View Full Version : Recommendations for a PC for photography?

03-07-2009, 06:07 PM
Hi there,

I've had my PC for around 6+ years and it's finally started to choke a little now. I've also realised that having a laptop is a bit more convenient for me as I move around a lot.

I haven't bought computers for a while now so don't know where to start or where the technology is at

So I'll need a laptop with the following user requirements:
- can handle Photoshop CS3/4, lightroom, etc in terms of graphics and speed
- have enough hard drive space maybe 500gb+??
- a largish monitor 17" widescreen?
- reliable and something I won't need to upgrade for maybe 2+ years
- don't convince me to switch to Mac
- brand im no so fussed about

I don't have a budget in mind but I think im prepared to spend up to $2500.

Would be good if you guys can suggest the best choices in the following rough price brackets so I can do a cost/benefit of each choice. Please let me know the best retailer for each choice if you can.
- circa $1500
- circa $2000
- circa $2500


03-07-2009, 06:14 PM
Oh btw the laptop will be connect to 22" LCD screen when at home

Speedy Gonzales
03-07-2009, 06:15 PM
If youre in NZ, this has a 16' screen (http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a4d929f014ea0f4273fc0a87f3b06fc/Product/View/XC5919)

Or this an 18' but its 1000 more (http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a4d929f014ea0f4273fc0a87f3b06fc/Product/View/XC4327)

03-07-2009, 06:20 PM


You won't get a laptop with a 17" screen AND something fast/reliable for 2 years AND have a 500gb HDD for <$2500

You'll have to sacrifice something.

Sure, you think a laptop is convenient and all but 17" have less that 2 hrs battery life, and are barely portable!

Or, maybe get a smaller HDD(320gb/250gb) and invest in a faster, cheaper 3.5" drive at home.


03-07-2009, 11:06 PM
It doesn't matter. My father uses an old socket 754 PC with an Nvidia 5200 graphics card in it and um, can't remember what CPU - really, really old.
Photoshop runs just fine and my father is a retired photographer.

03-07-2009, 11:15 PM
Seriously a laptop may just may too cramped for photography unless you had to.

As a hobby you don't need the super computer as you may not be doing batch load and time dependent. It just needs to run your software ok.

External HDD can be nice .. for backups and etc..

I think 4GB of RAM and any Dual or Quad Core CPU. My system is fine. I run Lightroom 2, Photoshop CS4. I have a 6MP dSLR camera and I scan film to about 50MB TIF files.

For HDDs it really depends. I don't shoot much. 1 week overseas in Malaysia I took under 400 photo's. Some other may shoot 500 a day, depends. External HDD v important, what happens if your HDD crash? Hence I have 2x HDD internal and 1x external. A few months after I bought them, 1x HDD did breakdown but I do syncing backup so I was saved. Cannot remember which HDD broke. One of the internal one it was.

I backup 1st HDD to 2nd HDD. I backup 2nd HDD to 1st HDD. I have a Image HDD done as well.
External HDD is basically a collection of both HDD.

Shiney screen is not good for photography. Consider getting a monitor calibrator, one that measures color brightness as the cheaper ones do not. So your screen may be too bright vs your prints (inhouse our external).

03-07-2009, 11:25 PM
I seriously think, 4GB RAM any Dual Core or Quad Core lappie will do, I may get the cheapest one that is not a partial speed Celeron or whatever they call them now ......

Be ok for 2yrs - good luck. Megapixels go up so fast, it is not funny esp if you shoot RAW. Computer tech, 2yrs - good luck. I generally buy the sweetspot - the parts that are best bang for buck and keep for few years and upgrade. For lappie do that and replace since you cannot upgrade teh CPU etc.

04-07-2009, 08:23 AM
Since you are obviously very serious about your photography and mention CS4 (which I think includes Lightroom), you would find it really good to have two screens, one just for the image and the other to show you CS4 etc menus etc.

When deciding what to get you should consider that in your budget. Whether that is achievable within that I don't know.
Misty :2cents: :D

04-07-2009, 10:01 AM
Oh btw the laptop will be connect to 22" LCD screen when at home
Just had a re-look at your posts and see that you will be able to use the advantage of using two monitors anyway so my earlier comment is superfluous. You will be well set up.
Misty :thumbs: