Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New PC for my mum. Q6600 for photoshop?

Tags:
  • CPUs
  • Photoshop
Last response: in CPUs
Share
June 18, 2007 1:47:35 PM

Hey peeps,

My mum is looking to buy a new work PC and I volunteered to build her one so she can get a better deal (and I get to play with some new electronics!). She's going to be using it for Photoshop (usually no more than 10MP images), web design, standard office tasks and it would be nice if it could run Oblivion and older games for my sister. She also wants it to be quiet and run Vista Home Premium.

This is her current rig:

Athlon 64 3800+
2gig
ATI X800 (I would re-use this but it is noisy)
160GB disk with 320GB external backup
XP home SP2

This is what I was thinking:

Intel C2D E6600 (I'll probably OC to 2.7Ghz or something)
Scythe Ninja with a quieter fan
Gigabyte P965 S3
4GB of own brand PC6400 ram
ASUS X1650 silent
2x500GB disks in RAID 1 (cos I don't trust her to backup!)
Antec Sonata III with included 500W PSU
An extra fan for the HDD intake

So my questions are:

1) What version of Vista should I use, 32 or 64 bit?
2) Will she notice much of a difference getting a Q6600?
3) Any suggestions/comments?

Thanks for your time,

Gus

More about : mum q6600 photoshop

June 18, 2007 6:23:04 PM

e6600 beats a 3800+ anyday and is quite cheap now. However Id rather recomend a 6420+. It still got that 4mb cache, and a desent £20 cooler could help you overclock it up past the 2.5gig mark.
Related resources
a c 143 à CPUs
June 18, 2007 7:35:11 PM

Like yomamafor1 said, Vista is a bad choice. Particularly if you want to run [older] games on it, stick with XP. My brother got Vista for his family, and almost all of their older games won't run (nor will some new ones run stably). Like he said, stick to 2GB of RAM. The RAID-1 is a good idea for a machine with valuable data. Just make sure you're going to be around to help if the RAID breaks. If not, set up an automated scheduled back-up using that external 320.
For games, you might want better than the x1650, especially since you mentioned Oblivion. On that card, you'd probably need to run it at 800x600. Based on Tom's VGA charts and Cleeve's GPU threads, if it were me, I'd probably get at least a 1950Pro, but for primarily business use your mum might not go for an 8800GTS/320.
What's the budget for this build?
June 18, 2007 8:47:00 PM

Quote:
As for O/S, stick with XP for now. Vista is highly unstable, inefficient, and a resource hog.



not true! i am currentaly running vista and its very stable only had one lockup and since ur getting all that ram it will prob not slow down one bit. if ur getting 4gb of ram you would have to get a 64 bit os to utalize all of it and vista 64 is were all the probs are at.
June 18, 2007 8:55:24 PM

Quote:
As for O/S, stick with XP for now. Vista is highly unstable, inefficient, and a resource hog.



not true! i am currentaly running vista and its very stable only had one lockup and since ur getting all that ram it will prob not slow down one bit. if ur getting 4gb of ram you would have to get a 64 bit os to utalize all of it and vista 64 is were all the probs are at.

I'm sorry but I have to say I disagree with you.

Vista has known for numerous bugs, such as: freeze when boot up with 4Gb or RAM, or constant crash due to incompatibility...

As for personal experience, I switched back to XP after using Vista for 2 months was because Vista had some serious conflict issues with my games, as well as hardware. I cannot use my onboard LAN because of Vista incompatibility. The computer will crash constantly if I play games.

I would advice OP against it is because the OS is not stable at the moment. Maybe you had better experience with it, and that's definitely good for you. But you won't know exactly what will OP's experience will be.
June 18, 2007 9:01:00 PM

So far with me vista has worked with over 7 games 4gig/4x1g of ram and hasn't had any problems whatsoever!!

But before it was working like a bitch, so I uninstalled and reinstalled and now its great.

I think, I swear iv heard from somewhere, that for some reason you need to install it then uninstall then reinstall or something weird.
#
At least that's what I did and it worked fine, don't ask me why I have no idea.

Just what know from personal experience.

And I've been using it for more than 2months now.
June 18, 2007 9:33:40 PM

I use my computer for work not games. I run CS3 almost exclusively.
There is always someone who has good and or bad luck. However for the majority of people Vista is a pain and a ram hog. You will want the 4 gb for vista and photoshop. I find i run out with large file merges.

I would love a quad core currently dual p d 945 oc to 3.9.

Adobe CS3 (suite) is one of the few programs that is coded to utilize all processors. I have had several problems installing Vista but once it is installed it seems fine only slower (3 computers). However, A very large amount of printers are not compatible, so look at the other office software.

I am a Pre press operator for PIP Printing and I cant run vista at work even if i wanted to. Its not compatible with $500,000 press software.

good luck, get q6600 but wait a few weeks, it will get cheaper.
June 19, 2007 12:04:20 AM

1) I say 32... 64 is better for apps like photoshop and such. But as far as I know gaming isn't so hot on 64 bit platform.

2) from what you're describing I say no. Photoshop:ing with 10mb files and webdesign won't need that kind of boost at all, the old computer should be fine for those tasks. My computer is worse than than and I use it for ~50mb files with lots of layers and it runs pretty smooth. Oblivion and older games won't support multi core.

3) As far as I see it. Gaming is the only thing you should build the new computer around. But it'll be an issue over the GPU not the CPU. I'd as many suggest lower to 2GB ram and a cheaper c2d and OC it. Use the extra money to buy a water cooled high end GPU for power and low noice. Raid 1 (Y). One vital equipment for anyone that uses Photoshop regularly should consider to buy a tablet. I recommend the Wacom brand, and for casual use I'd recommend their Graphire4 products.
June 19, 2007 10:23:16 AM

Hello,

Thanks for all the great replies, I knew you wouldn't let me down. I think I will get Vista HP 32 because my mum wants to see a difference, I don't want to buy another copy of XP and the compatibility looks better than 64bit. Thanks for the input about the gaming. I will probably stick a nice graphics card in the old PC and put a cheap quiet one in the new one. That way my sister won't have to compete for time on the new PC! My sis only plays rpgs and point & clicks so she should be fine with the 3800+ for a while.

Evongugg, I like the suggestion of getting a dual core Athlon but my mum has been bitten by the C2D bug and must have one. Also it means the old PC will still be running which makes it a lot less stressful to copy the data and there will be another spare PC in the house.

Yomamafor1, I didn't know about the price cut. Do you know if it will be reflected in the UK? If it is then I will certainly wait for a Quad! I like the idea about 2GB now and 2GB later.

Zhaf, My mum works as a freelance web designer so the images she uses are normally pretty small (especially when she's finished with them!). But my dad works in lighing and often gets my mum to help him with his visualisations in photoshop (large files for magazine prints and display boards). She already has a graphics tablet (I suppose I should check that works under Vista). I don't think I'll be able to justify the extra price for a water cooled gfx card.

OK so here is the new plan, wait for the price of Q6600s to come down then put this in the new PC:

Intel C2D Q6600
Scythe Ninja with a quieter fan
Gigabyte P965 S3
2GB of own brand PC6400 ram then 2GB asap
Some quiet graphics card to be decided at the time
2x500GB disks in RAID 1 (cos I don't trust her to backup!)
Antec Sonata III with included 500W PSU
An extra fan for the HDD intake

And a lovely shiny graphics card in the old PC assuming the PSU is good enough.

Thanks again for your help!

Gus
June 19, 2007 12:07:40 PM

Hi,

on my asus p5w dh deluxe the scythe ninja blocks the first ram slot.

Read some reviews with scythe ninja + your motherboard before that if you want to upgrade to 4 gb.
June 19, 2007 12:37:23 PM

Good point brad. Thanks
June 19, 2007 1:43:08 PM

Quote:
Zhaf, My mum works as a freelance web designer so the images she uses are normally pretty small (especially when she's finished with them!). But my dad works in lighing and often gets my mum to help him with his visualisations in photoshop (large files for magazine prints and display boards). She already has a graphics tablet (I suppose I should check that works under Vista). I don't think I'll be able to justify the extra price for a water cooled gfx card.

Well that changes things. Very large pictures cew up ram and cpu. Getting a Quad core for a workstation is a very nice idea, but if you arn't going to game on that one I'd say get the 64-bit and 4GB ram. The buy a cheap passive cooled graphics-card. Maybe HD2400-2600 when they get released next mont, audio through HDMI and that computer can act as a HTPC too :D 
Your mum works alot with Photoshop so get her a nice tablet (that's the most important part to an artist... trust me). Wacom makes the best tablets IMO and their Intuos3 range are for pros, so despite they're costy take a look on them. All Wacom tablets supports Vista.
June 19, 2007 2:24:52 PM

this really depends on your budget. if you are looking to save money i would just upgrade the existing machine. get a x2 4200 to upgrade the processor. 2 gigs should be enough. if you are worried about stability issues i suggest using xp mce edition. media center to me is worth it. if you upgrade the video card so something like a 8800 gts 320mb using the money you saved from making an entirely new build. and the silverstone 500watt energy efficient to supply more power while still being ultra quiet. also a new case for that new feeling.
June 19, 2007 3:10:23 PM

I recommend sticking with the current rig for the most part. As someone else said, you could get a speed bump from a faster dual core Opteron/X2 chip and a better graphics card (like an X1300 silent).

But if you insist you could go for something like:
- Pentium Dual-Core E2160
- Intel Q965 motherboard (or Q33 when it comes out)
- 2GB of DDR2-667/800
- AMD HD 2400 or NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT (UVD for hi definition movies perhaps)
- DVD-RW
- Floppy
- FSP Group 400w PSU
- 2 x 250GB HDDs in RAID1
- Case with good airflow
- XP Pro w/ SP2
June 19, 2007 3:36:54 PM

RAID 1 is NOT a backup in the true sense of the word. It is simply protection against drive failure. If you contract a virus, both drives will be infected.
June 19, 2007 3:39:33 PM

Personally id get 64bit just for the fact u can use 4gig/8gig of ram. It's soooooooooooo cheap now.

The more the merrier.
June 19, 2007 3:44:20 PM

i dunno. because it will mainly be a workstation with some "light" gaming i think that 2gigs is sufficient and 4 gigs is overkill unless ur running some insane resolution.
June 19, 2007 4:11:07 PM

Quote:

Yomamafor1, I didn't know about the price cut. Do you know if it will be reflected in the UK?
Gus


yes it will, but probably with some slowdown :roll:
June 19, 2007 4:23:47 PM

Some info on photoshop ram use here.
June 19, 2007 5:51:27 PM

i stand corrected. just disregard my previous post if your mom is a serious photoshopper.
June 19, 2007 9:35:32 PM

There is a photoshop comparison between the suggested cpu upgarde for the older computer(+4400)and the q6600 here.
If it can fit into your budget its definitely worth the money.
June 25, 2007 3:14:34 PM

Hey peeps,

Thanks again for all your help. My mum decided she didn't want to wait for the price cuts so this is what we got:

E6600 with Zalman 9500
4GB PC6400 RAM
Gigabyte P965 S3
Silent X1650
Antec Sonata III
Vista Home Pro 32-bit
2x500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10s in RAID 1
a couple of optical drives
a couple of fans

And my sis decided she could live without a graphics upgrade so she's still using the X800

Now I just need to put it all together...
a c 117 à CPUs
June 25, 2007 3:43:30 PM

yah need to put you OS and apps on a drive outside the RAID array . . .
June 25, 2007 4:02:25 PM

Thanks for the advice but I don't understand. What is the problem with setting up the array in the BIOS then installing OS, Apps and everything? I appreciate that there will be a slow 'scratch area' but I don't think that will matter considering the 4GB of ram.
June 25, 2007 4:57:48 PM

Quote:
yah need to put you OS and apps on a drive outside the RAID array . . .


I have no idea what this means? Why would you have to put anything outside the array. Possibly WiseCracker means you should set the OS up on its own partition but other than that I would disregard that post.
June 25, 2007 5:54:07 PM

it means that a single error can take down the entire array. it is safer to put apps and the os on a separate hard drive not part of the array so that when an error occurs. you do not need reinstall everything. imo i set up my friend with 3 drives. a raptor 36 gig as the main os hard drive. and two 400 gigs in raid 0 that held the apps and files. this way he was protected from reinstalling the os while maintaining the balance of speed that raid 0 affords. the fact of the matter is that the more writes made to a hard drive the likelier chance of a failure.
June 25, 2007 6:49:41 PM

OK, I understand now. Personally I run two 80GB HDDs in RAID0 with the OS on a 10GB Partition and the programs and utilites on the rest of the array. All saves are to a separate 250GB HDD. As back up I have a 320GB HDD in an external. This way I have the speed of RAID 0 and the data saved to a standalone drive. If I need to reload windows and therefore all the apps I simply unplug the third drive, install everything and then pug the third drive in and set the saves to the third drive.
a c 117 à CPUs
June 25, 2007 9:47:18 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the advice but I don't understand. What is the problem with setting up the array in the BIOS then installing OS, Apps and everything? I appreciate that there will be a slow 'scratch area' but I don't think that will matter considering the 4GB of ram.


Quote:
I have no idea what this means? Why would you have to put anything outside the array. Possibly WiseCracker means you should set the OS up on its own partition but other than that I would disregard that post.


See brick88's post - By utilizing a dedicated internal OS drive, independent HD transfer rates will improve efficiency, speed, and reliability - plus ...

In Windows 4Gb of RAM is initially divided as 2GB for user space and 2GB for system space. It is my understanding that V does a much better job of management as compared to XP but herein lies part of your problem.

You will have your OS, apps, scratch & VM all on the same drive. Even on a separate partition you won't speed up performance. In fact, performing some operations may even take longer because the read/write heads will have to travel farther.

It is my understanding that *Superfetch* does a better job than *Prefetch* BUT WinV has a paging file option whereby the SuperFetch retrieval operation will take advantage of large capacity USB 2.0 flash drives for swaps - not as fast as physical memory, but much faster than a hard disk.

Optimally I think the ultimate I/O read/write goal on Windows would be 1 single drive for OS/apps with your paging file on a separate drive. Then, of course, as many separate scratch disks as your work demands.

Yippeee!
June 26, 2007 1:34:45 AM

Yep, my paging file is on my standalone drive. Not anything significant speedwise but the OS is less fragmented.
June 26, 2007 2:23:24 AM

is your mom a gamer?
June 26, 2007 3:39:20 AM

The last time I set my raid-array as a bootable drive, I had to set up the array in BIOS first before installing the OS. It's much easier to just get a smaller capacity hard drive and dedicate it to your OS, then set up different sets of drives in raid array to store the rest of your data.
June 26, 2007 4:15:24 AM

I've been running Vista Ultimate for abour 4 months and LOVE it.

Of course you will have a few little devils in the software, but I've found workarounds and updated my programs

If you use Vista, do a little research before hand and download your drivers and update your programs first.

This would have saved me LOTS of headaches when my wireless card would not work at first.... hard to download drivers w/o internet connection....


Anyways, Vista has been WAAAY better stability wise than XP Pro ever was for me.
June 26, 2007 8:35:29 AM

Sorry, I'm not replying to you, just hit the nearest button.

Thanks for the comments about seperate scratch file and so on.

For those who said about 'one error and the array goes down', this is going to be a RAID 1 (mirror) array so that in the unlikely event that my mum does not backup and one disc crashes, we still have all the data. I would not consider putting a RAID 0 array in someone elses PC, they would blame me!

We have a 320GB Seagate 7200.10 in the old PC as the data drive. I'll recommend to my mum that she uses it as the system drive. Assuming she takes that advice, would we be better putting the page file on the 320 system drive or the RAID 1 array considering they are both using 7200.10 discs?

No, my mum is not a gamer unless you include Free Cell.
June 26, 2007 4:18:06 PM

umm the paging file should be located on a drive separate from the os. i wouldnt suggest on a raid 1 array however because of the nature of software raid. im assuming that you do not have a dedicated raid card so your raid will be performed through a software layer. it will be using processes on your main processor and will negate any performance gained from a separate page file location because of the mirroring.
June 26, 2007 5:39:57 PM

4 gigs and a 32 bit os?
you know with 32 bits you only see a max of 3 gigs right?
It doesn't make sense to get vista 32 since you're most likely going to need more ram (considering vista can be a resource hog).
June 26, 2007 5:54:46 PM

yeah i also suggest vista x64. otherwise you will be limited by the memory problem inherent in 32 bit.
June 26, 2007 6:10:48 PM

Quote:
yeah i also suggest vista x64. otherwise you will be limited by the memory problem inherent in 32 bit.


You know that Photoshop and all the other apps the OP mentioned are 32-bit only, right? A 64-bit OS won't change the fact those apps can only use 2 gig of ram.

Also.. it's for your mom. I assume since she's not the one posting she's not a computer guru. The Vista vs. XP argument really comes down to - how much tech support does the OP want to do? XP is known to be mostly stable on all machines. Vista is unknown - it might work, it might not. But when you're giving a PC to someone who isn't a computer expert... forget massive overclocking and cutting-edge stuff. They just want the damn thing to work! Go XP.
June 26, 2007 6:24:03 PM

Quote:
yeah i also suggest vista x64. otherwise you will be limited by the memory problem inherent in 32 bit.


You know that Photoshop and all the other apps the OP mentioned are 32-bit only, right? A 64-bit OS won't change the fact those apps can only use 2 gig of ram.

Also.. it's for your mom. I assume since she's not the one posting she's not a computer guru. The Vista vs. XP argument really comes down to - how much tech support does the OP want to do? XP is known to be mostly stable on all machines. Vista is unknown - it might work, it might not. But when you're giving a PC to someone who isn't a computer expert... forget massive overclocking and cutting-edge stuff. They just want the damn thing to work! Go XP.

Here is a link explaining ram usage in Photoshop CS2. http://photoshopnews.com/2005/04/04/photoshop-cs2-how-m...

Vista is largely stable for me and realize that although it is for his mom, he will be doing all the gruntwork. and although they do want the damn thing to work, they also want it to work as fast as possible. and also xp does not support 4+ gigs of ram (xp x64 is lacking in support and implementation). support for vista x64 is much better supported. and vista isnt exactly the minefield that you describe it as. there are many people on this forum using a combination of an e6600, gigabyte s3 and vista so it isnt such a hit or miss concept.
June 26, 2007 6:48:03 PM

Just scanning down the page, I can't help notice you wanted to get another fan to keep the HDDs cool.

Google did some research a while back and discovered....warmer HDDs actually perform slightly better and fail less!

And its quieter :) 

x64 rids you of alot of Virus's btw

can 32bit not use 4gb of RAM, I thought it could, as 2^32 divided by 1,000,000 is approximatley equal to 4.....
June 26, 2007 6:55:25 PM

the problem is that there are also memory allotments to other things on the computer such as the graphics card. you end up with 3.2 gigs
June 26, 2007 7:00:49 PM

Isnt that only on inbuilt graphics cards?
June 26, 2007 7:21:09 PM

Quote:
So far with me vista has worked with over 7 games...

Let's see... Solitaire, Hearts, Spades, Mine Sweeper, Chess... what are the other two?
June 26, 2007 7:59:00 PM

i don't know what your talking about. ive installed oblivion, madden, rct3, bf2, sims 2, hl2, css, hl2 episode 1, dod, galciv2, c&c3, and san andreas. and the games that don't work i just set the compatibility to xp sp2 and it works fine. have you even tried using vista or are you just going with what people say?
June 27, 2007 4:50:48 AM

Quote:
yeah i also suggest vista x64. otherwise you will be limited by the memory problem inherent in 32 bit.


You know that Photoshop and all the other apps the OP mentioned are 32-bit only, right? A 64-bit OS won't change the fact those apps can only use 2 gig of ram.

Also.. it's for your mom. I assume since she's not the one posting she's not a computer guru. The Vista vs. XP argument really comes down to - how much tech support does the OP want to do? XP is known to be mostly stable on all machines. Vista is unknown - it might work, it might not. But when you're giving a PC to someone who isn't a computer expert... forget massive overclocking and cutting-edge stuff. They just want the damn thing to work! Go XP.
an example of why people do some research other than just asking other people.
What i'm trying to say is that 4 gigs on a 32 bit xp or vista is only going to show up or be used as 3 gigs.
Gustafarian:
If you really want a 32 bit os (that will not be as 'future-proof') i suggest not gettin no more than 3 gigs (2X1 gig + 2 X 512MB, to keep dual channel.) again these are just suggestion just as "do some independent research" (reading, not asking people) is.
Not trying to be rude just a bit objective.
June 27, 2007 9:07:16 AM

Glupee, I take what you mean about the 4GB on 32bit OS problem but we have already bought the RAM and Vista 32 so there is no going back. I can't even swap it with RAM from the old PC because it used DDR. Oh well.

Luckily I found another 120GB disk sitting around so I am going to put it in the new pc. So now we have:

320GB for OS and application
2x500GB in RAID1 for data project storage
120GB (this is only a Seagate 7200.9) for page file and PS scratch disk

What about that? Is it ok to put the page file and scratch on the same disk?

In XP I believe you could put the 'My Docs' on a different disk from the OS. Is this possible in Vista Home Premier and would you advise me to put it on the RAID?

JonIsGinger, I believe they do run better when slightly warmer but there are three reasons for placing the fan there:
1) I once cooked a disk
2) I am going to have 4 discs in close proximity so they would be too hot
3) I want to draw air in over the dust filter

Thanks again for all the great advice peeps!
June 27, 2007 10:24:07 AM

First of all,a quad core is overkill for what your mom does.A good quality dual core processor will keep your mom going for at least a few more years.I would be more concerned about the video card as tomorrows graphice become more of a challenge.A good,solid dual core processor will do your mom fine for now.Just make sure the GPU is up to snuff.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2 5600+ @ 2.8ghz(stock)
M2N32-SLI DELUXE MB
2 GIGS DDR2 800 RAM
THERMALTAKE 850WATT PSU
7950GT KO(WAITING FOR MY OTHER TO COME BACK FROM RMA)
ACER 22IN. LCD
SMILIDON RAIDMAX GAMING CASE
80GIG/250gig SATA2 HD's
XP MCE
June 27, 2007 3:43:54 PM

dahak, its not a gaming pc. its a photoshop build. a video card won't help rendering times at all in the photoshop game. a q6600 is useful because photoshop, unlike many games, can take advantage of multiple cores.
a c 117 à CPUs
June 27, 2007 5:49:24 PM

Quote:


Luckily I found another 120GB disk sitting around so I am going to put it in the new pc. So now we have:

320GB for OS and application
2x500GB in RAID1 for data project storage
120GB (this is only a Seagate 7200.9) for page file and PS scratch disk

What about that? Is it ok to put the page file and scratch on the same disk?

In XP I believe you could put the 'My Docs' on a different disk from the OS. Is this possible in Vista Home Premier and would you advise me to put it on the RAID?



Yup. I'd create a *shortcut* on the desktop and 'target' at your 'hot file' folder / subdirectories on your RAID and save all your data there.

Tough call on the page file/scratch disk. I'd be tempted to put the scratch on the RAID thinkin' that there would be less 'thrashing' than if you put the page file there but I really don't know.

I'd also be tempted to use the 120 HD for the OS & apps and the SATA drives for as much as you can for everything else. It's also your smallest drive and yer os/apps probably won't amount to much.
June 27, 2007 8:49:15 PM

how old is the hard drive. if its older than a couple yrs, i would keep your os and apps on the newer 320gb drive. reason being that the 120gb drive will probably be more apt to failure because of its advanced age.
      • 1 / 2
      • 2
      • Newest
!