Photo Lab and Back-office upgrade

Today no nice pictures or shooting stories. My Workstation has felt slower and slower as I started to do more and more post processing. After 3 1/2 years it was time for an upgrade. Initially I had hoped that I could wait until May and get the 8 core CPU’s from Intel. But then Dell decided to change the employee discount Plan. Let’s just say that give the configuration my “Dream” Workstation with the change in discount.  I “saved” enough to buy any of the new camera’s released recently by Canon and Nikon.

Give this emergency my brother did help me to configure the perfect Workstation for me.

Dell Precision 7500 (upgrade from a 3500)

2x Intel Xeon X5690 3.46Ghz, 48GB or RAM, 2x 256GB SSD disks, 2 NvidiaQuadro 600 and 2 24″ Dell Ultrasharp screens & Ergotron Screen Stand for 4 screens.






I know from the specifications and the picture with the 4 screens you may think this way over top and nobody needs anything like this.  I will explain why bought it and how I use this new technology.

A Little history, My Precision 3500 had a single CPU with 4 core’s and 8GB of RAM.

I run Opensuse 12.1 (have for the last 8years) I had considered to move back to windows but too much of my work and work-flow depends on the Unix way of life. Also recovering a Broken Linux is way easier than a Windows box (I moved over my whole application settings with a single copy and 5 minutes)

I also run VMWare’s running Windows for specific apps and for work or some with Linux to test. All these where taking up a not small part of my resources.

Photography editing was the most stressful on my system 24mpix pictures take some resources. Stitching 8 pictures was even more taxing on the machine and patience.

For all these reasons 2CPU’s and 48GB of RAM seemed the right fit.

SSD DRIVES the game changer this was the most important and best decision. 2 256GB drives one for the Linux OS and the 2nd for the Vmware and Pictures to be worked on. Once they are not needed they are moved to a slower disk or my network storage. So how much faster is it ? My old PC suspend/resume a VMWARE was 1 to 2 minutes now it is 10 to 20 seconds.

Why 4 screens that is really over the top right ?

I have to admit when I assembled the rig I did feel the same way. I am still getting used to all the space (it is easier than the move from 1 to 2 screens). Clearly there are many benefits My setting is roughly organized like this :                                                                                              Screen  1 upper right (Skype, e-mail, music player, system monitor)                                       Screen 2 upper left (chrome, social media, book-keeping, consoles)                                             Screen 3 lower left (Vmware)                                                                                                             Screen 4 lower right (Firefox, office e-mail, work related (search, help, documentation, …)

Bottom line the experience of this new monster is great. Things go so much faster the space of 4 screens makes it so much easier to organize my work. But clearly the SSD was the most amazing improvement overall. I won’t move all my data to SSD for cost reasons but every new resource intensive data will be moved to onto an SSD drive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *