Steal Nothing But Photographs

Build A Photoshop Workstation:

About every 3-5 years hardware technology advances amazingly and software requirements increase to the point that a new computer is almost an imperative.  When this happens you pretty much have three options:

  1. Suffer through waiting on your PC and staring at an hourglass.
  2. Go to Best Buy or some other electronics mega-mart and drop a ton of money on some crappy PC designed to minimize quality hardware and maximize margin.
  3. Custom build a PC that has all the "Top of the Line" components catered to YOUR specific needs that will outperform any system purchased at Best Buy.

Please note, it really wasn't a new PC, it was a new processor, motherboard, and memory because that was all that was out of date! Everything else was state of the art.  More on that later..... 

Mac Vs. PC:

This topic has been beat to death on the internet so I'm not going to do a point / counter-point here.  Google it and you will be buried in opinions.  Bottom Line is that today the difference really is the operating systems and computer customization freedom that gives performance enhancement!  Buy the way, we are talking desktops here.  Not laptops.  If I buy another laptop (Can't imagine since I have an iPad!) it would most likely be a Mac unless I wanted to do gaming or needed a tablet PC etc.  The new MacBook Air is awesome but why when I have an iPad.  If I ever quit my job and go out on the open road taking pictures, I will buy a laptop then.....

The deal is, if you are a Geek/Nerd/Engineer type that likes to mess around with hardware, have total control over your computers performance, and customize your operating system, the PC is your tool period.  I know, a lot of Mac users will want to argue here but the reality is that if you look inside any Network Data-Center, Recording Studio, Hollywood Animation Studio, Engineering Firm Drafting Suite, Chemical Process Control Room, Industrial Automation Programmers office, or every die hard Computer Gamers Cave, you will NOT see a Mac anywhere.

If you are a typical computer user that wants to simply type a few emails, sync your ipod, social network with friends, write a paper/book, listen to music, record some minor home audio, archive and edit a few images of your kids, and NOT spend a single minute messing around with your computer other than USING it.  By all means, stop reading here and immediately go straight to your local Apple store and buy a Mac!  I for one would defend my iPad to the death should its well-being be threatened.  Mac's just work because they have eliminated the biggest source of problems, the idiot user.  Short of dropping my iPad into the bathtub, there really is almost nothing that I can do to screw it up.  Computer idiots rejoice, the Mac is here to stay!

To Build or Not to Build:

Why build a PC?  Lets face it, building a computer is not for the feint of heart or the technologically challenged but its easier than you think.  Without a doubt, it is a LOT easier to go buy a middle of the road PC at the electronics Mega-Mart every 2 years.  However, when you go buy one of those computers you are re-buying a bunch of components that you already have.  Look at the typical list of components that makes up a PC:

  1. Computer Case
  2. Power Supply
  3. Motherboard
  4. Processor
  5. Memory
  6. Hard Drive (Primary Boot Drive and Data)
  7. Optical Media (DVD, Blu-Ray, CD-R, CD-RW, etc)
  8. Graphics Card
  9. Sound Card
  10. Operating System
  11. Monitor(s), Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, etc.

When you buy a new computer, you are re-purchasing things you don't really need.  Lets face it, the horsepower on that list is pretty much Processor, Memory, and Video Card.  Maybe a bigger Hard Drive if yours is getting low on free space. 

If you go out and buy a brand new PC with a low/medium end Intel i5 processor in a cheap proprietory Dell motherboard, 8 GB of cheap ram, a 1.5TB hard drive, an ATI Radeon-5770 HD video card (All average components) you will spend about $1200.00 at Best Buy.  In reality you are getting an average performing computer that will last you about 2 years.  Each of those major components if you bought them would be about

  • $170 for low/medium end Intel i5-750 Processor
  • $70 for Proprietary Motherboard
  • $100 for 8GB memory
  • $60 for (1.5TB) Average Hard Drive
  • $150 for Low End Video Card

Thats about $550 of upgraded stuff packaged with about $650 of crap you don't need!  Now, look at what you could have bought and installed in your old case that uses all your old components:

  • $250 for Intel i7-950 3.0 Ghz processor
  • $200 for top quality MSI Motherboard with THX Audio Card
  • $200 for 12GB of DDR3 Ram
  • $370 for NVidia GTX 480 Video Card w/1536 MB of ram.
  • $80 for Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB hard drive for Data
  • $120 for OCZ Solid State Drive for operating system.
  • $100 for miscellaneous cables, brackets, etc.

Thats $1320 for a High Performance Photoshop Burning Machine for $120 more than you could buy at Best Buy.  The only downside is that you have your old Power-Supply, Case, Keyboard, Speakers, and DVD drive.  Those can be updated later when you pay off the Visa for the high performance components.

Bottom Line:

If you have a slight amount of electronics savy, can use a screwdriver, can read a few instruction manuals, and want a high performing machine instead of the crap they sell at Best Buy, the answer is Build!  If you want to just buy something and wait for photoshop to load and render images everytime you do rotate the photo, buy!

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.