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03-18-2017, 01:45 PM   #16
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Answers on computer technology

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I am going to be using Lightroom and RAW files on a windows based system. Keeping in mind that I am not a professional nor do I do gaming I want something 'good enough' that will still fit my other requirements of size and not requiring me to sell a kidney to get it. Knowing those bits of information what would be my best bet for graphics cards considering those other things?
The question is, what you mean by 'good enough', and what you consider selling a kidney.

Smaller laptops either use lower-performance components or they use higher-cost components. Low Cost, Performance, Small Size: pick two!

I know that figuring this out is not simple. If you must rely on a salesperson for help, your best bet might be to talk with someone who works for a photography store that also sells computers, such as B&H Photo and Video. The scary part of this if you are not able to cross-check the salesperson's suggestions is the sense that you have to trust someone who earns more money by upselling you, it's rather like buying a car without understanding the technology or the marketplace - a visit to the financial surgeon whose services can involve a radical cashectomy.

Some specifics:

If I were you, I would use a 512 GB SSD as the main drive and as storage for the images being developed, archive finished work on a separate drive - a really small machine won't hold the second drive, or it will hold a hard drive of limited capacity. SSDs have no moving parts and are a better suit the inside of a laptop than a hard drive with its spinning platters.

Don't even think of a computer with less than 8 GB of main RAM; consider 16 GB.

Take a look at Adobe's advice on graphics processors for Lightroom.

You may want to consider the sort of research that I am just beginning: color management. If you are using the laptop's screen for editing, you will do best with a screen that can accurately represent all the colors that your camera can generate. For that, you would need a wide-gamut display built around an "IPS" LCD panel, which you can calibrate using a purpose-built tool. Dell brands these as PremierColor. They are not inexpensive, and you may find that Dell wants to sell you a Precision Mobile Workstation to get one. Precision Mobile Workstations are Not Cheap. I have not implemented color management yet on an external monitor, and I read of problems with the color management software that Dell uses, so I would also buy one far enough in advance of the move to Shanghai that you can test the assembled computer and Lightroom and correct problems.


Last edited by SnapperDaddy; 03-18-2017 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Adding advice to discuss with a photography-oriented computer dealer.
03-22-2017, 06:01 PM   #17
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I asked around and here are two options.

Given these are just TWO OPTIONS. I just thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone has any comments.

Dell 15.6" XPS 15 9550 Multi-Touch Notebook

Dell 15.6" Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Series I7559-3763BLK B&H

For the one that has the built in battery, is that really that big of a deal? I am kind of old school so I like the idea of swapping batteries but is it that big of a deal?
03-22-2017, 06:06 PM   #18
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Somewhere in there is a $1000 dollar difference.

Anyone in the know have any commentary?
03-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I asked around and here are two options.

Given these are just TWO OPTIONS. I just thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone has any comments.

Dell 15.6" XPS 15 9550 Multi-Touch Notebook

Dell 15.6" Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Series I7559-3763BLK B&H

For the one that has the built in battery, is that really that big of a deal? I am kind of old school so I like the idea of swapping batteries but is it that big of a deal?
The gaming series has a higher amount of video ram and half the total ram. This is about $100 delta on the XPS 9550 if you step down to the same ram. Not sure how much extra the extra video ram costs but I suspect not a lot.

The XPS 9550 is multi-touch capable AND has a massively high resolution. I didn't see anywhere where it said that panel was IPS but it is CRAZY high resolution. (3840x2160 is 4K, vs. 1920x1080 HD)

The XPS 9550 has a 1TB SSD drive (solid state flash drive) which has essentially no moving parts and should be very fast. The gaming machine has a Hybrid SSHD 1TB hard drive which has a smaller flash section plus a conventional hard drive and is slower. SSD's can be more durable in some ways but heavy writes to them can wear down the SSD cells so there are trade offs. Generally I prefer SSD since this wear is spread out rather than concentrated on the smaller SSD portion of a hybrid drive.

The XPS 9550 has Gorilla glass on the screen which is a neat trick but not normally needed. This is probably due to the touch screen nature - it will likely be more touched and have more chances to be scratched so the special glass is helpful.

The XPS 9550 has 1 USB-C port and 1 Thunderbolt port which the gaming machine does not have at all.

The XPS 9550 has a newer version of Bluetooth 4.1 vs. 4.0.

The Gaming machine has a wired 10/100/1000 connection, the XPS 9550 appears to only offer wireless both machines offer 802.1ac / dual band.

The XPS 9550 has a backlighted keyboard - it isn't clear if the Gaming machine does or not.

03-26-2017, 03:00 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Somewhere in there is a $1000 dollar difference.
Took a quick glance.
1 TB M.2 PCIe.
Right there is almost 500 bucks worth of storage, 32 gigs. of DDR4 RAM adds about 100.00. Add a UHD touch screen.
03-26-2017, 07:47 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Took a quick glance.
1 TB M.2 PCIe.
Right there is almost 500 bucks worth of storage, 32 gigs. of DDR4 RAM adds about 100.00. Add a UHD touch screen.
Between that one above and this one... which one do you think would be better?

Here are the two in specific:


Dell 15.6" XPS 15 9550 Multi-Touch Notebook


HP Spectre x360 Convertible Laptop 15-bl075nr | HP® Official Store

Please note there are a ton of options on the x360...probably on all of them but I am trying to keep it in reason.
03-27-2017, 03:36 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
which one do you think would be better?
Those are very close in specifications.
I would have to handle them in person to feel the feedback from the keys when typing and to see how glossy the displays are.
I think that performance vice both would be fine.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 03-27-2017 at 03:38 AM. Reason: added a comment.
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