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  • Sorry BigDingus, but some of what you wrote is misleading.

    I have been in the IT industry for the past 24 years, building, configuring & repairing systems at component level (bring back manual component configuration with jumpers & DIP switches over Plug & Pray any day of the week).

    Quote:Because Microsoft repeatedly change their operating software and then stop supporting it, which makes you have to buy a completely new OS from them. Mac do upgrades.

    Not entirely correct. 10 years+ for an OS life span is pretty good going. XP is only just going in to "end of life" cycle in the coming months. Windows 7 is extremely stable at the moment & it may have a lesser life span than XP has had, but as Windows 8 drivers are built on the same subsystem as Windows 7 drivers are, then future products and developments will still work and be supported under W7.

    Quote:Don't forget you can also use RAID 1 or 2

    I have NEVER seen a desktop board supporting any RAID array structures other than 0, 1, 5, 10 or JBoD. RAID 0 or 1 is more than adequate for users. RAID0 for speed & RAID1 for data redundancy. Some boards support RAID 0+1 configurations, but the additional expense on redundant disks is more than what most users can afford to spend for the minimal performance increase. Much cheaper to add a NAS drive in for backup purposes.

    Quote:Solid state has little advantage at present, but do get the fastest spin speed and seek times if you go normal drive.

    Sorry, but are you for real here? Using a single SSD as the main system drive with the OS & applications on it, will blow away even the fastest spindle speed platter based HDD's running in a RAID0 configuration in perfomance. The optimum combination for a desktop machine is a SSD as the system drive and RAID0 for storage. Using a SSD for storage is of no benefit with regards to real world usage and as SSD's have a finite lifespan with regards to read/writes, using it for storage will lower the lifespan of it. Remember for optimal longevity from a SSD, to have the main partition 20% less than the total capacity. This is for what is known as Overprovisioning and will keep the drive operating at it's fastest speed and also if any blocks on the NAND memory start to fail, the drive will be remapped to use the 20% that has not been used.

    Quote:DON'T skimp on your power supply. I'd rather have double the Wattage than just enough.

    Although I do agree with the first sentence, the actual Wattage of the PSU is not what you should be looking at. A cheap 700W PSU will operate as well as a better quality 500W. Stable currents are more important than actual outputted wattage. If the current fluctuates too much, then the machine will BSOD or shut down. More expensive PSU's do not fluctuate as much and a lower output will keep a machine running where a cheaper higher wattage PSU will cause drop outs - especially on high powered machines. My personal machine runs a good quality 650W PSU and has not once dropped out or failed, where other machines I have built to customers specifications where they have chosen a cheaper 1000w PSU against my advice and have had problems until the PSU has been changed for a good quality lower wattage one. Also a higher wattage than required PSU will cost more to run on the old electric bill (try it and you will be surprised even if it seems that less current is being pulled from it).

    Quote:I don't put a lot out on my CD drives as I only ever use them to load software so don't need the speed you need for watching films etc.

    The optical drive depends on what the user is using it for. If they need to regularly provide portfolio's, wedding photo's, etc on optical media, then a GOOD drive will give consistent results on good media. I have always used Plextor drives on high end systems due to their reliability, especially with burning media for customers. Backing up large amounts of RAW images to Blu-Ray media is also an option for processed images. Less discs laying around.

    As for PC vs MAC. If you use applications that are only available on MAC, then go MAC. Other than that, go with your head as Photoshop, Lightroom, etc operate exactly the same on both platforms. Buy the right configuration in a Windows based system, and it will perform better than the equivalent PRICED MAC.