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  1. #1
    Liz
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    Help - final decision - 2 computers

    I'm down to the wire (sales ending) on making the final decision between these 2 computers. I'm "technically challenged" and a bit confused so would appreciate any info, advice and/or input.

    I only do Elements post processing (am upgrading from Elements 2 to 6) so I won't need "Photoshop" speed.

    I don't & won't be doing any video or games.

    This first one looks good to me with the Intel processor and more HD - and not so much "stuff" inside. However, the problem is that it comes with a 22" Dell monitor that has 10-12 negative user reviews and no good ones that I could find (couldn't find any official/pro reviews). The monitor on the HP has good reviews and the displays in the store also looked good.

    The other problem with this first one is that I could only go by what was on the box. I have no other info on the what the pc includes unfortunately. The sales people at Staples unfortunately knew less than me and couldn't answer any of my questions!

    Staples $699 with monitor (14 day return no questions - no restocking)
    Dell Inspiron 1530
    Intel Core 2 Duo Pro E4700 2.60 Ghz
    3GB dual channel memory 667ghz
    640GB HD dual channel
    19-1 card reader
    Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1
    SuperMulti DVD
    Monitor - 22" Dell w228wft - 800:1 contrast ratio

    Costco $799 with monitor (90 day return no questions)
    HP Pavilion a6547c-b Bundle (90 day return)
    AMD Athlon x2 5000 Dual Core Processor - 2.60 ghz
    Chipset nVidia nForce 430
    Cache L2 - 1mb
    4GB memory - 4096mb PC2-6400 DDR2 Sdram explandable to 8gb
    HD - 500GB 7200RPM Serial ATA
    Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Ser Pk 1
    Supermulti DVD burner with Light Scribe Tech
    Monitor - HP w2216h 21.6" with BrightView tech - tilt & integrated speakers

    The HP monitor on display looked much better than my present Dell 17" - resolution/color/sharp - all looked good. It had some good user-reviews.

    I'm most grateful for any input.

    Liz

  2. #2
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    I'm down to the wire (sales ending) on making the final decision between these 2 computers. I'm "technically challenged" and a bit confused so would appreciate any info, advice and/or input...
    Hi Liz, got your PM. I'm really in the dark when it comes to current specs on pcs. I'm pretty sure, though, that both those systems will serve you well.

    What I can tell you is I've owned both Dell and HP computers, and I've been much more satisfied with HP, both in product and company.

    Sometimes that's more important than the individual performance of the machine...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

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  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Hey Liz,

    I'm in the same boat as Steve as far as when it comes to specs on new computers. I can tell you that I purchases a refurbished HP a couple months ago, and I love it. The desk top PC I had before that was also and HP. I don't have any experience with Dell, but from what I have heard, they aren't all that great. Again, just what I have heard.

    The big differences I see on these is the RAM, HD space and the monitor. The HP has more RAM, and a better monitor based on what you said in your OP. Hard drive space is pretty inexpensive now so if you need more, you can always get an external drive.

    I don't know enough about the OS to tell you if the 64 bit version of Vista would be any different than the regular version for what you plan on running on the machine.

    My vote is for the HP.
    Mike

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  4. #4
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    I don't & won't be doing any...games...
    Ah, you should think about coming over to the Dark Side. Games are the most fun you can have with a computer!

    Besides, I read that Nuns With Guns IV will be hitting the streets next week... :cornut:
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  5. #5
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Liz,

    I would go for the Dell as it has more disc space, otherwise their much the same.

    One thing I did read the other day is that the way Vista 32 is set up, it cannot use the full 4Gb of memory so your not gaining anything there. 3Gb is more than adequate for photo editing.

    Many of the apps will not be able to make use of the Vista 64 bit features and some may not work.

    Roger

    Roger
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  6. #6
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by readingr
    Liz,

    I would go for the Dell as it has more disc space, otherwise their much the same.

    One thing I did read the other day is that the way Vista 32 is set up, it cannot use the full 4Gb of memory so your not gaining anything there. 3Gb is more than adequate for photo editing.

    Many of the apps will not be able to make use of the Vista 64 bit features and some may not work.

    Roger
    With all of the research I've done, I've found that 90% of the new computers have Vista 64. I think everything but my Palm will work with it. It's about all they sell now. I did find another Dell Inspiron - but it's $750 no monitor (what's worse, one that's not good or none).

    Specs include:
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 HD
    Processor Speed 2.6
    640GB HD
    6GB expandable to 8GB memory

    Obviously it is faster
    So - is it worth $750 without monitor?

    I also looked at another not-as-fast HP similar to other HP specs with a 24" monitor for $1099 - and almost bought it. The HD is 500GB and 4GB memory.....Soooooo.......the above pc for $750 plus $300 for a monitor would be the same, but it would be a Dell .

    Thoughts?

    I think I'm slowly going crazy - talking about things I don't "quite get" and trying to make an intelligent decision without the appropriate intelligence. Oh well! Learning curve I guess.

    Liz

  7. #7
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Ah QUAD processor, yummy. Bigger, faster, more memory.
    Dell support is good, we use them at work.

    A huge single basket to put all your eggs in?
    I would prefer 2x250G disks, keep data on D: and programs on C:
    Or even only one disk drive, then put more disk outside the box on the house network.

    Core 2 Quad is going to be a bit over 3x the speed of a single core, Core 2 Duo is about 1.8 or so. How much performance you get from the extra cores depends on the applications you run. Multithreaded applications are better at using big machines like that.

    Microsoft releases compatibility updates http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953960/en-us
    Back in 2007 they fixed a few
    "...improves support in Windows Vista for the following applications:
    • Photoshop 7.0.1
    • Adobe Photoshop Elements Version 4.0
    • Adobe Create Suite CS2
    • ArcSoft PhotoImpression 5
    • Digital Image Suite 2006
    • ACDSee 8
    • Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0 "

    So the important applications should be OK
    PAul

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  8. #8
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    I have, or have purchased, Dell, HP, and Gateway... go with Dell, for sure.
    tink ewe belly mooch

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  9. #9
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Thanks Paul - for all the info and comments. My brain is spinning!

    Rocket Scientist - good advice.

    FINAL DECISION:

    Dell Inspiron 530 with Intel Core 2 Duo Pro from Staples (specs copied below)

    Someone told me that I could get the same model "built" directly from Dell online for about $200 less. So I called Dell today and a wonderful person agreed to "build" the Dell Inspiron 530 and include all the specs that the Staples model included to see how much it would cost. Results: Computer as listed below with NO monitor = $649 plus tax and shipping. WITH same monitor as listed below - $929

    Also she told me if it isn't listed as Vista 64-bit on the box, it is definitely Vista 32-bit - so this is 32 which I'm happy about.

    That pushed me over the fence and I bought it today (they put it aside for me since they don't have many in stock). Although the monitor has negative user reviews, it is still sold for $230 at Dell and more at electronic stores - so I can always sell it. And the computer is only $50 more in Staples lncluding the monitor - but no shipping costs!

    Thanks for all of your input everyone. I'm happy about the decision.

    Liz

    Copy/Paste from above
    Staples $699 with monitor (14 day return no questions - no restocking)
    Dell Inspiron 530
    Intel Core 2 Duo Pro E4700 2.60 Ghz
    3GB dual channel memory 667ghz
    640GB HD dual channel
    19-1 card reader
    Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1
    SuperMulti DVD
    Monitor - 22" Dell w228wft - 800:1 contrast ratio

  10. #10
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    Ah, you should think about coming over to the Dark Side. Games are the most fun you can have with a computer!

    Besides, I read that Nuns With Guns IV will be hitting the streets next week... :cornut:
    I don't know how I missed this one! Steve, you are too funny! I love your sense of humor.

    Thanks for giving me a light moment after a rather intense day - and the invitation to the "dark side." I'll stay on the lighter side.....but thanks.......

    Liz

  11. #11
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Looks good, I just went totally over the top
    HP Workstation* xw6600 PW459ET
    Intel Core Quad processor, has room for a second one.
    2G memory, 250G disk.
    10% off for registering on their site, 100 off for buying this month.

    We use Dell dual core at work, and they're fine for photo editing.
    Also I got a 24" widescreen Dell monitor, and it's almost perfect out of the box.
    Calibration with an i1 display was almost spot on, just little kinks in the curve.
    But that's with XP.

    I don't like Vista, but it works at work
    For the one victim that has it today, there's only one thing that doesn't work.

    With the HP I bought I get a downgrade to XP because it's a business computer !
    PAul

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  12. #12
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    Looks good, I just went totally over the top
    HP Workstation* xw6600 PW459ET
    Intel Core Quad processor, has room for a second one.
    2G memory, 250G disk.
    10% off for registering on their site, 100 off for buying this month.

    We use Dell dual core at work, and they're fine for photo editing.
    Also I got a 24" widescreen Dell monitor, and it's almost prefect out of the box.
    Calibration with an i1 display was almost spot on, just little kinks in the curve.
    But that's with XP.

    I don't like Vista, but it works at work
    For the one victim that has it today, there's only one thing that doesn't work.

    With the HP I bought I get a downgrade to XP because it's a business computer !
    Thanks Paul

    Wow! Sounds like you got a good deal there!

    I've heard some negatives about Vista - lots of them. However, I also have a friend that says it's not as bad as it's reputation - once you get used to it. I'm not good on the technical end so hope the learning curve isn't too steep. XT is my all time Windows favorite. It's what's in my present computer and I never had a problem with it - but this pc is going to a friend who doesn't need as much in a computer as I do - so she will enjoy it now.

    Liz

  13. #13
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Thanks Paul

    Wow! Sounds like you got a good deal there!

    I've heard some negatives about Vista - lots of them. However, I also have a friend that says it's not as bad as it's reputation - once you get used to it. I'm not good on the technical end so hope the learning curve isn't too steep. XT is my all time Windows favorite. It's what's in my present computer and I never had a problem with it - but this pc is going to a friend who doesn't need as much in a computer as I do - so she will enjoy it now.

    Liz
    Liz,

    I have been using Vista for 6 months and its a lot more reliable than people make out. My daughter has been using it for just over a year and once SP1 is installed I have had no problems at all with it.

    CS2 works fine on it even though Adobe state that it does not work on Vista it installed fine. PSE6 works fine and so does all the Canon software once you download the latest version off their web site.

    I have never had any errors from either CS2 or PSE 6.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  14. #14
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Liz,

    I have been using Vista for 6 months and its a lot more reliable than people make out. My daughter has been using it for just over a year and once SP1 is installed I have had no problems at all with it.

    CS2 works fine on it even though Adobe state that it does not work on Vista it installed fine. PSE6 works fine and so does all the Canon software once you download the latest version off their web site.

    I have never had any errors from either CS2 or PSE 6.

    Roger
    Thanks Roger - that's encouraging. This Dell has SP1 - and is 32-bit vs 64 which I prefer since I won't have to worry much about drivers.

    PSE6 works fine and so does all the Canon software once you download the latest version off their web site.
    Question: Are there software problems with any Vista (32 & 64) or specifically Vista 64-bit? Or does the 64 just effect drivers?

    Re PSE6: I've read that No. 6 is more challenging with more of a learning curve than older versions. I do very little post processing and am not good at technical details. If I get an older version would that work? Or do I need the latest?

    I personally find it challenging to keep up with the newest technology especially with computers. Actually being "forced" to upgrade to something different, I've learned a lot from posters here and doing my homework and researching. So that is good! I like to keep things simple........and easy.

    Thanks - I appreciate your help.

    Liz

  15. #15
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Thanks Roger - that's encouraging. This Dell has SP1 - and is 32-bit vs 64 which I prefer since I won't have to worry much about drivers.



    Question: Are there software problems with any Vista (32 & 64) or specifically Vista 64-bit? Or does the 64 just effect drivers?

    Re PSE6: I've read that No. 6 is more challenging with more of a learning curve than older versions. I do very little post processing and am not good at technical details. If I get an older version would that work? Or do I need the latest?

    I personally find it challenging to keep up with the newest technology especially with computers. Actually being "forced" to upgrade to something different, I've learned a lot from posters here and doing my homework and researching. So that is good! I like to keep things simple........and easy.

    Thanks - I appreciate your help.

    Liz
    Liz,

    As far as I'm aware it's mainly drivers and some old DLL's that are written with replaced program calls which no longer exist or do something completely different.

    I can't comment on pre PSEV6 versions. The learning curve of V6 wasn't that difficult it is very similar to the old versions of PSE. They do have some new functions in the organiser that make some task simpler especially when working on lots of images and applying the same tasks to them.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  16. #16
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Thanks Roger.....

    I'm going to pick up the PSElements6 tomorrow at Costco for $79 - most stores carry it for $99.

    Also, anyone know what type, etc. of surge protector I need? My pc is 5 years old with a lot less inside. Presently I have a Belkin Surgemaster, but it doesn't list the amps, voltage, etc.

    Liz

  17. #17
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Hey liz I bought the second one that you listed at office depot about 2week ago for 599 and it on sale with mail in rebate 100 so the total without tax is 499 without monitor and I bought an HP 22" w2207h for 350 I thinks and it had 50 dollar mail in rebate too. and this sucker is way faster than my sonny laptop, the more ram the more power my friends. check and see if they still on sale Liz and good luck:thumbsup:

  18. #18
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by JTcooper
    Hey liz I bought the second one that you listed at office depot about 2week ago for 599 and it on sale with mail in rebate 100 so the total without tax is 499 without monitor and I bought an HP 22" w2207h for 350 I thinks and it had 50 dollar mail in rebate too. and this sucker is way faster than my sonny laptop, the more ram the more power my friends. check and see if they still on sale Liz and good luck:thumbsup:
    Thanks for the information. Costco still has it for $799 with that same monitor so it would be about the same price in the end. I'm hoping this Dell is going to work, but if not that's my next move. The Dell is quite fast - and nice, but we'll see. I like the monitor on the HP much much better. This 22" Dell is actually hurting my eyes with the glare. I don't think I have it calibrated right.

    Other than fast.....how is the Vista 64 working - or does it have Vista 32? At any rate, is this your first Vista experience?

    Liz

  19. #19
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    I look at the dell before buying the hp and they are not any better as far as ram compare to 2 to 3 but 4 gig of ram that hp had and the hp 64 bit is no problem running the element 6 nore lightroom. usually when I run lightroom for wedding work I have to waited a few minuted for it to work on my laptop but on the other hand when the hp 64 bit come in it happen with a blink of an eye. very fast Liz


    I dont know if they have Vista 32 though . One more thing about the glare I turn down or off all of my room light when editing or color correcting that way you getting better result of their true color. I use the HUE calibration bought it from office dipot for about 78 buck and it work wonderful.

    PS: I love the 24" Liz

  20. #20
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by JTcooper
    I look at the dell before buying the hp and they are not any better as far as ram compare to 2 to 3 but 4 gig of ram that hp had and the hp 64 bit is no problem running the element 6 nore lightroom. usually when I run lightroom for wedding work I have to waited a few minuted for it to work on my laptop but on the other hand when the hp 64 bit come in it happen with a blink of an eye. very fast Liz


    I dont know if they have Vista 32 though . One more thing about the glare I turn down or off all of my room light when editing or color correcting that way you getting better result of their true color. I use the HUE calibration bought it from office dipot for about 78 buck and it work wonderful.

    PS: I love the 24" Liz
    I'm glad it's working out so well for you. What is the "hue" calibration - and what exactly does it do?

    Liz

  21. #21
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    :thumbsup: It call HUEY pantone/gretagmacbeth monitor color correction and it very good for the prices

    It come with a cd rom for installed in your pc and a pen like look and it very easy to used.
    here http://bermangraphics.com/digital-ju...urces/huey.htm

  22. #22
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Quote Originally Posted by JTcooper
    :thumbsup: It call HUEY pantone/gretagmacbeth monitor color correction and it very good for the prices

    It come with a cd rom for installed in your pc and a pen like look and it very easy to used.
    here http://bermangraphics.com/digital-ju...urces/huey.htm
    Thanks for the info!

    Liz

  23. #23
    Liz
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    Well, I gave up on the Dell. I was away for the weekend and spoke to a few people who work with computers. They suggested after 4 crashes and 2 days left on the return policy along with my lack of computer savvy that I return the Dell.

    I don't want to give it up - but it has to be returned by Wednesday and I have too much work to do before then so I won't be able to put it to any more tests. I can't go beyond the return policy, as obviously then I own all $700 of it!

    So I'm back to the HP with the AMD processor that I originally checked out at Costco. With their 90 day return policy, it gives me enough time without pressure to work with it.

    Liz

  24. #24
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    Re: Help - final decision - 2 computers

    good choice Liz 64 bit and 4gig or more on ram is awsome.

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