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Author Topic: PC power to process RAW photos  (Read 2236 times)

candyman

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PC power to process RAW photos
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:37:15 AM »
I currently use a notebook to process my RAW photos.
Specs:
Intel i5 - 430M (2,4 GHz) - quadcore
4 GB memory
Nvidea GeForce GT5 105M with 512MB (DDR3)
500 GB 7200 rpm


I am going to upgrade to:
Intel i7 - 2670QM (2,2GHz) - quadcore
8 GB memory
AMD Radeon HD 7470M with 1024MB (DDR5)
640 GB 5400 rpm


Though I have read a few tests about what the specs can offer in processingpower to process RAW photos I am still confused. I hope some opinions can shine more light.


The old configuration has less memory, less strong cpu, less powerful graphical card. But the harddisk has 7200 rpm.


I believe that the new configuration should help me with more speed in processing. BUT, am I going to notice the slower harddisk? Having only 5400 rpm.
On the old notebook reading (and writing baqck after processing) a set of 500 files (approx. 25MB each) from the harddisk and load it in DPP or DxO Optics was relatively fast.
On the new notebook the disk is larger. Having bigger clusters that should be able to read and write larger files more easily than the smaller harddisk. That should compensate for the slower rpm. Or am I wrong? What is your experience?

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PC power to process RAW photos
« on: April 22, 2012, 05:37:15 AM »

Wiki Tango

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 06:17:03 AM »
It could  be useful to check if there is a USB 3.0 port.

If yes, then check if the internal hard disk may be replaced with a SSD, ideally a SATA III like Samsung, Intel or OCZ. Depends on the budget but a combination of an internal SSD with e.g.  256GB and an additional external drive with 1GB might be a powerful and fast.
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PeterJ

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 06:22:21 AM »
On the new notebook the disk is larger. Having bigger clusters that should be able to read and write larger files more easily than the smaller harddisk. That should compensate for the slower rpm. Or am I wrong? What is your experience?
It's a matter of speed versus density, for the old drive the read/write head will move faster over the platter at 7200RPM but for the new drive while the speed will be lower (in area covered) it may or may not be faster depending on the number of platters and density used to give the additional storage.

There's really just too many factors to give any sort of reasonable answer without exact specs for each drive. My gut feel is with most cheap / slow drives able to go above 20MB/s (think a large RAW every second) you won't really see much difference either way.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 06:39:18 AM by PeterJ »

candyman

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 09:30:46 AM »
It could  be useful to check if there is a USB 3.0 port.

If yes, then check if the internal hard disk may be replaced with a SSD, ideally a SATA III like Samsung, Intel or OCZ. Depends on the budget but a combination of an internal SSD with e.g.  256GB and an additional external drive with 1GB might be a powerful and fast.


Interesting. The notebook does have 2 USB 3.0
So when I connect a SSD drive to USB 3.0, the read/write might acutally faster than using the internal 5400 rpm drive? I do see some limitation in storagespace. Though I found external SSD drives of 1TB, the price is out of my budget. But a smaller size just for processing purposes could work. Thanks for giving that option.
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candyman

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 09:33:05 AM »
There's really just too many factors to give any sort of reasonable answer without exact specs for each drive. My gut feel is with most cheap / slow drives able to go above 20MB/s (think a large RAW every second) you won't really see much difference either way.


Somehow that is my feeling too. Though I don't have experience that can confirm that I not really will notice. I wish to be sure that it does not become slower as with me previous Notebook. That would be a real bummer.
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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 09:37:27 AM »
The new system should give you a lot more CPU poke, as the old one is only dual core 4 thread. You get double the physical cores in the new one, and they're a newer generation too.

As for hard disk, the performance option would be to go for an internal SSD and USB connected bulk storage drive. However, purely for raw processing, hard disk performance isn't the limiting factor so you're not likely to notice a difference due to that. If you want an in-between solution, Seagate do some hard disks which include a built in flash cache which operates transparently, potentially giving you a boost in some areas to SSD like performance while retaining a large capacity.
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Leafz66

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 09:45:19 AM »
You will notice a difference between the 5400 and 7200. See what upgrades you can do to the laptop at time of purchase. Some manufacturers will let you switch to a 7200 or solid state drive. Solid state would be the quickest, most expensive and give you the least amount of space for the money. See what connection options the laptop has i.e. estata or USB 3. If you can get estata with a fast large enclosure it will be the same as working on an internal hard drive.

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 09:45:19 AM »

candyman

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 10:18:15 AM »
I do have the option for external drive using usb 3.0
My old Notebook has eSATA. The new notebook not. But my external drive (LaCie d2Quadra - 2TB 7200 rpm) supports eSATA and USB 3.0. Actually I used this one only for backup purposes and not while processing photos


In the manual of the new notebook there is a very clear description of how to replace the internal hardisk. What I can't find out from the manual is what size of the disk and what company. I don't have the notebook yet so I can't open and check it - coming on Tuesday- but I downloaded the manual.


Does someone know if the internal drive is 1.8 inch or 2.5 inch? SATA or Micro-SATA or maybe even IDE ?
I did not find a technical spec sheet.
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paulc

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 07:40:15 AM »
My machine is roughly described by your first spec.  When I look at the second spec list, the only thing on there that I think would make a difference for what I do is the memory.  Parallelizing work is tricky, so don't look for a 100% increase when you go from 2 cores to 4.  The new spec HD definitely won't be pushing twice the bits as the old one.

Your new HD is very likely 2.5" SATA 6Gb

expatinasia

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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 07:54:47 AM »
I would honestly post this question on a laptop forum rather than a camera forum.

Do not even think of the HDs you are looking at unless it is for a 2nd internal HD used for storage - and even then. Get an SSD, they are much more affordable than before and so much faster.

Plus you should remember that USB 3.0 socket will only be faster if you have something which is compatible. From memory not a single Pro Canon DSLR has a USB 3.0 slot yet, though a lot of external HDs do.

Then consider CUDA and which graphics cards can handle it best when you are using your Adobe software.

Plus more RAM, nearly always good.

Again, I really like this forum but you are asking tech details about a laptop on a camera forum. Best to ask tech details about a laptop on a laptop forum. You will find quite a few camera pros there too.
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Re: PC power to process RAW photos
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 07:54:47 AM »