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Dell Inspiron Laptop for Photoshop use?

Currently looking at buying a DELL inspiron 15R for my 16yr old daughter. She is interested in graphic design and will be studing it next year so also getting Photoshop CS5.

Specs I'm looking at are:
Intel® Core™ i3-370M Processor (2.4Ghz, 4Threads, 3M cache)
15.6 Widescreen HD WLED Glossy Display with TrueLife™ (1366x768)
500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
Intel® HD Graphics

Does this laptop hane the necessary 'grunt' for photoshop. It exceeds system requirement for photoshop CS5. but specs are usually slower than reality.

SHould i update the chip to an i5? Intel Core i5 460M (2.53GHz/3MB cache)

or alternatively should I change the video card to a dedicated card option ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650 - 1GB?
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  1. Hello evansrh;
    The i3-370M & Intel HD graphics certainly has enough performance to run Photoshop well for someone just learning how to use the program. I think you'd get a minimal performance gain going to the i4 460M that wouldn't be easy to notice.

    If we were talking about a laptop for someone ready to earn a living working with Photoshop we'd probably be talking a quad core CPU, 8GB RAM, a dedicated Nvidia GPU and a high resolution IPS LCD screen.
  2. Best answer
    Here is a review of the Inspiron 15R:

    A Photoshop benchmark comparison of using a laptop CPU with/without turbo boost - somewhat similar to the difference you might see going from the i3 370M to i5 460M. It's a bit higher than I expected to see, although this benchmark might be representative of how your daughter's actual usage.
  3. Thanks WR2 for the reply. Using your time to respond to a stanger's cry for help is very much appreciated.

    The reviews you provided have made me feel comfortable with my own selection process.

    Also looks to me like there are benefits to be gained by upgrading to the i5 chip and benefits to be gained by selecting the dedicated video card.

    Dell has both of these as options but they are $100 australian each. I can stretch to the extra $100 but not $200 unfortunately.

    In your opinion, should I choose the chip or should I choose the video card?

    Personally I'm leaning towards the video card as I have read in some other forums that Photoshop in particular benefits from the separate memory card. My daughter is not a Gamer at all, but she is creative with graphics and video.

    Thanks again for your help.
  4. evansrh said:
    Also looks to me like there are benefits to be gained by upgrading to the i5 chip and benefits to be gained by selecting the dedicated video card.
    This is true. But..
    Without spending the extra $100 or $200 you'd still get a very capable Photoshop laptop. Yes, the performance could be improved, but that's on top of what is already a wholly capable system. There would be no limitation on what she could get done, it would just take a very small amount of extra time to get it done without the upgrades.

    A decent laptop mouse would be a big help and the increased productivity (navigating through menus, layers and better control in applying Photoshop effects) could very well let her finish a project faster than with just the better CPU or video card alone.

    My recommendation would be stick with the i3 370M and HD Graphics.
    Other's thoughts on the same question.
  5. Best answer selected by evansrh.
  6. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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