As a computer consultant, my clients often used to ask me what hardware to buy. Since I was in the PC business until 2003, I’ve always had good technical knowledge about what to buy. Now that I focus on search, i’m not as up to date on the latest hardware.
Today I got an email asking for my recommendations, and since I had just went through the “PC re-education process” buying my own PC, I decided to make my reply available here…
I am in the marketing department at my company and another co-worker and I are responsible for creating customer menus.Â We use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS2 currently, but I am about to purchase a new VISTA installed computer.Â Before I do, do you have any recommendations on what type of requirements Iâ€™ll need?Â On my current system, my memory is low and I want a computer that can handle multi-tasking and store lots of graphic files.Â Any suggestions?
Hi XXXX, and thanks for the inquiry,
For Adobe and graphics work, it’s all about memory (ram) for multi-tasking. I’d look for a dual core 64 bit processor and 1 gigabyte (absolute minimum) of RAM.Â Dual core CPU chips handle newer applications and multi tasking much faster.
I use the Intel Core2 Duo on my desktop, and the AMD 64 x2 for my laptop. Dual core is definitely worth the few extra dollars in performance.
As far as Ram goes, I actually have 4 gigs on my main pc, and 1.5 in my laptop. STILL, I could use more. With so many programs running in the background for us all, AND the Windows OS, you just can’t have too much ram.Â Ram makes it “quicker and “snappier”Â while the CPU actually gives it the horsepower for complicated rendering, like audio and video files.
Ram is cheap, so for the people desiring the most productivity, I’d recommend pumping it up as high as budgets allow, especially with Microsoft Vista as the operating system!
Storing lots of files is determined by the size of your hard drive, and they’ve all gotten enormous now. 200 gigs, 300 gigs, and even larger have become the norm. Anything stored on your old PC will likely use up less than 1/3 of the space on your new PC no matter what you buy.
Look for “speed of access” to the hard drive too, as a primary factor in your performance. That means the hard drives that are “SATA2″ are going to be faster than “SATA” hard drives, and IDE is archaic technology that should be avoided at all costs in 2007. So, look for SATA 2 drives at any affordable size offered.
As far as brands of PC go, they’re really all about the same quality, in my opinion, with lots of common component manufacturers shared throughout the industry, like Western Digital, Intel, AMD etc.
Similar parts used in all the major brands, like HP, Dell etc.Â The difference really lies in the supprt you get, for which I do like Dell, but like anywhere, service is going to be hit and miss. Perhaps buying it at a local shop that offers support is your best option, assuming the added cost isn’t too much.