New CPU for 7-year old PC?

kosmicken

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#1
Operating System:Win7 Pro 64 bit
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info): 2015.12, build 1125239

I hope I posted this in the correct forum. I don't see a forum specifically for hardware, so I posted in the forum for the version of LR I'm using.

I built my rig back in 2011 — LONG before I started using Lightroom. I built it with future expansion in mind, making sure that it it had plenty of SATA connections, expansion slots, etc. so that not only would the hardware I chose at the time be sufficient for my needs at the time and hopefully long into the future, but I could upgrade as necessary along the way. Everything was sufficient until I started using LR. Some aspects of LR, like the moving between images in the Develop module, can be painfully slow at times. Rendering previews on a new import pretty much has to be done overnight or when I’m not going to be using my PC for anything else for a few hours.

I know that a brand new rig would be pretty awesome, but also quite expensive to build it properly with LR as my main goal. So, I’m trying to figure out if I can squeeze any more *cost effective* upgrades into this thing before I finally retire it.

Motherboard is Asus M4A88T-V EVO/USB3. CPU socket is AM3, currently running a AMD Black Edition Phenom II X2 555 3.2 GHz Dual-Core processor. I know there are 4-, 6-, and 8-core processors available for this socket and listed as compatible with the board on Asus’ website. How much would a 7 year old system benefit from a CPU upgrade? Specifically, of course, how noticeably would LR performance improve?

Other notables specs: 12GB DDR3 1066 RAM. The Resource Monitor does not show memory maxing out, so I don’t see how it would be beneficial to increase RAM capacity, but what about speed? OS and LR are on an SSD, and image files are on a SATA hard drive. I’m using the motherboard’s integrated graphics. I thought about upgrading to a dedicated graphics card, but I've read mixed opinions as to whether that would help my situation.

So, what are your thoughts on upgrading the CPU and graphics in this 7-year-old system?
 

Gnits

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#2
I would put catalog on Ssd (if not already) and increase memory. Make sure you have plenty of spare space on your drives, especially c drive and where u keep your catalog.

Understand smart previews re performance and decide if relevant to you in development module.

I am not expert enough to comment on processor options.
 

PhilBurton

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Messages
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California, USA
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#3
Operating System:Win7 Pro 64 bit
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info): 2015.12, build 1125239

I hope I posted this in the correct forum. I don't see a forum specifically for hardware, so I posted in the forum for the version of LR I'm using.

I built my rig back in 2011 — LONG before I started using Lightroom. I built it with future expansion in mind, making sure that it it had plenty of SATA connections, expansion slots, etc. so that not only would the hardware I chose at the time be sufficient for my needs at the time and hopefully long into the future, but I could upgrade as necessary along the way. Everything was sufficient until I started using LR. Some aspects of LR, like the moving between images in the Develop module, can be painfully slow at times. Rendering previews on a new import pretty much has to be done overnight or when I’m not going to be using my PC for anything else for a few hours.

I know that a brand new rig would be pretty awesome, but also quite expensive to build it properly with LR as my main goal. So, I’m trying to figure out if I can squeeze any more *cost effective* upgrades into this thing before I finally retire it.

Motherboard is Asus M4A88T-V EVO/USB3. CPU socket is AM3, currently running a AMD Black Edition Phenom II X2 555 3.2 GHz Dual-Core processor. I know there are 4-, 6-, and 8-core processors available for this socket and listed as compatible with the board on Asus’ website. How much would a 7 year old system benefit from a CPU upgrade? Specifically, of course, how noticeably would LR performance improve?

Other notables specs: 12GB DDR3 1066 RAM. The Resource Monitor does not show memory maxing out, so I don’t see how it would be beneficial to increase RAM capacity, but what about speed? OS and LR are on an SSD, and image files are on a SATA hard drive. I’m using the motherboard’s integrated graphics. I thought about upgrading to a dedicated graphics card, but I've read mixed opinions as to whether that would help my situation.

So, what are your thoughts on upgrading the CPU and graphics in this 7-year-old system?
IF you can even get a faster processor for this system from New Old Stock, it is likely going to be priced according to what it was when that AMD generation was current. DO NOT buy a used processor. Also, you would probably want to upgrade memory. Even for that time, PC DDR 3 1066 memory was slow. Same comments apply as for the CPU. Do the math. A new motherboard/CPU/RAM might not be that much more expensive.

While the Resource Monitor does not show RAM maxing out, if you had 16 or even 32 GB of RAM, you might increase virtual memory size, improving your overall performance.

Before doing anything else, follow Gnits' advice and put your Windows/Programs partition and your catalog on an SSD of at least 256 GB. If you decide to upgrade later on, you can use that SSD in your new system.

Also, I noticed that you are still running Windows 7. Why? Supposedly you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Worth a try.

Phil
 
Joined
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Messages
49
Lightroom Experience
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#4
Real time scan of the antivirus can slow down the process of LR. I recommand to set the antivirus to not scan :
- The catalog (the .lrcat file)
- the preview folders
- The folders containing your images
- The cahe of LR/Camera Raw

This could improve significantly the LR performance.
 

kosmicken

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Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
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6.x / CC 2015.x
#5
Hi All,

Thanks for the great suggestions so far. OS, installed programs including LR, and catalog are on an SSD, the rest on hard drives. Motherboard only supports 16GB RAM. Would that extra 4GB make such a difference? Perhaps upgrading to the fastest supported speed (I don't know what that is without looking it up; actually, I'm not sure why I would have gone with anything slower when I built the rig) AND max capacity would be noticeable. RAM used to be cheap, but it's gotten expensive again. :(

Much to my surprise, there are still new processors available for this board. That's why I'm weighing upgrade vs. new. (Meaning replace just the CPU, or CPU, motherboard, and RAM, which would basically be a new PC.) I would love to hear from some folks who know more about *how* LR utilizes the CPU and whether there would be any actual benefit in adding cores and also L3 cache. Of course I will weigh the cost against replacing the mobo and determine if upgrading is in fact cost effective.

I never upgraded to Win 10 because I saw no reason to. If it were still available for free, I'd probably consider it now, but sadly that ship has sailed.

Never even considered the antivirus situation. I'll definitely give that a try.

Any thoughts on dedicated GPU vs motherboard graphics?
 

PhilBurton

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Messages
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California, USA
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#6
Hi All,

Thanks for the great suggestions so far. OS, installed programs including LR, and catalog are on an SSD, the rest on hard drives. Motherboard only supports 16GB RAM. Would that extra 4GB make such a difference? Perhaps upgrading to the fastest supported speed (I don't know what that is without looking it up; actually, I'm not sure why I would have gone with anything slower when I built the rig) AND max capacity would be noticeable. RAM used to be cheap, but it's gotten expensive again. :(

Much to my surprise, there are still new processors available for this board. That's why I'm weighing upgrade vs. new. (Meaning replace just the CPU, or CPU, motherboard, and RAM, which would basically be a new PC.) I would love to hear from some folks who know more about *how* LR utilizes the CPU and whether there would be any actual benefit in adding cores and also L3 cache. Of course I will weigh the cost against replacing the mobo and determine if upgrading is in fact cost effective.
Do a cost comparison, and consider that a completely new MB/CPU/RAM will give you significantly better performance than the CPU upgrade alone.

I never upgraded to Win 10 because I saw no reason to. If it were still available for free, I'd probably consider it now, but sadly that ship has sailed.
Go to www.tenforums.com and so some searching. There are reports of people successfully upgrading just in the last few days, AND without using the Assistive Technologies rationale. Worth a try. If you do go for the whole new MB setup, you will probably have significant driver issues anyway, so doing the upgrade to Win 10 might take care of those issues.
Never even considered the antivirus situation. I'll definitely give that a try.
Power of this forum.:thumbsup:
Any thoughts on dedicated GPU vs motherboard graphics?
If you have a 4K/5K monitor, then an upgrade to a powerful new GPU is almost mandatory. Otherwise, people seem to be reporting only modest improvements. Increasing CPU speed and/or cores seems to be much more useful. Check out Recommended System: Recommended Systems for Adobe Lightroom

Phil Burton
 

kosmicken

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#7
Thanks for that good info, Phil!

If I go the new MB/CPU route, should I upgrade to Win10 now and then reinstall with the new board, or should I just do a clean Win7 install with the new board and then upgrade? Or does it not matter?

Does anyone know if Ryzen is a good fit for LR? I've always been an AMD guy because I feel you get more bang for your buck, but I've never really had any critical uses prior to Lightroom coming into the picture. Most articles seems to recommend a Core i5 or i7. Seems like Ryzan is AMD's answer to the Core i series, and I'd like to know how well it does with LR.
 

kosmicken

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#8
Oh, one more thing: If I go with a new board, will I see any noticeable difference in performance by upgrading to a M.2 SSD? (Remember, I'm already running a SATA SSD.)
 

PhilBurton

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#10
Thanks for that good info, Phil!

If I go the new MB/CPU route, should I upgrade to Win10 now and then reinstall with the new board, or should I just do a clean Win7 install with the new board and then upgrade? Or does it not matter?

Does anyone know if Ryzen is a good fit for LR? I've always been an AMD guy because I feel you get more bang for your buck, but I've never really had any critical uses prior to Lightroom coming into the picture. Most articles seems to recommend a Core i5 or i7. Seems like Ryzan is AMD's answer to the Core i series, and I'd like to know how well it does with LR.
I would suggest doing the motherboard upgrade first. If you do the win 10 upgrade first, and then switch MB, you may be forced to call Microsoft to explain that you put in a new motherboard, etc.

Phil
 

LostSoul

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Jan 10, 2018
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#11
Don't forget that if you upgrade hardware eg. Motherboard or CPU then the identities of the existing parts will have been used to Activate your current windows. If that version of WIndows is OEM and not a full retail pack its tied to the hardware and will not transfer.

I use WIn 7 and 10 and frankly I prefer 7. !) has some nice features but it has too many really annoying ones like not enough control of its updates. It can irritate when its updates lump incompatible stuff on your PC in the name of helping you (not). Its a personal thing and plenty of people like 10. I will not stick with windows on my next update.
 
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