Which is best for photos

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MPeg3

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I'm not sure if this should have been on the Hardware spot or here, but I am trying to decide between 2 computers which would be the best for working with my photos. I spend a lot of time with manipulating photos and want the computer which will do the best job for me. I have my choice, but don't know enough about what does what to make a decision. Here is the information I think is relevant. If I need more, please let me know.

Gateway
Processor AMD Athlon® 64 X2 3800+, dual core processor with AMD64 technology
• 2.0 GHz
• 200 MHz system bus
• 512KB × L2 cache
Memory
• Installed: 1024 MB DDR2 533 MHz (PC4200) (Expandable to 4.0 GB)
• Expandable to: 4 GB

Video Integrated NVIDIA® GeForce® 6150LE graphics
Up to 128MB of Shared Video Memory Audio Integrated 8-Channel (7.1)
High Definition Audio
Hard Drive 250 GB 7200 RPM PATA hard drive

Performance Rotational Speed 7,200 RPM (nominal) Buffer Size 2 MB Average Latency 4.20 ms (nominal) Contact Start/Stop Cycles 50,000 minimum Seek Times
• Read Seek Time 8.9 ms
• Write Seek Time 10.9 ms (average)
• Track-To-Track Seek Time 2.0 ms (average)
• Full Stroke Seek 21.0 ms (average) Transfer Rates
• Buffer To Host (EIDE) 100 MB/s (Max)
• Buffer To Disk 748 MBits/s (Max)

Sony

Intel Pentium 4 Processor 2.80 C GHz with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
Cache Memory 512 KB Integrated On-Die Level 2
Front Side Bus Speed 800 MHz
1024MB PC-2700 333MHz DDR (expandable to 2.0GB)

Hard Drive 120 GB 7200rpm Ultra ATA.100 Hard Drive
Video & Graphics
ATI Radeon 9200
128MB Video Memory (128-bit DDR)
8X AGP 3D Graphics Hardware Acceleration

Thanks for any help
Peg
 
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The Gateway would probably give better photo performance. Photoshop can use both hyperthreading and dual processors, but dual core usually turns in better performance. And the Gateway has a newer and faster processor. Until you run out of RAM the speed of photo processing is mostly dependent on processor speed.

The Sony will give you a little more available RAM because it isn’t sharing the system RAM with the graphics. But the Gateway RAM is faster and a 1 Gb stick of Asus PC4200 RAM will cost you about $120 delivered and is well worth the price for image editing. Ram for the Sony would be cheaper because it is slower.

I am down to a Gig of RAM because one of my RAM sticks failed. I constantly run myself out of RAM working with multiple images and layers in Photoshop even though I have increased my Photoshop RAM allocation. You really move into the slow lane when you run out of RAM. Unless you plan to work on small images I would plan on adding a Gig of RAM to either computer. For working on photos RAM is an important factor. And RAM size is more important than RAM speed.

There isn’t a lot of information about whether the RAM is paralleled. Overall PC 4200 is faster than PC2700 and indicates a higher level computer.

I had Nvida GeForce integrated graphics on my last motherboard and it was fine for photo work. The graphics card in the Sony might be better for games.

You might post your question on the hardware board or ask for it to be moved there. But I would prefer the Gateway.
 
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Either computer will be fine for working with photographs. The speed of the computer is not too important with static photographs. The key factor you ought to concentrate on will be your video display, the quality of color representation and the number of pixels on the screen.
 
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As ChuckE said, both machines will work though the Gateway will probably be a bit faster.
 
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I am biased against sony but would still take Gateway regardless because you can upgrade to 4Gb of ram giving it the potential to last longer for advances made in technology.
 
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My experience has been different from ChuckE’s. Every test I have participated in and every benchmark I have integrated when researching a new build indicates the speed at which Photoshop runs a particular filter or action is pretty much proportional to the processor speed.

That is an “all things being equal” statement and they never are. The motherboard, RAM and hard drives can make a big difference in photo editing speed with the same processor, but processor speed is the biggest single factor assuming the components are similar. The Gateway system seems to have a sufficient advantage in processor and RAM speed to make it significantly faster for image editing.

Some processor architecture is better for image editing than others. For my last build Pentium had a slight advantage over Athlons for photo editing, but that varies and might well have changed in the past year.

The video is a wash IMO. They are both budget video and optimized for 3D gaming. The GeForce is a little faster as a separate card but having to use system RAM will slow it down. Neither are optimized for 2D graphics but will do a decent job. Both support dual monitors, which is a real plus for Photoshop. My only video caveat would be that if you plan to get a wide LCD monitor check that they will support it.
 

Noyb

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What's your price range ???
Do you also need a new monitor ?? .. Price range also.
 

MPeg3

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I don't have a price range. I already own both computers. I am giving one to my grandchildren and wanted to know which one to keep for my needs. I also have a 2nd monitor. It is an older CRT, but has a very good picture.
 
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Since you already have both computers you are in a much better position to tell us which is better. Just fire up both and see which does whatever is more important to you, faster or better.

I don't think you are going to see much difference, in working with photographs, as long as you are also comparing with the same monitor. I still contend that it will be the monitor that will have the most impact per your specified need.
 

Noyb

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OK ... Next questions ..
What's you main monitor, LCD or CRT and size ???
What display settings do you like .. 1024x768 or what ??
Do you use Photoshop ???
 

buck52

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either will be fine...

Tell us your work flow/camera/scanner what are your expectations...

I have a home built P4 3.0 2 gigs of ram and a mess of drive space... I started unfortunately with a very expensive ( I won't say the name) vid card and got rid of it because it did not play well with any calibration software...
ChuckE is correct... If you are serious about your pictures the computer is the least of you worries... quailty monitor and calibration are the key...

buck
 

MPeg3

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Noyb said:
OK ... Next questions ..
What's you main monitor, LCD or CRT and size ???
What display settings do you like .. 1024x768 or what ??
Do you use Photoshop ???
My main monitor is a LCD Sony SDM-HX73 I have it set to the 1024x768.

I mainly use Photoshop Elements. Also have Paint Shop Pro. My photos aren't a business. I just like playing around with them and seeing what I can do.
 

Noyb

Jay
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Good combination … Do you have the new Elements 5.0 … I really like it.
They made it less pretty and more functional with more available screen space to work in.

Running your Sony at 1024x768 .. You may notice that the picture is shrunk ~6% in width.
This is not a problem … If you notice it .. just remember what you computer has, and will print, will be the correct size.
If you’re thinking about a new monitor .. The 20 inchers will not have this distortion problem.

I think Ram size .. followed by speed .. is the only thing that might effect photo operations noticeably.

Re: Your other post here …
On my older computer .. I was wanting to play with Dual monitors.
The higher end video cards all seemed to want a minimum 300w Power Supply that I didn’t have.

Anyway .. I installed a second (Cheap, Low memory) PCI video card for the second monitor…
That I found locally on sale for $29 .. (as I remember).

It seemed to work really great for the second monitor, non gaming, applications.

Then I installed a stronger power supply .. and a higher end video card …
and 2 weeks later … The video card fan started screaming.
Even before the fan went out … The only difference I could detect was in my wallet.

Now .. I’m spoiled .. Dual monitors are better that wide screens… IMO.

Here’s my test image .. It’s a perfect Circle/Square.
It will look like an egg on end on your 17” ... better seen displayed full screen.
 

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