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Thread: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

  1. #1
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    Question Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    I'm planning to buy a notebook as a main PC for:
    - PS CS3 (including wedding shoots, some RAW) update: from astrise's thread, i may be able to upgrade free to CS4
    - word processing, Internet etc. (no gaming)

    But I realised I don't have enough 'geek factor' to understand the options, after doing some Internet searching.

    Currently I'm quite certain I'll go for:
    4GB RAM
    At least WXGA screen res
    Budget $1600 max

    But I'm confused about the processors. I realise it's not just about clock speed (MHz), but also about FSB speed and L2 cache. There's also the issue of wattage or power consumption.

    Here are some of the options:
    Model Name FSB L2 MHz TDP(W)
    P8400 Penryn 1066 3072 2260 25
    T8100 Penryn 800 3072 2100 35
    P7350 Penryn 1066 3072 2000 25
    T5800 Merom 800 2048 2000 ?
    T7250 Merom 800 2048 2000 35
    Pentium Dual Core
    T3200 Merom 667 1024 2000 ?

    My questions:
    1. Which of these factors are important for CS3? Are there any minimum specs for good (i.e. not laggy) performance?
    2. Does the processor wattage affect battery life significantly? (e.g. 25W vs 35W)
    3. What OS would be good? XP 32-bit? Vista 32 or 64? (to me, simple & stable is good)
    4. Some recommend reformatting the hard disk to remove the preinstalled junk. Would this cause problems with manufacturer-specific hardware (like special buttons or switches, touchpad)?

    Many thanks in advance!
    Last edited by d7t3; 4th December 2008 at 02:29 PM. Reason: add budget, CS4 info

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    just get the P8400 since it has the most L2 cache in the list.

    speed of CS3 depends on CPU clock speed and size of L2 cache.

    lower TDP means less heat desipated hence can be translated into more power efficient and longer battery life.

    get WinXP 32bit if you could.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    I run a quad core with 8GB of RAM on Vista 64bit. Reason being I use up a whole lot of RAM just running photoshop & lightroom simultaneously. 4GB was a no go, had a lot of bottlenecking.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Here's my view... Hopefully it helps

    My questions:
    1. Which of these factors are important for CS3? Are there any minimum specs for good (i.e. not laggy) performance?

    The processor's ability to crunch the numbers. You wouldn't go wrong with the latest Intel offerings. MHz is not everything. FSB numbers (relate it to memory bandwidth/performance) are significant. L2 cache is important for application like Adobe Photoshop, but not Microsoft Office. Since you mentioned CS3, video editing can take a hit on the disk read/write performance, and, notebook's hard disk is generally slow compared to desktop's counterparts. So that's one bottleneck you have to live with.

    2. Does the processor wattage affect battery life significantly? (e.g. 25W vs 35W)

    Generally, yes. The lower these number, the cooler the processor can run. The cooler the processor can run, the less energy will be consumed.

    3. What OS would be good? XP 32-bit? Vista 32 or 64? (to me, simple & stable is good)

    You are better off with XP 32-bit. Less dependency issues, wider support, and rather proven. 64-bit for is a hype to me, unless your platform is of a Server type, and for your case, a notebook can hardly peaks pass 4GB RAM. Vista? No thanks!

    4. Some recommend reformatting the hard disk to remove the preinstalled junk. Would this cause problems with manufacturer-specific hardware (like special buttons or switches, touchpad)?

    Leave it as it is. Normally it's antivirus application that comes preinstalled which is branded and crappy. The latter consumes quite a share of cpu, and memory resources. Disk read/write is rather high too. Not bashing Acer brand, but, yes, their preinstalled stuffs can be craps!

    End of the day, it's still a notebook...

    BTW, why not consider a MacBook? Pro??!
    Last edited by mummum; 3rd December 2008 at 05:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Thanks mummum. Good info.

    BTW, why not consider a MacBook? Pro??!

    2 main reasons:
    1st: Don't have the time and energy to learn all about Mac OS. Have nothing against Mac, just that I'm used to Win, having moved from MS-DOS to Win 3.1 to 95... etc.
    2nd: Budget constraints. Hope to spend about 1.5k.

    Thanks haylui.

    enivre, envy your setup. But exceeds my budget (unless I change plan to get a desktop). I also don't need the comp to fly... brisk walk will do for me...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Quote Originally Posted by d7t3 View Post
    enivre, envy your setup. But exceeds my budget (unless I change plan to get a desktop). I also don't need the comp to fly... brisk walk will do for me...
    Ahhh... din realise you wanted a notebook. My apologies. But to be honest, if it's your main work computer I really advise you to get a desktop. Then another laptop less powerful when you need the portability.

    And I agree with you on not changing to a mac. I myself have been on windows since windows 3.11 (and even DOS before that). So although I've tried macs, I just can't get used to them.

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    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Quote Originally Posted by enivre View Post
    Ahhh... din realise you wanted a notebook. My apologies. But to be honest, if it's your main work computer I really advise you to get a desktop. Then another laptop less powerful when you need the portability.

    And I agree with you on not changing to a mac. I myself have been on windows since windows 3.11 (and even DOS before that). So although I've tried macs, I just can't get used to them.
    I only have the budget for one computer; and I might need the portability. Still weighing that factor. If not for the possible need to take it on trips, I'd definitely consider a mean quad-core desktop.

    I think I could get used to USING a Mac easy enough. But it's the stuff under the hood, the troubleshooting, that's hard to learn. My sister is a long-time Mac user and has never complained about user experience, but driver and compatibility issues are another thing. I've picked up Windows things over the years, e.g. command-line, system.ini, regedit... little tweaks here and there. I wouldn't say I know a lot but it would be troublesome to learn a new OS. Windows is not great (esp. 95/98), but I can live with XP.

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    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Update: came across astrise's thread on free upgrade to CS4. So am checking out if I should use it if I get the upgrade.

    Another thing: realised that XP is 'dead'. Will be troublesome to get XP Pro (buy Vista Biz or Ultimate then 'downgrade'). So looks like I'm being pushed toward Vista (am not relishing yet another OS version - am now typing this on XP). Which is a whole new thing to me. To be continued...

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    Default Re: Pls advise on hardware: CS3 & MHz, L2, FSB...

    Final update:

    After some research, I was set to get the following offer from Harvey Norman Funan:
    Compaq CQ40-104TU
    Intel P7350
    4GB RAM
    250GB HDD
    14" WXGA
    $1299
    Pretty good value for the money I'd say.

    However, with what I'd call divine timing, I met my uncle at the atrium, and he offered me his old unused laptop, which I accepted.

    I later found out that it's an old Acer, maybe 5 yrs vintage.
    P4 (desktop processor?) 2.6GHz
    2GB DDR RAM
    160GB HDD
    17" SXGA
    It weighs >6kg!!!

    Well, it's not the latest or most portable to say the least, but I'll consider it a blessing having saved 1.3k for now. I found out I bought my CS3 too early for a free upgrade so I've installed the CS3 and I'm ready to go. The search is over...

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