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?: Would love to have your input


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#1 greyhoundrick

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 03:25 PM

Hello everyone,

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise.

I would like to have your advice regarding the purchase of a tower, or mini tower for use with Photoshop CC 2017.

I edit very large TIFF files with a lot of filters and layers. I use several different software programs and am on somewhat of a budget (around $500). My conundrum is that I want to get something that will give me excellent performance but not overkill because of my budget limitations. 

I do have a monitor (4K) but need a tower to couple with it.

Thank you very much for helping me. 

Best to you and thanks again!

Rick



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 11:54 PM

Are you looking to build a PC yourself to meet those requirements, or are you looking to buy a pre-built system? I know this is the system building section but the wording of your post makes me think you want to buy a ready made tower.


Edited by jonuk76, 13 June 2017 - 11:55 PM.

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#3 greyhoundrick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 12:41 AM

Are you looking to build a PC yourself to meet those requirements, or are you looking to buy a pre-built system? I know this is the system building section but the wording of your post makes me think you want to buy a ready made tower.

 

Thanks so much for your response.  I apologize for drifting off the topic of this particular forum. I, unfortunately, didn't realize this was for a building section. Actually, Im looking for something already built. If you can guide me to the proper area or possibly offer a suggestion or two, that would be great!  Mod Edit:  Moved to Buying New - Hamluis.

 

Take care and best to you!

 

Rick


Edited by hamluis, 14 June 2017 - 09:10 AM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:13 AM

You have a monitor...do you have a hard drive, motherboard, RAM, PSU?  What system have you been using to exercise your use of the programs cited?  Have you done any research on users of these programs...to see what they suggest for best performance?

 

Louis



#5 greyhoundrick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:42 AM

You have a monitor...do you have a hard drive, motherboard, RAM, PSU?  What system have you been using to exercise your use of the programs cited?  Have you done any research on users of these programs...to see what they suggest for best performance?

 

Louis

 

 

Are you looking to build a PC yourself to meet those requirements, or are you looking to buy a pre-built system? I know this is the system building section but the wording of your post makes me think you want to buy a ready made tower.

 Thank you very much jonuk76 for your reply! I appreciate your input very much!

 

Louis, thank you also. I have been using a MacBook Pro 2013 15" Retina for several years and will continue to use it. However, I will also need to add a Windows PC and wanted to get something that will run Photoshop well as I described, for a reasonable price. Im not very well versed on PCs and would love any input I can get. I would like to have 16 GIG RAM, an SSD drive (256 GB is fine) and good wi-fi. Also, expandability is important as well. thanks again for your time! :-)



#6 hamluis

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:35 PM

Worth A Look

 

Worth A Look, #2

 

Louis



#7 ranchhand_

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 03:41 PM

Hello Rick...

 

I edit very large TIFF files with a lot of filters and layers. I use several different software programs / Adobe Photoshop

You are not going to like what I am about to say, but here it goes anyway...

 

We at this forum have all been down this road with people who want to find a 40lb bar of gold by just walking down the street and are asking the best way to find one. Oh...and they don't have time to do any studying up on the subject, so it's got to be quick and easy. :cowboy:

 

One thing any pro-graphics editor requires is power and resources - lots of it. If you are running TIFF files up to a gig or more each with multiple screens open and other video programs running in the background, and you are in a professional work environment, any computer under $500 is going to give you hell on earth. You will hear yourself screaming, "No!  NO, it crashed again! 3 hours of work, gone, gone!"  Now, you really don't want that, do you?

Any retail computer under $1000 is going to be your cross to bear. Why?

> Cheap engineering. It's a savage market out there, and these manufacturers are already watching the desktop market dwindle and the Milleniums switch to immediate gratification with a brains-less Ipad or cell phone. Look at retail stores....10 years ago there were two long aisles jammed with desktop computers; now 3 or 4 units on a shelf in the rear of the store and that's it. Build cheap in order to sell cheap is the order of the manufacturer survivalist.

> Cheap components. The foundation of any computer is called the motherboard. There are 3rd world countries such as China (of course) and the Pacific Rim  in which are jobbers that specialize in producing low-cost junkware motherboards and bulk-sell to manufacturers such as HP, Dell and others.  If you get 3 years out of one count yourself fortunate. When the motherboard blows, you toss the computer and buy another.

> Customer Service that doesn't exist. It's true. If you can even understand the person from India on the other end of the line, after 3 help desk calls you still will have the same problem. Customer Service is expensive, why do you think India is the "go-to" customer service provider to every company from HP to Comcast?

 

My suggestion: You have $500 to spend right now. You already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse that can be used. Ok, save up another $600. Then post back on this website, and we will walk you through building your own computer. For that amount of money, you will think you died and went to computer-heaven. The performance, stability and power of that unit will bring tears of happiness to your eyes. In addition, the next time you have a problem, you will be able to fix it yourself instead of throwing your soul on the mercy of someone who calls himself a "tech" and hope for the best.

 

To your amazement you will will discover that building a computer was really easy; the biggest work was choosing the components carefully so that they work in proper coordination with each other. Now you are putting your money into components of quality instead of adding to the profit line of a manufacturer.

 

Ok, let's say you don't want to go that route. In that case, go to Newegg.com or Amazon, and search for "gaming computers". At the very least these are the best that are offered via retail right now. Stay away from retail stores, trust me. Don't purchase anything under $900, with at least 16gig of DDR4 RAM.

For quick and easy, that is about the best I can recommend. Here is a link to Newegg, for example.

 

Wish you the best in your hunt.


Edited by ranchhand_, 14 June 2017 - 03:48 PM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#8 greyhoundrick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:40 PM

Hi ranchhand_,

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughts and recommendations. I appreciate your expertise very much.

 

One thing Id like to say.....

 

I was in the restaurant business for 34 years and barely survived financially. If you know anything about that business I think you will agree that when you are barely making your payments after working literally over 1000 days in a row at times without a day off, you understand what working for something is. I can assure you that I don't want or expect any type of free handout or easy way out with regard to my computer situation. Maybe my question had that tone to it and if it did that was my error. A lack of knowledge about the process could also explain my question. I should have done research myself before I asked the question and Im sure I would have asked it differently.

 

Anyway, I appreciate your help and your guidance and would love to touch base with you and others on this forum in my attempt to build my own. Ive done some repairs on Macs before, but not on a PC so your experience will be very helpful.

 

Thanks again and I look forward to coming back here as soon as I can save up a few bucks.

 

Best to you always,

 

Rick



#9 jonuk76

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:52 PM

FWIW my opinion is Photoshop is not hugely processor intensive.  It's got a bit bigger and better over the years, but essentially is the same core program people have been running for years.  Meaning, you don't need a very expensive, fast, 8 core etc. etc. CPU to run it well, nor do you need a high end video card.  As you are working with large files, it will benefit from plenty of memory (At least 8 Gb, preferably 16 Gb) and fast storage.  I'm not hugely familiar with the pre-built PC market, but looking around something like this, preferably with an upgrade to 16 Gb memory, should work quite well - http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/inspiron-3668-desktop/fdcwgam207s

 

They don't appear to offer much in the way of customisation (I thought they did in the past...). I think at this budget level, PC self builds are difficult to compete with mass produced pre-builds because you generally have to budget around $100 for a Windows license, while the big manufacturers get it for a fraction of that.  However the advantage with a self build is you can spec everything to your requirements. 

 

IMPORTANT EDIT: Just noticed you have a 4K monitor.  That is not a problem with Intel HD 630 graphics provided by the i3 processor, BUT, you need to connect it via Display Port otherwise you're restricted to low refresh rates.  The trouble is, most cheap motherboards, including what Dell use, do not provide a Display Port connector.  So I would say, chances are you ARE going to need a video card to work with a 4K monitor, and that will certainly take it over your budget. Sorry.


Edited by jonuk76, 14 June 2017 - 06:57 PM.

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#10 greyhoundrick

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:10 PM

Thank you again jonuk76!  Always great to hear from you! Will definitely keep what you have said in mind! :-)



#11 ranchhand_

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:12 AM

One last thought....you said in your first post:

 

I edit very large TIFF files with a lot of filters and layers

The core engine of Photoshop will run on 2 gig of RAM and a 2.5GHz processor. Yes, it will run. Now you start adding huge work files, run several filters, add multiple layers, and it will slow severely because it is writing to the scratch disk and possibly crash out. I use Photoshop currently, but before retirement I used it and CorelDraw for years heavily as part of my job, and the comments that I posted earlier were my direct experiences with choking Photoshop on resources, because that is the computer my company supplied for me until they got tired of hearing my constant complaining and provided a pro machine. The performance difference was enormous. And if you ever get interested in video editing (I know you didn't mention it but I thought I would include a comment anyway) you will need a serious video card and deep resources for almost any program you do, double-especially in rendering.

 

I totally understand what living on a budget means, and especially anything having to do with the food business. The company I worked for serviced over 200 restaurants, and those independent owners worked from before sunrise to after midnight, 7 days a week. Please don't feel that I was inferring that you were looking for something for free, that is not the point I was trying to make. I was trying to make clear the tech situation that now exists in the industry, and urge you to avoid the pitfalls that inexperienced consumers constantly make.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#12 Guest_Aaron_Warrior_*

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:33 AM

Yeah not to gang-up on the OP, but he needs to know $500 is a budget build.  Ham Louis seemed to be getting to the idea that he could save some money and use it for better-quality hardware if he could, for example, reuse the Power Supply, or the case, or at least not have to buy a monitor. Maybe beg for some parts from some friends.  I happen to have about 7 cases, and 3 power supplies and would LOVE IT if someone would knock on my door and ask for them for free, because I can't bring myself to just throw them away and they aren't worth enough to try to sell them on craigslist.

 

Some basic questions need to be answered.

1)  Can the OP get away with onboard video?  If so, then he can save some serious money not having to buy a video card.

2) I recommend buying an Intel processor because it can usually (but always you have to check) come with a heatsink and fan.   That's a savings.

3) If the OP can find a free case (I find them all the time on the side of the road and in dumpsters), that will save the cost of the case and the $$ to ship it.  Cases are big and heavy and expensive to ship.

4)  If the OP MUST buy a PSU, the Seasonic PSU 80+ certified is a must-have.  There's a small series of them, for about $50.  One as low as $40.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever go cheap on the PSU.  Ever.

5)  Never go cheap on the PSU.

6)  Just don't do it. It's really dumb.

7)  Make sure to get a good-quality PSU, like the Seasonic I just recommended.
8)  Stop ignoring me. Don't go cheap on a PSU.  I don't care how much you are tempted to save $10.00.

9) NewEgg has the best parts search features on the planet.  If you are looking for a defined set of parameters (example 2 X 4 Gbyte DDR3 RAM, listed from lowest to highest price) NewEgg is the only place in the world to shop.

10) Anyone that disagrees with #9 is an idiot, and once they declare themselves, you should ignore everything and anything they ever say about anything except for perhaps the best way to spell "potato".

 

Here's a budget build I did the other day:
 

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f255/cheapest-quality-build-possible-1197730.html#post7468722

$292.74.  It's REAL rough in the sense that I didn't think of EVERYTHING.  There may be compatibility issues.  It was done in 2 hours mostly as a proof-of-concept.  I wanted to know how cheap I could go and still maintain a minimum level of quality.  Every single part in the build could be upgraded (with the increase in cost that goes with it).  This is an abstract starting point.

 

Note the Seasonic PSU.  You can't beat that thing right there.  Best part of the whole build.  The memory was meh, because once you get any faster than that, the cost jumps up exponentially.  As Ham Louis mentioned, OP needs to research minimum specs for the software he wants to use.

 

1) List softwares
2) Post specs for each

 

Example you might get a software that requires more than 8 Gbyte RAM. 12 maybe.  Or it might want a minimum quality video card (and NOT onboard).  The time to find this out is BEFORE you spend money.  I'd be interested in hearing from an AMD build advocate on why they think it might be better.  The main reason I chose Intel was because their processors included Heat Sink and Fan, and I've used them and they work pretty good.  And they are low so you dont have to think about whether or not there is enough vertical clearance.  And also that motherboard can upgrade it's processor all the way up to i7.  I don't know if you can upgrade a motherboard with a low-end AMD CPU all the way up to it's top-of-the-line CPU, but if you could that would be a good argument.

My personal interest in a possible AMD vs. Intel competition for a budget build is which generates the least amout of heat.  It used to be AMD's ran cooler than Intel, but that was back in single-core days and I don't know if that's still true.  So an argument for AMD might be that you get same performance, same cost, HSF included AND it runs cooler.  And maybe a foot massage too.

 

Another probably upgrade could be an SSD, which I think personally is also a must-have, but on an ultra-low budget build I kept it off.  I like the new SSD's that plug into the PCI slots.  They have much faster read/write times, but a 250 Gbyte Samsung EVO would be good too.  Depends on how huge the OP's data files are going to be.

 

Another good question.

@OP:  How many drives in your current system and how much in round numbers data is on them.  100 Gbytes? 500 Gbytes? 2 Tbytes?  This will determine if you can use an SSD, a single large standard HD or one of each maybe.



#13 greyhoundrick

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:21 PM

Hi ranchhand_,

 

No worries! I took no offense whatsoever to your comments. I just wanted you to know that I have no problem with doing some research and learning from people like you!

 

Thank you very much for your input and guidance. I look forward to furthering our discussion very soon!

 

best to you always,

 

Rick



#14 greyhoundrick

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:26 PM

Hi Aaron_Warrior,

 

Thanks for all of the information, comments and insight.

 

Ive been a Mac user for about 30 years and rarely have used PCs. Im going to continue to use Mac as I have invested heavily into the Apple Ecosystem.

 

I thought it would be fun to play around with Windows a bit just to see how it works with Photoshop. Im looking forward to this build but need to save up a few bucks first.

 

Keep in touch and thanks again for your help!

 

best,

 

Rick



#15 Guest_Aaron_Warrior_*

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 02:14 PM

I thought it would be fun to play around with Windows a bit just to see how it works with Photoshop. I'm looking forward to this build but need to save up a few bucks first.

Erm what does this mean? As I read between the lines your point is that this is a more general, abstract conversation and not a substantive "How to Build greyhoundrick a Computer" conversation.  Maybe it was me, but I thought it started off that you had money in your hand and were looking for specific advice on exactly which components to purchase. Now it seems you're just "thinking about it".

 

Low-end hardware evolves quickly.  Things that are really cheap today are no longer available tomorrow.  Such as that case in my build on TSF.  So any talk of specific tech is pointless atm, because it could all be up-ended a month from now.

 

If you want generalities, they are:

1)  Define your budget.

2)  Intel vs. AMD (Limits motherboard options)
3)  ALWAYS get a good Power Supply

4)  onboard video or add-on cardSSD or not?
5)  How many slots for RAM on Motherboard

6)  How much memory, and at what speed.

7)  Don't waste money on an aftermarket HSF if you don't need it

8)  Can you avoid Win10, meaning verify you have drivers for your O/S

9)  Can you find a case for free? 

 

In a rough order.  Note the Intel vs. AMD decision is directly tied to the motherboard decision.  And it can go either way.  You can either get a really good motherboard and let that determine your CPU, or you can choose your CPU, which will then limit your search for motherboards.  Personally I go "Intel" first, and then look for a motherboard, but I can easily see a situation where a really informed person is aware of a really good motherboard deal (lots of features, super low price, etc...) which are so significant that the motherboard determines which CPU you are going to get.

 

I have a personal preference for 4 memory slots (vs. 2 memory slots).  I like the idea of buying (for example) 2 X 4 Gbyte of RAM at the time of the build, knowing that I could always add another 2 X 4 Gbyte of RAM later on.  If you only have a 2 slot motherboard, then the upgrade path is purchasing 2 X 8 Gbytes of RAM, and then having 2 X 4 Gbytes laying around gathering dust, or you have to try to sell them, or whatever.

 

Having said THAT, memory likes to be "matched" with memory just like itself, for greater performance and reliability, meaning it's better to have 4 X 4 Gbytes of the exact same RAM, than 2 x 4 of memory "A", and 2 X 4 of memory "B".  They might work well together, they might now.  Mixing memory modules introduces questions into the situation where matched sets don't have those questions.  So the idea of buying 2 X 4 now and 2 X 4 later presumes that the 1st memory will still be available for purchase, 1 or 2 years later.  And at the budget level, it's entirely possible that the 2 X 4 memory you buy today won't be available ever again, one month from now.  So upgrading a budget build becomes more torturous and problematic.






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