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Monday, November 17, 2008

Do I really need a Core 2 Quad computer?

I'm serious. Do I really need a Core 2 Quad computer? Before I get into all my requirements, I just want to toss out the fact that they're now advertising the existence of the Intel Core i7 processor and the X58 motherboards for said processor family. ( I guess the i7 is the 'next generation' beyond the basic Core 2 Quads.) So in my mind is this question whether I should 'burden' myself with Yet Anoter "Last Generation" System, or should I wait a few months and fork out Big Bucks on the "Latest and Greatest" system?

I currently have a Pentium D system which is maxed out at 4GB of RAM and has both a 320GB and an 80GB internal hard drive (I recently "upgraded" to two external 250GB hard drives for all the images and ebooks I've got stored. I still can't believe the speed increase I got just off-loading the internal drives!) I currently shoot 10.1 megapixel images and I use Photoshop CS3 for post-processing. As anyone who's worked with Photoshop knows, it's all about layers. Some of my 'base' image files may have as many as 40 layers and can run to 400-600MB in size. At the very least, I need to upgrade to a system that supports 8GB of RAM simply to speed the photo editing process.

Then there's the fact that I routinely have two or three browser windows open, along with one or two IRC channels running. Add in the ebook conversion scripts and apps that I run as I prepare HTML, RTF and TXT files for my ebook readers (I prefer Mobi format) and I'm finding my two year old Pentium D system just isn't cutting the mustard any longer.

And then there's my desire to dual-OS my new system (actually it's more like triple-OS as I want to run Mac OS-X, Linux and Windows) so I can have a development system for Open Inkpot work as well as to be able to explore the Macintosh environment.

Obviously, I could just take one step up the processor ladder and get a Core 2 Duo system, but that seems a waste of time as the ones out there with 8GB RAM support all seem to be close in price to Core 2 Quad systems. (Clearly, I'm talking about buying new - or used - via eBay rather than shelling out even more bucks for a store-bought system.)

But then they come out with the i7. So what do you think?

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