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 Post subject: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:21 am
Posts: 2
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Hi!

I need some advice for a new build.

Currently I am working on a Thinkpad x220 attached to a 1440x2560 screen. It is not an optimal setting especially for heavy graphical work.
My main use is office work, programming which includes some heavy computations, and photo editing. I do not play much games.
It is important that the computer is quiet, since I will use it in my study-room. The laptop is ok, but not worse than that.
I do mainly work in linux, so the components should be chosen with this in mind.
Overclocking is not necessary.
The budget is limited to arond 1000$.

For sure I have checked out this page a lot, but I still have some questions. Ok, here they are:

* The most important for me is not the size. Is there any advantages of chosing a ATX over mATX? Aucustics?, performance?
* Intel i3, i5 or i7? Is it enough with the intel HD graphics 4000/4600, even for photo editing? I dont want lag when i use brush etc.

Hopefully i can get some advice here. I need to know where to start.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1730
Location: Switzerland
I think you may be at risk of overpaying. You can build something quiet and faster than your Thinkpad for a lot less than $1K.
You should state how much faster you want it to be, and how quiet. Noise is subjective and even if you were to look at it objectively still depends on ambient noise and how good your hearing is. Sometimes people come here saying they want quiet but can't hear stuff which is considered moderately noisy across a reasonable distance.

I see little point in getting a more expensive CPU than the over-clockable i5. The cheapest current i5 (4430 although I guess there's little point in picking it over the 4440 and local pricing and sales might warrant spending a few more $ for a faster model) would already be a large upgrade over what you've got. If you need a lot more perfomance, over-clocking beats over-spending (up to a point). You could potentially save quite a bit money by buying a used Sandy or Ivy i5 (the 2500K for instance) if you care for the trouble involved in doing that.
There may be a marginal point in having some graphics card (not just any card) depending on your application. I have no idea what software you're using or even if commonly-used software can make use of a dedicated card. I wouldn't waste any time on it and simply use integrated graphics.
There is generally not much point in going with ATX over mATX unless you have very specific needs (it doesn't sound like you do). Even if you don't care for size, resale value may suffer from going pointlessly huge.

Start here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/section5.html
But pay attention to the date. In some cases, you should look for updated information elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:07 am
Posts: 120
Location: Vienna - Austria
I would go mATX, because you don't need 5 HDDs and big GPU. You'll have a smaller case, and it should be easier for the airflow. (and less noise)

Your current X220 is running Core i5 - 2520M, HD3000 on a slow 5400rpm drive.

What are you using for photo editing?
Is this a lot of heavy RAW and tools?
Is it already lagging on your current laptop?

As said by HFat, i5-4430 is good. ($180) (3GHz, HD4600)
You can save a bit with i3-4330 (3.5GHz, HD4600) = $140

I would not go for used old CPU.
You already planning for $1000, I guess you can afford a new CPU.

Benchmark:
i5-2520M = 3555
i5-4430 = 6288
i3-4330 = 5069


Besides the CPU jump, you will see a huge difference, when you will run on SSD.

I also think you can use the integrated graphics to start and see later if you need more, with dedicated GPU.
(but, you already used HD3000 on your laptop, so again, you will have a good jump to the new HD4600)

_________________
(sold in Dec. 2013) Temjin TJ08-E / Be Quiet Straight Power E9 400W / GA-B75M-D3H / i3-3225 / 8GB / SSD 120GB / HDD 1TB / running Mac OS - Hackintosh


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4781
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

Is this your x220's config or is it something different? If it's an i5 mobile, then it's a dual core CPU with hyperthreading. Is there only 4GB of RAM in there?

What are you using for image editing apps? Does it make use of multi-core/multithreaded CPUs? Does it make use of Open CL/GL for hardware acceleration?

What's your 1440p monitor and what inputs does it have? Some mobos and monitors have compatibility issues at 1440p.

Here's a basic build:
i5. 4 physical cores will be useful. Hyperthreading in the i7 might be...but probably not worth another $100.

2 x 4GB DDR3 1600 CL9 RAM (do you work with huge images or run scripts that require lots of memory? If not, 8GB should do)

SSD for OS/apps/working data (250GB Samsung Evo)

HDD for data storage. (WD Red or Green)

mobo for linux (you should visit phoronix for best mobo compatibility).

PSU. <150W needed. Seasonic G360 is cheapest, good solution. Next step up is the Corsair RM 450. Then we head into $100+ solutions.

Case. For mATX, I like the Fractal Design Define Mini. For ATX, the Fractal Define R4. There are many others.

optional: gfx card...may or may not be useful...depends on answers above.

More details as we progress..

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:21 am
Posts: 2
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Thanks for fast responses.

The main questions seems to be:
Cheap vs expensive CPU? If I can be sure that a cheaper one can handle the large screen most of the time, even when working with photoshop, then I cannot see the reason buying a more expensive one.

I'm sure about
I will go for integrated graphic card.
I will go for mATX.


HFat:
I totally agree that I probably don't need that much power for most of my needs. For my studies, the biggest things of importance is SSD harddrive and enough of ram I guess. CPU with hypherthreading and many cores is of no use here (If we need to do really large parallel computations in school, we can use supercomputers via ssh). The thinkpad is actually working even with the big screen for this purposes. But I want to work with photoshop sometimes too.

Thierry:
Its no idea to use a load of Photoshop with the thinkpad because of the lag and heat. For the moment I just edit exposure and such stuff in the camera RAW program.

CA_Steve:

Is this your x220's config or is it something different? If it's an i5 mobile, then it's a dual core CPU with hyperthreading. Is there only 4GB of RAM in there?
Its not really the same. It is a bit customized
* i3 CPU: http://ark.intel.com/products/53438/
* 8 GB ram
* 60GB SSD + 500GB

What are you using for image editing apps? Does it make use of multi-core/multithreaded CPUs? Does it make use of Open CL/GL for hardware acceleration?
As said above. Photoshop and RAW editor. Photoshop can use Open GL for hardware acceleration.

What's your 1440p monitor and what inputs does it have? Some mobos and monitors have compatibility issues at 1440p.
It is a DELL U2713HM with Display port.

i5. 4 physical cores will be useful. Hyperthreading in the i7 might be...but probably not worth another $100.
I know that Photoshop can use hyphertreading and also is able to use a lot of ram (>32GB). But since I mostly not have 1GB large photoshop files with a lot of layers (mostly its enough using camera RAW) I dont know if I want to spend that much money extra just for the computer to run smooth in 1% of the time I use it.

Here's a basic build:
i5. 4 physical cores will be useful. Hyperthreading in the i7 might be...but probably not worth another $100.

How much better is the i5 over the i3 if i do not go for hyper-threading. And if I do chose the i7 is there any problems with heat => fans => noise?

2 x 4GB DDR3 1600 CL9 RAM (do you work with huge images or run scripts that require lots of memory? If not, 8GB should do)
I think i will go for 16GB here. Cannot se the reason not doing that? I often have a lot of things working at the same time.

SSD for OS/apps/working data (250GB Samsung Evo)
HDD for data storage. (WD Red or Green)

I already own a 128GB ssd and going for another ssd too.

mobo for linux (you should visit phoronix for best mobo compatibility).
Yes, that is a nice site. Should check that out.

PSU. <150W needed. Seasonic G360 is cheapest, good solution. Next step up is the Corsair RM 450. Then we head into $100+ solutions.
After reading some of these here at the forum, it seems to be a big problem with cold-whine? You do not see that as a problem. Some people may have bought up to four ex. of the same model, dont want to do that. BeQuiet, what do you think of their PSUs?

Case. For mATX, I like the Fractal Design Define Mini. For ATX, the Fractal Define R4. There are many others.
I think I will go for a mATX and the Define Mini seems to be a nice one.

optional: gfx card...may or may not be useful...depends on answers above.
Ok.. I think i need to think about the budget too. I guess if it will work with the inbuild GPU I'll go for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for workstation/photo-editing build
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4781
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Anandtech's Bench might be a fun tool for you to check out. Here's a comparison of the i3-2100 vs the i5-4670K. Note your laptop clocks @ 2.1GHz vs this i3's 3.1GHz. So, downgrade it's performance by a third. The top benchmark is Photoshop. The i5 is done in 10.4 sec, your laptop would finish at ~25sec. Pop in the i7-4770K, and 10.4 sec drops to 9.8 sec. Not a lot of benefit for that extra $100.

The Dell U2713M has had some issues with Haswell graphics compatibility @ 1440p. You might want to peruse this thread.

RAM: You might run a test on your current system and see how much RAM you actually use. No reason to get >8GB if your projucts don't consume it....and RAM is the single easiest thing to add later.

PSU: Yep, some people have had issues with Seasonic and electronic whine. Hit or miss. I haven't. Corsair claims their's don't, hence the RM 450 recommendation. BeQuiet makes nice PSUs. The fans are very quiet, but always on. The Dark Power Pro 10 is excellent.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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