Laptop for photography

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dmatsui, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    I'll be getting a laptop for photography within a few days and have basically narrowed it down to 7 models but there are a various amount of things that i dont quite understand.
    I understand that ram is important so all models have 4gb of ram however there seem to be different types. whats the difference between ddr2 ddr3, some of these models also have for example ddr3 sdram what is that? Honestly i had no idea that there where different types of ram. Can someone outline the differences between the different types?

    Also how important is the processor or video card when dealing with photography. For the models i am looking at the processors range from between 2.16 2.1 and 2.53 Ghz and are all Duo, whatever that means.

    Lastly what make would you opt for? I'm looking at ASUS, ACER, DELL, HP, Lenova, LG and toshiba and i dont know much about any of these brands besides the fact that at home all of our desktops are dell.

    I have a complete list of all the models and their specifications if that helps anyone.

    Thanks allot :)


     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DDR3 allows for a higher overall speed than DDR2. This is show my the mhz value of the ram. I think DDR2 could only go up to 800mhz, but DDR3 is into the 4 digits.
    It also runs cooler than DDR2. However, it had higher latency issues at launch, I haven't read up on it lately.

    Its essentially a new technology that is somewhat better. Will you notice a huge difference? Probably not. If you can get it, go for it.

    You also won't notice a big difference between a 2.0 and a 2.33 processor. What will make a difference is Dual Core vs Core 2 duo vs Quad Core. Dual < Core 2 < Quad.

    In terms of models, you'll have people who hate Dell some that love them. Some never get HP, some only get HP. So this is just my personal opinion:
    Lenovo (if you really meant Lenova, I don't know that brand > HP > Dell > Asus/Toshiba/LG /Acer.

    I have always heard great things about the IBM Lenovo. HP is also really popular and makes good laptops. I don't have any issues with Dell, my wife and brother have one and they both like them and have had minimal problems. The rest, I haven't really used much and don't know much about.

    - Get a good, high definition monitor with the laptop.
    - Video card won't mean much unless you game. I still prefer getting anything over Integrated graphics though.
    - Try and get a hard drive with 7200 rpm. Harder on a laptop, but the faster the hard drive spins, the faster the read/write. I find 5400 rpm very slow
    - Hard drive space should be plenty! At least 500g on board and get an external drive as well for backups
    - You can get more RAM if you wish. Just make sure that if you go over 4gb, that you are running Vista 64bit and not 32bit. 32bit won't recognize more than 3.5 gb of ram.
    - Sounds like you don't know much about computers, so troubleshooting may be an issue. Look into service plans... I don't mind Dell's, they are quick to deal with issues when my wife has had some.

    A great PC review site is www.tomshardware.com Informative and trustworthy.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most laptop displays are not ideal for photoediting. You'll want to consider a nice external monitor when you are at home with the appropriate graphics adapter to drive the external monitor.
     
  4. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    +1 :thumbup:

    I use a laptop on site, but all my editing is done at the studio on all high power machines with good monitors.

    Laptop monitors just do not have the quality.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No monitor is acceptable for photoediting, until it is calibrated... lol

    The 17" monitor on my several year old Toshiba A70 is calibrated and gets me perfectly acceptable results. With a 3.2Ghz processor and 2gb or RAM under XP (4gb of RAM under Vista is suggested), I can use LR2 and still get through 1500 pictures in about 3-4 hours.

    Don't put all your eggs in one basket, get an external 320-500 GB USB 2.0 hard drive and use that as a secondary backup unit. They are small and fast enough for this.

    Photoediting is not very resource intensive... if you want to start seeing massive slowdowns, try video editing with a 100-200 gig file... THAT will slow you down. The tiny (in comparison) 50mb or smaller files from cameras are nothing.
     
  6. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    So basically it sounds like any of the models i have mentioned will do just fine. What i should be focusing on in other words is calibration software
    In which case what color callibration software should i buy and approxemtely how much do they run for? I dont have that much money left and i was planning on buying either a polarizer or graduated ND filter but should i use that money for the callibration software instead?
     
  7. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    i'm not saying you should buy mine but take a look at the one i have listed:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/buy-sell/167907-fs-laptop-17-dell-studio-1737-a.html

    this is a photoshop beast. 64-bit one of the most powerful processors, some of the fastest RAM and a fast hard drive. also the monitor on this is amazing. not the highest resolution but my calibration software made no modifications to it and it matches the color on my calibrated ips genesis monitor and my calibrated samsung ln32a650.

    not sure how much you're willing to spend but you can still get them from dell for about $1500 and from magnolia best buys for about $1600
    and they came out with new designs last month! which i why i got a new one and selling mine :D
     
  8. dmatsui

    dmatsui TPF Noob!

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    I would be very interested in the model you have mentioned itznfb but i'm afraid its out of my price range.
    Thanks for the help though :)
     
  9. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I have to buy a new laptop this summer for Land survey school I start in Aug. I am going to have to run AutoCAD on that.

    Photo editing is taking a close second on spec'ing this machine out.

    Front Side bus, I am looking at the Intel Duo Core 2. Something with the 1066 Mhz FSB. Most likely the 2.4 Ghz. Depending on the processor, you either get 3 or 6 MB of System Cache. In this case, MORE is better.

    If I run XP Pro, I will only get 3 GB of Ram. It's all the system will recognize my folks are finding out. If I run Vista 64Bit, then I will get the 4GB of RAM. Mom sets up about 4 computers a week from Dell for people. Most computers she would spend about 2 days just updating Drivers and software when they got to the house. She is noticing that they are getting MUCH better though. What used to take 2-3 days is now taking 1-2 days.

    SEPERATE video card with 512 MB of RAM. Forget getting a computer with shared, on-board, integrated or "whatever they call it" video ram. It takes it away from the system RAM and processor.


    The I have found a couple of different computers that offer this. ASUS has one. It's like $1900 dollars.

    Dell I have found has two systems. The Inspiron with the 2.4 Ghz, 3MB system cache and 1066 FSB processor with 256 MB video ram. This is available to me through the Premier Business site. Military benny.

    They also have the Vostro in the Small business area with the 2.6Ghz 6MB system cash and 1066 FSB with 512 MB Video RAM. This is the T9550 Intel Processor.

    So far, they are both in the $800-950 ball park which is a LOT better than the $1400 system the school is recommending that has an inflated 4 year service contract in it. Otherwise, they are VERY similar in specs.

    All of these systems are 15.6 monitors and anti-glare LCD screen.
     
  10. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    I've been very happy with the Dell laptop's I've owned, including most recently a Dell Mini 9 netbook, the display is signifcantly better than my desktop display.

    HOWEVER

    I just made the biggest purchase of my life a few days ago when I ordered two brand new MacBook Pros. One for myself and one for my girlfriend as a suprise birthday present/grad school acceptance present.
     
  11. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Most of the Calibration hardware will work for what you need, some of the more populare are Huey, Color Vision Spyder and EyeOne.
    Find one in your price range and go for it.
    I would considder it one of the best investment you can make.
     
  12. JamieR

    JamieR TPF Noob!

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    MBP FTW!
     

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