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Thread: Computer upgrade - Is this too good?

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    Computer upgrade - Is this too good?

    Evening everybody,

    So I'm after a computer upgrade as my poor MacBook just can't keep up. I stumbled on this tonight

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-H9-PHOENI...item33893568d9

    It just seems to be too good to believe, what do you think? Or does anyone have any advise on buying somewhere a little more local?

    As much as I love my Mac operating system the PC route seems to be the best value for money.

    Thoughts??

    Cheers
    Danny

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    I have bought one very similar as a package from MSY it was a about $1200 new, check out their web site.

    The price on EBay is in $US without working out the exchange rate it will be well over $A1000.

    Jack.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Manufacturer refurbished are generally machines returned due to faults that are rectified and then they resell them. They could be a great buy, or they could be a lemon.

    The h9-1315t was released in late 2012, so if they have just fixed faults etc, you are looking at a machine that was probably designed early to mid 2012 (2 years ago).

    I purchased a $2500.00 coffee machine directly from one of the major manufacturers at an auction (not ebay) for $800.00. They were selling refurbished, demonstrator, display stock. I chose to bid on a display stock item as it had not been used, just sat on a shelf on a store for people to look at. When the machine arrived it looked like it had never been out of the box. Perfectly packed and has worked beautifully since (12 months or so now).

    So buying refurbished stock can be a great way to get a good bargain. However, I personally would prefer to do so via an Australian seller, just in case.

    And as said, places like MSY, Scorptec etc can often do great deals on builds as well. I bought all my parts from Scorptec and built-my-own for my latest editing computer (2 years old now).
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-01-2014 at 6:21am.
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    Gday,

    I am using a 6yo IBM Lenovo Thinkpad with a Core2Duo 2GHz, 4GB RAM and I bought it off eBay for $75. I installed a SSD and would prefer to spend my money on photo gear. At times it could be quicker, but by the time I have made a cup of tea it has caught up again with any photo editiong that I am doing on it. I use CS6.

    Best REgards

    Yotgln

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    Quote Originally Posted by danny View Post
    Evening everybody,

    So I'm after a computer upgrade as my poor MacBook just can't keep up. I stumbled on this tonight

    As much as I love my Mac operating system the PC route seems to be the best value for money.

    Thoughts??

    Cheers
    Danny
    Hey Danny, how about more info on your MacBook? How old is it? How much RAM have you got on board and which Mac OSX are you running? PC systems might appear to be value for money, but if you're a Mac User, you have a lot of skill invested in that system, cheers Deb

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with Mathy. Have you also factored in the replacement cost of some software that you may have to repurchase? The cost of applications like MS office can be considerable and they often don't give you a credit when you move between operating systems so what you save in hardware you may end up paying in software.

    The other consideration is SSD which will more than double the speed of your current machine depending on the spec and can be done so at a reasonable cost these days. A 240GB SSD is about $180 now which is enough to cover your OS, Applications and library if you store the photos on a separate machine and the historical issues of reliability of SSD are no longer the problem they used to be.

    One thing to factor in is the cost of building your new machine and the resale value of your machine. The reason there is a cost with build a new machine on PC is you need to factor in the cost of reinstalling all software, migrating your data, setting up email accounts etc which could take up to a day. I bill in excess of $500 per day so a day lost for me actually costs money. If Mac to Mac, I can use migration assistant, spend 5 minutes setting up the migration and then leave it overnight to migrate and my new machine is setup like the old the next morning with no work. On the resale issue, PC's generally have a poor resale value where mac's hold value slightly better so what costs less now, also costs less when you sell it so you will have to put in more to buy a new system later.
    Last edited by MissionMan; 08-01-2014 at 8:55am.
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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Danny, I'd stay right away from importing a desktop. As Rick said, you will find just as good a deal locally if you look.

    I concur with what has already been said above. Look at why your Mac is slow, where is the bottleneck?

    Quite often just adding some memory can speed things up dramatically.

    A list of the specs, or at least the model No. of your MacBook, will greatly assist in giving advice on your best course of action.
    Last edited by Cage; 08-01-2014 at 10:15am.
    Cheers
    Kev

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    A big thank you to all the input. To answer a few questions…

    My Macbook Pro is a mid 2010 4 GB (RAM) 250 GB (Hard drive). The major programs I run are MS Office and CS5. To replace these on a new computer/system isn't as expensive as you might think because my employer basically gives them to me.

    The problem I have is that I find that I am constantly pushing the 250GB memory to the limit it seems to not be able to load a set of photos without taking other off.

    Cheers
    danny

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danny View Post
    A big thank you to all the input. To answer a few questions…

    My Macbook Pro is a mid 2010 4 GB (RAM) 250 GB (Hard drive). The major programs I run are MS Office and CS5. To replace these on a new computer/system isn't as expensive as you might think because my employer basically gives them to me.

    The problem I have is that I find that I am constantly pushing the 250GB memory to the limit it seems to not be able to load a set of photos without taking other off.

    Cheers
    danny
    Mid 2010 takes a 2.5" drive so you can upgrade to a 1TB drive for under a $100 if it's purely hard drive space you are after.

    Ram was limited to 4GB in those models.

    Given the Macbook Pro is out of warranty, you could also put in a 240GB SSD and then replace your DVD drive with a 1TB drive using something called an optibay because most people these days don't use the DVD often. That will give you the best of both worlds, the speed of an SSD with the capacity of a spindle for storing all your files and not worrying about running out of space. You can also get an external enclosure for your DVD so you can continue using it if you need it.

    BTW, if you want a speed comparison between SSD and normal, this may give you an idea of how much faster they are. 20 seconds vs 1m50s:

    Last edited by MissionMan; 08-01-2014 at 7:05pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danny View Post
    ......

    The problem I have is that I find that I am constantly pushing the 250GB memory to the limit it seems to not be able to load a set of photos without taking other off.

    Cheers
    danny
    This is where your 'bottleneck' most likely lies.
    Not just the point that you're filling/dumping/and filling your HDD over and over again, but in the fact that your drive is just too full(as can currently be asecrtained).

    Something to note with mechanical HDDs is that the more you fill it, the slower it processes the data going to it and from it.

    First things first:
    * Get yourself an external HDD, say 2Tb or whatever)
    * remove data off the macbook's drive and onto the external drive
    * if you can, save data to a specific place on this new external storage, and completely re-install all the software on the macbook's hard drive, but (for optimum results) the hard drive in the macbook should be formatted!

    I ran a few tests a while back(actually years back now), and I found that a regular formatting of a hard drive keeps it 'spinning faster'(in a manner of speaking) .. in fact up to about 50% faster.

    The drives I tested back then, were quite fast Samsung drives of 1Tb each. both identical drives, with close enough to the same performance specs whilst running concurrently in my PC.
    These drives were purely for storage, one for my current year's stash of photos, the other for all manner of flotsam and jetsom .. plus as a separate cache location.

    To begin with, a freshly formatted drive would nett me about 100Mb/s transfer speeds quite easily over a sustained transfer(say 2G's or so)

    Building up close to 300G's of photos over a year or so, made the 'photo drive' begin to slow down to about 80-70Mb/s .. not too bad and barely noticeable, except for extremely large tiff files(say 600Meg or so).
    regular files (say 25-50Megs) would load a bit slower, but nothing to complain about.

    If I put those exact same files onto the flotsam drive tho! .....

    The flotsam drive would regularly see files come and go, sometimes filling to close to the 1Tb limit(yeah I have over 1 Tb of photos alone! ), and those same files on the 'photo drive' would clearly render much more slowly using my preferred editor.

    As an example, a 25Meg file on the 'photo drive' would render in about 1sec .. maybe less!
    That same file on the 'flotsam drive' (when fully loaded and abused) could render somewhere between 5-15sec, depending on whether it had already been preloaded into the cache location(which is on this same drive).

    So clearly loading up and deleting files on an overburdened mechanical drive, was causing a hit on PC performance.

    So the next logical step was to format the 'flotsam drive' and see how these same files loaded in my editing software.
    Formatting this drive was a no brainer, as already said, it's a flotsam drive where things come and go all the time, so losing any data on this drive wasn't a problem, as it's either backed up elsewhere, or just junk.
    when the flotsam drive was overburdened badly, performance sank to 40 .. maybe 50Mb/s in testing, but felt much slower in actual real world usage.

    After formatting(full format, not a quick format) of course the drive now operated much faster .. again, the files loaded into the editor in about 1sec, and the performance software told of a faster drive than the hardly used 'photo drive'.


    Even tho these drives are now old compared to newer drives, I still have them and use them in the same way .. one for yearly photo storage and one for junk and temp storage.

    I regularly format both drives just for the sake of keeping them running as quickly as possible.

    Note to that these drives only contain data .. OS and programs are on a separate drive, which barely gets touched other than regularly cleaning out temp files and suchlike.
    So beware that formatting a drive will banish any data/OS/programs to the scrapheap for good!

    And as already said, a new SSD will make all data and software run even faster then even a freshly formatted mechanical drive.
    I refrained from using an SSD on my PC, as I found that the way I have the PC setup, everything works pretty much as quickly as I need it too, and any faster is just a waste of money.
    I used an SSD in my PC tablet, where it gives me the best value for money and performs it's fast loading trick where I actually want it.

    I also think, that if you do some of these basic and quite easy to do tasks, and with minimal expense you should have a quite speedy computer once again.... but definitely get yerself an external storage drive at least.
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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    OK, I fully agree with what has been said above, your problem is lack of storage.

    The easy fix? Get an external hard-drive and use it for all your storage, documents, music, pictures etc, and only use the internal hard-drive for the O/S and other programs.

    Depending on the particular model of your MacBook, you may even be able to add another 4Gb of RAM.

    Swapping the internal HDD, probably a 5400RPM drive, for a SSD, will make a big difference to load and processing times.

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    Your Macbook Pro is like my previous one, and can take RAM up to 8GB max. I had the first generation SSD with the Mac and since then, will never go back to using any HDD again, gotta be silly to go back to that after you enjoy the speed and smoothness of running programs and processing etc, and lack of noise.
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    Once again a big thank you to all for offering advise. I'm kicking myself for not even realising that I could increase the storage and maybe even the RAM of my current MacBook I definitely think it is worth exploring.

    Cheers!!!
    danny

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