Asus P5KC mobo: keep it or not?

Asus P5kc motherboard
July 29, 2010 at 07:18:01
Specs: Windows XP, Q660/2GB
So my problem is quite trivial I guess.

I have a computer with the Asus P5KC motherboard and I use it only for my photography work: Photoshop and Lightroom. I usually make a significant upgrade every 2-3 years and the time has come now.

What I've bought (waiting to be installed):
Intel X25-M drive
Windows 7 (currently running XP).

I need more RAM and currently I have only 2GB (2x1) of DDR2 6400 CL-4 RAM.

I am no longer in the biz when it comes to computer hardware so I don't know if this motherboard is obsolete or not.

My plan is to buy 4GB (2x2) of CL-4 RAM and I hope that more memory and the SSD drive will give me peace of mind for the next few years. I have 4 DDR2 memory slots. My Q6600 processor seems to hold up pretty well for my type of use so I'm not thinking about another CPU.

Is my line of reasoning correct? Or maybe it's an obsolete mobo and it's not worth tossing money at?

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July 29, 2010 at 10:01:05
The board is an older model but still has some life left in it. I question why you would "waste" your money an a SSD though? You didn't state what size you got but I know the 80GB version sells for about $220. 1TB SATA drives are down to about $60.

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July 29, 2010 at 11:04:28
The thing is that programs such as Photoshop or especially Lightroom require a really fast drive to cope with the complex database. I already have two 1TB drives (one as external backup), two 500GB drives (old backup drives) and my current 160GB system drive. I'm not counting numerous 40, 80 or 120GB drives somewhere around in the house.

My plan is to install the system and Lightroom database on the 80GB SSD. Win 7 is supposed to take 16GB, LR database could be around 2GB, the rest is left for program files, desktop etc.

My 160GB drive would be left for some downloads and other stuff which I don't care that much about.

The 1TB is left solely for photos, and backup drives are being connected once a week.

So my concern is mostly whether buying DDR2 RAM is a waste of time or maybe this technology is still usable.

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July 29, 2010 at 13:43:06
A RAM upgrade makes perfect sense but IMO, the SSD upgrade does not. I know SSD are faster, but at over $200 for a small capacity drive, it's not cost effective. For the same amount of money you could get 8GB DDR2-800 (4 x 2GB) AND a 1TB HDD. BTW, if you're not overclocking, you should be underclocking your DDR2-800 RAM to DDR2-533 speed to match the CPU.

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August 3, 2010 at 10:07:06
Many thanks for the information. Actually, I guess you are slightly wrong. The thing is that for programs such as Lightroom a super fast hard drive is absolutely a must for a fast workflow. The program, similarly to Google Picasa, organizes photos and retouches them without damaging the original. When I open a folder with photos, Lightroom checks all originals if they have been changed, if not it loads previews from the database, at the same time loading all the applied settings from the database. Also checks applied tags, labels, exif data etc.

So when I browse through my collection of around 70,000 photos the hard drive LED is a steady color, no blinking at all. I think that the SSD is a must.

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