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06-02-2011, 10:38 PM   #16
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Ubuntu linux utilises resources in a more efficient way than Windows.
There is a live cd that you can test your hardware with before making any changes.
As you are looking at a new hardware now would be an ideal time to try Ubuntu on your old hardware and see for yourself.

My photo processing pc is 2005 vintage,AMD single core 3000+cpu and 1Gig of ram.
This does all I could ask of it.

My other 5 pc's date from 2005 back to 2000 and run stable reliable and perform almost as well using lighter linux versions.

YMMV (but feel I must add the no-$ option to your mix . Of course the cost is in the time needed to learn a new operating system. Will depend on how much of a challenge you like. )

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06-02-2011, 11:25 PM   #17
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speaking of installing linux, have you also considered simply reformatting your hard drive and installing windows 7? that should get rid of all the bugginess from using it so long, give you the new OS to play with, and only cost you a little over 100 bucks. Just make sure to backup all your photos and whatnot before you do so
06-02-2011, 11:59 PM   #18
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A 6yo PC will never be anything like as fast as even a modest new PC - everything has moved on hugely.

However, my PC has a 2yo (or is it three?) motherboard, processor and memory amd runs Photoshop just fine - and that's the most demanding application on it. It has 4GB RAM, runs Windows 7 x64, I use the integrated graphics on the motherboard, and the best bit of it is my Eizo IPS panel screen. The main HDD is a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint partitioned into C: (Windows), D: (Programs) and E: (Data). If I ever need to wipe C: to reload Windows I won't be wiping the data, and I can have all the drivers it will need during the reinstall ready and waiting.

My older HDD (500GB Spinpoint) is used for backups, and I also have an NAS with yet more backups on. They are all SATA HDDs.

If you want accurate colours a screen with an IPS panel is the way to go. If the specs don't say it's IPS then it almost always isn't.

Mine is an AMD system but I agree that right now SandyBridge is probably the way to go. I found a review at PC Pro with quite a lot of information:

Intel Sandy Bridge review | Processors | Reviews | PC Pro

As to your old PC - with a reformat and reinstall I suspect it will be find for surfing and other light use. If nothing else, Freecycle might be the thing for it.
06-13-2011, 12:28 AM   #19
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I want to thank each and every contributor to this thread.
It has been really great to read through here, and my options are becoming clearer if not quite a few to choose from.

I am doing my homework on all of the suggestions and will narrow down to what suits my needs. Many thanks to you all. You are good friends all!

06-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #20
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Hi Bruce

I asked a similar question back about a year ago and I got lots of good advice. I wanted to stay with a PC because A) they are cheaper and B) I don't like Apple's design or marketing philosphy. But I got good adivce from everyone. I ended up with an i7-860 quad core machine with 8 gigs of ram and a decent (but not cutting edge) video card. It is running 64bit Win 7. I have been extremely happy with my rig, I've never had any stability problems and it cost me about $200 less than a similarily configured Mac.
Here's a link to the original thread:clicky

NaCl(great resources here)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 06-14-2011 at 09:57 AM.
06-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #21
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AKA Watergate Scandal - "Deep Throat: Follow the money. Always follow the money..."

If you have a budget in mind that would help matters, if money is no object, than for any Mac you can afford to buy, you can buy a better PC... does that make sense?

I'm both a Mac and a PC user; I often chuckle at current Mac users who forget (or don't know) about the single button mouse days of Apple computers. Almost no PC users could operate a Mac, since a simple task of copy and paste on a one button mouse was unheard of, at this point in history, the PC was a much easier machine to use. Today, Mac's (ala 2 button mouse) and PC's are almost indentical, in fact, IMAO, they are the same. No more Power Mac G5 Processors, we're just all running Intels, AMD's, etc. now. For every cool software you find on a Mac you will most likely find a similar version on a PC. As for displays, this was the big chasm between Mac's and PC's, Mac's were infinitely superior, but sadly, IMO, not anymore. Yes, I agree, Mac's may operate more "smoothly", but you're paying for that feeling. But take that same money and purchase a PC, and it will ring your bell.

Personally, I would look for a laptop (Matte Screen if offered) and an external monitor combination. Maybe the most powerful but very portable laptop for the road, and when you're home, plug in your ultra wide monitor... and enjoy.
06-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #22
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While I've been building my own PCs since the days of DOS, and I have a couple of really nice towers running under my desk as I type this, I decided to go the route suggested by theunartist when we replaced my wife's PC a couple months ago. Plenty of power can be had in a laptop for everyday computing nowadays and being able to unplug and read pentaxforums from the couch is a nice convenience. The important part is to get the nice external monitor, keyboard and mouse when you "dock" the laptop at your desk. That way you have all the comforts of a desktop with the added benefit of portability. If you configure Windows to expand your desktop onto both monitors you'll immediately fall in love with dual monitors and never look back. This can be done with a tower too, just add more video cards or get a multi-head card but again, the no-brainer convenience of the laptop may be just what you're looking for.

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