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# 138048 18-Dec-2013 09:14
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I've been asked by our local kindy to help them purchase a new desktop to allow them to edit photos they take of the kids and produce scrapbooks of the kids work. In the past I've helped a couple of local small businesses and schools with very tight budgets but in this case I've been given a 'massive' $1-1250 to spend ;)

I was just going to recommend they buy something from the Dell website but was wondering if we could squeeze a little more out of it by buying from elsewhere or even second hand.

I've built plenty of machines in the past (mainly as HTPC's) but that was a few years ago, so whilst I get up to speed with what's available now, I'd appreciate any feedback or options we could take.

They would prefer to stick with Windows7, they have an Office licence already, but it wouldn't hurt to get another, and it needs to run Photoshop and Publisher. They aren't going to be doing major editing just the basics really.

Cheers


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  # 954095 18-Dec-2013 10:05
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Hi - I was initially thinking of suggesting an iMac which comes with iPhoto that they could use to catalogue the images, do some editing (cropping, rotation & adjust exposure/colour balance, etc) but then I read Windows 7. Of course this OS can be run happily on a Mac, but they wouldn't get the use of iPhoto.
It sounds like they wouldn't really need Photoshop, but I would suggest looking at the s/w Lightroom from Adobe. It is not only very good for basic editing, but can also produce good looking gallery websites, output book format pdf files and, importantly, is a very good cataloguing tool for helping them find groups of images again.
Sorry, no help on hardware at all.




Cheers,
Mike

Photographer/Videographer clickmedia.nz


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  # 954104 18-Dec-2013 10:16
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I wouldn't go 2nd hand as there is no warranty protection - unless you will be available to fix problems.

I recommend this...

http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139235/CATID=139/ID=21668/SID=984719953/productdetails.html

Trusted supplier, decent specs, comes with OS, and probably most importantly , 3 year warranty.

The only thing i don't like is the factory cooler, but , maybe this is not as much of an issue with haswell. Not sure.

Not sure about dell these days -- but, they are probably an OK option too.

[edit] i'm sure they can install win7 if you ask.   

And, one more thing, do they have any bulk supplier contracts through the Ministry of ed?


 
 
 
 


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  # 954126 18-Dec-2013 10:33
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We would definitely need to stick to Windows as the teachers aren't all that technical so it's really a case of sticking with what they know. I am around to help in the future so a 3 year warranty isn't all that important if it can save on purchase price. I can see plenty of dual core, 3GHz machines on TM with W7 which would just need more RAM and disk space which are considerably cheaper.

It's a good point about the Min of Ed thing, but they are actually a Montessori and therefore outside the boundary for cheap software.

The teacher planning to use this machine has experience of Photoshop hence the requirement. She isn't against looking at other options but I don't have experience in that sort of thing so am just going on what they know. I'm assuming a licence for Photoshop is reasonably expensive though, they don't have the software currently.





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  # 954141 18-Dec-2013 10:52
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Definitely buy somewhere that will give them a warranty otherwise you'll be the tech support.

Picasa would be all they'd need, more than enough for casual use. Any PC will do, 4GB RAM minimum and 8GB better. SSD handy though not necessary. Onboard graphics is plenty. Backups are probably the most important thing, set them up with Mozy or Crashplan.



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  # 954253 18-Dec-2013 13:01
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Well, it's all quite interesting these days :)

Using the Playtech option for a start, when you add Office 2013 Professional, Lightroom and a monitor were looking at $2k. But if you buy from TM, upgrade to 8GB RAM and add a 500GB harddrive with Office 2003Pro (to match what they use now) and Lightroom its < $1k.

Removing the difference in Office and things like keyboards etc it works out to be about $600 more for the G3220 over the E8400. Is it worth that much of a price difference in this case ?



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  # 954256 18-Dec-2013 13:07
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E8400 is a pretty old processor, but that price you should be getting at least a modern i3, if not an i5.

 
 
 
 




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  # 954257 18-Dec-2013 13:10
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timmmay: E8400 is a pretty old processor, but that price you should be getting at least a modern i3, if not an i5.

At $1k or $2k ?

I don't have the budget for $2k and need to include the software too.

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  # 954263 18-Dec-2013 13:20
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Ah, with software that's a stretch, though Photoshop is mostly sold on the subscription model these days. You can still buy CS6 though, that's what I use.

I really don't think you need Photoshop for this, Picasa or other free software is easily powerful enough.



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  # 954282 18-Dec-2013 13:38
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For $2k there are i3 options but it's out of the budget really.

I initially just took the Playtech option surfisup1000 listed above as a starting point which was a G3220. So whilst the E8400 is an old processor given the price restrictions I don't think it's a bad choice.




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  # 954290 18-Dec-2013 13:48
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Dell $649 without monitor, older processor.
Dell i3 with 19.5" monitor, $999.
Dell i5 with 23" monitor, $1149.

I still think Photoshop is WAY overkill for what your user wants to do.



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  # 954346 18-Dec-2013 14:39
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Interestingly the i3 you link to for $998.99 gives a 24" when I go through the customise options so I think we have a winner :)

Thanks

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  # 954349 18-Dec-2013 14:41
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When buying for a business, I think its important to ensure that they understand they can depreciate the hardware over a period of time - that often helps with balancing the books when it comes to capital outlay.

Secondly, I'd probably look at buying a machine from dell/hp mainstream vendor. For basic photo editing it doesn't need to be big and expensive, just a core i5 a few gigs of memory and an SSD will do it -I wouldn't go for a smaller capacity machine. The machine will come with an OS license so that mitigates some of the additional cost.

Also, something like adobe light room (I think mentioned above) is usually the s/w used for photo management - again s/w can be depreciated as well.

Also important it is worth while asking the PC vendor if they have an academic program, I know Microsoft do and I suspect Dell and HP do as well.

I would also recommend that the machine have a touch screen (there are plenty of desktops and all-in-ones that do this), but for something completely out of left field I would take a look at perhaps a windows tablet - so asus, dell, hp, acer etc. As these have the built in camera and can run said photo software and can come attached with a keyboard and mouse.






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  # 954403 18-Dec-2013 15:46
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TwoSeven:
.... but for something completely out of left field I would take a look at perhaps a windows tablet - so asus, dell, hp, acer etc. As these have the built in camera and can run said photo software and can come attached with a keyboard and mouse.

You know, I had exactly the same thought when they first approached me. They want to be able to walk around the kids doing an activity, take a few photos, do some simple editing and use Publisher to create a page to print out and add to the kids 'portfolio'.

I'm off to start looking up tablet options :)


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  # 954406 18-Dec-2013 15:49
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Can you really design something well using publisher on a tablet? Sounds awful to me. Touch screens are fine for consuming information, but generally not for creating it.

Plus a cheap camera does a much better job of taking photos than an expensive tablet.

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