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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 12:14   #1
Nick Leech
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New computer - recommendations?

My old PC is log in the tooth. Does anyone have recommendations for a new computer for photographic use - cataloging and Post-Processing?

Will be using DPP4 and Lightroom etc. Want a machine that doesn't take forever to open files, process images etc!

Never used a Mac, so will probably stick to a Windows PC.

I presume I will get a faster more powerful Desktop than laptop for a given budget?

- what level of processor?
- how much RAM?
- separate graphics card - which one, how much on-board memory?

Any specific recommendations for models of PC?

Decent performance, without breaking the bank!

Thanks!
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 15:17   #2
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You could try a Dell XPS 15.6" which has an Intel i7-7700HQ processor, RAM: 16 GB / Storage: 512 GB SSD along with a Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050.

The 16GB RAM makes image download really quick, I can download 10GB of photos in just a few minutes. I have Lightroom, Photoshop CC, video editing software and its all very quick and far quicker than my current desk top, and as a laptop means its more versatile, I can sit in the front room editing photos rather than at a desk. I think PC world have these from around 1500, not cheap but as you get super fast RAM etc probably worth the investment.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 15:20   #3
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I upgraded just under two years ago. My last computer was about 5 years old. I presumed that I'd notice a huge improvement due improved compter performance with time, as long as I didn't go for a dirt cheap one. Sadly I was wrong.

I can't really advise what to get but my i5 7400 with 8GB is annoyingly slow when using Paintshop Pro to manage photos so I would advise getting a better spec. than I did.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 16:59   #4
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I went over to Apple 5 years ago and I have never looked back.You don't get bogged down with updates, the designs are beautiful too! I recently rediscovered Aperture for post processing and have been impressed.Opens up my1DX2 files no problem where I had to sign up for an expensive monthly plan with Adobe CC or convert the files to DNG's or TIFF's for using in CS6. I can't get on with DPP!
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 18:04   #5
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Hi Nick, I would certainly suggest you buy a computer that has an SSD (Solid State Drive) as the primary hard drive. The operating system should be installed on this and they are lightning fast. It doesn't need to be too large (the larger they are the more expensive they are). These computers often have a standard mechanical hard disk drive as the place to keep all your data. I've just built my new PC and used a 250gb SSD with a 1tb mechanical hard drive for data storage. I'm running Windows 10. I'm not sure if this arrangement is available in a laptop. You should be able to pick up a PC like this for less than 1000, possibly a lot less. When buying a PC or laptop the word cheap shouldn't be used in the same sentence with good, fast, and reliable. I'm presuming you already have monitor, keyboard, etc.

I'd probably be looking at either an Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen processor with at least 8gb of RAM.

Cheers

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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 19:20   #6
Jim M.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Babbs View Post
I upgraded just under two years ago. My last computer was about 5 years old. I presumed that I'd notice a huge improvement due improved compter performance with time, as long as I didn't go for a dirt cheap one. Sadly I was wrong.
My experience as well. PC speed improvement seems to have hit a plateau for the time being.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 23:10   #7
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Besides the cpu and memory which imo should be at a min. an i5 or i7 with 8Gigs.

You need to look at the video adapter that's included. Unless a PC is designed for gaming and/or graphics included video adapters aren't always good enough for graphic intensive applications such as gaming, editing and manipulation of image and video files, etc.

Old PC's use older hardware architecture while newer PC usually have improve hardware architecture designs which effects the relationship between the motherboards PCI bus, CPU, memory and Video adapter.

Only upgrading one of the following i.e. memory, cpu, hard drive and video doesn't often doesn't make that much of an improvement unless an older motherboard is also upgraded.

You may want to look for a more recent PC system that's designed and built for graphics such as a mutli-media PC, perhaps a stripped down version without a stereo system with speakers, and other multi-media peripherals which you may or may not need?

Though 8GB potentially is enough memory there's plenty of new PCs that come with 16GB and more memory that are better designed for multi-media applications.

e.g. here's a factory refurbished HP Envy 750 for $509.39

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Envy-750...UAAOSwRUhY~ivw

or a HP Omen Gaming Desktop PC Core i5-7400 for $899.99 (brand new, non refurbished)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Omen-Gam...kAAOSw8i9aZ6cl

HP store > http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/desktops/hp-omen-870

i5 vs i7 > https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404674,00.asp

i5 vs i7 > https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/core-i5-vs-i7

It can be difficult searching as there's so many available with new prices started at around $300.00 - $400.00

Myself I prefer named brand PCs such as HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc. However there are many other brands out there I'm uncertain how their quality compares to the more well known name brands.

e.g. after purchasing a new Thinkcenter something went wrong and a Lenovo tech came out to where I was many miles from a suburban urban area to and replaced the motherboard free of charge.

Just make certain the PC your purchasing is covered by a manufactures new warranty which should be at least a year or longer. Some are three to five years, etc.

After talking with HP I found their HP 870 only comes with a one year warranty, however you can purchase extended warranty for up to three years. Also some places such as Amazon and eBay offer in house warranties, such as Square Trade and others.

Some manufactures have reduced their manufacture warranty, as I noticed products that use to have three year manu. warranty, have been reduced to one year. So when purchasing a new PC one may need to purchase an extended warranty.

Last edited by Andonso : Wednesday 7th February 2018 at 00:20.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 14:02   #8
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There are two identical threads by the OP for this same topic. It is very confusing.

Dave
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 19:16   #9
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Just get a mac. You won't regret it and if you do you can install Windows on it anyway. Mine is dual boot and Windows runs better than my son's supposedly more powerful machine.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 22:33   #10
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Most tests and articles, and there are many, show that PC's are far better QPR than Macs for photo processing, which shouldn't be a surprise as it's the same hardware underneath at different prices. I'm still a Mac fan for other reasons, but I don't do much photo processing and if your goal is optimizing performance for cataloging and PP, a PC is going to be your friend. Rather than get a high end i7 processor with lots of cores, go for the highest clock speed you can, get a fair amount of memory (16gb or more), and get an SSD or a hybrid SSD drive. Video card is less important. That was my takeaway from several articles. You can get all that on a Mac as well of course, but you're paying a premium and whether that premium is worth it to you is separate from the issue of best QPR for photo processing.
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Old Saturday 10th February 2018, 18:42   #11
Nick Leech
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Thanks for replies so far.

I don't do much video work - so not an issue for me.

I found these two Desktop PCs on Ebay. Similar spec, but the second one has a more powerful graphics card.

In both cases I would go for:

i7 processor
16GB RAM
240GB SSD plus 2TB HDD
Windows 10

First one at 532, has nVIDIA Quadro 2000 graphics card

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Build-You...19.m1438.l2649

Second one at 742, has Geforce GTX 1050Ti 4GB graphics card

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gaming-De...19.m1438.l2649

What do people think of these options for stills PP work?

Last edited by Nick Leech : Saturday 10th February 2018 at 18:51.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 02:35   #12
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Those appear to good options as their already configured and upgraded how you want and both PCs come with Windows 10 OS already installed.

(used/refurbished) HP Compaq Elite 8200 Tower Workstation , or a HP Z210.

Another option would be to find a used PC and upgrade the system yourself, I'm uncertain perhaps could save a few dollars?

You pay the refurbisher to create a system to your specifications with an OS installed. Also some refurbishers are licensed by MS to install different versions of Windows onto multiple PCs.

However there's many used (same or similar) PC systems available for much less (~$100.00) however most often they don't come with an OS installed and may not have the desired SDD, HD and memory.

As an individual, I'm not certain the options for installing Windows 10 onto a OEM PC with COA without any OS media.

If purchasing one of the refurbed HP systems, I would recommend backing up the entire OS onto some sort of media for restore purposes, in case the refurbisher's installed OS becomes corrupted for some reason. * Unless the refurbisher has installed a restore partition or provides some sort restore media.

You may want to e-mail the seller and ask if they have or offer any options to re-install the Windows 10 OS in case their OS install becomes corrupted, etc.

Things have changed over the years so I'm not up on OS licensing details for upgrading or building your own PC.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2018, 17:10   #13
Nick Leech
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I have had some conflicting advice as regards graphics cards.

For stills only (no video editing), is it important to have a powerful graphics card with, say 4GB of dedicated memory? Or is a more modest graphics card adequate for stills editing as long as you have say 16GB RAM and an i7 processor?
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 21:42   #14
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Good article below on video editing needs - The need for good CPU vs good Graphics card depends on the software being used.

http://www.logicalincrements.com/articles/videoediting
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 20:04   #15
Nick Leech
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Won't be doing video editing. Just stills photo editing.

So my query is to do with whether a good graphics card is necessary for still photo editing in Lightroom, DPP4 and Photoshop.

Starting to think a GTX 1050 would be adequate for stills work.

Last edited by Nick Leech : Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 20:08.
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