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Thread: PC requirements for photoshop

  1. #1
    trink408's Avatar
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    Question PC requirements for photoshop

    Since my purchase of a 4990 scanner I've discovered my current pc isn't up to the task of working with these large files. Looking into upgrading and was wondering what the most crucial piece is, lots of RAM, fast FSB, really fast processor, or possibly all the above?

    Let me know what you guys are running on, what you recommend.

    thanks
    Waiting for the sun...


  2. #2

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    For windows, 4 gigs ram, at least two harddrives so you can put the windows swapfile on one and the PS swapfile on the other. Any current Core Duo machine is fine, you get little extra gain from a faster processor because everything is limited by memory and drive times. Just be sure to run the /3gb switch in XP. (Xp is faster than Vista, so there is little reason to get Vista.)

  3. #3
    trink408's Avatar
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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    For windows, 4 gigs ram, at least two harddrives so you can put the windows swapfile on one and the PS swapfile on the other. Any current Core Duo machine is fine, you get little extra gain from a faster processor because everything is limited by memory and drive times. Just be sure to run the /3gb switch in XP. (Xp is faster than Vista, so there is little reason to get Vista.)
    Thanks for the input, kind of figured RAM would be the limiter. I will definitely be going XP, not impressed with Vista so far.

    How do you tell PS where it's swap file is located, or does it just install by default wherever you install PS?
    Waiting for the sun...


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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    > How do you tell PS where it's swap file is located,

    The preferences tab has a place to set it, along with the memory usage.

  5. #5

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    Ed, you say "Just be sure to run the /3gb switch in XP" - can you explain this for me please? At the moment I've got 4G RAM but only 3.2 is seen by Windows and apparently only 1.74 by Photoshop - is this because I've wrongly configured? If so then my coffee consumption could go down dramatically!

    David Whistance

  6. #6

    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    Quote Originally Posted by trink408 View Post
    Since my purchase of a 4990 scanner I've discovered my current pc isn't up to the task of working with these large files. Looking into upgrading and was wondering what the most crucial piece is, lots of RAM, fast FSB, really fast processor, or possibly all the above?

    Let me know what you guys are running on, what you recommend.

    thanks
    Some vital omissions: how many s, how many pixels (and bit depth) and how many minutes (or hours!!!)? Any specific reply without this info is meaningless.

    Check the Adobe website. They have some docs relating to performance. Some things to consider:

    Use XP-64 or Vista-64, and install loads of RAM (8GB +). Although PS is only a 32 bit app and can only access 4 GB RAM, PS will have 4GB if you have more than that (if you only have 4GB PS will not be able to access the full 4GB). Any extra RAM will be used by PS to cache its scratch file.

    Use RAID-0 arrays for the PS scratch file and a seperate array for the data files.

    Use large fast disks.

    Steve

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    Quote Originally Posted by dwhistance View Post
    Ed, you say "Just be sure to run the /3gb switch in XP" - can you explain this for me please? At the moment I've got 4G RAM but only 3.2 is seen by Windows and apparently only 1.74 by Photoshop - is this because I've wrongly configured? If so then my coffee consumption could go down dramatically!

    David Whistance
    I believe you set the parameter in the boot.ini string (run>msconfig>boot.ini tab) but I think this works only with XP pro edition, I can't find a way to do it with the home edition. Link

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    I'm way behind the curve, PC-wise, but I still get good results with my 1.8GHz Athlon running Windows 2K with 2GB of RAM. Granted, I may only be satisfied because I haven't seen how much faster things can be... nevertheless, my PC handles files as large as 2.3GB in size and manages OK.

    I do have multiple hard drives and I default the Photoshop scratch disk to a different drive than the one with the OS and program on it. I think that is almost as important as having plenty of RAM.

  9. #9

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    Many thanks to Steve and Colin. I have looked at the Adobe and Microsoft pages and will try to set the 3GB switch tomorrow.

    David Whistance

  10. #10

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    Re: PC requirements for photoshop

    See this thread for more discussion about the 3GB switch.

    I've sometimes had problems with other programs when booting with this switch, so I only use it when I will be using PS with large files. The easiest way to do this is to keep the default entry for boot.ini as well as the new one with the 3GB switch, and select the appropriate one when you boot the computer.

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