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cat5e versus cat6 and network speed boost question

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cat5e versus cat6 and network speed boost question

roger
Hello, I have a photo studio, we edit images on two computers ... 'Production' and 'Printer'. The images are on usb/firewire external drives attached to the production computer. I want to speed things up as much as I can since the lag time can really add up and affect our work flow. Our images range from 50MB to 400 MB. The printer computer is attached via ethernet network that I just upgraded to gigabit, nics and switch - it cut the load time in half.

Does anyone have experience with any additional speed by changing from our cat5e cable to cat6?

Any other recommendations for boosting speed?

I realize that if I move my images to a nas or some other system it will be slower on the Production computer, but if it is quicker on the Printer computer and there is an average net gain then I am interested :)

Thanks, any help is very much appreciated!
Roger
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    Zen37

    If so, increase the quantities of RAM in your printer. Most of the lag in printing comes from the printer process swapping data to and from RAM. The more RAM you have, the more the printer can process.

    To answer your question, althought i would recommend Cat6 for Gig links, there would only be a speed difference if the Cat5 cable you use could not handle the speed. For a better link, use Cat6. Will it increase speed, i doubt it.

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    roger

    No on the printer speed question. We have a Rip that listens to a hot folder, if that makes sense. We send photos to the Rip by saving to the hot folder from photoshop. So the only time speed is an issue is if we are saving from the Production computer, since the hot folder is on the Printer computer.

    So cat6, mabe a little greater effeciency because of fewer errors but probably no real increase in speed?

    Thanks for the help!
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    There is not much if anything to be gained by changing the cable. Actually I only use CAT 6 cable when I find a lot of CAT 5E used to connect phone lines up in buildings. I personally haven't seen much of a speed difference if any between a properly working LAN no matter if there is CAT5 or CAT 6 cable used.

    As you are processing images between 50 to 400 MEG you should be looking at the printer speed as your main limiting factor here as a 400 MEG image is big no matter what the hardware that you are processing it on is. Of course having the best fastest Hardware possible and moving from Windows to a dedicated Graphic File OS will help if that is possible and you can afford the small amount of time involved in the learning curve that will speed up the actual time taken to manipulate the images which I take it you are doing as this sounds like a Professional Digital Photo Lab.

    But no matter what your limiting factor will still eventually be the ability of the printers to print at the required speeds. As you are working with images so large I'm assuming that you are doing the work properly with full Photo Quality Colour and not the lower quality Business Colour which would allow an increase in print speed.

    If possible I would use a LAN enabled Printer with Gigabit Interface so you are not pushing the data from one computer to another which is still being used to the printer as that is going to slow down the Printer computer. If you can access the Network Printer independent of another computer it will allow the production to be speed ed up a bit and not cause the slow down of the Printer Computer when Images are being transfered to the printer through it.

    Also what is the Interface to the Printer as that could be a limiting factor here and if the print speed is faster than the Printers Interface speed that could be your limiting factor.

    If moving from a 100 MEG LAN to a Gigabit LAN has only halved your waiting time there are other limiting factors at work here. The data transfer should be 10 times quicker not 2 times. So you have to look at where the bottle neck is occurring. I would hazard a guess that it occurring at the printer/s interface to the computers but without knowing more it's hard to say with any certainty.

    Col

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    roger

    Hi, 4 computers, but only two really speed ctitical. We don't send the images to a printer directly, we send them to a Printer Rip made by Onyx -> http://www.onyxgfx.com/ - it acts as the print driver and preproccesses the images and then holds them in que until I tell it to send to the printer. It sends to the printer the raw printer language needed to print so printer memory is not an issue. Until I send to the printer from Onyx, Onyx just listens to a hot folder and prcesses the images it finds in the background.

    The speed tests were done, not sending to the printer, but opening an image in Photoshop from the Printer computer that reside on the Production computer (extenal firewire drive). I opened the same image on the Production computer to test, I don't remember the file size, but on one image the load time on the Production computer that is attached to the firewire drive was 1 second. Load time into Photoshop over the network 100Mbps 9 seconds, gigabit ethernet 4 seconds.

    For this conversation, think only Opening images in Photoshop, editing, and saving to a file over the network as comparred to locally.

    I do have one network mystery that could be causing a slow down. On the Production computer that the files are attached to I have a bunch of old network places that are not real any more. I have deleated all of the shortcuts from My Network Places that are not real, but when I drill down through the Entire Network link in My Network Places they are there and I cannot delete them. I have been search Microsoft support but havn't found the solution yet. Is there any network utilities you can reccomend to help sort this out?

    Thank you!
    Roger

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    jmgarvin

    Make sure to buy a printer that rasterizes ON the printer. Usually that means a printer with an internal hdd...Keep in mind I've only ever printed huge images on plotters, so that's a different world.

    Also you might want to investigate a print server that does the rasterization then sends to the printer.

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    roger

    All of the tests are done while the printer is Idle and nothing is being sent to the printer. Within our workgroup I have named that computer 'Printer' because it is directly pluged in to our printer. I am sorry if that has added any confusion. This is only about the time it takes to open an image in Photoshop over the network and save it over the network as opposed to opening and saving the same image locally. Changing the network from 100Mbps to a gigabit network cut the network times in half, I would like to save even more time if possible :)

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Isn't connected with the Network but something else on the LAN. If you are opening a file remotely in Photoshop manipulating it and then saving it is cut in half by increasing your LAN Speed by 100 fold the actual time taken to read the data and transmit it to the receiving computer then render it so you can begin to manipulate it then save it back to the remote file is where the bottle neck is as if you look at the actual network traffic it will be very low and close to nothing most of the time.

    About the only way to improve the speed here is to use High Speed SCSI Drives with a built in Interface so you would be looking at the 15,000 RPM SCSI Drives with the SCSI Controller built into the M'Board.

    The difference between CAT 5 & 6 is the number of turns per inch 5 being the number for CAT 5 and 6 for CAT 6 they are still both a 4 pair wire setup with no actual differences in their ability to transfer data over the wires.

    About the only real way to speed things up would be to transfer the pictures needing to be altered to the individual computers in the background and access them locally so you are cutting down the read time involved from the HDD to transmit them over the LAN to your Storage Folder till they get sent to print. If you where to transfer the photos particularly the larger ones prior to them being processed you would cut down dramatically the time involved to get them where they are needed. If that is Possible.

    Your actual bottleneck is at the HDD and M'Board level here as you have limited bandwidth available and by the sounds of things you are regularly exceeding the ability of the Storage Devices to transfer at the highest speed necessary but you are being limited by the speeds of the HDD which are quite a lot lower than the Gigabit LAN Speeds that are possible.

    If you are using Photoshop Remotely as well this will also cause a slow down in the ability of the individual computers to process images as quickly as a local installation.

    While I personally have not been involved in this type of work I have worked with CG Artists who do movie work and they use a decent sized blade to allow enough speed to be available for processing purposes as they do a lot of number crunching rendering a 30 second CG file. In these cases the LAN isn't the limiting factor it's the actual time required to drag the original data off the HDD's and then render it to what is required before it's sent off for processing on the main server. Mostly they work in Wire-frames to speed things up but when it comes time to do the actual manipulation of the images it's done remotely on a decent sized server which has the necessary power to handle the job.

    Now here your problem is the time required to access the remote drive and transmit the data in this case 1 picture across the network to the terminal where the manipulation is to be done and then when whatever changes necessary have been finished the data is them moved from Virtual Memory back across the LAN to your Print Folder. Faster HDD's would be about the only possibility to speed things up here as that seems to be your limiting factor here it's not the time taken to move the data across the LAN but the time taken to move the data from the HDD to the LAN Connection and then from the LAN connection to the HDD as Virtual Memory at the other end.

    Short of changing all your workstations to custom built High End SCSI Workstations with Dual Processor ability and a higher ability to move data from the HDD through the Bus I think that you'll find you have reached the limit of your current hardware. If you can monitor the actual LAN Traffic I think that you'll see a lot of traffic in short bursts followed by long periods of little to no activity on the LAN.

    Col

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    roger

    Thanks Hal.

    That really puts it in perspective. All tests were done with both computers on 'idle' ... I will look at the the specs for each computer and post them tomarrow ...

    Do you think that a gigabit nas drive could be quicker?

    Thanks again,
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's really a NAS drive/s with a Gigabit LAN interface so you are still limited by the ability of the HDD/s attached to Read/Write and then transfer the data to the LAN Interface.

    SATA Drives should be faster than IDE and the high speed SCSI should be faster than SATA though a lot more expensive.

    While you may get an slight increase in speed I personally don't think that it would be worth the cost if that was the only reason that you where going NAS. It might be a benefit to help swing you to a NAS Storage device but personally I wouldn't place it as a priority as the costs involved are great for a slight performance increase.

    When the PCI X_Press Cards eventually come out they would most likely be the way to go as they give you full access to the Bus and that is a faster interface than the currently used PCI. Unfortunately while the Sockets are being used on a lot of the new Intel M'Boards currently we do not have the hardware available as yet to be worth looking at.

    Col

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    roger

    Thanks Hal,

    I may switch to the gigabit NAS for the other reasons down the road, but it is great to know regarding the speed issue. Thank you. I will keep my ears to the ground regarding PCI X_Press, this is the first time I have heard of it.

    Thanks again,
    ROger

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    roger

    Hi Hal and Rob,

    Thank you both for your help, here is my current setup;

    Printer Computer;
    -XP Pro (SP1)
    -Dell 8300 Pentium 4 3.2Ghz 2 GB Ram

    Pruduction Computer;
    -XP Home (SP2)
    -Sony Pentium 4 3.06 Ghz 1 GB Ram

    I can live with the way it is now, but would very much like to improve this if I can, any thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    rob mekel

    You're welcome.

    Don't think that the specs on Production are an issue on the speed.

    The access on the storage drive can be. As you will have to share that with the others and ... who ever is working on Production has more direct access.
    That's why NAS drives with LAN interface (in general storage with direct LAN access) will give more equal access to all users (PC) on the network.

    PCI Express will be interesting to test. Still it will have the disadvantage that all network-users only can access the storage passing the "Production"-lan-interface unless ... but that is looking into troubled water and there are no devices available ... yet. The specs look promissing though :) and will speed_up access and data-tranfer but still the one working on the computer with the storage-device attached will have the better access.

    Succes Roger.
    Rob

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    roger

    Thanks for confirming that there are no easy fixes at this point. I am going to let it sit as is for a while until I need to upgrade something, from these conversations I will have a better feel for my choices.

    Thanks again,
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Only has IDE HDD so they will be slower than SATA HDD's that M'Board can take though it would most likely require a reload of the OS and install the correct SATA Driver so you can actually see the HDD and even then depending on how the M'Boards is optimised you may not get much of a performance increase. You'll see it here on page 93

    http://tinyurl.com/yedkm2

    However if I was spending my money that's the most likely way that I would proceed here though you'll at best only see a small improvement in speed so depending on how much HDD Space you currently have it may not be worth the effort as the entire machine has to have the OS rebuilt and all your software reinstalled. If you where to go this way I would personally fit the existing drive to a USB Caddy and use it in your DR Plan as a backup drive for data that you need to store. Unfortunately as this is an IDE Drive you can not just clone it over to a SATA Drive as the necessary drivers for the SATA Controller will not be available to allow the OS to load.

    You would also have to schedule a set amount of down time to allow the installation to be performed and this alone will most likely put further behind and may not be worth the time & effort involved.

    I'm not so sure about the Sony as I can not find any listing for something of that description but then again on the various Sony Web Sites that I've looked they only list the Viao which is a Note Book and they have a limited ability to crunch numbers in a hurry. I feel that you would have something else as with NB it's generally hard to change things easily.

    However there is one potential problem if you increase the number of computers XP Home only supports 5 Concurrent connections XP Pro supports 10 Concurrent connections so if you get a few more computers you could possibly start to have some problems crop up with the Home Versions of Windows but as things stand at the moment there shouldn't be any problems.

    Col

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    balge

    hi
    couldn't help noticing your specs above, you really could do with more RAM - up to 4GB this will improve them a lot!
    - and is there any reason for not updating to SP3?
    cheers!

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    rob mekel

    can't be an issue as long as the specs are met for a certain speedtype. So if your specs on your catXX guarantee that it's capable of x-gigabit, changing to an other type of cabling won't solve your issue / will bring you no change. in the early day's of cat6 it was called cat5e

    What can bring you change for the better is checking on how your network is configured. Are the switch and nic's set correctly, are your computers configured for this kind of speed on the network (do you need extra processor power, memory, etc) an 8086 pc won't have the right internal speed for a gigabit network. special as this could be a kind of server-type of computer (Production)


    succes on the speed upgrade, :)
    Rob

    edited for space before emoticon

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    roger

    "special as this could be a kind of server-type of computer (Production)"

    and we feel special too ;-) but seriously, I am a photographer - not IT Tech Guru - our network is just peer to peer Windows XP.

    The switch and nics are new Linksys and all as set by the factory. I will post specs tomarrow on the computers ...

    Love your sig "edited for space before emoticon" ;-)

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    rob mekel

    Rob

    edited for duplicate posting

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    rob mekel

    LOL :) the sig is just to give a hint on the why of editing the answer. but tnx.

    The why on "server-type of computer" is because you have 4 computer in your peer to peer network correct me if I'm wrong and the "Production" computer seems to be the file-server in your network. If "Production" is not right dimensioned for its task it will slow down the other 3 computers doing their "work". Special in opening and storing the files on "Production" all 3 of them at the same time.

    Rob

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    roger

    Hi Rob,

    I posted my current setup to Reply Title: Current Setup

    Thanks

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    What are you using to get 400 MEG images?

    I had a lend of a H2 Blad a few months ago and couldn't get anything very big out of that at the highest resolutions that the poor thing could take photos at and that a 22 MEG Pixel camera. Granted it doesn't produce as good a picture as my 500 ELM's do but it's digital and not film. Even still it's good for mid sized photos things around the 30 X 40 inch level. I didn't have it long enough to have a really good play and I never did figure out how I could take Double Exposure pics with it. But on the other hand I was lucky to stay alive as the wife insisted that I had brought another Blad Body-Back which wasn't a good move at the time. :)

    Col

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    roger

    We do a lot of copy and restoration of old photos, so we can get a Photoshop file with a lot of layers. Occationally 16 bit if needed. Sometimes we rez up images for printing large (mid size for us is 16x20, we fo up to about 30-40) :-) On our portrait work we can hav a lot of layers for more complicated retouching.

    I shot with Blad for years, switched to the Fuji S2 and then S3 when we went digital a couple of years ago. Not as sharp as the blad, but with careful handling and real good lenses it is close.

    If you ever get any Photoshop questions feel free to wave!

    Roger

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    dana.l.hook

    To get more throughput it might require changing your TCP window size.

    Here is a link to discribe the function.

    Good Luck.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;224829

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    pnoykalbo

    Well, it really makes a lot of difference on the speed, but you have to change your switch to support gig. If your switch supports only 10/100, it will not matter if you use cat5e or cat6 since both will only utilize on whatever switch you have. Replace your switch to 1000m first then change the cables to cat 6.

    CAT-5 is rated to 100M
    CAT-5e is rated to 350M
    CAT-6 and CAT6e is rated to 550M or 1000M depending on your source
    CAT-7 is supposedly rated to 700M or presumably 1000M

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    Zen37

    If so, increase the quantities of RAM in your printer. Most of the lag in printing comes from the printer process swapping data to and from RAM. The more RAM you have, the more the printer can process.

    To answer your question, althought i would recommend Cat6 for Gig links, there would only be a speed difference if the Cat5 cable you use could not handle the speed. For a better link, use Cat6. Will it increase speed, i doubt it.

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    roger

    No on the printer speed question. We have a Rip that listens to a hot folder, if that makes sense. We send photos to the Rip by saving to the hot folder from photoshop. So the only time speed is an issue is if we are saving from the Production computer, since the hot folder is on the Printer computer.

    So cat6, mabe a little greater effeciency because of fewer errors but probably no real increase in speed?

    Thanks for the help!
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    There is not much if anything to be gained by changing the cable. Actually I only use CAT 6 cable when I find a lot of CAT 5E used to connect phone lines up in buildings. I personally haven't seen much of a speed difference if any between a properly working LAN no matter if there is CAT5 or CAT 6 cable used.

    As you are processing images between 50 to 400 MEG you should be looking at the printer speed as your main limiting factor here as a 400 MEG image is big no matter what the hardware that you are processing it on is. Of course having the best fastest Hardware possible and moving from Windows to a dedicated Graphic File OS will help if that is possible and you can afford the small amount of time involved in the learning curve that will speed up the actual time taken to manipulate the images which I take it you are doing as this sounds like a Professional Digital Photo Lab.

    But no matter what your limiting factor will still eventually be the ability of the printers to print at the required speeds. As you are working with images so large I'm assuming that you are doing the work properly with full Photo Quality Colour and not the lower quality Business Colour which would allow an increase in print speed.

    If possible I would use a LAN enabled Printer with Gigabit Interface so you are not pushing the data from one computer to another which is still being used to the printer as that is going to slow down the Printer computer. If you can access the Network Printer independent of another computer it will allow the production to be speed ed up a bit and not cause the slow down of the Printer Computer when Images are being transfered to the printer through it.

    Also what is the Interface to the Printer as that could be a limiting factor here and if the print speed is faster than the Printers Interface speed that could be your limiting factor.

    If moving from a 100 MEG LAN to a Gigabit LAN has only halved your waiting time there are other limiting factors at work here. The data transfer should be 10 times quicker not 2 times. So you have to look at where the bottle neck is occurring. I would hazard a guess that it occurring at the printer/s interface to the computers but without knowing more it's hard to say with any certainty.

    Col

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    roger

    Hi, 4 computers, but only two really speed ctitical. We don't send the images to a printer directly, we send them to a Printer Rip made by Onyx -> http://www.onyxgfx.com/ - it acts as the print driver and preproccesses the images and then holds them in que until I tell it to send to the printer. It sends to the printer the raw printer language needed to print so printer memory is not an issue. Until I send to the printer from Onyx, Onyx just listens to a hot folder and prcesses the images it finds in the background.

    The speed tests were done, not sending to the printer, but opening an image in Photoshop from the Printer computer that reside on the Production computer (extenal firewire drive). I opened the same image on the Production computer to test, I don't remember the file size, but on one image the load time on the Production computer that is attached to the firewire drive was 1 second. Load time into Photoshop over the network 100Mbps 9 seconds, gigabit ethernet 4 seconds.

    For this conversation, think only Opening images in Photoshop, editing, and saving to a file over the network as comparred to locally.

    I do have one network mystery that could be causing a slow down. On the Production computer that the files are attached to I have a bunch of old network places that are not real any more. I have deleated all of the shortcuts from My Network Places that are not real, but when I drill down through the Entire Network link in My Network Places they are there and I cannot delete them. I have been search Microsoft support but havn't found the solution yet. Is there any network utilities you can reccomend to help sort this out?

    Thank you!
    Roger

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    jmgarvin

    Make sure to buy a printer that rasterizes ON the printer. Usually that means a printer with an internal hdd...Keep in mind I've only ever printed huge images on plotters, so that's a different world.

    Also you might want to investigate a print server that does the rasterization then sends to the printer.

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    roger

    All of the tests are done while the printer is Idle and nothing is being sent to the printer. Within our workgroup I have named that computer 'Printer' because it is directly pluged in to our printer. I am sorry if that has added any confusion. This is only about the time it takes to open an image in Photoshop over the network and save it over the network as opposed to opening and saving the same image locally. Changing the network from 100Mbps to a gigabit network cut the network times in half, I would like to save even more time if possible :)

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Isn't connected with the Network but something else on the LAN. If you are opening a file remotely in Photoshop manipulating it and then saving it is cut in half by increasing your LAN Speed by 100 fold the actual time taken to read the data and transmit it to the receiving computer then render it so you can begin to manipulate it then save it back to the remote file is where the bottle neck is as if you look at the actual network traffic it will be very low and close to nothing most of the time.

    About the only way to improve the speed here is to use High Speed SCSI Drives with a built in Interface so you would be looking at the 15,000 RPM SCSI Drives with the SCSI Controller built into the M'Board.

    The difference between CAT 5 & 6 is the number of turns per inch 5 being the number for CAT 5 and 6 for CAT 6 they are still both a 4 pair wire setup with no actual differences in their ability to transfer data over the wires.

    About the only real way to speed things up would be to transfer the pictures needing to be altered to the individual computers in the background and access them locally so you are cutting down the read time involved from the HDD to transmit them over the LAN to your Storage Folder till they get sent to print. If you where to transfer the photos particularly the larger ones prior to them being processed you would cut down dramatically the time involved to get them where they are needed. If that is Possible.

    Your actual bottleneck is at the HDD and M'Board level here as you have limited bandwidth available and by the sounds of things you are regularly exceeding the ability of the Storage Devices to transfer at the highest speed necessary but you are being limited by the speeds of the HDD which are quite a lot lower than the Gigabit LAN Speeds that are possible.

    If you are using Photoshop Remotely as well this will also cause a slow down in the ability of the individual computers to process images as quickly as a local installation.

    While I personally have not been involved in this type of work I have worked with CG Artists who do movie work and they use a decent sized blade to allow enough speed to be available for processing purposes as they do a lot of number crunching rendering a 30 second CG file. In these cases the LAN isn't the limiting factor it's the actual time required to drag the original data off the HDD's and then render it to what is required before it's sent off for processing on the main server. Mostly they work in Wire-frames to speed things up but when it comes time to do the actual manipulation of the images it's done remotely on a decent sized server which has the necessary power to handle the job.

    Now here your problem is the time required to access the remote drive and transmit the data in this case 1 picture across the network to the terminal where the manipulation is to be done and then when whatever changes necessary have been finished the data is them moved from Virtual Memory back across the LAN to your Print Folder. Faster HDD's would be about the only possibility to speed things up here as that seems to be your limiting factor here it's not the time taken to move the data across the LAN but the time taken to move the data from the HDD to the LAN Connection and then from the LAN connection to the HDD as Virtual Memory at the other end.

    Short of changing all your workstations to custom built High End SCSI Workstations with Dual Processor ability and a higher ability to move data from the HDD through the Bus I think that you'll find you have reached the limit of your current hardware. If you can monitor the actual LAN Traffic I think that you'll see a lot of traffic in short bursts followed by long periods of little to no activity on the LAN.

    Col

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    roger

    Thanks Hal.

    That really puts it in perspective. All tests were done with both computers on 'idle' ... I will look at the the specs for each computer and post them tomarrow ...

    Do you think that a gigabit nas drive could be quicker?

    Thanks again,
    Roger

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    It's really a NAS drive/s with a Gigabit LAN interface so you are still limited by the ability of the HDD/s attached to Read/Write and then transfer the data to the LAN Interface.

    SATA Drives should be faster than IDE and the high speed SCSI should be faster than SATA though a lot more expensive.

    While you may get an slight increase in speed I personally don't think that it would be worth the cost if that was the only reason that you where going NAS. It might be a benefit to help swing you to a NAS Storage device but personally I wouldn't place it as a priority as the costs involved are great for a slight performance increase.

    When the PCI X_Press Cards eventually come out they would most likely be the way to go as they give you full access to the Bus and that is a faster interface than the currently used PCI. Unfortunately while the Sockets are being used on a lot of the new Intel M'Boards currently we do not have the hardware available as yet to be worth looking at.

    Col

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    roger

    Thanks Hal,

    I may switch to the gigabit NAS for the other reasons down the road, but it is great to know regarding the speed issue. Thank you. I will keep my ears to the ground regarding PCI X_Press, this is the first time I have heard of it.

    Thanks again,
    ROger

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    roger

    Hi Hal and Rob,

    Thank you both for your help, here is my current setup;

    Printer Computer;
    -XP Pro (SP1)
    -Dell 8300 Pentium 4 3.2Ghz 2 GB Ram

    Pruduction Computer;
    -XP Home (SP2)
    -Sony Pentium 4 3.06 Ghz 1 GB Ram

    I can live with the way it is now, but would very much like to improve this if I can, any thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    rob mekel

    You're welcome.

    Don't think that the specs on Production are an issue on the speed.

    The access on the storage drive can be. As you will have to share that with the others and ... who ever is working on Production has more direct access.
    That's why NAS drives with LAN interface (in general storage with direct LAN access) will give more equal access to all users (PC) on the network.

    PCI Express will be interesting to test. Still it will have the disadvantage that all network-users only can access the storage passing the "Production"-lan-interface unless ... but that is looking into troubled water and there are no devices available ... yet. The specs look promissing though :) and will speed_up access and data-tranfer but still the one working on the computer with the storage-device attached will have the better access.

    Succes Roger.
    Rob

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    roger

    Thanks for confirming that there are no easy fixes at this point. I am going to let it sit as is for a while until I need to upgrade something, from these conversations I will have a better feel for my choices.

    Thanks again,
    Roger

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    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Only has IDE HDD so they will be slower than SATA HDD's that M'Board can take though it would most likely require a reload of the OS and install the correct SATA Driver so you can actually see the HDD and even then depending on how the M'Boards is optimised you may not get much of a performance increase. You'll see it here on page 93

    http://tinyurl.com/yedkm2

    However if I was spending my money that's the most likely way that I would proceed here though you'll at best only see a small improvement in speed so depending on how much HDD Space you currently have it may not be worth the effort as the entire machine has to have the OS rebuilt and all your software reinstalled. If you where to go this way I would personally fit the existing drive to a USB Caddy and use it in your DR Plan as a backup drive for data that you need to store. Unfortunately as this is an IDE Drive you can not just clone it over to a SATA Drive as the necessary drivers for the SATA Controller will not be available to allow the OS to load.

    You would also have to schedule a set amount of down time to allow the installation to be performed and this alone will most likely put further behind and may not be worth the time & effort involved.

    I'm not so sure about the Sony as I can not find any listing for something of that description but then again on the various Sony Web Sites that I've looked they only list the Viao which is a Note Book and they have a limited ability to crunch numbers in a hurry. I feel that you would have something else as with NB it's generally hard to change things easily.

    However there is one potential problem if you increase the number of computers XP Home only supports 5 Concurrent connections XP Pro supports 10 Concurrent connections so if you get a few more computers you could possibly start to have some problems crop up with the Home Versions of Windows but as things stand at the moment there shouldn't be any problems.

    Col

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    balge

    hi
    couldn't help noticing your specs above, you really could do with more RAM - up to 4GB this will improve them a lot!
    - and is there any reason for not updating to SP3?
    cheers!

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    rob mekel

    can't be an issue as long as the specs are met for a certain speedtype. So if your specs on your catXX guarantee that it's capable of x-gigabit, changing to an other type of cabling won't solve your issue / will bring you no change. in the early day's of cat6 it was called cat5e

    What can bring you change for the better is checking on how your network is configured. Are the switch and nic's set correctly, are your computers configured for this kind of speed on the network (do you need extra processor power, memory, etc) an 8086 pc won't have the right internal speed for a gigabit network. special as this could be a kind of server-type of computer (Production)


    succes on the speed upgrade, :)
    Rob

    edited for space before emoticon

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    roger

    "special as this could be a kind of server-type of computer (Production)"

    and we feel special too ;-) but seriously, I am a photographer - not IT Tech Guru - our network is just peer to peer Windows XP.

    The switch and nics are new Linksys and all as set by the factory. I will post specs tomarrow on the computers ...

    Love your sig "edited for space before emoticon" ;-)

    Thanks,
    Roger

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    rob mekel

    Rob

    edited for duplicate posting

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    rob mekel

    LOL :) the sig is just to give a hint on the why of editing the answer. but tnx.

    The why on "server-type of computer" is because you have 4 computer in your peer to peer network correct me if I'm wrong and the "Production" computer seems to be the file-server in your network. If "Production" is not right dimensioned for its task it will slow down the other 3 computers doing their "work". Special in opening and storing the files on "Production" all 3 of them at the same time.

    Rob

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    roger

    Hi Rob,

    I posted my current setup to Reply Title: Current Setup

    Thanks

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    What are you using to get 400 MEG images?

    I had a lend of a H2 Blad a few months ago and couldn't get anything very big out of that at the highest resolutions that the poor thing could take photos at and that a 22 MEG Pixel camera. Granted it doesn't produce as good a picture as my 500 ELM's do but it's digital and not film. Even still it's good for mid sized photos things around the 30 X 40 inch level. I didn't have it long enough to have a really good play and I never did figure out how I could take Double Exposure pics with it. But on the other hand I was lucky to stay alive as the wife insisted that I had brought another Blad Body-Back which wasn't a good move at the time. :)

    Col

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    roger

    We do a lot of copy and restoration of old photos, so we can get a Photoshop file with a lot of layers. Occationally 16 bit if needed. Sometimes we rez up images for printing large (mid size for us is 16x20, we fo up to about 30-40) :-) On our portrait work we can hav a lot of layers for more complicated retouching.

    I shot with Blad for years, switched to the Fuji S2 and then S3 when we went digital a couple of years ago. Not as sharp as the blad, but with careful handling and real good lenses it is close.

    If you ever get any Photoshop questions feel free to wave!

    Roger

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    dana.l.hook

    To get more throughput it might require changing your TCP window size.

    Here is a link to discribe the function.

    Good Luck.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;224829

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    pnoykalbo

    Well, it really makes a lot of difference on the speed, but you have to change your switch to support gig. If your switch supports only 10/100, it will not matter if you use cat5e or cat6 since both will only utilize on whatever switch you have. Replace your switch to 1000m first then change the cables to cat 6.

    CAT-5 is rated to 100M
    CAT-5e is rated to 350M
    CAT-6 and CAT6e is rated to 550M or 1000M depending on your source
    CAT-7 is supposedly rated to 700M or presumably 1000M