Your Photo Editing Computer

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Lynnzora, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern California
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok I've been looking through threads to see if I could find an answer to this question.... but no such luck.

    I would love to know the type of computer you all use to edit your photos. Is it important? I'm trying to get a new one. I have an old Dell Inspiron 6400 with Windows Vista... I'm wondering if I should just get another Dell with a duel prosessor.

    A lot of people say that Mac is the best for editing... but I've never used a mac in my life... and if it's not that big of a difference... I'll just stick with windows.

    Also if I stick with a windows laptop, should I get Vista again? It has its good and bad issues.
     
  2. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Springfield, Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Of course you want lots of memory or an external storage device. You want as much speed as possible for batch operations. But the most important aspect to me is a good monitor. One that can be calibrated, and high resolution.
    For photos Mac vs Windows is not that big of an issue. Of course the Mac users will tell you diferent. For video or sound production then yes a Mac is the way to go.
    Most photo programs are catching up or have updates for Vista, so Vista is fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  3. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,662
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you are looking at getting Vista again, what happened to the current laptop? It shouldn't be all that old if it had Vista.

    I use a PC from 2005, very old (Athalon64 3500+, ATI x1650 gfx, 1 gb ram) and it does quite well. Some of the heavier plugin stuff runs a bit slow, but it works with several 40 mb TIFF files opened up quite easily. I would think that anything current would be fine.

    I won't touch Dell. We are contracted at work with Dell because we supply packaging material to them. I've never seen so many junk computers in one place. They are constantly breaking down on us.

    I also get a supplier discount from Dell for my personal equipment. Funny thing is, my supplier discount calculates out to always $30 HIGHER than I can get straight from their website. Thus, I have a Compaq at home and thanks to my boss who went behind the scenes to get me a laptop, I have an HP laptop for work instead of a Dell.
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Mac or PC doesn't matter. Pick what you prefer. I prefer PCs.

    Dell is fine... not significantly better or worse than any other PC manufacturer, though I will say that last I checked the Lenovo boxes were really exceptionally well put together. (assuming you are going laptop, of course)

    In general, you're going to get more bang for your buck (not to mention more expandability) in a desktop rig.

    When going multi-core, keep in mind that not all applications are really designed to handle this well. I haven't checked on Photoshop CS4 yet, but CS3 does a *reasonable* job of taking advantage of the multiple cores.

    Lots of fast RAM and some good fast local disk is your friend. SCSI rocks if you can afford it. Nothing better. However, the newer SATA drives perform admirably.

    My personal rig is kind of obnoxious. I have one of the pre-production Intel Skulltrail machines. Dual proc, Quad Core Xeon Extreme 3.0 GHz chips overclocked to 5 GHz. 4 gigs of server RAM (don't recall the speed), SCSI drives, yadda yadda. My machine cost about $18K new. Last I looked you could buy it for closer to ~$12K. I bet it's more like $6K now. Don't ever buy an uber uber machine. :) Waste of money. Awesome when one is handed to you, but total waste of money otherwise.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Mac vs PC doesn't matter, but you'll be able to buy a lot more PC power for the same money.

    Get a fast processor, 4 gb ram, and lots of ram on the vid card. I recently got a 3+ghz Core Duo, 4gb ram, and 1gb on the vid card for under $1000.

    My research indicated that if I wanted a vid card and monitor specialized for 2D graphics work it was going to be $1000+ each for those items. I went the cheap route sticking with an old but reliable CRT monitor, and as much ram on the vid card as I could afford.

    I don't know how my computer would do if really tested or if loaded up with the latest video games, but it seems super fast with Photoshop and Lightroom to me. I can't move/work any faster even if it could. I was using a pretty old computer (1ghz Pentium, 2gb ram, 256k ram vid card), and the new one has cut my processing time to 1/4th what it used to be. It's by far the most productive gear upgrade I've done in a while. Even better than a new camera. ;)

    I have a hard time processing on my laptop. Tilting the screen effects what I'm seeing radically. I was told that unless I can afford a really good monitor designed for photography I should stick to a calibrated CRT. I have, and it's served me well. I calibrate every 2 weeks, and order my prints with no corrections. They always look just like I expect them to.
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Kmatt eludes to a point I forgot. Keep some money reserved for a Spyder or similar hardware calibration tool. It's well worth the money. The uber one costs ~$400, but you can get away with a lesser one for $100 for now. I actually use a very old one which isn't perfect for the newer screens, but it does the job.

    Cheap CRTs are generally your better bet for color accuracy than a cheap LCD panel. Cheap LCD panels can be hell on wheels for color. You can make them work, but you're going to have a few migraines in the process.
     
  7. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i use mac, but thats my personal preference.. I know some people dont like mac.. I love it, because I like not getting viruses, and I like that I've been using it for about 7 years and have never had the thing freeze or have to force a shut down, but thats just me!

    if you are going to go with another dell, please don't get a low end one.. the low end dells really don't last that long, our staff bought low end dells, and had to replace them 2 years later.. and they use computers properly.

    As for "more power for less money" with pc.. its true, it is less money for a more powerful pc, but IMO they arent good computers.
     
  8. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  9. robbie_vlad

    robbie_vlad TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Anyone have any experience with the capabilities (storage, PP, ect.) of Macbooks (laptops)? I'm looking into getting my first laptop and I've read some good things about them, but would like to hear from some actual users (please state what model you use).
     
  10. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've read and been told that (for the most part) the video card doesn't affect the performance for photo/image editing. Good video cards are much more benefit for gaming where the display is constantly changing. For photo editing, you are much better to save money on the video card and put that into the processor or RAM (or a good monitor).

    That being said, Photoshop CS4 is the first version with built-in hardware acceleration which lets the hardware (I don't know exactly what) handle some of the processing, which speeds up how the program runs overall.
     
  11. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    You don't need a top of the line video card or SLI. But if you have a monitor of any considerable size, you need a graphics card that can handle it.
     
  12. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i use a macbook and a mac mini... as for capabilities, i'm not sure what your asking.. capabilities of storage??? basically if it fits in the computer, it will work.. plus you can use external drives as well.. as for pp.. macs were made for graphic design.. that is what they excel at... I use a pretty ram intensive work flow when doing editing, and i've still yet to freeze my computer... I've actually tried to freeze it.. but I just cant!!
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

computer for photo editing tpf