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Photoshop Question... More Ram or Better Video Card

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February 10, 2006 7:23:59 PM

I have a Dell Dimension 8300, with 1g ram and a 128 mb video card. My graphic programs (photoshop, illustrator, etc.) are running slow. Am I better off with more ram, or a better video card? (Im not in a position to upgrad both at the moment)

Thanks
February 10, 2006 7:38:29 PM

We use photoshop here at work with Winfast PX6600GT's with 128mb of ram but we also have 4 gigs of ram on these machines. Since we both use video cards with 128MB of ram i think thats good enough. I would get more ram.
February 10, 2006 7:45:55 PM

RAM, definitely!
Photoshop doesn't use the video card to its max - games do.
You're not looking for 30fps when using photoshop.
If you want to do anything about the video card, change the driver to have quality as a higher priority than speed.

You can check how much RAM you're using w/ Task Manager - if its over your physical RAM limit, or close, you should get more RAM.
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February 10, 2006 7:46:41 PM

more RAM
February 10, 2006 8:30:47 PM

Follow up questin on Photoshop- I only have one physical drive on my machine, though its a big one. However I have been told that Photoshop will run MUCH faster if I have two physical drives and I put the scrtach disk on a different drive than the program itself.

Is that true?
February 10, 2006 9:55:05 PM

It will run faster, alright. But, Photoshop is a RAM eater shark! Even if you set the scratch disk (page file) in another drive(s), with max. RAM, the longer you work with it, the slower it becomes.
Here's a program which takes advantage of (at least) dual-core CPUs; it's - partially - multithreaded.

I believe the reason Photoshop becomes gradually slower, when working for 'long' periods with it, it's because it not only uses RAM "statically" (i.e., load/stores data from/into memory on a linear basis) but, also, "dynamically" (i.e., it is constantly loading/storing the actions previously performed from/into memory). I don't really know if it works this way... but seems to. Try this simple operation: convert an image from CMYK to RGB and vice-versa, a number of times...
February 12, 2006 1:59:18 PM

Yea, get a scratch disk (not just another partition on the same physical disk, a different hard drive all together) with more ram, it will help you lots. It definetly gets slower with time. The way that ive gotten around that at work is to save, close, go smoke, and come back to work....everything runs fine after that 8)
February 12, 2006 2:31:48 PM

I would get more ram, then if you get some more cash pick up another hard drive for the other scratch disk (you will definately notice the improvement with the extra ram though).
February 13, 2006 11:35:18 PM

Quote:
We use photoshop here at work with Winfast PX6600GT's with 128mb of ram but we also have 4 gigs of ram on these machines. Since we both use video cards with 128MB of ram i think thats good enough. I would get more ram.


You would be better only using 2 gigs of ram. Windows doesn't like over 2 gigs and will actually run slower because of longer indexing times etc...
February 14, 2006 1:40:19 PM

I would deffinatly get ram
I would reccomend 2 gig of corsair value ram
February 14, 2006 10:28:24 PM

Quote:
RAM, definitely!
Photoshop doesn't use the video card to its max - games do.
You're not looking for 30fps when using photoshop.
If you want to do anything about the video card, change the driver to have quality as a higher priority than speed.

You can check how much RAM you're using w/ Task Manager - if its over your physical RAM limit, or close, you should get more RAM.


yup.. i agree with you...
we don't need 'fps' when using photoshop
February 14, 2006 10:42:17 PM

Ram is the way to go my man!
February 14, 2006 11:02:01 PM

Dual core or HT will also help (so some functions keep working while others are taking time)
Perhaps you already have HT.
February 20, 2006 6:13:33 PM

Quote:
RAM, definitely!
Photoshop doesn't use the video card to its max - games do.
You're not looking for 30fps when using photoshop.
If you want to do anything about the video card, change the driver to have quality as a higher priority than speed.

You can check how much RAM you're using w/ Task Manager - if its over your physical RAM limit, or close, you should get more RAM.


You mean you don't turn your AAX way up? Just kidding, yes RAM will definitely help out alot.
!