Computer buying advice, please

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Hello all
I have a clunky windows-7-running PC at the moment, that sometimes appears to run on geological timescales.
I was thinking of upgrading anyway, as it won't run the latest version of photoshop. But now my Microsoft Office suite won't run on it, either, so rather than fork out for Windows 10 on my existing thing, when any new computer I buy will come with it, I've decided to get the replacement now rather than in a few months' time.

I want it to run the latest version of Photoshop - tech requirements here (and copied at the bottom of this post). I'm aiming for the 'recommended' spec, not the minimum, to give a degree of future-proofing, but won't be needing to run a 4k screen.

I think this computer meets the requirements, but as I know bugger all about how computers work, and the two descriptions appear to use different terms for the same thing in places (like SSE4.2 - does an i7 processor do that??), could someone who understands these things tell me if the Dell will do the job? I did have a look on various websites, but couldn't find anything else that seemed to make the grade (at least, not without paying £1000s).


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StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
That Dell is more than up to the job, but pretty much anything out there these days is. Photoshop will be happy on any modern system (and plenty of older ones too- my 2010 Mac Pro makes ye olde CS3 version fly & would be perfectly capable of running the new version on Windows though not Mac OS). I'd strongly recommend shopping around- Dell's own site has the same spec, but with 2TB HD and a 27" 1080p monitor thrown in, for £3 more. https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/desktops-and-all-in-ones/xps-tower/spd/xps-8940-desktop/cdx89430 Were it me, I'd go elsewhere though. Dell do have form for trying to sell add-ons like warranty and anti-virus in somewhat underhand ways, and for some decidedly ropey parts choices like proprietary power supplies, see the rather comprehensive GamersNexus takedown here. You can almost certainly get more machine for less money elsewhere. AMD is generally beating Intel in the CPU market at the moment. 32+ GB of RAM may be a better option than 16 GB, depending on your file sizes. GPU acceleration does benefit Photoshop, but is is much less important than having enough RAM, and spending more money on a graphics card seems to bring diminishing returns (even the very fastest cards get barely faster results than a 3060). See here for a comprehensive- possibly too comprehensive- guide.
 
OP
Spinney

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
That Dell is more than up to the job, but pretty much anything out there these days is. Photoshop will be happy on any modern system (and plenty of older ones too- my 2010 Mac Pro makes ye olde CS3 version fly & would be perfectly capable of running the new version on Windows though not Mac OS). I'd strongly recommend shopping around- Dell's own site has the same spec, but with 2TB HD and a 27" 1080p monitor thrown in, for £3 more. https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/desktops-and-all-in-ones/xps-tower/spd/xps-8940-desktop/cdx89430 Were it me, I'd go elsewhere though. Dell do have form for trying to sell add-ons like warranty and anti-virus in somewhat underhand ways, and for some decidedly ropey parts choices like proprietary power supplies, see the rather comprehensive GamersNexus takedown here. You can almost certainly get more machine for less money elsewhere. AMD is generally beating Intel in the CPU market at the moment. 32+ GB of RAM may be a better option than 16 GB, depending on your file sizes. GPU acceleration does benefit Photoshop, but is is much less important than having enough RAM, and spending more money on a graphics card seems to bring diminishing returns (even the very fastest cards get barely faster results than a 3060). See here for a comprehensive- possibly too comprehensive- guide.
Thanks for that! Can you recommend a better place to look? I did try finding other options, but found a lot of places didn't have things in stock, or I couldn't work out whether the spec matched what Adobe said I needed.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
Thanks for that! Can you recommend a better place to look? I did try finding other options, but found a lot of places didn't have things in stock, or I couldn't work out whether the spec matched what Adobe said I needed.
Lots of places have lots of things out of stock at the moment, so this is not surprising! GPUs in particular are either out of stock or ££££. But (unless you're a gamer) you don't need a powerful card, even for 4K. I can only reiterate that pretty much anything these days is perfectly good for photo editing. +1 to @ColinJ suggestion of Scan. Novatech (local to me) are pretty good. See also Overclockers, CCL, eBuyer, PC Specialist…
 

midlife

Guru
Have you thought of building your own? Both my lads have using pc builder plus parts from the above suppliers.
 
It will more than do the job. Speed for photoshop, ample storage, memory etc.

Dell is a reliable. No need for the additional warranty etc. There are hundreds of cheaper PCs with similar specs or even higher specs but it also means you need to factor other things including consuming time and effort. Some folks are up to it.
 

HMS_Dave

Grand Old Lady
Location
Midlands
Its more than up to the task although i don't like it's storage options. It doesn't state whether the SSD is NVME (super fast drive) or normal 2.5" SSD drive, the fact that it doesn't specify it leads me to believe its the latter, which isn't the end of the world, but is quite a bit slower than NVME, especially for high data transfers and 1TB HDD's still being shipped in a £1500 machine in 2021 is a bit of a mickey take, IMO.

For your use case, you perhaps could lower your GPU to something like a RTX 3060 (not TI) and save some money without significant impact to your Photoshop program.

Something like this https://www.scan.co.uk/products/sca...12gb-evga-rtx-3060-1tb-m2-ssd-win-10-see-info
 
Location
Cheshire
Thanks for that! Can you recommend a better place to look? I did try finding other options, but found a lot of places didn't have things in stock, or I couldn't work out whether the spec matched what Adobe said I needed.
Hi @Spinney ... we need more info to give you a good recommendation. What spec is your pc? Processor and graphics. Key things for running latest photoshop are (roughly) cpu less than 10 yrs old, gpu less than 5 yrs old.
The £1500 Dell will of course run it, but so would something half that price.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I’ve upgraded my wife’s PC running on Win7 to 10, it was FoC. I believe you can still get it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/windows-10-download/
It will analyse your computer and tell you if it’s suitable for installation. Might be worth a try, download takes a long time.
Do you really need a PC? What do you want to run on it? These days iPads are very powerful and are virtually a PC replacement. You can attach a keyboard and there’s mouse support. So much easier to use and doesn’t take up much space plus will be updated well into the future.

View: https://youtu.be/Un7Z56DFDRA
 
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ebikeerwidnes

Über Member
You say you PC is clunky but have not said how old it is or what processor, memory or disk drive you have

Based on this I would have to assume that it is probably over 5 years old

probably quite a bit over

The problem is that although a PC will continue to work perfectly well for ages, the memory can develop problems and the disk drive can as well

but generally the problem is that the software keep demanding more and more memory and more and more processor power

hence after a while you need to upgrade

It looks like it is that time for you

as far as where to go - I have had PCs from Currys and from refurbishes - all have been fine
I would be careful about laptops from refurbishes - the battery may be on its way out - allow for getting a new one in a year or so

but any reasonably recent PC will run Photoshop just fine - just make sure ot has a lot of memory
 
OP
Spinney

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
I’ve upgraded my wife’s PC running on Win7 to 10, it was FoC. I believe you can still get it:
https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/windows-10-download/
It will analyse your computer and tell you if it’s suitable for installation. Might be worth a try, download takes a long time.
Do you really need a PC? What do you want to run on it? These days iPads are very powerful and are virtually a PC replacement. You can attach a keyboard and there’s mouse support. So much easier to use and doesn’t take up much space plus will be updated well into the future.

View: https://youtu.be/Un7Z56DFDRA
Thanks for the ideas. I do need a PC - I work from home, and need a big screen (or two screens) to have multiple documents open at once. Space isn't a problem, as I have a dedicated (small) room as an office.
 
Location
Cheshire
Hello all
I have a clunky windows-7-running PC at the moment, that sometimes appears to run on geological timescales.
I was thinking of upgrading anyway, as it won't run the latest version of photoshop. But now my Microsoft Office suite won't run on it, either, so rather than fork out for Windows 10 on my existing thing, when any new computer I buy will come with it, I've decided to get the replacement now rather than in a few months' time.

I want it to run the latest version of Photoshop - tech requirements here (and copied at the bottom of this post). I'm aiming for the 'recommended' spec, not the minimum, to give a degree of future-proofing, but won't be needing to run a 4k screen.

I think this computer meets the requirements, but as I know bugger all about how computers work, and the two descriptions appear to use different terms for the same thing in places (like SSE4.2 - does an i7 processor do that??), could someone who understands these things tell me if the Dell will do the job? I did have a look on various websites, but couldn't find anything else that seemed to make the grade (at least, not without paying £1000s).


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As I mentioned above, this pc https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9204986?clickPR=plp:35:36
will run latest Photoshop on Win 10.
Won't be as snappy as the Dell you saw but just to prove you don't need a high spec pc at £1k+ ^_^
 
OP
Spinney

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Hi @Spinney ... we need more info to give you a good recommendation. What spec is your pc? Processor and graphics. Key things for running latest photoshop are (roughly) cpu less than 10 yrs old, gpu less than 5 yrs old.
The £1500 Dell will of course run it, but so would something half that price.
My current one is probably about 5 years old. It runs photoshop, but slowly, and will not run the latest version (which has some cool features I'd like to use). I was basing my choice of the Dell (or something with similar capabilities) on what Adobe said would be needed - and looked at the 'recommended' rather than the minimum requirements as I hoped that would mean the computer would last longer before it reached the stage of needing replacing due to new software needing more memory etc.

This is what my computer thinks it is. I bought it before I started using Photoshop - which is the only really graphics-heavy thing I use.
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