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Old 03-22-2004, 04:17 PM
whereami's Avatar
whereami whereami is offline
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Default Computer buying advice needed

Hi everyone.

I'm looking to buy a new computer but I would like to know what would be a 'good' set-up. I'm ideally looking for a laptop, and I would use it to browse the Internet and of course edit images. How much memory is required? What CPU would you recommend? What should I avoid? I'm looking to spend around US$1000, so a budget(ish) model is ideal.

Any help you can offer would be great. Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:38 PM
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Darren Darren is offline
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Default Re: Computer buying advice needed

Hi Dan. I am no computer guru, but I just thought I would chime in with my first impression. Certainly, for $1000us, you can get a good quality computer. However, at that price, I really would consider going with a desktop. Nowadays, companies seem to be making very small desktops, ones which are intended to be somewhat portable. Here in Taiwan, all the computer shops seem to sell a case called the shuttle, which is probably about 6 inches high and has a handle on the top. It has room for only one CD/DVD bay, but is a desktop in every other way. The advantages to going to a desktop over laptop are that for the same money, you will get much, much better processing power, more expandability (you can upgrade RAM, video cards, harddrives less expensively) and you will have the opportunity to buy a better monitor, which is the heart and soul of photo editing. Even though I live in Asia, and my computer has been from Korea to Canada then to Taiwan, I have never once regretter going the desktop route as opposed to laptop. Given the same choice, I would do the same thing again in a heartbeat.

As an idea of the differences, I would suggest you look at a site like and compare what you will get from a $1000 laptop vs. a $1000 desktop. If the features and performance are not so important to you, certainly a laptop can offer flexibility and portability. I have been to hundreds of Starbucks for example, never once have I seen someone working on his/her desktop while having a coffee. Good luck with your choices.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:43 PM
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Edwin Edwin is offline
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Default Re: Computer buying advice needed

Dear whereami, are you sure you are on the right forum?
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:30 PM
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green green is offline
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Default Re: Computer buying advice needed

What I will just say is if you serious about image editing, you won't go for the Laptop, you'll go for a desktop with a good and large (at least 17") screen you can calibrate, a fast video card with a lot of ram dedicated to it and a rather large disk (or multiple disk is better) and as much memory you can fill up the computer.

I laptop always look cooler than a desktop but the TFT screen are usually not really good for image editing (big colour shift depending of the angle you are from screen), unless you spend a hell lot more money on the laptop (Sony VAIO has very good TFT screen put a laptop cost a least 3 000$US). What ever you spend on the laptop you'll never be able to calibrate your screen as well as you could do with a CRT screen.

I also think that given the price of a laptop compare to a desktop of the same setting, you must be sure that you'll really need the mobility that offer the laptop. Because mobility is the only advantage that a laptop has compare with a desktop (and maybe to look cooler in front of your friend). And if you don't need to go around with your computer then there's no use for a laptop.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:53 PM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Computer buying advice needed

What sort of images are you planning to edit? If you're just editing 3MP JPEGs then any reliable modern computer will be plenty. If you're looking at RAW processing, or high resolution slide scans then your requirements go up dramatically.

For off-the-shelf desktop solutions Dell do seem to have a good product line, for laptops I'd look at Sony (although their support can sometimes be a tad lacklustre). There's some stuff about buying laptops in my FAQ.
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