Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Don't know what to get...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 9, 2004 8:41:12 PM

My dad has asked me for an advise about a computer. He is into digital photography and all he basically going to need computer for is viewing, editing and printing photos off. Now I know he doesnt need anything powerfull, but he does want to make sure that what he sees on a screen is what is going to print off on the paper, as my computer I have doesn't do that, not sure why, but I think because I am using crt monitor and it might not be showing the true image.

Anyway, I think the best thing for him is to go for a full computer rather than building it from scratch. The question is how powerfull does the computer have to be to be able to handle good photo editing softwares, is tft monitor a must have, also what are the differences between apple macs and PC with regards to photo editing and which one have best photo editing software(and what are they if anyone knows).

He doesn't want to spend more than £1,000, and not sure if that is enough for a reasonable computer.

That's quite a lot of info I am asking for, but I don't know anything about photo editing and stuff, so don't know what to tell him.

Please help and thanks.

More about : question

June 9, 2004 8:57:39 PM

PCs are just as good as Macs for photo stuff nowadays, and MUCH cheaper...

If he's seriously into photo editing, Photoshop is a must, but it's expensive. I hear Photoshop Elements is a cheap alternative but I've never tried it myself.

If he wants good video quality I'll get the jump on Ape and suggest a Matrox video card.

As for the system, I'd recommend at least an Athlon 2000+ (doesn't have to be the higest speed for photo editing), but alot of RAM... at elast 500 megs, preferably a Gig.

Lots of HD space too, picture files can be large if he's working uncompressed.

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2004 8:59:35 PM

Graphics card wise he should try and get the MATROX P650 or P750. Nothing will match it's picture quality. Period!

For Photo editing right now both processors, P4HT and AMD64 are very close. Likely the next generation of Adobe products will be better optimised for the AMD64 so that would be my preference. 1 Gig of pretty good memory is a good idea for processing raw images.

As for monitors TFT are usually easier to get close to accurate and for most enthusiast/pro-sumers should be good enough and easy on the eyes, but CRTs will give you the truest picture overall, but they must be GOOD-GREAT CRTs with calibration hardware/software. But a Good CRT is usually cheaper than an equivalent sized good TFT. But a TFT with DVI input will likely do OK, but if he is looking for almost exactly what he sees on paper he should use a GOOD CRT, and also get the plug-ins for Photoshop or whatever he uses that take the paper he's printing too into account. The more true you want each to look the more complex and expensive you get. You should be able to get a GOOD system for 1000 pounds.

Hope that helps, I'll add more later, I have to go to a meeting and then off to the dinner.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2004 9:01:19 PM


LOL!

You beat me by moments. :lol: 

Anywhoo, gotta run!

Ciaola!


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 9, 2004 9:19:43 PM

Ditto.
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2004 10:31:13 PM

Entium, I've been too busy to spend much time at the forums lately (payback for a vacation), but the last I saw you were an Honory something or other. Now you are back down to an enthusiast. What gives?

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
June 9, 2004 10:33:52 PM

err no I wasn't was I?
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2004 10:45:25 PM

No? I must be losing it. LOL I thought I saw that a couple days ago and I was shocked. Oh well, false alarm.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
June 9, 2004 10:58:15 PM

hehe :) 
June 10, 2004 12:14:33 AM

Thanks guys, I think I've got a rough idea what to look for, anybody can sugest good places where I can get some good deals and people will know about photo editing in UK, preferably in midlands somewhere?

Also, how can I tweak crt monitors, I understand that those tweaking softwares are extras and do not come with the standard drivers/utilities. I have a Gforce 4TI4200 at the moment (am looking to get a new system myself soon too, but for a different perpose) and the nvidia driver utility thingie gives me little adjustment control, like digital vibrance, gamma, colour etc, and I find them so fidly to use and the only way to tell if the image is true is to hold a printed photo next to it. So where can I get those tweaking softwares and are there any better ways to tweak?

And which monitors, the makes, are considered to be good for the job, there are so damn many nowadays.

PS: How much are we talking when we say Photoshop is expensive?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ComradeMishkin on 06/09/04 08:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 10, 2004 12:59:16 AM

Free?

If it's too expensive you could always dl it.

Not that I condone piracy in any size shape or form (yeah, right)

<font color=blue>If I found the hidden fountain. Drank the wisdom from it's deep.
Would I have the time to save me. Would I have them both to keep...</font color=blue>
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2004 5:28:17 AM

First with PHotoshop there are 3 different kinds, PhotoShop CS (complete package proffesional upgrade from 7.0, [AKA CS 8.0]), PhotoShop 7.0 (full featured, somewhat less than CS), Photshop Elements (basic features, alot of functionality, but if you're serious you can outgrow it quickly.

A New version of CS is like $500-700 US (based on what I've seen at places like Amazon, etc.) Upgrade is about $150.

7.0 New is about $200-300US, Upgrade is under $100.

Elements is under $100 (don't know if there's an upgrade).

I have Elements and 7.0, and if you are a quick learner or like to tweak alot, you'll (or your dad) will quickly find you want the features of 7.0. Thankfully I got an Academic version for very cheap. I am even thinking of going to CS for the RAW format support, but it's still hard to justify.

Basic CRT adjustments can be done with programs like DisplayMate and . It is a bit of a hassle and time consuming and you may even have to adjust every few weeks or less depending on your monitor and you level of precision/anal retentiveness, but it can be done for free. And eventaully you get a good feel for how things should look and it gets a fair bit quicker.
Serious stuff is done with hardware calibrators that have optical sensors and auto adjust for purer colour. They are not cheap, and I wouldn't recommend them for you or your dad. The thing is are you/he willing to spend about 5-10 minutes a month adjusting your monitor, should you need to, to get the colours just right? A DVI interfaced TFT means you basically have to adjust it once and leave it, unless changing programs you use often, which can display differently. It won't be as good as the top of the line CRTs, but it can be better than many of the mid range CRT. Pure blacks and whites are usually weak points for TFTs though. So really it's a matter of preferences. If you get a Matrox card, they have ok tweaking software that comes with it. Also they work closely with people like Adobe <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/mill_pseries/soft_bu..." target="_new">to optimize their software/hardware</A> to work together.

Good CRT Brands are Sony, Phillips, IBM (usually Sony or Mitsubishi tube), Mitsubishi istself, Viewsonic, and Samsung. But each of them also has their crap Dog line of products for the 'masses'. I used to like BENQ, but they were bought by another company (ACER IIRC) and their monitors have become mass market products with mediocre quality trading on their old name.

It's something you have to research personally find out what you CAN buy, and then do research and gather the opinions on what's available to you. And really the best thing is to actually look at these monitors working with the type of files you/your dad plan on using. Then things like dot pitch, grill seperation, and contrast/brightness/colourtemp/moire limitations may show themselves to you where others didn't care. Just something to look for as a minimum standard for a 19" for me, the ViewSonic P95f+ , the Phillips 109P/B, Sony G410/420.

As always, just my view from here.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 10, 2004 6:55:59 AM

700$ US? OR one night of d/ling on edonkey :D 
adobe makes enough money off professional people already :p 

for your system here's a basic outline

CPU: Intel P4 ( 2.8ish should be fine make sure its the HT version, prescotts are no good)
or
AMD Athlon 64 (2800+ and above should handle work quite well, but u have to wait for new photoshop to take advantage of 64 bit)

MOBO: 875P base mobo (i like my MSI alot, has enough u need and don't need) this is for intel
nForce 3 250 based mobo (this should be out soon) this is for AMD

RAM: PC3200 atleast, i think there will be no o/c done so PC3200 is good, use a good brand like kingston or OCZ (corsair is probably out of your price range) if ur a bit tight on budget, crucial ram is ok (but quite slow compare to the OCZ and kingston ones) 1 GB should be enough

VIDEO- Matrox is a good choice here, Grape will fill u in on the models

HDD- 250GB should be ideal, i recommand if u have the money get a 36GB raptor and use it as a "windows drive" and 250GB as a storage HDD, i dont think raid is suitable cause if anything happens the data might get corrupted etc (unless u run RAID 1)

CASE- any ANTEC case should be alright, if it comes with a truepower power supply than its even better!

Power supply- i'd say about 430W atleast, get a brandname one to ensure ur comp's stability

DVD- DVD burner? i'd recommand a plextor or pioneer one

SOUND- i dont think its a big concern. However if u want to Audigy 2 ZS are really nice sound cards.

That's about it, i didn't look for the prices soo look around

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2004 12:38:25 PM

Quote:

700$ US? OR one night of d/ling on edonkey :D 
adobe makes enough money off professional people already :p 

Well unlike some companies Adobe makes a good solid product and does offer a lite version in the form of elements. So if you like it pay for it. I am pro screwing te people who screw you, but maybe my experience with Adobe's been better than some. I am dissapointed with what they have done with CoolEdit Pro, but I am glad they allowed me to upgrade to Auditon for free. Personal preference.


As for the Hardware, I agree in general, all good picks.

The only thing I'd suggest is regarding this;

Quote:
DVD- DVD burner? i'd recommand a plextor or pioneer one

For authoring DVD-RAM is the BEST, it's drag and drop and acts just like a harddrive. It allows you to update often (~100,000+ re/writes). For most users RAM isn't useful, for digital archiving it's extremely handy. But that's just a personal preference having worked with all formats. An LG is pretty versatile, I have 2 (4020, 4040) and the only thing I didn't like was the lack of NERO as the software of choice. The 4082 looks like a nice continuation of the line.

Anyways, just a personal preference. I don't know how much DVD-RAM disks cost in the UK/EURO but here I can get one for about twice the price of a DVD+/-RW, and they come in a nice handy cartridge sometimes, and the double sided are very convenient. And for Archival purposes they have a better (far less) deterioration rate than other formats over time.

Of course for VIDEO, the Dual layer would be a consideration too, right now media is VERY scarce.

For Pedestrian burning, Plextor is one of the very best, but you pay for it, Lite-On, NEC and PIONEER are good. I've heard of issues with Sony.


As for;
Quote:
VIDEO- Matrox is a good choice here, Grape will fill u in on the models

Yeah I think the P650 would be the 'wise' choice and use of money (it can now be upgraded to triple-head), and then the P750, and Parhelia depending on funds and whether the small performance boosts are worth it. I would recommend he check <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/comp_chart/gseries_p..." target="_new">Matrox's comparison Grid</A> to get an ideo of the Resolutions sizes used, and the performance differences. Note that while the Grid has an X at the TripleHead box, it now DOES have support through <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/workstation/audio/news/press_..." target="_new">upgrade</A>.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 10, 2004 2:36:03 PM

Photoshop is around $600 if memory serves, Photoshop Elements should be < $100.

[EDIT] Doh! Didn't see page 2![/EDIT]

________________
<b>Radeon <font color=red>9700 PRO</b></font color=red> <i>(o/c 329/337)</i>
<b>AthlonXP <font color=red>~2750+</b></font color=red> <i>(2400+ @ 2208 Mhz)</i>
<b>3dMark03: <font color=red>4,876</b>
June 10, 2004 5:09:26 PM

"nForce 3 250 based mobo (this should be out soon) this is for AMD"
"CPU: Intel P4 ( 2.8ish should be fine make sure its the HT version, prescotts are no good)
or
AMD Athlon 64 (2800+ and above should handle work quite well, but u have to wait for new photoshop to take advantage of 64 bit)"
althought I agree that your suggestions are good, but they are good for someone who needs a highend computer. His dad is only photo editing. I second who's ever opinion it was for a cheap athlon xp and a socket A board. That's a whole lot of power for someone who doesn't need it. I could use the newest version of photoshop on my mom's older dell with no problem. He could save alot of money on hardware and spend it on some good photo editting software.
And for a monitor, I Personally like nec/Mitsubishi monitors. You can get a nice 19" perfectflat diamondtron crt for around 200$ on newegg.
June 10, 2004 6:38:56 PM

Yeah..go get em'!

<b><font color=red> ATI 9600Pro </font color=red></b>
<b><font color=green> AthlonXP-M 2500+ OC'd 3200+ </font color=green></b>
<b><font color=blue> Abit NF7-S </font color=blue></b>
<b><font color=black> 2x256MB Corsair PC3200 </font color=black></b>
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2004 7:57:59 PM

The main thing is what you do with Photoshop.

I can use XP on a PII 366 with 192mb (I know, I've done it), but it doesn't mean it's good, let alone optimal for everyone.

Same goes for even apps like Photoshop. Considering how cheap a socket 754 AMD64 CPU is, why not go with something that will be able to work with better software, and potentially give truer colours.

It's really a preference thing. I prefer a quick system if I can have it, but it does depend on the size of the files, and what you are doing with them. Adding complex effects/filters can also really chug a system.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
June 10, 2004 9:09:26 PM

Yeah, Your right. Althought a socket 754 mobo and amd64 are pretty cheap, (I just built one, mobo and processor together was around 375-400$), there still is a pretty big difference between socket a & athlon xp vs. socket 754 & amd64 cost wise. But I guess in the long run when the new photoshop version comes out, if it's 64 bit compatible, it'll be worth it.
June 10, 2004 11:12:43 PM

man, do u know how slow Athlon XP are on Photoshop? if his dad is going to build a photoshop machine, it should be something that doesn't take more than 2 secs to render most things. Also why buy Athlon XP? its a non-upgradable, more than 2 years old architecture, not worth it.


RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy+119% Money Fanboy
GeForce 6800 Ultra--> The Way we thought FX 5800Ultra is meant to be played
THGC's resident Asian and nVboy :D 
!