Computer suggestions?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by invisible, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. invisible

    invisible Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I want to buy a new PC to use it almost exclusively for photography purposes. I am planning to migrate to RAW mode in the near future, so I will be dealing with huge TIFF files. I still don't have a graphics program, but I guess I will be using some version of Photoshop.

    I'd really appreciate it if you guys could point me in the right direction.

    What microprocessor? Intel or AMD? What speed? How about those dual-core chips?
    What graphics card?
    RAM? Hard drive size?
    Windows XP or Vista? If Vista, then Home or Home Premium?

    I apologize if my questions show too much ignorance, but that's exactly why I am asking them.

    Thanks much in advance.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    From the rumblings I've been hearing, I'd avoid Vista for a while. There is an issue with some RAW/TIFF files and the Windows image software.

    Anyone with a Mac will tell you to get a Mac...they certainly are nice (and stable) but they are expensive.

    I'm no expert but it's obvious that more RAM is always better. 1GB is the minimum I'd suggest and 2GB is better etc.

    RAW files and the associated Photoshop PDS/TIFF files can add up. More storage memory is better. There is the issue of all your eggs in one basket...you may not want to keep all your files on one huge hard drive, in case it crashes. Two internal drives would be a good idea, also because Photoshop runs faster when it has a separate drive to use as a scratch disk. You may also want to think about an external/portable drive as backup etc.

    I'm sure there are thousands of members here who know more an computers than me...so let's hear from them.
     
  3. Chicagophotoshop

    Chicagophotoshop TPF Noob!

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    go with a dell. they have a good warrenty and support.

    100% with the dual core.

    graphics card? you dont need a super duper good one but look to spend about $100.

    ram-- no less then 1GB

    Hard drive - go with 2 internal drives. one drive thats around 80GB. this will be your C drive with only your operating system and software programs. then have a second one that is 250GB or higher.

    I would even go as far as an extrnal backup. the price on these have come down alot. and its a great backup

    as far as XP or vista. its a toss up. XP will give you less problems I guess. vista is just too new.

    I work in IT so I would be happy to answer any questions you have
     
  4. grafiks

    grafiks TPF Noob!

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    I assume it will not be a Mac...

    XP Pro (I agree with the comments about Vista)
    Minimum 2 Gigs of DDR2 RAM
    I would start with 1, 250 or 300 Gig Internal SATA hard drive. Very easy, and most likely cheaper to add another one after the fact.
    PCI Express Video card. Consider one with dual DVI output. I run two 22 inch monitors and it helps a whole lot when using Photoshop.
    Duo core processor (I always go Intel)
     
  5. Chicagophotoshop

    Chicagophotoshop TPF Noob!

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    good point. two monitors is the way to go. BIG ONES :)
     
  6. invisible

    invisible Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks everybody for the answers. I am starting to get a clear idea of what I need to buy.

    Let's say I buy XP, but in the future Vista fixes these RAW file glitches you guys are mentioning. Is it possible to upgrade from XP to Vista? Or you have to pay for the full version of Vista and toss the XP?

    Also, any recommendations regarding Intel or AMD?

    Thanks again to all.
     
  7. grafiks

    grafiks TPF Noob!

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    When you buy XP, you get a voucher for Vista, so no problem there.

    I had already mentioned Intel. :)
     
  8. Kellog

    Kellog TPF Noob!

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    It’s always fun getting a new computer but can be a daunting task and maybe can add a few points. Allot of it has to do with personal preferences, AMD vs. Intel chips or NVIDIA vs. ATI graphics cards. All these companies make good products.

    Really how fast is good enough for you?

    How much memory? I personally would recommend 2GB of memory, yes 1GB will work but working with large amount of data in applications like Photoshop can be a bit time consuming with only 1GB.

    AMD or Intel? I think it’s a matter of personal choice, both make very good chips. I can also point out that faster quad cores are starting to hit the market during 07.

    Which Graphic card? Someone already pointed out getting a PCI-E card since AGP days are pretty much over. (shame if your board doesn’t have a PCI-E slot.). Again there are plenty of good cards on the market but which cards really depends on what one wants to get out of it. Is it only photoshop and basic computer needs? Are you also a avid gamer with the need for the latest and greatest?

    XP or Vista? Vista is not all bad but right now XP is the way to go if you want to get the most performance out of you operating system, applications and hardware. (I have left out the Intel based Macs since it seems you want to go the windows route but I recommend you look into them). Here is a link to a benchmark test between XP and Vista and you can see the “lack” of performance on many applications with XP.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/
    Shame how Vista integrates DRM and how it actually shuts down hardware on your machine.

    I can also point out that even though you can upgrade XP to Vista later (for a lower price), I believe you will lose your XP license key. To some this might not be a big deal but many find it quite annoying. You should also look into how Vista treats it licensing which can be a pain.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use windows because I have to for business reasons. If I were in your shoes, however, I would probably go with a Mac if you want to run Photoshop or Linux if you would be happy with Gimp which is absolutely free like the rest of the Linux software. I don't have a Mac but I do have a Linux machine which is amazingly stable and reliable.

    Be sure you have plenty of memory. Miniumum 512 MB for XP or 1GB for Vista. Bare minimum.

    Personally, I do my editing on an HP 4300 workstation with XP, 512MB, a 400GB hard drive and a calibrated 19" LCD monitor. I have no motivation to upgrade anything. Everything works very quickly.
     
  10. ZyxKor

    ZyxKor TPF Noob!

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    CPU any fast one will do, Dual core is a bonus. I like AMD better than intel but they isn't any difference when it comes to what the user sees. For RAM go with as much as you can get. That will help more than anything else. For HD's someone already said get a second one. I would get a SATA drive with 16meg cache minimum. if you get an internal drive put your windows swap file on the second drive, it will make your system faster for zero cost. Get a DVD/CD burner, they are cheap. Unless you are doing gaming/animation the video card doesn't matter, $100 or so will do you fine.

    Avoid Vista for now, it's too new and there are some issues with programs. That will change in time, it's just a fact of life for new OS's.

    Any good Dell home PC will do you well. I would investigate a MAC if I were you. You might find it suits what you want to do better.
     
  11. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you are serious about digital imaging on a pc, don't get less than 2g of ram, and get min 2 hard drives, so that photoshop (and windows) can use the 2nd as a scratch disk. At home I have a p4 2.8 HT, 2g of DDR ram, 160gb HD for the OS, and a 250 SATA for storage. I'm about to add more storage.

    At work I use a Dell p4 3ghz with 3g of DDR2 ram, and a 16tb server. The extra 1 gig of ram makes a marked improvement. Digital imaging hogs ram and cpu time. If you want to work quickly and efficiently, you need a good computer.

    You can save a considerable amount of money if you buy OEM parts and assemble your own computer. My computer was built for $1200, while my work computer (before a recent ram upgrade, it had 1gig of ram) was about $2000.
     
  12. HASHASHIN

    HASHASHIN TPF Noob!

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    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/ultra6000.asp?v=d

    look at this set up....add at least another gig of ram... and maybe a second hard drive and set it up in raid...

    add a good monitor and your all set... the video card that comes with it can easily handle two large monitors as well if you want to go that route....
     

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