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Buying a new computer for IDCS - Adobe Indesign Windows

We are buying a new computer for our primary design position. I'd like some feedback on setups that are working well, and things to avoid. They're looking at a Dell, I'd almost rather build a system from scratch myself. Not completely opposed to buying off the shelf, but building from scratch is more fun. Sooooo.... Minimum RAM? Minimum processor speed? Favorite motherboard? Particular mass market desktop computer you have had good results with? Things we know we want: WinXP Matrox video card (P650) As much RAM as I can talk them into BIG hard drive, preferably 2....

  1. #1

    Default Buying a new computer for IDCS

    We are buying a new computer for our primary design position. I'd like some
    feedback on setups that are working well, and things to avoid. They're
    looking at a Dell, I'd almost rather build a system from scratch myself. Not
    completely opposed to buying off the shelf, but building from scratch is
    more fun.

    Sooooo....

    Minimum RAM?
    Minimum processor speed?
    Favorite motherboard?
    Particular mass market desktop computer you have had good results with?

    Things we know we want:
    WinXP
    Matrox video card (P650)
    As much RAM as I can talk them into
    BIG hard drive, preferably 2.


    Jen_Rose@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Jen,

    Building yourself is more fun. Buying from Dell is a lot cheaper. I know
    because I wanted to go the DIY route but I saved hundreds buying from Dell.

    You might want to pay a visit to the Photoshop forum for DIY details.
    This gets discussed there a lot.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    [email]Jen_Roseadobeforums.com[/email] wrote in
    news:70FE8A7CF184803B350A2E79B60FA786in.webx.la2e afNXanI:
    > We are buying a new computer for our primary design position. I'd
    > like some feedback on setups that are working well, and things to
    > avoid. They're looking at a Dell, I'd almost rather build a system
    > from scratch myself. Not completely opposed to buying off the
    > shelf, but building from scratch is more fun.
    I have a Dell Precision 360 workstation with 1GB RAM, 3.2 GHz Pentium 4
    (with hyperthreading, but I turned it off due to system stability
    issues), NVIDIA Quadro NVS with AGP8X video card, and a DELL 2001FP 20
    inch 1600x1200 LCD monitor. InDesign CS runs beautifully on this
    machine. I wanted a 1920x1200 monitor, but couldn't justify an extra
    $1500 for 320 more horizontal pixels; the 2001FP is only about $800.
    Guy_Smiley@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    "We are buying a new computer for our primary design position."

    I personally am saving up for a Mac at home. (I am one of those forced to use a PC.)
    KR@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Well then you just keep on saving.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Well, or spend all of my student loan money! PCs are at least affordable!
    KR@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    > "We are buying a new computer for our primary design position."
    >
    > I personally am saving up for a Mac at home. (I am one of those forced to
    use a PC.)

    We will not go back to using Macs, partly because I don't like 'em and
    partly because the whole office uses PCs and they're cheaper.

    Jenrose


    Jen_Rose@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    I would not under any cirstances buy another HP. We bought one a little over a year ago. The floppy drive was DOA. Both the CDRW and DVD drives have had to be replaced. Total piece of %#&.
    Stu_Bloom@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    When considering TCO, Macs are significantly cheaper - but if you are dead-set on building your own computer, you must do Windows. [Macs allow you to transfer doents and fonts from other Mac users. Windows cannot open Mac fonts. Macs can open fonts from Windows.]

    Polling for ideal system specs may be useless. You want to get the best computer that you can get so it will remain useful for 4 years. If you get a lesser computer, it may provide 2 years of usefulness.
    Jim_Oblak@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Just one point about Jim's post...OpenType fonts are completely
    crossplatform. Additionally, placing Windows fonts in ID's font folder
    on a Mac will give the Mac user access to the Windows fonts, allowing
    you to work crossplatform without any issues.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS



    I would not under any cirstances buy another HP.




    I'd never buy an HP, period.

    Building yourself is more fun. Buying from Dell is a lot cheaper.




    Is it? I'm wondering if they could build one to have exactly what I want in it and make it cost less than what I would pay through one of my partners.

    Personally I've never really liked Dell. I used to work on one, it was junk! (At least to me it was.) I'm sure they build much better machines now but not sure if they will make custom made systems with the stuff you choose by name brand.

    Now as far as building a system for ID CS... Come on now, if you're anything like me, all you are really doing is making excuses to make your own Frankenstein.

    As I'm sure you're aware...
    System requirements

    For Windows

    AMD® Athlon, 64 or Intel® Pentium® II, III, or 4 processor

    Microsoft® Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 2, Windows XP® Home Edition, or Windows XP Professional Edition

    Minimum RAM?




    128MB of RAM but I would get a gig just for the heck of it.

    Minimum processor speed?




    Might as well get tomorrows technology today with the AMD 64.

    Favorite motherboard?




    I don't have a favorite one but I'd get something that has a good amount of onboard RAM and big cache at least.

    Particular mass market desktop computer you have had good results with?




    None. The first computer I owned was an NEC, that was about 7 years ago. Since then I have built my own machines. I guess Dell is alright these days. Let's see what Bob says when he comes back.

    Things we know we want: WinXP, Matrox video card (P650) As much RAM as
    I can talk them into




    On the RAM, let them know that if they buy a pair of 512s it will run better since it runs better in pairs.

    BIG hard drive, preferably 2




    This is not needed for ID CS. ID CS will run perfectly fine on the smallest hard drive available in the market these days. The requirement is only 312MB of available hard-disk space to install the program and you will not need any space to save giant files if you are on a network. If you are not on a network, you'd better get on one or get that second drive to save all your files on in case you need to erase your main drive. DO NOT save to the C drive (Drive where you have Windows installed). I recommend getting a small drive for your operating system with 7200 RPM and an 8MB buffer at least. Check your hard drive's seek time if speed is important to you. The less seek time you get, the faster it is.

    All you need is a CD-ROM drive, nothing fancy like a DVD burner but it would be nice to have a DVD burner so you could backup all your DATA on it and store it in a safe place if you'd like. Plextor and Sony are the best ones I know of.
    Top this off with a ViewSonic monitor and you should be good to go.
    Gabriel_Ayala@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    You don't need some crazy souped up machine for InDesign. Lots of RAM
    and a fast processor. No need for 3D graphics, etc.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS


    >Lots of RAM and a fast processor.



    And a big, fast hard drive or two. Those are the three most important factors for DTP work, regardless of the platform.

    Other considerations:

    * Gigabit ethernet is mandatory if you're working in a networked environment.

    * I recommend a CD burner and 250mb Zip drive for sharing data and performing periodic backups, and a tape drive for automated backups. Cheap insurance.

    * Don't forget an Uninterruptable Power Supply (aka "UPS") so you don't lose data if the power goes out. More cheap insurance.
    Scott_McCullough@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Good points, but I'd forget about the Zip drive and get one those little
    USB drives that can double as a key chain. Cheaper, faster and
    completely cross platform.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS



    And a big, fast hard drive or two. Those are the three most important
    factors for DTP work, regardless of the platform.




    This is true but you shouldn't have a big drive for the OS, it's a waste. 40 gigs is more than plenty for the typical C drive and for DTP 200 Gigs should be plenty to last you a long while unless you're an amature doing everything in Photoshop.

    250mb Zip drive




    Hahahaha
    You call that cheap insurance? Blank CDs are way cheaper than Zip disks, the disks read and write slowly while CDs move fast. Not everyone has a Zip drive, just about everyone does have a CD ROM unless their computer is a fossil. IMO, there's no need for Zip or Jaz these days.

    UPS




    I'm not sure about this. Correct me if I'm wrong but InDesign recovers doents when there is a sudden crash. I think this includes power outages. I do agree that having a UPS is a good thing to have. Not all programs or systems will be happy when the power cuts off suddenly.
    Gabriel_Ayala@adobeforums.com Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    My UPS has saved the day several times. It doesn't have to be a huge unit--just being able to save all open doents and shut down gracefully can mean the difference between data disaster and mere inconvenience.

    My note about the 250 Zip wasn't an endorsement of that as a primary backup method, but it is handy for quick and dirty redundant backup. Even more important, Zips are now the universal standard for data delivery in prepress, kinda like Syquest disks used to be. We still get lots of jobs on Zip disks, even though we have a web-based job submission system. Any shop should be able to accept data off a Zip disk and then return the finished files on the same disk once the job is printed. Not only that, but the disks are cheap enough that you won't lose sleep when you ship them off to the printer. I'd sure hate to ship one of those USB keychain disks!
    Scott_McCullough@adobeforums.com Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Here's a typical desktop system for DTP that I would build:

    Case: Mini 400W USB 10GA-CS $35
    Motherboard: MSI K7N2 Delta-L Audio + LAN + 8x AGP $76
    10/100 LAN
    6 USB 2.0
    6-channel Audio
    CPU: Supports up to 3200+ and up Athlon XP w/ 400 mHz FSB
    Chipset: NVIDIA nForce 2 400 + nForce2 MCP
    D-Bracket2
    Expansion Slots: AGP 8x; 5 PCI; 1 ACR
    Onboard ATA133
    RAM: 3 PC3200/2700/2100 DDR RAM slots (Up to 3GB of memory)
    CPU: AMD Barton 3200+ $229
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Volcano11+ $28
    RAM: (2) 512MB DDR SDRAM PC3200 $192
    Hard Drive: Maxtor 200G 7200 8MB ATA 133 $162
    Floppy Drive: Mitsumi 1.44M 3.5in Floppy drive $10
    CD/DVD: NEC +-rw 8X DVDRW $119
    Video Card: Matrox Millennium G550, 32MB, AGP 4X, 2D/3D Dual DVI $99
    Keyboard: Logitech PS2 Keyboard $16
    Mouse: Logitech Cordless Optical Wheel Mouse - $39
    Speakers: Creative SBS250 $14
    Monitor: Viewsonic E90f+sb 19" .21 Ultra Bright $225
    IDE ATA100 Removable Rack $16 (Optional)
    Maxtor 40GB DMA133 7200RPM $58 (Optional)

    TOTAL: $1,244 ($1,318 w/Optional)
    Michael_S._Flynn@adobeforums.com Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS



    Maxtor 40GB DMA133 7200RPM $58 (Optional)




    I think that should be the main drive.

    That sounds like a perfect system for this type of use though.
    Gabriel_Ayala@adobeforums.com Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    > My note about the 250 Zip wasn't an endorsement of that as a primary
    backup method, but it is handy for quick and dirty redundant backup.

    Digging through some old CDs, I came across a CD-RW. That's the re-writeable
    type that can be erased and re-used. I've been playing with it in my new
    laptop. Win XP handles it seamlessly...this disk has become my floppy.

    --I first tried CD-RW back when 2x burners were $300, and it was horribly
    slow. My 24x burner writes faster than a floppy.

    Anybody else using these?

    -John O


    JohnO@adobeforums.com Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Buying a new computer for IDCS

    Nope, just plain old CD-Rs. Shop around and you can get 100 for free
    after rebates. I've yet to pay for them.

    As for the little USB keychain, I wouldn't ship that either. I thought
    the original discussion was about moving files internally.

    Bob

    Robert_Levine@adobeforums.com Guest

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