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Old 01-27-08, 04:59 PM   #1
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PC Graphic Artists ~ Good rig to run P-Shop and other huge graphics programs on ?

What do you guys run for fast, non-problematic graphic stuff ??
I like HP for their customer support but am clueless as to what
is 'good' in the PC world these days ??

Mac ppl feel free to tell me PC's suck, too

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-27-08, 05:03 PM   #2
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Most professional photographers and graphic artists I work with use Macs.

just sayin....
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Old 01-27-08, 05:05 PM   #3
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^^ That might be the koolest Avatar Ive seen this month !
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Old 01-27-08, 05:16 PM   #4
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What do you guys run for fast, non-problematic graphic stuff ??
I like HP for their customer support but am clueless as to what
is 'good' in the PC world these days ??

Mac ppl feel free to tell me PC's suck, too

Thanks in advance
really, if it's just photoshop, anything will do. I have a Dell Inspiron e1505 (Core 2 Duo T7200, 2GB RAM, ATI x1400) that I run photoshop CS2 on at a reasonable speed.

But as far as high performance graphics stuff goes, you should build your own (if you're going the PC route). If you plan to spend anything more than $1000 on a computer, you will usually get a faster machine at a lower pricepoint if you build your own. Look for parts at sites like tigerdirect.com or newegg.com
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Old 01-27-08, 05:36 PM   #5
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As others have said, building it up yourself will probably be a lot cheaper for you in the long run if you're spending more than a grand. Any of Intel's Peryn-core processors (Intel is typically cheaper than AMD for more performance and will be for at least a couple more months) be they quad or dual core will be fine for Photoshop work. At least 2 GB and up to 4 GB of RAM would be suggested to help cut down on rendering time on PS. No matter what you end up getting, just make sure you're taking care of the computer.

There's no point buying a ton of stuff to make the computer fast and then running four anti-virus programs because you're paranoid and slowing the computer down more than any malware could ever hope to. Optimize the computer when you get it and become acquainted with the system so you can shed the useless pieces of clutter. Be a computer "weight weenie".

One last note, the whole Mac v. PC thing is a bit overblown. A well-built PC in the hands of someone who has reasonable knowledge on how to take care of it will have a faster computer for a lot less. Yes, Apple's are sexier and all that other stuff but personally, I'd rather keep the extra cash.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:39 PM   #6
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Thank you ! Great stuff
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Old 01-27-08, 05:41 PM   #7
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Whatever it is, load it up with a crapload of RAM and a fast hard drive.

And a big-arse, high-quality monitor, of course.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:44 PM   #8
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I'm another Photoshop using running a Mac. We could have a big flame fest about what's faster and what's slower and all the specifications but the really nice thing about Macs is they just work properly for graphics straight out of the box. Users don't have to worry about them or buy the latest card or doodah, they just work.

Now I don't want to tell you that you have to get a Mac but I will say that processing speed isn't the whole story. One of the big plusses of Macs is ColorSync. The biggest issue for serious graphic arts is calibrating colour so that what you see on the screen is what you get on paper or whatever your reproduction medium is. ColorSync makes it easier than it would otherwise be. I'm not sure what they use for colour calibration in the PC world but you need to look into it. The other important and related issue is of course monitor quality. A cheap monitor won't do. You need a top quality monitor that you can calibrate.

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Old 01-27-08, 06:15 PM   #9
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Depending upon how you work and the types of manipulations, CPU-speed isn't a major limitation. It can be if you use scripts that strings 10+ operations in a row automatically.

The biggest performance-boost I've found with Photoshop is to use two hard-drives in RAID-O array to double hard-drive speed (+100MB/s). Put the Windows virtual-memory and Photoshop's swap-file on this disk. It's not uncommon to have more than 1gb of swap-file running.
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Old 01-27-08, 09:13 PM   #10
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Depending upon how you work and the types of manipulations, CPU-speed isn't a major limitation. It can be if you use scripts that strings 10+ operations in a row automatically.

The biggest performance-boost I've found with Photoshop is to use two hard-drives in RAID-O array to double hard-drive speed (+100MB/s). Put the Windows virtual-memory and Photoshop's swap-file on this disk. It's not uncommon to have more than 1gb of swap-file running.
I'm a graphic artist by trade and have worked with both MACs and PCs over the years. That said...I prefer PCs. As usual....Dannos recommendations are fairly spot on. Two hard drives (preferably SATA with a RAID config and a couple gigs of high speed RAM with any modern processor will give you all the power you need. Most box stock PCs are not great for running Photoshop, but can do it.
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Old 01-27-08, 09:47 PM   #11
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HP stuff is decent. I have had good luck with it.

As lots of people said, max the machine's RAM out. Usually the best bet (pricewise) is to buy it with the default amount of RAM from the store, then upgrade it.

For hard disks, I would recommend two things: First, an external drive with two mirrored hard disks for work you are working on (so one disk failure doesn't kill all your pictures), but second, I recommend a hard disk or two and some backup programs like Retrospect where you can copy all your work periodically to sets of DVDs. This way, should malware format all drives the machine has, you still have a workable backup. Time Machine is sort of a backup program, but what is needed is a way to copy full backups off to tape or DVD media for long term storage.
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Old 01-28-08, 06:30 AM   #12
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I'm a graphic artist by trade and have worked with both MACs and PCs over the years. That said...I prefer PCs. As usual....Dannos recommendations are fairly spot on. Two hard drives (preferably SATA with a RAID config and a couple gigs of high speed RAM with any modern processor will give you all the power you need. Most box stock PCs are not great for running Photoshop, but can do it.
What he said
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Old 01-28-08, 09:41 AM   #13
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Most professional photographers and graphic artists I work with use Macs.

just sayin....
...there is no real reason for this

Build your own PC, you'll save a lot of money
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Old 01-28-08, 11:52 AM   #14
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I also advise getting a decent video card. It would be a shame to have a nice machine and use crappy on-board video.
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Old 01-28-08, 11:55 AM   #15
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I also advise getting a decent video card. It would be a shame to have a nice machine and use crappy on-board video.
While i agree, it doesn't take much video power to edit photoraphs...
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Old 01-28-08, 12:36 PM   #16
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I use a PC, it was cheaper than a Mac. As with everyone else, get as much RAM as you can afford. I will also agree with Nick, a good video card rocks, especially for very large images that you are moving on the screen. This is probably more important when I use my solid-modeling programs, but I think it is helpful when I use CS. When panning on a slower card, I have seen images freeze and I don't get that with my PC.
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Old 01-28-08, 06:36 PM   #17
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Well, the "macs cost more" idea is outdated. Ever since Apple switched over to Intel CPUs, the cost-to-performance ratio is about the same, sometimes cheaper than PCs. Try buying the Asus PC-version of Apple's laptops and they'll cost more. Same with a Dell server with twin dual-core Xeon 3.06gh CPUs with 2gb FB-DIMM memory. Can't even come close to Apple's price of $2500
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Old 01-28-08, 06:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Well, the "macs cost more" idea is outdated. Ever since Apple switched over to Intel CPUs, the cost-to-performance ratio is about the same, sometimes cheaper than PCs. Try buying the Asus PC-version of Apple's laptops and they'll cost more. Same with a Dell server with twin dual-core Xeon 3.06gh CPUs with 2gb FB-DIMM memory. Can't even come close to Apple's price of $2500
I wouldn't know, I haven't bought a new computer in 3 years. At that time, no Mac compared to a Dell mobile workstation. How does the Pro compare to the new workstations? At a glance, it seems the Dell has a better video card but I am no expert.

Edit: I just built up a top of the line Pro and M4300, both 15.4 inch. The Mac came in at $3,649 and the Dell is at $2,982 with a better video card. But as I said, I am no expert, I don't know the exact technical differences.

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Old 01-28-08, 07:24 PM   #19
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Well, the "macs cost more" idea is outdated. Ever since Apple switched over to Intel CPUs, the cost-to-performance ratio is about the same, sometimes cheaper than PCs. Try buying the Asus PC-version of Apple's laptops and they'll cost more. Same with a Dell server with twin dual-core Xeon 3.06gh CPUs with 2gb FB-DIMM memory. Can't even come close to Apple's price of $2500
Incorrect.

Dell XPS 15.4 inch screen
2.4ghz CD2
3gig ram
250gig h/d
Nvidia 8600 GT-M
$1750

Macbook Pro
15 inch screen
2.4ghz CD2
2gig Ram
160gig h/d
Nvidia 8600 GT-M
$2499


Hmmm...

Both of these computers would kick Photoshops Ass and they are portable. This is a computer to edit photographs and make pretty images, he doesn't need a dual core xeon, let alone 2 of them.
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Old 01-28-08, 07:28 PM   #20
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Well, the "macs cost more" idea is outdated. Ever since Apple switched over to Intel CPUs, the cost-to-performance ratio is about the same, sometimes cheaper than PCs. Try buying the Asus PC-version of Apple's laptops and they'll cost more. Same with a Dell server with twin dual-core Xeon 3.06gh CPUs with 2gb FB-DIMM memory. Can't even come close to Apple's price of $2500
Not to mention some of the licensing for Mac is better speced than pc's. (heck just look at the remote desktop model...)

to be fair, its diffuclt to find a dual core now (at least in dell canada). Single quad core would match that, its close, I got 2700$ cdn. 4 gig ram (couldn't get a 2 gigger)Our dollar isn't THAT strong. With good negotiating thats easily 2500$.
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Old 01-28-08, 07:28 PM   #21
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What do you guys run for fast, non-problematic graphic stuff ??
I like HP for their customer support but am clueless as to what
is 'good' in the PC world these days ??

Mac ppl feel free to tell me PC's suck, too

Thanks in advance
build a computer. Thataway, you get exactly what you want for a few hundred less and without all taut crapola software they install to " boost the value of the computer." or if you don't have the skills to build ur own computer, send me $1500 and you get one sweet computer.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:56 PM   #22
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build a computer. Thataway, you get exactly what you want for a few hundred less and without all taut crapola software they install to " boost the value of the computer." or if you don't have the skills to build ur own computer, send me $1500 and you get one sweet computer.
Ha Ha....thanks for the offer

And all suggestions and help.
I am an old school illustrator, Letraset, Rapidographs, Doc Martin Dye, etc
who got put out of work by computers
Now, I cant fight getting on board any longer.......
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Old 01-28-08, 09:17 PM   #23
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Try buying the Asus PC-version of Apple's laptops and they'll cost more.
If you have gentech or powernotebooks custom build an Asus whitebook/barebones for you, you can save a ton of money actually. Powernotebooks will even throw in a 3 year warranty if you buy their rebranded ASUS.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:20 PM   #24
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Ha Ha....thanks for the offer

And all suggestions and help.
I am an old school illustrator, Letraset, Rapidographs, Doc Martin Dye, etc
who got put out of work by computers
Now, I cant fight getting on board any longer.......
Lem, check out:

http://www.xoticpc.com/

or if you're looking for a laptop:

http://www.powernotebooks.com/
http://gentechpc.com/

These three companies offer fair prices and check out in terms of customer feedback. Ignore the cheesy websites.
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