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I think it will soon be time to replace my current PC and would be interested in suggestions / ideas / recommendations.
My current 5 ye old system is based on an intel Pentium 4 3.20GHz processor with 2GB RAM running XP (MCE) with service pack3. I have two 300GB HDD, one is for programmes only, and the other a dedicated scratch disk for Photoshop and NX2. Other than write a few letters, do my accounts and use the internet, the only thing I do on the PC is edit images.
All images are on external HDD and fully backed up ( >10yrs worth).
I shoot with Nikon D300, D70 (converted to Infrared) and Film (scanned with Epson V500). Images are highest possible quality therefore always RAW NEFs
Workflow is Raw convert in NX2 (I just like the developer pane in NX2 and its much better than ACR for infrared) then pixel edit in CS3 with Nik Colour Efex Pro4 and Silver Efex Pro 2 some HRD using PhotoMatrix. Rendering images from the Nik Software to CS3 layer is taking an age Ė 3 mins ish this does not change if the image in on the C drive so I donít think its an issue with the read /write speed on the external HDD. But this is now causing a serious headache.
I would not want to replace any peripherals ie screen / keyboard.
What should I do? I donít need to go to Windows 7, I donít need any more space yet. Just need a bit more power I guess.
Would upgrading to 4Gb memory be a better option? I think I have two 1Gb Kingston DIMM DDR2 PC2 5300U DDR2- 666 memory modules
The Graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE (4 PS3.0 256MB DDR) but Iím not sure this can be upgraded.
Would be interested in any comments.
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Memory can be increased and graphics card upgraded - however you may find that your motherboard does not support the latest graphics card interface. When I put a new card in an old machine some time back, I had to settle for the best AGP one I could find - I believe most new ones use PCi Express these days.
You would probably also need a new motherboard if you wanted to upgrade the processor. Same with the memory - you may find it difficult to find modules that work in your old box.
In the long run, it may be cheaper to buy a new box.
(Regarding Win XP / Win 7 - you may not need to move to Win 7, but you would be silly not to, it's far better than XP)
5 years old BIN IT! as a work tool just use it for the net!
reallyot worth the effort if it palys up!
OR put ubunto or your flavour of linux
Start again. Some stuff like RAM for today's PC's is amazingly cheap- - you can have 16gig for about £60! Compare that to the cost of buying older RAM.
Look for something with i3 or ideally i5 processor. You *should* go to Win 7 - with the 64bit version you can use more than 4gig of RAM.
Get say a 1tb+ HDD, (avoid the "green" low power drives) partition it in two, one for programmes, one for data, or if you are feeling rich go for solid state drive for the program drives.
Graphics does not really matter much - there is some move towards using the graphics cards processing power for likes of Photoshop rendering, but that is still not something to worry about yet as far as I am aware. Many of the high power graphics cards for gamers have noisy fans on.
There are plenty of small and quiet machines out there if that botheres you!
I would opt to incresse the memory and take it from there.
2gb of ram is ather small.
A visit to Crucial will give you all the options for your machine.
If you go to anything more than 4GB RAM, it's a wasted exercise in the 32bit version of windows XP as XP can only utilise 3.7GB of it. Windows 7 64 bit, can handle as much as you like up to 256GB if I remember rightly. A SSD would be good to just put the OS on though and you'd certainly notice faster boot up times if you were to do this again in Win7. Hugo is right in what he states about graphics cards being noisy, however Win 7 and some supported motherboards and cards will allow you to switch the graphic card fan on and off as required, useful if you fancy playing any intensive games once in a while......Refresh rates on the screen would also be much quicker with a dedicated Graphic Card handling things as well, especially with very large images......
Be aware that Win8 is also due for release quite soon too, Autumn 2012 I believe.....
To be fair any of the towers you can pick up for a few hundred quid will do you, Windows 7 is very good and worth getting a tower with that installed.
Saying that I had a P4 which was really slowing me down running very hot and struggling to run photoshop, I got the chance to take some old towers apart and built one from the parts that were working from the scrappers work were throwing out, I picked up a new case to put it all in. It's only an AMD dual core with an half decent graphics card and 4GB RAM but runs Photoshop easily and is my editing PC. I would like to upgrade to an all singing all dancing i7 but I really can't see the point as this does all I need and has 3TB of storage along with a removable caddy for swapping HDD's when needed.
Quote: I would like to upgrade to an all singing all dancing i7 but I really can't see the point as this does all I need
. . . if it ain't broke?
My old Dell XP machine is wildly underspecced by comparison to the equipment some people on here are using and it comes nowhere near the prices that are being bandied about in another similar thread close by.
It does however do everything that I need it to.
Lightroom's a bit slow in exporting but it works and I can run that and CS5 simultaneously with two or three other things without any problems.
With windows 8, which, so far, I really don't like the look of, on the horizon, I'm not sure that if I was looking to upgrade, I'd know which way to turn.
Quote: To be fair any of the towers you can pick up for a few hundred quid will do you
Couldn`t agree more.
All too easy to get carried away.
Thanks folks that a really helpful view and has given me some food for thought. I think i'll have to squeeze another year or so out of the old girl, perhpas by then we'll have a better view on Windows 8.
Its also taught me that i'm a bit behind on PC specs these days, so i'll have to keep an eye on whats available.
I guess the only other question is, is it worth doing a home build?
Thanks again folks
Quote: whats available.
I guess the only other question is, is it worth doing a home build?
Depends on the cost of the parts vs warranty and piece of mind for the low cost of a new tower inc an upto date OS
Buy a Mac...
Quote: Buy a Mac...
You are so stirring up this thread young lady
Quote: I guess the only other question is, is it worth doing a home build?
Fine if you know what you are doing where you might get some satisfaction.
Buying the OS alone should be taken into account
Quicker and easier to grab one off the shelf.
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