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[filmscanners] RE: PC memory type for filmscanning (OT - slightly)



You need to answer a few questions, too:

1. do you intend to keep your PC state of the art, by upgrading parts of it
at 12-18 month intervals, or is this PC meant to last five years?

2. do you have any other interests that would be served by a powerful PC?
(Games playing, video editing?)

3. will your budget comfortably accommodate a super-PC? or does it mean
making compromises?  e.g. you might be best off getting an 90%-performance
PC with the remaining money spent on a 21" monitor running at 1600x1200,
rather than sticking with a 15" monitor.  A monitor running at very high
resolution, with very high quality, will make your editing work in Photoshop
much easier.

PCs change at a still mind-boggling rate.  I have come to the conclusion
that I will upgrade my motherboard, CPU and RAM every 18 months (to "keep
up" - I like to play games that eat all the computing power you can throw at
them).  This costs around 300 ($450) each time.

My current motherboard was bought in May, Abit KT7A with Athlon 1.2GHz CPU
and 512MB of RAM.  I kept the rest of the PC the same (to use with a Nikon
LS40 scanner).  By the time I next upgrade, end of 2002, I'm expecting to
put a 2.5-3GHz processor with 1GB+ of 350MHz+ DDR RAM (it may be more than
double-rate memory by then, there's talk of quad-rate by the end of 2002).
AMD or Intel?  Dunno.  Don't care.  This is why I bought bits that weren't
absolutely top of the range, back in May.  The top of the range performance
parts cost an extra 50% for 10-20% extra performance (if you're lucky), and
usually nearly as much obsolescence.

I upgraded from a 640MB PIII-500MHz.  Photoshop performance (with 70MB
scans) doubled.

You can start your investigations at:

www.tomshardware.com
www.anandtech.com
www.hardocp.com

If you are careful, you can find system vendors that can sell you a complete
PC made up with the combination of motherboard, cpu, memory, hard disk,
video card etc that you specify.  Otherwise, you risk buying something
that's hobbled by individual bad components.  How paranoid are you?

I don't think a Pentium IV with RDRAM is worth buying, right now.  It is too
costly for the performance it offers.  RDRAM shows very high bandwidth in
benchmarks, including benchmarks that supposedly reflect the kind of usage
that Photoshop makes (i.e. filters applied to very large images).  For some
reason, though, the performance benefits disappear in the mix when you use
the thing for real.

If you're feeling clever, then a dual-processor system will work quite
nicely.  Lots of options.

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1483&p=15 - shows some Photoshop
performance comparisons but it's a little out of date now...  (Yes, that's
right, a single Athlon MP 1.2GHz beats a Xeon (Pentium IV) at 1.7GHz)

You have to factor-in how much "fiddling" you are prepared to take on.  Are
you prepared to build it yourself?  Are you happy to overclock?  Are you
happy to upgrade BIOS and system drivers?  A pre-built PC should in theory
offer a system that's tested for stability before it gets to you.  Building
a system yourself does mean you'll have to do your own stability-tweaking!

Jawed

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