The Photoshop Computer

The Photoshop Computer

The Photoshop Computer

Some
recommended desktop 64-bit processors are:

  1. Intel Core 2 Duo
  2. AMD  Athlon 64

Multi-core

Most new
processors are dual core meaning that there are two processors in one chip.
This allows improvements in multitasking. Photoshop 4.0 and above supports dual  processor configuration and will benefit from
a dual-core processor.

Update: Quad core processors are now available and benchmarks show that Photoshop does support quad core processors and benefit from them. Currently, quad-core processors are expensive so we don't recommend getting them unless everything else in your computer is the top of the line. While they may perform faster in Photoshop, keep in mind that not all software support quad core processors and those software will not use all four processors.


AMD vs Intel

{mosimage} All current
generation of Macs use Intel processors. For users building a Windows computer,
you have the expanded choices of both AMD and Intel processors. Currently, we
recommend using an Intel Core 2 Duo processor over the AMD processor. Intel
Core 2 Duo processors provide more bang for buck compared to AMD processors.
For example, the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 is cheaper and faster than the AMD
FX-62. However, if you're looking to build a budget computer, nothing beats the
price of a low end AMD Sempron CPU.

Hard Drives

{mosimage} Hard drives
are the main storage device for computers. The time it takes to load and save a
file greatly depends on the hard drives speed. Hard drives are especially
important for Photoshop. If your typical Photoshop and image files are small,
one hard drive is enough. However, if your files are large, there are several configurations
that may help optimize your computer for Photoshop:

  1. Install a separate hard drive for
    usage as a scratch disk. When your computer runs out of RAM, temporary files
    are stored on a scratch disk which also makes Photoshop slower.
  2. Use a RAID 0 configuration. This
    setup uses two hard drives as one and requires two hard drives and a RAID
    controller.  By using two hard drives,
    the performance of the drives is greatly increased. However, keep in mind that
    if even one out of the two hard drives fails, you may lose all your data on
    that drive.  Therefore, we only recommend
    using RAID 0 as a scratch disk or for usage as the main system drive (without
    any important documents). There are also other configurations such as RAID 5 that
    uses at least one hard drive to backup the files. This ensures that if one of
    the drives fail, there will be a backup to recover from.

Don't
use an external hard drive as the scratch disk. They're slow and it's often
better to use the system drive instead.

Video Card

The video
card is perhaps the least influential component for Photoshop. Most new video
cards are already capable of displaying accurate 32-bit color, high screen resolution,
and fast response rate. When choosing a video card, there are several features
you should consider:

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