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Thread: Need Help with New computer decision

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    Member Trix's Avatar
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    Need Help with New computer decision

    My desktop pc has started to play up in a few areas and we are thinking it might be time for a new one. I thought about getting a laptop simply because I can move around easier to find internet reception in the house but then after doing a bit of reading on the net, laptops aren't always the best for photo editing.
    So I'm thinking of buying a new desktop PC. My budget is around $1500, not a lot compared to what others are spending on their computers, but this is what we have to work with.
    I have always liked the idea of a mac computer but my husband says there would be too much software we would have to change. No being the most computer techy person myself, I don't know whether this is true.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on computers for me?
    It would be used for photo editing, web browsing, etc.
    Also, If a mac is on the cards, would my photoshop elements 7 work on it?
    Thanks for any help in advance

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    It's all about the Light!
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    WP has configs which you use as a start to get a system built (eg. via MSY)
    $1,500 will get you a great little system

    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rm...urpose_configs
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rm...gaming_configs << Gaming configs also work well for photography
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Your budget will dictate what you will end up with. Just focus on what you mainly use the computer for. I am on my 3rd Dell & having had all sorts of other computers before (IBM, Mac, HP & a couple of generics) I would be happy to get another Dell in the future. You can customise what you want also. So if you want to upgrade certain areas such as memory, screen size etc to suit photographic work, you can so long as its in your budget. I would even suggest calling them, tell them what you want your computer to do & they will suggest a suitable model. A laptop will cost you more than a desktop. Good Luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    WP has configs which you use as a start to get a system built (eg. via MSY)
    $1,500 will get you a great little system

    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rm...urpose_configs
    http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=rm...gaming_configs << Gaming configs also work well for photography
    You could get a superb system as per Kym's suggestion - particularly if you can "recycle" things such as monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. You can even buy a case for say $30 and turn your existing hard drive into a backup. It sounds pretty intimidating, but is really quite simple.

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    Hi Trix, I may not be the world's best photographer, but I hav been in IT for nearly 30 years. I build computer systems for clients with different needs and a little advice would be to not by brand names. Go to your local computer store and have a one on one with the owner and get him to quote you a system with what YOU want. They will be able to build you a machine with heaps of grunt well under the $1500 you've budgeted for. If you want me to send you a list of the components I would suggest you get priced, I am more than happy to do that for you. P.S. Where are you located?

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Hi Trix

    Greg has hit the nail on the head. Avoid the stuff from Dill, Hardly Normal etc.

    I've been building my own computers for about 15 years and you can get twice the bang for your buck doing it this way.

    Once you decide on your components you can even check ebay for a semi assembled unit and just plug in your peripherals (monitor, keyboard etc)

    Have a look at this link to give you an idea of what I'm suggesting. All components are from well regarded manufacturers.

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/AMD-PHENOM-II...item588866787b

    For $1500 you can put together a very. very good system, including an IPS panel monitor, regarded as the best for photo editing.

    Cheers

    Kevin

    PS: To some extent your operating system will dictate the choice of components, ie Windows 7 64bit will need more memory than say XP Pro 32bit
    Last edited by Cage; 19-07-2010 at 12:48pm. Reason: Add PS
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    Wow, thank you all for your responses and thank you Greg for sending me the email (im located on the gold coast btw). Sounds like building the computer is the way to go. A lot of info to take in here so I guess I will sit down with hubby tomorrow and discuss our options.

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    Your welcome Trix, I am actually building a New PC (box only for my son in Toowoomba). I hope you get what you're after and look forward to seeing some pics!

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    Thanks Greg, I appreciate the help

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    My only recommendation if building a pc (whether yourself or technician) is to not skimp on a PSU or the case - both have a large impact on the life and health of your system. No reason to go all out, buying $500 psu and case but you do want a reliable PSU that won't accidentally fry your motherboard (which usually fries almost everything with it) and ensuring it can deliver enough power to your system.

    Side note, I do build my own machines at home (takes 2-4hrs depending on what I'm doing) and completely agree on the custom solution for machines, your dollar will go so much further. You can also spec your machine to a more tailored purpose too.
    Adam

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    Just get a mac...they are so much better, you don't have to worry about viruses, and everything 'just works'

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    At double the cost of a similar spec home built PC...

    I don't want to get into the Mac v PC thing, however bang for buck has to be the above-suggested methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regnis View Post
    Just get a mac...they are so much better, you don't have to worry about viruses, and everything 'just works'
    I love Linux, and Mac's are a *nix variant. But the Apple HW lock in and costs sux.
    IF you can afford it a Mac is a great platform, but today the best bangs for $ is a custom built system and windoze.

    Win7 is rock solid and as we know there is a ton of software available.
    Yes, you need (free) anti-virus such as Avast! ... but you end up with nearly twice the performance per $.

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    Trix thanks for bringing this up! I have recently fried my laptop (doesn't like red wine!) and am looking to get a new one. Now maybe I will see about a purpose built desk top.......although the lappy is handy to take away........and I'm miles from anywhere that may be able to build one! Thanks everyone else for the great responses.

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    Thanks everyone,
    After lengthy discussions with my husband (and 2 new lenses ), we have decided to build a pc to suit what I need it for. It will probably take some time as we will get bits and pieces as the funds come in but I think this is the way for me. Would love a mac in the future though

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    I've been in "IT" for 20+ years myself and, quite frankly, I'm over the whole "build it yourself" deal. Also not convinced on the "bang for buck" argument either.

    Definitely steer clear of the Hardly Normals and Trickie Dickies, but places like Dell do have their advantages, particularly for the computer illiterate that don't have a geek on call. If something goes wrong, they'll come out and fix it, no questions asked. Yes, they've had their fair share of quality control problems in the past (particularly where laptops are concerned) but at the end of the day, most of what you're buying isn't made by Dell anyway.

    The biggest problem with buying a pre-packaged system is getting the specs you really need. The tendency is to offer all-in-one motherboards with under-powered on-board graphics and inadequate hard disk space. Generally not a problem for the average internet/email/word user, but for photography enthusiasts it is critical. You can rack up a lot of hard disk space very quickly, especially if you're shooting in raw and loathe to delete *any* of your photos! Dell *will* sting you on system upgrades though - so one option is to buy the base system from somewhere like Dell, and then supplement it with extra memory and/or hard drives from your local computer store (you may have to remove them before a service call though).

    Another aspect that most people overlook is a backup strategy. Unfortunately this does add a few hundred $$$ to your set-up, though you can perhaps keep your fingers firmly crossed whilst you save for a backup system. Seems like a waste of money until your machine refuses to boot one day...
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckscj View Post
    Trix thanks for bringing this up! I have recently fried my laptop (doesn't like red wine!) and am looking to get a new one. Now maybe I will see about a purpose built desk top.......although the lappy is handy to take away........and I'm miles from anywhere that may be able to build one! Thanks everyone else for the great responses.
    I think that for less than the price of a laptop you could have the best of both worlds: a purpose built desktop and a netbook that you can take away traveling...

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    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban james derek's Avatar
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    I see you live on the Gold Coast. have you been to the Robina Apple store? I went Apple about 18 months ago. I got a laptop and the 27" iMac.
    Couple of one TB external drives ($229 ea)and you are good to go for a LONG time
    "When you Go Mac,you never go back". My partner has windows and she is INSANELY jealous of what i can do on the mac.

    TJ

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    I would save up get all the parts in one hit if you go down that path. Systems change pretty quickly and you may bye a part today that is of no use when it comes time to build your new machine. I just updated my motherboard, cpu and 4 gig of ddr3 ram for $290.

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    Thanks James for that, I didn't realise there was a mac store at robina.

    rod - Thanks for the tip, didn't even think of that but definitely very true. Will keep that in mind.

    Unfortunately my computer keeps getting pushed back with other things on the priority list (aka kids expenses lol) but hopefully we will get there soon.

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