Thoughts on Precision 690 Workstation for Photoshop/LR?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Marine Paethor, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Marine Paethor

    Marine Paethor Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Real Name:
    I have been needing to upgrade to a new system for a little while, I just haven't done it because the one I have has been able to keep up until this year when I got a little more serious about my photography. I'll have a little extra money coming up from taxes, and I'd like to pick up a new system. I'd love to go out and drop $1200 on a brand new PC, butt its not in the budget. I've been exploring options and ran across a couple of used Dell Precision 690 workstations. I'd never given a workstation a thought, but a bit of reading seems to suggest they can be quite solid for editing and 3D work, but does anybody have any experience using one for photo editing in Photoshop and LR?

    The specs on one I'm looking at is:

    Intel Xeon 505 Dual Core Hyper-Threaded 64 bit processor 3 Ghz, supposed to show as quad core
    16 gig of ram 875W power
    nVidia Quadro FX 4000 PCIe video with dual dvi
    80 Gig hard drive, which I would have to add to
    Win 7 Pro

    Sounds like it is pretty solid, I just don't have any first had experience with this type of video card, I've always just worked with desktop systems and card. Any one have any thought on how well this system might perform for Photoshop? Would I be better off sticking with desktop hardware instead of a workstation?

    Thanks for any thoughts or input.
  2. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Real Name:
    Why don't you upgrade your motherboard yourself? Get a i5 and RAM. Prob only cost $400, and have a fast pc. Is'nt very difficult at all. Might even be able to use old mb for a fileserver. I get old pc's from recycle center and install linux on it for server.
  3. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    I've actually got that workstation - it's OK but the spec is very old and photoshop speed would be massively eclipsed by even the most basic motherboard / I3/5 combo you can buy today. Best value for money is to upgrade what you've already got. Remember a cheap SSD will have a huge impact on pshop/LR - and also don't forget that GPU processing doesn't improve things that much - e.g. LR doesn't even use the GPU.

    To be honest I'd forget the GPU and put your money into RAM, SSD & the cheapest modern motherboard/CPU you can find.
  4. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    Upgrading is OK but Dell does have some good deals. I would at least take a look at the Dell outlet. Find what you really want and then do a search at the Dell outlet and look for sales on similar systems. They frequently have 10, 20, and even 30% off at the Dell outlet and the prices are good to begin with. These are refurbished or scratch and dent. All 6 computers in my home are from the Dell outlet. The refurbs have been perfect and I had to search hard for any marks on the scratch and dent model that I bought most recently. Packaging is good and they have a 1 year warranty.

    PS. Look back each day for a week since inventory changes fairly rapidly.
  5. Marine Paethor

    Marine Paethor Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Real Name:
    Ok, you guys confirmed what I was kind of thinking already about just sticking with a desktop system. Now to decide if it would be cheaper to upgrade, or buy a new system.