16GM RAM vs 32GB RAM - need help to decide

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murali

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I am a landscape/cityscape photographer and I spend about 20 hrs a month processing, 90% of the time in LR Classic and 10% in PS (mostly to remove unwanted stuff in the image, focus stacking, and sky replacement) I am planning to upgrade my current desktop (Velocity Micro Z30 running Windows 10) that is 8 years old. Is 32 GB RAM needed or 16GB good enough for me? I don't plan to use the computer for any other purpose. Thanks in advance.
 
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Memory is one of the cheapest things you can buy to help a computer run faster and become obsolete slower. Personally I'd consider 32gb the minimum for a new computer purchase, and check the price on 64gb - it's not 'needed', but will give a bit of a boost and also provide longivity. Most new, production built computers are going to come with all memory slots full, so upgrading later requires throwing away what you bought before.

The second best thing for new computers are NVMe (i.e. SSD but better) disks, not rotating pieces of metal, at least for the system disk. If you need massive storage and don't want to pay the price, get HDD's for data, but put windows on NVMe if at all possible on new computers (or SSD if you are upgrading an existing one with only SATA connections).
 
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I totally agree with Linwood.

Also, if upgrading an existing system you will often have very little spare storage on your system drive. When adding extra memory Windows may try to extend the size of your virtual memory / page size on disk, which will further eat into free disk space.

If looking at a new machine I suggest you make sure it has a full specified Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port, for future flexibility re peripherals or external storage.

Also, I use every opportunity to eliminate old usb formats so I only need Usb C / Thunderbolt cables going forward.
 

murali

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Thanks for all your feedback. As my current machine is 8 years old, I decided to retire it and get a new one locally built. I store all my RAW files in a 1 TB Sandisk USB3 SSD. I have about 40K RAW files and about 500 DNG files (exported to PS for focus stacking and removing distractions) - averages to about 4K images/year. i.e. not a heavy user. I trash about 80% of the images I capture during the import+culling process. I have a Drobo to back up the images & the LR catalog. This is what I am converging on for the new Windows 11 desktop:

Intel i5-12400
64GB RAM
1 TB WD BLACK SN770 Gen 4 NVME M.2
NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5

If you have any additional tips/guidance, it will be terrific. Once again, thanks for taking your time to give me guidance.

murali
 
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40k raw files at say an avg of 25MB is approx 1 TB. This will fill your M2 drive. You may wish to consider adding an internal spinning disk or external drive for image storage. I keep my current years images on my internal M2 drive and all previous years on an external Thunderbolt drive.

Double check the ports on your screen are compatible with the ports on the graphics card.

Check the speed of the USB ports. Are the ports USB C or Thunderbolt or something else.
 

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Check the speed of the USB ports. Are the ports USB C or Thunderbolt or something else.
Good thought. These days, I would think the minimum is 10Gbps USB 3, or preferably USB 4/Thunderbolt, through USB-C ports primarily. Those would support the fastest SSDs if you buy them later. It can also be convenient for a PC to still have some USB-A ports, for older devices.
 
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I backup to a Samsung T7 in the field. It really improves workflow to be able to use a high speed USB C format to be able to plug this device into your PC when you get home to import into Lr. I also can use Fast Raw Viewer as a pre processor to Lr, to remove obvious out of focus images, etc as I do not mind deleting images on a copy of my images on a T7 rather than deleting from the card.

If you have an option to have a motherboard with Thunderbolt 3/4 go for it.

Not only will this help with peripherals, you have the option to add a Thunderbolt based USB C hub / docking device if you need to in the future. That might be handy for second screens, printer connections, etc..
 

murali

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Hue thanks to all for your super insightful guidance. More than I expected :)

I use SanDisk NVMe 1TB Extreme Portable SSD for storing the images (so that I can use it with my laptop when I am on the road) and the catalog is in the C Drive (SSD).

I am getting the Asus Tuf Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi D4 motherboard. The spec says the board has Thunderbolt™ 4 header support. I dont know what "header support" means. I will seriously consider adding a Thunderbolt port.
 
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Thunderbolt Header.

You should be able to install a Thunderbolt card. This will take up one of your Pcie slots and there may be some restrictions on how you use some of the slots. I assume the Thunderbolt card will be supplied with a suitable cable to connect the card to the ThunderBolt Header. Keep the motherboard manual and refer to it, if or when required.

Good to have the option although no guarantee what performance will be available. The fact that it is built into the motherboard design would be a reason to be optimistic re bandwidth possible. You can research in more detail if you wish to explore this option.

One big advantage of Thunderbolt is the fact that you can daisy chain Thunderbolt devices. Useful for adding multiple Thunderbolt disk enclosures for high disk capacity needs and a good reason why Thunderbolt is a good platform for hubs/ docking stations.
 

murali

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Thanks to all. Got a new custom built Win 11 based system at a terrific price.
  • CPU - Intel i5-12400F
  • Cooler - be quiet! Dark Rock Slim
  • Motherboard - Asus Tuf Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi D4 (has a Thunderbolt Header as well)
  • RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws 64GB (2x32) 3200 CL16
  • Storage Primary - WD SN770 1TB NVMe SSD
  • GPU - MSI GTX 1650 G6
  • Case - NZXT H510 Flow
  • PSU - EVGA 650W 80+ Gold
  • Build Fee - $150
  • Handling - $30
  • Delivery - $55
$1500 including taxes. It was hand delivered to me, not via Fed Ex/UPS. Significantly faster than my 8 year old box.

DM me if u plan to have someone build a custom PC for u. I highly recommend the company run by a 20+ year old guy. Once again, thanks to all for your guidance.
 
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