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PC recommendations. (1 Viewer)

STS

Well-known member
Hi all,

I've got an Acer, bought in April '17: Windows 10; AMD A10 7800 quad-core plus AMD R7 graphics; 2TB; 8GB DDR.

Trouble is, it's always been quite slow, even with my old bridge cameras. Now, for example, with a Canon that produces 32MP files, on download from the camera's memory card, it takes ages for the file icons to change from grey to an actual image.

If I try to use DPP, I could pretty much go for a cup of tea while operations take place, e.g., converting from RAW to TIFF files.

The PC recently went in to be sorted (lots of files removed but nothing beyond that) and is only marginally faster.

Anyone got any ideas as to how I could speed this PC up?
Or should I go for something new with better spec?

Thanks for looking,

Thomas
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
You could tinker with adding an SSD drive or increasing the RAM but that would be a lot of effort for marginal rewards, you are not going to get what you would get with a whole new computer.
 

STS

Well-known member
I had a feeling that might be the case. Anything to be gained from switching to an Apple computer? I know they are expensive.
Thanks Mono.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Could be wrong, but putting in an SSD and adding a couple of sticks of memory has really rejuvenated my Fuji.
There is no big benefit from replacing the processor, at most they run twice as fast, they mainly add more cores so that the problem can be handled in pieces. Of course, the software has to be aware of this, but it often remains clueless.
More memory and an SSD really just speed up the background fetching and displaying, but you'll be astonished at how much of a difference that makes.
Separately, just my $0.02, Apple makes nice hardware, but not better, especially at their prices. They do a superior job of integrating their hardware with their software, so their gear punches above its weight for most users, albeit at a premium price.
 

STS

Well-known member
Thanks, I've expressed a guarded interest in a used Apple that's just come into my local computer repair shop. It'll be checked out there soon so I'm waiting to see what they say. Got a ton of photos I'd like to get to grips with!
Cheers, Thomas
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Thanks, I've expressed a guarded interest in a used Apple that's just come into my local computer repair shop. It'll be checked out there soon so I'm waiting to see what they say. Got a ton of photos I'd like to get to grips with!
Cheers, Thomas

Ask whether it has an SSD, that will make a large difference to the photo and file management speed, even knowing that Apple charges a serious premium for their add on hardware.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
I think adding memory,which is likely pretty cheap for a computer of that vintage, would make a noticable difference. Going from 8GB to 16 or 32GB might help a lot. You could look at Task Manager to see how much swapping or page faults you have. I'm sure there's a help article about that somewhere on the web.

Another thing to look at is what is you USB port. If you only have USB 2, adding a USB 3 card could make a difference. USB 3 ports could be up to 10x faster than USB 2 (in practice, it won't be quite that much), assuming you're using a USB3 card reader. USB3 ports are usually blue inside (USB3.1 is red, USB2 is black), though I am not sure how universal that coloring is. You also need to make sure the SD card you are using can be read as USB3 speeds. So, if you have one or two blue/red ports and a bunch of black ports, make sure you use the blue or red ports!

USB2 is 60 MB/s (mega bytes per second), USB3 is 600 MB/sec, and USB3.1 is 1250 MB/sec. UHS-I speed SD cards are bus limited to 104 MB/sec, UHS-II to 312 MB/s, and UHS-III to 624 MB/sec. SD Express is 985 MB/s. Actual cards will have sustained read speeds less than the bus speed, but the point is that USB2 at 60 MB/s (max) will severely limit your read speed. You need to also make sure your card reader device is USB3. However, for a single image, which even at 30 MP, is likely under 45 MB, you should be able to read it very quickly.

When loading an image from card reader to your program, you could also look at Task Manager to see if you are CPU bound, I/O bound, or memory bound (or some combination).

Adding an SSD, while it would help, would be secondary to adding more RAM. I'd do RAM before an SSD. But if you're CPU bound, it's new computer time.

Another thing you could check is if hyper-threading is enabled. Sometimes the BIOS turns off hyperthreading. That would allow more parallelism while doing I/O tasks.

Marc
 

STS

Well-known member
Thank you both. I've decided to get a new PC (I wasn't sure I wanted to spend time learning the Apple way of doing things and the one I'd looked at was probably 8 years old), which will have 16GB RAM, a 240GB SSD, USB3 etc. So I'm hoping that'll speed things up a fair bit.
All the information you gave, Marc, may prove very useful at some point so I'm grateful for your comprehensive comments.

Cheers,

Thomas
 

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