Can I extend the life of my i5 4690k system?

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I know that I'm about due for a PC upgrade and was pretty close to doing so until a cursory look at prices stopped that. Also need to limit money spent due to recent lens purchase. Sometime last year I was looking for some additional speed on LR tasks and I added ram and overclocked the processor and now it works satisfactorily for Lightroom. Topaz Denoise AI or the trial of PureRaw take a really long time, ~1-2 min per photo. I've put up with it in Topaz for almost a year now, since I would only work on one or two images out of a set. But I recently needed to run it on probably 15-20 photos in a set and boy was that frustrating. Also the new 4panel comparison view where you tweak parameters takes a long time to load the previews. I know that now is a horrible time to buy a GPU, but I'm also extremely confused by what would even help. I don't want to buy one that can't improve the render times.

I know there are some really smart PC folks on here and I can't pretend to have any knowledge about this stuff. I stopped caring in about 2009 lol. I would appreciate any thoughts on if I should just muddle through until all prices come back down and do a full build, or if there's a way to get a modest improvement for a couple hundred dollars.

Currently I have:

Core i5 4690k 3.5 GHz clocked up to 4.3 (can get warm on a topaz run up to 80-82C if I recall correctly) 4 cores only no hyperthreading stock bundled cooler fan
16gb ram DDR3
ASrock Z97 Pro4 MB
Using the integrated graphics
SSD (SATA connection I think) for the OS and spinning drives for the photo storage

Thanks,
Eli
 

NACEOD

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Morning, I'll share what worked for me about 6 months ago. I'm sure someone with more Intel experience will jump in to help you out.

I had been using an AMD motherboard and a Ryzen 5 with integrated graphics before switching to PhotoLab 4 for noise reduction. It would take over a minute to process a photo and max out the CPU the whole time.

I added an SSD and it helped a little. My son updated his gaming graphics card and I got his 1050Ti. Even though it's not on DXO's recommended spec it's 100% stable and decreased the time to process down to 12-20 seconds per photo using Topaz and DXO Denoise.

I don't know much about how LR would run but an older graphics card might help for PureRAW or Topaz.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Rob
 

John M Flores

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I'd look at the Task Manager while those slower tasks are running to see where the bottleneck is. Also, do any of the slower programs work with proxies - lower resolution versions of the files that you are working on?
 

Keeth101

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Before you spend any money on upgrades, you should make sure that your motherboard is compatible with Windows 11 which is arriving in a short while. If it will then go ahead with upgrading, if it won't then it would probably be best to save up for something which will.
Win 10 will lose support in 2025.
 
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Morning, I'll share what worked for me about 6 months ago. I'm sure someone with more Intel experience will jump in to help you out.

I had been using an AMD motherboard and a Ryzen 5 with integrated graphics before switching to PhotoLab 4 for noise reduction. It would take over a minute to process a photo and max out the CPU the whole time.

I added an SSD and it helped a little. My son updated his gaming graphics card and I got his 1050Ti. Even though it's not on DXO's recommended spec it's 100% stable and decreased the time to process down to 12-20 seconds per photo using Topaz and DXO Denoise.

I don't know much about how LR would run but an older graphics card might help for PureRAW or Topaz.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Rob
Thanks for that info. That gives me an idea of how important not even the latest GPU would. How much ram is on that card?
 
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I'd look at the Task Manager while those slower tasks are running to see where the bottleneck is. Also, do any of the slower programs work with proxies - lower resolution versions of the files that you are working on?
The cpu gets maxed out on the denoise software. I haven't tried any lower res files but I can do that for curiosity
 

ex machina

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My guess would be the integrated graphics is the bottleneck, but John's suggestion is spot-on, and Rob's suggestion that an older GPU might save you some bucks sounds right to me.
 
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Before you spend any money on upgrades, you should make sure that your motherboard is compatible with Windows 11 which is arriving in a short while. If it will then go ahead with upgrading, if it won't then it would probably be best to save up for something which will.
Win 10 will lose support in 2025.
That's a good thought. I've not even considered a new windows version coming
 
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My guess would be the integrated graphics is the bottleneck, but John's suggestion is spot-on, and Rob's suggestion that an older GPU might save you some bucks sounds right to me.
I think so too but I don't know how to discern that from the process monitor vs. just seeing that cpu is maxed.

I guess I'm going to have to do some research on older cards because I'm clueless in what series and generation. I'm open to suggestions if you have any beyond the 1050
 

NACEOD

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Thanks for that info. That gives me an idea of how important not even the latest GPU would. How much ram is on that card?
It's 4GB. If it doesn't work for you, you'd probably wouldn't lose much if you resell. Kinda like a short term rental.
 

ex machina

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I think so too but I don't know how to discern that from the process monitor vs. just seeing that cpu is maxed.

I guess I'm going to have to do some research on older cards because I'm clueless in what series and generation. I'm open to suggestions if you have any beyond the 1050
If it's integrated video then I believe it would be reflected in your CPU utilization?
 

ac12

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Budget?

The GT 1050 in my area is $250-350+
The higher performance graphics cards have gone UP in price.

The GT 1030 is about $100
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Denoise programs need GPU power to cut the time down. It's a massively parallel process and GPUs are really good at massively parallel processes. If you visit the developer's website, they often have guidance for improved performance for denoise in regard to GPU specs. DxO PureRAW for example, says that they set something like the 1060 or the RX560 as a minimum for reasonable performance. To me, I think you need something with a high shader/CU count, and ample memory bandwidth. Something like the 1030 would not cut it.

The problem, as you are aware, is that GPUs are overpriced and hard to find. Even used prices are pretty rough right now, but I bet a used RX 470 or 480 would provide a massive uplift in processing performance. A faster CPU is only going to get you a small improvement. It's just not suited for that task. I have DXO PureRAW, and if I use CPU-only on a 12C/24T Mac Pro, each image takes a long time. On my M1 MBA, it clearly uses the GPU, as it's running right now and CPU use is 25%. The M1 has a pretty good GPU for an IGP, and it takes around 30 seconds per 20MP image. I have a used R9 380 on the way, so I'll let you know what it does for performance.

https://support.dxo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360050525632-DeepPRIME-hardware-acceleration
 
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ac12

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Denoise programs need GPU power to cut the time down. It's a massively parallel process and GPUs are really good at massively parallel processes. If you visit the developer's website, they often have guidance for improved performance for denoise in regard to GPU specs. DxO PureRAW for example, says that they set something like the 1060 or the RX560 as a minimum for reasonable performance. To me, I think you need something with a high shader/CU count, and ample memory bandwidth. Something like the 1030 would not cut it.

The problem, as you are aware, is that GPUs are overpriced and hard to find. Even used prices are pretty rough right now, but I bet a used RX 470 or 480 would provide a massive uplift in processing performance. A faster CPU is only going to get you a small improvement. It's just not suited for that task. I have DXO PureRAW, and if I use CPU-only on a 12C/24T Mac Pro, each image takes a long time. On my M1 MBA, it clearly uses the GPU, as it's running right now and CPU use is 25%. The M1 has a pretty good GPU for an IGP, and it takes around 30 seconds per 20MP image. I have a used R9 380 on the way, so I'll let you know what it does for performance.

https://support.dxo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360050525632-DeepPRIME-hardware-acceleration

Which is why I am sitting on my hands, hoping that the GPU prices get back down to what it used to be.
 

John M Flores

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If it's integrated video then I believe it would be reflected in your CPU utilization?
Internal GPU utilizatiion is reported separately from CPU.

The cpu gets maxed out on the denoise software. I haven't tried any lower res files but I can do that for curiosity

When you say maxed out, is that both Utilization (Red) and Speed (Blue)?

1627849182177.png
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Some systems can't operate at sustained high speeds without the risk of overheating and are thus thermally-constrained.

If you see your Speed dropping in the middle of heavy workload, that's a sign that you may be thermally-constrained. There are third-party apps that report CPU temperatures and can confirm that diagnosis.

If that's the case, you may try things like cleaning your fans, upgrading your current fans (maybe even adding an additional one), re-applying your CPU thermal paste, getting a bigger/better CPU heat sink, etc...
 

doady

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This computer has Phenom II X4 945, from 2008/2009, even older and slower than your CPU, but I can use Capture One Pro 20 from last year because of the video card is Radeon 7850, many times more powerful your integrated GPU. Even the integrated GPU of the upcoming Ryzen 5600G will only be 1/2 or 2/3 as powerful as my 8 year old discrete GPU. It has made a big difference.

On one hand it is not worth to invest more money into such an old computer, but at the same time it is not a good time to build or buy a new computer either due to the inflated prices. Even used prices for Radeon 7850 seem inflated, around $160 CAD, same as what I spent for a brand new one 8 years ago, but maybe it is your only choice.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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That's the thing, a dedicated GPU might be all OP needs to get the performance desired. And even an old GPU can be moved into a future build, provided it remains reliable. It's going to require crypto currency to fail or at least slump before we see reasonable pricing on GPUs again. AMD and NVIDIA are only going to make half-hearted attempts to fix this issue, since every mid-level GPU on up is being gobbled up, and miners don't seem to be as needy as gamers when it comes to driver support. It's easy money for them right now.
 

ac12

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Internal GPU utilizatiion is reported separately from CPU.



When you say maxed out, is that both Utilization (Red) and Speed (Blue)?

View attachment 901393

Some systems can't operate at sustained high speeds without the risk of overheating and are thus thermally-constrained.

If you see your Speed dropping in the middle of heavy workload, that's a sign that you may be thermally-constrained. There are third-party apps that report CPU temperatures and can confirm that diagnosis.

If that's the case, you may try things like cleaning your fans, upgrading your current fans (maybe even adding an additional one), re-applying your CPU thermal paste, getting a bigger/better CPU heat sink, etc...

AGREE.
Check your CPU cooling fan.
I just got through working on two computers, where the top of the CPU heatsink was soooooo CLOGGED with a dust blanket, that I doubt the fan was able to push much, if any, air through the CPU heatsink. So it was effectively a passive heatsink, with the top blocked by the dust blanket.

Towers and mini-towers are normally on the floor where it is dusty, so tend to get more dust inside, so plan a dust cleaning as regular maintenance. And do it OUTSIDE, so that cloud of dust does not get on stuff inside your house.

I used a free program called Core-Temp, to see what the CPU temp is.
 
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When you say maxed out, is that both Utilization (Red) and Speed (Blue)?

So I checked my resource monitor during a multi photo run on DeNoise Ai. It's obviously just using my CPU and not engaging the integrated graphics 4600HD as I see on the Topaz website says (since I finally checked). This is pretty typical of what I saw on a single photo for CPU temp when i was testing the overclock. However when i peeked back at the temp on like photo 3 or 4 the temp was bumping around 93C, so that's definitely not good. Multi photo is not what I typically do, but I obviously need more cooling to keep this. The OC software had backed the clock speed down to 4.1GHz to cool it off. I had checked the heat sink / fan earlier, some dust but not a blanket. One thing did notice is that the graphics were engaged in making the previews. So all cores plus the graphics were maxed on that task.
Denoise processor use.jpg
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Something like the 1030 would not cut it
Are you saying it wouldn't help at all? I realize it has minimal Cuda cores (after lots of googling) but it's got to be more efficient than loading my cpu. I'm a bit leery of buying used computer components, do you have recommendations for where to buy used that hasn't been ragged out?
 

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