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by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:56 pm
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E.J. Peiker
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As some of you may know from another thread, I have been working with Puget Systems to spec out, design, and build a new photo workstation.  Since retirement from Intel in 2009 I have slowed my pace of computer upgrades.  Before retirement I could very cheaply upgrade systems almost every generation because I built the systems myself and I could get the very latest CPU and SSD, the most expensive parts of a computer back then, for free every year.  Right before I left I built what was then the absolutely fastest PC you could build.  Five years later in 2014 I worked with the incredible folks at Puget Systems to spec out a new, top of the line system and that's what I have been using for the last 5 years with a mid cycle memory and graphics card update to keep the system working well and performing at a level that I needed, especially given moving to medium format for my landscape photography and due to the inherent depth of field losses with a larger sensor and much more focus stacking.  Five years on, in 2019, computer technology had moved sufficiently to build a new workstation that will hopefully last another 5 years with a likely mid-cycle update.  The specs of the new system were covered in another thread but I'll paste the info in again at the bottom.  The Windows Experience score on this system is 9.9 - the max number measurable.  Disk reads and writes are 7x using the M2 SSDs compared to the old style SSD, CPU video rendering is 2.7x, GPU video rendering is 2x (and that is comparing 10 bit per color on the new system compared to 8 bit on the old), Open GL is 2.3x as fast.  Easy mid-cycle upgrade options for the future on this system include a higher core count CPU, doubling of the system RAM, faster storage should it become available, and graphics card upgrade.

There are however some downsides...
- A tongue in cheek or be careful what you ask for one - I truly enjoyed watching Helicon Focus render a focus stack.  The program is very fast to begin with but with my old system I could physically see it build up a depth map and watch it render - this never got old.  On my new system, the rendering is so fast it basically goes from un-stacked to stacked in the blink of an eye.  I ran a quick comparison of a 6 image stack with a 50 megapixel Fuji Medium Format stack.  The old system took about 7 seconds to complete the task.  The new system does it in about 0.75 seconds...
- My very old web publishing program does not fully work in Win 10 Professional, even in Compatibility mode.  Web design works as it should but it will not FTP upload.  I have a workaround for now where I can still design pages in the old software and use FileZilla to upload to my site but FileZilla isn't smart enough to keep track of files that have changed since last upload so for now I have to keep track of that manually.  I have looked at a couple of other packages but none of them can handle the program specific templates and formatting so I see some serious work in the future to bring my web publishing software and website into this decade...
- The only other issue I encountered is that Dropbox changed its terms to a maximum of just 3 connected devices from a much higher number previously.  To link up my new system I had to unlink others that I really want to be linked.  The only way to change this is to buy a relatively expensive subscription plan that gives me WAY more space than I could ever want and more connected computers.  I abhor subscription models...

On the bright side, I had feared that I would not be able to activate Photoshop CS6 anymore or that my older version of Microsoft Office would not activate but those were no problem at all.

Here are the specs of the new system:
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
CPU: Intel Core i9 9920X 3.5GHz Twelve Core w/ 4.5GHz Turbo mode
Ram: Crucial 64GB DDR4-2666 (4x16GB)
Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 PCI-E 8GB
Storage: 
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Primary System Drive)
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Internally mirrored backup System Drive and swpadisk)
WD Gold 12TB Enterprise Class Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM Class SATA 6 Gb/s  (Primary data Drive) mounted in a iStarUSA 1-Hard Drive Hot Swap Rack - my data is backed up to existing online external RAID stations and two Synology NAS RAID servers
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W P2 Power Supply
CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 CPU Cooler (Rev. 3)
Additional Cooling: Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Upgrade
OS:  Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 

by Phil Shaw on Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:35 pm
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Thanks for this.
Nice system. I didn't see the other thread.
 

by DChan on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:08 pm
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Corsair H60...one fan only ??

What are the temperatures of your system?
 

by mikeojohnson on Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:19 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
As some of you may know from another thread, I have been working with Puget Systems to spec out, design, and build a new photo workstation.  Since retirement from Intel in 2009 I have slowed my pace of computer upgrades.  Before retirement I could very cheaply upgrade systems almost every generation because I built the systems myself and I could get the very latest CPU and SSD, the most expensive parts of a computer back then, for free every year.  Right before I left I built what was then the absolutely fastest PC you could build.  Five years later in 2014 I worked with the incredible folks at Puget Systems to spec out a new, top of the line system and that's what I have been using for the last 5 years with a mid cycle memory and graphics card update to keep the system working well and performing at a level that I needed, especially given moving to medium format for my landscape photography and due to the inherent depth of field losses with a larger sensor and much more focus stacking.  Five years on, in 2019, computer technology had moved sufficiently to build a new workstation that will hopefully last another 5 years with a likely mid-cycle update.  The specs of the new system were covered in another thread but I'll paste the info in again at the bottom.  The Windows Experience score on this system is 9.9 - the max number measurable.  Disk reads and writes are 7x using the M2 SSDs compared to the old style SSD, CPU video rendering is 2.7x, GPU video rendering is 2x (and that is comparing 10 bit per color on the new system compared to 8 bit on the old), Open GL is 2.3x as fast.  Easy mid-cycle upgrade options for the future on this system include a higher core count CPU, doubling of the system RAM, faster storage should it become available, and graphics card upgrade.

There are however some downsides...
- A tongue in cheek, or be careful what you ask for one - I truly enjoyed watching Helicon Focus render a focus stack.  The program is very fast to begin with but my old system I could physically see it build up a depth map and watch it render - this never got old.  In my new system, the rendering is so fast it basically goes from unstacked to stacked in the blink of an eye.  I ran a quick comparison of a 6 image stack with a 50 megapixel Fuji Medium Format stack.  The old system took about 7 seconds to complete the task.  The new system does it in about 0.75 seconds...
- My very old web publishing program does not fully work in Win 10 Professional, even in Compatibility mode.  Web design works as it should but it will not FTP upload.  i have a workaround for now where I can still design pages in the old software and use FileZilla to upload to my site but FileZilla isn't smart enough to keep track of files that have changed since last upload so for now I have to keep track of that manually.  I have looked at a couple of other packages but none of them can handle the program specific templates and formatting so I see some serious work in the future to bring my web publishing software and website into this decade...
- The only other issue I encountered is that Dropbox changed its terms to a maximum of just 3 connected devices from a much higher number previously.  to link up my new system I had to unlink others that I really want to be linked.  The only way to change this is to buy a relatively expensive subscription plan that gives me WAY more space than I could ever want and more connected computers.  I abhor subscription models...

On the bright side, I had feared that I would not be able to activate Photoshop CS6 anymore but that was no problem at all.

Here are the specs of the new system:
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
CPU: Intel Core i9 9920X 3.5GHz Twelve Core w/ 4.5GHz Turbo mode
Ram: Crucial 64GB DDR4-2666 (4x16GB)
Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 PCI-E 8GB
Storage: 
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Primary System Drive)
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Internally mirrored backup System Drive and swpadisk)
WD Gold 12TB Enterprise Class Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM Class SATA 6 Gb/s  (Primary data Drive) mounted in a iStarUSA 1-Hard Drive Hot Swap Rack - my data is backed up to existing online external RAID stations and two Synology NAS RAID servers
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W P2 Power Supply
CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 CPU Cooler (Rev. 3)
Additional Cooling: Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Upgrade
OS:  Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Just curious as to how this would compare to the price and performance of the soon to be released MacPro?  Any thoughts?
thanks,
mike
 
"Photography intensifies the experience of life"
http://www.mojphoto.com
 

by Scott B on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:16 pm
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I worked with Puget Systems on my current PC which I purchased 9 years ago, I also have done a mid cycle memory and graphics card update. i can't afford 5 year upgrades now that I don't have an income from working but I hope to do a 10 ear upgrade.  I will go through Puget Systems again I feel that it was a very good investment.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:17 pm
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Location: Arizona
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DChan wrote:
Corsair H60...one fan only ??

What are the temperatures of your system?


It has two large fans - even under heavy load it is only hitting 50C in a 26C ambient.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:24 pm
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E.J. Peiker
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Posts: 83718
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Member #:00002
mikeojohnson wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
As some of you may know from another thread, I have been working with Puget Systems to spec out, design, and build a new photo workstation.  Since retirement from Intel in 2009 I have slowed my pace of computer upgrades.  Before retirement I could very cheaply upgrade systems almost every generation because I built the systems myself and I could get the very latest CPU and SSD, the most expensive parts of a computer back then, for free every year.  Right before I left I built what was then the absolutely fastest PC you could build.  Five years later in 2014 I worked with the incredible folks at Puget Systems to spec out a new, top of the line system and that's what I have been using for the last 5 years with a mid cycle memory and graphics card update to keep the system working well and performing at a level that I needed, especially given moving to medium format for my landscape photography and due to the inherent depth of field losses with a larger sensor and much more focus stacking.  Five years on, in 2019, computer technology had moved sufficiently to build a new workstation that will hopefully last another 5 years with a likely mid-cycle update.  The specs of the new system were covered in another thread but I'll paste the info in again at the bottom.  The Windows Experience score on this system is 9.9 - the max number measurable.  Disk reads and writes are 7x using the M2 SSDs compared to the old style SSD, CPU video rendering is 2.7x, GPU video rendering is 2x (and that is comparing 10 bit per color on the new system compared to 8 bit on the old), Open GL is 2.3x as fast.  Easy mid-cycle upgrade options for the future on this system include a higher core count CPU, doubling of the system RAM, faster storage should it become available, and graphics card upgrade.

There are however some downsides...
- A tongue in cheek, or be careful what you ask for one - I truly enjoyed watching Helicon Focus render a focus stack.  The program is very fast to begin with but my old system I could physically see it build up a depth map and watch it render - this never got old.  In my new system, the rendering is so fast it basically goes from unstacked to stacked in the blink of an eye.  I ran a quick comparison of a 6 image stack with a 50 megapixel Fuji Medium Format stack.  The old system took about 7 seconds to complete the task.  The new system does it in about 0.75 seconds...
- My very old web publishing program does not fully work in Win 10 Professional, even in Compatibility mode.  Web design works as it should but it will not FTP upload.  i have a workaround for now where I can still design pages in the old software and use FileZilla to upload to my site but FileZilla isn't smart enough to keep track of files that have changed since last upload so for now I have to keep track of that manually.  I have looked at a couple of other packages but none of them can handle the program specific templates and formatting so I see some serious work in the future to bring my web publishing software and website into this decade...
- The only other issue I encountered is that Dropbox changed its terms to a maximum of just 3 connected devices from a much higher number previously.  to link up my new system I had to unlink others that I really want to be linked.  The only way to change this is to buy a relatively expensive subscription plan that gives me WAY more space than I could ever want and more connected computers.  I abhor subscription models...

On the bright side, I had feared that I would not be able to activate Photoshop CS6 anymore but that was no problem at all.

Here are the specs of the new system:
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
CPU: Intel Core i9 9920X 3.5GHz Twelve Core w/ 4.5GHz Turbo mode
Ram: Crucial 64GB DDR4-2666 (4x16GB)
Video Card: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 PCI-E 8GB
Storage: 
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Primary System Drive)
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD  (Internally mirrored backup System Drive and swpadisk)
WD Gold 12TB Enterprise Class Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM Class SATA 6 Gb/s  (Primary data Drive) mounted in a iStarUSA 1-Hard Drive Hot Swap Rack - my data is backed up to existing online external RAID stations and two Synology NAS RAID servers
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W P2 Power Supply
CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H60 CPU Cooler (Rev. 3)
Additional Cooling: Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Upgrade
OS:  Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Just curious as to how this would compare to the price and performance of the soon to be released MacPro?  Any thoughts?
thanks,
mike
 

In my estimation it would be similar in performance to the 10 core Mac Pro option with 64GB , between the base video card and the upgraded card, with the 2TB storage option.  Price isn't out on that but a significantly lower spec model, the base model which already costs 20% more with just 1/8th the m.2 SSD storage than this so my guess is about half to a third the price for equivalent Mac Pro performance and storage.
 

by Mike in O on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:53 am
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I thought you stated in the past that win 7 would never be pried from from your cold dead hands? LOL
 

by Jim Zipp on Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:05 am
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E.J. Sounds like a joy! I think I could get used to the speed. Especially when running some of the AI Topaz programs. I run with two computers. The latest one about 3 years old or so I used an M2 SSD and it's fine but on my previous unit I use at the shop it is a little tedious running some of those filters. The last 4 I built are still running strong but my next will probably be from the likes of Puget. Particularly with my now even larger raw files. Enjoy!
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:32 am
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Mike in O wrote:
I thought you stated in the past that win 7 would never be pried from from your cold dead hands?  LOL

On the system that I was running... It is still a very viable computer and I will keep it and it is still running Win 7.  But on a new system that is just not an option, especially as some programs now are no longer being validated on anything less than Win 10 and that's just going to continue.  BTW, I've been using Win 10 Pro for several years on other computers.  I still wouldn't use Win 10 Home on ANY computer - it is a disaster IMHO.

That older system is going to be turned into a dedicated flight and race sim computer as the nVidia 1080 is still a very good gaming card.  The new Flight Sim 2020 which will be out in about 6 months is absolutely amazing and will allow me to keep some of my flying skills since I no longer own any airplanes.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:01 pm
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I just went to windows 10. IMHO windows 7 is better but support is ending next year. Microsoft office 2010 was better too. Looks like they changed names and moved buttons just to make it different.
 

by Jim Zipp on Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:04 pm
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Wow! Those Evo M.2's have really come down in price. I payed more for 1 500GB than two 1TB's are now! Everything else has gone up though I think.
What a great system.
 

by Richard B. on Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:19 am
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EJ, first of all congratulations on your ten year retirement anniversary. It seems not to be possible that it has been ten years since your announcement. You have certainly had an interesting and productive second-half. I wish you Good health as you continue on.

Secondly, I have no need for a high end system such as yours, but I am starting to think about a new desktop. You answered two of my basic concerns regards the compatibility of a newer system with old PS CS6 and an older version of office. Two questions answered, thank you. 

Richard
 

by WJaekel on Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:14 pm
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Wildflower-nut wrote:
I just went to windows 10.  IMHO windows 7 is better but support is ending next year.  Microsoft office 2010 was better too.  Looks like they changed names and moved buttons just to make it different.


I agree. I personally will stay with my win7 ultimate desktop machine as long as possible. I don't know how I will decide after the end of the support, though, or if an upgrade of the machine becomes necessary. My wife has a laptop with win10 home and she's totally annoyed by ads constantly popping up, delays, background processes and updates without control every time she boots the machine. I also don't want to go through the hazzle to reinstall and reactivate all my programs, plug ins etc - not to mention the risk of losing the access to my stand alone Adobe products (CS6 and LR4) due to Adobe's tricks discussed in another thread.

Wolfgang
 

by E.J. Peiker on Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:11 pm
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WJaekel wrote:
Wildflower-nut wrote:
I just went to windows 10.  IMHO windows 7 is better but support is ending next year.  Microsoft office 2010 was better too.  Looks like they changed names and moved buttons just to make it different.


I agree. I personally will stay with my win7 ultimate desktop machine as long as possible. I don't know how I will decide after the end of the support, though, or if an upgrade of the machine becomes necessary. My wife has a laptop with win10 home and she's totally annoyed by ads constantly popping up, delays, background processes and updates without control every time she boots the machine. I also don't want to go through the hazzle to reinstall and reactivate all my programs, plug ins etc - not to mention the risk of losing the access to my stand alone Adobe products (CS6 and LR4) due to Adobe's tricks discussed in another thread.

Wolfgang

Win 10 Professional avoids most of that...
 

by Wildflower-nut on Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:46 pm
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i have windows 10 pro and I'd rather have 7. Keeps telling me to update this and that and emails that come in and everything else you can think of. Windows 7 much much better.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:18 pm
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Wildflower-nut wrote:
i have windows 10 pro and I'd rather have 7.  Keeps telling me to update this and that and emails that come in and everything else you can think of.  Windows 7 much much better.


You can turn all of that stuff off in Pro, but not in Home.
 

by WJaekel on Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:21 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
WJaekel wrote:
Wildflower-nut wrote:
I just went to windows 10.  IMHO windows 7 is better but support is ending next year.  Microsoft office 2010 was better too.  Looks like they changed names and moved buttons just to make it different.


I agree. I personally will stay with my win7 ultimate desktop machine as long as possible. I don't know how I will decide after the end of the support, though, or if an upgrade of the machine becomes necessary. My wife has a laptop with win10 home and she's totally annoyed by ads constantly popping up, delays, background processes and updates without control every time she boots the machine. I also don't want to go through the hazzle to reinstall and reactivate all my programs, plug ins etc - not to mention the risk of losing the access to my stand alone Adobe products (CS6 and LR4) due to Adobe's tricks discussed in another thread.

Wolfgang

Win 10 Professional avoids most of that...


Thank you, E.J. I overviewed that you succeeded in reactivating CS6 on your new workstation. That's good news, at least. That said, maybe I should consider to upgrade to win 10 pro before Adobe decides otherwise ;-). BTW, your machine seems to be amazing performance-wise. I better don't think about the costs, though :-)

Wolfgang
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:38 am
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WJaekel wrote:

Thank you, E.J. I overviewed that you succeeded in reactivating CS6 on your new workstation. That's good news, at least. That said, maybe I should consider to upgrade to win 10 pro before Adobe decides otherwise ;-). BTW, your machine seems to be amazing performance-wise. I better don't think about the costs, though :-)

Wolfgang


Yeah, this wasn't cheap but I expect a 5 year lifespan out of it which puts it at about $1000 per year and even if I factor in a $1000 mid cycle update, maybe $1200 a year, which I don't think is horrible for a high performance workstation especially in light of the cost of a single pro grade lens these days.
 

by Paul Skoczylas on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:52 am
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I too abhor subscription models. Unfortunately, I hadn't upgraded to CS6 when I had the chance, and Adobe won't activate/deactivate CS4 anymore. So I was forced into Adobe's subscription model when I upgraded my workstation (which was 10 years old!) recently.

-Paul
 

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