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Thread: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

  1. #1

    Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    I have recently purchased Photoshop CS5 and I am reluctant to install it on my laptop which is all I have to edit my photo's with at the moment because I have been told that it could slow down my computer also I find laptops are not ideal for editing with anyway, so I am thinking of investing in a pc and seperate screen.

    My question is what kind of spec am I looking for to run CS5 and have ample memory left over e.g. total Ram, processor speed and graphics card. Also could anyone please advise me on a decent monitor up to 23 inches and one that displays more of the colour Gamut than sRGB as I always use the RGB colour space.
    My budget will extend to 1500.

    Any help on this topic would be much appreciated
    Regards
    Gary

  2. #2

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    One other question, Gary.

    What size files will you be processing, and what format?

    The reason being that my editing computer, which is separate from the internet, ran CS5 and processed Raw files from my 40D without any problem; even when they became multi layered Tiffs.

    But since getting a 7D I am beginning to notice a bit of slowness.

  3. #3

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Gary,

    There's no harm in trying it on your laptop (you can always deinstall and remove the Electronic Serial Number) (best to use an external monitor though).

    If you're going to buy a PC though then the single biggest thing that dictates performance is the amount of RAM. RAM used to be very expensive, but now days it's dirt cheap -- so no reason to not add plenty (so long as you're running a 64 bit operating system like Windows 7 x64).

    My suggestion would be Windows 7 x64 - 8GB RAM - and Intel i5 CPU. The graphics card doesn't matter for Photoshop - any modern card is just fine. If you want to go for a "V8" instead of a "V6" then go for an i7 CPU (it'll give the PC a longer useful life).

    Hope this helps.

    Marshmellows coming up ...

  4. #4
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Gary:

    Colin's comments are right on and match my experience (except I use Lightroom).

    My XP 32 bit dual core machine dropped to a crawl when I added a 21 MP sensor camera, and without a new computer, photography was becoming a chore.

    The new machine is Win7/64 i7 - no sweat as they say.

    Glenn

  5. #5

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Geoff,
    I will be working with Tiff files mostly and they could be anything up to 26 Mb in size after first processing the them in Nikon Capture NX2 then converting the raw files to Tiffs.

  6. #6

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your reply it has been of great help. Just for the record I am currently using a two year old Compaq Pressario laptop with 4GB of Ram and around 2GHz processor and I am running on Windows Vista 32bit so probably time to upgrade.

    Regards Gary!

  7. #7

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your reply it has been of great help. Just for the record I am currently using a two year old Compaq Pressario laptop with 4GB of Ram and around 2GHz processor and I am running on Windows Vista 32bit so probably time to upgrade.

    Regards Gary!

  8. #8

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for your comments they are much appreciated!

    Regards Gary

  9. #9

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Gary, as your not a million miles away from Bolton , why dont you call in at Scan Computers , they offer
    [http://3xs.scan.co.uk/} a cutom built service depending on what you wish the machine for and should work out cheaper than buying from PC World etc, try their website and scroll down to custom systems, hope this helps, Regards Derek.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 3rd March 2012 at 03:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    With computers I think the best approach is to buy as new and as powerful a CPU as your nest egg will allow, bearing in mind that the newest processors are far more expensive than they are worth - just like new cars they depreciate very quickly. A new fast PC will be judged slow after 3-4 years and junk after about 4-5 years. My pile of junk will soon meet the same fate as the horses in Spielberg's latest and worst film. A 64bit Windows (or Apple's equivalent), fast disks (SSD are becoming more and more popular but have a limited lifetime), lots of memory (8GB or 16GB even), a GPU (to help out the CPU). Intel will be putting new and hopefully better and faster, super-duper processors on the market in April. Don't forget that disks crash, so you'll need to back your photos up regularly, and so you'll need terabytes of disk space - local disk space preferably, seconded possibly by disk space up in the cloud - Flickr, etc., etc.

    Laptops, as you well know, don't have good screens. The best technology is IPS (and its various variants). Here again better rhymes pretty much with more expensive, although you can keep a good screen a lot, lot longer than a good computer - and they remain good while computers, like people, like me, age very quickly. Here is link to someone's opinion: http://mansurovs.com/best-monitor-for-photography
    I'm looking at buying a NEC monitor with a price tag that would fit your budget but wouldn't allow you to buy a good PC too! With Photoshop, by the way, it's a good idea to have 2 screens! Things get a little crowded with only 1. They don't have to be both top-notch (at least I hope not). I have a 24" DELL screen. The bigger the better the more expensive.

  11. #11

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi Derek,
    Thanks for the advice like you say Bolton is only a short train journey from Blackpool and I may have a ride out in the near future to see what they can offer me.
    Regards
    Gary

  12. #12

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hello Allen,
    Thanks for taking the time out to reply, your advice sounds pretty good to me and I will certainly bear it in mind when purchasing a new pc and monitor.
    Thanks so much!
    Gary.

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Hi, Had a computer built for me, two hard drives, 4 GB ram, NVIDIA card, good board and the one thing that many people overlook, a good power supply unit, if memory serves me correctly mine was 650 watts. As for a screen I plunged for the NEC PA231W (23") I have CS4 & L/R but find I am working with L/R more and more.
    For a screen recomendation have a look at http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/
    Russ

  14. #14
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryMarsh View Post
    Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for your comments they are much appreciated!

    Regards Gary
    Quite welcome Gary - nothing as frustrating as waiting and waiting for an image to load. I was quite literally close to putting the high MP camera away and just using the old one. My wife used to say, "what are you swearing at"?

    Glenn

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    I got one of these and I tell you what; it is great. Don't bother with the HDMI plug cos they cost more than 24p, I got one off Ebay for 6 but it was in an auction and the Buy it now price was 17.
    I've tested it at Lagom.nl and the Gamma is brill, only the slightest difference from left to right.
    I think for pc I would go for a Dell if I could afford it; look for 8GB memory and greater than 1TB HDD costing around 1000.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-IPS225V-A...0766814&sr=1-1

    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

  16. #16
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    For me the time came for the pensioning off of my good-in-its-day XP 2Mb ram notebook running a Dell U2311H IPS monitor.

    So the nest egg was eaten into again (all in a good cause of course) .

    I now have a dedicated PC intel i7 16Mb ram with 2Tb HD running on Windows 7 64bit. The humble NVidia Geforce 210 1Mb graphics card does a good job with a new (and very pleasing) Dell U2711 monitor.

    After shopping around with some good discounts this cost about AU$1900....about a third of the original cost of the old notebook and monitor.

    The result is a revelation. I sometimes work between three different bits of software and used to have to close two of them down while working on tiff files. Now there are no beads of perspiration.....less work more flow.

    But a word of warning for the GIMP2 users: I'm told that Windows 7 64 bit and GIMP don't mix.

  17. #17

    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Once again many thanks to everyone for your replies always very much appreciated

    Regards
    Gary

  18. #18
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    What ever computer that you decide on, I suggest that you get one, or even better, two external hard drive and store and backup your images on them. I am not sure about UK prices but, I have several external hard drives. My latest is a 1.5TB Iomega which cost me in the area of $80 (USD) on sale.

  19. #19
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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    I recently had the same problem finding my core2duo getting bogged down with the 24mp raws being turned into 60mp tiff's. I changed my wifes computer to an unlocked sandybridge i5 with a new HD and a old one for backup (no card as I couldn't get my 9600 to work on Win 7 64bit but 8 gig of ordonary Hynix ram) and my computer to an unlocked Sandybridge i7 with a fast solid state drive as well as a 6gb/sec terrabyte drive, 8 gig of Crucial ram and my radeon 5770 card....now we run two Sony a900's and on a shoot fill up both our 32 gig cards so when we load the photos onto Lightroom or irfanview/bridge or whatever to select them there is a lot of calculating going on.

    They both run really fine no problems... interesting though that I did a test running the same photo through Photoshop CS5 maxing out a bunch of filters and turning it into a 60mb Tiff...the result? 6 seconds for my i7 (faster everything) and 5 seconds for her i5 with the onboard graphics.. now considering that my processor is probably 10% faster than hers and the HD is at least 200% faster, the ram is faster and the card is a good mid range gaming one, wouldn't you think there would be a bigger gap?

    I had read that unless you are using some plugins that nedd the special shaders etc then a discreet graphics card is not neccessary with an i7. hmmm.

    With the intel 2000 graphics on her machine being probably around 8-10% slower than the i7's built in intel 3000 graphics, do you think it would be possible for an i7 with no card to beat an i5 with a card? and which would be the better value. The i7 (at least here in New Zealand)

    She does now have a graphics card purely to run two monitors, still, it was interesting. Makes one question the common 'wisdom' being spouted of by people that actually don't challenge it. Good luck. Oh yes, I use a Dell ST2220T ips monitor which also is a touch screen, good value and I like it.

  20. #20

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    Re: Computer Hardware Advice Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Gary,

    ....
    If you're going to buy a PC though then the single biggest thing that dictates performance is the amount of RAM. RAM used to be very expensive, but now days it's dirt cheap -- so no reason to not add plenty (so long as you're running a 64 bit operating system like Windows 7 x64).

    My suggestion would be Windows 7 x64 - 8GB RAM - and Intel i5 CPU. The graphics card doesn't matter for Photoshop - any modern card is just fine. If you want to go for a "V8" instead of a "V6" then go for an i7 CPU (it'll give the PC a longer useful life).

    .... ...


    Colin
    A colleague/student of mine wants to upgrade his ageing Windows system to better cope with his burgeoning photography interest and asked me for advice. Now what I know about current Windows machines could be written on a postage stamp so your advice is helpful to me. What I'm less sure about though is the monitor. He can't spring for anything in the NEC PA range. What monitor would you recommend - decent gamut, easy to set up and calibrate (I can do his profiling)??
    Tim

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