I use a Dell Studio XPS 7100 desktop at home with an Athlon II X4 630 2.0GHz Processor, ATI Radion HS 5450 1024 MB, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, & 500GB HD. It works well with CS5 and Corel Painter 11, which are the two main graphics programs that I use.
Now I need to purchase a laptop for my MFA program in art with the ability to run both CS5 and Corel Painter 11 efficiently. Of course price is an issue since I am a college student. I need a 17" screen and am finding 3 processors in my price range with 4 or 6GB of RAM: the Intel Core i3, i5, and the AMD Phenom II Quad Core. In general I need to understand several things:
a) which processor would work best with the two programs, b) would 4GB of RAM be sufficient to run the programs or is 6GB absolutely necessary, and c) is the i% that much better than the i3 for these programs?
I'd appreciate any help with this as I need to buy this laptop within a day or two. Thanks in advance.
An i5 is the best as far as CPU speed. On the AMD side Fusion CPUs (A3800 and A3600 series) are more balanced and have some better integrated graphics for light gaming. It just depends on your budget. I don't know about corel painter but CS5.5 favors ol Intel. If you get an i5 I also recommend looking at something with an nVidia GPU like a GT 360 so that you can take advantage of CS5 CUDA plugins.
Depending upon your budget you can you can either go for an i5 or i7 based notebook which will suite your requirements, and I'd suggest you to at least have an GT555M or HD 6770 graphics to go along with the either of the above processors.