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Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC build

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Old 04-10-2012, 02:01 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC build

I have begun planning for replacement PC.

If you're using Photoshop under Win/7 (64 bit) I would be interested to know:
* what CPU you have
* how much RAM you have installed
* what types of PS work are you doing, e.g., 3D, retouching, what?

...or if you're considering a new build yourself, what are you thinking in this regard.

This info will help me make two important build decisions.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:47 PM
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

I'm running Photoshop on a 64-bit system with Win 7.

Processor: i7 950 3.06GHZ 8MB S-1366
Memory: 6 GB (3X2GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3 PC12800 1600MHZ
System drive: OCZ Vertex 3 SSD 128GB

Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E X58 S-1366 ATX
Monitor: HP ZR24W 24" (Low-end IPS-panel. Works great.)

Type of work: A bit of everything.

Overall:
I'm very satisfied with the performance of my system. If I did a lot of heavy images (hires, 16 bits) with many layers, I would consider buying another set of RAM (3x2GB or 3x1GB) - but first I would keep an eye on it and see if it actually fills up when I work.

Graphics card:
The graphics card is overkill for Photoshop CS5. I have it mainly for all my games and is probably my next component to be upgraded when the next generation of games demands it...
GPU acceleration is used a lot more in Photoshop CS6 (I'm running the beta with no problems), so here it could be interesting to compare the difference I get for the GPU-heavy tasks if I upgrade. I do almost no 3D, but it works fine.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:50 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

hi danny,
i bought my system just about 8 months ago and my criteria was i want a fast computer..

i have i7 3.2 turboboost
9 gigs of ram
graphics gtx 460 with 1 gig of ram
most of my ps work is retouching type stuff, not doing any 3d stuff, and my present configuration is quite satisfactory it handles the various photoshop filters very good and fast!!!in fact , lightspeed compared to my old winxp system ..

graphic card-- if your working with very large files and/or with 3d then i suggest make sure your card supports opengl and shader.... those things make photoshop handling of large files and 3d faster than normally ...

now the cost factor... you may want to look at the ati cards... now the gtx 460 is a good card... but ati has a couple of cards that are better and alittle faster and cheaper!!!! and they do suppport opengl and shader.. definetly refer to you photoshop cs5 specs (i am assumming it will be photoshop cs5 or above)

oh you may ask why I didn't get ati since i am recommending ati ... well at the time i bought my system, the outfit i was ordering from drop the ati card from the choices) and they offered the gtx card as a substitute (which is getting to be a older card) and i told them give me a discount i won't buy.. smiling.. they gave me 40% discount) and that why i ended up with a gtx
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:57 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

Hi Danny,
I am also running CS5 on a win7 64bit OS. My configuration is as follows:

Processor: i7 2600K 3.4GHZ (clockable to 5.4GHZ)
Memory: 16 GB (4x4GB) Patriot Low Voltage Dual Channel DDR3 PC12800 1600
System drive: Western Digital 2 TByte Black Caviar 7200 RPM SATA III
Physical Drive 2: (Where Cache Disk resides) Western Digital same as above
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67Pro Socket 1155
Comments:
- RAM is pretty inexpensive - load up as much as you can.
- PS makes extensive use of scratch disk even if you have tons of RAM. There get a high speed drive - min 7200 RPM
- Have a 2nd physical drive different from the one that holds the OS. This will cut down latency and fighting between OS and PS. Also useful for backups / OS image files
- You don't need a powerful gaming video card, just a mid range card. Most mid range cards have 1GB of RAM on them and they are all GPU compliant.
- SSD's have some issues and are not yet as reliable as mechanical hard drives, and definitely not as cost effective yet. I have a Muskin Callisto 120GB SSD which I used to host the OS for a while but went back to the WD as the active partition.
Good luck with the new machine whatever configuration you select.
Regards, Murray
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:11 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

Win 7 Ultimate
Quad-core 2.6 GHz
16 GB RAM (I consider this the minimum, my computer crawled with 8 GB)
I allow Photoshop to use up to 65% of my RAM
RAID-0 primary drive (2 1-TB drives)
RAID-0 backup drive (G-RAID array 2 TB)
ATI graphics card (forgot which, it's 5xxx series)

I'm not at my computer or I'd provide more precise details.

I do fine art landscapes and fine art portraits w/ retouching. I run about 30+ plug-ins and filters. I also have Lightroom open and Photo Mechanic as well at times, all simultaneously. Plus lots of browser tabs and windows.

I do retouching, but no 3D (yet).
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:07 AM
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
- Have a 2nd physical drive different from the one that holds the OS. This will cut down latency and fighting between OS and PS. Also useful for backups / OS image files.
+1 (I run my OS and programs from my SSD. Documents etc. from other drives).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
- You don't need a powerful gaming video card, just a mid range card. Most mid range cards have 1GB of RAM on them and they are all GPU compliant.
+1 (CPU/RAM/DISK is more important for Photoshop performance)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
- SSD's have some issues and are not yet as reliable as mechanical hard drives, and definitely not as cost effective yet.
The latest SSD drives (look for OCZ and Intel) are quite good and I believe the problems of early drives have been solved (especially now that you are on Win 7 as well). They are also blazingly fast compared to a regular mechanical drives (also, less noise and heat) –*make sure you get it hooked up to a 6gb/s connection on the motherboard.
But the only downside (as you mention) is that it is very expensive per GB, so a common setup is to just use it for the OS/programs (look how fast it loads!) and then use regular drives for the rest (stuff that takes up space; like games, documents, media, images, scratch disk perhaps...). If you need more speed, try a raid setup.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:13 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Re: Photoshop: How much RAM? Which CPU? - new PC b

Many thanks for your insights and for sharing your wisdom. Greatly appreciated.
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