows 7 64-bit, 4-core AMD Phenom II processor at 3GHz, 8G of RAM, 1.5TB hard disk, firewire (needed by my LS8000 scanner), 8 USB ports, integrated memory card readers, and two (count 'em!) 23" 1920x1050 LED-backlit monitors with a dual-LUT Radeon 6450 graphics card. HP had a deal, and Costcto is a good place to buy computers--they require the manufacturers to support a two-year warranty and they have a liberal 90-day no-questions-asked return policy. HP's deal was a rebate that brought the price down to a grand, with the monitors. Such a deal.

    The monitors suck, by the way. (As expected.) Color balance changes on them with tilt angle, but I put one next to my (nice) Dell U2410 24" display, and put the other one on my wife's computer.

    AND WOW! I pulled up two halves of a 6x12 negative scan, scanned at 4000 spi in my Nikon scanner, and it only took Photomerge one minute flat to merge them. I could not find the boundary. The same version of Photoshop (CS4) had choked after two hours with 2400 spi scans on the old machine, and I'd had to stitch them manually.

    The resulting file exceeded Photoshop's PSD file size limit of 2 gigs, and I had to merge some layers to get the size down low enough. The resulting image is roughly 9000x18000 pixels. That's a pretty sizeable file, even by our standards.

    Vuescan provided the driver for the Nikon scanner, and other drivers were easy to get. I used Laplink's PC-Mover to move the many minor applications--worked pretty well but I still have to fix some things. I upgraded Windows to the Professional version and added the virtual machine capability, wtih an XP virtual machine and a Linux virtual machine, just for play.

    All that I really wish it had was a Blu-Ray writer.

    I'm blown away by the performance--for what the magazines call a mid-price productivity machine.

    Rick "who replaces his computer every ten years whether it needs it or not" Denney

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Congratulations. Current computers make working with huge files pretty painless.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
    Posts
    860

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Virtual Machines can be fun to mess around with. I keep meaning to upgrade my computer and try out OSx86 with VMWare. A Mac Virtual Machine would be entertaining to have on a PC.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    2,089

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    Congratulations. Current computers make working with huge files pretty painless.
    Peter,
    I wish I could agree with you on this one. I have the latest model Mac Pro tower (Westmere chip 2.4 Ghz 8 core) with 8 Gigs of RAM, fast SATA drives, plenty of scratch space and PhotoShop is still dog slow.

    I guess an SSD drive for the scratch might make things faster. Certain operations have picked up (cropping) but opening and saving are a drag. Most of my files are either 1.7 Gigs or just over 3Gigs. Somebody sent me something with a few alpha channels in it the other day at 4.5 Gigs. It took forever to open.

    The childish, "did, did not" conversation between Apple and Adobe is terribly tiresome. I wish the two of them would just grow up. I understand that PC's have gotten a speed boost lately and I'm happy for you guys. I just wish Adobe would get its head out of its a__ and fix the large file issues fully so I can get to work...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,074

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    Certain operations have picked up (cropping) but opening and saving are a drag.
    Yes, this is true. I was opening files in the 1-Gig range, and it takes a long time to write those files when a new composite image has to be generated.

    But it's still far faster than it was, even for the slow operations. For me, there were operations that I could not do at all (photomerge with big files being one of them) and now those processes move along pretty quickly. I feel as though I have all the features I paid for with CS4 actually available to me.

    I suspect that Photoshop, like all large systems, has components written by different groups. Some of them were able to produce efficient algorithms, and others, for whatever reason, were not.

    How do you write such large files? Photoshop announced to me that it had a 2-Gig file size limit on PSD files. Are you reading them back to TIFF?

    I wasn't even able to contemplate such a question on the old computer. Working with any file that might have challenged that limit was just impossible.

    Rick "not sure there is a PC architecture that is all that much faster than my mid-grade machine" Denney

  6. #6
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    My standard files are 1 gig when starting out. I have 12 gigs of ram on a Window 7- 64 bit quad-core machine that I built, and I don't have any ssds. I don't have any "wait around" issues, but Lenny's files are bigger, and so I might with files that big. This machine was a huge improvement over my earlier dual-core athlon machine, with the big change being the ability to utilize much more ram.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  7. #7
    photobymike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tampa Florida
    Posts
    687

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    My computer is a 7 year old Apple MAC quad, thats faster than my son's i5 Sony. We both have CS4 Photoshop 4. i typically edit files 100k - 200k with instant screen results. My son's i5 2 or 3 seconds with the same files. I use my Epson 4800 and 7800 printers and a v750 scanner with no problems. I play music scan huge huge images check my mail and surf the web all at the same time. i am playing music and scanning as i am typing this entry. I am looking forward to the day when i can afford the eight core MAC .... That will be a fast computer ... did i mention i have never had a lockup or virus.... i dont even have a virus program... not needed. Try it you will like it :-)

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,074

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Quote Originally Posted by photobymike View Post
    My computer is a 7 year old Apple MAC quad, thats faster than my son's i5 Sony. We both have CS4 Photoshop 4. i typically edit files 100k - 200k with instant screen results. My son's i5 2 or 3 seconds with the same files. I use my Epson 4800 and 7800 printers and a v750 scanner with no problems. I play music scan huge huge images check my mail and surf the web all at the same time. i am playing music and scanning as i am typing this entry. I am looking forward to the day when i can afford the eight core MAC .... That will be a fast computer ... did i mention i have never had a lockup or virus.... i dont even have a virus program... not needed. Try it you will like it :-)
    Hmmm. I see a 27" iMac which is equipped similarly to the HP I just bought, except the disk isn't quite as large and it has half the RAM. It's $2000 at the Apple Store. Then, I would have to buy Photoshop again--another many hundreds of dollars when I already own a license. The processor seems similar (it's the only quad-core iMac), the RAM is half as much. Sorry, I'm not feeling it.

    Or the Mac Pro, which is $2500 for the entry model, and that doesn't include the monitors. That 8-core Mac you're dreaming of is another kilobuck above that. Dreaming is about all I'd be able to do, too.

    I'm assuming it's nice stuff, but like an Ebony camera, I'm never going to know it, because I can't afford it.

    Rick "who has never been shut down by a virus, or seen the BSD when using factory-supplied hardware" Denney

  9. #9
    Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    667

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    Hmmm. I see a 27" iMac which is equipped similarly to the HP I just bought, except the disk isn't quite as large and it has half the RAM. It's $2000 at the Apple Store. Then, I would have to buy Photoshop again--another many hundreds of dollars when I already own a license....
    I don't think you need to buy a new Photoshop. In the past you could "crossgrade" for the price of shipping (but this policy might have changed).

    (I know it's a moot point for you Rick at this point.)

    ....Mike

  10. #10
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    brooklyn, nyc
    Posts
    5,774

    Re: Ten years is old enough...for a computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    I have the latest model Mac Pro tower (Westmere chip 2.4 Ghz 8 core) with 8 Gigs of RAM, fast SATA drives, plenty of scratch space and PhotoShop is still dog slow.

    I guess an SSD drive for the scratch might make things faster. Certain operations have picked up (cropping) but opening and saving are a drag. Most of my files are either 1.7 Gigs or just over 3Gigs. Somebody sent me something with a few alpha channels in it the other day at 4.5 Gigs. It took forever to open.
    More ram would speed things more than an ssd scratch disk, assuming you're using CS5.

    One thing that helps is to temporarily save files (while working on them) as uncompressed, layered tif files. Opening and saving compressed formats (like PSD) is actually processor-limited, not disk-limited, because even in CS5, adobe has kept the open and save processes single-threaded. It's just dumb ... compression scales easily to multiple threads, so these operations could theoretically put all your cores to work.

    I've found that working off of uncompressed files can mean saves taking 2 or 3 seconds vs. 10 or 15. I only bother with this with my biggest files; most of mine are smaller than what you're describing. You can do your final save as PSD to save space.

Similar Threads

  1. How much computer power for scanning?
    By Ben Calwell in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 3-Dec-2003, 08:20
  2. has anybody done any serious BW digital printing?
    By jnorman in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 20-Mar-2002, 10:33
  3. Choosing a color film for scanning in later years
    By Eric Pederson in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 4-Jan-2002, 08:45
  4. Trends in Large Format Lenses and Cameras
    By alice richard in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 21-Aug-2000, 07:29

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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