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Which PC to choose

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  • Which PC to choose

    I have been looking at advice on this forum,looking at what PC to choose,i find the information quite undigestible,i am looking for advice in laymens terms,have been told apple mac is best,i need PC for photoshop/Photomatix hardware,it needs to have plenty of storage,and would preferably like something that is reasonably quick,i wouldn't be able to afford a new Mac but reconditioned ones are available from Apple,any advice would be most welcome.
    Many Thanks,

  • #2
    Re: Which PC to choose

    Hi Bristolpaul - It would help to know some basics such as desktop vs laptop, do you need to do critical color editing while mobile (which means an IPS display) or is that all done while tethered to a larger IPS display, etc. Knowing more about the customer requirements will allow forum members to better target suggestions. It also helps to know an approximate budget range and volume of editing you need to do. Just a suggestion.


    • #3
      Re: Which PC to choose

      Hi John,
      This is the problem,i know you can get colour callibrators for monitors,which for me is essential,i don't know if any PCs come with it already installed,sorry,i don't know what IPS is,please excuse my ignorance,i basically need it purely for photo editing and restoration,i am using Photoshop CS5 and Photomatix,i definitely need something with plenty of memory,definitely laptop,i need to do a large amount of editing,i don't need to do editing while mobile,as for budget,looking around £800,if i really have to spend a little more to get something far superior then i will ,realistically though,i don't want to be spending anymore,this is why i was looking at reconditioned Macs.


      • #4
        Re: Which PC to choose

        Hi Bristolpaul - Thanks for the additional details on your requirements. Here are some more thoughts and other Forum members may jump in with more suggestions:

        - Equivalently equipped Mac or PC will yield very similar performance. Decision on what platform should be made for other reasons. PCs have lower cost entry systems and somewhat lower initial cost for heavily loaded systems. In my opinion Macs are an easier user interface and require less IT maintenance. So there are tradeoffs where you have to prioritize which platform to use. I use both Macs and PCs and primarily use a Mac yet not for performance reasons.

        - CS5 is now 3 generations old which is fine yet you need to be aware of system requirements for that version. More advanced versions of either OS are not officially supported on CS5 yet it seems to work. Just a risk of lack of support if you run into an issue. Here is a link to system requirements for Photoshop for all versions on both platforms:
        Note that if you plan to upgrade to a newer PS version someday, it is good to look at those system requirements as they become more stringent on what they need.

        - Monitor: For a laptop I would personally not go smaller than 15 inch for editing. I may do basic work on my laptop yet it is easier when I use my 24inch monitor tethered into my Mac. What I believe is more important is having a monitor with IPS technology which provides wide angle viewing. The narrower angle of view technology (TN) causes problems in tone and color shift. This is most evident if you look at a TN laptop display and tilt the monitor lid back and forth. Big changes in tone and color for laptops with TN technology for the display. So get a laptop with IPS technology display or plan to have an extra IPS external display monitor tethered in for critical tone and color editing

        - Color calibration/profiling: To get good matches between display and print or even to other displays, having a color calibration device is highly desireable. Most often these are bought separately such as the ColorMunki Display from Xrite (DataColor also sells good calibrators). Higher end monitors sometimes sell the calibrator as part of the package yet plan on buying one separately.

        - Memory: 8G minimum; 16G recommended yet this is subject to your budget

        - HD: 512G minimum; 1TB recommended yet again subject to your budget

        - Graphics: Important to look at the list of Adobe supported graphics cards/solutions (found online). I personally recommend a separate graphics card vs built in graphics with the processor for performance and 1G minimum graphics memory.

        - Processor: Middle of the road processor would be fine (not an entry level processor for performance concerns yet the highest end processor you are paying a big premium for performance

        - Using SSD instead of a HD gives some higher performance yet is not a must by any means.

        - If you get a PC or Mac with the above specs they typically come with plenty of connectivity (e.g. USB ports etc) that will meet most needs.


        Hope this gives you some ideas on characteristics to look for in your purchase.


        • #5
          Re: Which PC to choose

          Just to try to help....I bought this 64 bit laptop 16 months ago but upgraded the ram from 4 Gig to 8.
          I very often edit images of 800-1000 Mb with no trouble...overall I have been very satisfied with it and will look to Cyberpower for my next upgrade.

          See the speed test in the link below...I have just run the test and got a time of just shy of 8 seconds.



          • #6
            Re: Which PC to choose

            Thanks John's for your comprehensive input,this gives me plenty of food for thought,i shall be doing plenty of research with what you have provided and eventually hope to come to a correct conclusion,
            All the best,


            • #7
              Re: Which PC to choose

              I have spent some time looking and have at the moment come up with the following:-
              PC Acer V5-573 15.6"
              Intel core i5 4200u processor
              Memory 4GB
              Hard drive 1TB

              Monitor AOC i2639Vm Full HD 23" IPS LED monitor with MHL
              1920x1080 resolution

              Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti PCle graphics card.
              Clock speed 1072 MHz
              Memory type GDDR5
              Memory bus 128-bit
              Multi GPU: SLI

              Colour calibrator Xrite Colormunki

              Any thoughts,would like to know if these are good choices.


              • #8
                Re: Which PC to choose

                I think I'd try to stretch to a faster processor, this ones only 1.6GHz, plus it's only 2 cored
                I can only compare this with the processor in my laptop at 2.4GHz quad core
                If you go for a slower one you may regret it later.

                Maybe look at a smaller HDD to cut the cost down, I've no doubt you have extra storage externally anyway.



                • #9
                  Re: Which PC to choose

                  Hi BristolPaul

                  Personally, I would start at 8G memory. It would also be desirable that you have the ability in that laptop to upgrade to 16G if you ever want to go there.

                  I am not familiar with that monitor so can't help there.


                  • #10
                    Re: Which PC to choose

                    Check out this laptop review on more or less reliable websites (i.e. etc) for color accuracy benchmark.

                    There are plenty of IPS-based laptops out now, however that does not mean they are all color accurate in any way. It has more to do with viewing angles than a gamut and uniformity.


                    • #11
                      Re: Which PC to choose

                      Hello Johns,
                      Thanks for the replies,this is where i get hung up with all this IT jargon,looking at the laptop it says it has 2.6Ghz,1.6Ghz with turbo boost,3Mb cache,whatever that means,as for memory,by starting at 8GB are you talking about RAM?


                      • #12
                        Re: Which PC to choose

                        Hi Paul - Good question

                        In the post where you listed the laptop specs you had right under the processor spec you had the memory:

                        "Intel core i5 4200u processor
                        Memory 4GB"

                        Instead of 4GB there I was suggesting the 8G would be a much better way to go. Hope that clarifies.


                        • #13
                          Re: Which PC to choose

                          Thanks for clarifying John,


                          • #14
                            Re: Which PC to choose

                            You're welcome Paul


                            • #15
                              Re: Which PC to choose

                              Regarding the mentioned laptop (Acer V5-573) the quick look on reveals the screen has a nice sRGB coverage and it is indeed pretty much nice for the price. I doubt you can get better without spending more.

                              My only two concers are hard disk - which runs at 5400 RPM and is likely to be the slowest part of this setup - and also take into consideration the CPU - if nothing's changed, U-series indicate low-voltage (lower power drain) line of processor units, which is perfectly fine regarding the comfort - keeps laptop cooler, noise levels down and the battery lasts longer - but not that much for performance. Having said that, modern CPUs are really fast ones and with a lot of RAM memory and an SSD upgrade (more on that below) you should be just fine for general workload.

                              RAM itself won't be that much of an improvement if you have a really slow hard drive. I'd look for an upgrade to a SSD drive, that should be an option. You can always have a rather cheap external storage unit for archiving.

                              Most of the modern notebooks are really sleek, light and slim devices which is not so good for upgrades, since a seemingly easy task like replacing a hard drive can get painful and broke the warranty in some cases. Hence, you might have to choose an upgrade upon ordering.


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