July 26, 2012

In the market for a desktop?

I just wanted to apologize for being MIA lately.  I’ve been putting all my free time into researching a new desktop to replace my old and VERY slow HP laptop.  I’ve been having so many problems with my laptop, I’ve kind of been waiting for it to die already.  I guess I’ve just been lucky! 

I decided on a desktop thinking I wouldn’t be able to get the specifications needed for photography in a measly little laptop.  Apparently I was wrong.  After careful consideration, I bought the Macbook Pro with the Retina display!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you tell I’m a little excited?  No, I’m not typing on it at this very moment (unfortunately).  Since I customized it, I had to order it online and it’s estimated to deliver around mid August!  Not sure I can wait that long! 

In the meantime, and so they don’t go entirely wasted, I thought I’d share my research notes in case anyone out there is in the market for a desktop!  I started by googling the best performance desktops where I pulled information from the following sources:

Top Ten Reviews / CNET / PC World / PC Mag / Consumer Reports / eHow Tech

Then I chose the top 5 out of 10 desktops on each list.  Lastly, I cross referenced them to find out which desktops were showing up on multiple lists.

Top Ten Reviews (best multimedia)

1. Dell Inspiron 560
2. Asus Essentio CM1630
3. HP TouchSmart 610xt
4. Dell XPS 8300
5. Lenovo IdeaCentre B510

CNET (best performance)

1. Apple iMac
2. Velocity Micro Edge Z55
3. Origin Chronos
4. Maingear F131
5. Dell XPS One 2710 (all in one)

PC World (top performance)

1. Maingear Shift Super Stock
2. Digital Storm ODE Level 4
3. Micro Express Microflex 79B
4. Origin Genesis X79
5. iBuyPower Erebus GT

PC Mag (top 10 best)

1. Cyberpower Zeus Thunder 3000SE
2. Dell Precision T1600
3. Maingear Shift Super Stock (Core i7-3930K)
4. Falcon Northwest Mach V (Core i7-3960X)
5. Apple Mac Mini (Thunderbolt)

Consumer Reports (desktops)

1. Dell XPS 8500
2. HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9-1150
3. Gateway FX6860 UR10P
4. Asus CM6870-US-3AB
5. Gateway FX6860-UR20P

eHow Tech (best media)

1. Apple Mac Pro
2. HP Pavillion Elite HPE 490t
3. Origin Genesis
4. Gateway FX6800-05
5. Dell XPS 9100

The results are in!!!!!!!!!!! 


1. Dell
2. Apple
3. Maingear
4. HP
5. Origin / Gateway / Asus


1. Dell XPS
2. Maingear Shift (superstock)
3. HP Pavillion
4. Origin Genesis / Gateway FX

Once I was through cross referencing, I decided to google desktop manufacturer reliability.  What good is a fast performing desktop if it’s just going to crash on you?  For me, reliability was a top deciding factor.  According to PC World (published in 2011), the following manufacturers came in on top for reliability:

1. Apple
2. Asus
3. Dell (for business)

And from Consumer Reports, the following manufacturers had the least amount of repairs:

1. Apple
2. Compaq
3. Dell and Acer tied

To figure out desktop specifications needed for photography (editing multiple RAW files and running large programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, etc.),  I found the following post (published on July 16th) on PC World.  It was very helpful and super informative!  I didn’t want to bombard you with a bunch of notes so I hope that, at least, this post will steer you in the right direction.  And if you are in the market for a desktop computer, Happy Hunting!  Take a deep breath before you start your research and remember it’s supposed to be fun!

And now for a little viewing entertainment!  I only have one for you today but I love it ‘cause I know she is looking at her daddy in this picture. 

074 RSWM

the long road


  1. Do you see the envy in my eyes???? ;0) You go girl with all your research! I keep thinking I need to invest in a desktop because of editing. Not an expensive one, just one to do that type of stuff on because of the whole screen calibration thing and storage. I'd love to have a macbook, maybe someday!!! I know you can't wait to use it haha, that's a long time!! Love that shot of your cutie!

  2. I could understand the time away, it takes a long time to find a good, reliable computer. I fear that our laptop won't make it to the end of the year, but am holding out that it does!

  3. Or build your own :D (its Alex BTW)

  4. I understand. I shopped around for a long time before choosing this particular all in one. Certainly has made my life easier.

  5. I AM SOOOO excited for you mama! Jealous... that's the one I LOVE too! Anywhoo.. LOVE Miss Alivia's pretty brown eyes. Adorable shot!

  6. Good for you doing your research for a new computer, and how exciting!
    And that photo is very sweet :)

  7. Elena, you are going to love, love, love, the MacBook!
    Mine is about a year and a half old, so no retina display, but i have seen the new ones, and they are incredible.
    Congratulations, and enjoy it!

    Just look at the love in this little one's eyes!
    She is an angel.

    Wishing you a most wonderful weekend, my friend.


  8. Gorgeous photo! Even more lovely when you know she is looking at her Daddy. x

  9. What a beautiful pic. :)

    I am loving my HP Touch. It's my baby! LOL

    I am your newest GFC follower. If you have a moment and would like to, you can visit me here The Things We Find Inside


  10. Congrats on your new computer! I got a new desktop, HP...not the Mac...but hubby tried. lol.

    Your girly is gorgeous, as always!

  11. Congrats! I'm an apple girl all the way ;)

  12. Pssssttt..... Get an Apple. I got a Mac Book Pro and will NEVER go back to PC/Windows. I work in the technology field and I can tell you I am thoroughly impressed with my MAC. I love it so much. I also was able to transfer my Lightroom license over from PC - super easy. Let me know if you have any technical questions. :)

  13. OK .... just so you know, I am a moron - I re-read your post and realized you actually did order the macbook pro ... dooohhh! OK so congrats and you will love it. I thought you were still deciding. It's late.... I'm old .... and tired... that's my excuse!


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