Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions
jubilatu
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Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
Mar 27, 2013

Is time to change my 6 year old Fujitsu. 36Mpx and CS6 give me enough time to drink a beer and eat a sandwich while saving a 5 layers psd file.

My first thought was to go for a 18.4inch HD notebook with a 2GB Nvidia. But then i looked at those 27inch 2550x1440 monitors - they could help a lot the P&P process. But they have to be matched with a tower PC and they would "tie" me to my desk.

Another solution could be a small-screen notebook (15.6 ?) AND a  27inch 2550x1440 monitor.

I have to mention that i do not tether (till now) and i do not think that i would have to travel on-location with a powerfull notebook.

Any help based on your experience will be welcomed.

thanks.

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Tom_N
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 27, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

My first thought was to go for a 18.4inch HD notebook with a 2GB Nvidia. But then i looked at those 27inch 2550x1440 monitors - they could help a lot the P&P process. But they have to be matched with a tower PC and they would "tie" me to my desk.

"Have to be matched with a tower PC"?  Any current Intel-based Mac notebook can drive at least one 27-inch, 2560x1440 pixel DisplayPort or Thunderbolt monitor.  GIven that DisplayPort is not a Mac-only standard, it's hard to believe that there are no Windows notebooks with this capability.

For example, a Google search turned up several Lenovos with MiniDisplayPort output, e.g.

Lenovo - Thinkpad T530 datasheet (example of Wintel laptop with MiniDisplayPort connection)

The Lenovo datasheets did not state the maximum resolution of the MiniDisplayPort output, but if it's like Apple's implementations, it will be 2560x1600 pixels (the resolution of a 30" monitor).

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Karl Summers
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 27, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

Is time to change my 6 year old Fujitsu. 36Mpx and CS6 give me enough time to drink a beer and eat a sandwich while saving a 5 layers psd file.

My first thought was to go for a 18.4inch HD notebook with a 2GB Nvidia. But then i looked at those 27inch 2550x1440 monitors - they could help a lot the P&P process. But they have to be matched with a tower PC and they would "tie" me to my desk.

Another solution could be a small-screen notebook (15.6 ?) AND a  27inch 2550x1440 monitor.

I have to mention that i do not tether (till now) and i do not think that i would have to travel on-location with a powerfull notebook.

Any help based on your experience will be welcomed.

thanks.

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I love photography, I love gaming, so this is what I assembled earlier this month:

Case: Antec P280 (Very quiet case)

MB: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4

Chip: Intel Core i7 3820

RAM: 32GB Corsair 1600 8-8-8-24

Graphics: Asus GTX 680 DC2 2GBDDR5

Gigabyte 300mbps wireless card

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO

Intel 240GB SSD (Boot up & programs)

2 - 1TB Western Digital HDD RAID 0 (for data storage).

Love my machine.

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Karl Summers
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to Karl Summers, Mar 27, 2013

Forgot the monitor: Dell U2713H. It's awesome.

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jubilatu
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to Karl Summers, Mar 27, 2013

Thank all for replying.

@ Tom_N:

sorry, i had the first imac g3 and since then i do not believe in apple products (is just me, don't shoot me for that). Nevertheless a 14-16 inch notebook + a good monitor is a clever idea - never cross my mind.

@Karl Summers :

Nice ! how much ?

also, the  Dell U2713H  draw my atention. The older model u2711 is 300 Euro cheaper and it also covers the entire adobeRGB.

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BJN
BJN
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Tower and large monitor for serious work, notebook for non-critical quick stuff
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 27, 2013

I have an ultrabook with an IPS display and it's not a very good tool for image editing. The display is too small and the trackpad is no substitute for a drawing tablet (my tablet is bigger than my notebook).

A big, high res display gives me a lot of room for application tools while still seeing large images. I suggest a wide gamut display if you can do color management correctly. Being "tied down" is a good thing for color workflow if you do it right. You want consistent ambient lighting and a consistent way to view prints if you're doing any printing.

My ultrabook is pretty quick but my tower kills it. If a notebook is powerful enough for you, you could set up a work area with a decent large display.

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Jim Cockfield
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Be careful of available video port connections
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 27, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

Nevertheless a 14-16 inch notebook + a good monitor is a clever idea - never cross my mind.

Be careful, as most laptops will not support anything higher than 1920x1200 via HDMI or VGA connections.

You'll need a dual link DVI port (not a single link DVI port) or DisplayPort to get 2560x1440 resolution with most laptops (which will limit your choices significantly).

But, if you don't need the portability anyway (as it sounds like you have no need to bring a laptop with you to client sites from what I understand from your previous posts), why bother to buy one instead of a desktop?

IOW, you can find a more powerful machine with a faster CPU, better expandability (disk drives, video cards, other addon cards, etc.) by using a desktop instead of a laptop.  With a laptop, you're usually stuck with the video chipset it ships with, and have fewer options for upgrading memory, limited ability to add more hard drive space without going external, slower CPUs (lower wattage mobile models that are limited compared to the desktop versions), etc.

Sure, you could find a nice enough laptop with appropriate video connections, then use external drive storage if needed.  But, the CPUs are not going to be as fast as the desktop models (for example, Core i7 mobile CPUs versus Core i7 desktop CPUs), and you're usually more limited on memory upgrades, drive upgrades, video chipsets used, etc.

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Eric Carlson
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HDMI can support 2560x1440 and 2560x1600
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Mar 27, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Be careful, as most laptops will not support anything higher than 1920x1200 via HDMI or VGA connections.

HDMI often supports much higher res than that: The HDMI spec since 1.3 (2006) certainly allows for it.

For example, my cheap little Acer Aspire One AO722 netbook supports 2560x1440 via HDMI to my 27" Auria monitor.

Just make sure the laptop you buy supports at least 2560x1440 via HDMI (some do, some don't), and you should be fine.

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Jim Cockfield
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Real world support via specs
In reply to Eric Carlson, Mar 28, 2013

Eric Carlson wrote:

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Be careful, as most laptops will not support anything higher than 1920x1200 via HDMI or VGA connections.

HDMI often supports much higher res than that: The HDMI spec since 1.3 (2006) certainly allows for it.

The problem is that many many graphics chipsets don't allow that.

For example, the latest Intel HD graphics will not support anything higher than 1920x1200 via HDMI or DVI connections. You'll need a DisplayPort connection for anything more (the DisplayPort will support up to 2560x1600).

Note the "2012 Display Overview" section on this page discussing the Intel Ivy Bridge graphics implementation.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/intel-hd-graphics-4000-2500_2.html

"Moreover, there are a few limitations in resolutions and monitor connection types. Theoretically, a desktop system on an Ivy Bridge processor can offer three outs: the first one - a universal out (HDMI, DVI, VGA or DisplayPort) with maximum resolution of 1920x1200, the second one – a DisplayPort, HDMI or DVI with up to 1920x1200 resolution, and the third one – a DisplayPort supporting higher resolutions up to 2560x1600. In other words, a popular connection option when WQXGA monitors are connected to Intel HD Graphics 4000 via Dual-Link DVI is still unavailable"

Some of the AMD and Nvidia chipsets allow higher resolutions via HDMI (and make sure to check each chipset on a case by case basis when buying a laptop, as not all of them will support more than 1920x1200).  You'll also find limitations on refresh rate at a given color depth and more when trying to support anything higher than 1920x1200, even if using a video chipset that allows a higher resolution.

In any event, if you get a typical mainstream laptop using integrated Intel graphics, you'd best make sure it has a DisplayPort, as you're going to be limited to a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 via other port types, even with a laptop using the very latest Ivy Bridge CPUs with the latest integrated HD 4000 Intel graphics.

Sorry, they just do not support more than 1920x1200 resolution via other ports types.  Some of the newer Nvidia or AMD graphics chipsets can go higher. But, with Intel, you need a DisplayPort if you want more than 1920x1200.

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jubilatu
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 28, 2013

BJN wrote:

My ultrabook is pretty quick but my tower kills it. If a notebook is powerful enough for you, you could set up a work area with a decent large display.

I guess that "work area" is a good term for putting my thoughts in order. The thing is that i have a desk job and after 4-10 hours of sitting i feel the need of an arm-chair or bed or just lying on the floor with the laptop on my belly. But i could do that in my "work area" - that change my perspective - thank you.

Eric Carlson wrote:

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Be careful, as most laptops will not support anything higher than 1920x1200 via HDMI or VGA connections.

Yes, i found notebooks that will do 2550x1440.

The problem is that more i read about contrast and 67%sRGB and so on, the more i realize that working  the same image on a notebook screen AND on a real monitor is not a good idea because the IQ differences between the 2 displays.

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Eric Carlson
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Re: Real world support via specs
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Mar 28, 2013

Right. As I said earlier: "Just make sure the laptop you buy supports at least 2560x1440 via HDMI (some do, some don't), and you should be fine."

Of course, if the laptop and monitor both have DisplayPort, then it's pretty much a no-brainer to use DisplayPort. But HDMI is also an option as long as the laptop supports the higher res via HDMI (which you should confirm before buying).

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robertpicassa
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Re: Be careful of available video port connections
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Mar 28, 2013

I like all in one pc, as it is best for photo editing purpose.

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imagethemomentstudios
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to Karl Summers, Mar 28, 2013

for studio i use a mac pro

quad core 2.66

16gb ram

nvidia gtx graphics

few years old but goes strong with cs6 with very little to no lag

location and general

dell latitude 14'

i5 2.5

8gb ram

win7 pro

long battery life

runs very quick and cs6 is not bad running on this machine

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Karl Summers
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 28, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

Thank all for replying.

@ Tom_N:

sorry, i had the first imac g3 and since then i do not believe in apple products (is just me, don't shoot me for that). Nevertheless a 14-16 inch notebook + a good monitor is a clever idea - never cross my mind.

@Karl Summers :

Nice ! how much ?

also, the  Dell U2713H  draw my atention. The older model u2711 is 300 Euro cheaper and it also covers the entire adobeRGB.

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Please forgive my grammar but if you find it inconceivable address me in romanian.

About $2,500 but well worth it. BTW, I'm not sure what the difference between the U2711 and the U2713H is...maybe the anti-gloss coating. It has improved with the newer model.

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Bob Collette
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All-in-Ones
In reply to robertpicassa, Mar 28, 2013

robertpicassa wrote:

I like all in one pc, as it is best for photo editing purpose.

While I agree that all-in-ones are popular, I don't particularly like them.  The primary problem with them is that you have all the hardware (computer + monitor) all in one package.  When it comes time to upgrade the computer, you end up having to discard the monitor along with the computer.  Or, if something serious happens to the computer out of warranty (motherboard dies, or PSU goes bad and wipes out the motherboard) you can't use the monitor portion of the system with another computer.  While it takes more space, I prefer a separate computer & monitor for the versatility.  I'm currently on my third computer using the same monitor.

I also agree with Jim Cockfield regarding the laptop versus desktop issue.  If you don't need a laptop for it's portability, go with a desktop.  Apart from it being much more expandable (able to change graphics card, more memory slots, more hard drive bays, etc.) the components generally run cooler in a desktop computer, contributing to longer life.

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nikkorwatcher
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 28, 2013

You can nowadays get something twice as fast as a core2 quad, like a Core i7 when working with fairly recent optimised software. I really wouldn´t depend on a laptop for this, it is a seriously intensive job to batch process photos and keep the system cool.

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Scott Eaton
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All-in-ones = junk..don't feel much different laptops
In reply to Bob Collette, Mar 28, 2013

All-in-ones are basically a laptop chassis bolted to the back of the cheapest monitor the vendor can find. Basically the worst of all worlds. Unless you are running a point of sale network avoid the things.

I have similiar contempt for laptops. The average lifespan of a top line corporate desktop in my experience is 18-22months, and this includes Mac. Either something on the mainboard fails, or the machine simply can't keep up with software blot. Displays suck, and when working on your lap my testicles bake under over-heated batteries. Last two laptops I borrowed from work would crash the wi-fi connection if more than 7 tabs were open under Chrome.

I'd rather sit in a cushy chair with the stereo on and my near two year old i7 ripping through RAW files like nothing with over 10 applications open. By the time you deck out a portable to run kinda like that desktop i7 I could buy three desktops.

I'd rather get my editing done in half the time and spend the difference in time taking pictures.

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malch
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Re: Notebook, Tower PC, All-in-one - what is your hardware ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 28, 2013

Oh, this is easy.

For serious work (actually business or hobbies like photography) I use a tower desktop because:

1. More performance
2. Better value for money
3. Hugely better monitor choices
4. Lots of expansion and upgrade options
5. Easier to maintain

If you need to travel (I do, although not often) get a decent laptop to go with it. My limited travel barely justifies the investment but I have configured the thing to act as a hot standby for my desktop. So if my desktop ever blows up, I'll be able to continue critical work on the laptop within a matter of seconds.

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jubilatu
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Re: All-in-ones = junk..don't feel much different laptops
In reply to Scott Eaton, Mar 29, 2013

Scott Eaton wrote:

Displays suck, and when working on your lap my testicles bake under over-heated batteries.

+1 :)). Anyway, I guess/hope you wanted to say "on my lap".

In the last 15 years i had 4 desktops - only upgrade was more RAM. None of my desktops, netbooks,  laptops, PDAs, or smartphones crashed. In fact the only electronics (kind of)  that ever let me down was my refrigerator - good thing i never store "keepers" in it.

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AShimon
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Get a MacBook Pro w/Retina Display
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 29, 2013

Then bootcamp Windows 7. Win/Win

That's what I do.

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