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Thread: Laptop for PSE

  1. #1

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    Laptop for PSE

    Ok, I've read a ton on buying the absolute most powerful computer to avoid crashing, with reference to PSE. BUT, anyone have any ideas on a cheap (really cheap, been laid off since January) laptops minimum requirements? I've been spending a ton of time on E-Bay with lots of shady puters coming up, but not really sure of what I should be looking for. Are the requirements stated:

    System Requirements:

    •1.6GHz or faster processor

    •Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or 3, Windows Vista®, or Windows 7

    •1GB of RAM

    •2GB of available hard-disk space

    •Color monitor with 16-bit color video card

    •1024x576 monitor resolution at 96dpi or less

    •Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible display driver

    •DVD-ROM drive

    •Web features require Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 through 8 or Mozilla Firefox 1.5 through 3.x

    actually accurate for minimum usage? And then there's the age old question of Mac vs PC which I wish not to get into at this time since I've seen the previous posts and that just gets ugly.... lol....

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    I use a Compaq (HP) 6120 for almost all of my work. I did have a better one, but one of the cats spilled a glass of wine on the keyboard and it "broke." I'm running XP SP3 because I like it because it works for me on my computer. I'm working on upgrading the memory to 2Gb and installing one of the 130Gb drives I'm now using as an external.

    The primary reason I choose a laptop is the color accuracy of the screen. Being a cheapskate on a retiree's budget, I have my own method for testing and adjusting screens. I have a Staedtler color wheel. I have several photographs of it, taken under different light conditions (daylight shade, fluorescent, and tungsten.) I bring up one of the photographs on the screen and compare it to the color wheel in my hand. It works for me, as my photographs come back from the printer looking just as they do on my screen. I had to buy a new color wheel today. It cost me about $2.50 at Staples.

    Watch out for the new "extra-wide" screens on the new laptops. I have seen a couple which stretch the screen image to fill the display. This distorts your image and will throw off your thinking while post processing. They claim they don't, but I've seen it.

    I have purchased my laptops through ebay and internet searches. What I watch for is company lease turn-ins being sold through a major refurbisher. It takes some searching, but the warranty and quality is there if you are patient.

    Again, the quality of the screen is the most important feature, in my mind. Upgrading the memory, hard drive and operating system is relatively trivial.

    Pops

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    At home I use a Toshiba laptop with a Dual core Intel processors running upto a max of 1.73 GHz and it has 2GB of RAM.

    I would say this is perfectly acceptable for elements - nothing takes more than a few seconds to do (e.g. applying filters, etc.) However, I am not a 'power user' of many layers and masks, if you are, that may make a difference.
    The 2GB RAM is (I would say) essential, get 3GB if you can. I am running Vista.

    My screen size is 1280 x 800 (and 15 inches), which I find quite small.
    I used to use the laptop with an old 19inch CRT as a second screen (at lower and squarer resolution), but I think that has finally died and I have not bought a new one, or swapped to an even old 15 inch one yet.
    I use dual 1680 x 1050 screens at work, 17 and 22 inches, (oh, if only...).

    Obviously follow good practice and don't have multiple "hungry" apps (or websites) open at the same time.

    Be aware that the Elements spec. you quoted above takes no account of image storage, I would recommend using solely external HDDs to keep images on, or you'll fill up in no time.

    My laptop now has all drives giving 'low disk space' warnings, so I need to "spring clean" the system and try that Windows 7 DVD.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th April 2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: add a bit

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    Chris,

    Most of the really cheap laptops lack a DVD ROM drive, extra USB ports, and some have very compact keyboards. I am not necessarily advocating hp laptops but if you search their website look for terms like every day use, high performance, and envy series. These are basically levels of price ranges with the Envy series being the most expensive. You can find a laptop meeting your requirements priced below $700.00 before taxes.

  5. #5
    flipmode's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    I agree with the above, I would pay a little more to upgrade the processing speed and RAM. That will definitely help with rendering large PS files/projects.

  6. #6

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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    Thanks for all the info, I think I am gonna get a refurbished Dell Latitude D630 and up the RAM whilst using a external Hard Drive and being REALLY nice to my sister to get her to give me her old 24" LCD monitor for large workloads in the home office. I very much appreciate you all for taking the time to write.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for PSE

    Not sure if the sale is in your area but OfficeDepot had a sales piece this week offering $75.00 off a trade in of any laptop with Windows XP when purchasing an hp G71($699.99 with an additional $50.00 mail in rebate). Most laptops with XP installed are less than six years old and you could probably sell it for more than $75.00 but the cost of upgrading would be more than the cost of a new laptop.
    Quote Originally Posted by hoffstriker View Post
    Thanks for all the info, I think I am gonna get a refurbished Dell Latitude D630 and up the RAM whilst using a external Hard Drive and being REALLY nice to my sister to get her to give me her old 24" LCD monitor for large workloads in the home office. I very much appreciate you all for taking the time to write.

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