Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best for Photoshop[

Last response: in Windows 7
Share
October 24, 2009 2:39:43 AM

I use my computer mostly for photoshop CS 4.
My question is should I keep my system for a little longer or should I upgrade to windows 7 64 bit and undergo the hassle of upgrading or buy a new computer ( and if so with what characteristics) or sit tight for another year and buy a new computer then.
My system is ok but could be faster.

Dell precision 490 with TWO xeon 3.2 Ghz processors, Nvidia Quadro Fx 3500 graphics card, 3 gb of RAM and running windows XP pro 32 bit.

Thanks for the advice.

More about : photoshop

a c 215 $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 4:36:43 AM

I would say go for 7 x64 now, and bump up your RAM a bit. Photoshop will love you for it :) . No need to buy a brand new computer just to get 7.
m
0
l
a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 6:19:00 AM

You can get a fast system today or a faster system tomorrow. It doesn't matter when you buy, something newer and faster will always be available a few months later. If I were you I'd hold on to the current system as long as it's something you can live with.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 7:10:36 AM

I concur. Get a retail copy of W7 x64 (Pro or Ultimate) and jack your RAM up to whatever you can afford. Two Xeons and say, 8-12GB of RAM will make photoshop run like a hot knife through butter.
m
0
l
October 24, 2009 6:39:22 PM

You only get 3 gb of Ram, so my answer is no...

I got Vista 64 for gaming purpose... and XP for working... and photoshop is on XP using only 3gb of my ram instead of 4.

I am using more than 10 layers for images of more than 1600X1200 pixels. You will waste your money sincerely. Some peoples here should maybe work under photoshop before speaking.

If you think that Windows 7 will make your system go faster, you are mistaking. Maybe half a percent, but that's all. Just look at the gaming benches on Vista and 7... Windows 7 is a single frame faster at max. Microsoft will try to sell this to enthusiasts, but it's barely a lie since there is no real benefit.

Just get another gigabyte of memory and you will be ok. Your money will be better spend.

If you really want a better experience with photoshop, you should look for a SSD and not really more memory.
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 7:08:37 PM

And perhaps, redgarl, you should check what the OP is doing with Photoshop before assuming nobody else knows what they're talking about.

Running 10 layers at 1600x1200 is chump change that even my ancient P4 system can handle, running at least 50 layers of multi-leveled nested Smart Objects with a large number of live filters and adjustment layers at 16-bit colour depth for RED video graphics and 1200dpi print needs at least my Quadro-accelerated Q9550 with 8GB RAM at the office.

You should know full well that Photoshop will eat up as much power as you can throw at it, especially Photoshop CS4 64-bit.

So, OP: what do you use your Photoshop for? Simply upping your RAM to 8GB will see you a massive improvement as Windows won't need to keep swapping data so much, so as you'll need a 64-bit OS to do it you might as well get Windows 7.

I do agree with redgarl in that a SSD for Photoshop's scratch disk will be significant.
m
0
l
October 24, 2009 8:02:55 PM

Thanks for the input to all.
I have been told (and I am very confident) that photoshop cs4 on windows xp 32 bit will not access more than 3 gb of ram no matter how much more is installed. On a 64 bit system I believe the limit is 32 gb of RAM. I am considering purchasing a Nikon D3X which has RAW files of 138 MB EACH picture. When a panaroma is used with multiple pictures and than tweaked on photoshop files sizes will reach between 0.5 and 2 GB PER picture. Thus the reason I asked my question. It appears to me if I want significant improvement in performance 64 bit is needed. If I am going to make that leap what should I do?
Thanks for any future input you all might have.
m
0
l
a c 215 $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 8:06:56 PM

If the images are going to be that large, go for 64 bit Windows 7 and load up on RAM first. It will help in the short term, but as soon as you can, go after a solid state drive like others have suggested.
m
0
l
October 24, 2009 8:07:47 PM

SSD
Please explain.
I currently use 2 scratch disks
1 with 120 gb of free space and
the second with 200gb of free space.
Not big enough?
I have a third disk available with 500+ gb of free space.
m
0
l
a c 215 $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 8:26:06 PM

SSD's are essentially big flash drives with MUCH faster data read and write rates than your plain old USB thumb drive. The problem right now, is that they are limited in size (although they are catching up to traditional magnetic hard drives all the time), and are still on the expensive side for anything with a decent capacity.
m
0
l
October 24, 2009 8:53:52 PM

The_Prophecy said:
SSD's are essentially big flash drives with MUCH faster data read and write rates than your plain old USB thumb drive. The problem right now, is that they are limited in size (although they are catching up to traditional magnetic hard drives all the time), and are still on the expensive side for anything with a decent capacity.


Thanks for your insight.
So is it your opinion, I should deal with the hassle of upgrading my current machine to windows 7 64 bit and add as much RAM as affordable as compared to getting a new machine? If latter what specs.
Thanks.
m
0
l
a c 215 $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 8:56:41 PM

tushdr said:
Thanks for your insight.
So is it your opinion, I should deal with the hassle of upgrading my current machine to windows 7 64 bit and add as much RAM as affordable as compared to getting a new machine?



That's exactly what I think, but also remember to get a solid state disk for use with Photoshop later on. It too will greatly improve Photoshop's performance.

Either way, moving to 7 will not be a flawless process. Data still needs to be transferred either way. I'm simply saying you should save yourself a bit of money by doing some minor upgrades on what you already have rather than getting a completely new machine.
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
October 24, 2009 10:25:21 PM

Pulling Prophecy's points together with other suggestions:


Step 1 upgrade - do this now:
Get as much RAM as you can afford - minimum 8GB (specs depend on your current system - post full specs please)
Move over to Windows 7 64-bit

This will give you a big boost in processing your work on large images.


Step 2 upgrade - later on
Install a SSD into your system and use it for Photoshop's scratch disk (and Windows pagefile too).

This will further improve Photoshop's responsiveness as SSDs read and write significantly faster than mechanical hard drives and therefore scratch operations will be much faster.


Incidentally, not reading more than 3GB RAM on 32-bit systems is the OS as a whole, not Photoshop. 32-bit systems internal numbers max out at 4GB, so by the time you allocate registers for graphics RAM, sound card RAM, interrupts and all the other bits in your system, Windows can only work with what's left - usually that's 3GB, but will depend on what hardware you have (my 8GB work machine dual boots with 32-bit XP and I only get 2.1GB because of the 1GB Quadro, HD capture and sound card RAM and other bits).
m
0
l
October 25, 2009 3:22:23 AM

LePhuronn said:
Pulling Prophecy's points together with other suggestions:


Step 1 upgrade - do this now:
Get as much RAM as you can afford - minimum 8GB (specs depend on your current system - post full specs please)
Move over to Windows 7 64-bit

This will give you a big boost in processing your work on large images.


Step 2 upgrade - later on
Install a SSD into your system and use it for Photoshop's scratch disk (and Windows pagefile too).

This will further improve Photoshop's responsiveness as SSDs read and write significantly faster than mechanical hard drives and therefore scratch operations will be much faster.


Incidentally, not reading more than 3GB RAM on 32-bit systems is the OS as a whole, not Photoshop. 32-bit systems internal numbers max out at 4GB, so by the time you allocate registers for graphics RAM, sound card RAM, interrupts and all the other bits in your system, Windows can only work with what's left - usually that's 3GB, but will depend on what hardware you have (my 8GB work machine dual boots with 32-bit XP and I only get 2.1GB because of the 1GB Quadro, HD capture and sound card RAM and other bits).


Spoken like a true professional. Most amateurs have no concept of how to use a 'scratch' disk, or how important it really is in Photoshop, nor how system hungry CS4 really is. It will eat as many cores as you can throw at it (up to a point) and as much RAM as you can possibly feed it
m
0
l
October 26, 2009 12:35:19 AM

Wow. great feedback. Lephuronn: you wrote post more specs. Not sure what info you would like. Also not to confuse things, but I also believe that CS4 in particular takes advantage of graphics cards much more than the previous versions. How does this add to the mix with respect to your answers.
Also as for SSD drive how big and how much do they run? My budget for upgrading my machine is $1000-1500. How best to allocate these dollars?
Thanks for advice in advance again.
m
0
l
October 26, 2009 5:27:21 AM

10 layers :lol:  I average about 75-120 layers for my work.

I mostly work on two machines one is a 32-bit older machine and my new windows7 64-bit machine. Specs are nearly identical except for the RAM on the windows 7 machine is at 6gb and the xp 32-bit maxed at 3gb. The difference is like night and day between the two. I notice it more when working with larger files and with multiple documents.

A graphics card will improve the performance of photoshop cs4! I have a 8800GS and it works out great for photoshop uses. Pretty much it allows you to work in the 3d mode better, move around the document better and also zoom more smooth.

I think the GPU enabler is only Nvidia (88xx and up) with their CUDA technology, but not sure. someone confirm this please.

All in all you might as well move to 64bit but make sure your plugins work in 64bit cause I have a few that dont and I have to work on the 32-bit version of photoshop. Its a bit slower but you really cant tell all that much. BTW photoshop will install both 32 and 64-bit versions on your 64-bit machine.

hope this helps
m
0
l
!