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Dell Dimension 4600 Upgrading for Photo Editing Work

by TedAndersonHill / December 25, 2008 6:19 AM PST

A couple (or so) questions from a newbie on upgrading my "workhorse" Dell Dimension 4600 for photo editing work (vs purchasing a new desktop unit.)

I think I've read (not all) but a good number of entires here re DD 4600 upgrading. Hopefully what follows makes sense (I need some help/advice when folks have a bit of time to spare.)

Specs of my Dimension 4600 include: Intel Pent 4 2.6 GHZ, 1024 DDR Ram @ 400MHz, a 128 DDR Nvidia GF FX 5200 graph card, a 120 ATA Series HD @ 7200 plus a recent add-on 500GB Seagate ATA/100 7200, and 3 drives (floppy + a 16x and 4x dvd drives.)

1, Phoning Dell a week or so back one of the tech fellows recommended adding a 1GB module of DDR SDRAM, and replacing the Nvidia card with an XTASY Radeon X1300 512M DD2 AGP card.

2. Also..I'm planning on buying a mid-cost range larger isp panel/greater resolution (say 1900-2000) monitor (24" or 26" sized) to replace/work with my UltraSharp 1901FP monitor. Something similar to a Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP or a Samsung unit.

3. First Q: will the 4600 upgrade pretty much work for photo editing work (no gaming/very modest video editing) or does it makes sense to start fresh with a (eg) new XPS unit or imac 24 unit? (If the latter, yes, struggle with learning os for a bit.)

4. Second Q: should i pull the existing RAM/replace it with 3 or 4 GB of RAM; and will the Radeon X1300 card do the job (work with the 4600/eg support higher resolution monitors) or is another card a better choice?

5. Third Q: re PSU overloading. Will I come close to overloading or coming dangerously close to maxing out my power supply with the changes? Help.

6. Fourth Q: what hardware upgrades are missing ie what am I missing to get the photo editing maximum performance..that is, that the 4600 can safely handle?

When someone has the time..I appreciate your thinking/best advice.

(from a snowy Hood Canal today)

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(NT) Is the photo editing 'business' or 'hobby' ?
by VAPCMD / December 25, 2008 12:00 PM PST
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Dell Dimension 4600 Upgrading for Photo Editing Work
by TedAndersonHill / December 25, 2008 1:55 PM PST

Most (80% plus) of the photo/scanned slide work is related to rural development (ie) university research/contract activity. Hobby/business? Interesting Q. I'll answer "hobby" since I don't have a tax number.

TedAndersonHill is that enough of an answer..or are you pulling my leg? The reason Iput the last Q is that I live on Anderson Hill Rd.

Back to advice re upgrading my Dimension 4600... Cheers.


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Sorry, not kidding about 'hobby' or 'profession'
by VAPCMD / December 26, 2008 2:15 AM PST

and the name Ted Anderson Hill doesn't ring a bell. Just trying to gain perspective on intended use and ROI.

Budget permitting .... I'd get a new box.

AGP and DDR are really really outdated and to some extent overpriced for upgrades whereas DDR2 and PCIe are fast and relatively speaking 'inexpensive'. Plus you'd end up with a dual or better yet, a quad-core CPU and a PCIe video card better suited to the proposed use. In addition get a new PC with at least a 1-year warranty and possibly longer if you extend mfg's warranty.


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Let's call this pro work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 25, 2008 10:42 PM PST

Since the editing is for someone else the one thing I see missing is your color control or calibrator. Let me share an economical model ->

You can imagine why this is required when working on other people's photos.

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DD 4600 Upgrading for Photo Editing Work: Color Calibration
by TedAndersonHill / December 26, 2008 1:38 AM PST

Bob thanks for the color calabrator heads-up re serious work. I still wonder about the slippage between what I see (even with a calibrated monitor) and the print output. Yes purchase a cc.

I'll read up Huey MEU113/Spyder 3s..get back. Any thoughts on the amount of ram and graphics card?

As for the "pulling my leg" comment--Bob I'd forgotten that I had attached Anderson Hill to my name. "pmy" was not called for/sorry. Ted

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As to ram, video card and such.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 26, 2008 1:49 AM PST

Not long ago a high end Matrox with dual head for such work sported 8 megabytes for the video ram. So any number more than that is likely tbe be enough. What's more important is the "goodness" of the video DAC and not any 3D chipset for photo work.

Hope this helps,

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Steps/how to replace...ram/v card
by TedAndersonHill / January 2, 2009 9:46 AM PST

4 GB of Buffalo ram and the ATI Radeon X1300 PRO 256MB AGP w/DVI/TV-OUT video card have arrived. Can someone give me a walk-though on replacing steps/watch out not to/be carefuls on replacing both...or a link to a video. Thanks in advance.

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Steps/how to replace...ram/v card
by TedAndersonHill / January 3, 2009 1:00 AM PST
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I found this also
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2009 1:11 AM PST
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I found this also
by TedAndersonHill / January 3, 2009 5:20 AM PST
In reply to: I found this also

bob...thanks for the dell d4600 manual page ted

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