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New or 2nd user?

By Jono.W ·
I've been out of the circuit for a while now and would be grateful for any input from those who have experience in speccing PCs and or GIS .

I'm looking to buy another PC for use with GIS/aerial imagery and topographic modelling - nothing really excessive, just personal development & the odd bit of freelance work if I can.

I have a limited budget (don't we all - but this is a personal buy, not corporate) as there is no guaranteed payback on this.

Anyway, looking at new mid-level PCs, they are well over the minimum reqts for the software I have in mind. However, I chanced across a 2nd user workstation which got me wondering as to whether a 4yr old workstation (eg HPXW4nnn or Fujitsu Celsius 630) would be better than a new consumer grade PC?

I also had in mind to run XP64bit to access the extra memory but it just occurred to me whether a 32bit app running on the 64bit OS could see the extra RAM? (one of my apps is 32bit, the other I can buy in 64)

Is there any advantage in ECC RAM when effecting computationally intensive operations (eg raster analysis)?
Any constructive information would be most appreciated.

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