PC for CS3 - HP Slimline good?


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fabianaino

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Nov 19, 2007
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Orchard
#1
Hi everyone,
Need your advise and comment on the next PC I am planning to buy.

Currently my lappy is alittle slow so tot abt upgradfing to something faster. I want something quick but yet saves space.

So I am currently looking at the HP Slimline S3588d. It's running one core 2 Duo, 3GHZ
But I heard from the salesman at shops saying that it's better to get something that running on maybe 2.66GHZ and core 2 Quad.

How true is that?

By the way, I am running on a 24" monitor so I hope to use the optimum res on the screen. Can the slimline above supports that res without runninjg into refresh rate issue?
Thanks ;)
 

astrise

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Jan 20, 2007
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Lorong Chuan
www.qxcg.net
#2
Hi everyone,
Need your advise and comment on the next PC I am planning to buy.

Currently my lappy is alittle slow so tot abt upgradfing to something faster. I want something quick but yet saves space.

So I am currently looking at the HP Slimline S3588d. It's running one core 2 Duo, 3GHZ
But I heard from the salesman at shops saying that it's better to get something that running on maybe 2.66GHZ and core 2 Quad.

How true is that?

By the way, I am running on a 24" monitor so I hope to use the optimum res on the screen. Can the slimline above supports that res without runninjg into refresh rate issue?
Thanks ;)
Let's address your CPU question first:

Computing performance scales linearly with clock speed, all other things being constant. A 1.5GHz Core2Duo will therefore perform roughly 1/2 as fast as a 3.0GHz Core2Duo, assuming the only difference between both parts is the clock speed.

Additional cores will only improve computational speed if the software is specially written for it. Suppose we have a software that is perfectly multi-threaded, that is, it can take full advantage of all the CPU cores available to it. Assume also that all other overheads are negligible. In this case, what you said is true, because (simplistically) 4 * 2.66GHz > 2 * 3.0GHz.

That being said however, real world performance is far from ideal. In Photoshop CS3 for example, not all modules are multi-threaded. In other words, only certain specific functions of the program can make use of all 4 cores of a Core2Quad. PSD I/O is multi-threaded, but TIFF I/O isn't. For such modules which are single-threaded, the determining factor of performance is the clock speed of an individual core (all other things being constant) - so your 3.0GHz Core2Duo will likely perform better in some situations.

The trend in software development now is for programs to be increasingly scalable to multiple cores. Although current software may not yet be able to fully utilize 4 or more cores, you can rest assured that a Core2Quad will remain future-proof for quite some time longer than a Core2Duo. Consider also that even if you're running single-threaded software, background processes (such as anti-virus, your e-mail program in the taskbar etc. ) are automatically off-loaded to idle cores, so having more CPU cores may provide slight improvements in performance on single-threaded software. It's probably best to get a Quad core if you can afford it.

Now your GPU question:

If you want to support maximum resolution on your 24" monitor, it's best to use discreet graphics solutions from nVidia or ATi. Although integrated graphics processors might be able to display at HD resolutions, you may experience noticeable lag as the graphics processor struggles to handle all the pixels in real-time.

Another interesting trend you may wish to consider in making your purchase is that increasingly, tasks which used to be performed by the CPU are being off-loaded to the GPU. This is because the GPU is essentially a type of processor with as many as 320 (or more!) cores, all optimized to do mathematical calculations. I wouldn't go into details here, but suffice it to say that tasks such as image processing stand to benefit from very significant gains in speed. In fact, certain modules of Photoshop CS4 already make use of the GPU - another compelling reason why you should opt for a discreet GPU.

Finally:

Your Slimline Specs look good, but consider the lack of expansion options. In the future, one or two components might become obsolete, and to upgrade your system you would have to trash the whole thing and buy a new one. That PC is to a Custom-built PC what a digital compact is to a DSLR - when your customize your PC at a shop or build it yourself, you have the option of swapping out, adding or replacing any system component as it ages or spoils. If you're comfortable with that model, by all means get it. In any case, you should also consider nice shops in Sim Lim (eg: Fuwell) which can provide you with a customized solution at (potentially) cheaper prices.

Some people say that custom built PCs have limited warranty, but I beg to differ. With HP, you probably get 2 or 3 years warranty, and after that, you're on your own. With custom built PCs, you don't get warranty on the system as a whole, but rather, on individual components. Things which tend not to spoil (such as GPU add-on cards) typically come with 1-2 years warranty, depending on the manufacturer; hard-disks which are more prone to spoilage usually come with 5, and RAM chips almost always have lifetime warranty.

Hope this helps, and good luck on your purchase. ;)
 

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theRBK

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May 16, 2005
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#3
just want to add, if you are not in a hurry and can wait till Nov/Dec, Intel is introducing a new line of processors that is not only faster (yadda yadda), but one interesting thing it has is that if only one core is being utilized, it will actually shut down the other cores and overclock that one core to a faster speed, so that single threaded (or two threaded considering they should allow hyperthreading... or at least one thread for main program, the other thread for background programs, though how effective this is remains to be seen) operations can actually get a speed boost as well... and even if you are not getting those new chips, the current ones would get a significant reduction in price :)

as for the graphics card, nobody seems to be able to say how much, if any, difference a high end card provides over a low end one, so the jury is out on this... best to wait for CS4 to come out, and people start testing combinations of cards before making a decision if this is important to you... but any card that supports Shader Level 3.0/OpenGL 2.0/DirectX10, with at least 256MB dedicated memory, and that supports PCI-E x16 speeds should improve Photoshop CS4 performance (most if not all new cards and a good deal of those up to 2yrs old) :)
 

eosdigital

New Member
Feb 11, 2008
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#4
Another advice, avoid AMD processors. They are lower-peforming compared to Intel. :D
 

theRBK

Senior Member
May 16, 2005
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#5
Another advice, avoid AMD processors. They are lower-peforming compared to Intel. :D
at the moment... shouldn't discount their future products though... they might pull an "Athlon64 vs Pentium4" again in the future... who knows how their upcoming codenamed "Shanghai" processors, due early next year, might perform :)
 

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