End of an EraPoll - Doom and GloomDOOM and GLOOM CHAT 13-2...Outdoors - CHAT thread - ...DOOM and GLOOM ENTRIES 1...POLL - FruitOutdoors - ENTRY thread -...POLL - VehiclesENTRIES-FRUIT-Weekly Comp...CHAT-FRUIT-Weekly Comp 6-...VEHICLES - CHAT thread we...VEHICLES - ENTRY thread w...Poll - PortraitsPortraits - CHAT - Weekly...Portraits - ENTRIES-Weekl...POLL-BIRDS

Author Topic: New PC - is this one any good  (Read 8415 times)

Offline jinky

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3327
Re: New PC
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2010, 03:43:15 PM »
Some months after I asked your advice I have finally got to the stage where  can no longer bear the delays in my PC coping with my photo processing demands and internet download times. It groans and virtually spits as it tries to cope with what I aim at it and since getting the D700 the extra file sizes seem to have tipped it over the edge.
I have been looking at the Dell XPS 8100 650 processor details here in the 2nd column as I am determined to buy the best I can afford at the moment as a few years investment. What I am wondering is whether the one in the third column is the better buy and are Dell reliable / good at support?
http://www1.euro.dell.com/uk/en/home/Desktops/studio-xps-8100/pd.aspx?refid=studio-xps-8100&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1

Key differences:
1.Intel core i5 vx Intel core i7
2. Processor 650 (3.20GHz, 4MB) vs Processor 860 (2.80GHz, 8MB
3. 1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 5670 graphics card  vs Graphics Card - Single 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTS 240
4. 1.5TB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive  vs 2TB Dual Hard Drive Raid 0 "Stripe" (2x1TB - 7200rpm
 I know logically the 2nd is likely to better buy for the extra £70 but I can actually get the first for less with a discount voucher through Curry`s making it around £110 cheaper.

Any comments? Is the main difference likely to be for gaming purposes as I do little of that. I just want lightning fast editing capacity using NX2, Lightroom or Photoshop.

picsfor

  • Guest
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2010, 04:30:11 PM »
So, as i understand it you're looking at getting a Dell base unit to replace your current base unit (looking at the specs offered in columns 2 and 3).

So far as the hard drive goes - the £70 saved would allow you to get a 1.5tb EHD which would provide much better back up for the larger file sizes you will be putting in. Also - overall you would have  2x 1.5tb spread over internal and external instead of 2x1tb internal. The 1.5tb option is a far more robust back up plan in case some thing happens!

Radeon v Nvidia - my choice would tend to go with Nvidia but to be honest you're dealing with shades of grey with that comparison. So nothing to worry about.

Processor wise - you're not really talking about the end of the world. Win 7 will make as much use of the GPU as it would te CPU when processing graphics. So you can ignore that argument.

Dell - are they any good? A lot of businesses use them and i've always rated the support they gave in my past dealings as an IT Support person or in a personal capacity. That said i've heard of horror stories as well.
For the money you're paying, i'd take the gamble.

But as said - i'd use the saving to get a 1.5tb EHD as a back up because that's an awful lot of files you're going to lose if something goes wrong!

Offline Oldboy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5427
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2010, 06:10:06 PM »
Customer service at Dell is well below what you should expects from a large company. As for buying from PC World beware, that the Dell PC they sell you is made specially for them by Dell, so may not match what you see on the Dell website. Customer service at PC World is just as bad. Check out the Computer Shopper website for reviews of PC's. http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/pcs  :tup:

Offline jinky

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3327
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2010, 08:08:29 PM »
Thanks both. They seemed to be virtually the same spec apart from smaller hard drive in the \currys version OldBoy but will check again. Having  looked at Expert Reviews I`m now tempted by the Yoyotech Warbird i650cs which includes a monitor for the same price and gets good write up. Not sure if it more a gamer machine than for what I want though.Could upgrade the screen to better one. Me3sh one looks good with Liyama screen too. So hard when you know nothing.
Given they are all windows 7 64 bit machines should I be worried that my photo editing software will not work with it?

Should have siad I have Nikons NX2 updated to latest version with online updates but also use beta testing versions of CS2 and Lightroom 2.4 I think with some plug ins supplied by a friend which I would not be able to update without considerable investmet. I also use the free programme Photoscape that was recommended on here and which I love using.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 08:16:39 PM by jinky »

Offline Jonathan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1273
    • PeopleByRyan
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2010, 08:28:24 PM »
I know very little about PCs but....

1. a 2TB Raid 0 "stripe" actually gives you 2 TB of storage that is twice as likely to fail as 2 single drives (though it will be quicker for some things).  Really I'm baffled by Dell recommending this.
2. The "speed" of NX2 appears largely random.  Some people have trouble running it at a decent rate on a high spec machine and others seem happy with the speed on much lower spec computers.  It's even possible that upgrading your machine will make it run slower (Dear Nikon, please don't write any more software.  Ever.  You are even worse at it than Hasselblad.)
3. I just bought a couple of 2TB hard drives for £99 each.  I'd expect there to be space for at least one of those in any new PC.
It's Guest's round

Offline Eileen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2010, 09:18:35 PM »
I've got an earlier generation XPS and have had a few Dell computers at home and at work. Generally I find them highly reliable and of very good quality. The only Dell PC I've ever seen fail is my current one, which might be said to prove Jonathan right (my RAID 0 Hard Drive failed a number of times. We always managed to start it again eventually but in the end Dell decided to replace it before it failed irrevocably). I should add that the engineer did say that he'd never been called out to one of these machines before as they're normally highly reliable.

When I bought my machine it came with three years free access to Dell's premium support centre. They are absolutely great - very knowledgeable, polite and professional. I hope I never have to speak to them again but that's not because I wasn't impressed: I just want the computer to keep working. They routinely call you back a few times after you've dealt with them just to check that everything still works and you are still happy.  If you're thinking of going with Dell, check out whether you can access this premium support as I don't think it now comes automatically with XPS machines but you might be able to persuade the sales person to sweeten the deal with that.

The Dell machines you are looking at now have only 2 hard drive ports, so if you go with a Raid 0 drive you won't have the option to fit an extra HD inside the computer.

Personally, although I've had some bad times with this computer I would consider buying a Dell again. As a general rule they're real workhorse machines that perform reliably year on year. The computers you are looking at are very fast and I'm sure you'll see a real difference with PS and other programs. I'm not at all sure that it will make an ounce of difference with Capture NX. I've given up using NX2 because it's so slow compared to CS4. I don't think the slowness is anything to do with processing power.

I don't know enough about computers to comment on any of your other queries.

picsfor

  • Guest
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2010, 09:54:08 PM »
Me3sh one looks good with Liyama screen too. So hard when you know nothing.
Given they are all windows 7 64 bit machines should I be worried that my photo editing software will not work with it?
Should have siad I have Nikons NX2 updated to latest version with online updates but also use beta testing versions of CS2 and Lightroom 2.4 I think with some plug ins supplied by a friend which I would not be able to update without considerable investmet. I also use the free programme Photoscape that was recommended on here and which I love using.
I personally wouldn't touch Mesh with a barge pole. I've never had a good dealing with them yet - but had to fight like hell to get people the correct support and refunds.

Win 7 64 bit - it will handle LR2 with ease as does this computer i'm writing this response on which is a 64 bit Win 7 machine.
CS2 will also work and i suspect NX2 will - though from what i know of NX2 i would stick to using LR2 for your file import etc.

You certainly are pushing the boundaries with this purchase...

Offline jinky

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3327
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 11:48:52 AM »
Thanks all. Yes I`m thinking as I won the money to pay for my D700 and have had a few jobs that effectively pay for this purchase I might as well spoil myself and get something that does the business. Just awaiting a call back from Dell at the moment. I am probably going with their lower spec machine I highlighted but when I told them the Curry`s figures they not only gave me chapter and verse on why their built model is better and updated but gave me a bit of discount and  a lower priced 23 inch monitor. Paying a little more than I planned for nut ... I`m worth it  ;)
Just wished I had the knowledge / confidence to build my own to spec

picsfor

  • Guest
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 12:39:43 PM »
Just wished I had the knowledge / confidence to build my own to spec

Building your own computer is extremely rewarding, and more over you get to know the ins and outs of your computer like you never do with one your purchase pre-built.
With any computer, except the iMac, my first task was always to format the hard drive and totally rebuild the computer so i did understand its peculiarities.

I'm not sure there is as much need to build computers like there was just for graphic and document editing or creation. Only top end gamers need the state of the art specialised specs.

Offline Oldboy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5427
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 05:38:51 PM »
Years ago it was cheaper to build your own computer, as the parts were cheaper than a pre-build PC, and you could build what you wanted and needed. Today, it's cheaper to buy a complete PC rather than build you own, as the range is bigger and covers most needs then, if required, add any more powerful components as needed or to update the spec.  ;D

Offline spinner

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1463
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2010, 11:01:45 AM »
That's why I like to buy Refurbished from the manufacturer, it's even cheaper and then I upgrade the parts I want. Though I still like to build from scratch as well.  :)
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
Ol' blue eyes

http://ddsdigita4.wix.com/ddsdigital
https://www.flickr.com/photos/spin498/

picsfor

  • Guest
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2010, 11:43:26 AM »
The problem with most computers of today is they're built using SMT (surface mount technology) which means the motherboard has everything soldered on.
Not much room for upgrades with that policy - ram, processor and HD being the only options.

With that policy, by the time you've bought the old machine and upgraded sufficiently to make it worth while, it's just as cheap to buy a new one and get the worthless warranty with it!
That's how it's currently running in the UK. Sadly  :'(

Offline jinky

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3327
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2010, 04:18:37 PM »
Ah well - all ordered now and looks the business. Got the speakers I ordered yesterday already so just need the 23 inch monitor and pc now which should come next Thursday or Friday as they are building it as we speak. Shame I`ve done my back in and just had to turn down a job that would have helped pay for it
- still it was only an hour  :(

Hybridphotog

  • Guest
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2010, 11:51:38 AM »
£650?? Wow! That kinda makes the cost of my up-n-coming new PC upgrade a bit easier to swallow.

Mind you, after pricing up the water cooling setup, last night... £160+...  :-\

Offline jinky

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3327
Re: New PC - is this one any good
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2010, 02:47:17 PM »
I spent more than that in the end but not been disappointed. It has changed my whole workflow and saved me hours sat at the PC doing jobs already. Got 6gb ram and it is all so fast. NX2 works at the speed of light and using Lightroom I see previews of what presets will do that I never knew existed before. So worth it!!

 

latest Posts

Subject Board Views/Replies Member Date & Time
xx End of an Era General Discussion 56/5 jinky Last post Today at 06:40:48 AM
xx Poll - Doom and Gloom International Weekly Comp Entries 167/5 Jediboy Last post September 26, 2020, 09:30:50 PM
xx DOOM and GLOOM CHAT 13-20/092020 International Weekly Comp Entries 207/6 jinky Last post September 22, 2020, 09:54:12 AM
xx Outdoors - CHAT thread - Weekly comp 20/09/20 - 27/09/20 International Weekly Comp Entries 134/4 Oldboy Last post September 22, 2020, 12:03:31 AM
xx DOOM and GLOOM ENTRIES 13-20/092020 International Weekly Comp Entries 136/3 Oldboy Last post September 21, 2020, 11:51:45 PM
xx POLL - Fruit International Weekly Comp Entries 217/4 jinky Last post September 21, 2020, 08:58:04 AM
xx Outdoors - ENTRY thread - Weekly Comp 20/09/30 - 27/09/20 International Weekly Comp Entries 49/0 Jediboy Last post September 20, 2020, 12:03:53 PM
xx POLL - Vehicles International Weekly Comp Entries 347/6 Jediboy Last post September 15, 2020, 09:01:03 AM