Recommend a computer for a graphics artist/web designer?

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Recommend a computer for a graphics artist/web designer?

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What model of Dell Desktop would you recommend for a graphics artist/web designer? What options and what monitor? Please note which things are essential and which are nice luxuries.

Thanks!

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  • Haha, I was JUST talking to a friend who wants to use Blender for animation work & a PC (or a Mac since she was debating between them) to get her. She's wanting a 17" laptop though but I'm thinking you want a desktop, yes?

    If so I put together this Studio XPS 7100 for you real quick.
    Phenom II X4 820 + ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB
    --[Change the CPU to the 945 series for $40]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 820 + Radeon HD5770 for $130]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 945 + Radeon HD5770 for $170]--
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (get twice the space, 1.5TB, for $100 more)
    No WiFi[Add WiFi-N for $40]
    $739.99 

    Or an Inspiron desktop - the 580 is a good choice:

    Core i5-750 (no upgrade option)
    ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 (no upgrade option)
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (largest option is 1.5TB for $60)
    No WiFi option
    $649.99
    I think you'd go after the Studio XPS for two reasons - 1) it's their more 'professional' series without being in the small-business category. And 2) the Sudio XPS [in my humble opinion & encompassing experience] have fewer hardware failures than any other Dell brand - except maybe Alienware; but if they have a failure they break hard [as in more $$$+time to fix].

    Does not include warranties or any additional software (Office, Adobe programs, etc).

    A little more detail about my choices:
    The AMD Phenom II X4 CPUs do perform comparably to the Core i5 series - the differences usually being between 3%-5% in various tasks (save gaming) according to hardwaresecrets.com - so don't sweat a significant performance difference there. For what you're doing, being mostly graphics-intensive, I can't say your CPU will factor in as much.

    My concern though would be Bridge - not being familiar with it I had to do a little research. It is definitely more CPU intensive than GPU intensive. So based on the extent you'll be using it you may want to consider otherwise. That can be discussed if you feel it necessary.

    Speaking of graphics... the ATI Radeon HD 5450 is a 1GB model. When doing graphic design it is better to have a larger frame buffer (that is, video RAM) than a fast GPU. Gaming & hardcore video encoding would benefit more from that. Of course, feel free to upgrade the CPU in the Studio - you're not able to do that in the Inspiron 580's initial configuration on the site. But it can always been done later, if needed.

    I'd like to lastly state that these are both moderately specc'd systems. It'll last you a couple years in terms of decent performance. After than I'm sure Adobe CS 6 or 7 will have new software coding to take advantage of new the new hardware by manufacturers. If you're looking for something that will last longer... well consider a larger budget [I don't know what yours is] & factor something like a Core i7, 8GB RAM (at least), and an ATI 5770 in there with the biggest hard drive you can manage.

    I'll be happy to assist further, if you request it. Just post back after you've read this over.

    XPS 720 Red/Silver ATX mod - Core i7-3770k, 8GB Kingston HyperX, 128GB Kingston SSD, 500GB+2x1TB Seagate, PNY GTX 650
    S2230M 21.5" 1080p LED monitor

All Replies
  • My question is what kind of web designing do you do? Is it more hard coding languages like HTML, Java, Flash, etc that you're doing? Or are you talking more Photoshop of videos & pictures, then posting them to a site?

    Tell me programs you use & such - from there I can offer you better advice on an upgrade path to a new PC.

    XPS 720 Red/Silver ATX mod - Core i7-3770k, 8GB Kingston HyperX, 128GB Kingston SSD, 500GB+2x1TB Seagate, PNY GTX 650
    S2230M 21.5" 1080p LED monitor

  • I use Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Lately I've been trying my hand at Sitegrinder. Most of it works, but my computer bogs down with large Photoshop files, and I don't even bother with Bridge, because it uses too much memory. At some point I'm going to want to use Blender. I know I want at least a dual core processor, and also a good graphics card. I'm using an Inspiron 1525, which I bought for the purpose of writing, before I knew I would be web-designing as well.

    Thanks for answering!

  • Haha, I was JUST talking to a friend who wants to use Blender for animation work & a PC (or a Mac since she was debating between them) to get her. She's wanting a 17" laptop though but I'm thinking you want a desktop, yes?

    If so I put together this Studio XPS 7100 for you real quick.
    Phenom II X4 820 + ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB
    --[Change the CPU to the 945 series for $40]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 820 + Radeon HD5770 for $130]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 945 + Radeon HD5770 for $170]--
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (get twice the space, 1.5TB, for $100 more)
    No WiFi[Add WiFi-N for $40]
    $739.99 

    Or an Inspiron desktop - the 580 is a good choice:

    Core i5-750 (no upgrade option)
    ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 (no upgrade option)
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (largest option is 1.5TB for $60)
    No WiFi option
    $649.99
    I think you'd go after the Studio XPS for two reasons - 1) it's their more 'professional' series without being in the small-business category. And 2) the Sudio XPS [in my humble opinion & encompassing experience] have fewer hardware failures than any other Dell brand - except maybe Alienware; but if they have a failure they break hard [as in more $$$+time to fix].

    Does not include warranties or any additional software (Office, Adobe programs, etc).

    A little more detail about my choices:
    The AMD Phenom II X4 CPUs do perform comparably to the Core i5 series - the differences usually being between 3%-5% in various tasks (save gaming) according to hardwaresecrets.com - so don't sweat a significant performance difference there. For what you're doing, being mostly graphics-intensive, I can't say your CPU will factor in as much.

    My concern though would be Bridge - not being familiar with it I had to do a little research. It is definitely more CPU intensive than GPU intensive. So based on the extent you'll be using it you may want to consider otherwise. That can be discussed if you feel it necessary.

    Speaking of graphics... the ATI Radeon HD 5450 is a 1GB model. When doing graphic design it is better to have a larger frame buffer (that is, video RAM) than a fast GPU. Gaming & hardcore video encoding would benefit more from that. Of course, feel free to upgrade the CPU in the Studio - you're not able to do that in the Inspiron 580's initial configuration on the site. But it can always been done later, if needed.

    I'd like to lastly state that these are both moderately specc'd systems. It'll last you a couple years in terms of decent performance. After than I'm sure Adobe CS 6 or 7 will have new software coding to take advantage of new the new hardware by manufacturers. If you're looking for something that will last longer... well consider a larger budget [I don't know what yours is] & factor something like a Core i7, 8GB RAM (at least), and an ATI 5770 in there with the biggest hard drive you can manage.

    I'll be happy to assist further, if you request it. Just post back after you've read this over.

    XPS 720 Red/Silver ATX mod - Core i7-3770k, 8GB Kingston HyperX, 128GB Kingston SSD, 500GB+2x1TB Seagate, PNY GTX 650
    S2230M 21.5" 1080p LED monitor

  • Gregory, thanks for taking such time with this! This is just the sort of info I needed. You've helped me a lot.

  • I am a graphic designer that regularly uses Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator and I'm looking for a computer for under $800 that would serve my purposes. I saw the following post and it was very helpful - thank you - but I was wondering what this would translate to if I was interested in a laptop. I know that they run more expensive than a desktop, but assuming I had more to spend, what would you recommend? I'm not looking for the fanciest one on the market, just something that would carry me for a few years with the current Adobe software. Although I work on computers all day, I don't know too much about the hardware, so I appreciate your help. :) Just to note, I would ideally want at least a 20" screen.

    Thank you!

     

    gregory.jones

    Haha, I was JUST talking to a friend who wants to use Blender for animation work & a PC (or a Mac since she was debating between them) to get her. She's wanting a 17" laptop though but I'm thinking you want a desktop, yes?

    If so I put together this Studio XPS 7100 for you real quick.
    Phenom II X4 820 + ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB
    --[Change the CPU to the 945 series for $40]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 820 + Radeon HD5770 for $130]--
    --[Change the CPU/GPU combo to the Phenom II X4 945 + Radeon HD5770 for $170]--
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (get twice the space, 1.5TB, for $100 more)
    No WiFi[Add WiFi-N for $40]
    $739.99 

    Or an Inspiron desktop - the 580 is a good choice:

    Core i5-750 (no upgrade option)
    ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB DDR3 (no upgrade option)
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    750GB HDD (largest option is 1.5TB for $60)
    No WiFi option
    $649.99
    I think you'd go after the Studio XPS for two reasons - 1) it's their more 'professional' series without being in the small-business category. And 2) the Sudio XPS [in my humble opinion & encompassing experience] have fewer hardware failures than any other Dell brand - except maybe Alienware; but if they have a failure they break hard [as in more $time to fix].

    Does not include warranties or any additional software (Office, Adobe programs, etc).

    A little more detail about my choices:
    The AMD Phenom II X4 CPUs do perform comparably to the Core i5 series - the differences usually being between 3%-5% in various tasks (save gaming) according to hardwaresecrets.com - so don't sweat a significant performance difference there. For what you're doing, being mostly graphics-intensive, I can't say your CPU will factor in as much.

    My concern though would be Bridge - not being familiar with it I had to do a little research. It is definitely more CPU intensive than GPU intensive. So based on the extent you'll be using it you may want to consider otherwise. That can be discussed if you feel it necessary.

    Speaking of graphics... the ATI Radeon HD 5450 is a 1GB model. When doing graphic design it is better to have a larger frame buffer (that is, video RAM) than a fast GPU. Gaming & hardcore video encoding would benefit more from that. Of course, feel free to upgrade the CPU in the Studio - you're not able to do that in the Inspiron 580's initial configuration on the site. But it can always been done later, if needed.

    I'd like to lastly state that these are both moderately specc'd systems. It'll last you a couple years in terms of decent performance. After than I'm sure Adobe CS 6 or 7 will have new software coding to take advantage of new the new hardware by manufacturers. If you're looking for something that will last longer... well consider a larger budget [I don't know what yours is] & factor something like a Core i7, 8GB RAM (at least), and an ATI 5770 in there with the biggest hard drive you can manage.

    I'll be happy to assist further, if you request it. Just post back after you've read this over.

     

  • Well bdesign you don't ask for much huh? lol

    A 20" laptop screen is tough to come by. Hp sold one at one time; I can't find it on HP, Dell, or Lenovo's site presently.

    That being said the 17" studio will probably do alright for you. Really quick this is what I cobbled together:

    Studio 17
    Intel® Core™ i5-450M 2.4GHz (2.66GHz Turbo Mode, 3M Cache)
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit
    6GB DDR3 at 1066MHz (4GB is -$105)
    640GB HDD (1TB,which is two 500GB drives, for +$145
    Ati Radeon HD 5650, 1GB (highest option they have. For Adobe you'll want it)
    17.3" HD monitor [1080p]  (standard resolution for -$125; I assume you'll want the higher resolution since there is no 20" screen option)

    If you really want a 20" screen I'd say get an external monitor to hook up to while you're at home. 17" laptops are usually considered "desktop replacements" anyway. 

    XPS 720 Red/Silver ATX mod - Core i7-3770k, 8GB Kingston HyperX, 128GB Kingston SSD, 500GB+2x1TB Seagate, PNY GTX 650
    S2230M 21.5" 1080p LED monitor

  • Oops, I thought that you could get a 20" screen in a laptop  - I told you I don't know much about computers :)

    Thanks for all the great advice and sorry for posting in two places (wasn't sure where to go).

    One question - would the standard resolution monitor be enough for graphics or the quality isn't good enough and therefore I need to get the higher resolution?

    Thanks again for your help!

  • The standard resolution is probably going to be about 1440x900 while the "1080p" resolution would translate more to 1600x1080.

    To put that in perspective for you, the 1440x900 is the native resolution of modern 19" monitors, while 1600x1080 is closer to a 23" monitor. A higher resolution will allow you to see more on screen at a time. So for example you could see more of a high-resolution DSLR shot or could have more pictures on screen at once.

    Always glad to help!

    XPS 720 Red/Silver ATX mod - Core i7-3770k, 8GB Kingston HyperX, 128GB Kingston SSD, 500GB+2x1TB Seagate, PNY GTX 650
    S2230M 21.5" 1080p LED monitor