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Old Nov 9, 2005, 2:32 PM   #1
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I am in the market for a new computer. I need recommendations as to cpu, etc. I pan on using Photoshop CS. Suggestions?
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Old Nov 9, 2005, 5:22 PM   #2
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CB,

I would stick with a 3 gghz system, which is reasonably affordable right now yet pretty darn fast. You should buy a machine with at least 1GB of memory.

Go with an IBM clone PC, like a Dell or an HP. Apple really stinks with photos, all sorts of compatibilty problems with hardware, files, etc.

You'll need a fairly large and fast second drive. Get yourself a MAXTOR 250 or 300GBgigabyte 7200RPM second drive (install it yourself).

Also, get a DVD writer either already installed, or install one yourself. You can back up your photo libraries to DVD.

-- Terry


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Old Nov 16, 2005, 11:47 AM   #3
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I'd agree with Terry about the specs for a PC for picture editing. Although I manage witha singlelarge and fast drive.

I am surprised at his comments about Apple. I don't have a lot of experience with Apple machines so he may be right. However I know 1 professional photographer who uses Macs exclusively with no issues. In the past Apple's main market was in the publishing market and image processing. Photoshop was originally a Mac based program later ported to the PC.

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Old Nov 16, 2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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Ken,

I've heard there is compatibility issues with Apple.

Also, I have a mini mac, and it won't work with every printer or DVD drive.

You have to be very careful with the hardware you buy to see if it wil really work with your Apple.

From that perspective, I'd rather go out and buy a fast and cheap PC and know that just about everything will workwith it.

Terry
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Old Nov 17, 2005, 6:00 PM   #5
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For CPU, don't be fooled by Ghz ratings. I would get an AMD Athlon64 machine if at all possible. Much more performance for your dollar dispite Ghz rating. If you need proof, here is part of an article from anandtech.com. It shows an Adobe photshop and premiere test to give you a general idea.

Once you see this, look for prices on the processors or computers with these processors. An AMD machine will give you better all around performance for less money.

Also, if you are able to, build the machine yourself. I did using the Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8Ghz they list, but I overclocked it to 2.2Ghz, which puts it in the middle of the chart. If Dell tells you AMD CPUs have reliablity problems, ignore them. It is a total load. In fact, the latest Athlon 64 CPUs generally run 10-30 degrees C cooler than their Pentium 4 counterparts. If you need help on a computer, check out Poasters.com. It is a great forum that I help moderate, and there are very knowledgable people that will really help you out.

And do yourself a favor and avoid Maxtor hard drives. They have had the worst reliablity on the market for the past few years, and I have seen several go after only a year or two of service. Western Digital or Segate would be optimal choices for a second hard drive. 1 GB of RAM is a good idea for photo editing. Also, if the computer you buy comes with integrated video, I'd highly reccomend upgrading to at least a low end card, as the integrated steals your RAM and bandwidth.
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 12:31 PM   #6
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<----------AMD is also my choice over the WAY over rated pentium models (sorry guys) have been using for years after having many bad experiences with the...Ahem ...other guy. Was wondering though, how you overclocked if you dont mind sharing?:-)

I went to Walmart and grabbed an AMD 3000+ 80 gig drive 512 memory with a dvd writer for 500 dollars and the only thing I would do is up the ram to a minimum 1 gig (some find 512 just fine ) and the video is integrated which is fine for now but I will upgrade when needed like when I want to play the new doom or something along those lines...
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 1:28 PM   #7
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Yah, you can get a pretty good video card these days for $50, at least good enough to make your screen/photos look good.

I got one with a DVI out so I could hook up my LCD screen with a digital connnection.

The other thing to look at is the FSB (front side bus) speed. These days you want a 800 MHz FSB so that your computer moves things around quickly.

I also put a second hard drive on it's own controller, by adding a $20-30 IDE controller card.

-- Terry
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Old Nov 21, 2005, 12:26 AM   #8
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wagaboo wrote:
Quote:
<----------AMD is also my choice over the WAY over rated pentium models (sorry guys) have been using for years after having many bad experiences with the...Ahem ...other guy. Was wondering though, how you overclocked if you dont mind sharing?:-)

I went to Walmart and grabbed an AMD 3000+ 80 gig drive 512 memory with a dvd writer for 500 dollars and the only thing I would do is up the ram to a minimum 1 gig (some find 512 just fine ) and the video is integrated which is fine for now but I will upgrade when needed like when I want to play the new doom or something along those lines...
Well overclocking's really easy to do on modern computers if you built the computer yourself or a shop built it. If it is an HP, Compaq, eMachines, Gateway, Dell, etc., it's nearly impossible to overclock the CPU or memory due to the casterated BIOSes. The process for overclocking greatly depends on hadware. Basically, I have mine setup such that the FSB is 245Mhz. And FYI, no processor actually runs on a 400, 533, 800, or 1600Mhz FSB. They are either double or quad pumped, meaning they rely on the fact that they use DDR, double data rate, memory to cause the effect. Notice how an 800Mhz CPU will have RAM rated at 400Mhz, which is actually 200mhz at a double data rate. So in the BIOS, and 800Mhz FSB will actually be 200Mhz. But anywhoo, with an Athlon64, you can up the bus between the CPU and the memory controler, and set a divider on the memory so that it does not overclock, because overclockable memory is expensive. I set my RAM to start at 166, a 4/5 divider between the memory speed and CPU bus. So at a 245Mhz FSB, the memory runs at about 200Mhz, which is normal PC3200 speed. Now take the 245FSB and multiply it by the multiplier, 9x in my case, and I get 2205Mhz. Originally it was 200Mhz, 9x, getting 1800Mhz.

This only applys to athlon 64s, and doing so can void the warranty of your equipment.
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