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Whats the right balance for a photoshop machine?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Oldylocks, 8 Oct 2009.

  1. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Hi, I'm trying to spec my first complete build which is primarily for photoshop and illustrator work. I've got a budget of about £700 for the case and everything in it but I'm not sure where to spend the money, CPU, RAM or hard disks - or GPU.

    Will I notice much difference between i7 and Phenom? Should I put money saved with AMD into more RAM?

    I had considered a SSD but Adobe has told me Photoshop won't run on one, but could I use one for the OS and page file?

    This noob would really appreciate any advice.

    (Loads more questions to come, I'm sure!)

    Cheers
     
  2. Indy500

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 17,509

    Processor is usually the most important for PS, followed by chipset\memory. Depending on file sizes you'll want a decent hard drive but I don't think SSDs are necessary.
     
  3. reflux

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Nov 2007

    Posts: 12,835

    Location: Enfield

    You want a fast multicore (quad ideally) CPU and a decent amount of RAM (4GB+). GPU is unimportant as long as it supports DX10.

    A fast hard disk is a good idea. I don't know where Adobe are getting their info from, I have Adobe CS4 Design Premium installed on my SSD and everything is all fine and dandy.
     
  4. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Thanks, I'll shelve the SSD idea then, (which solves alot of my other queries!)
     
  5. Indy500

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 17,509

    If SSDs were cheaper (which will happen gradually) I'd recommend them without hesitation. Frankly the new gen 1TB\1.5TB drives are better overall and at 1TB for about £50 it's a no brainer.
     
  6. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Thanks reflux,
    I did wonder, when I got a reply from Adobe in broken English, as to whether my question had been understood. Do you have your page file on the SSD, I've read that if its on the same disk as the OS and programs it will slow things down...or does that only apply to 'ordinary' drives?
     
  7. reflux

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Nov 2007

    Posts: 12,835

    Location: Enfield

    I have Windows 7 plus all my apps (including CS4) installed on my 64gb Samsung SSD. AFAIK there's no reason to remove the page file from the SSD other than to minimize unnecessary writes...it shouldn't slow anything down because the access times are so fast. Either way I have it on my storage disk...with 6GB of RAM, it barely gets used anyway.
     
  8. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Thanks for the advice, that's the sort of setup I was thinking about and an SSD is sounding interesting again! Maybe with my budget, though, I would be better off spending on chip and RAM and add an SSD later.
    The bottom line is anything is going to be faster that my 5 year old Dell!
     
  9. unknownsock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Mar 2009

    Posts: 1,691

    Location: Leeds, UK

    To be fair i use a Core 2 duo e5200 @ 2.5ghz, 3gb ddr2 ram and onboard graphics at work. And i use illustrator and Photoshop all day long, you wouldnt need to spend a tonne of money to get a decent setup for this alone.
     
  10. reflux

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Nov 2007

    Posts: 12,835

    Location: Enfield

    Yeah, you don't really need a behemoth; it depends what sort of size of images you are editing. I work on a modest Core 2 Duo machine at work which is a little slow but OK because we only deal with web graphics which are small in size. I do notice a difference working on my personal machine at home though.
     
  11. unknownsock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Mar 2009

    Posts: 1,691

    Location: Leeds, UK

    Yea obviously i understand it will scale up accordingly etc.

    Personally i only ever notice slow downs when im editing 500mb-1gb+ files.
    Work as a printer ya see :)
     
  12. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Biggest files I'm working with atm are about 100MB so would I really see the difference betweeen, say Intel i7 920 and Phenom II x4 Quad Core 955?
     
  13. reflux

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Nov 2007

    Posts: 12,835

    Location: Enfield

    This would suit you very nicely:

    [​IMG]

    Put together a week or so ago for a colleague.

    I don't think you'll see much, if any difference between a Phenom and an i5 tbh.
     
  14. Oldylocks

    Associate

    Joined: 7 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11

    Brilliant, thanks.
    Is 420W enough? I would probably have 2 hard drives and later I might add a blu-ray but not a lot else. Also, would it all fit in a Lian-Li A05NB, which looks so neat?
     
  15. Ch3m1c4L

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Oct 2007

    Posts: 2,898

    Location: London, UK

    420 will be more than enough for that system, you could put it in a much higher powered card and it would still be enough