Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Jan 2018 14:40 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

If there's one thing that will make even the most powerful computer feel like a 7 year old rig, it's Adobe Lightroom paired with RAW files from any high-megapixel camera.

In my case, I spent over a year of spare time editing 848GB worth of 11,000+ 42-megapixel RAW photos and 4K videos from my New Zealand trip and making these nine photosets. I quickly realized that my two year old iMac was not up to the challenge.

In 2015 I took a stab at solving my photo storage problem with a cloud-backed 12TB Synology NAS. That setup is still running great. Now I just need to keep up with the performance requirements of having the latest camera gear with absurd file sizes.

I decided it was time to upgrade to something a bit more powerful. This time I decided to build a PC and switch to Windows 10 for my heavy computing tasks. Yes, I switched to Windows.

I love articles like this, because there is no one true way to build a computer for any task, and everyone has their own opinions and ideas and preferences, making sure not one self-built PC is the same as anyone else's. Add in a healthy dose of urban legends and tradition, and you have a great cocktail for endless discussions that never go anywhere.

It's clickbait without actually being clickbait.

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Tony Swash
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Some background. I am a serious amateur photographer. Until last year I used Nikon DSLR kit, I had a 36 megapixels D800 and a ton of lenses. But I got fed up, all the Nikon stuff just weighed so much and was so big that I mostly never took it out, certainly not for casual outings. Hiking with all that weight was horrible. Although the D800 took great photos I just never really warmed to it. So last year I jumped ship, sold all the Nikon kit and bought a Fuji TX2 and a set of fuji glass. What a difference, so much lighter and smaller that I actually I use it all the time, the 24 megapixels images are really nice and the retro camera design with all the physical dials is just a real joy to use. Photography is fun again.

I have used Photoshop and Lightroom ever since each was released. I love what the software is capable of but Lightroom in particular feels very unoptimised. I run it on my nearly 10 year old 2008 Mac Pro, upgraded with an SSD drive, USB 3 card and a new graphics card and it does surprisingly well. But even so waiting for the interface to respond in the Development Module is tedious and importing and building large previews just takes too long. Plus my machine is now too old for system updates and there are irritants like the PCI USB 3 card doesn’t support booting from an external drive, etc.

I actually have a recently built duel boot Hackintosh but now I just use it as a fast Windows 10 machine because the hacked OSX side of things always just felt too flaky and unreliable. So I have continued to use my Mac Pro for serious stuff like photo editing because I could not bear to do anything of substance in Windows 10. I know this might rankle with some people but a simple but important difference between my Windows and Mac experience is that all (and I mean all) Windows PCs I have ever used have crashed and frozen at various times, whereas my Mac experience is that system crashes are vanishingly rare and usually mean some sort of serious physical problem with the hardware (motherboard/hard drive failure etc). I also find the whole design of Windows 10 (which is a great improvement over it predecessors) is just still not as good as OSX, its still badly designed, inconsistent and often quite ugly.

Now after saving for while I am just about to pull the trigger on a fully specced out top of the range 27inch 5k iMac. Very excited if a little apprehensive - changing my PC after 10 years is a big deal and its a lot of money. I am not expecting miracles from the new iMac but I am expecting a significant speed up and the 5k screen will be very, very nice.

I just wish Adobe would do something about rewriting some of the core code in Lightroom Classic but I fear its attention may be elsewhere.

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