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Need a powerful PC - what to get?

 3:41 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im thinking about buying another pc or laptop. but it has to be powerful. i will be getting Adobe Master Suite and if im going to have all that i know i need a good pc.

i will probably have multiple programs open at the same time for web design...(photoshop, flash, premiere)

Any suggestions...

if you cant name brand pc/company can you give me some specs to look for



 3:54 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Memory, memory and, er, memory. You don't need a cutting edge gaming rig for web development. Something fairly mediocre with 2 or 4GB or RAM will be fine.

I run Photoshop, Fireworks, Eclipse, Messenger, Skype and Outlook at once on a three year old 2GB Dell laptop with no issues at a decent speed, at least until Firefox memory leaks start causing issues. ;)


 12:21 am on May 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whatever you do...don't get a Sony. Also, with Vista the RAM requirements have pushed up. Like jetboy says, minimum 2GB...but you will be wise to make sure that you can upgrade that to 4 or more as life goes on.


 2:37 am on May 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

As far as premiere or any video work goes you can never have enough CPU...


 6:09 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Memory, lots of memory (I prefer 4GB - overkill) and if you're going to be very serious about it, get a very large HDD (or two), I'm talking 1TB+ at least - tons of room to store all of your sites locally (great backup method) including graphics, videos, flash, and so on.

If you're going to run several applications, look into a huge monitor or multiple monitors to be able to go from application to aplication quickly (not necesary, but if you're going all out, why not?). Get a nice monitor if you're going to spend a lot of time in front of the PC, the monitor is our main interfaace between us and the PC.

If you're on a tight budget, then cut back on the processor (can easily save $100) and video card (you won't need a 512MB video card).

Dual-layer DVD+-RW would be nice, too (make sure it is dual layered) for making physical backups. Sure, DL discs are expensive now but I'm sure they'll drop in price plus it will also work with regular DVDs.


 8:13 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Question about the reference to having a terabyte-size drive---What are the requirements of the machine? For example, I have a couple of older machines and do not know if they would support such a large drive.


 9:41 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

HumLife - it could be hit or miss. Check with the manufacturer's specs on the PC itself (or just the motherboard and see what it supports).


 6:09 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

get a Mac Pro, you can always run Vista or XP in VMWARE or dual boot it. The Mac Pro is a good value at the high end, very stable, expandable / upgradable, and fast.


 6:20 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would suggest building it, but this is not for a majority of people due to the complexities and issues you face.

I would suggest lots of ram, very quick HD (the new VelociRaptor from WD seem great), and nice monitors. The Adobe suite uses a lot of memory and when that runs out uses your pagefile, so a quick (vs just big) HD will give you a noticable performance increase. After that (unless your just using premier), a good monitor(s) will usually help your throughput more than a blazing cpu, graphics card, etc..

A good NAS or secondary HD can be used to store large media files.


 6:40 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

multiple programs open at the same time for web design...(photoshop, flash, premiere)

All you really need is Paint and Notepad.


 8:06 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Paint? You were lucky to have Paint!

We used make our JPEGs with a hex editor and output the results to a broken oscilloscope.


 9:53 pm on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

While sitting out in a leaky, non-climate-controlled garage, since that's the only place your computer would fit, and fighting off rampaging insects attempting to crawl into the vacuum tubes using a small pebble. ;)

I'd highly recommend a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo processor--even the slowest of them will more than take care of anything you throw at it, and combined with a 64-bit OS (Linux and Vista are your main choices here--I'd recommend Linux, but then I'm a nerd, so don't listen to just me ;))

Another reason for the 64-bit processor and OS is the theoretical ability to use more than 4GB of RAM (or 3 or so in practice). You'll want to at some point; why not make sure you at least have the ability now?

As others have said--unless you do a lot of video editing or gaming, a video card isn't necessarily high on your list; if it is then I can from personal experience highly recommend the nVidia models. I have a 7800, and it runs pretty much every modern game at maximum detail without a hitch.

As Venti said, a faster hard drive will do wonders for speed, especially if your operating system partitions are located on it. I would recommend getting a larger, slower (external?) hard drive as a secondary for backups.


 9:25 am on May 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

A video card has relatively little to do with video editing, all it does is display the video. If it can play it that's all you need really. The grunt work is performed by the CPU (which you can never have enough of for editing video). There are minor exceptions, most have dedicated onboard decoding for display and others like the old AIW's would offload some of the MPEG encoding to the GPU.

Some editing applications will utilize the GPU for specific tasks such as 3-D effects and then you have specific video applications that create 3-models that will heavily rely on the graphics card but these applaications are relatively a small niche. That will probably change but overall its not that important for video editing at the moment.

Of course you may want to consider dual monitor support and other outputs. If video is something you're serious about look into dedicated systems like those from Matrox. If you think the latest gaming PC will make your jaw drop those will give you heart attack. $$$ They start around $15K


 3:46 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Dual-monitor capabilility is a really good thing to have. Once you start using duals, you won't want to go back to a single screen. And as others have stated, make sure you overdo it on lots lots lots of memory. 4GB is a good number to look for. I'm getting by OK with 3GB now, and sometimes wish I had some more in there. Especially if you're upping from XP to Vista (nuff said!). As far as brands, I'm using an HP Pavilion right now and have been happy with it; my last desktop machine was a self-assembled frankenstein thing made from bulk parts, which at one time was always more cost-effective, but not necessarily so anymore.

IBM Thinkpads (by lenovo?) have an excellent reputation, though they are a little more expensive than other laptops, those that have them will attest they're worth the slightly higher price.


 4:11 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

oh - having a couple of external drives for backups are a MUST HAVE. While budgeting for your new system, make sure there's enough in the coffers for at least one huge external drive, big enough to keep an image of your C:.
... this strays into another topic which includes RAID arrays, backups, and disaster recovery. Disasters DO happen no matter what computer you buy. It's an topic that tends to get evangelical.

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