Monitors & Memory - some advice

Started Feb 4, 2010 | Discussions thread
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JMDavis
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Monitors & Memory - some advice
Feb 4, 2010

This is my setup: a Mac Pro, Quad core with 3 GB memory, OSX 1.5.8, with the standard 640 MB hard disk and an additional 500 GB Seagate hard disk I installed. I also use Boot Camp for Windows XP Pro for those Window’s apps I still like to have around. I’m a new convert to the Mac having had this machine for the last five months.

Now, from everything I’ve read the things that you can do help your machine’s performance are to have enough hard disk space and have lots of memory. On the practical side, what can I expect to see in the machine’s performance if I go from the 3 GB of memory to say, 6 GB or maybe even 8 GB. What I use it for is e-mail, the Internet, working with a few Excel spreadsheets, writing using MS Word (a lot of writing), and storing, editing, & printing my photos (here I use PS Elements, Paint Shop Pro X2, Nikon View NX, Nikon Capture NX2.) I don’t run several apps at once except maybe View NX and Capture NX 2 at the same time. I really don’t like dealing with more than one thing at a time. The only thing I could describe as “slow” would be when using Capture NX 2 when it renders an image - it takes several seconds for it to bring up a nice clear sharp picture. Would I really see a difference in the way things run overall if I increased the memory?

As for the monitor: What I use now is a Viewsonic 19” P9f+ CRT monitor. What I’d like to have would be something with more screen “real estate”. I’ve read some about LCD flat panel monitors and it look’s like that’s about all I can get nowadays that’ll deliver what I’m looking for. I’d like to go with one that’s 22” or 24”. However, all of the one’s I looked at retailers (i.e. Best Buy, Office Max, Micro Center, etc.) really don’t look that good - sometimes not good color, brightness is crummy or the picture just doesn’t look crisp enough. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from what I’ve read it would seem better to go with an LED type monitor rather than a regular LCD. Of course I looked at the Apple 24” Cinema display and that’s nice but the the price - well I’d have to think about that. I know that Viewsonic and Samsung have newer LED type displays (I’ve not seen either one in use yet.) My question comes down to this - in looking at the specs for these monitors what’s important and what isn’t? I understand some of them like viewing angle, resolution, and their ability to display 16 million colors. But as for things like image brightness (expressed as 330 cd/m squared), contrast ratio (1000:1, some even state a static contrast ratio and a dynamic contrast ratio), and response time in milliseconds. For specs like these what’s important, what’s good or bad - just what should one look for/be careful about?
Many thanks --- JamesD

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