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Adobe Photoshop Workhorse...

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December 10, 2006 1:56:10 AM

I have a friend for whom I would like to build a PC to be used for Adobe Photoshop. He is still running it ona an old Dell with a pentium 2 and 128mb of RAM. He is also going to get a 10.1megapixel Canon Digital Rebel XTi from another friend. Its gonna be a merry holiday season indeed.

I was thinking of an Overclocked Core 2 Duo Box, how does this sound:

Rosewill TU-155 Midtower case with 400watt power supply $45
Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 2.13ghz OC'd to around 3ghz $217
cooled with Zalman cnps7700 CPU cooler $35
2gb of Corsair XMS ddr2800 CAS5 (2x1gb) $240
Gigibyte GA-965 Motherboard $135
320gb Western Digital 16mb 7200rpm Hard Drive Caviar SE $95
lite-on 16x lightscribe dvd burner retail $36
Windows XP Home $89
BFG 7600gt 256mb GDDR3 Dual DVI $80
Logitech Cordless S510 Keyboard and Mouse $53

TOTAL $985
Screen (another friend) Dell 30 inch LCD 2560x1600 resolution ($1500)

is it all ok.. will the GPU support the LCD and is 400watts enough for all this?
December 10, 2006 1:59:08 AM

That GPU for a 30"?! No way. Needs something with more horsepower I would think.

As for PSU, definitely get something better. Spending all that money on a great system, don't cheap out on the PSU, you'll regret it. Spend an extra $50 or so and get something respectable.
December 10, 2006 2:28:45 AM

for the 30" you will need a video card with dual link DVI which is different from dual DVI. for photoshop x1300 would be far enough as photoshop does not use the GPU AT ALL....so ignore the guy who will i am sure advise a 7950 or more to use the screen.

depend how he works you might want to grab a couple of 80gb for photoshop scratch and system disk and keep the 320gb as storage

if he use photoshop a lot with a mouse then go for something a little better than the s510 as far as mouse is concern...go with laser (g1000 or G7 if he likes big mouse...)and include a real mouse pad...i use a thunder8 and it is great.

if you want to OC please grab a good powersupply that's quiet (fortron or other good brand) save a little on the memory by going gskill or geil and put it in the power supply if you want to keep your budget the same.

don't forget the calibration devide ...one eye display is great
Related resources
December 10, 2006 2:44:02 AM

Photoshop is a Raster-Imaging program, and while a slower VGA will get you by, it does help alot to have a better VGA. Now as far as the VGA is concerned, it depends on what quaility settings you choose. If your gonna do alot of high quality stuff (2560x1600) go for a 7800-7900GTX for a VGA. If your gonna do lower quality stuff, get a FX1400 Quadro. SLI setup for either is optional.

The VGA won't be nearly as much of a factor as your CPU will be. If I was you I'd go for an AMD 64 X2 DDR2 setup versus C2D. The reason being that the AMD 64 X2's are practically a cheaper version of the AMD Opteron CPU. These CPU's (the 64 X2's and the Opteron's) are designed to be multi-thread workhorses whereas C2D is more for gaming.

Hope this helps.
December 10, 2006 2:52:37 AM

i maintain...0 differences in photoshop between 8800GTX and x1300 ..0 nada zip ....
IT IS NOT GAMING ... any dual link card will do just fine.

as far as going with AMD sorry but they are simply not as fast as intel even for photoshop .period.
and they are not as good overclocker as the c2d...not to mention the limited upgrade possible (the quad core might not be available on the AM2 platform .)

stick with C2D
December 10, 2006 3:01:52 AM

I would worry about the quality of a power supply that comes with a case for $45. Last time I bought a case/ps like that the ps lasted only a year, and when it died it took out the motherboard with it. Gee, thanks.

Core 2 Duo is a great choice for Photoshop. But I didn't see a line item in there for the latest version of Photoshop! WTF? Or is that a task for a third friend? ;-)

That BFG card supports the resolution you mention via DVI so it's probably OK but check with BFG to be sure. Photoshop doesn't really take any advantage of the CPU acceleration or texture memory so you ought to be fine with nearly any digital card that supports that resolution. If the recipient is a gamer then you can worry about being fancier.

I hate Gigabyte. But that's personal. I hated them for their crap tech support and half-ass'd engineering three or four years ago, and started hating them all over again when a co-worker asked me for advice on getting Vista to stop spontaneously rebooting itself during installation on his GA-965p-S3.

I'm not so sure about using a cordless mouse in Photoshop, but haven't tried it. I'm just suspicious.

I wouldn't give an overclocked system to someone. Go for it if you want, but give it at least a 24x7 burn-in/check-out at full blast in a warm room with a t-shirt over the front intake (to simulate the effects of household dust that will inevitably choke it nine months from now), and try to stay fairly conservative or you'll end up giving the gift that keeps giving... Headaches.

-Brad
December 10, 2006 3:32:05 AM

Ok, don't get a C2D. Get one of the new Xeon 3xxx series... for about 10-$15 more you get lower power consumption and lower heat. Plus better stability when OCing. GPU... looks fine I guess... doesn't really matter.
December 10, 2006 3:49:57 AM

The BFG card DOES support Dual Link DVI
and wouldnt the C2D be better for OCing than an Athlon x2 or Opteron?

changes:
Coolermaster Centurion 5 Windowed Case $40
520 watt OCZ Powerstream PSU $114
2x160gb 8mb Western Digital Caviar SE RAID 1 $116
2x80gb 8mb Western Digital Caviar SE $88
Windows Media Center Edition $110
Logitech G15 lightedkeyboard $71
Logitech G5 wired laser mouse $45
and yes a 3.5" media card reader 52 in 1 by

Total- $1310

and yes, jerry is buying him Adobe Photoshop CS2 ($1,135)
December 10, 2006 1:11:43 PM

Yes, the C2D will beat any Athlon/Opteron for overclocking and performance. No question, hands down. Even a 6300 C2D with a cheaper Gigabtye 965P-S3 mobo and 667 RAM will crank up to over a 50% overclock. Insane. Might seriously look at that combo, it's HUGE performance on the cheap.

Good call on the better PSU.

2x80 WD should go RAID 0 for performance, then storage ones in RAID 1.

Great keyboard, but it's BIG. Great mouse.

Get a good mousepad. Steelpad 5L is $25 more than a decent one, but it's the best on the market.....very cheap, given your total system cost. Very durable, mouse feels like floating on a cloud.
December 10, 2006 1:40:36 PM

Quote:
Ok, don't get a C2D. Get one of the new Xeon 3xxx series... for about 10-$15 more you get lower power consumption and lower heat. Plus better stability when OCing. GPU... looks fine I guess... doesn't really matter.

Xeon 3050 is same clock speed, about $10 more, same L2, has the same TDP, supposedly uses the same Core architecture, same FSB, etc... Wikipedia says it's basically a re-badged C2D, and yet it won't work on the GA-965 series motherboards!

So the OP would need a more expensive server motherboard, and to achieve what exactly?

-Brad
December 10, 2006 1:55:05 PM

Dude... you don't need a server mobo to run a Xeon 3xxx... runs on 975x mobos... here's a thread on the 3070, now it does have the same TDP... but sever CPUs are binned differently than their desktop counterparts. Now.. an E6400 is a great CPU... if he doesn't want to get a Xeon 3050 then he can just get the Core 2 Duo...

Edit: Here's the thread

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&...
December 10, 2006 2:19:25 PM

I will submit that overclocking is really not needed for photoshop. Keep in mind that the benchmarks are taken using setting that aren't going to be used very often. Batch adjustments for color correction are so fast that doubling performance wouldn't save that much time and you wont be close to doubling performance.

I do lots of photo work and notice very little real world improvement with my core2 from a P4 3.2 in photoshop.
December 10, 2006 2:23:26 PM

Do you even do graphical design work? If so, how often does your firm do hardware refreshes? Also, why is it that nearly all workstations out there use and AMD Opteron Setup? If the Intel C2D were so kick ass then every major design firm, university, and community college out there would use them. And don't you play the "price/performance" card because AMD is getting its ass handed to them in that field. Quit being an Intel fanboy and start doing some reading.

A good example of this is what my school contracted me and my friend for last semester. My friend and I both go to the local community college and we were asked to layout, reasearch and design the new workstations for the CAD classes. Now even though he is a die-hard Intel fan, he recommended AMD over Intel on the following reasons: power usage, TDP, noise genereation, stability, and quality of the CPU. I was shocked that I heard those words from him.

Also, it doesn't matter if the AMD Quad core isn't avaliable for AM2. Because when the newer software comes out that is designed to run both on XP and Vista, his current system will be obsolete and will be in need of a rebuild any way. This will probably happen in 6 months.

You mentioned speed and OC capabilities on the AMD's. Its true that the AMD's get their butts kicked by C2D, but in Photoshop, there is really no difference at all. Your talking about a differnece of maybe 5 secs on some benchmarks and maybe 30 secs on others. This is due to the fact that an AMD CPU is more consistent in thread execution and has intergrated memory controllers allowing direct connect to the RAM and VGA via the HTT bus.

Now if I was a perspective buyer for a new system, I'd want the most stable, most mature system avaliable and IMHO, AMD is the way to go.

Hope this helps

Edit: GUY'S, HE'S BUILDING A WORKSTATION NOT A GAMING RIG!! STABILITY, RELIABILITY, AND CAPABILITY ARE THE MAIN CONCERNS HERE, NOT OC CAPABILITIES!!!
December 10, 2006 2:27:04 PM

Quote:
Dude... you don't need a server mobo to run a Xeon 3xxx... runs on 975x mobos... here's a thread on the 3070, now it does have the same TDP... but sever CPUs are binned differently than their desktop counterparts. Now.. an E6400 is a great CPU... if he doesn't want to get a Xeon 3050 then he can just get the Core 2 Duo...
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&...

Interesting, so the Xeons are simply "missing" from Gigabyte's compatibility list? I do tend to worry about silly things like this especially when I've already been subjected to Gigabyte's "no ticky no shirty" type of support.

Now here's the other thing... the post in that thread that says MP is turned off in the 3000 series CPUs. WTF? I guess that should not have an immediate effect on Photoshop but it does seem rather stupid and short-sighted, since the later versions of Adobe's products do scale fairly well with multiple processors. So if later on the end user decides to buy a motherboard with more sockets, the 3000 -series Xeon will have to go on eBay.

-Brad
December 10, 2006 2:30:22 PM

Well the Xeon 3xxx series was ONLY meant for 1P systems. Remember the Opertron 165? Same idea... server CPU on a desktop... pretty cool eh?
December 10, 2006 2:38:47 PM

Here's the deal... I live in Photoshop.

My 2 cents -
waste as much on the monitor as you can because it's by far the most important
get a decent powersupply (name brand like Antec or whatever you trust)
I love the E6400 for Photoshop (mine is running at 3Ghz)
get the newer Calman 9700
I love the Corsair XMS2 CAS5 (mine runs 4.4.4.12 fine @ 375 FSB to reach 3Ghz for the E6400)
I like ASUS and recommend getting a mobo with a lot of SATA ports (I have the P5WDH Deluxe)
have a separate hard drive for your OS (small with fast access time is best)
have a drive for your photos and then an identical one to back it up
get XP Pro because Home doesn't utilize the dual core processors
despite popular opinion, any decent video card will work depending on what monitor you get (bigger monitor=dual DVI) all new video cards do 10-16 bit color schemes so don't buy the hype of Matrox or whatever

hope this helps

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelheaslip/
December 10, 2006 2:50:05 PM

Quote:
Do you even do graphical design work? If so, how often does your firm do hardware refreshes? Also, why is it that nearly all workstations out there use and AMD Opteron Setup? If the Intel C2D were so kick ass then every major design firm, university, and community college out there would use them. [...]

Ahem, C2D wasn't released until the end of July '06.

Or were they all supposed to do an immediate hardware refresh in August?

You accuse others of being Intel fanboys but come up with this...

Quote:
Its true that the AMD's get their butts kicked by C2D, but in Photoshop, there is really no difference at all. Your talking about a differnece of maybe 5 secs on some benchmarks and maybe 30 secs on others. This is due to the fact that an AMD CPU is more consistent in thread execution and has intergrated memory controllers allowing direct connect to the RAM and VGA via the HTT bus.

Sounds like the party line to me, and Photoshop benchmarks DO fair noticeably better with C2D, and with C2D all the whining about noise, efficiency, TDP, etc. comapred to AMD goes right out the window.

-Brad
December 10, 2006 2:52:53 PM

Quote:
Well the Xeon 3xxx series was ONLY meant for 1P systems. Remember the Opertron 165? Same idea... server CPU on a desktop... pretty cool eh?

Putting VTEC badges on a 1980 Prelude is cool too, but doesn't make it go any faster...
December 10, 2006 3:02:57 PM

Quote:
get XP Pro because Home doesn't utilize the dual core processors

The way I understand it is that with XP SP1 or later, Home supports dual-core processors, just not multiple discrete processors.

Am I crazy?

-Brad
December 10, 2006 4:11:28 PM

Lol, server processors aren't meant to be faster... just better suited to server environments (ie run at lower temperatures over longer periods of time... have slightly lower power consumption... now I know the TDP is the same... but in real-life the Xeon actually runs at a lower voltage and therefore eats less wattage while providing the same power... and since they're designed to run in hotter temps you can OC them with better stability.)
December 10, 2006 4:26:25 PM

Quote:
Do you even do graphical design work? If so, how often does your firm do hardware refreshes? Also, why is it that nearly all workstations out there use and AMD Opteron Setup? If the Intel C2D were so kick ass then every major design firm, university, and community college out there would use them. And don't you play the "price/performance" card because AMD is getting its ass handed to them in that field. Quit being an Intel fanboy and start doing some reading.


What doped up "graphical design" world do you live in?

I'd say quit being an AMD fanboy. I can't think of any company that I've worked for or university I've been at in the last 6 years that has used an AMD system for any type of graphic design work.

The entire University of Wisconsin system uses Intel based or Mac based platforms for graphic design.

The internship I did at a newspaper used Intel processors on the Adobe suite. The ad agencyI worked at used Intel. I'm sure if I talk to any of my former professors they'd say its either an Intel or Mac world. AMD does not perform. And Mac's are still a major player in the graphic design field especially aftering now yielding C2D processors.
December 10, 2006 4:28:54 PM

And I know first hand that the U. of Wisconsin school system runs their servers on Xeon processors and also with the newspaper I worked at.

Get real.
December 10, 2006 4:43:53 PM

Now those are dual-xeons right? What do you think of the 1P xeon idea?
December 10, 2006 5:16:36 PM

Quote:
Do you even do graphical design work? If so, how often does your firm do hardware refreshes? Also, why is it that nearly all workstations out there use and AMD Opteron Setup? If the Intel C2D were so kick ass then every major design firm, university, and community college out there would use them. And don't you play the "price/performance" card because AMD is getting its ass handed to them in that field. Quit being an Intel fanboy and start doing some reading.

A good example of this is what my school contracted me and my friend for last semester. My friend and I both go to the local community college and we were asked to layout, reasearch and design the new workstations for the CAD classes. Now even though he is a die-hard Intel fan, he recommended AMD over Intel on the following reasons: power usage, TDP, noise genereation, stability, and quality of the CPU. I was shocked that I heard those words from him.

Also, it doesn't matter if the AMD Quad core isn't avaliable for AM2. Because when the newer software comes out that is designed to run both on XP and Vista, his current system will be obsolete and will be in need of a rebuild any way. This will probably happen in 6 months.

You mentioned speed and OC capabilities on the AMD's. Its true that the AMD's get their butts kicked by C2D, but in Photoshop, there is really no difference at all. Your talking about a differnece of maybe 5 secs on some benchmarks and maybe 30 secs on others. This is due to the fact that an AMD CPU is more consistent in thread execution and has intergrated memory controllers allowing direct connect to the RAM and VGA via the HTT bus.
Now if I was a perspective buyer for a new system, I'd want the most stable, most mature system avaliable and IMHO, AMD is the way to go.

Hope this helps

Edit: GUY'S, HE'S BUILDING A WORKSTATION NOT A GAMING RIG!! STABILITY, RELIABILITY, AND CAPABILITY ARE THE MAIN CONCERNS HERE, NOT OC CAPABILITIES!!!



The part in bold tells me you have 0 idea what you're talking about.
December 10, 2006 7:17:13 PM

hmmm... AMD or Intel right now?

http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results.php

I did the benchmark and mine clocked in at 108.7

There don't seem to be too many AMD processors on the list which means 2 things

1) it's an Intel fanboy site
2) most people using Photoshop are Intel fanboys? (and thus Intel is the standard processor right now for Photoshop)

BUAHAHA
December 10, 2006 9:28:11 PM

Or maybe it's because AMD is TOO AWESOME to be on the LIST! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! We all know why there aren't many AMDs on there though.
December 11, 2006 12:40:42 AM

Well, I had an AMD X2 4200 and an X2 3800 here until a couple weeks ago, sitting beside my E6300. On all benchies I ran, the 6300 @ stock beat both AMD chips by quite a margin. When I overclocked my 6300 to 3.0 ghz (a 60% overclock BTW), it absolutely SPANKED the AMD's. Not even close.

And I'm no Intel fanboi. I've owned both Intel and AMD. AMD used to have the crown, and now Intel has it. Has nothing to do with preference, has to do with hardcore numbers and facts. So I'm with Intel this round. Next build, maybe AMD, who knows? Only if they wake up and get competitive though.


And BTW, for hardcore numbers and proof a good Photoshop rig, check out this thread an AT, it covers this. Take a look at the results and you'll see how the C2D kicks butt at Photoshop:

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=28&t...

There's ALOT of proof there, read through and make the decision. It's really and easy call..........
December 11, 2006 12:49:22 AM

Oh, I know Intel has the crown now. I was just being horrible. Now for photoshop I use Macs... the dual-xeon versions at that, they're pretty cool... not gonna lie.
December 11, 2006 1:15:37 AM

I would go with a more powerful power supply, 600w plus, give him more options to upgrade and overclock.

The 7900 gs, is one of the best overclockers out there for the price. I would highly suggest a more powerful video card for that monitor. Even consider an 8800 gts since hes already spending $1400 on the monitor, why skimp on the video card.

The raid suggestion is great, I've read many articles praising the value of a raid harddrive array for speed with adobe, if u dont want to set up a raid array id suggest a WD Raptor 150 instead to give u faster access times.
December 11, 2006 9:10:48 PM

again the original poster asked for a photoshop workstation...why would you put a 8800gts or even a 7900gs for photoshop ... IT IS 2D ...all you need in a video card with 128mb ram (for 24bits) or 256 (for 32bits)....that's it.

As far as raid depend how he work...but if he just got a digital rebel xt i theorize that he won't put the workstation on it's knees (i can be wrong no offense meant) so spending that much on a raptor is near useless ...especially when 2 80gb raid0 will give you 90% of the performances for 1/3 of the price.

for one i am not a big fan of raid0 ...it is fast but i don't really see advantage for a regular use of photoshop (or even advanced) ...

600W for that kind of system is overkill...a good 500W will do the trick...especially if he doesn't get a huge video card.
December 11, 2006 9:23:00 PM

Quote:
again the original poster asked for a photoshop workstation...why would you put a 8800gts or even a 7900gs for photoshop ... IT IS 2D ...all you need in a video card with 128mb ram (for 24bits) or 256 (for 32bits)....that's it.


Look at his monitor and you'll see why.
December 11, 2006 9:48:08 PM

resolution 2560x1600
color depth 24 (or 32 but it is retty much useless)

let do some math .... 2560x1600x24 = 98 304 000...98Mb roughtly ...
so with a 128mb video card it's ok

lets do some more math .... 2560x1600x32 = 131 072 000 little over 128Mb so 256 is far enought.


now ....

let's imagine you want to have a regular old 1280x1024 .....

you can have that kind of resolution with any video car right? from ati rage pro to 8800GTX .... will word , excel firefox will be faster on a 8800GTX compare to a rage pro ??????

no it won't ....why? because the work is done by the CPU the video card only pushes info to the screen.

Now....try doom 3 or any other 3D games .....will it run on the rage pro ???

no...why? because a lot of the work is done by the GPU to speed things up.


so finally....what is photoshop???

is it a 3D game?

no it is not ...so between 2 video card capable of displaying that resolution (dual link ) why would you spend $500 on a piece of hardware that will have the exact same performance as a $75 piece of hardware (or a 150 one that will allow you some good gaming experience)
!