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Author Topic: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013  (Read 3249 times)

RLPhoto

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RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:20:40 PM »
Hello fellow CR users,

I tend to lapse in upgrading my equipment. I use my stuff until it cannot function or it frustrates me into improvising a alternate way of doing things. When that fails, I consider upgrading my stuff and my PC was one of those long neglected pieces of kit.

My Old Computer specs (built 2006 - Retired 2013)

Intel E6600 OC'ed to 3.4ghz.
Western Digital 500GB HDD + 2TB RAID 5 w/ 4 Drives
Nvidia 8800 GTS 640mb Card
16GB DDR2 800 MHZ RAM
Gigabyte Motherboard
Win 7 Pro

This machine was finally defeated when handling my 5D3 files with heavy layers in CS6, Exporting and Editing 5D3 files in LR4 and Rendering video in Premiere pro CS6. It simply couldn't keep up with my catalog.

My Newest Machine

ASUS Sabertooth X79 Mobo
Intel i7 4930K OC'ed to 4.2 GHz w/ H100i cooler
64GB of 1866Mhz DDR3
Nvidia GTX 770 4GB card
240GB SSD + 180GB Intel SSD
10TB RAID 5 of storage.
Win 7 Pro

This rig simply flys through my huge LR catalog and my PSD's. Editing in Premiere is a breeze and I thought I'd post a geekbench score if anyones interested. :)

Total Cost - 3000$ for everything.
 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 09:22:54 PM by RLPhoto »

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RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:20:40 PM »

kennephoto

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 10:06:46 PM »
Dude wow! That's crazy! What does 64GB of ram do? I'm running a 4770k with 16gb of ram ATI7970 with 2 1TB, 2 500gb drives a 256gb SSD and a 1TB usb 3.0 external. I really don't know what RAID is, I have some vague knowledge but not enough to know to use it or not. Mines pretty quick in Lightroom, prolly not as quick as yours, although I'm running 2 27" 2560x1440 monitors which is tasking. But congrats on that build I'm jealous!
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 12:21:07 AM »
Dude wow! That's crazy! What does 64GB of ram do? I'm running a 4770k with 16gb of ram ATI7970 with 2 1TB, 2 500gb drives a 256gb SSD and a 1TB usb 3.0 external. I really don't know what RAID is, I have some vague knowledge but not enough to know to use it or not. Mines pretty quick in Lightroom, prolly not as quick as yours, although I'm running 2 27" 2560x1440 monitors which is tasking. But congrats on that build I'm jealous!
Raid or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a method of increasing redundancy of your hard drives.  one of the drives can fail without losing your data.  Depending on the controller, it can be faster than a single disk or slower.  Raid 6 is now becoming popular, it allows for 2 disk failures.  You give up storage capacity for redundancy.
 
I used to run a raid array of  four 10,000 RPM disks in my PC, but moved to using a separate NAS with six standard 7500 rpm 2TB drives.   SSD's are very fast now, and pretty reliable, but they are too expensive to build a large raid array, so I use them as boot disks to boot and hold my programs and my lightroom catalog.
 
I generally retire one of my 7 pc's each year, I've just been buying Dells lately, because they are cheaper than I can build one for.  That seems to be changing, the problem is that every time I build my own, I see feature creep, and end up over building for what I really need.   Every time I spec one out, dual Xeon E7-4870's want to creep in, and at $5300 per processor, I just buy a $700 pc from Dell.  The $20+ K machine would be fast though. :)
 
 

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 12:53:48 AM »
I just looked up that processor on newegg and wow 5300 bucks! I wish I could build that computer and benchmark it haha I'm sure it would do crazy things. Guess I will have to do more reading about raid, sounds complicated to me.
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 01:02:37 AM »
I just looked up that processor on newegg and wow 5300 bucks! I wish I could build that computer and benchmark it haha I'm sure it would do crazy things. Guess I will have to do more reading about raid, sounds complicated to me.

Its for servers, and really would not be much benefit for what we do, but if 1000 users were accessing a pair of them, then it would be doing its job.
 
The big issue is that the newer processors are only marginally better than 3 generation old I7's, so a upgrade doesn't do all that much.  Investing in SSD's will give a big performance jump compared to a new processor, and power usage is reduced as well.  Adding memory can also give you a performance boost, assuming you are memory limited with say 4GB.  Even 8GB can be too little.
 
Eventually, its time to upgrade.  Soon we will be seeing DDR4 memory and hopefully some big memory bandwidth improvements.

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 10:34:23 AM »
Dude wow! That's crazy! What does 64GB of ram do? I'm running a 4770k with 16gb of ram ATI7970 with 2 1TB, 2 500gb drives a 256gb SSD and a 1TB usb 3.0 external. I really don't know what RAID is, I have some vague knowledge but not enough to know to use it or not. Mines pretty quick in Lightroom, prolly not as quick as yours, although I'm running 2 27" 2560x1440 monitors which is tasking. But congrats on that build I'm jealous!

Having 64GB of RAM future proofs my machine like my old one did with 16GB of RAM. I also have the neat feature of creating RAM Disks, Which can be useful for editing a selection of photos extremely fast.

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 12:30:50 PM »
So, after weeks (or more) of planning, I, too, made a jump.  Just got my new PC home.

i5 460 @ 3.4 with 16gb RAM, a 256 SSD for the OS and software and a RAID 0 (mirror) of two 3 TB Toshiba HDD's.  I've got 6 USB 3 ports, DVI video out with 4 GB video RAM running Win 7 pro.

Sofar, I've installed Indesign, PS CS4 and PS CS6 as well as LR 4.4, DxO Pro 8.  Just testing with some Photoshop images, the difference between my old Core2 Duo and this new machine is remarkable.

Now, I begin the labor of moving about 800GB of photos and data to the new machine, but I am looking forward to it!
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 12:30:50 PM »

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2013, 01:55:35 PM »
Raid or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a method of increasing redundancy of your hard drives.  one of the drives can fail without losing your data.  Depending on the controller, it can be faster than a single disk or slower.  Raid 6 is now becoming popular, it allows for 2 disk failures.  You give up storage capacity for redundancy.

My general advice is that you should not use RAID unless your goal is to increase performance or capacity beyond the limits of a single drive.  The purpose of the redundancy in RAID is not to improve reliability, but rather to help ameliorate the colossal loss of reliability that would otherwise occur in a multi-drive set.

There are two main problems with using RAID:

1.  You usually build RAID arrays using hard drives that are substantially identical, because otherwise you take a significant performance hit.  The odds, therefore, are good that any mechanical flaw in one will also be present in all the others.  Now bear in mind that most of the operations performed on one disk are also being performed on all the others—the same seeks, the same head parking, the same number of powered-on hours, etc.—which means that a staggering percentage of those mechanical flaws tend to show up at about the same time.  When one disk fails, the odds of a second disk failing before you can clone the first one is pretty high, and if the second disks fails during that interval, the odds of a third disk failing before you can clone either of the first two approaches 100%.

2.  The mean time between failures (MTBF) for a set of n drives is equal to the MTBF of a single drive divided by n.  So if you have five drives, you are five times as likely to experience a failure as if you have only a single drive, assuming your failures are, in fact, random rather than being caused by a design flaw.

The additional parity disks compensate for #2 somewhat, though not completely.  They do nothing to help with #1.  And that's not even factoring the added risk of catastrophic data loss caused by bugs in RAID controller firmware.  When you factor that in, your need for backups is likely to be significantly greater for a RAID array than for a single drive of equivalent size (assuming such a drive exists).

Also, although it might go without saying, it is still probably worth pointing out that even under ideal circumstances, RAID is not a substitute for proper backups.  That file you overwrote is still gone whether you're using a RAID volume or not.

In short, unless a single hard drive can't keep up with your throughput needs (e.g. if you're working with uncompressed 4K video) or you cannot buy a hard drive big enough to meet your needs, you're almost always better off not using RAID, and instead using an additional hard drive as a true backup.  With that said, if you absolutely have to have a single volume with larger capacity or faster performance, RAID is a good solution.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 01:58:14 PM by dgatwood »

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2013, 02:07:04 PM »
Raid or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a method of increasing redundancy of your hard drives.  one of the drives can fail without losing your data.  Depending on the controller, it can be faster than a single disk or slower.  Raid 6 is now becoming popular, it allows for 2 disk failures.  You give up storage capacity for redundancy.

My general advice is that you should not use RAID unless your goal is to increase performance or capacity beyond the limits of a single drive.  The purpose of the redundancy in RAID is not to improve reliability, but rather to help ameliorate the colossal loss of reliability that would otherwise occur in a multi-drive set.

There are two main problems with using RAID:

1.  You usually build RAID arrays using hard drives that are substantially identical, because otherwise you take a significant performance hit.  The odds, therefore, are good that any mechanical flaw in one will also be present in all the others.  Now bear in mind that most of the operations performed on one disk are also being performed on all the others—the same seeks, the same head parking, the same number of powered-on hours, etc.—which means that a staggering percentage of those mechanical flaws tend to show up at about the same time.  When one disk fails, the odds of a second disk failing before you can clone the first one is pretty high, and if the second disks fails during that interval, the odds of a third disk failing before you can clone either of the first two approaches 100%.

2.  The mean time between failures (MTBF) for a set of n drives is equal to the MTBF of a single drive divided by n.  So if you have five drives, you are five times as likely to experience a failure as if you have only a single drive, assuming your failures are, in fact, random rather than being caused by a design flaw.

The additional parity disks compensate for #2 somewhat, though not completely.  They do nothing to help with #1.  And that's not even factoring the added risk of catastrophic data loss caused by bugs in RAID controller firmware.  When you factor that in, your need for backups is likely to be significantly greater for a RAID array than for a single drive of equivalent size (assuming such a drive exists).

Also, although it might go without saying, it is still probably worth pointing out that even under ideal circumstances, RAID is not a substitute for proper backups.  That file you overwrote is still gone whether you're using a RAID volume or not.

In short, unless a single hard drive can't keep up with your throughput needs (e.g. if you're working with uncompressed 4K video) or you cannot buy a hard drive big enough to meet your needs, you're almost always better off not using RAID, and instead using an additional hard drive as a true backup.  With that said, if you absolutely have to have a single volume with larger capacity or faster performance, RAID is a good solution.
Very well said. RAID is overkill for 99.999% of private use. Just stick in an extra back up drive.

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2013, 02:13:48 PM »
Re: RAID.  You are correct but.........

I have had a single drive failure 3 or 4 times over the past years and was really glad I had a mirror RAID.  This meant I just swapped out the bad drive for a new one. 

This does not replace backups.  I do a continuous "cloud" backup (Crashplan) and also do periodic external drive backups alternating a variety of WDD external drives for this purpose.
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 11:00:11 PM »
i'm travelling so much i use a drobo mini with raid for all my stuff it is super fast due to its thunderbolt connection and hybrid drive array which has a 64GB msata SSD which stages the data for very fast access it has 4 x 1.5TB thin HDDs for main storage. I only have it setup for 1 redundant drive failure.
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2013, 03:18:57 AM »
Raid or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a method of increasing redundancy of your hard drives.  one of the drives can fail without losing your data.  Depending on the controller, it can be faster than a single disk or slower.  Raid 6 is now becoming popular, it allows for 2 disk failures.  You give up storage capacity for redundancy.

My general advice is that you should not use RAID unless your goal is to increase performance or capacity beyond the limits of a single drive.  The purpose of the redundancy in RAID is not to improve reliability, but rather to help ameliorate the colossal loss of reliability that would otherwise occur in a multi-drive set.

There are two main problems with using RAID:

1.  You usually build RAID arrays using hard drives that are substantially identical, because otherwise you take a significant performance hit.  The odds, therefore, are good that any mechanical flaw in one will also be present in all the others.  Now bear in mind that most of the operations performed on one disk are also being performed on all the others—the same seeks, the same head parking, the same number of powered-on hours, etc.—which means that a staggering percentage of those mechanical flaws tend to show up at about the same time.  When one disk fails, the odds of a second disk failing before you can clone the first one is pretty high, and if the second disks fails during that interval, the odds of a third disk failing before you can clone either of the first two approaches 100%.

2.  The mean time between failures (MTBF) for a set of n drives is equal to the MTBF of a single drive divided by n.  So if you have five drives, you are five times as likely to experience a failure as if you have only a single drive, assuming your failures are, in fact, random rather than being caused by a design flaw.

The additional parity disks compensate for #2 somewhat, though not completely.  They do nothing to help with #1.  And that's not even factoring the added risk of catastrophic data loss caused by bugs in RAID controller firmware.  When you factor that in, your need for backups is likely to be significantly greater for a RAID array than for a single drive of equivalent size (assuming such a drive exists).

Also, although it might go without saying, it is still probably worth pointing out that even under ideal circumstances, RAID is not a substitute for proper backups.  That file you overwrote is still gone whether you're using a RAID volume or not.

In short, unless a single hard drive can't keep up with your throughput needs (e.g. if you're working with uncompressed 4K video) or you cannot buy a hard drive big enough to meet your needs, you're almost always better off not using RAID, and instead using an additional hard drive as a true backup.  With that said, if you absolutely have to have a single volume with larger capacity or faster performance, RAID is a good solution.

I agree with this, specially with having same models etc. At work we had one array with 10 drives that over 5 days had 6 drive fails. At least we had good backup but data was lost.

Privately I run the small NAS-drives with mirrored disks and then I backup to other disks
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 02:00:07 PM »
I'm a bit late to this thread but I'd like to comment on a few things...  (RAID Array Strategy and Backups)

1st - RLPhoto - great machine.  However, RAID5 is outdated and risky.  Either go RAID6 or change things and use multiple RAID1 volumes.  RAID5 is less reliable and difficult to recover in the event of a failure, esp if you are not using an enterprise class controller.  I didn't see a RAID controller listed and I hope to God you are not putting a RAID5 array on a cheap single chip non-cache, non-battery (possibly motherboard) controller!  It's better and easier to have multiple volumes on separate disks/arrays instead of one large volume on one array.  When disks fail, you won't lose access to everything, only part of your data.  For instance, I have 3 - 2TB RAID1 Mirrors, one for older stuff (archive), one for current stuff before POST and a 3rd for recent stuff after POST.  I also have a few single internal drives that act as synchronized backups to the RAID volumes.  Oh, and you should also have hot spares installed along with at least a couple of spare identical drives on the shelf to maintain drive consistency when you have to replace one later.  And finally, how do you plan to back up a 10TB volume?  More important, how do you plan to restore it?  Do you know how and have you done it yet to be sure it works?  It is extremely tedious, stressful and time consuming to restore 10TB of data or a 10TB volume all at once.  In fact, you really need another RAID array 10TB volume to back it up to.  Hence the reason why I create multiple 2TB volumes as I need them.  The archive volume for instance doesn't need to be backed up very often since it rarely changes.

2nd - JPAZ - I certainly hope you meant that you have a RAID1 (mirror) because if you really have a RAID0 array, you are NOT PROTECTED from a drive failure.  RAID0 IS NOT A MIRROR ARRAY.  There is NO REDUNDANCY.  If one drive fails, you lose the entire volume, regardless of which physical disk the data is stored on.

3rd - dgatwood - I think there is nothing wrong with using a RAID Array but unfortunately most people do not really understand RAID so they do not plan, implement or maintain it correctly.  Doing RAID well is not easy, cheap or simple.  It is often misunderstood.  I think using RAID is a good idea for adding some physical drive failure insurance, provided it is done right with the proper respect for the technology.  But when things fail, most people are not equipped to handle the problem or did not use the right technology and at that point would have been better off staying with a simpler individual drive design.  It's the restore/recovery phase of RAID that tests the design limits and is usually the hardest, most stressful part, even with a good backup in place.

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 02:00:07 PM »

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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 02:16:17 PM »
My typo....it is RAID 1, not RAID 0!
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 02:29:15 PM »
I'm a bit late to this thread but I'd like to comment on a few things...  (RAID Array Strategy and Backups)

1st - RLPhoto - great machine.  However, RAID5 is outdated and risky.  Either go RAID6 or change things and use multiple RAID1 volumes.  RAID5 is less reliable and difficult to recover in the event of a failure, esp if you are not using an enterprise class controller.  I didn't see a RAID controller listed and I hope to God you are not putting a RAID5 array on a cheap single chip non-cache, non-battery (possibly motherboard) controller!  It's better and easier to have multiple volumes on separate disks/arrays instead of one large volume on one array.  When disks fail, you won't lose access to everything, only part of your data.  For instance, I have 3 - 2TB RAID1 Mirrors, one for older stuff (archive), one for current stuff before POST and a 3rd for recent stuff after POST.  I also have a few single internal drives that act as synchronized backups to the RAID volumes.  Oh, and you should also have hot spares installed along with at least a couple of spare identical drives on the shelf to maintain drive consistency when you have to replace one later.  And finally, how do you plan to back up a 10TB volume?  More important, how do you plan to restore it?  Do you know how and have you done it yet to be sure it works?  It is extremely tedious, stressful and time consuming to restore 10TB of data or a 10TB volume all at once.  In fact, you really need another RAID array 10TB volume to back it up to.  Hence the reason why I create multiple 2TB volumes as I need them.  The archive volume for instance doesn't need to be backed up very often since it rarely changes.

RAID5 does indeed have some dangers, although on ZFS RAIDZ (sorta like a RAID5) it avoids the write-hole and other dangers like that on top of all the other awesome features of ZFS.

That aside, in a machine like that, I'd go for RAID1+0/0+1. It'll give you more of a boost in performance while still giving you high levels of availability. Although for Lightroom at least, beyond a certain minimum read latency/speed, CPU is best for going back and forth between images to view them. At least until they are all cached.

I'm thinking I might upgrade my machine when the next Tick comes out from Intel. Haswell is great, but considering I'm still on the original Core i7-920 (lynfield?) that jump will be massive.
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Re: RLPhotos Computer upgrade 2013
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 02:29:15 PM »