Changing computers?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by david_henderson, Dec 28, 2021.

  1. 1) How to transfer 50,000 images - don't use USB. I assume your current computer is connected to a router by ethernet or it can be. Hook your new computer to the same router via ethernet preferably 1000 base T. Make the directories on your old machine Shareable. On the new machine simply copy them from the old machine either by drag and drop or preferably by Robocopy. Robocopy is a part of Windows at least since Windows 7 and is a part of Windows 10. It is command line. BTW the Robo in Robocopy stands for Robust. It is a very robust copy utility and fast. Utilizing gigabit ethernet you are theoretically 100 times faster than 10 gigabit USB, although you will not see quite that much improvement in the real world.

    2) For maximum reliability, good name brand SSD or HHD. SSD Samsung, Crucial, Seagate, Corsair, Intel. Try to stay with tri-level NAND, quad-level will wear quicker.
    For HHD Western Digital Black drives or Seagate. Be sure to get drives that use Conventional Magnetic Recording rather than Singled Magnetic Recording and purchase drives for desktop computers, not NAS, surveillance, or Enterprise drives (Enterprise Drives have different timings and may cause problems in desktops).

    3) Any current CPU will give you much more performance than a 10-year-old i5. If you are asking what the difference is between contemporary i9, i7, and i5 CPUs the answer is the i9 will have more cores, usually faster cores, and more cache memory than the i7, which in turn will have more than the i5. Since both you and I tend to keep our systems for a while, it is best to over specify the system than under specify. Depreciated over 10 years the cost per year is not much. Software is getting larger and more complex, requiring more processing power as time goes by.

    Now the question is which CPU. If you go with the latest Intel Alder Lake, which uses a BIG Little architecture you will have to run Windows 11 for a schedular that can utilize that architecture. You will also have to choose between a motherboard using DDR4 or DDR5 memory; no board can use both.

    4) The same goes for memory. 16 GB will get you by today, but 10-years-ago, 8 GB was considered big. I have 32 GB on my machine. The question you face today is do you get DDR4 or DDR5 memory. DDR5 is technically superior, but it is in very short supply and very expensive. DDR4 is readily available and at reasonable prices. DDR5 prices should moderate very late this year or next year.

    5) GPU is another problem. GPUs are in very short supply and very expensive. The situation probably will not improve this year. Me, I would choose an Alder Lake CPU probably an i7-12700K or i7-12700, depending upon budget, and use the internal GPU. It should meet Adobe's minimum requirement. Later, when GPU prices moderate, if needed, I could always add a discrete GPU. One big cost difference between the 12700K and the 12700 beside price is the 12700 comes with a fan, the 12700K being a 125-watt part does not.
  2. No worries Dave. I just wanted to share that you are a good photographer :) Whatever you're doing and how you are doing it works.
  3. If you are looking at Dell, have you asked them what they recommend? You can get them to suggest a system and its components and then show the computer expert geniuses here and see what they think. (Not me, I use Mac). Describe your whole storage issue and image transfer questions and see what they say assuming you haven't done that already. It sounds to me that you are not eager to take on spacing parts for a computer and all the hassle that entails. I do know SSDs are the fastest drives but also more expensive. and You don't want to transfer over a USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection. You don't have to geek out to get a good usable system.
    digitaldog likes this.
  4. david_henderson


    Again my thanks to all who have responded. I've got a mass of stuff to digest across 100 responses, but I'm aware from my years as a consultant that most problems need to get more complicated before they can get simpler. I hope to act fairly quickly but I have no firm deadlines so I can wait till I have a clear plan laid out before I have boxes arriving.
  5. Computing requirements for still photography are not really very onerous. If you are going Dell why not get one of their XPS line, make sure you have a large SSD and lots of RAM (but don't go overboard), and you're all set for the next 10 years (I think they all come with decent video cards). I think the XPSs, for example, have plenty of room for hardware expansion if needed. HP have similar systems. Of course you could also waste lots of money on Apple stuff too:)

    As to the 50,000 images, my question is whether you really need all these. Are they yours or client shots? If they are yours I would purge them, sounds like you have way too many. Mind you, since you do have that many and presumably a lot of them are seconds/repeats it might take so much time going through them you'll be too exhausted to continue.
    samstevens likes this.
  6. david_henderson


    Robin, there's much in what you say. I have a Dell XPS now and its done ok for me for 11 years apart from a major C drive crash a couple of years back which was inconvenient rather than catastrophic. and my guy put a SSD in to replace it. I just checked out their video cards today in the context of advice above and indeed they are close to the top of the "recommended" lists. I have three internal drives installed and with one for C and the other two for photographs I still have space for another few years work. So I don't really need anything bigger- just newer which I hope will mean more reliability in future- and faster which I'm going to get with a 2022 machine rather than a 2011 one. I may well vote for similar again.

    Images? They're all mine-private work. I do purge them on the way in for the simple reason that getting rid of the rubbish and repetitive stuff makes the retained pictures seem so much better. I purge in-camera too. Perhaps 25% of what I take doesn't last till I get home even. But the real good point is your last one. I know I could get the number down but it would take so much time and it would be soooo-- boring. And its not like in today's world it's costing me a fortune in drive space for images and back up. I reckoned once that I could spend a couple of months halving my # photographs and effectively pay myself no more than about £400 for that work. Maybe an internal drive and an external. And indeed if I'm in the wrong place on the computer replacement cycle I don't save much at all. I've got 2TB unused space on my current setup.

    Go back 10+ years and offer me back half the money I spent on MF film and processing/mounting if only I'd have been a bit more selective, and that really would have been worthwhile. Add to that the savings I'd have made if I'd been more selective in having hundreds of prints made for myself some of them in the early days of hybrid workflows with people like West Coast Imaging scanning, proofing and printing for me and paying for Fedex packages bouncing between UK and California and wow.
  7. Regarding the transfer of lots of image files, here is one option that could work for you if you have the same set up I have.

    Images stored on a HDD or SSD external drive in an enclosure case. Your computer is a desktop that allows you access to add additional internal drives.

    Open the external drive enclosure case and remove the HDD or SSD with the images.

    Open the desktop and install the external drive into the appropriate slot.

    Turn on the desktop and copy the images from drive letter assigned to the external drive to the drive letter with the new internal drive.

    When done, remove the external drive and put it back into your enclosure case.
  8. Yes. I have found the same thing.
    I purge very little. I would probably say I take less than an average number of shots, but still I store plenty of stuff I don't have an immediate liking or care for.

    Every 6 months or so, I spend some time (from hours to a couple of days) going through old stuff. Every time I do that, I come across something that now interests me and stands out in a way it didn't at first.

    I'm very careful about considering things rubbish, other than very extreme mistakes and misfires. I'm so aware of my vision and taste changing over the years, so I like allowing for the possibility that I'll see something worthwhile about a photo I did not see years ago. In many ways, I've liberated myself over the years from certain presumptions and limitations about what a good photo is and what I am capable of seeing and expressing, and what I may have rejected years ago takes on new life with a different set of eyes.
    Along similar lines, I understand your sentiment here but also believe that a lot of the time and money spent years ago may not have been as negligible as is sometimes assumed. It all got me here, including the many mistakes. If I don't allow myself a whole lot of mistakes, I generally don't grow as much. For me, photography is as much a process as it is the finished photo. The finished photo arrives not just by itself but via many of the shots that didn't make the cut.

    Of course, some may feel they over-shoot and even shoot obsessively, so some balance and trimming may be in order.
  9. Give us a rundown with photos on how it works out.

    I hopefully fixed a problem I had with a certain program. Out of the blue Windows refused to run it due to security issues. Been running it for years. I installed program on thumbdrive and it seems to work, but have not tried out all facets.
  10. You can always save the SD cards as film. Then you got it all! Every 5 - 6 years, back up the cards to BD-R or M-Disc.
  11. Thanks. I find it works well to reuse my cards as working cards and, after each shoot, I find it easy to copy the full card to both an internal and external drive, and then reuse the card. I also have an off-sight backup. However, I'm by no means an expert on this. Is there a danger or less efficiency to what I'm doing?
  12. Everyone has their talents. I'm an old film photog from the 70's. I'm not too computer savvy, but savvy enough to do what I did in the darkroom. Really, I don't even like computers all that much. They are just tools. A lot of the big name photogs probably have people doing their post work, printing etc. So they don't have to do the grunt work.

    As far as LR 5, very happy with it. No need to change unless I hit a windfall lotto. What I need is a cine' 16mm sound scanner. My still equipment is more or less fine.

    Here is a photo I shot back in '73 with a Hassy SWC and available light. Agfa silver gelatin print on left. The 2012 (or 13?) inkjet version on right has 2-1/2 hours of Lightroom on it. (Plus, some single image HDR)


    What is wrong with that?

    I think it was Lightroom 3 or 4. Can't remember. As I said, I'm just looking to do what I did in the wet darkroom.


    But after using LR 3 on one of my old computers, I feel like a king with LR5!

    What LR are they up to now?
    inoneeye likes this.
  13. Depends on if you are a scatter brain like me. I also do as you do, but when I get cleaning, I delete stuff. Sometimes things get lost even without cleaning! I have had to go back to the cards more than a few times. They are cheap scatter brain backup for me.
  14. lol. Got it. I tend not to be scatter-brained though, as I reach toward seventy, I do notice a bit more spillage. So I'll keep your process in mind for when more and more details start seeping through the cracks. Thanks.
  15. Second Robin's recommendation for your computer choice given what I've seen through the thread. But I wouldn't agree to purging your images, especially if they have value to you and particularly if you ever want them available for any professional use. As you said storage options are relatively inexpensive though by no means cheap, it's more of a question of your strategy to save them, part of your original question.
  16. Invisible Flash wrote: "You can always save the SD cards as film. Then you got it all! Every 5 - 6 years, back up the cards to BD-R or M-Disc."

    I am not certain that any unpowered Flash memory would make a good long term storage medium. At their heart Flash cells are nothing more than capacitors. All capacitors leak charge over time. I am not sure how long data can be stored on Flash - I have read anywhere from months to decades - but nothing I would risk all my images on.
  17. I've never tried B&H for computers, but I know they have a computer division that specializes in photography and tailors their equipment to meet photographers' needs. So they might be a good source to discuss software/hardware coordination, sizes, memory, and other requirements.
  18. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Terrific (assumptive) recommendation....
    You also don't seem to be aware that David, the OP lives in Datchet, a village on the Thames west of London and near Windsor.
    About David Henderson Photography

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