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Thread: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

  1. #21

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Photo editing does not require any specific graphic hardware. It's 2D bitmap images, not 3D rendering. Any entry level graphics card will do the job. Only if you want to use a second display you might need a better model with 2 independent video outputs (DVI, HDMI). For displays, have a look at the subscetion 'Digital Darkroom. In general IPS displays are preferred because of their better colour accuracy. Apart from the display, do get a hardware calibration device (e.g. Spyder3 or better).
    above is ok if the photo editing is very minimal and if you are not using those latest DSLR over 20mp. If you are investing on a high end dslr with high megapixel count then the only way to go if you require to edit more than 50% of the photos you take is go invest in a pc with 64bit OS, a multi processor cpu is a must and so is a 3d graphic card if you dont wish to wait for your pc to load a 24 to 36mb raw file in less time. memory also play an important role and since ddr3ram modules are very cheap nowadays you should be looking at at least 8gb of ram. also do take note of the increasing file size so do consider having a bigger capacity hard disc as well as a secondary one that will become as a backup should the main drive becomes corrupted.

  2. #22

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    no problem man~

    3) just get more RAMs, they are dirt cheap now.

    TS, all being said, if you are not confident in such DIY system, then head to Dell's website and order a factory spec one. Dell's service support is good, anything wrong you just give them a call and they will do onsite assessment and advise you on the procedures.

    cheers~
    yeah, agree with you that overclocking has become much easier nowadays, but there is still a chance that one would have to roll-up ones sleeves to troubleshoot if something goes wrong... the RAID suggestion is technical as well but on the other hand, it helps to reduce the risk of losing files so I thought it might be worth the extra effort to do it or to get someone to set it up... but your opinion and recommendation is perfectly valid and I respect it

    on point 3 though, if someone were to use Photoshop, no matter how much RAM a person has in the comp, Photoshop will still write the history state info, as one works on a file, onto the scratch disk... according to Adobe, that is how it is currently and there is no way around it, so it is probably a good idea, and one with noticeably significant effects on Photoshop speed, to have a separate disk to use as a scratch disk... of course, one could do a RAM disk scratch but that is a whole different story

  3. #23

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by naynoy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Photo editing does not require any specific graphic hardware. It's 2D bitmap images, not 3D rendering. Any entry level graphics card will do the job. Only if you want to use a second display you might need a better model with 2 independent video outputs (DVI, HDMI). For displays, have a look at the subscetion 'Digital Darkroom. In general IPS displays are preferred because of their better colour accuracy. Apart from the display, do get a hardware calibration device (e.g. Spyder3 or better).
    above is ok if the photo editing is very minimal and if you are not using those latest DSLR over 20mp. If you are investing on a high end dslr with high megapixel count then the only way to go if you require to edit more than 50% of the photos you take is go invest in a pc with 64bit OS, a multi processor cpu is a must and so is a 3d graphic card if you dont wish to wait for your pc to load a 24 to 36mb raw file in less time. memory also play an important role and since ddr3ram modules are very cheap nowadays you should be looking at at least 8gb of ram. also do take note of the increasing file size so do consider having a bigger capacity hard disc as well as a secondary one that will become as a backup should the main drive becomes corrupted.
    I have to agree with Octarine here, any current generation entry level graphics card should be good enough for 2D photo work as graphics cards do not make opening and closing of files noticeably faster, and current usage of graphics cards in photoediting programs do not overly tax graphics cards at the moment... having enough RAM, and a quick enough, multi-core processor, as you have also suggested, play a much bigger part

  4. #24
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    I dun intend to overclock, but I'm not sure if I stuck 24gb of ram in there will it cause more disbenefit to me. And it's a very cheap upgrade compare to anything else.
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye
    I dun intend to overclock, but I'm not sure if I stuck 24gb of ram in there will it cause more disbenefit to me. And it's a very cheap upgrade compare to anything else.
    While more ram is beneficial, you are not likely to benefit much from excessive memory. Most application don't load everything into the memory either. Not unless u r running a server with hundreds of external requests or multiple app servers running. For most single processor motherboard, unless u r willing to purchase the ultra expensive 8gb dimm, you can't easily hit 24gb either. I have 12 pieces of 2gb which are dirt cheap, but u need 2 CPU.

    If you are interested in better performance, go for ssd, that should perk u up quite abit, but do take note, the key to good performance is balance. Increasing too much of each component just shift your bottleneck somewhere else
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  6. #26

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    I dun intend to overclock, but I'm not sure if I stuck 24gb of ram in there will it cause more disbenefit to me. And it's a very cheap upgrade compare to anything else.
    what I suggest is that you open up a typical workload, and then look at the "Efficiency Indicator" (look at an open file, near the bottom left corner there's a black arrow, click on it, in the pop-up menu click "Show", then click "Efficiency")... if the "Efficiency Indicator" is 90% or higher, you should be fine... try it out with your current workload, and then when you get your new camera... if the indicator is fine, and if Photoshop works smoothly, then adding more memory might not be the most necessary thing...

    if it goes below ~90%, you might also want to check your scratch file size (same place as "Efficiency Indicator", but choose "Scratch Sizes" rather than "Efficiency")... there are two numbers in the "Scratch Sizes" indicator: the first number is the RAM that is being used by Photoshop, the second number is the RAM available to Photoshop; if the first number becomes significantly larger than the second number, then increasing RAM might come in useful (note: if the RAM available to Photoshop if less than what you have on your computer, you might want to increase Photoshop's allocation of RAM through "Edit/Preferences/Performance", but do leave about 1-2GB of RAM for your other computer programs as well as the operating system, or even more depending on how much multitasking you do on your comp and whether the other programs are memory hogs)...

    if, looking at the above indicators, you do need to increase your RAM, I would recommend that you add 3 pieces of 4GB first rather than to swap out all your RAM... for your x58 (I use an x58 board as well), with luck, the computer will be able to use the three single pieces as a triple channel kit and that will make the RAM faster... if it does not read as triple channel, no big loss, Photoshop does not really significantly favour fast RAM anyways... so you would have this new 12GB plus whatever RAM you had previously that you can fit into the remaining 3 slots... try out to see if works better for you now with the above methods again...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok

    While more ram is beneficial, you are not likely to benefit much from excessive memory. Most application don't load everything into the memory either. Not unless u r running a server with hundreds of external requests or multiple app servers running. For most single processor motherboard, unless u r willing to purchase the ultra expensive 8gb dimm, you can't easily hit 24gb either. I have 12 pieces of 2gb which are dirt cheap, but u need 2 CPU.

    If you are interested in better performance, go for ssd, that should perk u up quite abit, but do take note, the key to good performance is balance. Increasing too much of each component just shift your bottleneck somewhere else
    I'm already on SSD for OS & application. And it's pretty easy to reach 24GB on X58 when 4GB dimm value ram is like $25+ per piece. 6 of this gives me 24GB. Just not sure if there's a diminishing point of efficiency or worse, becomes less efficient.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK
    what I suggest is that you open up a typical workload, and then look at the "Efficiency Indicator" (look at an open file, near the bottom left corner there's a black arrow, click on it, in the pop-up menu click "Show", then click "Efficiency")... if the "Efficiency Indicator" is 90% or higher, you should be fine... try it out with your current workload, and then when you get your new camera... if the indicator is fine, and if Photoshop works smoothly, then adding more memory might not be the most necessary thing...

    if it goes below ~90%, you might also want to check your scratch file size (same place as "Efficiency Indicator", but choose "Scratch Sizes" rather than "Efficiency")... there are two numbers in the "Scratch Sizes" indicator: the first number is the RAM that is being used by Photoshop, the second number is the RAM available to Photoshop; if the first number becomes significantly larger than the second number, then increasing RAM might come in useful (note: if the RAM available to Photoshop if less than what you have on your computer, you might want to increase Photoshop's allocation of RAM through "Edit/Preferences/Performance", but do leave about 1-2GB of RAM for your other computer programs as well as the operating system, or even more depending on how much multitasking you do on your comp and whether the other programs are memory hogs)...

    if, looking at the above indicators, you do need to increase your RAM, I would recommend that you add 3 pieces of 4GB first rather than to swap out all your RAM... for your x58 (I use an x58 board as well), with luck, the computer will be able to use the three single pieces as a triple channel kit and that will make the RAM faster... if it does not read as triple channel, no big loss, Photoshop does not really significantly favour fast RAM anyways... so you would have this new 12GB plus whatever RAM you had previously that you can fit into the remaining 3 slots... try out to see if works better for you now with the above methods again...
    Thanks for the advice I go try this out.
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye

    I'm already on SSD for OS & application. And it's pretty easy to reach 24GB on X58 when 4GB dimm value ram is like $25+ per piece. 6 of this gives me 24GB. Just not sure if there's a diminishing point of efficiency or worse, becomes less efficient.
    No you wouldn't have diminished in performance, but you wouldn't rip as much benefit as compared from a low memory upgrade like 2gb to 8gb

    Because with more memory, the os will have more file cache buffer, it will means your ssd benefit in comparison will be less helpful for subsequent read, but still very useful for writes though.

    The extra memory will also helps to cache your large files which u load from other slower devices such as the magnetic hard disk. However don't expect a big jump in performance. More memory are most useful for concurrent usage and very unlikely to see in consumer usage behavior, concurrent doesn't mean u open a lot of applications at the same time, but well enough the more applications u open, the more memory required.

    As a early user of ssd, I can tell you that ssd benefits are mostly the initial loading and writing, once applications libraries and codes are loaded into the memory, ssd brings little benefit. But as always, impatient users like me just love the least waiting time, that's why I invested in a ssd for my laptop as an early bird.

    I am not sure how photoshop utilizes the memory, but it seems like the usage of a scratch disk is always happening. Running the scratch disk on your ssd will bring much benefit to your overall experience.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok

    No you wouldn't have diminished in performance, but you wouldn't rip as much benefit as compared from a low memory upgrade like 2gb to 8gb

    Because with more memory, the os will have more file cache buffer, it will means your ssd benefit in comparison will be less helpful for subsequent read, but still very useful for writes though.

    The extra memory will also helps to cache your large files which u load from other slower devices such as the magnetic hard disk. However don't expect a big jump in performance. More memory are most useful for concurrent usage and very unlikely to see in consumer usage behavior, concurrent doesn't mean u open a lot of applications at the same time, but well enough the more applications u open, the more memory required.

    As a early user of ssd, I can tell you that ssd benefits are mostly the initial loading and writing, once applications libraries and codes are loaded into the memory, ssd brings little benefit. But as always, impatient users like me just love the least waiting time, that's why I invested in a ssd for my laptop as an early bird.

    I am not sure how photoshop utilizes the memory, but it seems like the usage of a scratch disk is always happening. Running the scratch disk on your ssd will bring much benefit to your overall experience.
    Considering the durability of the SSD, isn't it more expensive? I think I might take up the 12GB idea first. Then upgrade if needed from there. $81 upgrade is still cheaper than a SSD.

    Besides... I do have another piece of SSD lying ard.... Was thinking to feed it to my future HTPC
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  11. #31

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Considering the durability of the SSD, isn't it more expensive? I think I might take up the 12GB idea first. Then upgrade if needed from there. $81 upgrade is still cheaper than a SSD.

    Besides... I do have another piece of SSD lying ard.... Was thinking to feed it to my future HTPC
    Durability of SSD ? Do you mean it's not durable ? This seems to be the most debated topic of all. Are SSD less durable compared to magnetic hard disk due to the write endurance cycles limitation. While it is still an ongoing debate, I choose to believe in Maths and Facts.

    First, with write leveling techniques employed, the very same cell will only be rewritten upon a full cycle of slightly more than what your hard disk says it can stored. There is over provisioning employed in the manufacturing to ensure the write cycle is longer than what your hard disk capacity is. Meaning the actual belt is longer, but you don't see it as empty space in the SSD.

    I own an Intel X25M G1 160GB with the write endurance of 10,000 per cell. Based on the spec, it is worth 15TB of write before breakdown. At 20GB/day of write only, you get to use the write for 698 days, which is around 2yrs. 20GB of write everyday is a lot of any consumer users. Not to mention your workload also consist of large amount of reads too right ? Hence for a SSD to last 5 years, which you probably would have gotten a new drive by then, it's no sweat.

    Unless you are operating in an enterprise environment on a extremely active database with write amplification on 10x, then you should be worry, because consumer SSD will only last you years, which ain't bad either. Refer to AnandTech - A Look at Enterprise Performance of Intel SSDs
    Last edited by David Kwok; 7th March 2012 at 01:07 AM.
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  12. #32

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    From your description, I would assume you're building this from scratch?


    LCD:
    For heavy photos = look for IPS screens, for fps gaming look for real 120hz refresh rates monitor. THey both works wonders in gaming and photo editing its just that the fps 120hz refresh rates are more for 3d and awesome gaming. I'm currently using a Samsung SA950 which is a 120hz led monitor. ---500-600sg

    CPU:
    I'm an intel fan boy...so at least get something like i7-2600k if you have the budget, or i5-2500k...theres two types of processors ones with "K" in the end like these two I mentioned and the other ones have no "K"s in the end...difference is the "K"'s can be overclocked hence the hefty price tag.

    Motherboard:
    I'm an ASUS fanboy myself...durability and price...get the maximus extreme-z or gene-z boards----mobo and cpu=570sg

    RAM:
    at the market get those gskill ripjawx...get 16gig of rams---300sg

    HDD:
    Either get a 60gig ssd with 1-2tb external drives (Get USB3.0)
    or
    get a 600gb 10k RPM hdd with 1-2tb external drives <---i'm at this setup.

    CPU HS:
    get a decent one,,,don't use the stock cpu fan it came with,,,go for Coolermaster 212 or if you want awesomeness get the the noctua's.---49sg

    GFX card:
    I'm nvidia all the way...asus/evga/msi makes good nvidia cards...get something with GDDR5...gtx560,570,550 versions---300sg

    PSU:
    750 should be plenty --- 90sg

    casing:
    something side, front, back, top, below, fans would be cooler or if you want to burn more money, get the corsair series or silverstone raven series --- 50sg if you're going for the cheap...200-300sg for the awesomeness.


    I must have over estimate or underestimate on the price but just check them out. For a place to buy this in simlim,,,i always go to fuwell...their shop warranty is awesome..like the grafic card has one is to one exchange for a month if you spoil it no questions ask.
    Good luck,.


    Quote Originally Posted by foofoo View Post
    dear all,

    able to advise me which brand of computers (in term of graphic display) for purchasing?

    or what to look up for when purchasing computer.

    many thanks in advance.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Aiyo photo editing/viewing only. Just buy a matx or itx z68 based board with a simple 2500k processor. Save space and cost. Something like zotac z68 itx is good liao. MATX=very small computer. ITX=bloody small computer. No difference in performance from full size counterparts. Anyway, google it, can find many example. Throw in two/four sticks of 4gb ram, 64gb ssd for boot and working directory and maybe one or two hdd for storage. Maybe can even use the integrated graphic...BUT then ivy bridge is coming, may not be a good time for new pc now...

    Not all processes are multi-threaded or can run all the cores/threads. So you might want to check the software you are using.

    If you really want to splurge for a better one now for photo editing, then stretch a bit and buy something like this loh:


    x79 based board+3960x+8x8gb ram...fastest home pc you can buy now, but IMHO, not worth it.
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    $2,000 is way too much budget for a home use PC in this age, unless you are an extreme gamer. (Professional media editing is not "home use".)

    For photo editing and processing, you will need a fast CPU first (i5 and i7 are good). Then enough RAM (12-16GB is plenty) to store your stuff in memory instead of the scratch disk. A fast SSD to load stuff (any 128GB Sandforce-based Sychronous NAND SSD will do) and big enough HDDs to store your data (1TB x2 is a good start). Any $300-$350 graphics card is good enough with plenty of gaming potential at 1080p.

    The key components though, are your monitor (8-bit IPS), calibration device (Spyder3) and input device (Wacom pen tablets are nice). These alone can cost you $1,000.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok

    Durability of SSD ? Do you mean it's not durable ? This seems to be the most debated topic of all. Are SSD less durable compared to magnetic hard disk due to the write endurance cycles limitation. While it is still an ongoing debate, I choose to believe in Maths and Facts.

    First, with write leveling techniques employed, the very same cell will only be rewritten upon a full cycle of slightly more than what your hard disk says it can stored. There is over provisioning employed in the manufacturing to ensure the write cycle is longer than what your hard disk capacity is. Meaning the actual belt is longer, but you don't see it as empty space in the SSD.

    I own an Intel X25M G1 160GB with the write endurance of 10,000 per cell. Based on the spec, it is worth 15TB of write before breakdown. At 20GB/day of write only, you get to use the write for 698 days, which is around 2yrs. 20GB of write everyday is a lot of any consumer users. Not to mention your workload also consist of large amount of reads too right ? Hence for a SSD to last 5 years, which you probably would have gotten a new drive by then, it's no sweat.

    Unless you are operating in an enterprise environment on a extremely active database with write amplification on 10x, then you should be worry, because consumer SSD will only last you years, which ain't bad either. Refer to AnandTech - A Look at Enterprise Performance of Intel SSDs
    Hmmm.. Then maybe it's time for me to put my SSD to use.. Thanks
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  16. #36

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    I am not sure how photoshop utilizes the memory, but it seems like the usage of a scratch disk is always happening. Running the scratch disk on your ssd will bring much benefit to your overall experience.
    as I mentioned above, Photoshop will constantly write the edit History to the scratch drive, even if there is available RAM... Adobe chooses to do this and there are no ways around it unless one wants to create a RAMdisk to use as scratch... doubt a very fast scratch would help though if it were only used for writing the History info... YMMV

    me, I just use a separate WD Velociraptor 10k drive... cheaper

  17. #37

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by garbled View Post
    LCD:
    For heavy photos = look for IPS screens, for fps gaming look for real 120hz refresh rates monitor. THey both works wonders in gaming and photo editing its just that the fps 120hz refresh rates are more for 3d and awesome gaming. I'm currently using a Samsung SA950 which is a 120hz led monitor. ---500-600sg

    RAM:
    at the market get those gskill ripjawx...get 16gig of rams---300sg

    CPU HS:
    get a decent one,,,don't use the stock cpu fan it came with,,,go for Coolermaster 212 or if you want awesomeness get the the noctua's.---49sg
    hi, er, for the TS, for photoediting, I think your first suggestion for IPS is spot on, but don't think there are any IPS 120hz computer monitors out there right now... LG are supposed to be introducing some though but who knows when...

    as for RAM, for photoediting, speed of RAM is not really that important... for gaming, sure

    heatsink wise, at stock speeds, think the stock fan should be good enough unless noise is really a concern... and that can be upgraded after first purchase if the TS really needs it...

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK
    as I mentioned above, Photoshop will constantly write the edit History to the scratch drive, even if there is available RAM... Adobe chooses to do this and there are no ways around it unless one wants to create a RAMdisk to use as scratch... doubt a very fast scratch would help though if it were only used for writing the History info... YMMV

    me, I just use a separate WD Velociraptor 10k drive... cheaper
    If it is history info written, then I see these information as short burst and not long large sequential data. Ssd offering superb low latency and high random access is particularly useful for such use case. I own 4 WD velociraptor in hw raid. My assessment is it doesn't bring comparable performance compared to a single good ssd and coming to short burst write and read operations. It especially excel in random access as expected.

    I do agree magnetic hd are definitely long standing cheaper alternatives, given a reasonable budget, it is still the way to go. Like I have mention, ssd benefits diminish in comparison should there are large amount of cache space.

    For windows users, you can go search for Fancy Cache, it is still in beta, but definitely worth a good look at software hybrid implementation to extract highspeed random access from ssd, and large data space from normal magnetic hard disk.

    Adaptec has such hardware implementation too, seems promising.
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  19. #39

    Default Re: recommendation for purchasing of computer for photo editing/viewing purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    If it is history info written, then I see these information as short burst and not long large sequential data. Ssd offering superb low latency and high random access is particularly useful for such use case. I own 4 WD velociraptor in hw raid. My assessment is it doesn't bring comparable performance compared to a single good ssd and coming to short burst write and read operations. It especially excel in random access as expected.

    I do agree magnetic hd are definitely long standing cheaper alternatives, given a reasonable budget, it is still the way to go. Like I have mention, ssd benefits diminish in comparison should there are large amount of cache space.

    For windows users, you can go search for Fancy Cache, it is still in beta, but definitely worth a good look at software hybrid implementation to extract highspeed random access from ssd, and large data space from normal magnetic hard disk.

    Adaptec has such hardware implementation too, seems promising.
    yeah agreed... SSDs would help if used as a scratch disk if one is willing to invest, though ultimately it's a diminishing marginal returns situation after enough RAM is provided...

    don't know how effective Fancy Cache would be, how the software implementation would work with Adobe's scratch system, but if one were interested to set up something like that, might as well go the RAMdisk direction which provides a logical disk and thus does not need to take into account Adobe's scratch implementation... but again, any speed benefits are probably gonna have diminishing marginal returns in relation to cost once enough RAM is already there for Photoshop (and if one has enough RAM left over to implement either of these systems, one should have had enough RAM for Photoshop in the first place )

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