The Photoshop Computer

The Photoshop Computer

The Photoshop Computer
  1. Run Photoshop and open a typical
    file you usually edit. For example, if you edit high resolution digital images
    a lot, open a high resolution photo.
  2. Make sure that your document isn't
    maximized. You can ensure that it isn't by choosing Window> Arrange> Cascade.
  3. On the bottom of the window, locate
    the ► arrow.
    Click on the ► arrow and choose Show> Efficiency. The status bar beside the ► button shows
    the efficiency. If your computer has enough resource to display the image, the
    efficiency should be 100%. Anything lower means that more RAM may be


  4. Try opening
    several of your typical Photoshop files. If it stays at 100%, it means that
    your current system has enough RAM. Use this to judge how much RAM you'll need
    for your next computer. For example, when I ran the test, I opened 7 high
    resolution photos and my efficiency dropped to 72%. Because my current system
    has 1 GB
    of RAM and the efficiency was at around 72%, I can conclude that 2 GB of RAM is
    a safe amount of RAM to get on my next computer.

Note: When
using Photoshop on a 32-bit computer or operating system, Photoshop is only
able to use 2 GB of RAM. Photoshop is able to use around 3.5 GB on a 64-bit
system. Some version of Windows® requires modifying the boot.ini file to allow
Photoshop to use up to 3 GB of RAM. The 3GB switch may not work with all
computers. For more information, search the Microsoft support page for "3gb".

High Speed RAM

There are
many types of RAM available; some reaching speeds of 1111 MHz such as the Corsair
XMS2 Dominator PC2-8888. It's disappointing to say that using 1111 MHz RAM is
not much different than using a 667 MHz RAM on a current-generation computer.
The speed RAM can operate depends on what your entire system supports.  This means that you should only purchase the
fastest RAM your computer will be able to use. Unless you have extensive
knowledge with computer hardware and plan on overclocking your computer, there's
no reason to purchase in top of the line RAM.

ECC (Error Correction

Some types
of RAM you may bump into will have the acronym ECC on its name. This simply
means that the RAM will automatically detect and correct errors that may arise
during the data transmission. ECC RAM is slower and much more expensive than
normal RAM and isn't necessary for Adobe Photoshop. They're meant for critical
tasks so we don't recommend using ECC RAM.

Processor\CPU (Central
Processing Unit)

The next
most important component to building a Photoshop computer is the processor,
also known as the CPU. The processor processes all the calculations and instructions
required to run tasks such as a filter. Many Photoshop filters are processor
intensive and their speed depends on the CPU.


As new and faster processors
emerge, software will adapt to take advantage of the faster processor speeds. The
fastest processor usually cost around two to three times more than the average
processor and slower processors aren't that much cheaper. When choosing a
processor, choose one that's the best bang for the buck or one that fits within
your budget.


If you'll
be using more than 2 GB of RAM, you should be using a 64-bit processor. Adobe
Photoshop will only be able to recognize up to 3.5 GB of RAM on a 64-bit
computer. The current generation of processors is all 64-bit and there's little
reason to stay with 32-bit processors.  Although most applications are 32-bit, support
for 64-bit is growing and new 64-bit computers will be able to take advantage
of the larger 64-bit address space. Only Photoshop CS2 and future versions of
Photoshop support 64-bit.

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