April 11 , 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! It's been a couple of weeks since you've
received the last newsletter--family vacation the first week
and my entire family was hit with a nasty flu during the
second week. We're all better now, and I'm glad to be back in
the saddle again! Before I start the topic this week, I want
to give an honorary shout out to one of our veteran volunteer
forum moderators, Robert Proffitt. As of last week, he has
hit the mark of more than 100,000 forum posts! Now that is
truly quite an accomplishment, he is in our forums day in,
day out in his spare time to not only to help keep the forum
a clean and friendly place, but also to help members out with
tech issues. So, hats off to you Bob! We at CNET thank you
and appreciate you and your dedication to the forums! With
that said, I'd like to extend our appreciation to all our
volunteer moderators as well. If you folks do happen to get
help from one of our moderators, please take a moment to
thank them for their time and efforts.
Now let's tackle the question from Joan who is seeking some
advice on figuring out the necessary specifications for a new
PC that can run programs such as Adobe Photoshop,
Dreamweaver, and Illustrator with ease. Joan, after reading
through many of members' recommendations I will quickly sum
up what many member have said. However, for better
explanation, please go through and read all of the members'
Since you are dealing mostly with Photoshop, Illustrator, and
Dreamweaver, many of our members recommended that a dual-core
processor would do the job nicely. Currently, quad-core
systems are pricey and your applications may not even be able
to take advantage of the extra cores in the processor. Many
members recommended staying with a midperformance PC, rather
than the high-end PCs. As for RAM, since you are sticking
with XP, 2GB will mostly likely suit you well, but 3GB will
give you more wiggle room for multitasking. However, beyond
3GB you may not notice significant gain in performance. Some
folks recommend getting a higher-end video card, but since
you are mostly dealing with 2D graphics--and not working with
3D rendering applications, or playing graphic intensive
games--they maybe overkill for your needs, not to mention
more expensive. Getting a midrange dedicated video card with
256MB video RAM should be plenty and give you a decent
picture resolution. However, if you start dabbling in 3D art,
animation, or video editing, all of the above may change
substantial. Based on what you are seeking given your
question, these quick general pointers are what I have
rounded up for you. Sure, there are other factors to consider
such as hard drive speed, and so on, but these are just the
quick basics. In this week's suggestions, you will find much
more advice from members who, like you, use Photoshop,
Illustrator, and so on. They will tell you from their
experience what has worked for them.
To get you started, here are a few selected answers that I
think can provide you a base guideline to your needs.
However, please read all our member recommendations to learn
more and to find out what best fits your needs and budget.
Good luck and thank you everyone for your contributions. Have
a great weekend!
Member Question of the Week
I need to upgrade my PC because I am using graphic-intensive
programs including Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and
Illustrator. I intend to stick with Windows XP (I have no
interest in Vista at this point) and do not want to change to
a Mac. Do I really need 3GB or 4GB of RAM, or is 2GB
enough? Will an Intel dual-core processor work well enough,
or do I really need the more expensive quad-core? I have
never spent more than $1,000 on a PC, but realize that my
current requirements push me close to $1,500, including a
wide-screen monitor. I have looked at the Dell Inspiron 530
and XPS 410. I welcome any and all suggestions. I do not
want to spend for more than I need to, but I am having trouble
figuring out the necessary essentials. Thanks so much for
Vote for the most helpful answer
Below are the answers we've selected for you to vote on. Click on the title to read the answer by the member.
Here are the selected submissions grouped in one post.
Vote for answer by Watzman
Time to vote! Now that you've read our members' answers, which would you consider the most helpful? Click on the button to weigh in on the decision.
(Note: Below is the section to vote, please read the individual answers above before casting your vote below.)
Vote for answer by waytron
Vote for answer by Proshootercom
Vote for answer by Ankit B.
For the member whose answer was voted the
most helpful by our community, we will send
this member some cool CNET branded gear.
Previous week's Q&A
Greetings! Windows has many annoying "features" that we all
have to put up with. My main complaint is that regularly
Windows decides to make changes to settings, which then have
to be reset by the user. I'll give two examples. I
regularly connect USB external hard drives and USB flash
memory cards. Using Computer management's Disk Manager, I
will change the drive letter. My Toshiba hard drive is set
to (T:) and the Western Digital to (W:). My flash card is
set to (U:). These all have a desktop icon. I'll also set
the action required when plugged in to open a folder. Then
Windows decides to change the letter and prompts for what to
do, rather than automatically open a folder. Is there a
method to this madness, so that the assigned drive letter
stays assigned? Any detail explanation why this happens and
how I can fix this annoyance is appreciated.
This is a snippet from the community newsletter (3/21/08):
Thanks to all who contributed!
Reg, I can see your frustration. I know that if you have
desktop icons created for those removable drives, once you
remove them and plug them back in, the desktop shortcuts will
not access those drives again--because Windows naturally
reassigned the drive letters to the next available drive
letter. Unfortunately, many of our members' answers stated
that it?????????s something you cannot...
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
Hi everyone. Sorry if this sounds like dumb question. I'm in process of buying a new desktop computer. When I'm looking at the specification on many desktop PCs I often get quite confused over the video memory aspect of these desktop. Some read 128MB dedicated video memory, some read integrated graphics with up to 128MB shared memory, and some read 256MB discrete video memory. Dedicated, shared, discreet? Talk about confusion! All I know in general is the more video memory the better. But can someone please explain what the difference are between these type of video specs, and what is best suited for what type of computer usage, so I can make a decent buying decision on a desktop without any future regrets. If this helps, my main goal for this new PC is for multimedia--the casual music listening/steaming, Internet surfing, e-mailing, watch videos online or DVDs, photos editing, casual gaming--nothing hard core. I don't want to limit myself to these as my interest may expand down the line. A little help in the confusing video memory area would be most appreciated!
We feature a new question every Friday, and if you have the answer for our member, you can submit it above. If your submission is picked by our members as the most helpful answer, you'll receive some cool CNET branded gear.
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