[Digikam-users] New computer for Digikam

Gerhard Kulzer gerhardkgmx at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 20:09:37 GMT 2007

Am Saturday 08 December 2007 schrieb Dotan Cohen:
> On 08/12/2007, Mikolaj Machowski <mikmach at wp.pl> wrote:
> > Dnia Saturday 08 of December 2007, Dotan Cohen napisaƂ:
> > > I am considering replacing an aging desktop computer. The machine is
> > > used mostly for Digikam, Amarok, and Kopete. Only occasionally are
> > > other apps, such as K3B, Firefox, Skype, and Open Office ever used.
> > > Therefore, I want a system that is tuned best for Digikam.
> >
> > digiKam can only gain from faster disks, memory and processor. Next
> > version of KDE can gain from better graphic card due to increase usage
> > of OpenGL effects but I am not aware about usage of those in digiKam
> > - now or in near future (apart from slideshows).
> Thanks, Mikolaj. I just wanted to know where I should be careful not
> to bottleneck. A 3.6 GHz processor would be a waste if the system had
> only 256MB RAM (extreme example).
> Do factors such as bus speed, L2 cache, number of cores, and speed of
> RAM make a significant difference for Digikam specifically? I know
> that it seems like a silly question, but if I'm buying hardware for a
> specific purpose, I'd like to get the right hardware. And I _will_
> have to make compromises as budget allows. Where should those
> compromises be?
> Thanks.
> Dotan Cohen
Right now digiKam is not yet taking much advantage of smp for the heavy-load 
plugins (CIMG), but that will change in the future, so a dual processor is 
recommended, although not fully exploited today. There are a lot of tasks 
running in threads by now, but those are not the time consumers. If you 
planned for today only, a fast single CPU would be better, but I don't 
recommend it. Don't buy a dual core machine that is too slow in clock. Intels 
can be overclocked, but you need the MB that goes with it. L2 cache is quite 
important in my experience. Two cores is fantastic even if you don't run many 
applications in parallel. I just enjoy my machine churning on digiKam stuff 
and still be reactive as nothing would happen in the background :-), it's 
My CPU recommendation is Intel E6750, that is really cheap for what it is, 
cheaper than slower CPUs. But you need an 1333MHz FSB motherboard. I'd 
recommend that anyway, because if you want to upgrade later, the CPUs are 
likely to run at least that fast (I just sold my E6400 CPU on ebay for 98% of 
the price I bought it a year ago, upgrading is possible).
Buy enough memory, 1GB is not enough, buy >=2GB. The memory speed is not so 
important, between the slow ones and fast one there is hardly 10% difference 
in endperformance. 
SATA or ATA, my hdparm tests don't show much of a difference. But modern MB 
will oblige you to go SATA-II. The file system makes more of a diff, not for 
saving the images, but for the thumbnails caching. Mount them with 'noatime'. 
Without journal is much faster. Better is (you seem to have two disks) to put 
the journal of one disk on the other drive. Speed is then as a fs without 
journaling because of the parallel access. xfs, reiserfs or ext3 are all 
digiKam don't ask much of graphic cards. But nowadays even good ones are 
cheap, I bought a nvidia NT8600GT for less than 100 euros, has 260MB RAM, 
passively cooled. And I wouldn't want to miss compiz anymore.
Think rather of a good monitor, we had this discussion already on this ML. 
Photos require an excellent screen, notbooks are no good in general.


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