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Best computer spec for designers?


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#1
Marty24

Marty24

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I am about to invest in a new high-end computer to use in my design practice! I am a graphic designer but I have relatively less knowledge about computers themselves.

What would a good 'designers computer' consist of?

- Adobe tell me that I do not have the minimum amount of RAM to use certain features on their creative cloud products (illustrator/photoshop etc)

 

- Photoshop and illustrator freeze a lot, and go very slowly at other times.

 

- I cannot use photoshop/illustrator and simultaneously search for images on google or listen to music using my browser on youtube. It's as though too many processes are causing my computer

to freeze (is this a RAM related issue? Is it a processor issue? I have very little clue. To add to the confusion, I have very little knowledge of 'graphics cards' and whether I need integrated or dedicated types?)

My existing computer is:
Dell Inspiron ONE2205
AMD Athlon II X2 250u Processor 1.60 GHz
Installed memory (RAM): 3.00 GB (2.75 usable)
64-bit operating system
Windows 7 Home Premium

I cannot afford to make a mistake buying a new computer. It needs to be fast and able to handle various tasks at the same time (adobe, web browser, saving lots of photographs/images/logos and customer letters/correspondence.) The constant freezing and slow processing of my existing computer makes simple tasks (zooming in in photoshop) into something that takes minutes and results in a very unproductive office.

I have a budget of about £800.

Thank you for any advice you can offer and what an ideal 'graphic designers' computer would consist of. As I say, I have very little knowledge of computers themselves and don't want to buy a computer without knowing about things like RAM, Memory, Hard-Drives, Graphics Cards etc, and end up with another slow machine. Adobes minimum specs for a computer are really the minimum standard, i'm looking for the gold standard! Not really looking for an endorsement of a particular machine, more an idea of what to look for.


Edited by Marty24, 23 April 2015 - 02:08 PM.

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#2
terry1966

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for a "good designers pc" with multi tasking capabilities, i'm afraid your budget is going to be a problem.

 

i'd be looking to spend at least £1500 and probably more.

 

i think a pc i'd build would have 32GB ddr4 memory (16GB bare minimum.), an i7/xeon cpu with most cores i could afford (maybe even a dual cpu setup.), motherboard with quad channel memory and probably a quadro graphics card or the latest gtx graphics card, ssd drive and probably a couple of multi TB storage drives.

 

here's where i think i'd start if buying pre made :-

http://www.dell.com/...c=CAP5810W7P010

http://shop.lenovo.c...ation/p-series/

 

i'd suggest contacting the support department of both and see what they suggest for your needs and budget.

 

:popcorn:


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#3
Marty24

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Excellent advice Terry1966, thank you. I was asking myself whether 16gb or 32gb memory would be required. I was having a look at a dell machine with 16gb, but maybe that's not enough if this is going to be a long term investment. I suppose I can understand why people move over to MAC because the price you mentioned is almost equivalant to one. I have been in contact with Dell, but not lenovo, so i'll do that now. You mention an i7 processor, with "most cores I could afford." I don't know a lot about cores: Does that mean I just specify an Interl i7 processor, or is there more I would need to do? Thanks for your help again.


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#4
iammykyl

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:welcome: Marty24.

I feel we could configure a build that would be at least five times faster than your current one and far cheaper than the linked ones, they do include a heap of software.   I suggest you build your own computer, not hard providing you can use a screwdriver and follow instructions, as it is mostly plugging parts into sockets.   Much cheaper, you still have parts warranty but don't get support from a system builder like Dell/HP.

Unless you have a retail version of the OS, you will need to purchase a new one as an OEM version is tied to the original MB and is not transferable, that will take a chunk of your budget.

 

You don't need a top end GPU for Photoshop.

A build for consideration. > http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/f6cLBm


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#5
terry1966

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i7's and xeon cpu's come in different varieties, starting from 4 cores all the way up to 14 i think at the moment for the xeons. of course the more cores the more expensive.

 

the 14 core 28 threaded xeon cpu from scan costs over £2000 just for the cpu alone. :D  :-   http://www.scan.co.u...ache-144w-cpu-r

 

realistically i'd think you'd be looking at a 6 core 12 threaded cpu like this i7 or xeon equivalent :- http://www.scan.co.u...ache-cpu-retail

 

it's a bit technical to try and describe what the difference is between a core and a thread so just think of both as being hands.

so the more hands you have the more you can do at once or the quicker a single job will be completed.

 

and in the area you work in the more hands is definitely better.

 

16GB is bare minimum in ram and i would definitely go 32GB or even 64GB if that is in your final budget range.

 

mac's are good but for the same price of the mac you can get a pc that is of a much higher spec hardware wise, better cpu, more ram, etc etc so is more productive in the long run.

 

:popcorn:


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