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  1. #16
    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    if you buy a firegl card you'll get a 10bit colour option rather than the standard 8 bit colour. Also you could pair that with at least an IPS panel (normally 8 bit) (rather than a tn panel 6bit) or if you find the money a 10bit monitor with an extended colour gamut.

    Also a colourimeter for around a £100 would be useful for calibrating the screens colours.

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    ok thanks for the advice, we have taken things into concideration and we have came up with keeping 8gb as they are soo cheap but using onboard graphics, the hard disks are as follows,

    using a 7200rpm drive - (Sata II) or (Sata III)??

    or

    SSD (Sata III)

    the motherboards the company use at the moment dont have sata III ports so we will have to specifiy that they do which will add a little bit more on...

    Up for conciderations, any advice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    if you buy a firegl card you'll get a 10bit colour option rather than the standard 8 bit colour. Also you could pair that with at least an IPS panel (normally 8 bit) (rather than a tn panel 6bit) or if you find the money a 10bit monitor with an extended colour gamut.

    Also a colourimeter for around a £100 would be useful for calibrating the screens colours.
    He said his budget was £450 per machine. A 10bit IPS monitor is £500+ or an 8bit IPS at around £250+, and a FireGL card is £200+... Not really suitable for a school!
    Last edited by localzuk; 22nd February 2012 at 03:05 PM.

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    ok thanks for the advice, we have taken things into concideration and we have came up with keeping 8gb as they are soo cheap but using onboard graphics, the hard disks are as follows,

    using a 7200rpm drive - (Sata II) or (Sata III)??

    or

    SSD (Sata III)

    the motherboards the company use at the moment dont have sata III ports so we will have to specifiy that they do which will add a little bit more on...

    Up for conciderations, any advice?

  5. #20
    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    He said his budget was £450 per machine. A 10bit IPS monitor is £500+, and a FireGL card is £200+... Not really suitable for a school!
    10bit ips monitor for around £330 but I concede to your point. however a regular 8 bit ips panel is affordable and I hadn't seen that mentioned. a firgl can be bought for under £100.

    far better things to worry about rather than SSD. I'd lower the CPU specs & focus on the display technologies. RAM is super cheap, buy loads.
    Last edited by chazzy2501; 22nd February 2012 at 03:33 PM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    10bit ips monitor for around £330 but I concede to your point. however a regular 8 bit ips panel is affordable and I hadn't seen that mentioned. a firgl can be bought for under £100.

    far better things to worry about rather than SSD. I'd lower the CPU specs & focus on the display technologies. RAM is super cheap, buy loads.
    For the level of work that schools engage in for art, the display technologies that come standard are more than adequate. We run photography courses here, along with Art, 3D Graphics and others and we use standard kit.

    An SSD is, in my view, the best purchase you can make when speccing a new machine - the hard disk is the slowest part of your computer, an SSD will improve application loading tremendously, which with large packages like Photoshop is hugely helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Wil confirm the above - the onboard (HD 3000 series) graphics are better than pretty much anything under £50 graphics card wise and are surprisingly good at even the higher end stuff
    Intel's HD 4000 series graphics in some of the new 3rd gen Core i5/i7 processors is even more impressive. Considering these are out in April, I might be tempted to wait.

    Core i5-3570K Graphics 67% Faster Than Core i5-2500K, 36% Slower Than GeForce GT 240 ę TechPowerUp

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Wil confirm the above - the onboard (HD 3000 series) graphics are better than pretty much anything under £50 graphics card wise
    I would completely and utterly disagree with this - for a start the i5 2400 has HD2000 graphics (it's the i5 2500K that has HD3000, plus the mobile stuff etc) - but almost any discrete graphics card will whup the onboard video. That's not to say it's not perfectly acceptable - it's much better than many older cards and anything previous from Intel. It's also well up to the OP's needs - discrete cards are needed for CAD etc and any GPU optimised applications (which Adobe CS should start to be).

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    The AMD apus are far faster than the Intels HD. if you are not going to spring for an external card (you really should) then get an AMD CPU with APU as it offers a better performance balance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    An SSD is, in my view, the best purchase you can make when speccing a new machine - the hard disk is the slowest part of your computer, an SSD will improve application loading tremendously, which with large packages like Photoshop is hugely helpful.
    ^ This! Our new Art PCs all have SSDs - 80GB Intel 320's since that's all we could afford at the time - and the difference they make is huge. It is like going from dial-up to broadband!

    I would go with Intel, Samsung or Crucial if you want reliable SSDs (the 320 Series, 830 and M4 respectively).

    To add to what 3s-gtech said about the Intel graphics. If you have any plans to upgrade to Premiere Pro CS5/CS6 in the future, it would be beneficial to get a discrete nVidia graphics card so you can take advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine.

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    We're running CS5 and even Autocad with the on board Intel graphics on Optiplex 780 and 790 machines. It works great, but we did have a problem that I didn't realize. Windows 7 ships with Microsoft drivers that work, but will cause the machine to go unstable and randomly reset when using hardware acceleration. The biggest issue we had with it was the machine crashing when using Powerpoint 2010. The new version of Powerpoint uses acceleration to animate the transitions between slides. Installing the real Intel driver cured the problems.

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    If it's any help - last summer we upgraded most of our ICT suites to PCs with dedicated graphics cards (AMD 6350) as they were using 3D software (game design, etc.) that needed it. We benchmarked Photoshop, and to be honest the graphics cards didn't make that much difference. You have to manually enable the extra bits in Photoshop to take advantage of the GPU, and the only major speed increases were when you were doing a complex transformation to an image - e.g. render a high-res photo onto a 3D shape. For most common image editing that they'd be doing in Art (straighten, crop, resize, levels) you won't see much difference. If they're doing HDR photos or applying effects to very high-res photos then you may see some real-world benefit.

  13. #28

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    If you're wanting GPUs to improve Photoshop, they need to be nVidia cards, as Photoshop's GPU acceleration is based on CUDA not OpenGL. It only helps in a select number of operations though, so probably not worth the extra expense. I'd only really consider the GPU if it were for movie editing with Premiere (which still needs to be nVidia, but can make a big difference there).

    Regarding future proofing... my favoured tactic has long been to get what's good enough now wrt value, i.e. a Core i3-2120, and then in a year or two's time upgrade again and move the older machines to another room. For example, any time I get new PCs in they go into the ICT classrooms, and their existing machines will go to replace teacher PCs elsewhere - otherwise you end up with a situation where your most powerful machines are used for taking registers whilst ICT suffer with 4 year old hardware. It's more cost effective than trying to future proof now.

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    ^^Absolutely, this is the method we use too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    If you're wanting GPUs to improve Photoshop, they need to be nVidia cards, as Photoshop's GPU acceleration is based on CUDA not OpenGL. It only helps in a select number of operations though, so probably not worth the extra expense.
    You do get some benefit from an AMD card / OpenGL, but you're completely right that the very latest acceleration features are CUDA-based. I agree that if you're just doing photo editing, not 3D work, then the money could be better spent elsewhere.

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