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need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 03:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking for purchasing advice. The best deal I have seen so far seems to be a Dell 531s for $399 and free shipping.

AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+
Vista Home Premium
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)

Is this good? What would any of you guys recommend? My budget is limited to $500. The biggest thing I run is CS3.

Thanks in advance for any help,
David
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 06:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get an Apple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 06:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've heard Apple's are potent for multi-media work, but I'm a PC user. The specs for your PC are good, but I'd go for 4GB RAM (Photoshop can never have enough) and an internal or external for the photos. I use my DVD burner as an archive device and prefer to leave my working copies on the second drive. My system drive is just for the operating system, applications and utilities. If you get an external drive (and your PC supports it) go for an e-SATA interface as it's apparently faster than Firewire 800 and USB 2.0.

Good luck,
JW
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Last edited by cifcap; 12-16-2007 at 06:53 AM.. Reason: Omitted a few words :)
 
Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 10:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think you'll see a Mac for $500 or less. Even the mini is $600. As you've configured it, the PC (for that price, I'm guessing you plan to use a monitor you already have) is a very good buy. More RAM is better, but if you can't afford to double the RAM now, consider buying the PC with 1 x 2GB chip rather than 2 x 1 GB. If you wanted to save the extra $100, you're good to go. If not, making the RAM change and/or going a notch higher on the processor are the only recs I'd offer.
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You might also consider a second hard drive as soon as you can afford it. Some folk like to backup to an on-board device while others will use an external Firewire or USB HD and keep it on the shelf (unplugged and unattached to the PC) until needed for backup/archiving. That way, should a power spike get anything, you have a failsafe backup that will not be affected (he says, having learned the hard way).
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would also look for a system with XP rather than Vista. At this time there is not a complete line of software available for Vista, and they haven't even come out with the first service pack yet. As noted above, an extra hard drive is a good idea for photographers as the files tend to be large (OK, HUGE), and in the beginning at least you can have a copy of you photos on the second drive.
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epeters View Post
I would also look for a system with XP rather than Vista. At this time there is not a complete line of software available for Vista, and they haven't even come out with the first service pack yet. As noted above, an extra hard drive is a good idea for photographers as the files tend to be large (OK, HUGE), and in the beginning at least you can have a copy of you photos on the second drive.
yes they have.. back in September..

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epeters View Post
I would also look for a system with XP rather than Vista. At this time there is not a complete line of software available for Vista, and they haven't even come out with the first service pack yet. As noted above, an extra hard drive is a good idea for photographers as the files tend to be large (OK, HUGE), and in the beginning at least you can have a copy of you photos on the second drive.

Virtually all software will run on Vista. The only proviso is that sometimes older software will not work well if installed in the Program files folder. So instead just create a new folder called My Program files and install all older software to that folder and 90% of software problems go away with that one small change. I run two Vista machines and some of my software is over 15 years old. I run CS3 on both and it is very speedy --- faster than it was on my XP machine.

cheers,
rfs
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 04:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I already have a good monitor and 4 external drives. I am replacing a link in the chain (so to speak) not the entire system. My current PC has several issues that would be almost as much money to repair as simply buying a new one so I figure for a little extra cash I can get a performance boost.

I know that Dell will supply XP instead of Vista if I choose.

If I can find extra RAM for the hundred bucks left over in my budget I will buy it.

Otherwise, does anybody know of a better deal for comparable gear? Maybe that is the way I should have phrase my question in the first place.

Thanks again,
David


PS: Hey Absolutely Digital. You may go sit in the corner with the rest of my MAC loving friends while I sit in front of my PC with my hands over my ears screaming LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA at the top of my lungs. LOL
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Re: need a new computer
Old 12-16-2007, 04:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Whoops, one more question. Would I be better off going with extra RAM or an upgraded video card that doesn't share that RAM?

Thanks, David
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