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Best desktop computer + monitor setup for a translator (Aug 2014)
Շարքի հրապարակողը: Hans Geluk

Hans Geluk  Identity Verified
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Still thinking about it... Aug 25, 2014

Tom in London wrote:
Why not just use a wide screen, such as the one I described above? That's one less cable, one less power supply, reduced desk space, and no turning left and right as though watching a tennis match.

[Edited at 2014-08-25 17:20 GMT]


I somehow love the idea of the source text on a different (secondary) screen, as if it were a piece of paper, apart from my (primary) workspace. That's what I do with my laptop, and I like it.

However, what you say makes sense. I think I'll sleep a few nights over it!!


 

Hans Geluk  Identity Verified
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Thanks! Aug 25, 2014

Orrin Cummins wrote:
Total: $1432.88


Thank you! I will compare my final choice with your list. Hilarious that a DVD-writer now costs under 15 quid!


 

Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
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For mature users... Aug 25, 2014

I can only recommend going with a Mac (MUCH less maintenance required; mine is a Mac Mini = practically silent!!! Another option is the iMac, also silent) and two 30" Apple Cinema displays (non-glossy screen). Unfortunately, the latter are pricy and only available used anymore, but well worth it. This combo quickly paid for itself by a) allowing me to work longer w/o getting tired/stressed (eyes and ears) and b) saving me money on the technician I needed for my PC set-up (which is still sitting ... See more
I can only recommend going with a Mac (MUCH less maintenance required; mine is a Mac Mini = practically silent!!! Another option is the iMac, also silent) and two 30" Apple Cinema displays (non-glossy screen). Unfortunately, the latter are pricy and only available used anymore, but well worth it. This combo quickly paid for itself by a) allowing me to work longer w/o getting tired/stressed (eyes and ears) and b) saving me money on the technician I needed for my PC set-up (which is still sitting in the back office; it has two incredibly noisy fans and two 19" monitors - nothing to write home about. I only use it to run DéjaVu).

As for translation software, you can install Windows on any Mac; but I would verify that whatever you use will run also (I am sure there's someone out there who has done it - I am running some PC-only dictionaries on a Macbook w/Windows).

So many choices…
Best of luck,
Teresa
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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
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Some thoughts Aug 25, 2014

1. Core i7 is probably a waste of money. The i5 does more than fine in the benchmarks I've seen, even in games (which are far more stressing on components than anything a translator is going to be using). You can always get the Core i5-4590K (which is unlocked) and overclock it if you are that worried about it, but I wouldn't be.

2. A 24" IPS 1080p monitor running at 60hz may be the best bang for your buck. 27" versions can cost twice as much, so you would be better off getting two
... See more
1. Core i7 is probably a waste of money. The i5 does more than fine in the benchmarks I've seen, even in games (which are far more stressing on components than anything a translator is going to be using). You can always get the Core i5-4590K (which is unlocked) and overclock it if you are that worried about it, but I wouldn't be.

2. A 24" IPS 1080p monitor running at 60hz may be the best bang for your buck. 27" versions can cost twice as much, so you would be better off getting two 24" if you feel you need more screen space. I also highly recommend getting one that can rotate into portrait mode.

3. SSD drive is a must if you are building a new system. I'm going for the M.2 architecture myself but SATA-Express is also good (it's basically the same), or even a standard SATA SSD drive. You can stick with 128 GB if cost is an issue, that will allow you to get the fastest ones.

4. Graphics card is not important at all if you don't plan to do any gaming. The only thing you want to make sure is that your card (or motherboard if using the onboard graphics adapter) has whatever video output connectors that you need to run your desired monitor setup. Also, depending on the monitors you get you have to make sure that your graphics card can run them, although this probably won't be an issue.

5. It's debatable whether you will see a difference between 8 GB and 16 GB (probably not), so 8 GB seems like a safe choice, although for futureproofing you might want to consider whether your motherboard has upgrade slots or not.

6. Anything higher than Windows 7 Home Professional is a waste of money for home users in most cases. Check the differences here, I doubt you will miss any of them.

7. If you set your important programs to autosave frequently, a backup supply seems a little excessive. I would hold off on that.

8. Get a smallish SSD and then add a secondary, large HDD for your main storage. Magnetic disc drives are cheaper per MB still.
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three monitors with laptop Aug 25, 2014

I use a two-year-old laptop and it meets my requirements very well, I I don't think I need to buy another computer for another two years at least. I spent money on monitors instead. I connect the laptop to two external Dell monitors, one 27" in horizontal mode and one 24" in portrait mode, that gives me three monitors in total. I love the 27" monitor and don't think I can ever go back to anything smaller and still be happy. The 24" monitor in vertical setup is a bit too high above the eye level... See more
I use a two-year-old laptop and it meets my requirements very well, I I don't think I need to buy another computer for another two years at least. I spent money on monitors instead. I connect the laptop to two external Dell monitors, one 27" in horizontal mode and one 24" in portrait mode, that gives me three monitors in total. I love the 27" monitor and don't think I can ever go back to anything smaller and still be happy. The 24" monitor in vertical setup is a bit too high above the eye level for comfort, but I try to persuade myself that it gives plenty of allowance for the row of menus in a WORD document and still gives me an uncompromised A4 page viewing space.

Here is what my setup looks like, we are talking about August 2014, right?

http://www.proz.com/forum/freelance_translator_workspaces/187292-freelance_translator_workspaces.html#2329961

[Edited at 2014-08-25 19:26 GMT]
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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
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Two monitors Aug 25, 2014

I work like you, Lincoln. I have the source text on 1 PC and translate/proofread on another, and avoid having to minimise/maximise all the time and risking leaving out parts or having to perpetually check Capitals, Old, indent, etc. It saves me time and works for me. Tom, some agencies ask you to sig in and download from their sites and upload on their sites. I cannot tell you here what some agencies use as it would be revealing but will email you. I hate big monitors. We have a new 23" monitor ... See more
I work like you, Lincoln. I have the source text on 1 PC and translate/proofread on another, and avoid having to minimise/maximise all the time and risking leaving out parts or having to perpetually check Capitals, Old, indent, etc. It saves me time and works for me. Tom, some agencies ask you to sig in and download from their sites and upload on their sites. I cannot tell you here what some agencies use as it would be revealing but will email you. I hate big monitors. We have a new 23" monitor and documents kind of move about as they move next to each other, under in the middle, then to the side to make way for the next page. I don't know about being able to convert to Windows 7. It was fine but I hate Windows 8, I can never find my documents so I tend to use a pen drive to find them quickly but my husband cannot stand PCs. I hate keyboards and a mouse. Anyone to his own, I expect.Collapse


 

Hans Geluk  Identity Verified
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Inspiring workspace! Aug 26, 2014

he-li wrote:
I connect the laptop to two external Dell monitors, one 27" in horizontal mode and one 24" in portrait mode, that gives me three monitors in total. I love the 27" monitor and don't think I can ever go back to anything smaller and still be happy. The 24" monitor in vertical setup is a bit too high above the eye level for comfort, but I try to persuade myself that it gives plenty of allowance for the row of menus in a WORD document and still gives me an uncompromised A4 page viewing space.


Wow, this is very, very useful! Your workspace looks inspiring It actually tells me two things:
• Instead of a landscape 24" screen, I should probably spend a bit more and use a landscape 27" as my main screen.
• Since you complain about the height of the portrait 24" screen, which (if I don't mistake) is 53cm x 30cm, I can take the 19" screen (5:4; 1280x1024p) which in portrait mode is exactly the same width but lower: 38cm x 30cm. It will also make the mouse movements better, since the sizes of the main and second screen match better. I may have to scroll a bit more than you do, or use full screen mode, but I think it will be the most useful setup for my requirements.

It's great to get such good advice from all parts of the world!!!


 

Meta Arkadia
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Just a little bit more Aug 26, 2014

Hans Geluk wrote: Instead of a landscape 24" screen, I should probably spend a bit more and use a landscape 27" as my main screen.

And then spend just a little more (as compared to what Orrin spent/is going to spend), and buy a 27" iMac, for more reasons than I want to list here.



That's basically the real estate of two 19" monitors portrait mode. The left half of the screen shows the original document, the right half my CAT tool and my main dictionary (which will also be your main dictionary, I guess).

Cheers,

Hans


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
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... Aug 26, 2014

Meta Arkadia wrote:

Hans Geluk wrote: Instead of a landscape 24" screen, I should probably spend a bit more and use a landscape 27" as my main screen.

And then spend just a little more (as compared to what Orrin spent/is going to spend), and buy a 27" iMac, for more reasons than I want to list here.



That's basically the real estate of two 19" monitors portrait mode. The left half of the screen shows the original document, the right half my CAT tool and my main dictionary (which will also be your main dictionary, I guess).

Cheers,

Hans


Lol, a "bit more"?

A 27" iMac that is comparable to the PC specs I listed is $2,400 (a thousand dollars more) on the Apple Store.

Don't get me wrong, I like Macs a lot--when I owned a music recording studio I had several of them--but if you don't have an unlimited budget or if you like to build/upgrade your system yourself...well, they aren't the way to go for obvious reasons.


 

Meta Arkadia
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Specs? Aug 26, 2014

Orrin Cummins wrote:
A 27" iMac that is comparable to the PC specs I listed is $2,400 (a thousand dollars more) on the Apple Store.

We Macs, we don't do specs. A USD 1800 iMac will do very fine for our kind of work.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Hans Geluk  Identity Verified
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iMac Aug 26, 2014

Meta Arkadia wrote:

Hans Geluk wrote: Instead of a landscape 24" screen, I should probably spend a bit more and use a landscape 27" as my main screen.

And then spend just a little more (as compared to what Orrin spent/is going to spend), and buy a 27" iMac, for more reasons than I want to list here.


Yeah, I have an iPad but I'm not sure I could get used to an iMac. Moreover, it seems not to be compatible with most CAT tools. And what do you think about the reflection of the screen? I will need it a bit more matte, I'm afraid.
Great example of using a 27" screen, though! And yes i have the EN and SP verslons of that dictionary, lol. Thanks


 

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Glad you find my setup helpful Aug 26, 2014

If I were to do it again, I might go with 19" monitor for portrait mode, it is cheaper. But then again, I might not. I currently resize the browser or WORD document so that the height of the monitor doesn't bother me, and if there is a large PDF file, I can then set it to fullscreen.

 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
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Agreed, two monitors not as good as they sound Aug 26, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:
I find a 1920x1080 single monitor setup quite fine - though I don't actually have enough space in my room for a second monitor. But having to turn your head instead of just your eyeballs can become a pain.

When I had a dual-monitor setup I too found it mostly a pain. The best configuration I found was to have one straight in front of me and the other to one side, which I used to use for materials to which I wanted to refer. Having both monitors angled so that their edges met in the middle in front of me was not a good setup for me.


 

Hans Geluk  Identity Verified
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2 monitors Aug 26, 2014

Thanks Dan! The more I think about it, the more I think of one large screen (27") and an auxiliar 19" monitor just for the ST or reference material. So, I would still be "working" on just one monitor.

 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
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Another option Aug 26, 2014

Something that hasn't been mentioned is using a tablet as your second monitor.

I have the larger-screen iPad 2, and sometimes I put the source document on there so I can pinch-zoom in on scanned PDFs and the like. Tablets are also nice for lounging around comfortably while proofreading documents.


 
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Best desktop computer + monitor setup for a translator (Aug 2014)

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