CS4 Design Premium Build

Hey I'm looking for advice on a new system build that will be used specifically for CS4 Design Premium, mostly Photoshop and Illustrator work. Most likely multiple programs will be open at the same time. I'm looking to keep this build cheap, under $1,000, and use overclocking for performance.

My main questions:

1. Dual core or quad core? I've seen that Photoshop really depends on clock speed, not the number of cores. If I wanted it to really scream I'm guessing I would overclock the processor, probably to 3.5-3.6 Ghz for the dual core. But, I don't know if having a quad core would be better with multiple design programs open at once.

2. How much memory would be optimal? Would 4GB be enough to keep Photoshop and Illustrator happy at the same time, plus other programs? Would 8GB be better, but that involves upgrading to 64-bit Vista which costs more.

3. What Vista should I use, 32 or 64-bit?

4. What is a quality motherboard that would allow me to easily and stably overclock my system?

5. What size power supply would I need for good efficiency and enough power for overclocking? Keep in mind I would only have a basic video card such as the 4770.


So I'm looking for answers to these and examples of components you would think would work best.

Thank you for all your help.
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  1. Thanks to people asking similar questions on here I have learned

    CS4 is 64 bit and can use all the RAM you can afford . You will also need a 64 bit OS .
    More cores is better as well

    You can afford an intel i7 rig in your budget if you are careful because you wont need an expensive gaming gfx card and thats pretty much where you should be buying .

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.190227
    $543
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220367
    $65

    MB,cpu and ram for $608

    Forget the 4770 , its a gaming card and no help with image processing so something half the price will do
    A 500 watt psu $50ish
    case $50 ish
    hard drive $80
    gfx card .. hey , maybe you can afford a 4770 and can kill a few strogg between editting sessions
  2. Or go with a Phenom II 940 for about $190 plus AM3 motherboard for $180 .... 8GB of ram for about $100 (4x2GB kits) and the rest everything that Outlander_04 mentioned. This way you come up with a few extra dollars that u can spend on whatever you like.
  3. Thanks for all your replies.


    @Outlander

    CS4 comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Would moving to the 64-bit version increase performance substantially? I've seen that it dramatically improves performance with video editing, but how about with Photoshop/Illustrator?

    You say more cores are better, why? To make it future proof for future updates? Or will the multitasking really cripple a dual core?
  4. :bounce:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-motherboard,7463.html <--- Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042 $58.95 Free Shipping*
    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022 $74.99 ($49.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebates)
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R $179.99 | $164.99 after rebate
    GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
    Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029 $39.99 Free Shipping*
    XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154003 $4.99
    Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150320 $75.99 ($55.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
    XFX PVT96OSDFH GeForce 9600 GSO 768MB 192-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.193835 Combo Discount: -$5.00 Combo Price: $164.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
    OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171 $24.99 Free Shipping*
    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD Burner - OEM

    Total: $890.86 | $830.86 w/mail in rebates

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.aspx?ITPID=mscomsc <---Save yourself some money and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7 :)
  5. CS4 is the first version to favor quad core CPUs over faster clocked dual core CPUs.

    See CS4 Test

    The 64-bit version allows it to work better with large images, where CS4 needs more than 4G of RAM to do its thing as you do your work. If you are going with Vista 64-bit, you might as well use CS4 64-bit.
  6. Does Photoshop CS4 support CUDA graphics acceleration? If it does you will want to add an NVidia graphics card rather than an ATi one.
  7. @Why_Me

    Thanks for taking the time to piece all that together.

    1. Any specific benefit to that CPU cooler? Is it better than a Zalman 9500?
    2. Would any graphics card do? Could I know Photoshop CS4 accelerates some things with the graphics card but would an ATI 4350 or something do just as well and save a couple bucks?
    3. For Windows 7, can you install CS4 on it without any problems? What could be potential problems with this? What do I do when the RC expires?

    @DXrick

    Thanks for clarifying that. Tom's has only tests for CS3 so that link was really helpful.
  8. gjelly said:
    @Why_Me

    Thanks for taking the time to piece all that together.

    1. Any specific benefit to that CPU cooler? Is it better than a Zalman 9500?
    2. Would any graphics card do? Could I know Photoshop CS4 accelerates some things with the graphics card but would an ATI 4350 or something do just as well and save a couple bucks?
    3. For Windows 7, can you install CS4 on it without any problems? What could be potential problems with this? What do I do when the RC expires?

    @DXrick

    Thanks for clarifying that. Tom's has only tests for CS3 so that link was really helpful.



    Why mes build is good , but the ram seems expensive . If you used the kit I suggested you could have 12 gig , and with the 64 bit OS and 64 bit CS4 you should see much faster handling of large [ GigaByte +] files . You'd be better off with more ram rather than faster ram .
    The xigmatek 1283 is the same cooler as the dark knight but its cheaper [ but less flashy ] . A cpu cooler like this can make your pc a lot quieter than a stock cooler . Noise might not be an issue
    And finally the antec 300 is a fabulous gaming case and very cheap but for office work something less noisey like an antec sonata would be my preference .

    anything that runs on vista should run on windows 7 . When the rc expires you have to buy , and you have to completely reinstall everything
    DONT download 7 from a torrent , get it from microsoft . Torrents are already infected and setting up botnets
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