Worth the extra cost?


I have a photography biz which means I am processing large raw files and doing a bunch of post work in photoshop.

I use to have a toshiba tablet which I loved but after 4 years it died. I was in a pinch and had to get something quick so I ended up with a HP tablet which I HATE! It's slow, runs hot, and is starting to crash a bunch.

Going to be getting a new comp here soon and sense I get a discount at Sony I have been looking at their desktop. I have gone into the store and it's 10x faster than what I am using now.

My question is do I get the pre-configured model or custimize.

System 1
Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM (2.0 / 2.90GHz)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Features: 24" Full HD touch-screen LCD, 6GB RAM, 1TB (7200rpm) HDD, Blu-ray player/burner, NVIDIA® graphics 1GB, HDMI™ in/out, TV tuner

System 2
Intel® Core™ i7-2720QM (2.2 / 3.3 GHz)
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit
Features: 24" Full HD touch-screen LCD, 8GB RAM, 1TB (7200rpm) HDD, Blu-ray player/burner, NVIDIA® graphics 1GB, HDMI™ in/out, TV tuner

Only main changes are RAM, processor, and OS. Are those upgrades worth an extra $600? Will I be able to tell the difference? I don't mind spending a little extra cash as long as it will pay for itself in the long run.

Thanks for your help.

10 answers Last reply
More about worth extra cost
  1. What's your budget? That's the most important thing we need to know.
  2. I would like to keep it under $2k and it must have touch screen/tabet so I can edit photos with a stylus
  3. BabiesNBellies said:
    I would like to keep it under $2k and it must have touch screen/tabet so I can edit photos with a stylus

    Touch screen tablet? Can you provide a link to what you have in mind please and I'll help you out. With $2K at your disposal your much better off just building your own machine. If you've never done it before its very simple. Just YouTube around about building your own and there you go.
  4. Sorry, it needs to be a touch screen so I can edit photos using a stylus on the screen. I've built computers in the past but needding a touch screen think kills that idea.

    Here is what I am looking at: http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666303976
  5. The Sony prebuilt isn't bad. Its a prebuilt so you could always do better. There are touch screen monitors out there. Even ones that work with stylus. The Sony monitor is better but everything else you are much better off with what is down below. There isn't anything wrong with the Sony build, its nice. You can just do much better with your money.

    Hope this helps [:bohleyk:1]

    Subtotal: $1,688.88
    (with SSD) $1,938.87

    Monitor: PLANAR PX2230MW 21.5' 1920x1080p (stylus ready)

    Case: Antec Performance One Series P183 V3

    CPU: Core i7 2600K

    Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (7-7-7-18)

    GPU: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 2GB

    PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold Modular

    SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SATA III (+$250)

    HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 2TB

    Optic: SONY Black 12X BD-R

    Keyboard/Mouse: Microsoft USB Wired Slim Keyboard 600

    OS: W7 64bit Home Premium
  6. I will have to look through those links and check out the monitor.

    But back to my orignal question. Is upgrading the following worth $600? Will I see a difference?

    i7-2630QM upgraded to i7-2720QM

    6GB to 8GB

    Home to professional
  7. The build above is pretty solid, if you run a newer version of Photoshop that Fermi card should make processing a LOT faster than CPU only builds. I don't remember how far back, but Adobe added Nvidia CUDA support a while ago so if it's not the latest you may want to check into it. On a side note, you may want to trade the SSD for two additional HDD(s)-putting your software on the one and doing a RAID 1 array for you customer's data. Re-Loading your OS sucks, but not loosing customer data sucks a lot less. I've found if you separate your Windows and DATA drives it makes your life better, and Photoshop prefers it too.

    Note: Do not plug-in the extra drives until AFTER you install Windows. Microsoft is notorious, happened to me 8+ times, for not putting the boot loader on the windows drive, and loosing any of the other drives will cause windows 7 to fail to boot. Not fun to fix.


    As for Pre-Built or custom that CUDA acceleration can be very decisive, if you can find a way to try it out before hand.

    You shouldn't miss the extra 200-MHz of the more expensive rig, but RAM you might, launch task manager and take a look at Photoshop's usage on your current rig, then open up preferences in Photoshop (Edit > Preferences > Performance) and up the memory use percentage and consider how much it helps. If you haven't changed it, it should be about 60%. If your current work load is not maxing that out than your current machine's level of RAM is fine and thus you would not see much of an advantage with any ram past such.
  8. The difference between the two processors seems to be only in clock speed and graphic performance. Its only a slight increase for $600. I'd say no.

    You should grab 8GB over 6GB considering your work. Professional, as far as I know, only benefits people who require WinXP. If your machines are W7 compatible, just get home premium.
  9. So I just looked at if I order the custimized version with just upgrading the RAM to 8GB and the price is $1627 with my discount but if I just order the pre-built model with just 6GB RAM it's only $1224.

    The other thing I can do it get the pre-built with 8GB but then it comes with a 2TB 5400rpm HD for $1579.

    So do I go with the $1224 and just go with 6GB? Will the 2GB differance really make a noticable performance change? (right now I am only using 4gb so it would still be an upgrade lol)
  10. By default, (60% cap) 6GB will give Photoshop an additional 1.2GB to play with, and 8GB will give Photoshop an additional 2.4GB to play with, the advantage would be yours to decide.
    Regardless, you will be using laptop parts, and from my experience I'm having a hard time suggesting that. If you don't need the Blu-Ray and the display works... for $1,393.88 and shipping you might go with the following desktop:

    LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

    Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black Aluminum http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129174

    SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152245

    ZOTAC AMP! ZT-50402-10L GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500194

    CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231308

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68P-DS3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128520

    Intel Core i7-2600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115071

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986

    PLANAR PX2230MW(997-5983-00) 21.5" USB Optical Optical FHD WideScreen Multi-Touch LCD Monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824016156

    Microsoft ANB-00001 Black USB Wired Slim Keyboard 600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.676397
    Any-how going from a tablet to a tablet a newer model with a newer processor will give you an advantage. I would undoubtedly recommend a desktop over a tablet, but it is your money.

    A regular cleaning, especially getting dust out of the various fans, vents and heat sinks will prolong the life of you purchase regardless.
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