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Photoshop techniques

What to look for in a Photoshop computer?


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sweasel
8/18/2010 7:25:15 AM


Status: Burger Flipper
What to look for in a Photoshop computer?

Hurro, fellow choppers. My trusty desktop machine has finally bit the dust -- motherboard issue -- and I have to spec a new one. I built this one in -=*2004!*=- so I'm totally and utterly lost in the current technology.

I do a little light gaming, but really, Photoshop is the ONLY thing that matters to me. What do I need to look for?
Dual/quad core processor -- can P'shop take advantage of this? Faster memory?

I'm looking to buy a barebones system and shove my old hard drive into it, so I'm kicking the OS question down the road a bit. I'm looking for motherboard/CPU/memory advice.

God, I am so lost...
Comments: 35
Contest Entries: 2
AZRainman
Independents
8/19/2010 1:10:22 AM


Status: Commander in Chief
I suppose it depends on what version of Photoshop you plan to use, what size of images you'll be working with and what games you will play?

Some info:
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439.html

I tend to buy returns/refurbs lately and pimp them out. I can't beat the cost, even if I count myself as $0/hour. Also, the technology becomes virtually worthless dinosaur droppings in 2 years, so there's not much reason to invest a lot of time and money into a throw away.

After several days of price comparisons, I ordered this Tuesday for more FreakingNews fun from Dell Outlet. This unit will be primarily used for Photoshop CS5 in 64bit mode, harassing Newsy and ordering Pizza.
________________________

Dell XPS 435t/9000 - scratch and dent - 1 year warranty
Intel Core i7-920 Processor 2.67 GHz
6 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (6 DIMMs)
640 GB Samsung F1 Hard Drive
ATI Radeon HD 5450 1 GB DDR3
16X DVD +/- RW Drive
16X DVD ROM Drive
475 watt power supply
Genuine Windows 7 Pro
Keyboard/Mouse
Microsoft Works
-------
$611.15 total
(Used a 15% off coupon and it's free shipping. )

Extras:
Samsung F4 320GB HD - Ewiz $44.99 free shipping
(PS's swap disk location works best on an auxiliary internal drive in the first partition of the disk.)

EVGA GeForce GT 240 Superclocked 512MB - Amazon $80.99 - $35 mail in rebate + free shipping = $45.99
(The ATI 5450 is a no games dog, and CS5 is geared to use nVidia's acceleration tech.)
________________________

I might swap out the memory for 12gb (2 sets of 3x2gb), if the CS5 efficiency readings start dropping below 80% all the time, but the F4 drive benchmarks faster than several low end solid state drives, so maybe it's a non-issue. Desktop memory prices are not so great lately either, where 12gb of tri-channel runs around $280 for the bottom end stuff.

Windows and Photoshop are still buggy even after 20 years of modern programming and I'd say I had a much easier time with Amiga-dos and a Newtek toaster. Maybe they'll get it right with Win8 and CS6 in 2012. Then we can get the fiber optic quantum computer with a yottabyte of ram and a 6 foot Oled smellavision panel, or we blow up the planet and go back to the abacus with smoke signals .


Requirements: IQ of a chimpanzee or higher, two hands and one eye. A foot may be used as a substitution, if only one hand is available.

[Edited by User on 8/19/2010 9:06:56 AM]
Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

AZRainman
Independents
8/19/2010 2:23:07 PM


Status: Commander in Chief

On 8/18/2010 7:25:15 AM, sweasel said:
Hurro, fellow chopperst...



CPU benchmarks with Adobe Photoshop CS4
Image Processing (Applying 6 filters to a 69 MB TIF image)

Core i7: Blazing Fast, O/C Changes


Build your own FreakingNews CS5 rig. You probably can shave off a few bucks for the same quality, if you go to other dealers and look through more NewEgg combo deals.

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB
$194.99 Free Shipping

GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$119.99 $2.99 Shipping

Combo deal:
-LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
-Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply

Price After Mail-In $15 Rebate(s): $76.00 $4.92 shipping

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333 Triple Channel Memory
$119.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate Free Shipping
(Leaves 3 dimms free to add more memory at a later date.)

Two SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" -Bare Drive
$109.98 Free Shipping

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$99.00 Free shipping

EVGA 512-P3-1240-LR GeForce GT 240 512MB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
$49.99 after mail-in rebate Free shipping

Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100 Black USB RF Wireless Standard Keyboard and Mouse
$14.99 after mail-in rebate Free shipping

Total $792.84 after rebates

If you plan to overclock, I'd get a better cpu cooler fan than the stock one (lots here). Any cables you may need, like a couple of SATA cables for the bare drives, go to monoprice.com = super cheap and fast.

Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

sweasel
Republicans
8/19/2010 2:36:19 PM


Status: Burger Flipper
Thanks so much for the detailed comment, AZ. I've asked the question on several other forums and gotten pretty similar advice -- particularly regarding processor.

I have a gigantic problem I'm trying to ignore for as long as possible -- when I left my last employer, I walked away with my home copy of the software. I had stand-alone licenses and they didn't replace me and several others like me, so I know it's legal. It's *legal* -- nobody else is using it -- but it's not *mine*.

So I'm off the upgrade path with...oh, gosh...thousands and thousands worth of software, I suppose. When it goes (when, for example, I have to abandon XP), I simply cannot replace it all.

Errrrmmmm...sorry. Not asking for advice there; just getting that off my chest. Photoshop is the only thing I *really* care about, but I'll miss all that other stuff terribly.
Comments: 35
Contest Entries: 2

AZRainman
Independents
8/19/2010 11:00:50 PM


Status: Commander in Chief

On 8/19/2010 2:36:19 PM, sweasel said:
Thanks so much for the detailed comment, AZ....



I hear ya, the job market is really stinking up a lot of lives lately

If you're on a tight budget, I'd suggest getting an Inspiron from Dell Outlet. The following example would run CS5 fine, unless you work with large multi-layered images (2000px+ x 2000px+), then you might notice performance lag.

# Inspiron Desktop 570 MiniTower
# Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 435 (2.9GHz, 1.5MB)
# Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
# 750 GB SATA II Hard Drive (7200RPM)
# 6 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (4 DIMMs)
# 16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability

$399.00 - 15% off coupon + free shipping + 8% tax : $370.15 (Around Christmas, coupons can be 30% off.)
*Non-assembled parts of comparable quality will cost more than $450.

See more Dell Outlet deals here

Check for Dell coupons here:
DELL One Time Use Coupons - No offers to buy/sell/PayPal coupons

Above example needs a cheap video card or you won't have access to some advanced CS5 features:
Tested video cards for Photoshop CS5

_________________________

As for Adobe products: Transfer an Adobe product license

Cheaper legal alternative for Adobe products is to: Take an Adobe class at college, get one with a school aged relative's credentials, ask a teacher or college buddy to order you one.

Photoshop CS5 Extended Student and Teacher Edition = $199.95
http://www.academicsuperstore.com/

Further reading:Adobe Student and Teacher Licensing Program

_________________________

I have been hammering on computers and graphics since 86 (Photoshop 14yrs) and am always looking for the über bargain, so if anyone knows of better legal deals on hardware or Photoshop please list them

[Edited by User on 8/20/2010 4:39:13 AM]
Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

AZRainman
Independents
8/20/2010 7:19:03 AM


Status: Commander in Chief

On 8/19/2010 2:36:19 PM, sweasel said:


Here's a bargain if you can get to a MicroCenter store:
Core i7-930 Processor Boxed - $199 in store pickup only
Some folks are overclocking it to 4.5 ghz

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0331303




[Edited by User on 8/20/2010 7:21:40 AM]
Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

sweasel
Republicans
8/20/2010 7:24:53 AM


Status: Burger Flipper
Wow. That is a really good deal. That's the processor I've been pricing.

Sadly, I'm in England. That's part of the reason I don't have all my software; I made a trans-Atlantic move eighteen months ago. I threw out about three quarters of my stuff in the process.
Comments: 35
Contest Entries: 2

AZRainman
Independents
8/20/2010 7:31:51 AM


Status: Commander in Chief

On 8/20/2010 7:24:53 AM, sweasel said:
Wow. That is a really good deal.



Okay, if run across any deals like that in the UK, I'll let you know.

Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

Disasterman111
Democrats
9/6/2010 6:39:36 AM


Status: Commander in Chief
You may find its better to replace your Motherboard with one of the same type. There is no guarentee that your hard drive will work with a different motherboard.....I found this out the hard way!
Comments: 4947
Contest Entries: 125
If it was easy anyone could do it!

AZRainman
Independents
9/26/2010 12:53:44 AM


Status: Commander in Chief
All SATA drives should be compatible with SATA boards. Sometimes you may need to rewrite your MBR for an older drive on an older OS to work on a new system (Paragon software works well for disk editing or you can use the Windows recovery features).

For old IDE drives, I'd get a cheap IDE to USB conversion cable kit from Monoprice. Then put any old files you want to keep on a new hard drive. You can also buy an HDD enclosure and use the old drive for a backup either with eSATA or USB connector.

As cheap as drives are, not really worth putting an old boat anchor IDE on a new system. The new Samsung Spinpoints average 120-150mb/sec read/write at $45 for 360Ggb.


[Edited by User on 9/26/2010 2:42:34 AM]
Comments: 5945
Contest Entries: 1174
"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." -George Carlin

suchag33k
Independents
9/29/2010 2:25:38 PM


Status: Presidential Chief of Staff
I have a Toshiba and it works great.
Comments: 1918
Contest Entries: 188
In your reflection what do you see? False fault or a masterpiece? But a masterpiece starts with a single stroke and empires start in an open field.


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