Buying a computer system/Help buying a computer.

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I am a video and flyer editor and I am looking to get a new computer in the fall.I will also be attending college in the fall to get a degree in Information technology. I need some help choosing one of 3 choices. I have been looking closely at dell and have come down to 3 possibilities. 1) The XPS 15, which is powerful and has a beautiful display that has 100% of the adobe rgb which would be amazing for my graphics. I would also want to get it with the 4k display to be able to edit 4k video in the future. Downside would have to be the high price tag topping at about 2300 for the one I would want. 2) Inspiron 7000 Gaming Series. I don't play computer games, I have read that gaming computers have great specs that line up will with top model graphic business computers. I can have a 4k screen and has a slightly better graphic card because it has 4gb rather than the 2gb graphics of the xps. It also comes in at a much better price at around 1300 for the model I would get. While that price is much better, from what I have been reading, the color representation lack something to be desired and I don't know if it would represent my printable and videos well. It also lacks a thunderbolt port that is on the xps. It also uses older ram DDR3L chips rather than the DDR4 of the xps which are clocked faster. 3) Inspiron 7000 Series 17" 2-in-1. This computer meets the requirements for the adobe cc suite that I use , it has a lower clocked i7 possessor and is not available in 4k. It does however boast a 17 inch 360 degree folding screen that looks interesting. It also comes in at a good price point of about 1000.I would love to have the xps but is it worth that price or should I save money at get one of the other two.

Answer
To make an informed decision, you really need more complete specs for each machine. Some things to point out that are more general:

- Gaming graphics generally don't align with professional graphics; professional graphics primarily differentiate themselves by driver and firmware changes, however the differences can be dramatic in many applications.

- Video memory capacity tells us nothing about graphics performance, and this has become increasingly true in the era of cheap memory.

- Since you're buying a laptop (if you don't need mobility, I would pass on the laptop in lieu of a desktop, due to the customization options, better price-to-performance, and potential for upgrades) you will be unfortunately constrained to the built-in display's quality, barring use of an external display (which may not be a bad choice, especially as prices on displays have dropped).

- Working with 4K video has extensive system requirements, and will likely be at the extreme upper edge of what a laptop can feasibly do (at least today). Essentially the performance requirements can be summarized as "everything" being needed - more storage, faster storage, more memory, as much CPU performance as can be had, etc.

My advice would be to get more complete specs for the various machines you have on offer in order to make a better comparison.

Some other thoughts:

- As you're associated with a university (or college), you may be eligible for discounts on certain hardware through the institution, which would be worth pursuing if available. As a corollary to this, the institution may have a preferred system or platform for students to be using.

- Following on this logic, the university likely has resources available to students for working on these kinds of projects, likely comprised of significantly more robust equipment. My advice would be to avail yourself of this equipment where possible.

- Laptops generally are not the best choice for computationally intensive workloads, unless mobility is the ultimate requirement. Aside from the performance restrictions often inherent to laptops (and those machines that "defy" this norm are often not very mobile), cooling is usually a very serious problem when you're meaning to run the machine under heavy load with regularity, contrasted to a well designed desktop workstation with proper cooling and power delivery.

If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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