APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: after 2 weeks BUDGET RANGE: ~1500$ SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: CS4/5 Photoshop, Lightroom, Flash, playing only CS 1.6 for relax PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, cd/dvd-room PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS:http://www.tigerdirect.ca/www.canadacomputers.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN Latvia PARTS PREFERENCES: no preferences, I need highest Photoshop performance OVERCLOCKING: Yes, if performance go better. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future. MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1st monitor @ 1440x900, Second @ 1280x1024
It is my understanding that photoshop CS4 is one of the few applications that can make use of large amounts of ram to improve performance.
I would suggest a i7-930 X58 based build. With a X58 motherboard, you will normally get 6gb of ram in a 3 x 2gb configuration. In addition, such motherboards will have 6 ram slots, giving you 12gb using 2gb sticks. Currently, 4gb ram sticks are VERY expensive. But, if, in the future, the prices come down, you will be able to use 24gb.
I understand that CS4 can make use of some of the capabilities of a NVIDIA based graphics card. You need to research this and see if it applies to you.
Does money/performance range for work in Adobe CS5 is best? Or need something to change?
I don't know what size images you work with or how many layers so take this for what it's worth.
Photoshop works best at 5x image size in RAM and it goes up the more layers that you add. The only real way to find out uncompressed image size is to click on the lower left side of the screen where a pop comes up and select size. If you use the size on your hard drive it will be compressed in native PSD form.
It also needs a lightening fast scratch drive (it looks like you got that) , preferably two. If you have multiple images open and have layers on each image eventually you will go past your RAM and "hit the disk". Disk speed is crucial.
GPU: Photoshop is now using your Video card to offload operations like screen pans and zooms and soon other operations. A fast video card is crucial too. In CS 5, selecting the zoom tool is a whole new and better experience. You'll quickly see why the GPU is very important. It also looks like you have that covered. As some consolation, a "Photoshop video Card to drive a 20" CRT monitor cost $3,000 in 1993.
CPU: This is as important as any of the components above but not the most important contrary to popular belief unless you use Photoshop at high resolution and run a tremendous amount of filters. Some of the filters consume CPU cycles like mad. Any art oriented filter will consume CPU cycles. If you use Photoshop for Art then it would be at the top of the Pyramid.
Keep in mind that the resources are continually consumed the more operations you do on your image. That's due to how many levels you have in cache and how many history states you use.
With this in mind:I would get as Much RAM as I could afford. Too bad RAM is 2x what it was last year. Photoshop will be happy with 70% of your system RAM. Much more and you run the risk of crashes. Assume you have 6 GBs, You have 4.2GB of RAM allocated to Photoshop. Your base image size to work in RAM is less than about 700 MBs. It seems like a lot . But if you do work for print and start stacking up layers, you'll be surprised at how fast you hit that limit. Then operations start to crawl. I would look at 12-24 GBs of RAM if your designing for print. You also have to have a x64 OS to take advantage of it.
It looks like your Video card and Hard Drives are excellent choices. I would double up on the Kingston RAM with 4GB modules. If newer MOBOs come out with more RAM slots, I would take a look at it.
This is coming from a user that started with Photoshop 2.0 in 1993 when 200Mbs of RAM was $12,000 and Layers were still two years away. The "workstation" I had cost $40,000 and would run at about 2% of the speed yours will run.I also used to get huge bucks back then too, so there were offsets. Amazingly enough , 16 years later, Photoshop still can't do many of the things a Mac only software program called Live Picture could do in 1994 regardless of your hardware set up and budget.
It will take a few more generations of Chips and Hard Drives before it will match some of the best features of Live Picture. The program was discontinued as it was Mac only and John Scully (The same guy who fired Steve Jobs ) got a hold of it. If it had been developed for the Wintel side and they had kept at it, the speed on all operations would have all been in real time. No progress bars. Back then, the only thing that caused a clock to come up were screen redraws. Working on 1-2 Gig images with 100 layers or more was not unusual.
It still seems amazing, but we had to write our images out to film recorders because clients had to have film. So you would do all this digital work at 1:1 at 1000 dpi to send it to a 4 x 5 piece of film .
Then the designers would scan it in to look at it.