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TL;DR version, need a new Windows laptop. Want the best I can get for photo editing.
 
 
Looking for some help. I'm ready to buy a new laptop and want to get as much input as I can. The only firm spec I have right now is that it be a Windows laptop. I've been running laptops for 30 years and not interested in changing - also don't want to learn a new OS.
 
My current build is a Dell XPS 8th Ge i7 2.2Ghz with 32Gb Ram and a Nvidia GeoForce GT 1050 Ti and a 1Tb SSD
 
It has served me well, although it runs hot sometimes and bogs down occasionally. It's starting to show age in keyboard and usb ports so, it's time.  I've always done well with IBM and Dell, but I'm not overly partial to any brand of laptop, processor or video cards. Of course, I could always just go with the latest version of this model and call it done. Between clickbait, PPC, and affiliate marketing, trying to research anything on the web has become useless. 
 
So, I want to ask you guys. 
 
My highest use would be with my normal load of Chrome browser, Evernote, email and both Photoshop and Lightroom running. 
 
I say this next part with caution, but money is no object. Having said that, looking at the core specs of the really expensive machines don't look a lot better than that of the mid-range. I am assuming I will pay somewhere between $2500 and $5,000. The Alientech gaming machines have great specs but, I don't really need the fancy keyboard or speaker system, but if that gets my specs up, I'm good with that.
 
I get a lot of conflicting advice on CPU vs GPU vs RAM and which I should invest in. Is 64Gb RAM going to buy me anything when I max out at 67% usage with my 32GB? At what point does one more generation of CPU help? Nvidia or AMD.
 
If you were speccing out the perfect machine what would it be?

Looking for any and all advice. Thanks
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The obvious question but does it have to be Windows? The new silicon Macs have astounding performance and they are only the consumer ones. If money is no object, then the much anticipated professional ones are believed to be arriving sometime soonish. Given the apps you mention, changing to Mac would be easy. 

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43 minutes ago, MDM said:

The obvious question but does it have to be Windows? The new silicon Macs have astounding performance and they are only the consumer ones. If money is no object, then the much anticipated professional ones are believed to be arriving sometime soonish. Given the apps you mention, changing to Mac would be easy. 

My first computer in 1985 was an Apple and have been PC ever since. I've supported them, so I'm sure I can adapt. I do have much more software than was listed that aren't an impact on the system, and many of those are Windows only.  I appreciate the input, but yeah, it has to be Windows. 

Thanks

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OK. It was just a thought as people are talking about these new Apple M1 chips as a complete revolution in computing and I don't think it is just great Apple marketing. The one thing they don't do is run Windows natively unlike the Intel Macs.

 

The name Razer seems to crop up quite a bit in relation to Windows laptops when reviewers are doing comparisons with the Macs but I know nothing more than they make high end machines, have a good reputation but tend to be expensive.

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Most decent gaming laptops (those would be the Razers) will do the job for you.  I run a custom built desktop with 16gb ram, i7 processor and radeon 8gb gpu and I run photoshop and illustrator at the same time without a hitch.  I can see something more powerful if you are rendering 4K video, but $5000 is overkill for anything else.

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan
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Darryl,

I got my Dell XPS 15 a few years ago because, aside from the specs, it was labelled at the time "A Macbook killer" and you got a lot more bang for your buck. It beat the pants off anything Apple was offering at anywhere near the same price range. Agree that you're not likely to need more than 32GB of RAM.

 

Sorry, short answer, I think whenever you're going to buy a laptop, you just need to research it online a lot - the market changes all the time. Any knowledge from anyone here in the Forum will probably just be out of date, unless they've also just got themselves a new machine. I will say that the spec of your current machine sounds more than adequate.

Stephen

Edited by Steve F
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2 hours ago, Darryl said:
I get a lot of conflicting advice on CPU vs GPU vs RAM and which I should invest in. Is 64Gb RAM going to buy me anything when I max out at 67% usage with my 32GB? At what point does one more generation of CPU help? Nvidia or AMD.
 

 

I find DPReview give honest and reliable reviews. They are owned by Amazon but I don't think they show any brand favouritism. They claim editorial independence and I think that is true from anything I have read or watched on there. 

 

I have just been reading a review of video software and they say they are going to be doing some detailed computer reviews shortly so might be worth keeping an eye on. Incidentally they used a Razer as a high end Windows computer testing Adobe Premiere Pro against Apple's FinalCut Pro. Although specifically about video editing, the results are generally interesting. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

 

 

I find DPReview give honest and reliable reviews. They are owned by Amazon but I don't think they show any brand favouritism. They claim editorial independence and I think that is true from anything I have read or watched on there. 

 

I have just been reading a review of video software and they say they are going to be doing some detailed computer reviews shortly so might be worth keeping an eye on. Incidentally they used a Razer as a high end Windows computer testing Adobe Premiere Pro against Apple's FinalCut Pro. Although specifically about video editing, the results are generally interesting. 

 

 

Thanks, I posted this on their forum, but didn't think to check the review section. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I work on both Apple and Windows and of the two evils, I prefer Windows. Mostly because it fits my budget. 

 

I currently have a Lenovo Flex pad something or other - 15? It works fine although I have to keep making room for new images. I've been thinking of doing more film footage and thinking that my next laptop might be a gaming one. Even when I bought the Lenovo, I looked at the Alienware and thought it might be overkill, but I could use the graphics upgrade. I would go for the Alienware if you can afford it and if you don't have to carry it around all of the time. They are a bit weighty. 

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Hey Darryl,

  I have almost the same rig as you, a Dell Inspiron 7577, Intel Core(TM) i7-7700 @ 2.8Ghz,  Video card's a GTX 1060.  I started with 16Gb memory and went to 32--and I wouldn't bother upping that.  I run LOTS of programs at the same time as LR and PS, and have (almost) no issues.   I have two SSD 1T drives internal, and would recommend that.   I keep all programs on C drive, and all data on D drive, except for all previous years' images on an external drive.  Both are currently at a tad less than 50% full.  

 

All that I can call an issue is that occasionally, when I get really aggressive with LR and PS, the CPU will demand a few seconds to catch up.  Maybe a couple of times a week.  No complaints.  

 

Doubt it had anything to do with the hardware, but I did get my current LR catalog corrupted last week and had to go searching for the backups and how to install them.  No big whoop, except I lost the day's editing--about 3 hours, and had to re-import some images to LR. I now backup the catalog EVERY night I use it.  (Also do a complete backup of both drives 3-4 times a week, to alternating external drives.)

 

I've got two fans-maybe you do too-and the Dell does get a bit warm, with the fans running a lot when I'm going full tilt with editing.  So far, no problems.  I blow the dust out of it every month or so. :)

 

When this one dies, I'll look to Dell again.  I also have a 24" 4K Dell (P2415Q) monitor that I really like.  So much so that when I'm traveling (camping trailer) I wrap it in heavy foam rubber and take it with me.   I will not edit on the laptop.  

 

That's about all I know about anything.   Hope you don't have to spend into that $5k figure!  Hope I don't have to.

 

Michael

 

 

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On 18/06/2021 at 16:51, Darryl said:
TL;DR version, need a new Windows laptop. Want the best I can get for photo editing.
 
 
Looking for some help. I'm ready to buy a new laptop and want to get as much input as I can. The only firm spec I have right now is that it be a Windows laptop. I've been running laptops for 30 years and not interested in changing - also don't want to learn a new OS.
 
My current build is a Dell XPS 8th Ge i7 2.2Ghz with 32Gb Ram and a Nvidia GeoForce GT 1050 Ti and a 1Tb SSD
 
It has served me well, although it runs hot sometimes and bogs down occasionally. It's starting to show age in keyboard and usb ports so, it's time.  I've always done well with IBM and Dell, but I'm not overly partial to any brand of laptop, processor or video cards. Of course, I could always just go with the latest version of this model and call it done. Between clickbait, PPC, and affiliate marketing, trying to research anything on the web has become useless. 
 
So, I want to ask you guys. 
 
My highest use would be with my normal load of Chrome browser, Evernote, email and both Photoshop and Lightroom running. 
 
I say this next part with caution, but money is no object. Having said that, looking at the core specs of the really expensive machines don't look a lot better than that of the mid-range. I am assuming I will pay somewhere between $2500 and $5,000. The Alientech gaming machines have great specs but, I don't really need the fancy keyboard or speaker system, but if that gets my specs up, I'm good with that.
 
I get a lot of conflicting advice on CPU vs GPU vs RAM and which I should invest in. Is 64Gb RAM going to buy me anything when I max out at 67% usage with my 32GB? At what point does one more generation of CPU help? Nvidia or AMD.
 
If you were speccing out the perfect machine what would it be?

Looking for any and all advice. Thanks

Darryl,

 

I've been using Lenovo laptops for decades, my T-21 was still labeled IBM.  Lenovo's customer support is outstanding, much better than Dell.

They make some expensive devices designed for travel and high-end photo / video processing.  Contact Lenovo.

 

Chuck 

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I've allways run Windows ( primarily ) Dell desktop + laptop. I have to say the new Mac chip looks pretty good !

 

Biggest point I want to make is that make sure the video card is properly supported by Adobe, especially when you get into editing 4k videos. Most laptops that I can see, other than the very high end ones, have video cards ( still with 4gb ) that are not fully supported by Adobe, so do some careful research on this one if you want to make the most of the GPU processing power.  I just got myself a Dell XPS from the Dell factory store, saved a bit of regular new price, and still has a 4 year warranty. I needed a bright screen as sometimes I need to work outside, and the XPS has one of the brightest going.

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  • 1 month later...
On 18/06/2021 at 15:51, Darryl said:
 
If you were speccing out the perfect machine what would it be?

Looking for any and all advice. Thanks

 

 One minimum primary system criteria for me now is to spec only SSD drives for the OS(C:) drive and any additional onboard drives.  SSD for (C:) greatly speeds up boot and s/w startup times. I believe SSDs are now commonly used for boot drives in systems from most manfs..  But be sure to check,   As mentioned  my additional onboard drives for working data/image storage would also be SSDs.  Really high capacity mechanical spinner HDD's are somewhat cheaper but I'd reserve those only as external archival/backup drive use IMO. 

 

If your current 32gb RAM is running at 67% max load no reason to get more IMO - unless you have any interest in getting into video editing/rendering where more RAM might be helpful.  

 

Core i7/i9 CPU minimum - some AMD Ryzden CPUs also appear to be fast - the more the # of cores/threads, cache, speed, the CPU has the better.  If video editing is a possibility a NVidia/AMD GPU might be faster at rendering than a "built-in" graphics processor.  NVidia seems to be highly regarded.  

 

Lots of confusing options.

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On 09/09/2021 at 18:53, Phil said:

 

 One minimum primary system criteria for me now is to spec only SSD drives for the OS(C:) drive and any additional onboard drives.  SSD for (C:) greatly speeds up boot and s/w startup times. I believe SSDs are now commonly used for boot drives in systems from most manfs..  But be sure to check,   

 

 

 

Recently converted to SSD for drive C, starts up in seconds, huge improvement. 

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