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Photoshop computer build.....critiques please.

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September 22, 2006 1:07:39 PM

Hi Folks,

I have done ALLOT of reading, please give m your critique on this computer. It will be used mostly as a general computer, the most heavy duty application will be for serious PhotoShop editing with my Nikon D200 attached. Thankyou in advance for all your input.


Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Dual Core Processor LGA775 Conroe
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe ATX LGA775 975X
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400 2GB 2X1GB PC6400 DDR2-800 CL
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB
Pioneer DVR-111D Black DVD-RW 16X6X16 DVD+RW
EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GTS 560MHZ PCI-E 256MB 128BIT
Antec True Power II 550W EPS12V 24PIN SLI Ready Power Supply
Antec P180 ATX Advanced Mid Tower Aluminum Case
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Viewsonic vp930b
September 22, 2006 1:32:21 PM

That is one Hell of a general computer. I just loaded CS2 on my machine and it screams (see signature). I would imagine your computer screams at mach decibels. :twisted:
September 22, 2006 1:52:53 PM

If I were you I would get a better video card at least a 7900GT or X1800XT
which are more powerful that the 7600 GT and you should be alright.
Related resources
September 22, 2006 2:01:59 PM

Quote:
If I were you I would get a better video card at least a 7900GT or X1800XT
which are more powerful that the 7600 GT and you should be alright.


To work with photoshop, a high-end graphics card is useless... even a 6200 would be enough (it's even overkill). and a 7600GT is enough for occasional gaming.

The most important for that kind of usage is a good CPU, at least 2GB ram, and a monitor that renders colors precisely (some monitors, even after calibration, still display incorrect colors). I think this computer has it all.
September 22, 2006 3:25:11 PM

i think i read a post on newegg from some guy saying that the EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GTS 560MHZ PCI-E 256MB 128BIT was actually a GS, not a GT but no one else has posted agreeing with him.

I would just like to take this time to recommend the XFX 7600GT

Link

higher clock speeds, better brand IMO and it just looks better.
September 22, 2006 8:21:03 PM

Looks good, but what about dual video cards? Will this be needed by future versions of Photoshop (I assume you're running CS2)?
September 22, 2006 8:52:46 PM

it seems logical to think that to work with images, the more powerful the GPU is, the better it will be...

but it's wrong ! photoshop doesn't even care what kind of graphics card you use. the card just needs to be able to display 1024*768.
Photoshop will run the same way with a 7950GX2, a TNT2 or even an Ati rage pro 8Mo, because photoshop is 2D, and in 2D, those cards behave the same way. graphics power is needed only for real-time 3D rendering, which means gaming, and 3D modeling apps (3dsmax, maya, etc...).

If you don't believe me, here are the system requirements for Photoshop CS2
September 22, 2006 9:30:32 PM

Wow! You people are very knowledgeable! I'm a newbie here, so forgive the silly questions.javascript:emoticon(':oops: ')
Embarassed

I'm considering a similar computer myself, but with a little gaming (nothing too hard-core, and not a lot of it). Would this setup be a good one (especially the video card)?

Thanks!
September 22, 2006 9:33:51 PM

Another way to tweak Photoshop performance is to use two hard drives, putting the windows virtual memory pagefile on one and the photoshop scratch file on the other.

You can also tweak the Photoshop "image cache" setting, as a tradeoff between loading your files faster vs. the speed of changing the image zoom.

Lots of other suggestions here:

Optimize performance of Photoshop (CS on Windows)
http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/318243.html
September 22, 2006 10:17:55 PM

looks like a great setup to me.i would look at a larger monitor myself but that just me
September 23, 2006 3:30:51 AM

I would say if youre not overclocking, you could save a hundred bucks by going with a gigabyte 965p-ds3 motherboard.
September 23, 2006 4:15:14 AM

Quote:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB
Antec True Power II 550W EPS12V 24PIN SLI Ready Power Supply
Viewsonic vp930b


I like having a networked backup, so if you don't have a server or NAS, you might shop around for that. I also use a separate pagefile volume on my Photoshop rig and do my temporary saves onto a RAID0 pair of Raptors because if you read and write large files repeatedly, you'll save a ton of time. I don't trust Antec power supplies and there are many other options in that price and power range. My rig has two 1600x1200 Samsung LCDs and it's a great setup for image editing.
September 23, 2006 4:25:36 AM

sweet system dude.have fun with it.i still like mine though.

Dahak

EVGA NF4 SLI MB
X2 4400+@2.4 S-939
2 7800GT'S IN SLI MODE
2X1GIG DDR400 MEMORY IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
520WATT PSU
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR
a b B Homebuilt system
September 23, 2006 5:48:23 AM

Very good system, you've done your homework.

I've heard the idea about second drive (not partitioned drive, a second real drive) for the PS swap file. I don't use it myself, but I've heard its something you wan't.

The thing I've heard the least but makes a lot of good sense is get a dual monitor setup. It doesn't need to be as highend as the one your getting, nor does is need to be as large. As second monitor can hold a copy of the original picture so you can easily remember what it started as. It can also hold the tools panels PS provides so they aren't in the picture as you make changes. This will allow you to blow up the photo very large, without having anything in your way. If budget allows, this is the only thing I would change for sure.
September 23, 2006 5:52:31 AM

I would recommend Viewsonic VP2030b which has native resolution of 1600x1200 if you can afford it. I am sure you will appreciate bigger workspace and fantastic colors it produces (no dithering, full true-color).

Also, you should consider faster HDD for the system like 150GB Raptor. Even one WD4000YR will do nicely. Although it is a drive with a firmware tailored for RAID it can work standalone and it is faster than regular drives.

You should toss in some card reader too (they are cheap anyway) so you can download the photos faster from the camera and avoid damaging the mini USB connector on the camera by replugging it many times.

2GB of RAM is a must, but that can be low too if you work with layers and large files. You should also consider 4GB RAM and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

Another idea is to get the RAM drive and keep photoshop scratch disks there if you really need extra speed.

Those are just hints if you feel like spending extra money, your configuration will do fine without all this anyway.
September 23, 2006 4:03:16 PM

I've learned a lot by watching this forum - Thanks! :D 
September 24, 2006 7:44:21 PM

Does anyone else have any suggestions/comments for a Photoshop/minor gaming setup?

Thank you!
October 4, 2006 11:12:05 PM

Here is what I am putting together for a photoshop/premiere pro/ after effects computer...probably not so good for gaming?

15970 Antec Titan 550 ATX Server Case 4X5.25 6X3.5INT Truepower 2.0 ATX12V V2.0 EPS12V 550W W/ 120MM Fan
18738 Intel Xeon 5050 DUAL-CORE Processor LGA771 3.0GHZ 667FSB 4MB Cache EM64T W/ Active HSF Retail Box [Reg. $255.87]
4081831 2GB 667MHz DDR2 ECC Fully Buffered CL5 DIMM (Kit of 2) Dual Rank, x8 [Reg. $426.99]
18409 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive [Reg. $129.40]
18464 LG GSA-H10N DVD+RW 16X8X16 DVD-RW 16X6X16 Dual Layer 10X/6X DVD-RAM 12X Writer 2MB Black OEM W/ SW [Reg. $47.38]
16550 Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Platinum 24BIT Sound Card W/ Front Access Panel & Remote Control [Reg. $212.71]
K51666 5000X DP DUAL CORE LGA771 24GB
12129 Penguin Gear 4 Port PCI Firewire Card 3EXT 1INT NEC Chipset W/ 6PIN-4PIN Cable
15098 NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY FX 1400 PCI-E 128MB 256BIT DDR Dual DVI SLI Video Card [Reg. $621.15]
6527 Microsoft Windows XP Professional OEM *IR-$27*
8991 Aopen KB-858 Windows Keyboard Black PS/2
11843 NCIX Heavy Duty Shipping Box [Reg. $5.99]

I looking foward to seeing what this thing can do with photoshop...especially editing multiple RAW files in 16 bit.

Was going to go with Windows XP x64 but, found out through research that there are too many issues thus far...
October 4, 2006 11:41:46 PM

Graphics card is COMPLETELY unnecessary for Photoshop. I would buy a Motherboard with some built-in IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) with a PCIe slot so you CAN buy a graphics card at a later date.

Once again: Photoshop does NOT USE ANY FEATURES OF A GRAPHICS CARD - NOT AT ALL.

By far the best thing you can do for a photoshop machine is to invest in a 36GB Raptor SATA drive and use it as the Photoshop "Scratch Disc". Photoshop benefits hugely from a dedicated storage medium. Using the Windows OS disc for Photoshop use really slows things down a lot.

If you are manipulating stunningly huge images, or you plan to create images in the 20,000 x 10,000 pixels size range, combining several images, or if you pkan to be using the COPY command on images which are already a couple of hunderd Megabytes (on disc - in memory they are often 10 times larger!) then you will benefit from 4 x 1GB sticks of RAM.

2 x 1GB is more than likely to be all you require. And remember - you can ALWAYS chuck in an extra 2 Gigs.

So, save your money and do NOT get a graphics card. Put that money towards a small Raptor (no point in getting the big one - Photoshop won;t ever use more than 36GB on scratch disc - and if it does - well, you need a whole new class of computer) drive and the fastest CPU you can get.

If you are a stupid mother****er - you could waste a bunch of money on a RAID0 setup for use as the scratch disc - but if you go down that route expect to lose most of your hair (pulling it out) and about 100 hours of your time, because you'll be here 10 times a week for the next 2 months.
October 4, 2006 11:55:12 PM

Agreed, buy a raptor and a 250 or 160 gb sata to store photos and media files in, use the raptor for windows and photoshop, just buy a cheapo GFX card its all you will need, and you can always upgrade later if need be. Hell I have a FX5200, that was only used for like 2 hours in my closet I will give you if you want it (its PCI)
October 5, 2006 12:53:13 AM

I dont know what you guys are trying to prove...

Core 2 Duo for Photoshopping is a pure waste. Okay, 2 GB is good, but its not ncessary. Theres always ways to tweak the Photoshop so that it runs a hella lot faster. A gfx card is not needed for photoshoping, and lol, same with the 550W PSU.

Its a nice comp, I gotta admit, but if ur using it just to photoshop, ur wasting ur money.
October 5, 2006 12:54:58 AM

A couple of things. I'm a professional photographer and am also spec'ing out a Photoshop PC (that will also do games :) 

The 2 main things see problems with are the monitor and the 1 hard drive. Firstly, the monitor. I don't think that Vp930b will render colors as well as the Samsung 204t. The 204t is about the best 20.1" monitor for photoshop for its price. It uses a PVA panel for better color. At $349 at zipzoomfly, you can't go wrong. It doesn't have the fastest response time, but if Photoshop is your primary concern as mine, then response time isn't a big issue.

Also, you'll want a Pantone Eye One Display 2 calibrator. Newegg has them for $189. Any monitor you get must have a calibrator for any serious color work.

Also, if you are a pro, you are going to want more than 1 hard drive and develop your own backup system. I'm going with a 150gb raptor for my main drive and 2 of thise 320gb perp Seagate's in Raid 1 as my backups as well as an external backup.

Hope that helps.
October 5, 2006 4:16:59 AM

Quote:
If you are a stupid mother****er - you could waste a bunch of money on a RAID0 setup for use as the scratch disc - but if you go down that route expect to lose most of your hair (pulling it out) and about 100 hours of your time, because you'll be here 10 times a week for the next 2 months.


Your advice is so full of contradictions. You advise him to buy a Raptor but you say RAID0 is a waste... And I guess your namecalling is aimed at me since my photo/video rig has a RAID0 Raptor array for scratch. Funny thing is, I managed to set it up with no problems in short order and without asking for advice on any forum. So maybe I'm not so stupid after all...
October 5, 2006 8:09:12 AM

oh the love in this place...

i agree, you dont need a good graphics card to run photoshop. you also dont need a e6600 to run photoshop. i mean hell, go out and buy a celeron 2.66. it's only gonna take you 2 minutes more per hour of work. and then you can buy yourself a new pc every year.....

everyone wants the fastest overkill pc. why go out and buy the cheap kak when you can buy the best, if you've got the bucks for it.

who's gonna go out and buy a WOW pc to the ''recommended'' specs on the packaging. anyone???
of course you want overkill!!!

just think, 2 months from now you wanna start using premiere on your new photoshop pc, then you cant, because you bought the bare minimum...
October 5, 2006 4:24:12 PM

Quote:
i agree, you dont need a good graphics card to run photoshop. you also dont need a e6600 to run photoshop. i mean hell, go out and buy a celeron 2.66. it's only gonna take you 2 minutes more per hour of work. and then you can buy yourself a new pc every year.....


have you ever tried to apply heavy filtering on a very high resolution image, with lots of layers ? such operations require a lot of processing power.

of course, you can run photoshop on a celeron... and it will be enough to edit low-res images... but when you're working at 300 dpi with poster-size images, it is not the same.
October 5, 2006 4:42:37 PM

Quote:
have you ever tried to apply heavy filtering on a very high resolution image, with lots of layers ? such operations require a lot of processing power.

of course, you can run photoshop on a celeron... and it will be enough to edit low-res images... but when you're working at 300 dpi with poster-size images, it is not the same.


In the mid-90s, our group replaced 4x5 negative sourced printing with digital capabilities. To do a decent job of going digital with any imaging that NEEDS 4x5, you will be talking very large images. Back then it was expensive to do large digital imaging and our group had 50 people and little money, so we had to do it on the cheap. We ended up working in the 25 to 60MB image size range with TIFFs. Now if any of you still have a Windows 95 machine (you poor unfortunate person) I'd like you to fire up Photoshop and try to be productive with 60MB images while applying an aggressive macro of a couple dozen filtering and resizing operations. I ended up buying a PowerTower Pro 225 (Mac) and it got the job done very well. The PC normally latched up maybe 20 times a day, the Mac was faster by 10X and it just ran all day.

These days, I work with much larger images and I'm glad I have an X2 and a RAID0 array. And I still have to sit back and wait from time to time. Something faster is on my horizon, that's for certain. Still waiting for a C2D mobo that I can't resist. Go DFI!!!
October 5, 2006 5:05:43 PM

Ditch the nice video card and CPU and get something low-end for the video and just mid-range for the CPU. Both play a very small part in Photoshop performance. RAM and Fast HD are your biggest players.

Take the money you save and buy 24" LCD. You'll appreciate the monitor wouldn't be able to tell one way or the other on CPU/VGA difference from low-end to high end. I'm just tellin ya...
October 5, 2006 5:27:17 PM

Here's my two cents....

If you get better hardware now it will last longer before you will need to upgrade due to changes in software.

A second hard drive is a "no brainer" and should be part of everyones shopping list all the time. A second hard drive is the best place to keep your data files and projects....because.... there will always be operating system ahd hardware updates and when the updates are (for some reason) faulty there is a chance your main drive can be corrupted and have to be wiped.

One or multiple external drives are good for keeping old projects so that your main and second internal drives don't get maxed out, remember to move completed projects to external storage and clean off the project drives (I've fill almost all of my 320gb of external drives with old saved projects, music and graphic files).
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2006 5:58:55 PM

I agree with Clue69less (who isn't, as usual) and others who say minimize the GPU and max the CPU, RAM, and disk speed.
This may therefor be a minor point, but unless you already have an input device you really like, the Logitech G5 (a "gaming" mouse) I have has settings that can make it extremely precise for photo editing work. Razer drivers have similar settings, allowing on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments.
October 5, 2006 6:42:46 PM

that should be more than enough for using photoshop. could think about raptors to reduce latency.
October 5, 2006 7:03:56 PM

Two suggestions.

1. If you have some extra cash lying around get the i-ram. I have personally witnessed the difference when you use it for a Photoshop scratch disk. It almost reaches near earth orbit! http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Storage/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2180&ProductName=GC-RAMDISK :) 
2. If you are not planning to play games on that rig best to drop the Videocard for a cheap fanless variant (maybe 6200 or even less). It will result in less heat and noise. 8)
October 5, 2006 7:08:58 PM

Quote:
i agree, you dont need a good graphics card to run photoshop. you also dont need a e6600 to run photoshop. i mean hell, go out and buy a celeron 2.66. it's only gonna take you 2 minutes more per hour of work. and then you can buy yourself a new pc every year.....


have you ever tried to apply heavy filtering on a very high resolution image, with lots of layers ? such operations require a lot of processing power.

of course, you can run photoshop on a celeron... and it will be enough to edit low-res images... but when you're working at 300 dpi with poster-size images, it is not the same.

Word! :) 

Funny how most people think that only lots of fast memory and a fast HDD is all that’s needed for a good Photoshop experience. They seem to forget that it is a multithreaded application that will flourish in any SMP environment. :evil: 

@ OP. Keep the core processor! It is a good choice.
October 5, 2006 8:31:14 PM

Quote:
This may therefor be a minor point, but unless you already have an input device you really like, the Logitech G5 (a "gaming" mouse) I have has settings that can make it extremely precise for photo editing work. Razer drivers have similar settings, allowing on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments.


I can't remember the name of the lousy image editing package we used on the job before Photoshop, but to set brightness and contrast, your blood-caffeine had to be virtually zero using those crap old IBM mice. I've been known to attack those mice with large rubber hammers. My finger tendons are abused so I use a Logitech track ball and offload some of the stress to my thumb. A few months ago, the kids decided they work great for gameing and both of my trackballs were MIA...
October 5, 2006 11:30:49 PM

while we're talking about input devices... maybe a wacom pen tablet would be suitable for work with photoshop. i've seen people making nice work very quickly with those little things
October 11, 2006 3:48:18 AM

I have been using a WACOM tablet with Photoshop for two years now. I couldn't agree more with the previous person... I can't imagine trying to do photo touchups with out a tablet in Photoshop or cutting out backgrounds for that matter. I almost never use a mouse anymore...

If you plan to work with multiple layer images at 300 dpi that are poster size (say 24 x 36) like I do sometimes, you need some real processing power. I guess you really have to decide how you are going to use photoshop and then buy the appropriate hardware that will meet your needs!
!