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What kind of computer for Photoshop?



My father is a professional wedding photographer, and recently got a 6 Mega-Pixel Nikon camera. Right now he has a Dell 1.8GHz P4 with 256MB of PC800 RDRAM running WinXP Pro. He says that his redraw times take too long when he is processing the photo's, and has asked me to look around for another computer for him. He tells me that he is using photoshop, and whatever the software is for getting the pics off his camera. Now I am a computer tech, so I know a bit about computers, but I couldn't draw flies with my son's used diaper.

What I would like to know, is what should I concentrate on to get the computer to perform for him? How much RAM can Photoshop handle before getting diminishing returns? Is the fastest processor worth it for him, or should I get last month's processor? Is RDRAM worth the money over DDR SDRAM? How about multi-processor systems, does Photoshop support them? And would it be better to get something with hyperthreading? Do either AMD or Intel have advantages beyond raw speed? Are there any graphics cards that help to process pictures? I guess what I am looking for is bang for the buck, which parts have it and which don't in relation to Photoshop.

And one last related question, are there any guides to optimizing a PC for Photoshop? Like I said, this is for my dad, so I don't need to know how to operate it, just get his machine to show some love.

512 ram should be good
i dont know bout which type ddr or rd would be good i guess
latest n greatest processor..if you can get it for a good price yea y not i would


OSNN Addict
Sorry not a photoshop user, yet, but like location in the real estate biz, the word in graphics is ram, ram, ram. 256 is kind of the bare minimum for graphics apps. Drop some more in there and see what happens. I would think that the 1.8 should be adequate, but he needs more ram. (Did I mention that you need more ram?)



Yes, you are going to need 512MB or more of RAM.

1.8ghz is plenty fast, but anything 2.4ghz + would not hurt.

I run Photoshop 7.0.1 on a 1.6ghz P4 with 512mb of PC3000. I don't notice many delays, and if I do they are only a second or two long.

But high speed P4's will cost you some $$$ so I would go with the latest AMD. Thats unless you can afford a 2.4ghz + P4.


OSNN Addict
Another thought or two: I understand that Photoshop is kind of pagefile intensive. Check all of the settings to make sure that hd access and the pagefile are optimized. Might help. I would also check to make sure that Windows is running properly, and that everything is defragged, etc. But hey you're the computer tech and I'm the noob. Why am I telling you to defrag?

good luck



Originally posted by Zealot
He tells me that he is using photoshop, and whatever the software is for getting the pics off his camera.
To begin with I agree with MORE RAM. I am running 768 meg (PC800) and while processing large images I have actually run out of memory. I use Paint Shop Pro 7 which is a cheaper kind of Photoshop. XP requires a minimum of 384 meg to run full out by itself even though it can run on less ( it will just be slower ).

The CPU speed is fine. I have used a P4 1.7 and a P4 2.4 and to tell you the truth the P4 1.7 seemed to work a little better for me. Now the thing is that I have different Mother Boards for each. So the Mother Board can play an important part as well.

How are the images being downloaded from the camera? USB or Fire wire? If it is USB is it 1.1 or 2? If it is 1.1 you are stuck with 12 Mbts download speed, if it is USB 2 or Firewire you can get up to 430 Mbts down.

Since he is using the computer for a image editing machine he should look into a high quality video image editing card. These cards can be quite costly however.

RAID 0 would also be a nice touch for this kind of application.

The thing to bear in mind is that there is going to be no cheap solution to the issue of speed here.

I hope this helps.......

Also make sure that while he is running Photo shop that he is not using other high RAM usage programs in the back ground.:happy:


You guys (and girls?) are awesome, thanks for all of the advice. Does anyone know if it can use multiple processors?

God bless,
memory would be first stop if a simple fix is what you looking for.
512meg to 1gig would be very comfortable.

and yes pro will support two processors and photoshop is written for using dual so that would be a plus also........ (having dual processors is nice but a waste unless the software is written for using them, otherwise it still only runs on one even if theres two, just thought I'd mention that as some don't seem to understand that fact. most top end software packages are, and photoshop works well with multi-processors.)

either way more memory would be good as i consider 256meg to be the minimum for xp to run half decent.:)

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