Dell Inspiron 530 & Vista 64-bit Home Premium

A few months back, I faced the decision of purchasing a new computer for my photographic needs.  My old iMac G5 at 1.8 GHz was maxed out with its lowly 250GB hard drive and 2 GB of RAM.  I was processing my Lightroom Library off of an external hardrive and was at a breaking point in user-friendly functionality.

My first steps in looking for a replacement centered around the pretty and new iMacs with 24″ monitors.  Man, they’re pretty.  The price tags, however, are not so pretty.  I wanted enough horse power to run Lightroom 2 and Photoshop simultaneously, in addition to Firefox and/or Safari.  To get what I wanted out of my new Mac, I would have to put together an iMac with a $2000+ price tag, or step up to the Mac Pro where I was looking at $2500 to $3000.  Ouch.

While I understand that many pro photographers out there (and I’m sure many amateurs as well) will pony up whatever Apple is charging for its great user interface and intuitive operation, that’s not necessarily for me.  As I thought more about it, I realized that Lightroom is the program that is the most important to me.  Second, would be Firefox.  Third, is Photoshop.  All three of these programs are available on Windows as well.

So, I started pondering the possibility of going back to Windows for my next box.  Then, when I started looking, I noticed the huge price differential for essentially the same specifications.  The price difference pretty much convinced me that I needed to go with a Windows machine for my next computer. [Read more…]