Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 05 Feb 2014 (Wednesday) 15:58
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Choosing a Dell

 
Novy
Member
46 posts
Likes: 14
Joined Aug 2010
Location: SK
     
Feb 05, 2014 15:58 |  #1

I came by a spur of the moment thought the other day that I should probably upgrade computers. My laptop is going on 4 years old and while it still functions ok, I'd be foolish to expect that it is going to live a whole lot longer with frequent use. I had previously avoided shooting RAW because of the post processing time involved (using PSE9). Just browsing through the pictures to decide on keepers can be a long process. Well the days of shooting jpeg is over for me (about 3 years too late, unfortunately) so it only makes sense to make some upgrades. My initial thought was buying Lightroom 5 (and possibly the NIK Collection), at which point I thought getting a new PC first would probably be a sensible decision. I briefly thought about having somebody like NCIX build to specs, but then comparing to Dell's offerings I didn't see a whole lot of savings going that route.

I've decided on the U2412M monitor but I'm stuck trying to decide between 2 desktops as to which makes more sense to me.
http://www.dell.com …_s1568e&model_i​d=xps-8700 (external link)
http://www.dell.com …_s1503e&model_i​d=xps-8700 (external link)

Essentially the difference comes down to an additional 1TB of storage, 8GB of memory and a 32GB SSD Cache for an extra $200. Comparing spec wise to what I have now, I don't know if those features will be of a lot of benefit. I've only used a little over 100GB on the laptop and an additional 250 GB on my external hard drive, but I've also just started shooting RAW so I'd expect those numbers to become much larger in the future unless I tighten the criteria for shots worth keeping. I don't imagine the additional RAM would be of a lot of value for my uses (aside from editing just general web browsing). But I've never used a PC with SSD, so I don't know how benefitial that would be for this work. Any thoughts?

My current laptop specs, FWIW: http://www.samsung.com …ebook/NP-SF510-S03CA-spec (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
silvrr
Goldmember
Avatar
2,736 posts
Gallery: 24 photos
Likes: 134
Joined Feb 2007
Location: Chicago,IL
     
Feb 05, 2014 16:55 |  #2

Lightroom only utilizes the CPU so unless you have something else with heavy GPU usage both computers come with a 4770 and should do well.

Between those two I would go with the cheaper and grab a quality 2TB drive and a 128GB SSD for less than $200. 16GB of RAM will be plenty for lightrooom, 24 is overkill.


Canon 6D l 24-70 f/4L l 100L l 430EX l 430EX II l Kenko Extension Tubes l Sigma 50 Art
flickr (external link) FeedBack

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
flickserve
Senior Member
835 posts
Joined Sep 2007
Location: H.K.
     
Feb 07, 2014 01:15 |  #3

silvrr wrote in post #16666378 (external link)
Lightroom only utilizes the CPU so unless you have something else with heavy GPU usage both computers come with a 4770 and should do well.

Between those two I would go with the cheaper and grab a quality 2TB drive and a 128GB SSD for less than $200. 16GB of RAM will be plenty for lightrooom, 24 is overkill.

Exactly.

Choose the cheaper version, buy a 128GB SSD and 2 TB HDD. Connect both up inside the computer. Reinstall windows to the SSD. Install LR to the SSD.

Then enjoy your computer.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
BeritOlam
Goldmember
Avatar
1,675 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Sep 2008
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
     
Feb 08, 2014 01:26 |  #4

silvrr wrote in post #16666378 (external link)
Lightroom only utilizes the CPU so unless you have something else with heavy GPU usage both computers come with a 4770 and should do well.

Between those two I would go with the cheaper and grab a quality 2TB drive and a 128GB SSD for less than $200. 16GB of RAM will be plenty for lightrooom, 24 is overkill.

flickserve wrote in post #16670094 (external link)
Exactly.

Choose the cheaper version, buy a 128GB SSD and 2 TB HDD. Connect both up inside the computer. Reinstall windows to the SSD. Install LR to the SSD.

Then enjoy your computer.

Novy,

This is basically what photogs who like to tinker with their own computers do....partially because very few companies building PC's (Dell, HP, etc.) make them with photogs in mind. Most of the 'cheaper' 8700's at Dell would be a fine foundation for most photographers, but unfortunately they don't let you swap out 1TB HDD's with 120GB SSD's. But these days, getting an SSD as your main hard drive is really mandatory if you are going to spend $900-$1000 getting a new i7 processor with 16gigs of RAM -- why Dell leaves the 'old' 1TB drives in those $1k computers is completely beyond me. The old 1TB HDD is going to create a huge bottle neck in what that i7 can do.

So you're options with Dell areare...(A) buy the $900-$1000 PC and then buy your own $130-$170 upgrade and swap it out yourself or (B) pay $1400 or so to bump up to the Dell computer that actually comes with an SSD+HDD combo. If you've never gone the (A) route, there are lots of people here that will help you out. YouTube will have tons of self-help videos explaining how to do it. It's not very hard...but I have known photogs that get really intimidated with this stuff.

Another option if you don't want to mess with anything under the hood BUT want the upgrades is to buy a PC from a place like Cyberpowerpc (external link). It caters mostly to gamers, but this is the best way to get a system pre-made *exactly* how you want it, and the prices should come in quite a bit less than the $1500 Dells. I just helped a local photog do this very thing about a year ago (for about $1100), and it worked great. These guys have been in business for a while and generally make good stuff. If that interests you, we can try to help piece something together.


Gear List

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. – Herbert Hoover

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Novy
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
46 posts
Likes: 14
Joined Aug 2010
Location: SK
     
Feb 08, 2014 02:10 as a reply to  @ BeritOlam's post |  #5

Thanks for the input. I actually had the intention of buying the lesser of the two units yesterday, only to find that it was now listed at $950. Then I found the other option with the multilingual user interface version of windows to be priced $100 cheaper ($999) than the english only version. I figured for the additional 1TB and 8GB of ram it would only make sense to spend the extra $50 so I pulled the trigger on that unit. I really couldn't find anything else comparable, upgrading systems from a variety of places or building from scratch always seemed to come out well over $1200 with SSD. Might have been able to do a bit better buying state-side, but with shipping and our weaker dollar right now I may not have gained anything.

I'm still thinking on the swapping out the SSD bit. If I do I would probably go 240GB. Only thing is I've seen some mention of Dell possibly not providing warranty service to a unit that has been tinkered with. Not sure if that is the case. Had Dell offered the option of upgrading I would have spent the extra money. That is really one thing that their product line lacks is the ability to make minor tweaks to their units rather than having to make a jump to an entirely different price point.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
BeritOlam
Goldmember
Avatar
1,675 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Sep 2008
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
     
Feb 08, 2014 20:13 |  #6

I guess I owe you a 'sorry' for not noticing those sites were in Canada. ;) It's been a few months since I went to any Dell site, so it caught me a bit by surprise with the different look.

If you are open to (and knowledge enough in) building something from scratch, have you looked at pricing something together at Newegg.ca? You should be able to get a nice system in the $1100 range. The problem with most pre-built systems in the $1k+ range is they often make you buy way more expensive video cards than you need for Photoshop, LR, etc. I've sampled LR5 on $500 cards vs. $100 vid cards...and I honestly can't see that you gain anything with the more expensive vid cards.

If you need the extra space and can shell out the $$$, then 240gb will be fine. A lot depends what *else* you plan on doing with the computer.

Not sure about the Dell warranty if you swap in your own drive. If you're just going to go with the standard 1-yr warranty, I wouldn't worry about it....since most PC's rarely go bad their first year.


Gear List

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. – Herbert Hoover

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Novy
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
46 posts
Likes: 14
Joined Aug 2010
Location: SK
     
Feb 17, 2014 20:59 as a reply to  @ BeritOlam's post |  #7

Well I ended up having cold feet after ordering the Dell. Started second guessing buying the XPS over a custom build, then I found my order to show being "in production" (at which point Dell normally refuses to cancel), despite the order ship date being pushed back 10 days later than advertised. And then I had something of an odd stroke of luck. My mastercard had been cancelled at the end of the week due to fraudulent charges. Since Dell had yet to bill me I contacted them just to let them know the situation and that the card info they had for me was not valid. Their CS rep asked if I would like to cancel the order for now and I told him that would probably be for the best until I get the CC situation sorted out :p

So anyway, now I am at the point of figuring out what to build while I await the arrival of my new mastercard. I've decided I am going to use Memory Express for the build as their price is reasonable ($70 for regular service, $100 for priority), they have the bext selection of parts and also have a good price match policy (beat by 25% of the difference). I'm looking to stay in the ballpark of what the XPS would have cost with the SSD, so $1200 or so. This is what I am looking at right now:

i7 4770
G-Skill RipjawsX 16GB PC3-14900 DDR3
Samsung EVO 250GB
Seagate Barricuda 2TB
Velocity IW-C583 Case w/500W PSU
ASUS B85M-E/CSM
Lite-On iHAS124
Silverstone Premium, 3.5" Card Reader
Windows 8.1

That comes to roughly $1240 assembled and tested after price matching. Any thoughts? What do people normally do as far as anti-virus and that sort of stuff goes? I've never really bothered much with it when my included subscriptions run out, by my recent credit card issue has me second guessing this.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
RedHerringHack
Junior Member
22 posts
Joined Jul 2010
     
Feb 17, 2014 21:23 |  #8

SSD is the most significant upgrade you can do. It makes even a slow old computer spooky fast.

The best upgrade since the 3Dfx card.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
BeritOlam
Goldmember
Avatar
1,675 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Sep 2008
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
     
Feb 19, 2014 04:00 |  #9

Most of those 'specs' look good, Novy. My only recommended changes would be: (a) Seagate drives are really iffy right now; if this is going to be your main workhorse for the next 3+ years, it's worth it to pay the $60 or bucks extra to get the WD Black drives. Super dependable and come with a 5 year warranty! (b) Make sure that 500W PSU isn't some generic piece of crap that pc builders love to sneak in to make an extra buck. The wattage should be fine (provided you're not going to throw a powerful video card in there at a later date) but I'd just double check and make sure you're getting a nice ($70+) PSU....because the cheap ones don't have a good track record of lasting beyond a year or two.


Gear List

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. – Herbert Hoover

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Novy
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
46 posts
Likes: 14
Joined Aug 2010
Location: SK
     
Feb 19, 2014 10:37 as a reply to  @ BeritOlam's post |  #10

Thanks for the insight. The PSU definitely looks generic - PowerMan - can't find anything about it online. They finally show the Zalman Z9 Plus back in stock with a $20 rebate, so that may be a better option along with a higher end PSU to stay in a similar price range. Upgraded graphics card won't be needed. I'll look at the WD drives.

Do you have any thoughts regarding antivirus or other protections? It seems the typically bundled stuff like Norton and Mcafee seem to turn into an absolute PITA for most people.

Of course the Dell end of things has turned slightly odd. After requesting the cancellation monday, everything shipped yesterday afternoon. Without charging me. They are hoping to put a stop on it at the border and redirect it back to Dell, otherwise I am to refuse shipment. That in itself could be difficult since I'm having it shipped to my father's workplace and purolator has a habit of showing up at noon when the normal shipper/receiver isn't there.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Merlin_AZ
Senior Member
Avatar
869 posts
Likes: 17
Joined Mar 2010
     
Feb 22, 2014 16:46 |  #11

Norton had issues slowing systems down a few years ago.
It doesn't do that anymore, and PC magazines that review AV software continue to rate them one of the best out there.
http://www.pcworld.com …excellent-protection.html (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,409 views & 0 likes for this thread
Choosing a Dell
FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is 7DMalinois
902 guests, 211 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.