Optimal computer hardware

Posted By
Nov 18, 2003
I just upgraded to Photoshop CS and bought a new digital camera (6 megapixel) and I would like to upgrade my 1.7G Windows XP system. The question is, of all the options such as cpu speed, more memory, etc has anyone looked at these options to see which ones improve photoshop performance? I know the more memory the better but there are other options to think about such as:

— Athlon vs Pentium. I saw one website that benched marked a 1.3G Atheon with a 1.7 P4 and for most benchmarks the Atheon was better.

— Is increasing CPU speed worth the cost?

— Front end bus: I see numbers from 400 to 800 Mhz, is this one of the bottlenecks?

— Graphics card, I assume going with the AGP 8x is correct, but what about memory, is the extra cost for 256mb worth the additional $$

Any help picking the right options to pay for in an upgrade would very helpful, TIA!

How to Improve Photoshop Performance

Learn how to optimize Photoshop for maximum speed, troubleshoot common issues, and keep your projects organized so that you can work faster than ever before!

Nov 18, 2003
Yes, increased CPU speed is usually worth the cost. But you don’t have to get the fastest (2.8 Ghz instead of 3.2 Ghz).

Yes, the bus is a HUGE bottleneck for Photoshop. Get the fastest bus you can afford.

Get lots of RAM, and make it fast RAM.

Get plenty of HD space (200 Gigs is cheap now), and make it reasonably fast (ATA133 or Serial ATA).

The Graphics card only matters a lot if you play 3D games or do 3D modelling.
William Kazak
Dec 21, 2003
I have had great results with Athlon processors. I like the newer 400 watt power supplies. I like aftermarket fans available for Athlon CPU’s for better cooling. Make sure your case has plenty of fans. Actually, 1.8 GHZ and above will work for a processor. I am using 2.5 GHZ now. Memory is a big issue. Get as much as you can afford. Defrag regularly. Try to keep as few programs open at the same time.
Graphics cards with 64 mb of ram are good if they are DDR. No worries! Photoshop is tolerant.
Two monitor setups seem like the hot setup. I might try that someday!

How to Master Sharpening in Photoshop

Give your photos a professional finish with sharpening in Photoshop. Learn to enhance details, create contrast, and prepare your images for print, web, and social media.

Related Discussion Topics

Nice and short text about related topics in discussion sections