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Thread: Computer hardware for Photoshop

  1. #1
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    Computer hardware for Photoshop

    As a relative newcomer to Photoshop (but not to photography) Can anyone recommend what specifications I should look for in a desktop computer to effectively run Photoshop CS2. Thanks.

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    iPhillip's Avatar
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    Re: Computer hardware

    First of all you'll need either Mac, Xp or Vista to run it on.

    320Mb of RAM 400+ is Reccomended.

    16bit Graphics..

    800 Mb of Harddisk space for standalone only.

    And a half decent Processor.

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    Re: Computer hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by atchy View Post
    As a relative newcomer to Photoshop (but not to photography) Can anyone recommend what specifications I should look for in a desktop computer to effectively run Photoshop CS2. Thanks.
    Hi Atchy,

    Welcome to the CiC Forums - great to have you with us. If you get a chance, pop onto the welcome thread in the Site Feedback forum and tell us a bit about yourself :)

    There are two main types of computer systems; Windows (PC) and Macintosh (Mac). I'm a windows person, so if you're after a Mac then one of the others will need to chip in with some recommendations.

    In terms of PC specifications - if you're buying new - then to be honest, you don't need anything overly fancy. The thing that makes the biggest difference is the amount of RAM that the machine has; if you have a Windows XP box then you'll want at least 2GB - if it's a Windows Vista box then I strongly suggest maxing it out with 4GB RAM (assuming you get the 32 bit edition, which is the most likely).

    Any hard disk drive size is fine, although obviously the more photos you store on it, the more space they'll take up. Built in graphics controllers are fine (photoshop doesn't need anything fancy) - and a CD / DVD writer is a darn good idea for backing up your data (as is an external HDD).

    Photoshop CAN be very demanding of a PC - but only is you're working on extremely large images (say a composite of 10 images that's over 1GB in size), or if you have a lot of images open all at the same time, but for the most part the PC will spend a lot more time waiting for you than you'll spent waiting for it. Having said that, if you've got a few extra dollars to put into a faster processor then it'll give the machine a longer useful life (a quad-core CPU is ideal).

    Does this help?

    Happy to try and help some more if you need more specifics. Last thought ... if you're going to get really serious about image processing then at some point you'll also be better off if you swallow the bitter pill and get yourself a hardware screen profiler like the Spyder III / ColourMunki. Oh yes - and LCD screen is just fine for editing (the bigger the better - 17" conventional is OK - 19" is much better. 24" widescreen is GREAT).

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    Re: Computer hardware

    Thanks iPhillip and Colin. I'm off to find myself a computer based on your advice
    Last edited by atchy; 31st January 2009 at 09:51 AM.

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    Re: Computer hardware

    Hi All
    As a new member of this excellent site I have been asked to introduce myself. I am Essex England based and have been a keen photographer for many years mainly amatueur but also assisting my now retired pro photographer wife photographing weddings and other social events. In the pre digital dark days I had a fully equipped darkroom where I spent many hours performing dodging and burning in of my exhibition quality monochrome prints, quite an art but now completely redundant for me as I am a complete digital convert.
    In those silver days my equipment was Hasselblad and Nikon. My present digital gear is Canon 5D plus various lenses.
    My old computer struggles with photoshop hence my enquiry regarding advice on a new computer. My interests photographically are mainly, but certainly not exclusively, people pictures.
    I look forward to enjoying the contributions to this site

  6. #6
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Computer hardware

    Quicky mac contribution

    The 'i' series are what can be fitted into a price range and don't advise for file sizes emanating from 5D.

    A core2duo machine is essential as that is what modern progs are written for. Don't dismiss laptops, I originally got a 15 Powerbook 8 years ago thinking it would be handy on building sites, but not serious substitute for office 21" + deskwell tower. The latter went off to a Kenyan charity a few weks later. I now have the successor 15" MacBook pro which has a screen resolution of 1640x900, 2.4 GHZ processor & I immediately filled up to 4GB RAM. All I need.

    But if you want the fastest, you need a desktop twin and get the biggest apple flat screen you can afford. Do not worry about mac generally having apparently lower chip speed than contemporary PCs, lab tests always show them doing real work faster as the OS is niftier - Unix (which you can use if you want) and OS10.5.6 over the top; but some progs like the NX2 I use cunningly bypass the OS10 and work direct to chip for much of the work.

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