This post is about making lists and trying to sort out pros and cons. You're reading the process which normally goes on before I buy a computer.
The next 'Making A Mark' computer
- HP Pavilion a 6761UK - technical spec
- Current processor: an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50GHz and this works fine for me
- Current graphics card: an ATI Radeon HD 4650 with 512 MB memory which is working fine
- Hard drive: 640 GB SATA 3G
- RAM: 4 GB
- DVD Drive: very noisy
This is the bit where we go beyond what suits everybody else and start to look at what I need to get a good fit between my computer and me.
- Power: I'm an artist and writer. I do lots on my computer most days and I want a computer which does NOT hang, get tetchy or act slow. It doesn't need to be as fast as a gaming computer but it must not be underpowered.
- Heat: The computer is on all day (although is programmed to power down and sleep after standing idle for 30 minutes) and I have lots of windows open all the time (and lots of tabs open in those windows!). I've got a track history of fans not coping and/or giving up.
- Graphics: My computer needs to have a powerful graphics card which has the ability to deliver very good quality graphics (when combined with a decent screen). I want a make which has a good and reliable reputation (no more early burn outs as I got with the NVidia GeForce 8600 on my Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21Z) Having learned the way NVidia behaved re the defective cards (of which mine was one - see my comment on the last post) I'm not feeling inclined to go for another NVidia card
- Lots of use of the graphics card for accessing and mainpulating graphics and video files - typically jpeg files and short videos.
- Not used at all for gaming.
- I expect I might well want to do more online downloads of TV programmes in the future
- Quality of Display: blue dot opacities (early cataracts) have been detected in both my eyes so along with my endless glasses cleaning I also MUST now have good definition and sharpness onscreen. Basically as much help as I can get with my deteriorating eyesight. Large size is good for when I want to enlarge screen content to get round blurring. Essentially a screen quality and graphics card issue.
- Memory: I'm a heavy duty user in terms of having lots of windows open at once. I'm using 4GB of RAM and would want at least the same again. More would be nice.
- Keyboard: A critical consideration as I've got tenosynovitis in my right hand which means I need to maximise ease of use and minimise vibration levels. (No 'clicky' keyboards allowed!) Laptop keyboards are best re vibration and normal size keyboards are best in terms of not making keyboard skills 'cramped'. Basically any computer has to allow me to use my existing digital Microsoft Media Keyboard (I know this is OK with PCs - but what about Macs?)
- Portability: no real need for portability; I always work at the same place.
- Software: Always used Windows to date (and before that Dos!) but not wedded to it and refuse point blank to use IE! Use webware for all websites and blogs plus Notepad, Microsoft Office Small Business, PC Elements 7,Adobe Reader and Firefox. Odd usage of Windows Movie Maker for editing videos and programs for making CDs/DVDs. Kaspersky for security.
- Learning: Have had to update and learn new things lots of times in last 20 years. Never averse to learning something new - as I have to each time every operating system upgrade comes along. Preference for consistent principles and intuitive rather than the 'read all the instructions very carefully and keep the manula right next to you'! My experience is that I've had to upgrade most software with every new computer. Existing software can still be used on the reserve computer
THE PROS AND CONS - TYPE AND MAKE
|Buy a desktop|
|Buy a PC|
|Buy a Mac|
It's surprising how making lists helps you come to a decision.
Conclusion: Interestingly at the end of the day my decision is not going to guided by or anything to do with the operating software at all. It seems likely that both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard are reaosonably competent systems. I just want a computer which works well with the operating system and which will make me want to be a repeat purchaser in the future. Is that really too much to ask of a computer?
The next question I think is can I live with a glossy screen (any suggestions?) and which size of imac! Plus do I buy new or refurbished?
Many, many thanks for all the comments to date. I don't think I;ve ever had quite so many comments on one topic. Please feel free to continue to express your views.