More Disperser Updates

Some people might know I’ve been busy with stuff, and especially busy migrating from my 2012 PC to a new PC. I’ll be doing a proper update soon, but for now I can just say . . .



“Disperser — if that indeed is your name, why buy a new PC when the old one still works perfectly fine?”

Well, Bob — that indeed is your name, there are a few reasons, but before I explain them, let me say that it is indeed a luxury but one I can afford. I could have “made do” with what I have for a while yet, but . . .

. . . no, wait; let me tell you a story.

Two days ago, I went to the local Toyota dealer to get a scheduled oil change for my car. While there, I noticed a dearth of cars in their normally full lot. It turns out they only had seven new cars in their lot.

Why? . . . because of the chip shortage. Not just Toyota, but other manufacturers are having difficulty securing what are arguably cheap components (chips) for their expensive products (cars) which these days can have as many as 20 computing centers and multiple more components controlled by said chips.

It turns out that whenever they get a vehicle shipment in, they’re all already sold to people who bought them sight-unseen.

Warning: the Block Editor is still a pain to work with and can cause stress levels to spikes. Use with caution. Avoid if possible.

What does this have to do with my computer? Well, my old computer is now a 9-year-old machine. While it still manages to do what I ask it to, it struggles with the requirements of many modern AI-driven software packages.

So, let’s go back a few months when I first started hearing about a chip shortage and about the fact the vast majority of chips are made in Taiwan and China is once again making noises about Taiwan being a part of China (that’s a whole other mess that someday might actually get us into an armed conflict … but that’s a story for another day).

My concern was that if I wait for my computer to give up the ghost, as it were, a replacement might not be available when I need it, or if it were, it might both cost more and not be configured as I wanted.

Besides, nine years for a PC (no matter how well-configured it was when I bought it) is a long time. In fact, as mentioned in previous posts, on paper my 2012 computer shouldn’t even be able to run much of what I run (and it’s a testament to the machine that it can). That presents a problem when I need support for a program I’m running as I sometimes hear the argument that the software was never meant to run on something that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.

So, in early March I looked into configuring a new PC (I’d already done a tentative configuration back in January) and it turned out prices had significantly jumped from January, and some components were on back-order. On April 5th, I placed an order for a replacement for Guido, my then-current computer.

Guido Jr. arrived ten days ago.

(Excuse my temporary furnishing; still haven’t found a desk I’d be happy with.)

Unfortunately, I had other stuff going on, so unboxing and set-up had to wait, but it finally happened.

The new one is the one on the right. It’s significantly bigger and faster than my old system. Bigger because of some requirements I had. Faster because … well, it’s new.

Mind you, I’m still setting some things up (each icon on the screen is a computer program I’ve installed, and I’m not done yet), and I will do a more exhaustive write-up about what I ordered, but for now, let me give you a few examples justifying my purchase.

Side note: one time-consuming thing is recapturing all the tweaks I had made and preferences I had set up on Guido Sr. for the operating system and for each of the individual software packages. On the plus side, it gives me the opportunity to revisit my operational decisions.

This is the original of a test photo I used (and a 1:1 crop):

So, some might notice I smudged the street name. It’s what I do. Not that I think anyone would try to hunt me down, but you never know.

Side Note: realistically, all sorts of information is available online. Anyone seriously wanting to track me down could pay $20 to any of the companies who aggregate personal information for each and every one of us (without consent).

Anyway, notice the noise levels in the photo. If you don’t see it, click on the second photo for a larger version.

And here is the output from DxO’s PureRAW (full photo and 1:1 crop, again, click for a larger version).

Some might be impressed by the results, but here’s what impressed me . . .

I’ll be doing additional “real world” benchmarks with my normal workflow, but that, to me, was impressive.

Especially, if one considers that I typically process multiple tens-of-photos for my posts.

Some of the performance differences have to do with which processor is being used (CPU or GPU) and how the software programs use the available resources.

While I would love the improvement in speed to match the improvements I see for PureRAW (from 162 seconds to 5 seconds!), it’s not likely to be the case for most programs.

Still, I’m expecting a much faster user experience; three times faster or more.

Anyway, here are a few more files from my tests, all processed significantly faster than I’m used to.

Here’s an interesting observation . . . I’m so used to waiting for stuff to happen that I don’t realize the computer is already done and waiting for me a fraction of a second after I click something. It turns out Guido Sr. had me well-trained.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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