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Thread: What computer do you use.

  1. #1

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    What computer do you use.

    I'm thinking about getting a new laptop that can run photoshop fluently with minimal lag, I have a custom built machine, and need something smaller, with a relative budget, maybe under a grand. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    GVincent's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Hi Zach, i’m a mac user so a bit one sided, i’d recommend this - http://www.apple.com/uk/macbook-pro/features/

    If you want windows i would be looking at a gaming computer as they have good processor’s and memory? i’m sure others will be along with more info

  3. #3
    arslanturegun's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    I am an old fashioned guy who likes desktops over laptops. As you'll have to carry them, the laptops are bulky and heavy (you don't usually carry a desktop pc ). The main question is, if you want a laptop and if it is going to be used mostly at home, why don't you get a desktop PC (I don't know anything about Mac). Desktop PSs are more versatile and a lot cheaper when you think about upgrading. You can use a better and bigger monitor on them (big LCD on a laptop means more bulk ).
    I am also using a laptop (ACER something) for the translation jobs at location. Sometimes if I really have to use photoshop on that thing it becomes quite painful especially due to its small sized monitor.
    As Gary advised, a gaming PC would be great also for photo editing software.
    Cheers,
    Arslan

  4. #4
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    I use a full spec current Mac Air for travel, and run a 256Gb SSD drive for back up (smaller than a pack of cards). This kit is light and will easily fit in a typical camera backpack, carry on luggage etc.

    We also have a Macbook Pro retina which is a bit heavier and bulkier. No discernible performance difference running either Aperture or Photoshop though it is best not to run other programmes simultaneously.

    At home we have available a custom gaming PC with very high spec. Conveys no advantage. If working on a desktop I will use an iMac (not latest generation) mainly for the 27" screen. Most of the time I use the Mac Air by default for sheer convenience.

    SSD makes a big difference by the way - go solid state memory and i7 chip if you can, with RAM maxed out. Both photoshop and Aperture (much the same as Lightroom which we use in the office) are memory hogs.

    Retina screen is a definite advantage (or PC equivalent resolution). I prefer the Macs to PC laptop ultrabooks for travel, as they have proved very reliable and robust. I will be first in the queue for Retina MacAir when that comes out unless a Win8 ultra with touch screen arrives that is that is as easy to use. We have tried the latest Samsung and Asus Ultrabooks in my business and the guys like them, but still prefer the Air for various reasons.

    Personally I don't care about upgrading. I regard laptops as workhorses that have t go everywhere and I am more than happy to replace every 2 -3 years. Screen technology and SSD are advancing quite rapidly.

    Adrian

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Photoshop is not a particularly processor intensive application so pretty well any machine you decide to use will work well for you be that a Mac or PC. A few filters are processor intensive, but the difference in applying a filter in a low end versus high end machine can be measured in a few seconds at most. If you were looking at video editing and compositing, processor speed considerations would be significant.

    Photoshop runs virtually identically on either platform (I do use both Macs and PCs), so no real advantage to one platform over the other there. The real issue is the tradeoffs made in a laptop versus a desktop is that one has been made to run off a battery and be portable, while the other is not. That means that battery life, footprint and weight are main design criteria in a laptop, rather than having a nice large, accurate viewable display. In fact, size and display quality are the main downsides of using a laptop. The displays in all units I've looked at (we bought a laptop for my youngest daughter and my wife just before Christmas) are frankly not as good as ones you will use on a desktop (in fact a good display will cost you about the same money as a good mid-range laptop). Both Apple and all the Windows machines we looked at have native 6-bit per channel displays that use various techniques to emulate 8-bit (this includes the Apple Retina displays; they have a fine ptich, but colour space is limited). These are okay for Photoshop use, but I prefer using my high gamut monitor on my desktop using two large screens.

    For your budget, you are likely looking at a PC as the smallest and least expensive Macs are well above that price range where I live. I wouldn't touch either a Dell or HP right now (both don't have a particularly good reliability reputation for laptops right now - my wife bought a HP and it died within 24 hours of her buying it). Most of the others manufacturers seem to be better. My one daughter has a Toshiba and that has been quite reliable while my wife and younger daughter ended up with Samsung units that seem to be fine. I have a HP machine that seems to be okay as well, but is not was well built as the Lenovo that it replaced.

  6. #6
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Yes, I agree with Manfred. The thing is laptops are a compromise: we want rapid refresh (so that we can view video without motion blur). You can get laptops with genuine 8 bit colour, but not ultrabooks as far as I know. Pros will always use 8 bit and above. I am an amateur with increasingly squinty eyesight! Compromises, compromises...

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Hi Zach,

    The problem that's bigger than the speed is likely to be the screen, most laptop screens aren't IPS, which is fairly essential for photo editing, to avoid issues with colour and brightness and contrast variations with small changes of viewing angle (left/right and up/down). These will cause you to be inconsistent in your photo editing.

    You can of course connect a decent monitor to a laptop, but have you factored the cost of that, and the space, into your plans?

    Cheers,

  8. #8
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    As the OP said he wants a laptop, I am wondering if there is any point telling him to get desktop PC. It is a bit like going into a restaurant and telling the waiter you are a vegetarian, and he says "you look to me like you need some vitamins: have a nice steak."

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    As the OP said he wants a laptop, I am wondering if there is any point telling him to get desktop PC. It is a bit like going into a restaurant and telling the waiter you are a vegetarian, and he says "you look to me like you need some vitamins: have a nice steak."
    Adrian - I also wanted a laptop, but am still working at a desktop for my photo and video work.

    I did my homework, and in spite of what people were telling me, the current technology at a price I am willing to pay means staying with a desktop. IPS screens are only available on a limited number high-end workstation laptops. Frankly, I would rather put that money towards photo gear that is going to last me at least a decade, rather than a laptop that will need replacement in about 3 years.

  10. #10
    HDphotography's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Hi Zach,
    In my opinion, if you choose to use a laptop for photo editing , make sure you choose a laptop with a IPS screen. You will have consistent results. It will be $$$ but like the saying goes " you get what you pay for " For about $ 2000 Asus zenbook Prime 15" is a highly rated laptop.
    Cheers
    Hemant

  11. #11

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    Re: What computer do you use.

    I am looking at laptops also. I know most people into photo processing want a matte screen, but there is a certain allure of the glass. Yes the are reflections on the screen, but the sharpness and color saturation seem better than the matte. Any thoughts anyone?

  12. #12
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
    I am looking at laptops also. I know most people into photo processing want a matte screen, but there is a certain allure of the glass. Yes the are reflections on the screen, but the sharpness and color saturation seem better than the matte. Any thoughts anyone?
    Don't confuse looking better with accuracy. For instance, Windows Photo Viewer applies some saturation and vibrance to any displayed image. Great if you're not a photog, but things like that are pretty common and can throw you off base. Basically any display will need calibration, and just because the screen makes it look better doesn't mean the base file is any better.

    I'm using an Acer Aspire AS7551G. It's well-made, but has a bluish cast thanks to the LED backlight, and doesn't render shadow detail very well. Most of my editing happens on a 24in Acer monitor whose purchase predates my interest in photography. No idea how good the color accuracy is. Look for a laptop or monitor with an IPS panel and 8-bit color - size and resolution are less important than these aspects. As far as the computer's specs, try to find something with a solid-state drive for programs (this will cut program load times like you wouldn't believe), and a large second hard drive for data storage (or skip this if you don't mind carrying an external drive). Beyond that, get as much RAM as you can afford (16GB should be doable in your budget), a discreet graphics card (not integrated with the processor) with dedicated memory (the GPU doesn't steal system memory at high loads, and pretty much any modern processor. Some Lenovos tick all these boxes, but you'll probably have to call them and find someone in tech support with a clue to tell you which have IPS panels. Normally they're branded as a "Premium HD" display, or similar marketing hype-words.

  13. #13

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    Re: What computer do you use.

    I use a 17" MacBook Pro. Up until just over a year ago I also had a Mac G5 tower attached to a large colour monitor. No problem re the screen size of the laptop, I just plug it in to the monitor.

  14. #14

    Re: What computer do you use.

    Hi, if you have the budget buy the macbook pro retina refurbished, the screen is AWESOME and I use Photoshop in my mac a lot and it is blazing fast and stable. The build quality is excelent and the computer will not let you down... for something cheaper checkout the Macbook Air...
    If you want a windows machine I also like samsung's serie 9 but Never tried it...
    Best Luck

  15. #15

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    Re: What computer do you use.

    If your on a budget and want to be mobile. Get the surface pro. wacom tablet and laptop all in one

  16. #16
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: What computer do you use.

    if you are going to print images be very careful about you choice, i could ramble on for ever but Manfreds comments about say it all!

    i have a macbook pro 17 inch top of the range with a matt screen, but to edit i use a desk top machine with an NEC IPS panel monitor this is the ONLY way i can get what i see on my monitor to be the same as the print when i hit the print button. (there are other factors involved)

    desk tops provide more bang for your bucks.

    MAC's give less bang for your bucks than PC (but you will look very stylish when carrying it around)

    good luck with you purchase

  17. #17

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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Here is a list of 2012 IPS screen laptops with some reviews.

    http://www.laptopreviews.com/laptop-...d-them-2011-12

  18. #18

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    Re: What computer do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
    I am looking at laptops also. I know most people into photo processing want a matte screen, but there is a certain allure of the glass. Yes the are reflections on the screen, but the sharpness and color saturation seem better than the matte. Any thoughts anyone?
    I have an HP monitor with glossy screen at home for photo work and it's pretty good but having just got a dell u2312hm at work I wish I had bought a monitor with a matt screen instead of the HP. the Dell is way better to work with (yes I realise it's not just the glossiness, it's a better monitor too)

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