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  • Some Questions About Hardware.....

    I'm looking to get new equipment and was thinking of getting a PC running winxp. And upgrading to Photoshop 7. I'd appreciate some advice on a low to midrange system and peripherals to run Photoshop "smoothly," and which won't put me in the poor house.
    I was wondering if anyone could give me some tips on what to buy? PC makes and models that are good, I prefer a P4. I'm interested in knowing what would be a good usable system, the stats to look for....processor speed, type of ram/speed 266,333,400 DDR or Rambus/RDRAM and how much, etc? Graphics/video card, any suggestions? A good monitor/CRT,19 or 21 that you know is good. AG or Shadow mask, which would be better? A good photo printer, Cannon or Epson, any brands or models that are good?
    I've been trying to find some advice on good hardware to use for running Photoshop and doing photo restoration and more. Such as brands and minimum requirements that will let me learn and "run smoothly",without breaking the bank. I'd really appreciate some advice. Thank you in advance!!!!!!!!! I can be reached at [email protected]. Thank You!!!!
    Bob

  • #2
    Bob -

    What is your definition of "smoothly"?

    The biggest thing for Photoshop would be to get the most memory you can afford (the type is largely going to depend on the processor/motherboard)... followed by processor speed, graphics card, etc... If I were on a budget, the two things I would absolutely not skimp on are memory and the monitor. A cheap monitor is going to give you inconsistent results and hurt your eyes. (I prefer Sony and Mitsubishi screens)

    Printers are mostly a matter of personal preference. HP, Canon and Epson all make great inkjets…although I think most photographer and artists lean towards Epson due to the fact that several models use pigment inks rather than dye based. If you do a search on this site you will find a great deal of info on Epsons.

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    • #3
      an iMac with the flat screen is nice......

      I'm going to duck down behind my desk now,

      Margaret

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      • #4
        A G4 would be better.... Actually, you can get pretty good deals on the older G4's and it still has more than enough power to run Photoshop 7 ....a pc is certainly going to be cheaper but the new Mac OS is wonderful. I have thought about going back to a Mac myself...just for OS 10! I was not crazy about the imac I owned but I suspect a G4 would make me pretty happy!

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        • #5
          Hi Greg....Thank you for your info!!!! Any thoughts on a good Graphics card? And for Sony and Mitsubishi Screens, could you give me any model numbers to look at in 19 and 21 inch models? As for Epson printers, what do you think of the new 960? If I get a P4 PC, do you think a 2.4 chip would be good enough? And what do you think of a Microtek Scanner? As for a Mac, I am using an old Beige G3 333 MT now,scuzzi and serial. I cannot run system 10 on that. I prefer to go the PC route because in the long run it will be cheaper. Also, I prefer a new machine with a warranty. I've been searching for an older G4, most prices I seen were not that much cheaper than the new 1 GHz model, and I can't afford that with getting the other equipment I need too. Thank you very much for your advice!!!!!
          Bob

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          • #6
            Hi Margaret.....Thank you for your reply. I prefer going the PC route. I heard Apple will be phasing out the Imacs, also, I'm not too keen on the TFT screen, I'd rather go for a mini tower with a CRT. Thank you!!!!
            Bob

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            • #7
              Hi Bob, There are times that I think going PC would be the better option, but I've been a die-hard Mac user for so long now, I don't think I'll ever make the switch - unless the next computer is a gift in which case I'll smile and say thank you

              Apple is phasing out the old bubble shaped iMacs but will still have the newer models for a few years yet.

              My best advice is always - find the applications and peripherals you want to use and then get the best CPU you can find to run them.

              Take care, Margaret

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              • #8
                Hi Margaret.....Thanks a lot for the info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                Bob

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                • #9
                  Bob I just graduated from a PentiumII-400 to a Athalon 2400. The new machine has 512 megs of PC-2700 ram running XP Home. I also got a second hard drive that I use as a scratch disk for Photoshop.

                  I can't tell you how much faster Photoshop runs on the new machine..

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                  • #10
                    Hi Bob, I echo what Greg stated about the PC hardware. Photoshop loves resources like RAM and hard drives. Your finished product benefits from the use of a good monitor. I have Photoshop 7 and it is very happy with the 1 Gigabyte of RAM that I have, I wish at times I had more because I work with scanned images of 200Meg or more. I have more than one hard drive and this also makes Photoshop because I can assign a secondary drive to the scratch disk which makes PS run faster and safer.

                    You can run Photoshop with a lot less resources. I would put the minimum RAM at 256 Meg though as Windows is also a RAM hog. The more resources you can afford to put in the happer you and Photoshop will be. The amount and speed of the RAM will depend on the motherboard or system you choose. I like the AMD processors because you can get a lot more bang for the buck. The Gforce 4 cards will be getting cheaper the closer we get to the release of the processors. I bought a G4 Ti-4200 with 128 meg of ram for about 150.00 last fall. You should be able to get the Ti-4600s for that price soon

                    It's hard to recommend hardware configurations now days. There are so many choices and possible configurations that it can get you dizzy. You should buy whatever you can afford. Try not to get the absolute fastest or newest thing, settle for the number 2 or 3 and you will save money and get almost as good or fast whatever it is.


                    I don't know what you plan to do with your pictures. If they are for your personal use then the Epson Photo 960 or the Canon i950 are both good choices. They aren't entry level but do produce very high quality pictures. The newer HP's are supposed to do a good job but I have no personal experience with their output. Epson and Canon are the leaders in the consumer photo printers.

                    I hope this helps you.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Gary.....Thank you very much for the information!!!! I have been hearing that the Athalon/AMD chips are preferred over the Pentium 4 for Photoshop. Could you give me some insight on that? Would you mind telling me what Brand machine you bought? So, I could check them out. What kind of graphics card do you have in it? And what kind of Monitor do you use? I would really appreciate some more info about that. Thank you very much!!!!!!!!
                      Bob

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                      • #12
                        Hi Kevin......Wow.....you gave me a lot of information, I really appreciate it!!!!! As I mentioned in my reply to Gary.... I have been hearing that the Athalon/AMD chips are preferred over the Pentium 4 for Photoshop. Could you give me some insight on that? Besides the AMD chips being more bang for the buck. Could you also, tell me what brand computer you use, so I could check them out? I see you prefer the Gforce cards. What do you think of the ATI cards, such as the 9000 Pro card? Do you think the G4 cards are better? Thank you for the info on the Printers!!! Could you tell me what Brand monitor might be a good one to look at? Brand and model. You really gave me a lot of info, that helps out a lot!!!! I hope you can give me some more insight on the questions I asked in this reply. Thank you very much!!!!!!
                        Bob

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                        • #13
                          Hi again Bob. I don't think that the Athlon has any advantage over the Intel chips as far as Photoshop is concerned. If it does then I haven't heard about it. Technically the opposite is true, the Intel has a slightly better for multimedia.

                          I build my own computers from parts. I guess I haven't bought a "name brand" computer since 1983. There are several good ones out there from Dell, Gateway, and Compaq. If I were to buy a name brand computer it would probably be a Dell. We use Compaq and Dell at work and they are well built.

                          The ATI video boards are very good. They have an edge on the GForce right now as far as speed goes. I have owned both brands in the past and have been satisfied. For Photoshop either would be just fine. My GForce 4 TI-4200 is really more card than Photoshop requires but I like from time to time like to play Unreal and Quake. I haven't any experience with the ATI 9000 card so I don't have a recomendation for you there.

                          On the Monitor, I have a Viewsonic A90f 19" monitor. I have heard that the Sony and Mitsubishi are very good.

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                          • #14
                            Bob unfortunately my machine was made here in Texas by a local shop. I’ve never owned a major name brand. If there are any problems they can be handled locally.

                            I really don’t know if Photoshop prefers one processor over another.

                            My video card is a 64 meg GeForce2 MX 400, NVIDIA. There are many other good cards out there. I have heard many good things about ATI cards.

                            I have an older Princeton Graphics EO-710 17” monitor. It works. I too have heard good comments about Sony and Mitsubishi monitors.

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                            • #15
                              I think above all computer peripherals graphics cards sum up the speed of obsolescence. Todays £500 card is £50 tomorrow!

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