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11-14-2013, 02:16 AM   #1
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Who is using what?

Hello all!

I am soon to be in the market for a new computer and possibly a printer as well. I am wondering what sort of hardware is currently being used at the moment by users of this forum. My main objective is to essentially be able to print what I see on my screen, so I suppose paper would also have to be included in this thread. I have PS CS6 and LR5 as my main software tools with a couple of Nik plugins as well. I don't want to open a can of worms here but is there a preferred OS platform for everyone? Mac vs Windows vs Linux etc. Is one better than the other? I am not a fanboy of either, I would just like more info to make a really informed decision.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers!

PS
If you would like to include your hardware/printer specs as well that would be helpful

11-14-2013, 02:23 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by K5 Guy Quote
Hello all!

I am soon to be in the market for a new computer and possibly a printer as well. I am wondering what sort of hardware is currently being used at the moment by users of this forum. My main objective is to essentially be able to print what I see on my screen, so I suppose paper would also have to be included in this thread. I have PS CS6 and LR5 as my main software tools with a couple of Nik plugins as well. I don't want to open a can of worms here but is there a preferred OS platform for everyone? Mac vs Windows vs Linux etc. Is one better than the other? I am not a fanboy of either, I would just like more info to make a really informed decision.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers!

PS
If you would like to include your hardware/printer specs as well that would be helpful
Lots of artists use macs, not sure why, but their hardware is definitely up to speed

I personally prefer windows (7) and I'm on a sony vaio s-series laptop, which is basically the mac of the windows world IMO. Linux is cool if you're a programmer, but consumer application support/stability still isn't too hot.

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11-14-2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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I use iMac.
I think buying modern iMac is the simplest way (but not the cheapest) to get all you need for photographer in one set: good monitor, good hardware, good software (iLife).
iMac is fast, quiet (not noisy), convinient, takes small place to install, enough good protected, enough good compatible with Windows if one need.
Systems based on Windows are also not bad. :-)
Tastes differ.
11-14-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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I have a 11" Samsung laptop for work and a Dell XPS 8500 (Intel Core i5-3570) + IPS monitor for photo stuff. I decided to go with a desktop for photo processing for a few reasons:
--desktops offer much more power for the money (I use DxO Pro, which is famously slow);
--I can see my pics on a large IPS monitor;
--I can use two monitors;
--storing capacity significantly larger than with laptops;
--I can avoid buying a new computer by upgrading components (planning to upgrade the graphics card soon; hoping for a GTX 660 deal on the Black Friday).

My OS is Win 7. After reading reviews of the Win 8, I decided there was no reason to get it. I considered creating a Win 7/ Ubuntu dual boot, but then thought Ubuntu would not give me any advantage over Win 7, since it doesn't support my photo programs (DxO, LR, Noiseware, Portrait Pro, etc.).

A note on screens: Apple displays are simply the best displays out there, IMO. I looked hard for a cheaper alternative--there is nothing that comes close to their quality. Still, I don't have $1000 for a Thunderbolt. My entire desktop system cost about $800.


QuoteOriginally posted by K5 Guy Quote
Hello all!

I am soon to be in the market for a new computer and possibly a printer as well. I am wondering what sort of hardware is currently being used at the moment by users of this forum. My main objective is to essentially be able to print what I see on my screen, so I suppose paper would also have to be included in this thread. I have PS CS6 and LR5 as my main software tools with a couple of Nik plugins as well. I don't want to open a can of worms here but is there a preferred OS platform for everyone? Mac vs Windows vs Linux etc. Is one better than the other? I am not a fanboy of either, I would just like more info to make a really informed decision.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers!

PS
If you would like to include your hardware/printer specs as well that would be helpful



Last edited by causey; 11-14-2013 at 07:02 AM.
11-14-2013, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K5 Guy Quote
Who is using what?
Now that's a loaded question....I nearly fell out of my chair trying to get to my stash...!
11-14-2013, 06:24 AM   #6
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Home built desktop here, about a year and a half old, running Windows 8 (but I use Stardock's Start 8 menu and avoid the Windows 8 garish menu screen entirely while still getting the underlying upgrades).

i5-2500, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD for application installs + 1TB storage drive, BluRay-RW drive, AMD Radeon HD6670 graphics

If I were building today I'd choose a faster processor and 256GB SSD. 8GB RAM does the job for me, as does the graphics card, and I run a 27" monitor. I prefer one wide monitor, but a lot of folks like dual monitors instead. (Or both.) I've used laptops since the days when the screens were monochrome, but I went with a desktop so I could easily upgrade instead of buying new every few years. I have a tablet for when I travel.

I use a Canon MG6320 printer, which prints beautifully but it's much cheaper just to order photo prints from Costco so that's what I usually do. If you do want to print better, be sure to download and use the printer profiles for the specific paper you are using. I use Red River paper.

Given that you already own CS6 and LR5, switching operating systems could be an expensive proposition, and in terms of raw abilities there's no real difference between Mac and Windows. Choose what you prefer and is most comfortable to you. I can't stand Mac OS myself, but the next poster in line will probably swear by it.

Linux is a bigger question: there are numerous builds and you are going to have to wrangle with drivers and software problems. Forget Photoshop and Lightroom. I wouldn't suggest Linux, at this time, unless the idea of doing some serious tinkering on a regular basis doesn't daunt you.
11-14-2013, 10:02 AM   #7
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+1 on the iMac, flies CC Photoshop and Lightroom 5.2 effortlessly.
11-14-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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I'm a Mac user (switched from Windows in Jan of this year) and I love it. So easy to use, quiet and a 27" screen is delightful to work on. The switch from Windows was painless. I am learning PP so I have played with iPhoto, DxO, and Photoshop.

11-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #9
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As we used to say when I worked in a computer store, (That carried both Mac and Windows machines) get a Mac if you can afford it. If money is an issue, you can get it done with a PC… I'm running an i7 iMac with 27 inch screen, and running Aperture and Pixelmator for PP. It was expensive, I was a guy that used to put together his own PCs, and taught others how to do it. This time, I was willing to pay, to not have to think. I'd rather think about photography.
11-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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I use an increasingly old Mac mini (Early 2009). 8GB of RAM, 320GB internal HD & 1.5TB external HD. Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Aperture 3.5 & Pixelmator 3.0. I really should get an IPS monitor and more HD space...

QuoteQuote:
Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?-- Tom Clancy
11-15-2013, 11:57 AM   #11
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I have an older i5 desktop PC and an i5 mac book air.

Both are working very well, both are using Lightroom (version 4.X).

My suggestion is to keep using the same OS (windows or mac) unless there is really something that force you to change.
11-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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My needs are fairly simple. I built this system about a year ago, i5/3550, 8 gigs of ram and windows 7 64 bit. I actually paid more for 7 than I would have paid for the 8 upgrade and I am 100% happy that I skipped that loser.

All of the software you listed should run fine on the same or better.

I don't print at home but my printed images come very close to what I see. I did have to calibrate my monitor display after I built this system. I used a free tool from MS to do that.
11-15-2013, 03:34 PM - 1 Like   #13
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No hardware advantage to Macs

I use 64 bit Windows 7 on a second generation Intel quad-core 8300 CPU with 4GB of RAM and an Epson Artisan 835 printer. I run Lightroom 5, Corel X4 Graphics Suite and Visual Studio 2010 (along with dozens of other programs). It's my programming machine as well for my one man software business. I don't run virtual machines on it, and I don't have performance issues. You will be hard pressed to buy anything new that is this slow, so don't get caught up in hardware specs. As for Apple machines, they use the same i-5 and i-7 Intel CPU's as PC manufacturers do, Thunderbolt I/O doesn't offer practical advantages over eSATA, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 and mid to high end video cards can handle the same extra-high definition resolutions (like 2880x1600) that Retina displays use. Underneath the cool OSX user interface is a BSD flavour of Unix that is mostly compatible with Linux. Adobe software has its own look and design, so if you are using Creative Studio programs, the differences between OSX and Windows versions come down to differences in dealing with the filesystem and input devices like a mouse. So don't worry about which OS is better, go with the one that you are over the hump of the learning curve for, or the one that gives you the most cred with your social circle.

I have spent hundreds of dollars on high quality photo inkjet paper and ink, and many hours tweaking colour profiles to get the best results in up to 8x10 prints on my printer, and I'm ready to give up. I get better results from a print service, with only a fraction of the time and money invested/wasted. Spend your money on two good monitors.

Last edited by RGlasel; 11-15-2013 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Sentence capitalization
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