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Thread: Please help with image editing specs

  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Please help with image editing specs


    I need to upgrade my pc as it's way to slow using photoshop/illustrator, please can you help?
    I'm keeping my cd/cdrw, dvd, zip disk, usb2 200gb flycase drive but need something which can handle 1gb files and not take 1/2hr to save!

    My buget is around 300/350 quid, and I'd like to have something which is tailored to image editing. My main problem is knowing what graphics card to go for pci-e / agp8x? I know i'd like sata hard drives for speed and probably 1gb if not 2gb of ram. I'm not really fussed about amd/intel cpu as long as it's pretty fast and i'm guessing i'll have to get a new power supply as well.

    So far i've gone for:
    AMD (Venice) Athlon 64Bit 3200+ Socket 939pin 512k L2cache 90nm Retail
    Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9 SKT939 Nforce4 PCI-E DDR400 Retail

    Thanks for the replies in advance

  2. #2
    Zad is offline
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    Sep 2005
    Wakefield, UK
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    1GB is a momma of a Photoshop file!

    Going for a PCI-Express card is probably a good idea, principally because going for an AGP one will lock you in to technology as it is now. I can't envisage manufacturers producing many new or improved cards for AGP. What card do you use at the moment? Matrox used to be the dogs danglies for 2D, but for a 256 MB card they are asking for more than your total budget! It may well be that the cheapest 256MB PCI-E card you find will be almost as fast as the exotic stuff, but it's resolution may be more limited. Having said that, I'm using an old GeForce 3 64MB at 1600x1200 and it's perfectly capable.

    If you are regularly manipulating 1GB files, 2GB memory would seem like a very good idea indeed, and probably a better investment than a faster hard drive. Photoshop gets painfully slow when it has to swap out to disk, no matter how fast the drive is. Don't forget that installing an extra 2 sticks of memory later (making 4x512MB) will actually slow down the memory access quite a lot, whereas having 2x1GB will only slow the timing a tiny amount.

    Rather than getting hung up on P-ATA vs S-ATA (the drive electronics are virtually identical, neither drive is limited by it's transfer method) try and get one with a 16MB cache.

    Your CPU, motherboard and memory choice look fine to me. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to disagree


  3. #3
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    Thanks, just been to matrox and their pci cards are serious money, bummer!
    Just a thought but should I go for raid0 - 2x160gb drives. Will this improve general photoshop working times ? I'm also thinking that my total is gonna be nearer the £400 mark as 2x1gb ram is about £150.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    452 times in 332 posts
    • cptwhite_uk's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-Z77Z-UD3H
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR3 Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz
      • Storage:
      • SanDisk Ultra II 960Gb SSD / 750Gb Samsung F1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI Gaming X GTX1080 8Gb
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 550W VX
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design R4
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Home
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM (2560x1440 IPS Panel)
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 200Mbps
    If we're on about image editing the important things are, most important first

    Amount of RAM
    Processor speed

    As far as I'm aware any modern day graphics card that handles 2D well, will do - if I'm wrong can someone explain to me the advantage of a particular card over another?

    I've recently produced a graphic 2.5m x 6m at 150dpi ...serious ball ache if you have low amounts of RAM. I produced it in 6 sections with 2Gb RAM. I would've preferred to have 3/4Gb to be honest.

    You'll be able to pick up 3gb for about £200...if you go for a value range. (2x 1gb and 2x 512mb). Which leaves you about £150 for a processor/motherboard/vid card...eek.

    I'd get a 256Mb 6600 or something like that (assuming this isn't a gaming machine), a budget motherboard (maybe a gigabyte or something similar) might have to go over budget by about £50....or limit yourself to 2Gb....finish it off with an Athlon 64 3000. Although pentiums perform better in these kind of applications my 2.6Ghz p4 at work can give my athlon 3500+ a pretty good run for it's money in paint shop pro 8.

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