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Topic # 147076 8-Jun-2014 14:20
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My sister has decided she wants a new computer, something that can handle photoshop well (she's probably around the beginner/intermediate level). Anything will definitely be faster than her laptop though..

She gave me a price bracket of up to 2k, but to be honest, I think 2k is overkill for what she needs.

Are their any recommendations for prebuilt machines here? or should I go down the route of building one for her? 

Personally, I think around $1200 would be sufficient, but I could be wrong? I'm having a nosey around pricespy and put togethera rig that is likely faster than mine for around $1300, but I by no means have done much research.


So I guess questions are;

1. Are there any prebuild systems that would be worth looking at?
2. If not, is it worth just spending some time to BYO?





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  Reply # 1061253 8-Jun-2014 14:26
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Depends if that 2k is including a screen?

If you put a Decent screen such as Dell U2412M into the mix, That will take a fair chunk out of the budget alone, before even looking at the computer itself.

System wise I'd say go for:

16GB Ram
Core i5
240GB SSD (Bigger if your budget allows - They're cheap on amazon atm)
Mid Range Graphics card,

and spend decent $$ on a mound + Keyboard, Nothing worse than having a 2k system and a $40 keyboard and mouse combo.



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  Reply # 1061273 8-Jun-2014 14:50
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Andib: Depends if that 2k is including a screen?

If you put a Decent screen such as Dell U2412M into the mix, That will take a fair chunk out of the budget alone, before even looking at the computer itself.

System wise I'd say go for:

16GB Ram
Core i5
240GB SSD (Bigger if your budget allows - They're cheap on amazon atm)
Mid Range Graphics card,

and spend decent $$ on a mound + Keyboard, Nothing worse than having a 2k system and a $40 keyboard and mouse combo.



She won't need a huge screen to start with - if it puts the price up too much, I will likely just give her one we are getting rid of at work (17-19" wide) -bearing in mind she's been working on a 15" wide for the last few years on a laptop - she can upgrade this later if needed.


At this stage I'm only interesting in the system, but lets say 2k including screen.  

Problem is, when i'm building a PC, I build with future needs in mind, which tends to put it on the pricey side, so I'm finding this task a little difficult.

The 1300 I spoke of earlier included the following;

1. 256 SSD for OS and apps
2. 2TB HDD for storage
3. i7 4770 or i5 4670 (~80 price difference)
4. GTX 650 1GB or ATI 7750 (~$50 difference) 
5. Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H mobo (probably a bit OTT to be honest)
6. Thermaltake 600watt PSU 
7. Coolermaster case 
8. 8GB Ram (2x4GB)  (i'm lead to believe Photoshop is more CPU/GPU intensive, though happy to be corrected!)

Might take a look around the online stores on trademe to see if they have any decent prebuilt stuff..





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1061434 8-Jun-2014 19:46
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Aaroona:

...
1. 256 SSD for OS and apps
2. 2TB HDD for storage
3. i7 4770 or i5 4670 (~80 price difference)
4. GTX 650 1GB or ATI 7750 (~$50 difference) 
5. Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H mobo (probably a bit OTT to be honest)
6. Thermaltake 600watt PSU 
7. Coolermaster case 
8. 8GB Ram (2x4GB)  (i'm lead to believe Photoshop is more CPU/GPU intensive, though happy to be corrected!)



This is overkill for Photoshop work.
Spend less on the PC and more on the screen - you need (much) more than 19" for design work.




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  Reply # 1061480 8-Jun-2014 21:02
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Aaroona: She won't need a huge screen to start with - if it puts the price up too much, I will likely just give her one we are getting rid of at work (17-19" wide) -bearing in mind she's been working on a 15" wide for the last few years on a laptop - she can upgrade this later if needed.


At this stage I'm only interesting in the system, but lets say 2k including screen.  

Problem is, when i'm building a PC, I build with future needs in mind, which tends to put it on the pricey side, so I'm finding this task a little difficult.

The 1300 I spoke of earlier included the following;

1. 256 SSD for OS and apps
2. 2TB HDD for storage
3. i7 4770 or i5 4670 (~80 price difference)
4. GTX 650 1GB or ATI 7750 (~$50 difference) 
5. Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H mobo (probably a bit OTT to be honest)
6. Thermaltake 600watt PSU 
7. Coolermaster case 
8. 8GB Ram (2x4GB)  (i'm lead to believe Photoshop is more CPU/GPU intensive, though happy to be corrected!)

Might take a look around the online stores on trademe to see if they have any decent prebuilt stuff..


I'm a professional photographer and a computer guy. I think the previous configuration suggested is slightly better but they're pretty similar. Photoshop is very RAM and disk heavy, but generally doesn't use all that much CPU unless you're running weird filters that almost no-one uses. i5, 16GB RAM (or more depending on what they're doing), Samsung 840 SSD, hard disk for storage, and the video card is optional - if you get one nVidia is better supported, the 630 with 1GB of RAM is more than enough. The video card is more because it can use OpenGL to do useful things with zoom levels than performance, I'd get one since they're only $100. My computer is basically what I just described, works well, much better with SSD than before I had them - I have two plus three spinning disks. Don't forget backups, online and offsite.

Tell us what she's doing with it, it can make a difference. 50 layer 30 megapixels editing is different from light photo processing.




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  Reply # 1061552 8-Jun-2014 22:40
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Quick and simple
i5 not i7
As much ram as possibly 16GB or more, photoshop will uses as much as you can give it.
Don't skimp on screens, at the end of the day you want to be as accurate as you can afford

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  Reply # 1061574 8-Jun-2014 23:40
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Is this for a professional use or just as a weekend hobby?

My list of priorities are:
1. Screen (>24")
2. RAM >16GB
3. NVIDIA cards (mid range)






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  Reply # 1061609 9-Jun-2014 07:45
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You don't need a huge screen for photo editing, I'm happy with 22 inch, I could afford much larger if I wanted it but don't.




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  Reply # 1061616 9-Jun-2014 08:29
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As also a pro photographer who does a lot of retouching...

Here is my priority in ascending order.

Dell Ultrasharp line is the way to go for monitors, especially the premier colour range.  The premier colour come pre calibrated so you won't need to worry about calibration.   If you just go regular dell, 
16GB RAM
BIG SSD for working files/OS/apps (512GB)  You want 1/3rd or so of the SSD empty anyway to give it a longer life.
Big fast HDD assigned as OS cache/Photoshop scratch disk (to reduce writes on the SSD) and as long term photo storage.
Quad Core i5-i7 CPU (not so important as other poster said)
Nvidia GPU (use other posters example)  


If you don't have a calibrated monitor, you're going to have no certainty of what the final will look like.

Whatever side the SSD is you go for, set the system cache and the PS scratch disk to a regular mechanical HDD :)



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  Reply # 1061638 9-Jun-2014 09:19
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macuser:
Whatever side the SSD is you go for, set the system cache and the PS scratch disk to a regular mechanical HDD :)

Why do you suggest this? I've been trying to spec a new system for our in house photographer.
Adobe seems to recommend putting scratch on the SSD as well.

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  Reply # 1061664 9-Jun-2014 10:36
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robcreid:
macuser:
Whatever side the SSD is you go for, set the system cache and the PS scratch disk to a regular mechanical HDD :)

Why do you suggest this? I've been trying to spec a new system for our in house photographer.
Adobe seems to recommend putting scratch on the SSD as well.


Scratch disk is for when your Photoshop needs more ram than you have or have allocated, when this happens your SSD/HDD becomes your extra ram, SSD's have a finite number of writes before they fail (A huge number none-the-less, but caching/scratch disks are extremely write heavy).

Bottom line is that if client frequently needs more ram than installed, you will significantly reduce the life of an SSD if scratch is on SSD.  HDD's are not so much impacted by this problem, and are far cheaper to replace.

HDDs will also be a bit slower.  I think what adobe is suggesting is that you have another SSD as your scratch drive.  Maybe a 80GB one.

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  Reply # 1061675 9-Jun-2014 10:38
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I put swap, scratch, and cache on ssd, anywhere else is madness imho. They're the things you need on your fastest disk.

Someone on Facebook had recommended a quadra video card for Lightroom and retouching work, $700+. I've never seen anyone recommend this before and it doesn't sound right to me. Any thoughts?




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  Reply # 1061676 9-Jun-2014 10:42
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timmmay: I put swap, scratch, and cache on ssd, anywhere else is madness imho. They're the things you need on your fastest disk.

Someone on Facebook had recommended a quadra video card for Lightroom and retouching work, $700+. I've never seen anyone recommend this before and it doesn't sound right to me. Any thoughts?


They're also the things that use your disk the most if you're short on RAM :( I would support that idea if it was on a separate SSD from your boot disk.

Quadro are CAD cards, unless you're doing 3D or video I doubt there will be a worth-they-money difference in performance.   

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  Reply # 1061706 9-Jun-2014 11:42
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macuser:
timmmay: I put swap, scratch, and cache on ssd, anywhere else is madness imho. They're the things you need on your fastest disk.

Someone on Facebook had recommended a quadra video card for Lightroom and retouching work, $700+. I've never seen anyone recommend this before and it doesn't sound right to me. Any thoughts?


They're also the things that use your disk the most if you're short on RAM :( I would support that idea if it was on a separate SSD from your boot disk.

Quadro are CAD cards, unless you're doing 3D or video I doubt there will be a worth-they-money difference in performance.   


Yip plenty of ram is important, but an ssd has good bandwidth so problems putting lots on it. I do personally use two ssds but given how fast modern ones are not sure it's necessary.




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  Reply # 1061846 9-Jun-2014 15:37
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I'm a fan of the Intel NUC's, I would look at:

Intel NUC D54250WYK (i5-4250U cpu, HD5000 gpu) ~$540
Kingston/Crucial/Other 2x8GB (16GB) DDR3L (L = low voltage aka 1.35) SO-DIMM ~$200
Intel/Samsung/Crucial 250GB mSATA SSD ~$250 (or 400-500GB can be had for $380-400)
Total ~$1000

Leaving decent budget for nice monitor eg: Dell Ultrasharp, Windows 8.1 license, accessories (mouse, keyboard) etc.









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