Wednesday, February 15, 2006

PC Decision Was a Good One

Some of you may remember last summer when I was researching computers and making the decision which one to buy. The first part of the decision involved making the decision to stay with a PC or go with a Mac. I've never used a Mac but most of my friends who are serious photographers swear that the Mac is better and faster than a PC for digital image file editing. The Mac users are almost like a cult. You just know that some of them are shaking their heads in superiority and clucking their tongues over my foolishness in trying to work with a PC. Of course, I have two friends here in San Miguel who have had serious problems with Macs which have been unresolveable even after going back to be repaired several times.

I stayed with a PC because whether PC or Mac, our desktop computers are in a state of some significant change. Mac is transitioning to the Intel chip and they have issues to solve. PCs are going with 64 bit processing and Microsoft hasn't yet released an operating system that will take advantage of the power. So a lot is up in the air and when computer stuff is up in the air it means there is the potential for conficts and problems.

I went with a PC with AMD 64 bit processors and the Windows XP media Center operating system. I really haven't heard much about the XP Media Center operating system but it seems to handle applications and additional hardware hanging on the CPU better than XP Pro. It was not an expensive computer and even after I added 2 video cards, 2 more HD and 2 Gigs of RAM, I was still under a $1000.

I had some concerns about how the machine would perform. While working on images for my show I really had the chance to put it to the test. Many of the images grew to more than 300 MB even though they were grayscale....layers and 16 bit files can become large fast. The only time I noticed any hesitation was when I applied some filters or saved one of these large took maybe 2 seconds. Everything else seemed instanteous.

Maybe the 64-bit architecture and Macs move to Intel will make a big difference in the speed a computer. But right now this computer seems to meet my requirements and is working just fine.

I hope it will last long enough to let all the dust settle on all the new technology and software.


Anonymous said...

As you know, I have the same machine to which I added a dual ported PCIE video card, 2-gigs of RAM, reconfigured the HD (added an 80-gig SATA and made it the boot drive, moved the 250-gig original drive to be my internal storage drive), AND like you, I'm very pleased. It just plane works, it works fast.
BTW -- XP Media Center Edition
IS XP PRO with added features.

Ol' Pitchertaker

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie - some years ago I made the dreaded switch from Mac to Intel. Julian who does a lot of graphics work in Flash uses a Mac. I am not disappointed with my Intel box(es) they have been less trouble, they are fast and a lot less expensive. When MSN grabbed GUI interface the handwriting was on the wall - the 2% market share of Apple was not the place to be - cult or not. The dual processors will not be useful like the 64 bit wide architecture until the software catches up with this hardware. IMHO

BillieS said...

Oh Good, two of my favorite guys agree with me. Ol' Pitchertaker had to...he was the one who told me about the PC we both ended up buying. Thanks for the tip!

I read somewhere today from a technology commentator that he thinks Macs will aim their marketing at being the "Lexus/BMW" machine over the Windows PC's. Well I've never owned either of those cars and I've been able to go anywhere I wanted to go in my car.