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Build or buy a PC machine?

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Just looking to see what people are running for PC only machines? I'm getting ready to purchase a new PC and was wondering what everyone is running, system(processing speed, memory, etc...) This isn't for composing records, just handling large graphic files and running a lot of software(InDesign, Acrobat, Excel, and FireFox browser).



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  • 3 weeks later...



You can certainly get a lot of bang for your buck with PC's these days. Here's a couple personal recommendations/guidelines:


- CPU really comes into play when you are doing some intensive tasks like working with large graphics in Photoshop. Faster core speed helps here. Also, if you are going to be doing a lot of multi-tasking between apps that each are performing some intensive work, look at multi-core options (most CPUs are these days anyway). The new Intel i7 processors look awesome - 4 cores w/ Hyperthreading yields 8 virtual cores. A pair of these processors would be killer, albiet possibly overkill and certainly leaving the realm of "cheap".


- More RAM helps with multi-tasking of course. It's quite cheap these days so I'd look at getting at least 4GB DDR3.


- HardDrive speed can surely be a bottleneck in a system. Make sure you get at least a 7200rpm SATA drive. For better performance, consider the 10,000rpm Western Digital Raptor drives or possibly a RAID setup where data is striped across multiple disks and simultaneously read from both thus increasing the read speed dramatically (this is RAID 0 or RAID 10 configurations).


I've personally had my eye on the Dell Studio XPS Desktop machines - take a look:


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