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Thread: ignorance used to be bliss

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    Member nomis's Avatar
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    ignorance used to be bliss

    Sorry in advance - this is long - understand if it's ignored

    So time to buy a new computer. At least i have decided on a Mac...
    But reading the new imac thread here is completely beyond me and i'm after advice.
    I basically know nothing about current specs, but like everyone here, i would prefer to spend money on gear to take photos not process them.
    So i want to buy something to last a few years. i don't own a computer at present.
    I have never bought a new computer and now the new imacs are out i'm hoping for a good deal on an old model or refurb or will spring for a brand new one if it is warranted.

    It will be for photography mainly and i don't game or shoot video.
    I want to view on a big screen...
    I will eventually be using cs4 or 5 or LR3 - something.
    But specs are beyond me..
    People have told me save money, a mac mini or 13 macbookpro plugged into my HD TV will work for my needs..
    I realise the color may be off on the HD TV..and it may be slowish - how slow i don't know..
    (calibrate the 13 macbook pro screen and reference that when i need correct color to print)

    So I'm leaning towards a 27imac..the new i5 quadcore.. big bucks
    People (and the little voice inside my head) tell me get more Ram - okay 4 to eight will cost an extra $290 and it's a big improvement (i don't know at this size - is it ??)
    Then the little voice says upgrade from i5 to i7 - another $290 thanks..(is that worth it ??)

    Now the big voice inside my head is saying buy what you really need and spend the savings on other stuff. Problem is I don't really know what i need..or what will work well.
    Is this just plain overkill to run post processing software. Is this just a case of new purchase fever...

    I don't mind spending cash to future proof but I hate wasting cash even more..
    I just want to buy and forget for a few years..

    so whats really adequate...and whats a waste of cash

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    I wouldnt buy a mac
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I wouldnt buy a mac
    see I thought that but decided not to post it!

    oops

    OP: I can't comment too much other than on my PC at home which I use for photo processing 4 GB of ram is plenty for my needs.. Its an older quad core.. Also an IPS monitor is worthwhile (and calibration device/software like a spyder)
    Last edited by joele; 29-07-2010 at 1:10pm.

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    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    Mac, definitely.

    I use an 3 years old macbook with 3GB ram. Just enough for me.

    If you use it mainly for your photos try to get a good monitor and at least 4 gb of ram and you will be fine! The more GB you get the longer time it will be before you need to upgrade....Besides that, 3rd party ram is about half the price or less than apple ram. So maybe go for 4GB and then upgrade with 3rd party ram....
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

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    Mac every time, Macintosh pioneered colour on the computer screen, DOS only had green screen (yeah, I know green is a colour).

    Macintosh is traditional used in the print area for it's ability to display colour correctly.

    I have an old bondi blue Imac that I can just get OS-X to run on and my main machine is a G4 mac running OS-X 10.4. something or other. I run the complete design collection for print with Adobe CS4 as I use to work as a designer for the print industry.

    You cannot go past a 20" Imac and you will still be using it in 10 years time.

    I run a Windows based laptop for the programs I cannot get on the Mac such as OziExplorer, my GPS map reading software but I never use the windows base gear for colour correction.

    I maybe biased but with over 40 years in the industry on seeing the original tape driven typesetting computers come into the country which were the size of a small room to the computing power of today.

    Jim
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi nomis.
    Don't worry about the rivalry between Mac and non-Mac. I do not have a Mac, but a friend has a very snappy laptop that cost him some 4500. I have seen it go and it's no slouch. He sometimes has to hunt about for particular software, but that's for other than photography.

    You said it should be for photography mainly, and those programs you mention are resource hogging. If you want to spend money on taking photos you should spend equally sufficiently to store, manipulate, and display them.
    You should try to get your money's worth whatever you get, so you should consider the extra RAM and I7 over I5. When getting a computer that you want to last you a few years, don't initially skimp, as you'll likely find that you could use the "extra resources" as you become familiar with it. For that matter, I'd go for a 64-bit operating system, whether Mac OS or Win.

    If money is a real issue, then a Mac would not be the cheapest route to a reasonable system. And by the way, that notebook I mentioned is great for video processing and gaming.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  7. #7
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    nomis's Avatar
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    thanks for all the advice so far... good food for thought...
    Always hard to decide when to stop spending..
    My budget is around 3 grand, hopefully when some one is having a 10% of sale.
    Should just about cover most options

    But whatever is left over goes back to camera gear fund hence my problem..
    I always want more gear.....
    Never hear myself saying wish i had a new computer...

  8. #8
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For reference!

    I recently purchased the parts for and built my own PC(ie. not mac).

    Total cost for the machine was $1490 but I spent $200 on the case(stoopid!) and $30 on a built in card reader that I really didnt' need, but wanted to alleviate the need for the card reader.. but handily it also has eSATA ports too!

    AMD3 x4 955(which was one step below the top shelf CPU)
    NOTE tho: there is now an even faster range of CPU's from AMD x8 series at basically the same price.
    2G of high end ram
    top of the range ASUS mainboard(most important element in the PC!!)
    2x 1Tb drives
    cheapo graphics card that I though may do the job!.. silly!! but I can rectify that with another $40 for Another graphics card in a jiffy(mainboard has the capacity to add multiple graphics cards.. and hence speedier screen rates )
    24" LCD

    took me about an hour to put it all together.. and they seem to be getting easier all the time!

    Yeah it's a desktop, and it takes up space and isn't portable, but I needed fast large(storage) and very cheap(for the speed of the machine).

    i5's are too expensive as hardware when compared to the performance of a high end AMD CPU.

    I would have dearly loved an i7.. but that's twice the price of an easily overclockable AMD CPU(but I don't overclock it)

    performance may be slower than the highest end Intel equivalent but the money saved on the hardware (close to $500!) and the speed of the PC now .. I feel justified (again).

    Again, because I haven't had an Intel powered machine for well over 10 years now

    oh yeah! I did spend extra on Win7Pro... probably not 100% necessary to have purchased Pro, so that could have been another (close to $100 saving too) had I went with Home.
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  9. #9
    For the love of what I see.
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    First up. I'm an openly honest Mac Convert. I have run and supported PC's for 20 years and I'm over it. Got one at work at the moment the Hard drive has an intermittent fault and one on the floor at home with a Key Logger Trojan.

    Bought my 27in iMac last year, the day they were released in Aus, after having done some testing with a white 13in Macbook and I'm just so happy with it.

    My advice.
    Stay with the I5.
    Get the extra RAM.
    Get an external hard drive.

    The Macbook is nice and capable but it's too small. Physically and Hard Drive wise.
    I intend taking the Macbook to Qld when I go visiting later this year and will do proofing of images only. All downloads will be done to an external hard drive and I'll only give them a cursory check and leave the real processing till I get back home only because I'm so used to the 27in screen I now find the 13in screen too small.

    Don't be scared to look at the Mac online store for refurbished. These are the few machines that fail, get returned to Apple, get rebuilt then sold at up to 15% discount.
    Peter.

    Some of my photo's are at www.peterking.id.au

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