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Old Topic Revisited.....

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Tom Swaman, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. I sincerely hope this thread is interesting and useful to many of us and not just a redundant issue from Dummy Me.

    With that said, my question is aimed at which computer/components are the best recommended for a new PC computer now or within the next year based upon the following facts:

    1) I used to use both Canon and Nikon edited in all Adobe-based software. I now shoot only Nikon NEFs, but I do want my computer to be able to handle JPEGS, TIFs and RAW files other than NEFs and also to be able to use both Adobe-based software and Nikon software.

    2) Because my NEFs are relatively large, I would like a relatively high speed image processing capability.

    3) I want my computer graphics card to be sufficient to drive one or two high quality monitors having widefield screen sizes ranging from about 24inch to about 30inch.

    4) I want to be able to use my computer for general usage as well as image processing to include the present functions of MS Office or equal and Outlook or equal for e-mail and good Internet capabilities.

    5) I want USB 2.0, firewire 800 and e-SATA capabilities as a minimum. I need USB for general applications, firewire 800 for cardreader speed and e-SATA for EHD backup speed.

    6) I would like the processor to be capable of reasonable multi-tasking.

    7) I am using an Epson Pro Stylus 3800 and plan to stay with this printer for a long while as I am getting excellent results from the machine and great support from Epson.

    8) Finally, I am looking, if this is possible for high quality, low maintenance, low heat-throw components. While I do not favor DELL computers, the organization offers a fantastic advantage to me in that I can purchase a Gold Service policy from a company that stands a reasonable chance of being in business for the next five or more years.

    WITH THIS INFORMATION AS BACKGROUND:
    a) WHAT COMPONENTS SHOULD I BUY IN A NEW COMPUTER?
    b) IS THER A READY-BUILT SUITABLE COMPUTER AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET OR DO I NEED A CUSTOM COMPUTER? WHICH COMPUTERS ARE THE BEST FOR THE APPLICATIONS/USAGE DESCRIBED?
    c) IS THERE ANY REASON(S) TO NOT STAY BASED IN WINDOWS XP?
    d) IS THERE A VIABLE, FAST AND HIGH QUALITY, REASONABLY PRICED SERVICE ALTERNATIVE TO A DELL SERVICE POLICY?

    Thank you all for adviusing me and for sharing your vast knowledge and experience.

    With great appreciation in advance,
    Tom
     
  2. turtile

    turtile

    416
    May 12, 2008
    Delaware
    For photo editing, a large amount of memory is important for processing multiple RAW files. A fast hard drive (such as Velociraptor) will increase the load times and page file performance. Pretty much any current mid-range dual-core or quad-core processor will be fine.

    I would go with Vista 64 since it will have more support than the 64-bit version of XP. Future programs such as Photoshop CS4 will be 64 bit which will allow the program to allocate over 4GB of memory.

    A custom build will be much better than most pre-built computers but it will be hard to find a service such as the one Dell offers from a small company (needs to be a big company to offer in home repair). For $300 extra, you could most likely get help/repair from a local shop (if you need).
     
  3. Turtile,

    Thank you very much. Please know that I do understand what you wrote and I do agree with this.

    Rather than a Raptor, I am using my current external backup drives in pairs. I am using the fanless Rocstor Rocpro 850s with their e-Sata input. I backup in an incremental mode. I previously used WD My Book drives. The Rocstor drives are much better, faster and they run cooler and cool. I truly find these drives to be excellent and these are very well built and reasonably priced. The way these are arrayed, I get double backup of my hard drive in very short times.

    I am using a DELL Precision Computer with XP Pro and 4 gb ram. The computer works O.K., but it is built like a box of aluminum foil. The case constantly shifts and various fans mechanically contact the case creating an incredible background racket. The solution seems to be to rattle the tower case until it stops.

    In the first year, I experienced mother board failure, power supply failure and this horrible rattling. This is why I want a service contract. If I deal with a small shop, I am scared as I am not a computer wizard and I do not care to become one. I am into photography and not computers if this makes sense.

    Have a great weekend,
    Tom
     
  4. ugodrainville

    ugodrainville

    89
    Mar 13, 2008
    Wisconsin
    I know this is the PC forum but from what you are asking your system to do...I would highly recommend a MacPro...

    A MacPro would take what you are asking and chew through it without any issues. It can run MS Office without issue, the OS is 64bit and is based on UNIX so it is rock solid. Apple Support is 2nd to none...and Apple Care is highly worth it.

    FW800, USB2.0 are both there...not sure about eSATA but an addon card could always be purchased I imagine (haven't done a whole lot of research on eSATA on Mac's).

    Adobe products run amazingly on OS X 10.5.x. If you have the need to run PC based applications you can always use VMware Fusion to have an instance of XP/Vista to run those apps (even while you are using your Mac to do other things).

    Again...not looking to start a flame war...just suggesting a Mac over a PC for the OP's intended uses. I am a Windows Server Engineer by day...but love the ease of use and reliability of Mac's for my day to day use (including Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, internet, MS Office). PC's keep me employed and I wouldn't change that...but when I want something to work all the time...I trust my Mac more than any PC on the planet...
     
  5. Ugo,

    Many thanks. I love a spark. I am not into forest fires. Frankly my computer now is not bad, but also not good. it is really disconcerting to have your tower constantly and ii a ghost-like manner, change its background noise level and pitch because the fans are mounted so close and so cheaply in the case that they automatically rub at near random intervals. Had I wanted a synthesizer, I would have purchased a musical instrument rather than a DELL PC!

    Tom
     
  6. Robert

    Robert

    Jul 24, 2005
    Canada
    Hi Tom,

    When speaking with several computer technicians for advice prior to my last purchase I kept on hearing the same suggestion...Zeon processor. The Zeon in the higher end range is terrific at multi-tasking, and offers extreme reliabilty.

    I puchased a Dell Precision 690 Quad Core Xeon processor, X5355, 2.66 GHz with 8GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM and satisfied all my graphic requirements for both 2D and 3D editor work by installing two 768MB nVidia Quadro FX 4600 video cards in SLI configuration, 3 Raptor drives. This is a very Pro-built rig and is rock-solid in terms of stability. It comes standard with a 3 year warranty, on-site next business day service and that is offered because it is so stable. I elected to run XP Pro 64 and have had no isuues with any drivers for the applications I run, and the tower (very large and heavy) is quiet. The only downside is that this unit runs hot, although the internal fans move an astonishing amount of air. An additional advantage with this Zeon is that if I want, the tower with it's 1000 watt PS can take another Zeon X5355...8 cores, and although that's an expensive proposition, it offers tremendous processing capability depending on the applications being used.
    There is another downside Tom...it's expensive, but if stable performance and multi-threading becomes vital then I highly recommend it.
    Check the Dell Business department for info. The sales people in Dell Business are the only reps who seem to be familiar with the Zeon Workstation.
     
  7. Robert,

    Good to hear from you and thanks for your reply.

    FYI, the machine I am running is a DELL Precision 390 with Dell Core2 Duo Precision (WIN XP PRO). I believe this is 32 bit. I do not remember which graphics card I have, but I am calibrating my monitor and not the graphics card anyways so it does not make much difference. i have 4gb RAM and can run Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and eSATA.

    The computer is fairly fast. I have no problems with handling large files. I recently installed mirror EHDs on eSATA for backup and I find this to be idiot-proof, simple and oh so fast!!!!!.

    My only complaint is this horrible, intermittent change in tower noise level, presumably from fans hitting the case internally. The computer tower runs from virtually silent to very loud. When you hear this change, it is highly unnerving.

    While I am writing, how do you now like your printer and monitor? Did you ever get a new Gitzo tripod or what?

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  8. Robert

    Robert

    Jul 24, 2005
    Canada
    Tom,

    It's possible that the mounts for your fans have come loose. Perhaps tightening some of the fasteners would clear up the noise issue.
    I love the 3800 Tom. After the help you gave me I'm getting beautiful results. I have yet to pick up an Eizo, but most definitely will be...most likely the 24". I really don't want to go larger than 24-26"...I find the very large screens awkward at times to navigate and I don't need that much realestate. Again, after the help you gave to calibrate the 24" Dell, I'm getting very good results but...I will be upgrading, hopefully by summers end.
    Yup...I am well outfitted with tripods now...Gitzo 3530LSV with leveling base and RRS 55LR head, and a Benbo tripod with a Markins head I just ordered. I've also been adding some new glass to the kit and that's the main reason I'm waiting for awhile to upgrade the monitor.

    Good to talk with you Tom...take care!! :smile:
     
  9. Robert,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will take a look at the fan mounts.

    I am glad you like your 3800. I truly love mine. It is incredibly reliable and consistent and I have experienced zero plugging or alignment problems. This is by far the best printer and ink combination that I have ever used and the printer has a small footprint and it is easy to move. This is a dynamite combination.

    Robert, as you know, i upgraded to the CG241W. I, like you prefer a 24 inch monitor to anything that I have seen. The aspect ratio and size of this monitor is ideal for showing data panels and an image. I like you, did get my DELL monitor calibrated to where it was usable. However, the CG241W is great and truly a better monitor. I got a good price on this, but I am not yet convinced that it is truly worth the difference in price. I think the margin structures of the less expensive, more generic monitors is much less than that of the proprietary high end monitors(EIZO, NEC and Lacie) that I am uncertain as to whether the price differences are really worth the money. My eyes are just not as good as they used to be. So, I am the wrong person to make this call. However, MY EIZO monitor is great whereas my DELL monitor was just sufficient. The best monitor I have seen for the money is the Planar 24 inch unit followed by the Samsung.

    Please let me know what you finally purchase.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
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