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Quad Core vs. Dual Core, photo editing

by stturn / February 17, 2013 11:17 PM PST

I'm in the market for a new computer and I haven't bought one for 8 years. I haven't kept up on the technology very well either so I'm unaware of what is needed for what, etc. Basically, I want to be able to run CS6 and Lightroom 4 seamlessly with enough horsepower to batch edit hundreds of high res images in the background while I work on something else. I think what I'm really looking at is would the upgrade for the quad core be worth it or could the dual core handle this, but if there is anything else that is more important to make sure I can accomplish what I stated above, I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!

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Let's make it simple.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 18, 2013 12:29 AM PST

Today you want more than one core as one could run the application and the other for other things like the operating system.

As folk tend to have a lot more apps open, the more cores the smoother the work.

And if you use PhotoShop or apps that use more than one core, more cores can result in less waiting.

-> But there is no one that will tell you that something will do seamless, smooth work on HD Video Editing. I've seen big desktops with all the latest still drag as you work on HD Video.

Certainly you'd be looking at some i7 desktop for this work.

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Work platform
by Willy / February 18, 2013 3:35 AM PST

The more cores, the better. HOWEVER, any pgm. or app. has to be able to take advantage of this in order to benefit. Though, overall it will perform better but most s/w should provide that it likes multiple cores if at all. Since, quad core is more up to date as well, you'll benefit from whatever else the mtrbd. has to offer. If you're going to be buying a "pre-build PC" then look at the specs and faster isn't necessarily the better because here the multiple core simply works through it all no matter what the speed. I suggest if you buy, that you get a PC that's already at the upper end of it capabilities, like ram and i5 or i7. In fact, rather than looking at a hot PC, look at what a "workstation" may deliver as its more stable and robust overall, see the differences and then decide. You can also look at what the s/w requires and build above the requirements to better the outcome. Check also into the "cpu range of installs" as a future replacement may provide yet more life out of the system than when it was 1st build.

tada -----Willy Happy

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by stturn / February 18, 2013 10:52 PM PST

Thanks for the replies! I think I will spend the extra money on the quad. I'm looking at Mac mini right now because its compact (very important in a tiny condo). You can get some decent power for not a lot of money it seems like. Plus, I will probably install an SSD myself as well as RAM for a couple hundred bucks more.

Thanks again!

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Heavy Workload
by Zouch / February 22, 2013 8:54 PM PST

Hi, what you describe is quite a heavy workload, so I'd be looking for a powerful computer to match. I believe CS6 makes pretty effective use of all the cores you can throw at it.

So I'd be looking at an Intel third generation Core i7 Quad processor, as powerful as your budget will allow. The third generation chips are also extremely energy efficient, typically only one third to one half of the second generation Cores.

Max out your RAM - it's relatively cheap these days and for any form of image editing, more is better.

Go for a separate graphics card from AMD Radeon or Nvidia with dedicated storage (I can't keep up with their model numbers, you should check the reviews). Dedicated DDR5 VRAM is way more effective than shared DDR3 main RAM.

Disk storage is up to you - "hundreds of Hi Res images" says that you will be using conventional spinning disks for data storage, though you might want to consider a smallish SSD for OS and software use.

My take, your mileage may vary.

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Agree with Zouch.
by mopscare42 / February 27, 2013 12:59 PM PST
In reply to: Heavy Workload

I do pretty much what you will be doing except I use CS5 and Lightroom 4.
My computer has a Intel i7 3820 quad core Sandybridge E processor and 16 gig of ram and does a excellent job including batch processing.
As for being seemless, I don't know what that is, but I never have any problems with batch processing and running other functions at the same time. It doesn't seem to slow it down much if at all.
Get a nice graphics card and a good monitor, that makes a lot of difference.
I have a PNY 660ti graphics card and a Dell U2312HM monitor. Although a little pricey, it was well worth it.

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One more thing.
by mopscare42 / February 27, 2013 1:06 PM PST
In reply to: Agree with Zouch.

Make sure you get a power supply big enough to handle all the hardware on the computer.

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