What about a computer for processing images?

skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
edited February 2014 in General Discussions
Okay, you guys have done a great job so far of helping me spend my husband's money. After working in Lightroom, it has become painfully clear that I need a new computer! I know you guys are ready for more pictures of my lovely daughter! The laptop I have is lagging quite a bit! It's also fairly old in terms of computers. I would prefer to get a laptop or one of the new all in one computers. Does anyone have a good recommendation? I don't even really know what I'm looking for in terms of specs. and I don't want a Mac :)

Thanks!
Post edited by Msmoto on
learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
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Comments

  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 409Member
    What ever you decide on make sure it has a USB 3 external drive for use as a scratch drive. I don't know if there is a way for a SSD drive to be used with any gain in an external configuration on a laptop or not. My wife uses an ASUS laptop with 8GB of ram and a 500GB external USB 3 drive and it works well.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Well there are really 3 And a half things. RAM, CPU, graphics card and depending on memory if you want to go solid state although I don't feel like that is worth it yet. Seems like the norm for now is a SSD hard drive for windows and main funtions with a regular drive to store stuff.

    Get a good newer CPU...I always check a benchmark site and go down the list from the top until I find an affordable one then shoot for that. Same with a graphics card. Usually you want several steps under the best or possibly the previous best.

    Get all the RAM you can. Seems like 8 GB is the least people get now. I have 4 and it isn't enough. If you don't have enough RAM it will limit what you can do.

    Obviously all components depend on each other. So if you get lots of ram and a great graphics card and a slow CPU it will still be slow.

    I can't recommend a certain laptop. They aren't my thing. They are harder to customize and work on myself so I just use a netbook for easy stuff and my desktop for real work/peograms.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Go for as much Ram as you can afford. Lower processor, No SSD (old style HD), graphics average is all fine, if you run out of RAM it will be very painful. I have multiple Laptops laying around that are very old (4-8yrs old) and as as long as they have at least 8gig of RAM it works fine.

    Preferred amount would be 16gb or higher.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • TonTon Posts: 509Member
    edited February 2014
    At this moment in time.

    Processor I7, RAM 16gb, EIZO display.
    256gb SSD for you OS, programs and Lightroom catalog only.
    Import the photo's to the SSD, edit what you want and move them to the 2TB USB drive.
    Everything works with super fast, I know, have this configuration for a year now.
    Your computer for the next 4 to 5 years (say $ 300.- a year for your hobby).

    For your data.
    2 x 2Tb USB 3.0 disk, 1 for backup.
    Put the disk from the old laptop in a USB box as external backup.

    Photoshop CC and Lightroom (or Bridge) are cheap now.

    O, I put an SSD in my 5 year old VAIO (dual processor), the speed increase is amazing.
    Post edited by Ton on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,108Member
    skyeyes70 Why leave Mac out of your consideration, One you convert you never go back, I was with a PC for Donkeys years, and friend put me on to Mac,That was 7 years ago, It simply works.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited February 2014
    An all in one will give you a bigger screen
    A Mini Tower has the advantage you can choose the screen size
    Anything with Intel Core i7processor, ( i5 will work OK , but not quite as fast) at least 8GB RAM, ( 12 GB is better) at least 1TB hard drive

    SSD? yes if it you can afford one but not essential
    Mac Vs PC if you are used to a PC stick with it .
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • DJBee49DJBee49 Posts: 133Member
    I have a Mac and a PC and don't have a problem migrating between them. I am not particularly good with computers either. However, I never have to fiddle with the Mac; it is stable and always just works. The PC (and all the previous PCs I have had) seem to need constant maintenance to keep running. My experience is that all the professional graphic designers and professional photographers I know use Macs and have done for many years.

    For me there is no way I would choose a PC over a Mac. Macs are more expensive though!
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited February 2014
    You cannot buy and cheap low spec Mac but you used to be able to buy a very low spec cheap and nasty PC
    so, on average, Macs used to out perform PCs
    but you should have no problems with a high spec PC from someone like HP
    another consideration is your existing software
    some software is not available in Mac format
    with others, you will have to buy new programs
    but if I was a full time graphic designer and did not need MS Access, I would probably be with a Mac
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • rmprmp Posts: 470Member
    The comments above seem to have reached a consensus: 1. Maximize memory: more is never enough. 2. get the fastest CPU you can afford. 3. Choose an SSD if you do not want to upgrade every year. 4. Largest display you can deal with and 5. the fastest graphics card you can afford.

    The bad news is that all five of these components change constantly. So, I use custom PC web sites such as cyberpowerpc.com. They stay fairly current, will let you configure all the components to your cost/performance level, offer help doing choosing components, and will not sell you a configuration that does not work. I no longer build custom, extreme-speed gamming systems or photo-editing systems, I just play configurator on their website and let them do the work.

    Let us know what configuration you finally choose.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    skyeyes70 Why leave Mac out of your consideration, One you convert you never go back, I was with a PC for Donkeys years, and friend put me on to Mac,That was 7 years ago, It simply works.
    In my day job, Outlook and Excel are my mission critical applications. Outlook is fine on a mac, but my big 50 mb Excel files don't run on a mac worth a damn.

    If I was a professional photographer, I would think about a Mac.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited February 2014
    Either build yourself a custom PC (ger help if you don't know how to do it) or get a Mac.

    My mac is the 2012 macbook pro. I removed the cd-drive and put in a samsung SSD. Maxed the ram from a third party. The original 1tb drive holds my files and I have several USB 3 drives, one for Master files one for a backup of that,one for timemachine and just to be safe another Drive using carbon copy cloner. Ideally a RAID setup would be preffered but thats mine for now.

    I was a pc guy up until 2012 and I have only had so far 2 issues that where resolved with out downtime.
    The custom pc that i built in 2009 is now on windows 8 and it when i turn it on it needs a million patches. I use it for a specific purpose and that is about once a month. Up unitl the D800 it did a good job but I wanted something longterm so the macbook took over.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 455Member
    I have an ASUS i7, 16G ram, nvidia graphics card, 2TB drives, 5 external drives cause they are cheap these days (wait for sales). 24" IPS display. Handles D800 files no problem. It's on 24hr a day and I reboot about once a week sometimes longer. Had no problems. Have had it for about a year or so. Cost under $1000 delivered. Oh and win8.1. Works great every day.
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    Thanks guys! I'll let you know what I decide.
    Again, it's a lot of info to chew on! Why not Mac? Well, no good answer I guess. I've always been a PC girl.
    The only software I really use is Lightroom. Most everything I do is based out of google (docs, speadsheets, etc).
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • rmprmp Posts: 470Member
    What camera do you use? (D800 needs a big fast computer. A D4 does not)
    Do you shoot jpeg or raw?
    How big will your largest print be?
    What is your budget?
    Answer these questions, then play with a PC configuration. I'm snowed in today, I might as well play with a computer configuration.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    edited February 2014
    Learning DSLR with D7100 and plan on using if for years to come! I shoot both jpeg and raw, but I haven't gotten to the part to understand exactly why yet (don't judge, I'm a newbie). When I print, I think the largest would ever print would be 24x36 and that would not be on a regular basis.
    Budget I would like to be <1200.

    I for one am sick of snow. It's my first winter NOT in the south! Thank goodness it will hopefully all be melted in the coming week. I'm so over winter!
    Post edited by skyeyes70 on
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    edited February 2014
    Skyeyes70: I would to for a MacBook Pro with retina display. They come with 8 gigs of ram and SSD drives. My old 2011 elcheapo MacBook Pro with 16 gigs of ram handles D800 files. Ram and drive speed is far more important than CPU.

    In contrast to my Win. laptops the Mac just works.

    It takes 2-3 weeks to get used to a Mac. Agter that you will never go back.
    Post edited by henrik1963 on
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    One more vote to at least look at a Mac. It's quite possible that the only reason you're a PC girl is that you've never tried anything else. I've used both and for me there's no contest.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,836Member
    I love how people always recommend what the user says they don't want. I'm a primarily Mac user myself, but since the OP does not want that, I'll say nothing more on the subject.

    As others have said, for photo editing RAM is the most important. 8-16GB is the range to look for. It is often cheaper to buy extra RAM from a third party PC supply shop than from the manufacture, so keep that in mind. In other words it could be more cost effective to buy the least RAM the manufacture offers and upgrade it yourself afterwards.

    Any modern Intel CPU, quad Core i5 or Core i7 is going to be more than good enough. I'm running a machine with a 3 year old Quad Core i5 2.7Ghz, and the only thing holding the machine back is the HDD.

    Solid State (SSD) or Hard drive (HDD) = Depends on your budget. SSD's have limited storage, unless you spend $500+ for the drive alone, which isn't great if you shoot at lot. I would never buy a computer with a drive smaller than 500GB.

    General rule of thumb when buying a Windows based notebook, avoid anything in the under $800-1000 range. You get what you pay for, so don't cheap out.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    I love how people always recommend what the user says they don't want. I'm a primarily Mac user myself, but since the OP does not want that, I'll say nothing more on the subject.

    the Mac vs PC debate is a bit like the 24 -120 f 4 vr the 24 -70 f 2.8 discussion

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    in my defense ADHD or dyslexia was involved. I the misread sentence last :-??
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 437Member
    edited February 2014
    I have a MacBook., non-retina display 3 years old. I don't like the narrow viewing angle. Is the retina display an improvement in that regard?

    For now, I do my post processing on an iMac.
    Post edited by HipShot on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited February 2014
    ...
    Budget I would like to be <1200. </p>


    WTF people!!! Keep the suggestions in their budget. Suggesting $3-8k computers isn't helping. Mac's are overpriced for what they are.

    Apple vs. PC - go with what you are use too. There is ZERO performance or advantage of either. Most buggy comments about PCs I hear from mac users were solved over 10 years ago or were from using the Consumer, Best Buy, bottom dollar trash that they sell. If you look for PC Business class lines, they are comparable to Macs. Any new Dell or Lenovo business class rig will work just fine. I just stick with Dell Business class since I know they always work. If you do not find the configuration you want, you just have to call them - they will do it and actually I have found they will quote you a better price. You should be able to easily get a good system for $750 that will easily handle the files for years.

    Just a Note on Hard-drives: If you go with a SSD Note this, 1) you need to always keep about 32GB free on any hard drive 2) Windows, Lightroom, Photoshop and the basic software takes up about 70GB on a PC.
    Anything less then 250gb is small and even with that you will need an external drive to store files.

    I have a 128gb SSD and a 500gb hybrid "working" drives on my system and a NAS (network attached storage) for when my work is delivered, I load my files to the NAS. I will be buying 1 512gb SSD and migrate the OS and programs to that, as the 128 requires a lot of attention due to the limited space. In a normal photo shoot I fire off about 24gb of photos and am working on approximately 200gb worth of photos (personal and work) at any given time (before I archive them.) I spend about 2 hours a week just moving files and archiving photo shoots. It is a pain, but it just needs to be done. If you stick with the "normal" drives and go with a 1.5TB or larger, you will not have the same issues.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Although I'm somewhat retired, I'm still in the 'Adobe' teaching business, and I have a gig in LA teaching both Mac and PC platforms in March for a professional film and graphics company that uses the upper end of the Adobe products.

    PCs and Macs are pretty much the same in the Adobe-sphere, although as a user-teacher-demo-er and former Adobe boothie, it can be confusing switching back and forth.

    To the OP ( skyeyes70 ), my personal machine is a Core i7, with 16 Gigs of Ram, a high end CUDA graphics card with 2 Gigs of RAM. I have 4 hard drives with 3 TB each on the computer, with 4 USB drives with 3 TB attached for backup. My classroom is also capable of broadcasting to the workstations from this computer during sessions, and It has an audio mixer/capture mode for recording (as well as two video inputs) for tutorials and Internet broadcasting. The case is insulated and cooled. It rarely fails, but it does hiccup and cough occasionally, and while a bit more pricey than an off-the-shelf machine, a Mac of similar specs would cost more than a moderate automobile; I couldn't afford it.

    Buy a decent brand name from someone who backs their product, install the software correctly - follow directions (I can't overstate that enough), and you should be ok).

    If you run into problems, isolate it and call support. Someone will help. Lightroom is pretty plain vanilla and shouldn't be a problem.

    My best,

    Mike
  • skyeyes70skyeyes70 Posts: 66Member
    I love how people always recommend what the user says they don't want. I'm a primarily Mac user myself, but since the OP does not want that, I'll say nothing more on the subject.

    the Mac vs PC debate is a bit like the 24 -120 f 4 vr the 24 -70 f 2.8 discussion

    I was thinking Mac vs PC was a bit more like Nikon vs Canon!
    Thanks for all of the advise!
    learning DSLR with D7100 18-105mm and 35mm F/1.8. I also love my little Nikon Coolpix AW100!
    flickr.com/photos/115637741@N02/
    imagesbypam.tumblr.com/ and driveby-shooting.tumblr.com/
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    There is nothing magical about a Mac - they are all build with Intel inside :-) I think the reason for bad quality in PCs is because the PC industry is slowly competing itself to death. You can get the same quality PC as Mac - it will cost the same in the end. But too many try to stay in the market by making cheap computers.

    Macs are better build than most - that is all. You can buy a Mac and run Win. on it if you like.

    For me it has nothing to do with Mac vs Win - I use both. My Macs run better - are build better.
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