About a month ago, I finally decided that it was time to upgrade the Kaz Arts computer station . It had been a long time since I had kept up with computer technology (since about the last time I built a machine 6 years ago) and didn’t quite know where to begin. So, what better place to go to for answers? Good ‘ole dad, the electrical engineer and all around electronic and mechanical genius. Which leads into an interesting story…
Ten years ago, Kaz Arts (as it is known today) began as a customized computer consulting business. My father and I were very much into computers and technology and we spec’ed out, designed, and put together computers for high-end video-editing, graphics use, and computer gamers. One of our clients, a photographer, had asked if I knew how to use the Adobe Photoshop program. As an early adopter of digital capture, I had been using Adobe Photoshop since version 3.0. So I began training him in Adobe Photoshop, he spread the word to his friends, and the business sort of took off from there. And here we are today…doing & teaching all aspects of photography, image processing, and image reproduction.
Back to the story of the computer now. My father offered his suggestions, and I mixed-and-matched components with what fit into my *budget* for the building of this machine. As with anything in life, things will always cost more and take longer than you always initially think they will. But that was fine, as I foresee using this machine for as long as my previous machine was in use (6 years). Here’s the general spec sheet:
- LIAN LI PC-K6 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
- PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V Power Supply
- ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Motherboard
- Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz Quad-Core Processor
- CORSAIR XMS3 12GB 240-Pin DDR3 1333
- 2 @ RAID 0 Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 10000 RPM SATA
- Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB SATA Secondary Drive (Photoshop Scratch Disk)
- SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe SATA EVGA
- 512-P3-N879-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
See some quick photos of the interior below.
This machine is insanely fast. Boot time on the machine is less than 30 seconds from power button until the Windows desktop is ‘ready’. The machine is only used for photography and imaging, so it is only connected to the internet when I need to download Lightroom or Photoshop updates. Speaking of Photoshop and Lightroom, I have never seen any machine run these programs so quickly. I don’t even see the Photoshop opening splash screen when I double click the icon. I click and I see my workspace. The Lightroom spot retouch tool now works without the hassle of waiting for the mask to ‘refresh’ between clicks. It functions the way it is intende to work – like a paintbrush!
HDR, panorama stitching? No longer necessary to go make a cup of coffee or go have lunch. 8 14-bit Nikon NEF files into a photo-stitch merge: 1 minute 24 seconds.
In case you are interested, we still build custom machines. Including all parts and assembly, a machine like this would run $2500+tax. Can you purchase a Mac this powerful for anywhere close to that amount of money? Doubtful.
This is in no way an advertisement for Microsoft…but “I’m a PC”. I am not a fan of Vista, but I do want 64-bit architecture support (I know XP has 64-bit, but why go backwards?), and I look forward to Windows 7.