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Time for a whole new PC....Help!

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ChrisJD  496 forum posts Scotland
7 Dec 2013 - 4:13 PM

Well it's not quite dead yet but the hamster at the wheel that powers my PC is about to fall over....

My PC is an old MESH PC that runs on XP, has 2GB of memory, can almost handle Elements 3 so long as I don't do anything too funky and takes on average 20 mins to power up despite regular clear outs, de-frags etc. Norton antivirus seems to be overloading it but obviously it's not something to be without. It's time for a new PC.

I'm going to use the PC mainly for photography. My only requirements are that it'll run either Lightroom or Elements (no need for full Photoshop - I'm not smart enough) and have a decent monitor that won't need too much in the way of frequent calibration. I do want a desktop rather than a laptop. I have a budget of around £1000 - don't want to go above this unless it's really going to do something special - to cover the cost of a monitor and tower. Printer will come later.

I have no experience of Macs and although I wouldn't count one out they do seem a bit a bit more pricey.

Any recommendations?


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7 Dec 2013 - 4:13 PM

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7 Dec 2013 - 4:41 PM

Probably get shot down by the trolls but I went mac about 18 months ago and there is no way I would go back to pc. I still run my pc next to my mac and its a reasonable spec and its still starting up as I write this. Yes they are expensive but you get what you pay for I guess.

sparrowhawk e2 Member 5267 forum postssparrowhawk vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 4:52 PM

go for an imac you won't regret it


If you're driven by price then forget Macs - they want your money from the start (and you keep on giving!), so if all you're using it for is photography and web surfing then a PC is fine.

Dell do some very good deals on towers only, though I found recently that their customer service is appaling, so I ended up buying some components for around £600 and built a super PC. I fitted a new power supply to my old case (750w) and a new Asus pcb and top spec i7 processor, lots of memory and used the old dvd drive from my old pc. The new pc also boasts solid-state drives for programs and backup and boots from cold to login in 7 seconds!!

I personally think you could get a spec like mine for around £750, and it took 4 hours to build, load and test.

Monitor-wise, the Dell Ultrasharp series are hard to beat on value and performance. I have one I use daily - highly recommended! - here

Hope this helps.


7 Dec 2013 - 5:13 PM

I gave up on Dell as they seemed inflexible on configuration. I bought from PCspecialist and you can choose your various components. I aimed for a media type solution (or low end gaming) and configured to suit image editing. They do offer advice and check that you do not choose an unworkable configuration. If you are prepared to accept an off-the-shelf Dell solution, it may be slightly cheaper and delivery quicker.


TSP  6 England1 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 5:47 PM

If you want a pc then definitely look at either www.aria.co.uk or www.scan.co.uk They do components and pre built systems and are very competitively priced. In terms of monitors without spending silly money i found the ASUS PA238Q to be a fantastic 1080p IPS monitor that comes from Asus pre calibrated and has some handy features built in.

ChrisJD  496 forum posts Scotland
7 Dec 2013 - 5:52 PM

Andy, I dearly wish I could build a PC - your's sounds awesome. Sadly if there's no sticky back plastic or fairy liquid bottles involved then my building skills aren't the best!

However, if I could build a PC then what sort of spec am I looking for? Solid state hard drives sound great but I wouldn't know one if I saw it nor understand the advantages over the not-so-solid hard drives.

puertouk  21072 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 6:10 PM

Go to Overclockers.co.uk. You can configure your own machine, but if you're not up to doing that, ask them and they will tell you what you need. You need a good processor, 16GB RAM and a decent graphics card, especially if you use Photoshop, as it will also use that as well as your RAM. As for your monitor, ask them, they are really good and will point you in the right direction. Get a Color Munki to calibrate your monitor once a month.

KurtSkeels e2 Member 111047 forum postsKurtSkeels vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 7:27 PM

Check out refurb imac.

lemmy  71873 forum posts United Kingdom
7 Dec 2013 - 7:55 PM

Why do people compare a Mac to a PC? A Mac is a proprietary system made by one manufacturer. PCs are made many, may makers and have much more variation in price and capabilty and can run Linux or windows operating systems..

The cheapest machines are PC and the most expensive are PC, usually for gaming. Macs inhabit the middle PC ground between cheap and ultimate performance.

Anyone who runs Photoshop and Premier, as I do will know that since the Mac uses the same hardware as a PC, there is little to choose between the systems. Indeed, running those programs, there isn't really any difference. I use both but I get the impression that most here use either Mac OR Pc, not both.

The big thing about Macs to me is that they are pretty, a not inconsiderable matter. But if you are talking about doing serious work, either will do the job perfectly well. The rest is just semi-religious fervour and claptrap.

cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 9:44 PM

Quote: Probably get shot down by the trolls

Bang bang, Why is it that anyone who has an opinion other than " Go Buy A Mac " is a troll.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Typical Mac owner response Sad

If you want to know how good Macs are just Google a few words like Mac Issues or Mac Problems, You will get a million pages of pain and agony being endured by Mac owners all over the planet.

Fact a computer is a computer no matter what brand or badge is on the case/box, Fact computers go wrong, Fact computer users are usually to blame, Fact there are just as many idiots using Macs as there are any other brand of computer.

Fact your getting nothing special by buying a Mac, All you get is an overpriced computer with a very expensive warranty scheme.

Lemmy has covered the facts, But I agree with Andy, You can't beat building your own, Even if it just involves choosing the specs and letting the specialists put it together for you.

ie: Overclockers, Scan, PC Specialist, Aria etc for a decent custom job.

capto e2 Member 21146 forum postscapto vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
7 Dec 2013 - 11:30 PM

I've bought 2 PC's from PC Specialists for myself and 1 for my Grandson, all have been great. Your budget should get you an excellent PC for your needs. I would suggest contacting PC Specialists for their advice on your needs, matching a PC to your needs could save some money.

Willpower  3187 forum posts United Kingdom
8 Dec 2013 - 12:52 AM

Another vote for Scan........ http://3xs.scan.co.uk/. You can configure your machine exactly as you want it to be and as said, they are very competitive.
Customer service is first class.

8 Dec 2013 - 9:58 AM

i have an asus n53 j,for two yrs now...i7 , and i do LR,capture one, and it's a breeze...very much contented...


Quote: Andy, I dearly wish I could build a PC - your's sounds awesome. Sadly if there's no sticky back plastic or fairy liquid bottles involved then my building skills aren't the best!

However, if I could build a PC then what sort of spec am I looking for? Solid state hard drives sound great but I wouldn't know one if I saw it nor understand the advantages over the not-so-solid hard drives.


I personally think that if you're not up to building your own, then the guys above have given you the perfect solution in either Scan, PCSpecialist or Overclockers. I'd call them and tell them what you want and take their advice regarding components, but as a minimum I'd suggest the following:

- PCB - suppliers advice
- Processor - Intel i7
- Graphics card - suppliers advice matched to pcb
- RAM - 16Gb
- Power supply - 750W - far more stable and quiet
- Hard drive 1 (programs) - 128 or 256Gb solid state drive or hard drive
- Hard drive 2 (backup) - 1Tb hard drive

The difference between solid state and hard drive is that the ss drive has no moving parts and so is much faster to access data and much more reliable - same technology as is used in your cameras storage device (SD, CF card etc).

Good luck - hope this helps!


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