Computer Issues - What to get?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Heather Koch, Nov 19, 2016.

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Mac OR Other

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  1. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When I bought a computer for photo editing, I was completely ignorant, so I asked a guy who suggested an iMac. I really like the big 27" display, but I think if I had to begin from scratch, I might build a Windows machine. Actually, I don't know for sure what software I would use, so I'm mostly hoping that I don't have to make that choice anytime soon. I can't imagine now going to a 15-inch display for photo editing, so I probably would not get a Macbook.
     
  2. Heather Koch

    Heather Koch No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, im trying to weigh out my options... My computer still hasn't booted, its a sad sad day.
     
  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Is there a budget to do this?
     
  4. Heather Koch

    Heather Koch No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I went with the Mac Pro, I wouldn't pay more than $1700, so I guess thats the budget.
     
  5. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I´m pretty late here.
    It took me a long time to change from windows to mac, even though so many people recommended it to me. I´m still not a fanboy. But I have changed to mac 8 years ago from a 6 month old PC that took 8mins to boot every single time I booted. In my windows history I had to newly setup the computer at least once a year to keep it running at a decent speed and without trouble. And I have tons of friends who told me the same thing.
    I don´t know how much changed in the windows world since then, but my macPro that I bought back then lasted me until may this year - so 8 years without ever doing a completely new setup, or anything. All I did was give it a bigger harddrive every now and then and after approx. 4 years some more RAM. That was an absolutely new experience for me. 8 years with a computer - before that it was a maximum of 2,5 years before I bought a new one. So in the end the Mac was better and cheaper. Just lately I heard that IBM is buying macs for their employees (here is a link). That is pretty weird even though they sold their computer part to lenovo.

    Another thing I have to throw into the pro mac camp: the first time ever a backup system worked for me was when I started to use time machine. Before that not a single of 3 or 4 backup sollutions I tried managed to save all my data without errors. That sure is long ago and I hope things changed in the windows camp.
    The big con against apple is that they seem to create their products only for the windows user in mind making it easy to enter the macworld. For people who used the mac for years, there were many things in recent years I had to change in my workflow just because they thought it was better the other way.
    Another con is their rediculous pricing for hardware like SSDs and RAM - I buy as little RAM as possible and upgrade right after that, throwing the parts I bought out as soon as it gets delivered. Unfortunately it is not as easy with SSDs.
    That said, 128GB SSD you were thinking about isn´t all that much. Install a few adobe applications, backup an iphone and ipad, and you´ll get to the limit. Sure you can always use external harddrives, but it is nice to have a little latitude in case you are on the road without additional HDDs.
    In regard to external drives: I do use countless from 2-3 companies.
    On my main iMac I have the interal 512GB drive for programs and OS and 4 external SSDs in a single thunderbay 4 mini OWC housing with thunderbolt connection for data, images and filmwork. Together with the internal 512GB they all are backed up to an 8GB external HDD that I exchange regularely and store the other one in my father in laws house for safety reasons.
    I have a few 3TB hard drives for customer photo- and filmwork and always duplicate the drives to have two of them in case one fails. Whenever possible I too store one of them in my father in laws house.
    Buying those rather expensive Backup drives is nothing I like - it´s a pain to spend so much money on something you hope you will never use. But the smaller drives are pretty well priced and I don´t really care to buy two of them if needed.

    Ah yes, and we currently use 2 iMacs and a 15"macbook pro retina from end 2013 which I can even use for 4K video editing. For the latter I don´t have any backups to be honest because I usually only use it when I´m on a trip.

    Now after all this "praise" let me knock on wood 100 times so that my macs won´t fail me anytime soon ;)

    Maybe that helps in case you haven´t yet decided what to do.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I have a several years old Dell Optiplex 760 PC I bought from OverStock.com as a refurbished unit.

    It has never taken more than 2 minutes for my computer to boot.

    How does it boot so quickly?
    I take great care to have my computer set up so it can boot quickly.
    I also do routine, daily system and browser maintenance so my computer provides maximum performance.

    Back in the day Apple computers used hardware and CPUs made just for them by Motorola and IBM.
    In the first iteration Apple used Motorola 68000 architecture CPUs and that architecture's associated support hardware.
    The second iteration was when Apple switched to IBM's PowerPC (Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC – Performance Computing) Architecture in the early 1990's.

    At that time Apple, IBM, and Motorola formed the AIM alliance. AIM was created to develop a new computing standard based on the PowerPC architecture
    Apple started using PowerPC chips in their Mac computers starting in 1994.
    Apple and IBM created two new companies called Taligent and Kaleida Labs as part of the alliance.

    Taligent was formed to create an operating system to run on what they called the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP).
    Apple, IBM, and Taligent were unable to create an operating system that could run on CHRP.

    The first Intel hardware/CPU based Macintoshes were released in January 2006 due to disappointment with the direction and performance of PowerPC development.

    So since 2006 Apple and Windows based personal computers all use essentially the same Intel hardware/CPU architecture.
     
  7. click1911

    click1911 TPF Noob!

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    I am retiring now but have worked in the computer industry for years and computer science is another hobby in addition to photography, so this may not be the best solution for you.

    Recently I have settled on Dell Latitudes I buy refurbished. They come with a one year warranty. The last one I bought from Walmart and it is 6220 (I think). It is a smaller guy with a 13 inch screen. It came with a 500GB drive and 16GB DRAM on it. Plus it has a smart card slot, a SIM card slot, etc. No DVD/CD on this little guy. It was $270. Sadly it came with Windoza10 but I made it dual boot with Linux Ubuntu MATE coming up first. I mainly use LINUX anymore, but, again, this is not for everyone. I also employ USB connected backup drives a lot. The one before that was from Overstock.com and is a 14 inch with a DVD/CD on only a 350GB drive and 4GB DRAM. It was $220. Again I made it dual boot with Ubuntu MATE Linux. I always like to have the images I keep in at least two different locations, as in drives in two different physical locations. You can also employ "The Cloud" and put images there.

    I also have a Dell with 18 inch screen I bought new from Dell about 3 years ago for about $1K. One important thing is all my Dells use the same docking station and that is connected to large screens, keyboards, mice, USB hubs, etc. Of course one could also employ USB hubs to do that.
     
  8. matrosov

    matrosov TPF Noob!

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    I am a long time PC user switched in college from Macs. Did not like one bit that I cannot get under the hood and tweak the OS and the lack of the software choices and never looked back. I build my own desktops it gets me the most flexibility in quality of components and computing power I need. In terms of laptops if you are heavy duty into photo editing I would recommend what they call a mobile workstation. Like Lenowo P50 or Dell Precision they are rugged laptops that rival desktops in how they built with top of the line processors and, plenty of storage and high end video cards and higher end monitors, which is what really drive your photo editing. They are very customizable as far as laptops go and can be somewhat easily upgraded. Generally they last for years without any problems. Unlike Macs they can be easily fixed at user level since all components are modular and it's matter of figuring out how to swap them out. Downside that they are ugly looking, heavy comparatively speaking and expensive. Another minus is that coming from ecosystem of MAC's where OS is superbly designed and locked down from the user windows is much more open in that regard and can be intimidating. That said in the past 5 years I hardly opened the hood on my Windows machine. Maybe one wipe and clean reinstall when upgrading from 7 to 10.

    Also you say that you're having trouble backing your MAC up. If it still boots up and you can still access all your files and all programs work fine the issue could be with whatever backup option you are using and not with the comp itself.
     
  9. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm going with the "I'm just an angry apple user". ;-) But I will ask *specifically* which Mac model and generation do you have?

    I'm the guy all my friends and family call on whenever there's a problem with a computer so I've deal with a lot of different operating systems (and I've run quite a number of operating systems including various flavors of Linux and Unix -- not just versions of Windows & macOS.)

    On the Mac I have far fewer issues (it's not even close). I have had one hard drive failure, but it was a mechanical drive, not an SSD, and it was old. All hard drives eventually fail (which is why I chastise my friends who don't do backups by explaining to them... there are only two types of hard drives in the world: Those that have failed... and those that are going to fail. There is no third category.)

    In my case, the heads were getting a bit sloppy and not precisely aligning to the tracks when it did a 'seek'. This caused the data being written to slightly bleed into the adjacent track and corrupted whatever files were stored there. Fortunately I had a time machine backup that was able to find a point in time (which for me turned out to be about a month before all my files were clean) where nothing was corrupted and the swapped the drive and restored my data - losing nothing (BTW, Windows traditionally never included backup software at all... much less anything that can compare to Apple's Time Machine feature.)

    I generally never have problems with OS upgrades. So I don't suspect them of sabotaging the hardware to get you to buy a new machine.

    I have seen issues basically related to how a machine is managed. I've had co-workers come to me with machines that are basically a mess - files everyone, no organization, applications that weren't actually installed (they were running them out of the disk-image downloads), and running out of storage space, etc. But under such circumstances, any machine would have problems. And of course I've also come across well-managed and maintained machines ... but they have a hardware failure (it happens).

    BTW... Apple's service is absolutely OUTSTANDING. The notion that you can drive to an actual Apple Store with actual Apple employees and possibly get a problem corrected on the spot and if you do have to leave the machine for a repair, it'll generally be fixed in 1 day (and maybe 2 days if they didn't have the replacement parts on hand) is miles ahead of any competitor.

    I've got a Dell laptop owned by my employer and when I have to deal with them, their service is abysmal (and that's not just me... I can share stories of others with similar experiences.) Apple is a joy to deal with compared to anyone else. However I *DO* get AppleCare. Normally I never buy extended warranties but the AppleCare coverage is so good that it's worth it and laptops tend to take a bit of a beating if you have to do a lot of travel -- so the likelihood that you may need service is higher.

    It turns out Apple does sell several machines where you can get a 1TB SSD (my current MacBook Pro -- which is already several years old has one).

    Not everyone needs a lot of storage... so the base machines usually show options for either 256GB SSDs or 512GB SSDs, but if you're at Apple's site in the "buy" section and you pick the machine, you'll see you can configure options and one of those options will typically be to change the storage.

    The 13" MacBook Pro can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD.
    The 15" MacBook Pro can be configured with up to a 2TB SSD.

    The "MacBook" (not the Pro) can only be configured with up to 512GB. But I wouldn't consider a MacBook for hard core work.
     
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