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Thread: New Computer

  1. #1
    Junior Member newtda's Avatar
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    New Computer

    I know this a photography forum, but I like the people on here. I am looking for a new desktop computer. I will be using it for internet and little bit of photo and video editing. I would like to spend 500-900 dollars on a desktop. What do I want to look at when looking at computers?

  2. #2
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer

    The largest amount of RAM and the largest Hard Drive, plus the fastest CPU you can afford! But really almost any new current computer now unless your a gamer will do.

    Unless you get a 64 bit OS your max usable ram is only 4G.

    Keep away from the no-name computers - white box specials.
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  3. #3
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    Re: New Computer

    Do get a 64 bit OS so you can take advantage of > 3.5 GB of RAM.
    As a base I'd get a 4 core CPU (AMD or Intel) - I usually get one step down from the latest.
    Get at least 8GB of RAM, more if you can but this is also easy to upgrade later and the longer you wait the cheaper it gets.
    Get a 2 TB hard drive or bigger
    Get a backup drive (equal or greater size than main HD) and set up an automated backup schedule!
    Well-known brands like Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, or Asus are all pretty similar on the inside, so look at the warranty/support offered.
    Also, Dell has a site for unloading PCs that got ordered and built but never shipped or were returned but not defective. It's Outlet.Dell.com and I have gotten some good deals there. The other brands may have similar options so keep an eye out for those.

  4. #4
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by mattb View Post
    Do get a 64 bit OS so you can take advantage of > 3.5 GB of RAM.
    As a base I'd get a 4 core CPU (AMD or Intel) - I usually get one step down from the latest.
    Get at least 8GB of RAM, more if you can but this is also easy to upgrade later and the longer you wait the cheaper it gets.
    Get a 2 TB hard drive or bigger
    Get a backup drive (equal or greater size than main HD) and set up an automated backup schedule!
    Well-known brands like Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, or Asus are all pretty similar on the inside, so look at the warranty/support offered.
    Also, Dell has a site for unloading PCs that got ordered and built but never shipped or were returned but not defective. It's Outlet.Dell.com and I have gotten some good deals there. The other brands may have similar options so keep an eye out for those.
    An NOTE: The number of cores is not as important as the raw clock speed. The number of core becomes more important when parallel processing comes into play. Windows has some parallel processing. Most of the time 2 core or more cores you will not notice the difference in speed on ever day tasks but you will see the difference between the 1.5 and 3 gig clock speed of the CPU and there will be a difference between the AMD and Intel CPUs also. The bench mark now days is almost the only way to gage the quickness between different computer systems.
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Re: New Computer

    Keep away from the no-name computers - white box specials

  6. #6
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    Re: New Computer

    ram is important if you are going to be using photoshop heavily, lots of files open, cut&pasting things.
    cpu is important if you are going to be digitally processing things alot, especially HD or video.
    a big hard drive is important for mostly anything, but these days a hand ful of terabytes is very cheap

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr View Post
    An NOTE: The number of cores is not as important as the raw clock speed. The number of core becomes more important when parallel processing comes into play. Windows has some parallel processing. Most of the time 2 core or more cores you will not notice the difference in speed on ever day tasks but you will see the difference between the 1.5 and 3 gig clock speed of the CPU and there will be a difference between the AMD and Intel CPUs also. The bench mark now days is almost the only way to gage the quickness between different computer systems.
    Increasing the cores actually does a lot. Windows 7 is really good with parallel processing, the added threads are very helpful, and of course, now everything is being written to utilize multiple threads. The raw clock speed is important, but I'd rather have a 1.6ghz dual than a 3.2ghz single any day. Then, I'm content with my 4.2GHz 6 core.. 4.2ghz is a hard clock speed to flood, lol.

    I'd honestly avoid pre-built machines in favor of building your own. There is a store called "Micro Center" in Cincinnati. They have some pretty good deals going on with their Phenom CPU lines, and their intel core lines, offering a quad for $60 (the phenom X4 840) and also offering $40 off with purchase of mobo on their other phenoms. They have a real good selection and the best deal on processors you'll find anywhere.

    I would also tend to favor looking into the AMD line, as opposed to Intel. Intel does lead the race for speed and power, but AMD has long held the race for cost/performance.

    Considering your budget as is, I would not settle for anything less than something with a Phernom X6 1090t or a core I5 2500k. I would also not settle for anything other than SSD (a fast one, like an agility 3) as a primary boot hard drive, it is easily doable for a $500 desktop.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

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