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Photoshop user needs advice about laptops

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
December 14, 2008 4:22:01 PM

I need to buy a second computer for home and travel. I am a photographer and digital-artist and work mainly in Photoshop (CS4) with large files. My studio computer is a pc, which rules out buying an iMac because Adobe wants to charge me full price for a Mac verision of CS4, and I'd rather put that money into the machine since my upgrade to Windows CS4 grants me the option of loading it onto a second computer. But which computer? Thanks in advance for any help.

1_What is your budget? $1500 or less

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? screen size? large. 17"

3_What screen resolution do you want? I am not sure. 1450x1058 (?). Image quality is important.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? desktop replacement, if I understand the question correctly. It needs to be work horse, as it will be used a lot

5_How much battery life do you need? This is not important as it will usually be plugged

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? No games

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, surfing the web, playing music, watching movies, Etc.) This computer will be used almost exclusively for Photoshop, however I would hope I could also surf the web, play music, and watc YouTube.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? I am more concerned about Hard Drive speed than capacity, but I guess 120 - 320 should do

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them. none

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? 3 years

11_If you would like to mention some other things about purchasing your ideal laptop, post them. 1. I would like the graphic card to have 512 dedicated DDR. 2. Processor speed is important. Core 2 Duo or even Quad at least 2.24 GHz/ 3. XP Pro rather than Vista if possible. 4. At least 3 MB RAM. 5. An optical drive included. 6. Several USB ports

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. I had a HP laptop and desktop both died on me and did not perform well. Otherwise I have no prejudicies in this regard.

13_What country do you live in? US
a c 244 D Laptop
December 15, 2008 9:32:06 AM

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December 15, 2008 3:29:37 PM

I bought a Sager laptop from my very techie 19 year old nephew last year. He is a major gamer and the machine was more like a desktop trapped inside a laptop's body. It could really handle gaming and video, Trouble was [1] I don't game and Photoshop relies on CPU not GPU speed and [2] it ran so hot that, long story short, it fried the hard drive, which is why I am currently seeking advice on buying a secondary computer. I did not mention this above (#12) because it didn't occur to me that anyone would recommend a Sager. I agree that Sager makes an excellent computer; I am concerned that it may not be the best laptop for photoshop. Has anyone used Sager for intense photoshop work? I could not tell from the two responses- thank you by the way - if you both are primarily photoshop users or just very knowledgable regarding computers in general.

While I am asking for advice: Has Photoshop user had any experience working on photoshop on a table pc?
December 15, 2008 3:32:11 PM

that last sentence should have read: Has any photoshop user had any experience working on photoshop with a TABLET PC?
December 15, 2008 4:38:58 PM

how many large are yours files?
however, take a look at Dell catalogue. there are many 17 inches desktop replacements and workstation, like Vostro and Precision.
December 15, 2008 6:44:26 PM

Thanks. I will look into Dell. My typical file runs about 250 MB but I have many that are at least 3 times that.
December 15, 2008 7:03:47 PM

you're a professional photographer?

files so larges, requires a high-end laptop.
powerful CPU (at least 2,3 GHz), 7200 rpm hard disk (high speed of data's access), and 4 GB RAM.
that kind of laptop, generally, have a good GPU, but i'm not so sure that a powerful GPU is essential to process that files. the GPU is very important in 3D applications.
a b D Laptop
December 15, 2008 8:06:16 PM

The first laptop I posted uses the same graphics card as the macs do. The second uses a much higher end card, but, as I have the notebook, I can personally reassure you this notebook is the coolest (in terms of temperature) I have ever used.

Photoshop versions in the future will begin to use GPGPU computing, and you'll be able to enhance the performance of photoshop without doing a darn thing to your hardware (or your wallet).

Also, my Sager carries a lifetime warranty, no extra cost to me. I don't know if they still offer that, but take a look into it. The most important factor in your machine, the screen, will be a much higher quality one on a Sager notebook.
December 15, 2008 9:02:38 PM

If you don't mind my asking, why do you recommend Vista x64, especially since this computer will be used primarily for photoshop and not as a media center? I have not heard anything positive about Vista up to now. I did check out the Sager computers you recommended and I agree they are right on as to the features I am looking for. Glad to hear they do not run hot. Thanks again.
December 16, 2008 12:31:17 AM

Photoshop probably requires lots of cpu speed and RAM. Do you use RAW or JPG files? If you use JPG you will need pretty big hard drives, if you use RAW you will need huge hard drives. I don't think the GPU matters at all.

Another problem is that most laptops probably use cheap LCD panels that don't calibrate well. I've read on some photo forums that there are some companies that make machines with better displays, Lenovo if I remember right.
a b D Laptop
December 16, 2008 2:12:30 AM

I say use Vista x64 because (1) it beats XP in pretty much every regard, if not, it matches it and (2) it is the only OS from MS that will allow you to use 4GB of RAM reliably (XP x64 isn't supported by lots and lots of manufacturers). The bad things you've heard about Vista were about the original Vista. Any notebook you purchase today will be installed with Vista SP1, which fixes a vast majority of the issues.

Also, I only guarantee that the NP5793 is running cool - the 8660 I have never used. But, with the quality I see in this notebook, I can't imagine it being bad at all.
December 16, 2008 4:37:44 AM

I am definitely leaning towards the NP5793. Thanks for that lead. I'll will need to do a bit more digging into Vista x64, but you have gotten me to at least reconsider my position regarding it.
December 16, 2008 1:55:04 PM

Thanks everyone for you help.
a b D Laptop
December 16, 2008 3:35:29 PM

Yes, I forgot about that. XoticPC has deals on the same notebooks from Sager - you might be able to get them for less.

Also, lots of photoshop people use Wacom pads...but they're expensive, and, personally, I prefer a mouse.