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jjeling
04-26-2010, 01:07 AM
This computer is on its last leg. It is time to start looking for a new computer. On several occasions today I got the blue screen of death and the hard drive has been clicking. The monitor is already broken and I have this laptop plugged into a desktop monitor for use.

Laptops seem to have an advantage for their portability but lack the amount of RAM and hard drive space. I only memory intensive program Ill be running is Photoshop so Im not too concerned with the speed.

However, in my experience, desktops seem to last MUCH longer. Plus they have huge hard drives now and usually have much more RAM.

Anyone else in the market for a new computer that might have similar questions or suggestions. I plan on spending about $700 so that might give you some information as to what Im working with.

Fortytwo
04-26-2010, 07:57 AM
Well, it really should depend on how you're planning to use it. If you'd like to move your computer around the house and to other places, you're probably better off buying a new laptop. If all you do is keep it on your desk plugged in (or occasionally move it to the bed), you should really get a desktop.

Also, you could consider buying a small netbook next to a desktop to have something movable to watch TV on or something if that's all you do with it...

AntZ
04-26-2010, 09:17 AM
I have a similar dilemma here. I have had a work supplied laptop/notebook for nearly 20years, which is nearly as long as they have been around and you can imagine how expensive the first ones were. Since the start of the year I have been riding to work and mostly leave the notebook at the office and use a 7yr old desktop at home, which surprising can run everything I need..just slowly. So like you say desktops seem to hang in there longer. But running lightroom is painful and I am considering my options. To be honest not having a PC that is pleasurable to process my photos on is having an impact on how and when I handle my images.

So here are my thoughts so far:
I already have a keyboard, monitor etc so really only need a box and can get one for cheaper than a notebook. The problem is that I am used to travelling with a notebook and would need something to store photos when I do.

Desktop Pros: Cheaper, faster,better specs, bigger HDD
Notebook Pros: Portable, capable of Dual screens, smaller

I don't think RAM is an issue. Most Notebooks can handle 4GB which I would think sufficient and only then you get 64bit Windows.(Not sure about apples here)

Having typed this, I think I am leaning towards a Notebook. I am waiting for the new i5 and i7 processors to become more available before I decide...and working out how to explain to my wife why she gets a netbook and I get the real thing :)

Fortytwo
04-26-2010, 10:54 AM
I've got a dual screen on my desktop PC. ;)

Also, I would never keep my pictures on a laptop. If you drop it, they're all gone...

Marko
04-26-2010, 10:59 AM
I hate to say it....but processing photos on a desktop is MUCH easier. I too have dual monitors on my desktop.

If it were me...I'd spend the money on a desktop and great monitor.... and save a few hundred and get a mini laptop a few months later.

jjeling
04-26-2010, 12:30 PM
Yeah, Im leaning towards the idea of getting a desktop and then a mini net book in the near future.

I think the net books are more durable than a full size laptop. Much like a tree branch, if you take it when it is full size it is quite easy to break. If you take the same branch and it is now only a fraction of its size, it doesnt break so easy.

I do believe picture are easier to edit from a desktop, but the idea that I can do it from anywhere is kind of nice to. I have several versions of Photoshop so if I do get a netbook Ill load a prehistoric version of photoshop on there.

We will see what happens, It might be a while before it happens.

Iguanasan
04-26-2010, 03:15 PM
I know I totally wrote a big post to chime in with my view and it's not here. I can only image I forgot to hit "Post" - D'oh! :headslap:

In any event the noisy drive and blue screen of death can be easily explained by an old hard drive going bad. The rest of the PC may be just fine. By a 1TB drive for $100 and rebuild your system, voila! Just like new. Now, if your system is more than 5 years old then I would definitely think about an upgrade.

You'll get a lot more power out of a desktop replacement and you only need to by the computer. You already have keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. Definitely a less expensive way to go.

I, however, am hooked on my laptop. I don't think I'll ever go back. I like being able to drag my laptop outside on a sunny day and sit on the deck to do my computing. If you go this route though, spend the extra on the Dell Complete Care (I buy exclusively from Dell) as laptops get banged around a bit and the extra money is well worth every dime.

The hinge on my laptop broke a couple of weeks ago, I called Dell, they sent me an empty box. I put it in the box on Monday and got it back on Thursday all fixed up. Sweet! :clap::clap:

Marko
04-26-2010, 03:18 PM
+1 on the Dell thing for me. Dell is overpriced for sure, but for a bit of that extra cash you get great service if anything goes bad. That's been my experience anyway.

Iguanasan
04-26-2010, 03:20 PM
+1 on the Dell thing for me. Dell is overpriced for sure, but for a bit of that extra cash you get great service if anything goes bad. That's been my experience anyway.

And mine as well which is why I always go back for another Dell. I'm up to 4 now. Two desktops and two laptops in the house.

ericmark
04-26-2010, 04:44 PM
I have been looking at same thing myself. I have always gone for desktop as up-gradable but each time I try and up-grade I seem to get unstuck.
Canít buy that memory now sir.
Sorry new hard drives are serial devices canít fit a tetra-bite sir.
Sorry you have USB1 and you need USB2 sir.
The list goes on and I have come to the conclusion you canít up-grade what ever the salesman says at the time.
So I have a massive box instead of a slim device that I could fit in a lot less space. And using an external monitor, mouse and keyboard they seem to work same way anyway. Want more hard drive space then a drive connected to LAN does that exactly same for any PC or even MAC. And printer runs off LAN also so thatís not an issue either.
However when one looks at lowest price of both although now near the same one realises that with a desk top the processor is a little faster and the drive a little bigger and a few more USB sockets and 5.1 surround sound rather than stereo and so you do get more for same money. Well you should as the desk top has no monitor.
As one moves to the more expensive types. An APPLE Mac mini MC238B/A at £510 is smaller and cheaper than a laptop APPLE MacBook MC207B/A at £799. The APPLE Mac mini MC238B/A at 6.5Ē square is basically the same as laptop without monitor, keyboard and mouse and takes up less room than laptop one wonders is it were not for the size of DVD would it be smaller still?
The DELL Inspiron 400 looks very like the MAC at £400 it is cheaper as well, however slower and I suppose you get what one pays for.
However it seems gone are the days of huge box to fit all the bits in and soon they may be fitting it all into the keyboard like old Amiga!
So down to do you want to move it about the house, garden, car, boat etc. If so then laptop but this moving about also seems to cause problems and also everything combined in one unit something goes wrong and you lose the lot.
My daughter spilt orange juice on my laptop and messed up mouse so now I need to carry a USB mouse with me. Had it been a desktop then I would have just bought a new mouse. And accidents do happen and at 30 years old I couldnít really blame myself for letting her play with it. At that age they should be OK without supervision!
So one must ask what one wants to do with a computer? My son uses his as his TV, Audio system, DVD/hard-drive recorder and computer and it runs 24/7 so it can record TV programs as they come on and a laptop would not do the job. I have more room and use stand alone Hard-drive/DVD recorder, Audio system, and TV and since unlike his home mine does not move TV satellite receiver.
I did do same process with Photoshop CS4 on college APPLE Mac mini MC238B/A and my home computer and on mini it took 2 hours and on home PC it took 8 hours well maybe longer was not watching it at home went away and left it doing itís own thing. And the Mac is not 4 times faster so I think more to do with operating system than computer speed that it was 4 times faster than PC.
Out of interest I was combining and processing 15 x 10Mb pictures using both HDR and Panorama so was asking a lot of the computer.

AntZ
04-26-2010, 05:24 PM
I hate to say it....but processing photos on a desktop is MUCH easier. I too have dual monitors on my desktop.

If it were me...I'd spend the money on a desktop and great monitor.... and save a few hundred and get a mini laptop a few months later.

For me in actually processing photos the only time I notice a difference between desktop and notebook is when I don't have a real mouse and don't have a 2nd monitor.

Yeah, I know I can run dual monitor on a desktop, but I have a PC setup in our living room and two monitors is a bit too much to put away when we have guests. I guess that is another reason for a laptop for me.

Ultimately it comes down to portability. If you want to travel with it you need a notebook. Even if a netbook is up to the job the screen is too small for anything other that minor edits.

Michaelaw
04-26-2010, 10:21 PM
For me in actually processing photos the only time I notice a difference between desktop and notebook is when I don't have a real mouse and don't have a 2nd monitor.

Yeah, I know I can run dual monitor on a desktop, but I have a PC setup in our living room and two monitors is a bit too much to put away when we have guests. I guess that is another reason for a laptop for me.

Ultimately it comes down to portability. If you want to travel with it you need a notebook. Even if a netbook is up to the job the screen is too small for anything other that minor edits.

Jumpin Jackfish!....If I had to put my PC away every time I had guests, guest would be banned :laughing: Of course I'm lucky enough to have a large second bedroom that is my living space and studio but I went for a few years in a single bedroom apartment and the PC like the TV was part of the scene. Laptops for me are all about mobility,,,I see them as frail, compromised necessities that I begrudgingly use when I'm on the road. I'm trying to think of the last time I had guests, it seems the older I get the more recluse I become :)

AntZ
04-27-2010, 09:23 AM
Jumpin Jackfish!....If I had to put my PC away every time I had guests, guest would be banned :laughing: Of course I'm lucky enough to have a large second bedroom that is my living space and studio but I went for a few years in a single bedroom apartment and the PC like the TV was part of the scene. Laptops for me are all about mobility,,,I see them as frail, compromised necessities that I begrudgingly use when I'm on the road. I'm trying to think of the last time I had guests, it seems the older I get the more recluse I become :)

:laughing:

Truth be known most guests are used to talking to me over my monitor(think Wilson from Home Improvement :) ) PC is in the living room so I can watch the TV(another of my vices). I did have a look at Dell's today online and I know that I will not be able to constrain myself to one of the entry level notebooks and a at a glance a notebook is going to cost me 2 x what a desktop will...and if I go a clone even cheaper.

Ultimately I think the portability of a notebook is going to be the deciding factor.

Also for me the thought of a notebook for the road and desktop for home is not that convenient. I use lightroom and although I have a fair grip on catalogues etc, managing edits across multiple PCs is not easy. Using a portable drive helps, but you give up some speed.

JJ I hope I haven't hijacked your thread too much. I'm guessing some or all of these pros and cons are applicable to you.

Bambi
04-27-2010, 10:25 AM
could you get the best of both worlds: a laptop and a monitor to plug in for photo editing?

I love my asus laptop so far

jjeling
04-27-2010, 04:50 PM
So the route I have decided to go is to get a desktop for real editing work, and a netbook for travel.

Clearly a laptop/netbook is not the way to edit pictures(unless you have a plug in mouse which is not hard to do). However, in my experience laptops are much less durable and do not last as long as desktops due to their convienience and portability.

A netbook does not have the power or screen to edit pictures, but it does allow the ability to transfer images off of a camera for a little better view and with the few plug in drives I have, hard drive space is not an issue.

The desktop will remain offline so any internet usage can be done with the netbook. This also allows the computer to remain virus free and will not get bogged down by any memory intensive virus software.

Desktops are usually WAY more powerful than laptops and cost quite a bit less. Not only that, they last longer.

There is no sense in buying a laptop when I know it is only going to last a handful of years. The only plus to them is convenience, and I can get that with a netbook, which costs hundreds less.

In either case, I have a spare monitor so I will have a dual monitor set up. With the desktop, both monitors will remain plugged in. If I buy a laptop, to use the dual monitors, I will constantly have to plug and unplug, a definite NO!

Why buy one, when I can buy two?

For the price of a comparable laptop, you can have both.
If you want the power of a desktop in a laptop, you will be shelling out some serious cash. For that amount of cash, and usually less, you can get a quality desktop, and a netbook. This isolates any problems you might have. If you get one laptop and a problem occurs, your laptop may be rendered useless. Where is your backup?

Although I have many backup drives, loss of files will never be a concern, but the loss of a computer is a concern in any case. I would much rather isolate a problem to one device(hopefully the cheap netbook), than to have my ONLY device go down. At least this way I can be confident that I will not have all my eggs in one basket.

Maybe this thinking/logic may help some of you out in the same situation.

Don't worry, this thread was not hi-jacked. All of the posts were relevent. Figured this would be a good discussion to have.

I also pondered going with a Mac, but to convert would cost too much.

AntZ
04-27-2010, 05:31 PM
Tempted by this option too. Certainly my wife's netbook seems capable at most stuff. Whether it can actually run lightroom is another question.
The 2 PC thing is a pain too. I've scared myselt a couple of times where I thought I lost images.

So I guess the next question is which netbook?

jjeling
04-27-2010, 09:15 PM
To be completely honest, the netbook will only be used for browsing the internet and posting images. The images will be kept on an alternative plugin harddrive so Im not worried about space. Anything with 1gb of RAM will probably be enough for me. I dont believe this site really takes too much to run, or flickr for that matter. Playing music shouldnt be too bad either. Again, any picture editing will be reserved for the desktop. If Im in the "field" and need to get pictures off the camera, Im sure the netbook will do just fine in that regard. However, having an 8gb card in one camera and a 4gb card in the other, I will rarely come across this situation.

As far as saving images, all files will be kept on the desktop, and also on an external hard drive or two. This should account for any mishap that may occur.