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Old 12-30-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Need advice on new desktop

I've been nursing along an old machine for years past it's prime. It is used for internet and heavily used for digital photography editing and storage. The operating system is Windows XP pro. I don't have any idea of the processor other than it's Intel.

I've used several versions of Roxio software for dvd creation and never been satisfied with the performance of my machine doing those tasks, it's slow and lags behind.

I want advice on specs for a new machine. I'd like to continue photo editing and dvd creation with Roxio software. I want to use multiple monitors, 2 or 3. Hard drive recommendations (is speed an issue?). Processor and memory, video card. Inputs for capturing analog video for home video conversion.

I guess to boil it down, photo editing and video capture and dvd burning are a priority. I don't do those as a profession just archiving my families' items.

Can't wait to see your ideas, thanks
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

Well, the most I know on the subject is that you are going to get a huge boost in preformance using an SSD, so you may want a machine with one of those. Your doing a lot of file reading and writing operations, so an HD can only slow you down.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

SSD? Is that solid state drive? If so any draw backs to them, like reliability?
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

I think the technology of the SSDs has improved so they are more reliable. Intel and Samsung are proven brands so either of them are GTG.

Still I'd have a spin drive for storage while the SSD are used for the OS.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

I second (or is it third) the SSD idea.

They are reliable enough, in my experience, more so than hard drives - I run a couple of HDD raid arrays, and I have a failed drive about once per year - I have had about 10 SSD's over the last 5 years, and not had a failure yet. This is still a small sample, so as you should always do, have a good backup plan/procedure.

In regards to everthing else, even a low end modern machine would do that work no problem today. 10 years ago, sure, a decent machine would give far better perfomance compared to its peers, but today? Computers have came so far that a top of the line machine today will produce greatly dimished returns compared to what a top of the range machine would do 10 years ago.

Get a good mid-ranged machine, say an i5 CPU (Even an i3 would be up to the job). Get a load of RAM (it's cheap - 8GB would do nicely as a starting point), and get the SSD. There are many low end, discrete, graphics card that can do multi-monitors. If you don't need to 3D processing power (and you don't say you do anything that would need it), then don't waste the money on a top of the range graphics card - just get one with enough outputs for what you need.

DVD Burning, any machine can do that today while multi-tasking, without any issues.

So, your looking for a machine with:
~ 8GB of RAM,
Core i5 (or i3 CPU)
SSD
Multi-monitor Support
DVD-RW (Some new machines don't come with any optical drive. I say it's a bit premature, but some manufacturers are pushing it to go the way of the floppy drive).
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

I don't know your price range, but from what you state I assume that you'll use it for plenty of years to come. I always like the business Desktops/workstations - the hardware is always of superior quality, and the cases aren't as fragile (I'm a bit too heavy handed and break everything I touch).

Here's something that would do as you need:
DELL OptiPlex 3020 Desktop PC Intel Core i5 4690 (3.50GHz) 8GB DDR3 1TB HDD Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit with Windows 8.1 Pro License - Newegg.com

A solid little machine that packs a decent CPU and plenty of memory. If you need multi-monitor support, then go for a cheap AMD Radeon Graphics card in the region of $40 - you don't need to spend more.

If you feel the need for an SSD, you can add one. They're cheap enough nowadays.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need advice on new desktop

May I offer a tip when it comes to buying PC parts? I follow this practice and it did me well.

Whatever part you're looking at; look at the reviews. Don't worry about the good and bad reviews, look for bad batches because it happens to all brands. You'll see it in the reviews and they are usually grouped together.

Researches always pay off and Google the best of whatever for more practical approaches. Works out good.

I built mine like a business machine and it does well.
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