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Fast and reliable system for design work

Last response: in Systems
a b B Homebuilt system
August 10, 2010 5:50:22 PM

Hi All,

My dad has decided to embark upon a cataloguing project that will involve lots of work with high resolution images, bouncing them between photoshop and something like Flickr, Picasa or similar. This requires a new PC as his old XP box is seriously over the hill and clogged with about five years of crap software, and obviously I get to build it for him...

I've said that I'd provide a decent PC spec, but since I've mostly moved to using macs over the last couple of years I'm somewhat out of the loop when it comes to new PC hardware, and the need for a fast and reliable 2d machine is an odd spec.

The machine needs to be good for all the usual sort of business software - Office, photoshop, etc - in Win7, and have enough oomph to last for a good while - hopefully at least another five years. Won't really need to do any serious 3d stuff - he's not a gamer, but it wants to be able to watch movies nice and quickly, probably in the background while working.

Ideally it should be something along the lines of:
- Intel quad core processor - fast, but doesn't need to be absolute cutting edge
- 6-8gb RAM
- graphics card with sufficient power to run two monitors at 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
- 24" monitor with excellent colour reproduction (probably 24": Dell UltraSharp U2410, maybe something cheaper)
- integrated sound is fine
- 1TB hard drive
- Bluray reader (don't need writer)
- USB3 onboard, (or with an expansion card if that's easier)

The important things are
- able to run windows quickly
- safe, reliable components (I live hours away from home - I want to be offering minimal tech support...)
- excellent colour reproduction quality
- fast data transfer to external hdd for backups

I had a quick look through the guides, but I'd like recommendations if people could spare a minute.