Best hardware balance

J
Posted By
JIP
Aug 2, 2006
Views
190
Replies
3
Status
Closed
Hi

I’m planning on building a new PC and will be using Photoshop CS2 vs 9 + Quark Express 6.1. Will be doing maily photo and graphics editing and DTP.

Could anyone please comment on the relative importance of the PCs processor, memory and graphics card please – I know the best of all three woudl be best, but I have a budget of

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B
bmoag
Aug 2, 2006
Two for everything:
Dual core processor, particularly as future iterations of PS should have multithreading.
2 gbs ram on 2 sticks (more than 2 gbs ram is problematic for Windows; more than two sticks is problematic for the stability of many motherboards). Two physical hard drives: placing swap/scrap files on separate drives speeds performance.
2 video cards (e.g. SLIe or Crossfire) are great for games but add nothing to Photoshop performance. However some people have the luxury of using two monitors with Photoshop (palettes/tools on one, image on the other) but this can be done with single video cards that have dual digital and VGA connectors.
Do not get Windows 64: problems with antivirus software, problems with CD/DVD drivers, problems with video processing programs, problems with peripheral drivers, incompatibilities with some mainstream Windows applications. If you can get it running CS2 works well on Win64, not necessarily faster. Win64 promises greater stability with larger amounts of RAM than WinXP but the problems outweigh the benefits.
J
JIP
Aug 3, 2006
Two for everything:
Thanks for that
C
Clyde
Aug 5, 2006
bmoag wrote:
Two for everything:
Dual core processor, particularly as future iterations of PS should have multithreading.
2 gbs ram on 2 sticks (more than 2 gbs ram is problematic for Windows; more than two sticks is problematic for the stability of many motherboards). Two physical hard drives: placing swap/scrap files on separate drives speeds performance.
2 video cards (e.g. SLIe or Crossfire) are great for games but add nothing to Photoshop performance. However some people have the luxury of using two monitors with Photoshop (palettes/tools on one, image on the other) but this can be done with single video cards that have dual digital and VGA connectors.
Do not get Windows 64: problems with antivirus software, problems with CD/DVD drivers, problems with video processing programs, problems with peripheral drivers, incompatibilities with some mainstream Windows applications. If you can get it running CS2 works well on Win64, not necessarily faster. Win64 promises greater stability with larger amounts of RAM than WinXP but the problems outweigh the benefits.

The current version of Photoshop does multithreading very well. In fact, so did CS. Photoshop uses both cores of my AMD X2 3800+ for many things. Not everything, but some of the big performance hits do get to use it. It makes a huge difference too.

I highly recommend dual core of some type for use with Photoshop right now. It really speeds things up.

AMD has been the recommended dual core to get, but that seems to be changing. Intel’s new Core 2 processors are significantly faster, cheaper, and use less power (cooler) that the current offering from AMD. If you are getting something today, you still might want to get AMD though. The reason is the motherboards. It will probably take awhile for the makers to get the bugs out of the new motherboards that use Core 2 – if you can find Core 2 motherboards at all. If you are updating in a couple of months, look at Core 2.

Of course, by that time AMD may have done some thing remarkable to counter Intel. Competition is great!

I agree with everything else bmoag said. I do use a WD Raptor 10K drive as my XP and Photoshop swap disk. It does seem to make a difference.

Clyde

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