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Advice on new PC and Monitor please!

backbeat Plus
12 134 1 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2012 9:03AM
Ok, I have around 1000 budget for a PC and Monitor for my new studio....I've always used a laptop previously, but its time to get serious with a decent set up and to be able to calibrate properly etc.

Any advice would be most welcome...I don't want to go down the 'make your own' route, as I'm fairly clueless in that direction, nor do I want a Mac, so just some make and model names that you knowledgable folks have been satisfied with in the past would be great thanks.

All info greatly appreciated


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mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2012 9:19AM
If you have a good laptop that is powerful enough for editing, you could just buy the best possible screen within your budget after setting aside some money for a calibration kit. The top-range Colormunki kit includes calibration for printer as well as screen.

If you want a desktop you will find many didfferent suggestions on what you need but I have a Dell XPS with 8GB RAM, 2TB hard drive (excessine because all my photos are on external HDD), i5 processor and dedicated 1GB graphics card. I am presuming you already have back-up software/drives...
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
26 Sep 2012 9:48AM
This one has gone up about 10% in price since I bought one last year but I am very satisfied with it:


It certainly handles my 45Mb Raw files very efficiently in Lightroom 4.1 and Photoshop CS6 with all the associated plug-ins and gubbins.

I use it with a pair of 27" Dell U2711 Ultrasharp monitors with which I am also extremely satisfied. Unfortunately even one of those would take the total cost slightly above your budget - but I see no point in coupling a speedy PC with a shitey monitor or a decent monitor with a shitey PC. Getting the optimum balance of processing power and display quality for your own requirements is probably the secret.

(Edit: Just re-read your post and noticed the reference to "studio", Phil. That suggests that you are a professional. I should stress that when I say that I am very satisfied with the above set-up, it is purely as an amateur photographer, and I can't be sure it would necessary meet the needs of a working pro.)

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
26 Sep 2012 11:41AM
For a studio environment something like this, Not necessarily 27 inch, 24" would be more than enough .

Why this?

It is tidy, Sleek, Clean & clutter free, Looks fab, Whats more despite the huge amount of " Bull " you'll no doubt receive, This type of system is " More " than adequate for working with 2D still images, It would also be great for 3D and video work, That said 3D & Video work really requires a whole different hardware set up, More on the lines of a CAD machine.

My other suggestion would be a custom built machine ( preferably from a local supplier ) If the budget is tight, Get the builder to construct something with a decent amount of upgrade headroom, But keep the original base unit budgeted at around 500 max, Then use the other 500 quid to get a really decent display, Certainly something with " IPS " technology, Made by NEC, Asus, Dell, HP, or the like, Do plenty of model research, Makes no odds what the badge is, Just make sure the actual panel inside the box, Is one of the better ones.

One example, Certain NEC models priced around 1200 quid, Share the same panel technology ( from the same supplier ) as the much more affordable " Asus " & " HP " displays, Same goes for the 24 & 27 pro Dell models.

Bottom line, Make the monitor/display the most important part of the package, The box of bits that drives it, Is less important, Just so long as it has reasonable future upgrade potential, Certainly from a photographers point of view.....Grin

Your next consideration should be " Storage " ..........But that's a whole other department.

Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
26 Sep 2012 1:01PM
Having the same predicament. My current model doesn't like me playing music on it and using CS5!!!

I was looking at a Dell (XP8500) but came across this which you might find interesting.

lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
26 Sep 2012 4:48PM
I got a Dell U2312HM from Amazon for 168 and I have to say first impressions are its money well spent.
And an XPS 8500 tower from Dell sourced through dmxdimension which again came in at a very good price (i5 3.1 , 2tb , 8gb ram, 1gb graphics, years onsite warranty) for 611 with a free Xbox 360 (which ive sold already for 110!!) and the option to upgrade to Windows 8 for 15 should I want to.

If your shopping for a new comp the dmxdimension is worth keeping an eye on daily as the deals change all the time....and for those that hate all the rubbish Dell put on Pc's as I do a quick foray through add and remove programs gets rid of it all perfectly.
backbeat Plus
12 134 1 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2012 5:39PM
Thanks all, I ended up plumping for a Chillblast fusion vantage for just about a grand, although now I've seen that sleek all in one Dell I'm kind of wishing I'd have got that!

Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
28 Sep 2012 7:18PM
You won't regret the Chillblast, I'm on my 2nd and it's been bullet proof so far, unlike my bleedin' cameras Sad

lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
28 Sep 2012 8:08PM

Quote:You won't regret the Chillblast, I'm on my 2nd and it's been bullet proof so far

Surely a contradiction of terms?Tongue
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
28 Sep 2012 9:25PM

I guess you could say that, doh......What I failed to mention is the 1st one is still going strong and is now used as a server, whereas the 2nd is the all singing and dancing machine Smile

backbeat Plus
12 134 1 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2012 10:52AM
excellent, cheers Ade

User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2012 12:47PM
I'd really like to save time and not build my own new PC this time round. I've tried configuring a Dell XPS 8500 but I can't seem to avoid getting things that I don't want or need - like a mouse, or Xbox or MS Office.

I want to configure an i7 with 12gb RAM and an SSD boot disk from a brand or builder I can trust.

What attracts me to Dell is the quality of the cases and how quiet new Dells tend to be. Surely there's a way to configure them without being forced into certain choices?
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
30 Sep 2012 1:46PM

Why not have a look at PC Specialist . You'll be able to choose exactly what you want, component wise. They have an excellent selection of cases or you can even send in your own. I'm sure they'll be plenty of options that will be just as quiet, and more so, than any Dell option.
I use a Fractal Design Define XL case which I specifically bought with the intention of keeping any noise to a minimum. I've not been disappointed and can highly recommend that particular case.

Another retailer that deals with quiet PC's and components is Quiet PC
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2012 4:16PM
Thanks Justin for the recommend, particularly the case recommend.
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
30 Sep 2012 4:29PM
You're welcome.

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