Computer build for Photoshop

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Geoff::L, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Geoff::L

    Geoff::L Agent

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    My friend is interested in buying a pre-built computer. Might order it from mwave,monarch, or pc club. He is a photographer so his main application will be Photoshop. His budget is around $1000. He doesn't need a monitor,speakers,or the mouse or keyboard. Not interested in overclocking.

    Which processor should he get? AMD or Intel?

    What would be a good motherboard?

    Since he is mainly using it for 2d applications, can he skimp on the graphics card?

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Honestly, I think we're presently at a point where AMD v. Intel is a matter of personal preference. The 64-bit AMD's are great, but until a 64-bit Photoshop is out it wouldn't help him too much. I'd probably go with a Pentium 4 with hyper-threading.

    Also, go for at least 1GB of RAM. Sure, you can skimp a little on the video card, but don't get less than 1GB of RAM. The motherboard is dependent upon which processor you choose. I recently (6 months ago) built a Intel machine and used the Abit AA8 motherboard and I've loved it.
     
  3. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Seth pretty much summed it up. Any new or recent computer should be fine; a major investment is not needed to run Photoshop. Like he said, do not skim on the RAM.
     
  4. Geoff::L

    Geoff::L Agent

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    Thanks, he was going to buy a G5 until he saw the prices.

    About the video card, what would be the lowest one he could get?
     
  5. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    How about this: who is he going to be buying a computer from? He certainly doesn't need a G5 to run Photoshop. How about a Mac mini (though he'll want to buy the RAM from a third party). Or just about any Dell will have a good enough video card.
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    1 gig of RAM or more, and two hard drives (more efficient for photoshops' scratch space. The rest doesnt matter.
     
  7. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    The 4200 RPM drive inside the Mac Mini won't lend itself well to intensive Photoshop work, but using an external FireWire drive as a scratch disk should do the trick. As Will said, for serious Photoshop work, two hard drives are mandatory no matter what the system.

    Personally, if Photoshop was my only interest, I would run the application itself from a RAM disk, but you'll need more than 1 GB of RAM to do that.
     
  8. Geoff::L

    Geoff::L Agent

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    How upgradeable are the Dells? He usually keeps his computers for 5 years.
    I think his current computer is 1.4 Ghz with only 256 mb RAM. I think it uses Rambus type memory though. Could he maybe upgrade this instead or would a new computer be more beneficial?

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
     
  9. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Aren't there some XP Media Center PCs available for under $1,000? I ask because while I suppose your friend could upgrade various things on his current computer, the media center experience is only available by purchasing a fresh computer with XP Media Center already on it. So I'd say if he plans to go another five years, then he should go that five years with the neat-o XP Media Center.
     
  10. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    He'd probably get more bang for his buck just buying a new computer instead of upgrading what sounds to be a 4 year-old computer.
     
  11. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You might have to determine the motherboard before you decide on specs for a video card. The boards for the new P4's use PCI-e video cards. Any card in this format will certainly be more than enough for Photoshop. If you get a motherboard that does not support PCI-e, then you'll want to use an AGP card instead of PCI. You could probably go as low as 64MB, but 128MB is pretty cheap these days, so I'd go with that.

    I would certainly go new instead of upgrading. Rambus memory is very expensive because no new computers use it so it is not still manufactured in large quantities. DDR and DDR2 are the main types now.
     
  12. Phil Kim

    Phil Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Photoshop in itself is more memory bound than CPU or GPU. If editing an 8 megapixel images, you will want to max it out to 2 GB. If you use filters frequently, faster CPU helps greatly, particular dual CPUs (e.g., dual G5 Power Mac) or SMT CPU such as Pentium 4 with HyperThreading.
     
  13. Geoff::L

    Geoff::L Agent

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    Would a SATA hard drive be beneficial in his case?
     
  14. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yep, an SATA drive would be beneficial. Even better would be 2. If you get a motherboard with the new Intel chipset (many of the new P4 boards like my Abit AA8) it has RAID software builtin to the board. This would allow you to stripe across two SATA drives which can greatly improve performance.
     

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