Which graphics card to use for Photoshop?


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CTN

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May 1, 2006
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#1
My current rig runs on AMD Athlon 3000+ , Windows XP, 1 GB DDR400 RAM, but using on-board graphics. I find Photoshop to be excruciatingly slow.

Will changing the graphics card help? If so, what is a good card to recomend? My mobo has both AGP and PCI-express slots.
 

firestone

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#3
Professional retouchers don't even mention which graphic card they use when comparing their setups.

Only
1.Processor
2.Ram
3.HDD
4.Monitor

But of course don't go use an antique 256color GFX card lah.:bsmilie:
 

deadpixel

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#4
CTN said:
My current rig runs on AMD Athlon 3000+ , Windows XP, 1 GB DDR400 RAM, but using on-board graphics. I find Photoshop to be excruciatingly slow.

Will changing the graphics card help? If so, what is a good card to recomend? My mobo has both AGP and PCI-express slots.
It is unlikely that changing the graphics card will improve the speed of Photoshop's operation. Photoshop does not do complex 3D graphics randering and would not need the power of the high end GPUs.

What will definitely improve the speed of Photoshop's operation is additional RAM and additional hard drive space in seperate physical hard drives. I have 4GB of RAM in my computer and several hard drives. Photoshop is loaded on the system drive that holds Windows and all other applications, my photos are loaded on a second hard drive (this is a physical drive, not a partition) and Photoshop's scratch/temp files are on a third physical drive.

I find that with this configuration, Photoshop loads/processes/saves huge photos and applies complex filter effects in seconds. If the Photoshop application, its temp files and your photos are all located on the same physical drive, you will find that its performace is really poor and it matters little if your hard drive is partitioned and you have these three sets of files located on different partitions.

_
 

firestone

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#5
Anyone read abt this?
Will having PS on separate drive as windows speed things up, or slow it down?
Assuming they're all same speed HDD. Will the below be optimum setup?

hdd 1:windows
hdd 2:pS
hdd 3:files
hdd 4:scratch disk
 

solarii

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Oct 20, 2005
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Bt. Timah
#6
firestone said:
Anyone read abt this?
Will having PS on separate drive as windows speed things up, or slow it down?
Assuming they're all same speed HDD. Will the below be optimum setup?

hdd 1:windows
hdd 2:pS
hdd 3:files
hdd 4:scratch disk
Having a dedicated drive assigned as the scratch disk is good enough. Don't have to go to the extent of having 4 HDDs. Besides space, you'll also have cooling problems for most casings.
 

Bluestrike

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#7
deadpixel said:
It is unlikely that changing the graphics card will improve the speed of Photoshop's operation. Photoshop does not do complex 3D graphics randering and would not need the power of the high end GPUs.

What will definitely improve the speed of Photoshop's operation is additional RAM and additional hard drive space in seperate physical hard drives. I have 4GB of RAM in my computer and several hard drives. Photoshop is loaded on the system drive that holds Windows and all other applications, my photos are loaded on a second hard drive (this is a physical drive, not a partition) and Photoshop's scratch/temp files are on a third physical drive.

I find that with this configuration, Photoshop loads/processes/saves huge photos and applies complex filter effects in seconds. If the Photoshop application, its temp files and your photos are all located on the same physical drive, you will find that its performace is really poor and it matters little if your hard drive is partitioned and you have these three sets of files located on different partitions.

_
Well getting a Gfx card will help in your case. First, it free up your already little memory that is allocated to the Graphic substation. depending on how much you set in the Bios, it can return you, i guess 64-256MB of RAM.

Next, what ever the gfx card you choose to use, it boil down to personal preferences.
 

ah.zeep

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Jun 20, 2006
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#8
firestone said:
Anyone read abt this?
Will having PS on separate drive as windows speed things up, or slow it down?
Assuming they're all same speed HDD. Will the below be optimum setup?

hdd 1:windows
hdd 2:pS
hdd 3:files
hdd 4:scratch disk
I haven't tried it (I don't even have PS), but my guess would be that PS same drive or separate drive from Windows should not make a big difference.

Adding additional RAM though, would be a big boosting factor.

My 2c worth...
 

hayami.wai

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Jul 18, 2005
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#9
as said.. getting a real good GFX card wont help much as PS doesn't do 3D Object rendering. but getting a card with more RAM will help as it allows you to have a higher screen res (more working space) but of course, there's always a ceiling of how much RAM u need.

Placing PS on a separate HDD will help little, mayb marginal, as this only improves the loading time, after which, everything is dependant on the physical RAM, how fast the RAM is and how much RAM.
 

glensky

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Aug 11, 2004
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#10
there are graphic card specialize for 2d graphics.u can check the nvidia quadro.they got a few range there.my set up is like this.opteron 64 quadpro.on xppro64 4 gbddr3,fx1400 quadro,sata 35gb to run all e programs, and another drive 200gb for all my files.:angel:
 

espion

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Aug 25, 2005
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#11
Graphic card is not an important factor for PS, but memory is. I am using the built-in graphic processor on the motherboard. No problem. But I have 1G of RAM. That's important for performance.
 

firestone

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#12
Thks,iIn that case, Lets say x3 HDD then.
If I get x1 fast WD Raptor16MB HDD, which should I first replace to get a speed boost?
What do u guys tink?

HDD1: All apps & windows
HDD2: files
HDD3: scratch
 

firestone

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#13
firestone said:
Thks,iIn that case, Lets say x3 HDD then.
If I get x1 fast WD Raptor16MB HDD, which should I first replace to get a speed boost?
What do u guys tink?

HDD1: All apps & windows
HDD2: files
HDD3: scratch
Let me answer my own qn, I believe the fastest shd be for HDD3 which is the scratch disk HDD.
 

Apr 20, 2006
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#15
I think having 3 HDD will speed things up, but it's not really necessary.

Photoshop is very memory and HDD intensive, so the important thing is to have enough (at least 1GB) of memory, and a very fast HDD.

I don't think there's any problem with keeping everything on 1 HDD, if it is fast enough. The only problem is that things get fragmented after a while if you have too many things going on, which slows down the disk. But that's easily solved. Just defrag more often when things get slow.

My recommendation would be to raise the speed of the HDD. If you have plenty of money, go for SCSI. Personally, I get the quickest HDD (non-SCSI) available. 7200rpm I think. Then I just use RAID0. That's when you stripe 2 HDD together. So, you have 2 drive heads working together to perform the same function. That speeds up the HDD by about 30%.

I am running on AthlonXP 2400+, 1GB of PC2400 memory, and 2x 80GB Seagate 7200rpm HDD in Raid0. Graphics card is an old nVidia card. But things work respectably. Wish it were faster... but hey... I don't have that much money. :)
 

Pablo

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2004
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Blue/Green Planet
#16
Hi,

Probably having 2 hard drives (serial preferably) and as much RAM as your computer can eat would be best.

A graphics card also so that graphics is not sharing RAM.... but a 256meg graphics card will be fine.


Just a thought as I use similar and it is fast enough for me.

Cheers :)
 

hayami.wai

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Jul 18, 2005
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#17
firestone said:
Thks,iIn that case, Lets say x3 HDD then.
If I get x1 fast WD Raptor16MB HDD, which should I first replace to get a speed boost?
What do u guys tink?

HDD1: All apps & windows
HDD2: files
HDD3: scratch
is ur scratch refering to pagefile? normally, will put the fastest HDD to store the OS & programs, to have fast loading of OS n programs. Data on a fast HDD is not so critically unless you are having multiple applications accessing data from the same HDD.
 

Feb 14, 2005
241
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16
#18
Well to answer your questions,

Processor
========
If possible, get a Dual Core system

Ram
====
PhotoShop eats this for breakfast. 2x1gb should be sufficient ( unless u intend to do large format printing

Storage
======
2x74gb Western Digital Raptors should do the trick. Set them up in Raid0 configuration ( $305 each )
1x36gb Western Digital Raptor for your Operating System ( $186 )
3Ware 2 Port SATA ( $275 ) or some Cheapo SATA card ( $39 ). Forget onboard Raid. They tend to disappear under heavy or hot usage. I recommend the 3Ware model

Housing
======
450W PSU = $105
If your casing is a cheapo $50, throw it away and MAKE SURE there is at least an 80mm or 120mm fan blowing at the hard disks. Else, go and buy a 2 bay into 3 bay HDD Expansion bracket. = $100+ or $45

Graphics Card
==========
Usually, a Matrox P650 128mb@ $479. Alternatively, you can make do with a ATI Radeon X1600Pro 512mb for $239

The above should suffice nicely, and you will feel the speed. Using only consumer components. :)
This is usually my recommendation for PS usage. :p
However, if your work is extremely important, I highly recommend you consider a Raid5 subsystem. ;)
Raid 0 = Lose 1, Lose all. But fast speed. :p
 

glennyong

Senior Member
May 2, 2004
5,587
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0
Singapore
#19
since someone posted what system to use for PS.

without hesitation.

MAC platform using G processors.... sure fast... :)

PS is ram hungry... and processor too.....

3000XP should run fast thou.. maybe consider pumping the RAMs and the HDD to free up space ?
 

Firefox

New Member
Feb 15, 2004
716
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Bedok
#20
tmfwy said:
Well to answer your questions,

Processor
========
If possible, get a Dual Core system

Ram
====
PhotoShop eats this for breakfast. 2x1gb should be sufficient ( unless u intend to do large format printing

Storage
======
2x74gb Western Digital Raptors should do the trick. Set them up in Raid0 configuration ( $305 each )
1x36gb Western Digital Raptor for your Operating System ( $186 )
3Ware 2 Port SATA ( $275 ) or some Cheapo SATA card ( $39 ). Forget onboard Raid. They tend to disappear under heavy or hot usage. I recommend the 3Ware model

Housing
======
450W PSU = $105
If your casing is a cheapo $50, throw it away and MAKE SURE there is at least an 80mm or 120mm fan blowing at the hard disks. Else, go and buy a 2 bay into 3 bay HDD Expansion bracket. = $100+ or $45

Graphics Card
==========
Usually, a Matrox P650 128mb@ $479. Alternatively, you can make do with a ATI Radeon X1600Pro 512mb for $239

The above should suffice nicely, and you will feel the speed. Using only consumer components. :)
This is usually my recommendation for PS usage. :p
However, if your work is extremely important, I highly recommend you consider a Raid5 subsystem. ;)
Raid 0 = Lose 1, Lose all. But fast speed. :p

That setup (particularly the X1600Pro 512MB) is soooo familiar... :bsmilie: ;)
 

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