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Thread: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

  1. #1
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    Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    I am looking to buy a PC or Mac. I will be using it for and video editing from a Canon 7D. Right now I have my mind set on a Dell XPS 8300. With a 8GB ram and 1TB hard drive. Is this a good decision compared to purchasing a iMac or other top of the range PC?

    Any feedback at all would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Asking for trouble! lol.

    Wait for the PC V Mac debate........

    I've always used PC's, but am prepared to conceed that Mac has a solid background in imaging....

    So................................ buy the pc!

  3. #3
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    8GB RAM and 1TB disk should be enough to get you going for video editing. I assume the CPU is reasonably quick - I guess an i7 probably is fast enough.

    It might be worth checking what the RAM expansion options are, just in case you ever feel you could do with more. On most PCs it's fairly easy to plug in another memory module, but some manufacturers try to save a few pennies by soldering memory directly to the motherboard and don't have any spare sockets.

    The pics on the Dell website look as though it would be fairly easy to add another disk drive if you wanted to, but I couldn't find anywhere that it said so.

  4. #4
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Check the specs of each machine - see if the graphics card is CUDA capable.
    Check to see if your choice of software can utilise graphics cards to the full, especially CUDA.

    Graphics cards now make main processors look like sad little also-rans when it comes to software which can take advantage of them, so if you have a choice of lots of RAM and a CUDA card, and your software takes advantage of that card, then that, rather than any choice between Mac/PC takes precedent. - Adobe Premiere can certainly take advantage.
    If a poor man will spend a year in prison for stealing out of hunger, how high would the gallows need to be to hang the rich man who breaks the law out of greed?....Terry Pratchett, Snuff

  5. #5
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Definitely go for an Intel quad core i5 or i7 for video processing, they're far quicker than AMD (even though I'm an AMD die hard).

    Even with a decent Graphics card, the CPU and memory will still make a lot of difference.
    Thanks

    Nick

  6. #6
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Whether you buy a Mac or PC is largely about what you are used to and whether your chosen software is available for the platform. An adjunct is that PCs are more customisable and Macs, perhaps because they aren't, have a reputation for stability.

  7. #7
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Quote Originally Posted by LargeFormat View Post
    Whether you buy a Mac or PC is largely about what you are used to and whether your chosen software is available for the platform. An adjunct is that PCs are more customisable and Macs, perhaps because they aren't, have a reputation for stability.
    I don't think there is any perhaps about it. The fact that Macs don't allow the level of customisation also means that they don't allow for huge numbers of drivers and the like. It is the customisability of Windows that makes it unstable. We use XP at work, with much of the extraneous buts disabled and the computers are very stable, much more so than my XP desktop at home.

  8. #8
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    Re: Buying a new PC or iMac, should I buy the Dell XPS 8300?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
    I don't think there is any perhaps about it. The fact that Macs don't allow the level of customisation also means that they don't allow for huge numbers of drivers and the like. It is the customisability of Windows that makes it unstable. We use XP at work, with much of the extraneous buts disabled and the computers are very stable, much more so than my XP desktop at home.
    But how much of the stability is hardware related? Consumer PCs are usually built down to a price, with overclocked processors & memory and without ECC on the memory bus. I have not seen an Apple branded product that overclocks anything, though it is true that they rarely implement ECC.

    My main machine was built 11 years ago, it runs at 95% of the rated speed and has ECC implemented throughout. There are events in the ECC error log at an average rate of about one every two months - cosmic ray hits on the memory I believe. The machine has never crashed, it has been booted exactly twice in 11 years, once would have been enough except there was once a power cut long enough to run the battery in the UPS flat. Of course it's not running Windows (except in a sandboxed virtual machine), if it was running anything but a microkernel architecture I would have to reboot every year or so to patch the operating system. I have had to replace a couple of hard disks but since it's running full Raid 5 with hot swappable disks the system just sails through this.

    I have no doubt that there are combinations of Windows drivers and applications which can make the system unstable but I don't think software is the entire problem.
    If you're not living on the edge, you're wasting space

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