Help a noob update his (gasp) Dell desktop

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by HighTachPres, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. HighTachPres

    HighTachPres New Member

    Jan 23, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Greenville, SC
    Now that i'm going 100% freelance design/photography, I'm going to be using my computer MUCH MUCH more, and it needs an upgrade :bigthumb:
    I'd rather go with a brand new Mac Pro, but I think a $500 upgrade or so will make my PC scream.

    DELL XPS720
    Vista 32-bit
    Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.4ghz
    4GB RAM
    2x NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
    500GB internal harddrive (dunno the stats on it)
    external 1TB LaCie harddrive

    From what I've researched I can benefit the most from:
    Windows 7
    More RAM
    Solid State internal hard drive for my main programs (photoshop, InDesign, illustrator, Bridge, etc)

    Any help greatly appreciated :x:
  2. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

    Aug 12, 2006
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    More RAM would be helpful to your needs. However, you are currently running a 32-bit flavor of OS and if you look at how much your PC is using you will see it is less then the 4 gigs you currently have in.

    32-bit OS's are incapable of using more the 3 sumpin gigs of RAM.

    So, when you go to Windows 7 it is vital you choose the 64-bit flavor. Once you go 64 bit the computer can use vastly more ram. You could do 16 gigabytes and it wouldn't cause as much as a hiccup in the OS.

    SSD's are great and all that, but the last I checked (6months ago) performance varied greatly. They are still a new technology. Extensive research on the one you want to buy will pay off in the end.
  3. crontab

    crontab Oracle doesn't have customers, they have hostages.

    Nov 14, 2000
    Likes Received:
    what are you doing that is slow? the system is pretty fast.

    windows 7 won't be faster.
    unless you're constantly swapping, more RAM won't help. note, like other's have stated, you'll need PAE or 64-bit to make use of more than 4GB of RAM.
    SSD will help, if you have the program running and if your content is on the drive. expensive though.

    how about a nice ips monitor?
  4. dissonance

    dissonance OT Supporter

    May 23, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I think you'd benefit most from a nice raid-5 or raid-6, depending on your paranoia... performance and redundancy upgrade

    No point in doing work faster if you're HDD is going to fail and have it all lost.
  5. Chris

    Chris Active Member

    Oct 27, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Texas on my mind
    Do you know how many hard drives you case will hold? Don't forget if you have 2 DVD drives you can ditch one of them or the floppy drive to gain a space for a hard drive. The more drives the better. Solid state is not worth the price (yet) plus you will probably need more space than SSD's could provide.

    And Windows 7 specifically wont give you much of performance upgrade, but you get a 64 bit version which will allow you to make use of more RAM. (You can get 64 bit Vista, or even XP, but you might as well go for whats current)

    Your 8600's are CUDA enabled (which is good) so no reason to change those, unless you think you need more speed, but I would try it with them first.

    Also, I dont know what photo software you use, but if you use photoshop you are going to want CS4 if you are going to run Windows 7; CS3 works on 7 but it has a few glitches (Adobe has already said they are not going to fix CS3 for Win 7, probably because people are predicting CS5 will launch in April 2010.)

    cliffs: Lots of HDDs to create a RAID array, more RAM and a 64 bit OS to use the RAM, and a good IPS monitor if color reproduction is important (which it should be if you are doing photography).

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