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Author Topic: Advice on new PC & Screen  (Read 2264 times)

Offline Darren1978

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Advice on new PC & Screen
« on: August 27, 2009, 03:52:53 PM »
Afternoon everyone :)

I'm in need of a bit of advice if you please....

I currently have a laptop (3yrs old, Win XP) which I use for everything; web browsing, music, word processing, spreadsheets and my photography.  I'm thinking that it might be time to purchase a a desktop PC so that the laptop can justbe used for the web and music, leaving the desktop for the photography and day-to-day bits and bobs.

So I guess my requirements would be something along these lines (mainly thinking about the photography side of things because if the desktop is up to that, it will do everything else I need it to):

  • Decent sized HDD
  • Decent amount of RAM
  • Quick processor (duo-core?)
  • Wireless enabled (I guess that is standard these days?)
  • Respectable sized screen (20" plus?)
  • Decent screen resolution

I'm not too hot on knowing what to look for when it comes to screens and stuff i.e what size to go for and what to specifically look for in a screen.

Also, as I'm assuming it will come with Vista, I need to know if Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom 2 are compatable?

I haven't got a budget figure in mind at the moment, basically because I really don't know what to look out for and whats good and whats not so good, so this is where you guys and gals come in......fire away with your help/advice/suggestions/recommendations.....

Thanks in advance :thumbs:



Offline Trickee

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 05:44:19 PM »
hi Darren

HARD DRIVE i would go for two, one for the operating system and the other for your photographs and files.
RAM i would go for 4mb minimum
PROCESSOR quad core
WIRELESS yes
SCREEN 20 INCH YES but check for resolution
GRAPHICS CARD this is missing from your shopping list and is vital for ramping up the resolution.
VISTA is compatible with both software but i think the 64bit version will give you more speed.

someone more savvy will come along and expand more me thinks :)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 05:49:20 PM by Trickee »

Offline oRGie

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 05:54:54 PM »
Hi,

Well pc's are so quick now that you dont need the latest chips etc just for day to day and photos, so my advice is get a pc with an intel chip, quad or dual core 2.x or 3.x ghz whatever is not the top of the line right now, 4gb's of fast 1000mhz plus ram (get quality make and matched pair of sticks, better to use 2 sticks, 4 can cause problems), a good graphics card, but not top of the line, but dual dvi out would be handy in the future if you ever fancy 2 screens, great for stuff like photoshop work, 1 or 2 1TB hd drives, firewire800/usb2 all standard nowadays with wireless and lan etc etc..  if you like music on your pc then a good sound card and speakers, a 22" or 24" tft or 2 if you can budget for it :) blue ray dvd recorder/player.

I would not get vista, steer well clear, if you shop around you can get xp installed instead and for a best price to get a good spec that will last you years, get the pc made to your spec, you would be suprised how cheaply you can build or have built a great spec pc, not using the latest releases. Have a look at www.overclockers.co.uk for prices fo stuff, kits and shop built machines.

xp just uses 2gb of ram iirc, so the 4gb is too future proof yourself so when the next windows opsys is released you will be ready for it, probably, if it works better than vista.

Hope that helps, shout when you do some window shopping (hehe) and we can look at the items your thinking of and let you know if its good or not :)

someone will no doubt be along to say by a mac :)   personally I prefer pc with xp...

picsfor

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 06:08:58 PM »
No, advice on a Mac wasn't requested, otherwise i would offer some advice on a mac.

That said, i think the advice given so far more than covers what is best.
One thing that was missed was what the budget was?

No point recommending £1200 worth of kit when only £600 is available...

Andrew

Offline greypoint

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009, 06:10:55 PM »
Some people swear by Vista [well it is pretty I suppose] but having struggled with it for over a year I've gone back to xp with both desktop and my new laptop - it just works.

Offline ABERS

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2009, 06:31:25 PM »
I get all sort of worried when I try to read a thread like this. I say try because I can't understand what half of it means. ::).

I just went into J Lewis told a bloke I wanted  a computer to do photography and he sold me this one. It seems OK. Then a mate told me I should get an External Hard drive to back up my pictures so it was off to Mr Lewis' shop again and hey presto he obliged once again.

Nice blokes at Mr Lewis' shop, never knowingly undersold you know. ;)

Offline Darren1978

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2009, 07:05:24 PM »
Cheers guys, very useful.....except Orgie's reply which has left me totally baffled - what is a 'matched pair of sticks' ? :D

I want a PC as opposed to a Mac as PCs are what I know and have grown up with, plus the Macs seem a tad expensive!  I would much prefer to get a PC with XP installed rather than Vista; I don't know much about Vista, but I do know that an awful lot of people don't get on with it so that is a good enough reason for me not to want anything to do with it.

I had thought about a custom build, but my initial thoughts were that it would be an expensive route to go down, but from reading your post Orgie, it would appear that it doesn't have to be.  Also, I would not have a clue where to start when it comes to specifying various parts to go in a custom build!  How much would a custom build along the lines of what you described cost then Orgie?

I would be using my laptop for music so I don't need to worry too much about a sound card & speakers.  Obviously I missed out a graphics card, and a decent one would make sense.

Alternatively, I could take Abers approach and pop into John Lewis....sounds like the easy way  ;D

Offline oRGie

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 07:37:03 PM »
hehe, matched pair of sticks of ram...   like carbs on an engine, if the engine has 2 or more carbs they have to be ballanced or the engine doesnt run smoothly, ram is like that too, especially high speed modern ram that works to very tight tolerances....  I could go on lol

have a look at this machine http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?catid=&prodid=FS-065-OE  it is in fact a lot more powerfull than you need and is overclocked so it would make noise as it will run hot and have big fans to keep it cool...  but its a grand basically, add a monitor,there is a 22" at the bottom of that page that would be very nice to look at for 180 and a keyboard and mouse, unless you have them, maybe another 25 and if your doing this get a graphics tablet, i dont have one, but have tried them and all that use them swear by them for photo editing.

So I think you could build a system, or have overclockers build it for you for maybe £600 and choose xp, plus a monitor and away you go... 

I have used overclockers for all the parts for my pc home builds for more than 10 years, never had problems with them, in your case even better if you can drive to their store to collect the pc and see it running before you leave.

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Advice on new PC & Screen
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2009, 08:09:44 PM »
Any duel or quad core processer will do what you want. See http://www.dabs.com/products/acer-refurb-aspire-m7711-c2q-q8300-4mb-750gb-vhp-63XS.html?refs=412110000-50920000#specifications

At £390 this refurbished will do all you want, just need to add a screen. Spec is printed below.
Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8300
4GB DDR2 RAM
750GB Hard Drive
Super Multi DVD Drive
ATI Radeon HD4650 1GB
HDMI Output
10/100/1000 Integrated LAN
Microsoft Vista Home Premium
Wireless Keyboard
Wireless Mouse
Integrated Audio

For a monitor then this Samsung 24in should be all you need. http://www.dabs.com/products/samsung-24--wide-sm2443bw-5ms-dvi-tft-5BJD.html?refs=412800000

All for under £600.  :tup:

 

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