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Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

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  #1  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:57 AM
Carol Heath's Avatar
Carol Heath Carol Heath is offline
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Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Hubby was installing a new hard drive for me today and discovered the fan from my graphics card has fallen off! I have no idea how long it has been like this but it is looking pretty terminal.
My current machine is almost four years old so I figure it is now time to rebuild my entire computer. I'm a PC user and need 64 bit but not sure what other features I should be asking for. If you were to build your perfect computer, what hardware would you choose? eg. graphics card, ideal specs? etc.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:26 PM
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

An interesting question for me Carol as I have been debating if I want/need upgrade.

Perfect computer is probably a difficult one to answer and I guess would be dependant on your interests and needs i.e. Games player, Video editing, 3d editing etc.

Four years old is fairly ancient in computer terms therefore anything you build now is likely to show a marked speed improvement.

Guessing that you will really want it for graphics/photo editing via Photoshop CS5. So this is my best guess of what would be useful for this application - of course I could be incorrect in my assumptions and if so hopefully someone will correct me

OS
Windows 7 64 bit without any doubt

Processor
Photoshop should run faster on a multiprocessor system so perhaps quad core i5 or i7 - but which one best 'bang for buck'?

Motherboard
Always been happy with offerings from either Abit or Asus - perhaps an Asus P6T Deluxe

RAM
Think this is crucial and you should cram in as much as your computer can hold. Speed, while important is one of those areas that highlight the laws of diminishing returns i.e. the highest speed RAM will not necessarily be noticed in the overall performance

HDD
At least a couple of large fast Hard Drives. SSD's appear to be startlingly fast and applications will load very quickly. Probably most benefit though would be from using SSD for your PS scratch disk.

Graphics Card
From what I understand there is going to be very little advantage for Photoshop using a high end card (at least for 2d editing) therefore many mid range cards should be more than adequate. My choice either nVidia or ATI/AMD Radeon series
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:25 PM
DiamondPlatinum DiamondPlatinum is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Thank you Tony .. I am in the exact same situation as Carol is and i would like u suggest if I am looking to buy a MAC which is the best one to go for .. I am eyeing the imac series
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:43 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Hi Carol,
I just finished putting a few new machines together so I will offer some suggestions.
- ASUS P8P67 Pro or Deluxe Motherboard. They are well designed and robust with lots of I/O including USB 3, and e-sata. Internally there are 3Gbps and 6 Gbps SATA bus interfaces. Well supported with good BIOS and lots of programability.
- i7-2600 Intel CPU. It has 4 cores / 8 threads and starts at 3.4 Ghz. I would not go witha faster spped as it is usually not worth the extra cost for the CPU.
- 16GB of RAM. Price has come down on the matched pairs of 2 x 4GB
- For Hard Drives I would recommend a 120GB Solid State Drive for the OS and applications only. Would recommend a conventional hard drive like Western Digital Balck Caviar 1 or 2 Terabytes 7200 RPM for storing all personal files, photos, docs, and for use as the scratch disk for PS. If you can't afford the SSD as your OS drive then get a 2nd standard hard drive, but I would recommend a 7200 RPM drive. You can have the fastest processor and MoBo but programs like PS are very disk intensive and having fast drives will make a big difference.
- Win 7 64 bit along with 64 bit applications will make a very significant impact on speed of processing
- Video card; depends on your usage. ATI and nVidia offer a large selection of cards. Almost a new video cards come with 1 GB of video ram. A mid range card is plenty sufficient for PS which is not that video intensive. Watch out for the high end gamer type cards. While they don't cost much more for all the extra performance, they suck extra resources as you will need a more powerful case power supply to feed these power suckers, and you will likely have a big fat fan mounted on the GPU which will add to the noise in your system and it may also cause you to loose the use of an additional socket on the motherboard.
- A computer case with a power supply sufficient to run everything and allow for some expansion. So min 500 watts preferably 600 - 700 watts. Antec Sonata cases are very good and a number of them come bundled with power supplys and they have front panel connectors (audio, USB, e-SATA). The new ones have 4 holes drilled in the bottom to accommodate a standard SSD so you can avoid trying to find a mechanical adapter.
- Optical drives: If you are not into blu-ray, a conventional CD-DVD-R/RW drives are about $30. Consider installing 2 of them.
Regards, Murray
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:30 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

hi,
I am going thru the same thing smiling... only have a few minor things to mentioned besides mistermonday suggestion... which is sort of close to what I am getting....

a few thoughts...
1. make sure you have enough usb ports... i suggest at least 6 , 2 on front and the rest in the back..

2. if you do a lot of backing up large files... i make sure you have at least either a esata port or if you do have usb 3.0 ports make sureyou use a usb 3.0 external hard drive... a lot faster than using a old usb 2.0 drive...

3. graphic cards . now always software will drive what you get for hardware ....
a. for example i am looking at updating my old photoshop to cs 5.... and for best performance out of it the graphic card needs to have opengl support and shrader support. a graphic card can work without them but it maybe slower ... not all graphic cards have that support...
b. unless your into heavy duty games... you don't need the sli/crossfire type graphic cards (these kind of cards cost more) ... there only good for games , they don't do anything for graphic or video editing performance.
4. the case, be nice to get a cpu case that has filters holders on it.. in my area, very dusty and hense that why i think of it...
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:57 PM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondPlatinum View Post
Thank you Tony .. I am in the exact same situation as Carol is and i would like u suggest if I am looking to buy a MAC which is the best one to go for .. I am eyeing the imac series
Sorry but I have no experience with Apple Mac therefore am unable to make any suggestions.

Nice sounding spec Murray at a cost of components only approx £1,100 (around $1,818) build it yourself and supply your own Windows 7. Processor does sound pretty capable and if you do feel the need for speed I understand it is quite easy to overclock to 5ghz @ 1.35v

If it is not considered a rude question what is the cost in your part of the world?

One thing I am curious about is there any reason you did not spec an SSD for scratch disk?

Last edited by Tony W; 05-03-2011 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:33 PM
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

New iMacs were released today!
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:30 PM
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
Sorry but I have no experience with Apple Mac therefore am unable to make any suggestions.

Nice sounding spec Murray at a cost of components only approx £1,100 (around $1,818) build it yourself and supply your own Windows 7. Processor does sound pretty capable and if you do feel the need for speed I understand it is quite easy to overclock to 5ghz @ 1.35v

If it is not considered a rude question what is the cost in your part of the world?

One thing I am curious about is there any reason you did not spec an SSD for scratch disk?
Hi Tony, here in USA & Canada the prices are somewhat lower. Each system was about $1300.
As a general rule it is recommended that the scratch disk be on a physical drive which is different than the drive containing the OS.

Best regards,
Murray
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:51 PM
renata renata is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Hey Carol, I'm in Sydney and have recently upgraded my computer. My hubbie likes to build his own, but I want no such nonsense! I bought from Dell (online), everything went smoothly and it runs CS5 like a rocket.

I wanted to buy an XPS8100, but there was a big recall of Intel chips and it was unavailable. So I bought an XPS7100 (which has an AMD chip). Compared to the "standard", I selected an upgrade to the processor, an upgrade to the video card, more memory (8gigs), a second internal 1TB drive and 3 years of antivirus software. The final cost was AUD$1860, in case you want to compare what it costs to build. I've bought from Dell before and my personal experiences have been hassle free.

If you ever end up going with Dell, look online, but then call to ask about discounts. I got a discount (was it 5% or 10%?) for quoting my NRMA (road membership) number. There are also coupon codes which you can search for online, which some of my friends were urging me to use, but I ended up not needing to.

Have fun, I'm so glad to have a nice, new PC (and CS5 instead of CS2)!
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:24 AM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Time for a new computer. Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
...As a general rule it is recommended that the scratch disk be on a physical drive which is different than the drive containing the OS...
Hi Murray, sometimes envious of the prices you seem to enjoy on so many products
I do appreciate the rule that the scratch disk be on a seperate drive but was wondering why not make the scratch disk an SSD (apart from cost)? For those times when PS accessed this drive it would fly! On the other hand with 16Gb available perhaps the scratch disk less important?
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