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Thread: Recommendations on new PC

  1. #1
    Dec 2006

    Recommendations on new PC

    Happy New Years Everyone!

    I am considering replacing my home computer. Right now, I have a compaq desktop that is about 6-7 years old. I moonlight doing freelance sketchup illustration for a rival consulting firm (yeah, it's allowed). I also run a ton of other programs that use a bunch of RAM: Photoshop, Flash, AutoCAD, Illustator, etc.

    Can anyone recommend any computers (desktop or even lapto) that have worked for them? Anyone have any recommendations for video cards? Years ago I had a barebones gateway laptop that burned the processor away after I loaded ArcGIS on it. I am sure laptops have changed in the past 5 years though. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
    Jul 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Just about any new computer will run that software. I'd try to stick to 2GB of ram and above and stay away from Celeron and other value processors. I'd try to get a Duel Core processor 2 ghz or above or a single-core Pentium 4 above 3ghz... Stick to Pentiums because they run cooler than AMD...

    As for video cards, most modern video cards will run GIS and all that other stuff just fine. You don't need anything fancy. I'm not so sure about the CAD, but I wouldn't imagine that it would be too taxing for something mid-range. GIS is more processor and memory intensive than video card intensive.

    I would stick with XP. All new computers come with Vista but it has had some issues with ESRI software. I think it has issues in general... XP is a faster operating system. Try to get a computer without an OS and install XP on it.

    As far as brands for laptops, I would stay away from Gateway and Compaq, stick to Dell, Toshiba, and Lenovo (IBM)... I've heard decent things about Acer. But with any computer, brand matters less than the model and the reviews it is receiving so try some computer magazines. I would stick to Best Buy for laptops, they have a better service plan than the other places and cheaper prices... New computers online aren't significantly cheaper when you add in shipping, though you can sometimes find some deals.

    For desktops, again it is the components inside the case that make or break the computer - the type of motherboard, the memory, the hard drive... The brands of those components are often different from the brand on the case. Try to get a desktop that has plenty of expansion capabilities. Try to avoid ones with integrated video cards if you can. Add on another monitor to give you more design space...

    Best of luck,

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Moderator note:
    Description of the IT subforum:

    GIS, software, hardware and other subjects related to the use of computers and technology in planning.

    Moved this thread to the FAC.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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