HELP needed quickly: Which of these 2 desktops can handle photoshop and similar programs

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by falcon7, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. I know there are quite a few recommendations on what specs to look for in a computer in order to use photoshop efficiently, but after doing hours of research, I'm really exhausted. I'm still trying to interpret multiple-core quad-core, etc. So without delaying any further and before the two computers I've selected get sold out, here are my choices in terms of specs.I only put down the specs I understood. I won't mention 'brands' since I don't want to complicate the issue, and besides, I probably wouldn't understand the explanations. Here are my two choice, but I need to act fast. I did notice that one of them has wireless capacity.
    Or, is it simply a matter of either one would do? BTW, I'd rank myself half-way between casual user and professional.
    P.S. I have a friend that writes the most abstruse academic papers and books that are published by academic presses. I was watching him work one day, and I said, "Now I know why you like to write about those arcane subjects. You just like testing the features of your computer! - He told me that was at least 50% of the motivation. But I'm not of that camp. I just want a computer that won't freeze up as my current older computer does. Anyway, here are the 2 choices. I got as much of the specs as I could, and I still don't quite understand all of them. But I understand enough, I think.

    Intel® Core™ i5-3330 processor (6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz)
    8GB2 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz -
    1TB Hard Drive, 3.5", 7200rpm, SATA -
    Intel® HD Integrated Graphics
    Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4 ghz -
    8GB DDR3-1333 RAM -
    2TB 7,200RPM Hard Drive -
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 -
    SuperMulti DVDRW Drive -
    Multi-in-One Memory Card Reader -
    10/100/1000 Network -
    802.11b/g/n Wireless
  2. Hi,
    There's not a lot to choose between them. An important consideration is screen size and resolution if you are going to be using Photoshop a lot. Get a high res. display and if possible a big screen. It will make photo editing for of a pleasure than a chore.
    8Gb of memory seems fine. If you can stretch to it, get a quad-core i7 processor.
    Integrated graphics is not great but unless you plan on playing comp. games you should be fine. if you plan on gaming or 3D rendering get a quality dedicated video card.
  3. You don't say which version of Photoshop you're using, so either one of these might be enough. Out of these, I'd go with #2. Brand does make a difference though. Especially when it comes to customer service and repair. That is something to think about. There is a noticeable performance gain with the i7 chip. Upping to 16 gig of ram is a good idea as well.
  4. Youre computer "freeze up"? Is this the best description you can give because it can be put down to a lot of things. Any multi-core computer should be freeing up the mouse and keyboard so you can do something else whilst it's doing something with a photo. Any four-core computer has plenty of horsepower nowadays. Your second candidate has a faster processor and bigger drive.
  5. I'm not sure what vintage computer we're comparing to. Modern computers are, generally speaking, pretty fast. If you do a big, slow operation in Photoshop (some filters), you might see a small difference in how long they have to spend thinking, but either of these could be an enormous jump up from something that's (say) 4-5 years old. Though if you want to speed up the old computer, defragging the hard disk, putting in a solid state drive (though big ones are expensive), possibly adding some more RAM, and/or reinstalling the operating system might make a lot of difference without needing a complete replacement.
  6. Get an extra internal drive? For back-up purposes.
  7. When you do get the new computer check out the possibilities of using your old HD as an external drive for back-up purposes.
    Without really knowing what all the figures mean I am sure I am happilly working with much less ... but then I only have a 16Mp camera and notice the difference with my older 10Mp files. I imagin somebody with more Mp might have concerns.
    The question about 'which PS' you are using is also valid as later programmes are more cluttered up with goodies we probably do not really need.
  8. Even today's entry level computers can handle PhotoShop chores quite well. I use a bottom of the line 2012 Mac Mini with 16GB RAM and it has no problem processing 3GB psb files. I use a 240GB Sandisk SSD as my startup drive and a 4TB striped external HD connected via Thunderbolt for my photos. I'm getting 350 mb/s throughput from the external HD. The largest files take 6-8 seconds to load.
    The key is getting a monitor you can calibrate and learning how to do so. I have an NEC P221W as my working monitor and an old Sony 17-inch monitor I use for my palettes. Don't stress over people who say you need to fastest computer available. I work on a variety of digital images, from originals shot with a Canon D30 (3MP) to medium format and 4x5 drum scans (600MB) and my humble computer handles them fine.
    Also, don't forget to budget for a backup hard drive.
  9. Get a 30" iMac with applecare and you are done.
  10. Ditto the large display suggestion. Mac displays are nothing special. I use Dell UltraSharp monitors with my Mac Pro desktops. If I were putting together a 'competent' system right now, I would go with a Mac Mini with an SSD boot, loaded with aftermarket memory, an external 7200rpm HD for storage and a 30" Dell UltraSharp. I would purposely avoid an iMac because of the difficulty in upgrading vs the Mini. And the Mac Mini system, when assembled as I described, will be in the same ballpark as a 27" iMac. FWIW, there are no 30" iMacs presently available that I'm aware of, only 27" max screen size.
  11. david_henderson


    I'm using an i5 3.0GHz 8Gb Ram PC and handle some reasonably large files with no freeze-ups or undue delay, using CS5/NIK suite and LR. Looking at the above suggestions I have taken up an recommend a large screen able to be calibrated -in my case a Dell Ultrasharp 2410 , and a second hard drive that I use for primary photo storage ( backups are always to a range of external HD).
    So my answer is that either should do.
  12. I'd go with a 27" iMac and not look back. Fast, excellent display, plenty of ports, and great design.

    In fact, I have one at another place I stay at. At the end of the day, the experience is the same as the
    MacPro I use when I'm at home. Though the iMac display is much better than than the external large
    screen Dell I use with my MacPro.

    The iMac is a pleasure to use...
  13. All the new machines are great. If possible avoid the desktop and get a notebook. Macs are too expensive and I am currently using a Sony Vaio with Windows 7 (MS finally got it right) and in heaven. If you want the best Photoshop replacement check out this site and it is free. Good-luck.
  14. Just wanted to add I have been using the iPiccy software for about 2 years and soooo user friendly.

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