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Thread: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    I noted in an earlier post that my computer takes "ten minutes" to process a surface blur in 16-bit mode. Ten mintues may be an exaggeration, I didn't actually time it, but it does take long enough to go the bathroom, have a desert, speak with your wife and check your email - it's long. This is with an Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad CPU, which has a PassMark rating of 1427.

    Through work, I have an opportunity to get an Intel DZ68BC motherboard and an Intel i5 2500K CPU for $150. This CPU has a PassMark rating of 7461 - it's a screamer! I would need to invest a little more to build the complete new system and there is the chore of reloading the OS, software, plug-ins, tools and the like. It would represent quite a bit of work.

    So my question is; is there anyone out there running a current Intel socket 1155 or 1156 i3/i5/i7 CPU that can tell me how quickly these newer processers can run a 16-bit surface blur? Would the upgrade be worth it?

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Something doesn't sound right there ... I just opened up an image and applied a surface blur at the default settings (5/15) and it took around 5 seconds!

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Can you list the full spec, including the OS, of your PC, Homer?

    I tend to agree with Colin, it seems odd.

    A few suggestions

    Is your PC security up to date and used regularly?
    Is your hard drive close to being full (ie is 10 -15% of it free)?
    Is the hard drive very fragmented?
    Have a look at the Processes tab in the Task Manager to see if any processes are using a lot of the cpu. If there are any, Google to see what they are.
    Also look at what is loaded at Startup. As software is installed it can be load itself at Startup, even though you may not need it and it will use memory.

    Dave

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Are you running other programs in the background? Try it at startup with nothing else running but the OS.

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    How much ram do you have? It is usually a cheap starting point to add more responsiveness to the system. If photoshop is having to use the scratch disk for processing then it will be very slow.

    On an older machine i am guessing you may have windows xp 32 bit. 64 bit windows 7 will allow much more memory and faster photoshop performance.

    Swapping the motherboard and CPU should be possible without buying anything else or reinstalling the operating system. Unless you have IDE drives. I don't think a z68 board will take them. You will need a Sata drive.

    Building your own system is fun, confusing, stressful, but ultimately satisfying when your result is a fast pc cheaper than any stock build. This could be the start of some costly work.

    Alex

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Swapping the motherboard and CPU should be possible without buying anything else or reinstalling the operating system.
    Hi Alex,

    Unless it's the same chipset this often doesn't work well because the OS will try to use the hardware abstraction layer ("HAL") for the old board, and it won't be a good fit with a different chipset. I usually do a reload from scratch whenever I change a mobo (plus it's good to cleanout any and all old files / services / other crud).

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Alex,

    Unless it's the same chipset this often doesn't work well because the OS will try to use the hardware abstraction layer ("HAL") for the old board, and it won't be a good fit with a different chipset. I usually do a reload from scratch whenever I change a mobo (plus it's good to cleanout any and all old files / services / other crud).
    Hi Colin,

    I didn't know that. Last time my motherboard died I simply replaced it. However it would have been the same chipset.

    That shoots down my idea of a cheap and quick upgrade.

    Like I said, this can be confusing and frustrating. I suppose that is why many people do not bother. They miss out on the fun and satisfying part.

    There nothing quite like a reinstall of an operating system to make you realise how much you have slowed down your computer. If you have all essential data on separate disks then it should only take a few hours to do the OS and vital program's (I did this two months ago when I replaced my faulty SSD).

    Alex

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Hi Colin,

    I didn't know that. Last time my motherboard died I simply replaced it. However it would have been the same chipset.

    That shoots down my idea of a cheap and quick upgrade.

    Like I said, this can be confusing and frustrating. I suppose that is why many people do not bother. They miss out on the fun and satisfying part.

    There nothing quite like a reinstall of an operating system to make you realise how much you have slowed down your computer. If you have all essential data on separate disks then it should only take a few hours to do the OS and vital program's (I did this two months ago when I replaced my faulty SSD).

    Alex
    Hi Alex,

    Funny we should be discussing this as I currently have a new mobo / cpu / RAM in the car to take home tonight! I usually do several OS / APP loads for clients each month (about 6 hours a shot), so I'm afraid that the "satisfying" part has long gone; but at least I have photography!

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Hi Colin,

    If you do this regularly have you thought of using a ghost image with a standard build? You can then do a single machine in one big disk image copy to the new hardware. That is basically what the Windows 7 install is anyway.

    I am not sure how much ghost imaging software costs though. It is probably cheaper to pay your kids to do it while they watch TV since most of the software install is dead time.

    A long time ago (20+ years) I made some money formatting 3.5 inch floppies for software installs. I thought 3 per hour for watching TV was good money.

    Alex

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    In response to the messages stating that the surface blur should not take "ten minutes", I'll detail the system. I don't think this is a system problem and the delay is only in 16-bit mode. 8-bit mode takes about 10 to 20 seconds.

    The current system is home built (professionally, I sell custom computers for OEM applicatins, so I know a little about this stuff and have colleagues who know way more than me as a resource.)

    - Intel DG43NB motherboard circa 2008 with on-board x4500GMA graphics, socket 775
    - Intel Q6600 Core 2 Quad, 2.4GHz CPU
    - 8GB 1066 DDR2 RAM
    - 1)500 GB SATA drive, 1)1.5 TB SATA drive, both about 1/3 full
    - Sony 7260 SATA CD/DVD ROM drive
    - Windows 7 Ultimate Edition OS 64-bit
    - All fresh built about a year ago

    I do tend to run a few applications while I'm in Photoshop, but they are not doing any signficant crunching and there is more than sufficient memory for them. The system is not 'thrashing'. Typically I'll have Picasa, Chrome and mabe Adobe Reader open along with Photoshop.

    As stated, I don't think this is a dog of a system by any means. It is certainly more than adequate for average home use. I am having some problems getting the audio S/PDIF header to work, but that is an entirely different problem.
    Last edited by Boatman; 2nd December 2011 at 05:39 PM.

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Hi Homer,

    What version of Photoshop is this? Is it the latest version?

    Your computer setup sounds fine to me. Can you see what happens in task manager or even better Process Explorer when you run the blur.

    I would expect it to spin its wheels a bit but maybe you can see if the RAM allocation goes up significantly.

    A post on the Adobe (un)help forums may get some answers too.

    The next step would be to uninstall Photoshop and reinstall. Since the alternative is an upgrade to the new i5 2500K which requires a complete reinstall this is worth trying.

    Alex

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    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Hi Colin,

    If you do this regularly have you thought of using a ghost image with a standard build? You can then do a single machine in one big disk image copy to the new hardware. That is basically what the Windows 7 install is anyway.

    I am not sure how much ghost imaging software costs though. It is probably cheaper to pay your kids to do it while they watch TV since most of the software install is dead time.

    A long time ago (20+ years) I made some money formatting 3.5 inch floppies for software installs. I thought 3 per hour for watching TV was good money.

    Alex
    Hi Alex,

    I've used customised installs, but ghost concept really doesn't work that well for a variety of reasons (variety of chipsets - probs with SID - even different OS (maritime PCs are still on XP due to some legacy program issues that won't run under XP mode)).

    There is a lot of dead time, but I get paid well for it! Would be nice to utilise the kids, but they're at school, and I do these at the workshop (I basically have 2 "careers" at present - my IT business, and the photography / printing business). Fast hardware & Internet connections make the job a lot easier.

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    It would be interesting to do a comparison of the same blur on the same file, but on different PCs. If it helps, feel free to send me a reference file (or I could put it on mediafire and we could get lots if people to try it). Would be interesting to see how others fare.

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    Boatman's Avatar
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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    I'm running CS4. I searched around a bit and found some interesting posts. This post in DP Review, http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=31471774, discusses exactly the issue I'm seeing. I get the sense the long duration for surface blurs is normal. Furthermore, the wider the pixel setting for the blur, the longer it takes. If memory serves me correctly (I use an action now so I'm foregetting the settings) the recommended setting in Jiro's write up is 40. That is on the high end.

    One comment in the DP thread stated that a 64-pixel wide blur in 16-bit mode took over a half an hour to process! I should be happy with ten minutes.

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Go on - send me one - I'm anxious to try this!

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Colin:

    I'll find you something decent to play with and send it along. In the mean time I did some testing.

    Using a 7038 x 3960 image I ran some times using an on line stop watch. This is all in 16-bit mode:
    Radius = 1, time = instant
    Radius = 5, time = 6 seconds
    Radius = 10, time = 30 seconds
    Radius = 20, time = 1:40
    Radius = 30, time = 2:32
    Radius = 40, time = 4:53

    I checked the CPU and memory utilization using Resource Monitor: 64% of memory and 96% across all four cores. This is a serious CPU intensive job!

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Hi Homer,

    You're shooting with a 28MP camera?

  18. #18
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    No 16MP but I think I up ressed this to 360ppi. Way too big!

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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatman View Post
    No 16MP but I think I up ressed this to 360ppi. Way too big!
    Hi Homer,

    I've found little advantage in up-sampling, unless you're printing something HUGE (and even then it's no big deal because the viewing distance will be such that the eye can't resolve the detail). But if you DO do it, then you may just as well do it as an (almost) final step as all it does is slow down things like surface blurs at the bigger size

    PS: Keep in mind that the printer driver up-samples it anyway (without all the pain of slow manipulation and large storage requirements).

  20. #20
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    Re: Faster Computer for 16-bit Processing

    Plus your 40 pixel blur at 28 mega pixels will be 30 pixels at 16 mega pixels.

    Alternatively for the upscaled photo you should be using 53 pixels. Then you will have lots of time spare waiting for it to finish.

    It may be that the step from cs 4 to 5 changed the implementation for much faster processing.

    Let us have the file and we can do a CiC race with various setups.

    Alex

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