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New PC and Monitor needed


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I'm looking to purchase a new system, but have no idea where to start.  Overwhelmed with too many choices.  I don't really have a budget in mind, just looking for input. I have a glitchy Dell tower and a Samsung monitor that has horrible shadows.

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A healthy budget for a computer that's meant for photo-editing falls between $1000 - $1500. I still like the Dell XPS towers as a starting point. The current models seem to be the XPS 8920. From the choices on this screen I'd pick the $1028.99 model.
 

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 2.55.09 PM.png

Some folks aren't sold on a Dell computer, and that's fine. The main things you are looking for these days are a computer with these options:

  • Intel i5 or i7 CPU
  • 1TB Hard Drive at a minimum
  • 16GB RAM
  • A separate, non-integrated Video Card with its own dedicated Video Memory, 2G - 4GB is fine.
  • Windows 10 64-Bit

In a nutshell, we are looking at a low-end Gaming Machine. Believe it or not, Adobe's products aren't programmed to take advantage of what makes an Intel i7 CPU so fast; there is only about a 5-7% performance boost when it comes to Adobe Photoshop with a i7 vs an i5. Photoshop likes more RAM and using dedicated Video Memory for a performance boost, so in that dept, 32GB RAM is preferred, though 16GB  works well currently. When it comes to a HD, 1TB is a minimum that you want for a main drive. Not only for just Windows and the software programs you install, but to have plenty of room for Update Patches and scratch disks. Getting a computer with a 256GB SSD drive and then a 1TB drive takes a little more involvement on your part as you will need to be extremely ANAL on what gets put on a small SSD Drive. (256GB, etc.) With a drive that small, you can't always just hit "Next-next-next--ok...ok...next-next-next...finish" when installing stuff. You will need to review on what goes where when it comes to a small hard drive. A fast SSD drive isn't going to do you any good if the damn thing i full. no matter how "fast" it might be.

Now for the display. I like Dell UltraSharp IPS - Based Displays, like the U2715H. The Dell U2412M display is one of my favorite monitors, though it's a bit old these days and they are getting harder to find. I've recommended them to my photographer friends, both in real-life and online and that screen is awesome.

LG isn't bad either.

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Either of those systems have their own dedicated video memory. I would use the DisplayPort for the best results. Make sure the IPS monitor has a DisplayPort connector as well. Most Dell IPS Screens have this port. 

As for which one? Either. The $1999 has more stuff, but that 500GB SSD drive can't become a dumping ground. You will need to store your data files and such on the 2TB drive. 

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