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Author Topic: Windows 7  (Read 23240 times)

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graficallyminded

« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2009, 00:03 »
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Chips challenge is a blast from the past Lisa :)  Tell your husband he won't need your fancy new graphics card to run that piece of software ;)  LOL I've played that silly little game for hours as a kid. 

I know what you mean about having CS3 and LR2 open at the same time.  I can do it, but I try not to - all I have is a Pentium 4 and about 1.5gb of ram, but being the geek that I am I have my versions of Windows XP sp3 running the bare minimums when it comes to eye candy and system services.  My Windows XP looks more like Windows 98. 

I'm all over the place today - I've even considered buying the 27" iMac from MacMall, but the price difference is enough to buy me another L lens and a 7D.  When configuring one on macmall.com with similar specs, windows included, it comes to around $2600 - which leads me to reason that the display is basically a $1500 high end display, similar to a Lacie or whatever else, in addition to the $1100 price range computer attached to the back.  That's about what I can get the XPS for with all of the discounts.  I keep going back and forth - and heck, my 24" monitor I have is more than enough.  I love it, and the quality is excellent (at least to me).  But it's like comparing apples to oranges.  I'm not the type to spend $1500 on a monitor, though.  I also like the fact that I can basically change anything on the dell, adding and removing whatever I want in time, or if I want to eventually upgrade it.  With the mac, you're pretty much limited to ram and USB accessories.


KB

« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2009, 00:32 »
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Thanks for the info.  I am sure you are right and that the problems I am having aren't really related to the video card.

I didn't get the upgraded video card because I thought the included one would give me problems.  More that if I am having to go ahead and get a new computer I want to get the best specs they offer so I don't have to upgrade again in another two years. 
;D That's what I get for reading too quickly and not having read the previous posts.  :D  I thought you meant you had bought an updated graphics card for the computer that was giving you problems. Ooops.

I don't blame you for buying an upgraded card with a new computer ... you never know when you might "need" to play a game, or perhaps some other software, that might make bigger demands on the video system.

I built a new system this summer around an i7-920, loaded with 12GB of RAM. It made a huge difference compared to my 2-year old (only!) system. I've been running Win 7 RC, but will switch to the final release soon (as soon as I get the courage and time, that is).

I frequently have Deep Meta, Outlook, Firefox, PS CS4, Bridge, and Excel running all day (and sometimes add Premiere CS3).  The only problems I've encountered have been Bridge sometimes warning me about running out of memory. I don't know what it does to do that, but other than that rare occurrence, it's worked great. It isn't as fast as I'd like, but it's much, much faster than my old system.

Hopefully your new Dell will work much better than the junky HP you just returned did. Keep us posted!

« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2009, 00:49 »
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Quote
The one thats really good is the +$180 add on, the nVidia GeForce GTX260 1792MB GDDR3.

That's the exact Video Card that I have but it came installed on my Gateway.  I'm running a 23" monitor with 1920x1080 resolution and it's been humming along very nicely for me; although the 12 gigs of RAM Im sure is also helping out there.  I dont run Photoshop so unfortunately I can't comment on that software.  Lightroom definitely runs faster now than it did on my old XP system with 4 gigs RAM and 512MB card.

graficallyminded

« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2009, 08:44 »
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It seems like every time they make huge advancements in speed when it comes to processors and memory, the operating systems become more labor intensive and use more memory.  That basically sucks up all of the new power, so instead of getting something that's new that flies we end up with something new that's just a "little" bit faster.  I hate those low memory popups, KB - it's disappointing to hear you still get them with that much ram.  Maybe you have to play with your page file size, but I'm sure you already did knowing that you build your own machines.  That's another thing I've considered, but every time I make a parts list up it doesn't seem like much of a savings.  Glad to hear that LR speed is improving for you guys at least.

KB

« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2009, 12:18 »
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In my case, I don't think it's the OS that slows things down. Obviously I can't tell for sure, since I went from a slower machine using XP to a faster one with Win 7. But Win 7 feels snappy to me. What slows things down is the intense processing that we do with Adobe software.  ;D Just doing normal stuff with a 21MP file is plenty fast, but anything beyond the ordinary (large panos, video) is slower than I'd like. Of course, I'd like it to be instantaneous, so I'll never be happy.  ;D

I haven't had time to try to figure out Bridge's problem, but I'm pretty sure when it's complaining about "low on memory" it isn't RAM. I don't think it's the pagefile either, at a little over 12GB. (I seem to recall reading the pagefile should be set at roughly the size of your RAM.)

I suspect it is related to Bridge's cache. Next time this happens I think I'll finally see if I can track it down, but it doesn't happen too frequently, so it may be a while.

Building my own PC was more expensive than buying a pre-built from Dell or the like (though still a ton less than a comparable Mac). But being able to get exactly what I wanted was worth the extra money and time. I'm very happy with this machine, especially the fact that it is just about impossible to hear that it is on -- unless the CPU is processing heavily, in which case the temperature rise will cause the fans to kick up a notch or three. Since that rarely happens, I know my speed bottlenecks are mainly due to hard drive speed. I can hardly wait until SSDs become more affordable!  :)

graficallyminded

« Reply #55 on: November 30, 2009, 11:53 »
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Quick, someone tell me what to do.  Dell XPS pc or 27" imac.  I can't decide :) I keep going back and forth :P 

I think with the XPS 8000 or 9000 will be way better for gaming, and that's something I like to do when I'm not working.  I looked up the benchmark tests between the imac's Radeon card and the Dell's Nvidia GTX260 - the GTX260 won by a pretty decent amount.  How much of a difference is it really?  I probably couldn't really tell unless I compared the two side by side myself.  http://www.techspot.com/review/109-geforce-gtx-260-280-versus-radeon-4850-4870/

So staying PC - you save money, you get better gaming, more availability of software.  With the mac you get no viruses, adware, and the amazing screen.  I can't run NeatImage or Cushystock in OSX, so I'd have to use parallels and Windows XP or something.

KB

« Reply #56 on: November 30, 2009, 12:52 »
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I've been using PCs for ... longer than I care to admit.  ;D

I've not once had a virus, spyware, or any other malware. It just takes common sense and some precautions to avoid them. It doesn't take moving to a Mac.

I've got a pretty nice screen with my $550 HP LP2475w. It may not be as good as one of those LED-backlit Cinema displays, but it certainly serves my purposes.

However, Macs are definitely the more "cool" computer nowadays, so if that's important to you, maybe you should pay up and get a Mac.  ;D

lisafx

« Reply #57 on: November 30, 2009, 16:15 »
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It seems like every time they make huge advancements in speed when it comes to processors and memory, the operating systems become more labor intensive and use more memory.  That basically sucks up all of the new power, so instead of getting something that's new that flies we end up with something new that's just a "little" bit faster. 

Actually, from everything I have read in researching the upgrade, Windows 7 uses quite a bit less space and memory than Vista, which is on my current machine. 

So in my case, between the upgraded hardware specs and the simpler OS I am hoping to see quite a jump in speed. 

Thanks KB, for sharing your impressions of your new vs. "old" system.  My current one is 2 years old too.  Even in that short time there have been so many advances!

« Reply #58 on: November 30, 2009, 17:06 »
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Really extremely useful info about the drivers Denis.  Thank you!

Just as an update, my HP Pavilion Elite arrived.  I spent about 20 hours over three days trying to get it configured with my software, etc., and on support calls because the thing was so buggy.  

It kept freezing up at random times, for no apparent reason, along with other strange things like the video card blinking off and then recovering, internet access one day and none the next, etc.  Just a whole lot of issues.

Their support was just awful - their only solution was to keep having me do system recoveries, which of course wiped out 6 hours of work adding software and configuring the thing the way I wanted it.

Finally I returned it.  Googling HP Pavilion Elite with the i7 processor it turns out that apparently they have faulty mother boards.  There is a class action lawsuit filed about it.   I am breathing a big sigh of relief that I sent it back rather than continuing to do system recoveries forever until the return period expired.  

After some research I have ordered a Dell XPS 9000.  It appears much better reviewed than the HP.  Keeping my fingers crossed this will solve my speed problems.  Hopefully I will be able to stand looking at the fugly red and white case... ;)



Lisafx

Please let us know how you like the XPS 9000 after you get to spend some time with it . . . that is, if you indeed settle for that machine.  My computer is starting to complain every time I have CS3 and Bridge open at the same time . . . . . .  boy, this computer seemed like a real monster just a few years ago! I remember bragging about having 1.5 gigs of RAM.

vonkara

« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2009, 17:10 »
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I went ahead and sprang for the updated video card.  My current computer is only two years old and I thought it was great when I bought it, but with the demands of editing in both Lightroom and CS3 simultaneously it keeps freezing up.  Now here I am having to find a replacement.

That's your video card. 4gb is enough to handle CS3 and another program. I have 3gb and it's alright. When you apply filters in CS3 it's mainly the video card who do the most of the work.

You can look at your computer evaluation under "control panel" - system maintenance - system - view the windows experience index. It show the overall performance rate of your computer. Go see under graphic. If you have around or less than 4.5 or 5 under graphic, you may only change your video card for a new one. It will cost you 200$ (maximum) and you will get a rate of approximatively 8. Try the Nvidia Ge force GT and GTS series, they blows.

Still, look also at your lowest score. If it's not your graphic then upgrading your computer may be a good choice

lisafx

« Reply #60 on: November 30, 2009, 18:32 »
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You can look at your computer evaluation under "control panel" - system maintenance - system - view the windows experience index. It show the overall performance rate of your computer. Go see under graphic. If you have around or less than 4.5 or 5 under graphic, you may only change your video card for a new one. It will cost you 200$ (maximum) and you will get a rate of approximatively 8. Try the Nvidia Ge force GT and GTS series, they blows.

Still, look also at your lowest score. If it's not your graphic then upgrading your computer may be a good choice

Good advice Vonkara.  I just checked and my windows experience is 5.5 out of a possible 5.9.   Three areas are 5.5 - memory, gaming graphics, and hard disk.   Processor and graphics are both 5.9.  Windows 7 expands the "experience" to a max of 7.9.

So I guess everything is "okay", but not awesome.  I am hoping for "awesome" now ;D

Etienjones, I will definitely keep you posted about the XPS 9000 after it arrives and I have a week or so to play with it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 18:48 by lisafx »

KB

« Reply #61 on: November 30, 2009, 20:52 »
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I just checked my Windows Experience Index. 5.8 (out of 7.9).

Processor is 7.4, RAM is 7.5, but the graphics system (5.9) and hard drive (5.8) drag down my score.

I'm certain that the hard drive does affect my performance on many tasks (video encoding, extra large PS files). But I'm just as certain the graphics system does not.

Lisa, when you get your new system, please post your new numbers. Hopefully the system will feel awesome, even if the WEI doesn't zoom up.

« Reply #62 on: November 30, 2009, 21:17 »
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That windows experience rating is quite interesting!  I got a 5.9 as my disk data transfer is the 5.9 and lowest score.
Graphics and gaming are 6's and the other two, processor and RAM, are 7.4 and 7.6 respectively.

lisafx

« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2009, 12:11 »
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I'm certain that the hard drive does affect my performance on many tasks (video encoding, extra large PS files). But I'm just as certain the graphics system does not.

Lisa, when you get your new system, please post your new numbers. Hopefully the system will feel awesome, even if the WEI doesn't zoom up.

I am sure it will be great.  As long as it isn't buggy like the HP  ::)

Do you (or anyone) know what stats Windows Experience uses to judge the hard drive on?  Is it the size of the HD (too big or too small), how full it is, or the speed of the drive?  7200 RPM seems to be the standard for all the ones included in these computers.

graficallyminded

« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2009, 13:37 »
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There's something called solid state hard drives, which are supposedly the fastest.  They're a lot smaller, though too.  $200 for a 150gb I think I heard.

Bing.com has 20% cashback with dell until tomorrow...I am thinking about the XPS 8000 with the i7 and upgraded video card, but I'm wondering if it will be alright, seeing that the power supply is only 350W.  Nvidia recommends at least 500watt.  Dell says its enough power, that Nvidia over rates it.  Who knows?  Why am I going to drop an additional $180 if it's only going to lead to more problems, though - or over heating.  Whoever mentioned that they got the Nvidia GTX260 with their Gateway setup, I'm pretty sure that system has a larger 500-600 watt power supply.  
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 13:41 by arenacreative »

vonkara

« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2009, 13:45 »
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Processor, RAM and graphic card are the most important. Hard drive only work when you open, save or search a file. Like when you open your picture folder that have 1000 and more images not diluted in multiple folders.

Hard drive performance affect only around 10% of the tasks from what I know yet. Making multiple folders with less data in each of them can help speeding up the process. It's also easier to find your pics then.

Still it depend on how good you are at cleaning and organisation. I know I use Windows photo gallerie often for finding pictures I can't remember where I put lol

graficallyminded

« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2009, 13:53 »
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So Vonkara, you think having a top-end graphics card it would increase the speed of rendering filters?  Or is that all ram and processor speed? 

Graphics cards seem to make a huge difference for gaming, animation, cad and vid composites. For still graphics I'm not sure they make much of a difference. IF anything, I would think the graphics card would make a difference with filter rendering, 3D renders, or maybe fractals?  What do you guys think?

CofkoCof

« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2009, 15:16 »
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Filters are all done on CPU (and use RAM ofc). Photoshop uses graphics card a bit, mainly the nvidia cards with CUDA (you can tick it on in the performance settings). This is used for displaying when zooming, moving around and some new effects in CS4. Renderings are also done with CPU, graphic card helps only with displaying the items while modeling.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 15:20 by CofkoCof »

CofkoCof

« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2009, 15:23 »
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Processor, RAM and graphic card are the most important. Hard drive only work when you open, save or search a file. Like when you open your picture folder that have 1000 and more images not diluted in multiple folders.
This is not completly true. When your computer runs out of RAM you start using HDD (Scatch disks in PS for example, but this happens with all programs). Also the information that is in RAM had to came from somewhere (either it is generated by the program or it was read from the HDD).

« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2009, 16:02 »
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KB

« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2009, 16:13 »
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CofkoCof has it right, IMO.

HDD is much more important than the graphics card in the stuff that most of us do. Any new graphics card, even a $50 card, is more than powerful enough for videos and 2-D imaging. Graphics cards become important only in 3D moving renderings, such as (obviously) gaming.

Even with 12GB of RAM, I find a lot of HD activity going on in Bridge & PS (not to mention Premiere for video). An SSD would make a huge difference, but as arenacreative said, they are a lot more expensive than magnetic HDs. Many also have a problem with slowing down considerably after many writes, so aren't well suited for use as a temp drive (which is exactly what I'd like to use one as).

CofkoCof

« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2009, 16:54 »
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Even with 12GB of RAM, I find a lot of HD activity going on in Bridge & PS (not to mention Premiere for video). An SSD would make a huge difference, but as arenacreative said, they are a lot more expensive than magnetic HDs. Many also have a problem with slowing down considerably after many writes, so aren't well suited for use as a temp drive (which is exactly what I'd like to use one as).
I considered buying a SSD for my system and using it as an OS/Scratch disk, which should improve the performance quite a bit. However with the recent substantial price increases I just couldn't justify the purchase. Not yet :D

KB

« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2009, 17:32 »
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I considered buying a SSD for my system and using it as an OS/Scratch disk, which should improve the performance quite a bit. However with the recent substantial price increases I just couldn't justify the purchase. Not yet :D
Same here. But they are definitely on my radar. I hope that maybe in another year they'll be substantially lower in price than they are now.

I'm glad you're a premium member, otherwise looking at our "speedometers", someone might get the wrong impression that we're doppels.  ;D

graficallyminded

« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2009, 09:33 »
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I finally pulled the trigger on an XPS 8000 since last night was the last time I could get the bing.com 20% off at dell promo.  I am nervously awaiting the bing.com confirmation email.  I read of at least 4 people getting it on the same system and promo, so that gave me a little assurance.  Here are the specs:

1    Studio XPS 8000, Intel Core i7-860 processor(8MB Cache, 2.80GHz)
1    8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz-4x2GB
1    Dell Consumer Multimedia Keyboard, US
1    Dell 20 inch ST2010F Widescreen Flat Panel
1    nVidia GeForce GTX260 1792MB GDDR3
1    1TB Serial ATA II Hard Drive 7200 RPM
1    Dell Resource DVD with Application Backup
1    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
1    Dell Studio USB Optical Mouse
1    16X DVD+/-RW and 16X DVD-ROM
1    Sound Blaster X-Fi MB Panzer version 1.2

I chose the laser mouse, but the invoice shows optical.  Now I guess have to contact support.  Nothing is ever easy about buying anything anymore.  I also hear the SoundBlaster cards are crap, compared to integrated audio.  Some sort of issue with the front headphone jack making static noise.  Maybe I can get the to change it.

Lisa, did yours come in yet?  I have to wait a few weeks, but who knows...maybe it will get delayed even further with the whole holiday rush.

lisafx

« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2009, 10:49 »
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I finally pulled the trigger on an XPS 8000 since last night was the last time I could get the bing.com 20% off at dell promo.  I am nervously awaiting the bing.com confirmation email.  I read of at least 4 people getting it on the same system and promo, so that gave me a little assurance.  Here are the specs:

(snip)

Lisa, did yours come in yet?  I have to wait a few weeks, but who knows...maybe it will get delayed even further with the whole holiday rush.

Congrats on the computer Arena!  Sounds like an impressive system!

Mine hasn't arrived yet.  Darn it!  Some of the peripherals have come, like the keyboard and mouse, the included Star Trek game (hubby's getting it for a stocking stuffer), etc., but not the computer or monitor.


 

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