How to configure a new PC for PS ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Recobee, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Recobee

    Recobee Guest

    Not a PC vs Mac question!
    Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run PS
    CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    What size hard drive? Minimum?
    Do I need a fancy video card?
    XP home or XP Pro?
    What ports, etc. do I need to make certain I can hook up a quality
    monitor and a quality printeras well as download from my camera?
    Does it make sense to also use my older Epson as a text only printer?
    (Non USB)

    Thanks for any help
     
    Recobee, Jan 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. Recobee

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The LCD screen cannot be calibrated unfortunately so you will still need a
    standard monitor (or a very expensive standalone flat screen for colour
    corrections and final print prep.
    I'd go with a gig of ram
    Fastes processor available
    2 hard drives both as big as you can afford
    Fancy video cards are only necessary if you are into animation, games or
    3d. For photoshop whatever is standard will do fine.
    XP pro is pretty stiff necked about what it allows you to do. My son told
    me I should get the home game as it is more forgiving of non-IT thinkers. I
    still get mad when it tells me (the only user of the machine) that I'm not
    authorized to delete things.
    Obviously you need a monitor port and USB. If you have devices that use
    them you will probably want a serial and parallel port - if not don't worry,
    as most new stuiff comes with USB connectability. If you are planning on
    buying some particular item (like a scanner) make sure you have a way to
    connect it - like USB or IEEE or whatever built into the machine.

    --
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
    "Recobee" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Not a PC vs Mac question!
    > Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run

    PS
    > CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    > What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    > What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    > What size hard drive? Minimum?
    > Do I need a fancy video card?
    > XP home or XP Pro?
    > What ports, etc. do I need to make certain I can hook up a quality
    > monitor and a quality printeras well as download from my camera?
    > Does it make sense to also use my older Epson as a text only

    printer?
    > (Non USB)
    >
    > Thanks for any help
    >
     
    Tony Spadaro, Jan 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. Recobee

    HRosita Guest

    >

    >Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb.


    Hi,
    I know more about PCs than I know about photography so here are my personal
    suggestions:

    Get 1 GB of RAM. If you buy refurbished, find out what the max memory is. If
    the laptop only has 2 DIMM, see if you can get 1 512 memory card so that you
    can add another card later. Photoshop loves RAM and since you are going to have
    only one hard drive and cannot put the Photoshop scratch file on another drive,
    you need more memory.
    Make sure your hard drive is 5400 RPM and not 4200.
    Make sure the laptop has IEEE1394 (Firewire). External hard drive with firewire
    has faster throughput than USB2. and you can get some very large ones for
    under $200 with 8 MB cache and 7200 RPM.
    Computer speed is not that important because you will be waiting on the slower
    read/write to the hard drive. Anything over 2 Ghz is OK unless you get one with
    CEntrino and then you need 1.2 to 1.5 Ghz. I don't think you have much choice
    in video cards with a laptop.
    The monitor usually hooks to a serial port. You will need a usb port for the
    printer and other periferal like a mouse and card reader but if you have one
    port you can attach a hub and connect at least 4 devices.
    Do you print text a lot? If not it is not worth it to switch between printers.
    Text does not use a lot of ink and it is better to use the photo printer more
    often to avoid clogging.

    Hope this helps
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Jan 10, 2004
    #3
  4. Recobee

    Guest

    Recobee <> wrote:
    > Not a PC vs Mac question!
    > Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run PS
    > CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    > What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    > What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    > What size hard drive? Minimum?
    > Do I need a fancy video card?
    > XP home or XP Pro?


    Get as much member, disk drive capacity, etc. as you can afford.
    XP Home sucks. XP Pro is better.
     
    , Jan 10, 2004
    #4
  5. Recobee

    Mark Herring Guest

    there's 3 things that are important for a Photoshop PC:
    Memory, memory, and memory

    Unless you are a heavy user, the differences in processor speed will
    not be enough to make or break you.

    Photoshop recommends the scratch disk to be a different physical
    drive.

    Notebook will cost you more, and does not give you the expansion
    options that a desktop does.

    Video card not an issue---as long as it supports your monitor.
    Besides, how do you put a video card in a notebook.

    My minimums:
    2+ GHz processor
    2 drives, 40Gb each (one can be hot backup, AND the scratch drive
    another backup drive OR a CD-writer (both better)
    1Gbyte RAM
    19 inch monitor, big enough video card to support 1024 x 768 and "True
    color"--ie 32 bit

    On 09 Jan 2004 14:12:28 GMT, (Recobee) wrote:

    >Not a PC vs Mac question!
    >Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run PS
    >CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    > What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    > What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    > What size hard drive? Minimum?
    > Do I need a fancy video card?
    > XP home or XP Pro?
    > What ports, etc. do I need to make certain I can hook up a quality
    >monitor and a quality printeras well as download from my camera?
    > Does it make sense to also use my older Epson as a text only printer?
    >(Non USB)
    >
    >Thanks for any help


    **************************
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
     
    Mark Herring, Jan 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Recobee

    Ron Hunter Guest

    wrote:

    > Recobee <> wrote:
    >
    >>Not a PC vs Mac question!
    >>Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run PS
    >>CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    >> What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    >> What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    >> What size hard drive? Minimum?
    >> Do I need a fancy video card?
    >> XP home or XP Pro?

    >
    >
    > Get as much member, disk drive capacity, etc. as you can afford.
    > XP Home sucks. XP Pro is better.
    >


    Nonsense. XP Home merely has no network domain support. Otherwise, it
    IS XP Pro.
     
    Ron Hunter, Jan 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Recobee

    zeitgeist Guest


    > Not a PC vs Mac question!
    > Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run

    PS
    > CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    > What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    > What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    > What size hard drive? Minimum?
    > Do I need a fancy video card?
    > XP home or XP Pro?
    > What ports, etc. do I need to make certain I can hook up a quality
    > monitor and a quality printeras well as download from my camera?
    > Does it make sense to also use my older Epson as a text only

    printer?
    > (Non USB)
    >


    in any computer it seems you can't have enough ram, and PS pushes it. they
    say you need 5 times the memory available as the file size you will be
    using. Most PS tutorials suggest you make a separate layer for each
    adjustment, so many images will have a dozen or more layers. My 4mp images
    open into 11mb tifs and with a few layers can turn into 100mbs So if you
    can, put as much RAM as you have room and budget for.

    are you a hobbyist or a power user, professional photog? A friend has dual
    monitors, image on one, all his pallets on another. Several high speed
    drives, one divided into partitions for the OS and drivers, software, user
    files, another just for the PS scratch disk.

    you don't actually need a fancy video card, the expensive ones touted in the
    magazines tend to be for gamers and from what I've heard can actually slow
    down rendering for PS, but I don't think you have a lot of choice in video
    cards in a notebook. I"m sure dells come with a video monitor port.
    especially a refurb, you get a basic video and a hard drive. you will need
    a USB port, and I highly recommend a network port.

    since you will probably only have the one HD, you should partition it so you
    at least have a separate scratch disk, and can put your OS and programs etc
    in one, your stored files in another,

    you will need a mouse which can run off your usb. a graphic tablet is
    fabulous, but you just can't do PS with a touch pad. I use a track ball.

    a USB hub, you're gonna have a bunch of stuff that all needs the same plug,
    a usb hub will let you make one into four. Your printer and scanner gotta
    go somewhere as well as your mouse, external HD and even a monitor (like a
    digital projector) If you don't have a built in CD burner you will need one
    of those.

    This reply is echoed to the z-prophoto mailing list at yahoogroups.com
     
    zeitgeist, Jan 10, 2004
    #7
  8. Michael Geary, Jan 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Recobee

    Tom Monego Guest

    My son works in an IT department in a grad school of design. He spends a lot of
    time telling people that they can't use XP Home on the school network, so if
    you are in a situation where you will be connected to a large network go for XP
    Pro.

    Tom

    In article <>, says...
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Recobee <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Not a PC vs Mac question!
    >>>Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb. Want to run

    PS
    >>>CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor and a good photo printer.
    >>> What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?
    >>> What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?
    >>> What size hard drive? Minimum?
    >>> Do I need a fancy video card?
    >>> XP home or XP Pro?

    >>
    >>
    >> Get as much member, disk drive capacity, etc. as you can afford.
    >> XP Home sucks. XP Pro is better.
    >>

    >
    >Nonsense. XP Home merely has no network domain support. Otherwise, it
    >IS XP Pro.
     
    Tom Monego, Jan 10, 2004
    #9
  10. Recobee

    Tom Monego Guest

    When looking at processors there is a price point on speed vs price. I just
    built a computer and found a 2.7 Athlon was considerably cheaper than a 2.8,
    (all were substantially less than Pentiums) so I got the 2.7. I believe there
    was a $60 price difference while only a $15 difference between the 2.6 and
    2.7.So look critically.
    120gb hard drives are becoming a good deal $59 at Best Buy after very large
    rebates.
    Another thing is to get a case with good cooling all these fast processors
    build heat.
    Otherwise memory, memory, memory.

    Tom
     
    Tom Monego, Jan 10, 2004
    #10
  11. In article <>,
    Recobee says...

    > Will be purchasing a PC notebook. Most likely a Dell refurb.
    > Want to run PS CS and want to hook up to a full size monitor
    > and a good photo printer.


    Hm. A laptop is certainly not the ideal solution for
    a basis to run Photoshop on. Too many compromises.

    > What amount of Ram ? is 512 enough?


    If possible, get 2 GB. If not, get as close to that as possible.

    > What processor and how fast should it be? Minimum?


    P4 and get the fastest possible. You have to fight against
    the usual compromises in laptops.

    > What size hard drive? Minimum?


    Depends on how much data you need to haul around.
    But generally speaking bigger disks tend to be faster
    as well. Still not even near a match for 3,5" regular
    disk drives. The usual 2,5" disk drive is a whole lot
    slower than 3,5" versions, you have no chance to put
    in a second (third) physically separate one for
    swapping and data. Which means you cannot optimize
    your system for performance. If you partition the disk
    in order to obtain a little extra safety, this will
    dramatically lower your performance.

    > Do I need a fancy video card?


    No. But make sure you get one with dedicated video
    memory and not an onboard thing with shared memory
    architecture.

    > XP home or XP Pro?


    Rather W2k. If it has to be XPionage for some screwed
    reason, then the professional version.

    > What ports, etc. do I need to make certain I can hook
    > up a quality monitor


    Simply an external plug for that.

    > and a quality printer


    99% of all acceptable printers will have USB today.
    Any modern laptop will have that.

    > as well as download from my camera?


    You better get a PCMCIA-adaptor for Compact Flash
    (or whatever your camera uses). Much faster, and
    much more stable.

    > Does it make sense to also use my older Epson
    > as a text only printer? (Non USB)


    Depends on the price for consumables for that printer.
    If it is a lot cheaper than the new one - possibly.

    --
    Michael Quack <>

    http://www.photoquack.de/glamour/1.htm
    http://www.photoquack.de/fashion/1.htm
     
    Michael Quack, Jan 11, 2004
    #11
  12. In article <>,
    HRosita says...

    > Make sure your hard drive is 5400 RPM and not 4200.


    I have yet to come across a laptop disk drive that
    does more than 4200 rpm. Most even only do 3400 rpm.

    > Make sure the laptop has IEEE1394 (Firewire). External
    > hard drive with firewire has faster throughput than USB2.
    > and you can get some very large ones for under $200
    > with 8 MB cache and 7200 RPM.


    Sound advice, forgot that.

    > The monitor usually hooks to a serial port.


    No. It is an analog video output on a 15-pin D-Sub
    plug looking *similar* to 9-pin D-Sub serial connectors,
    but it is in no way even near to being serial.

    (USB)
    > port you can attach a hub and connect at least 4 devices.


    In theory. In reality USB-hubs tend to lose connection
    to devices, produce hickups and other problems. Try to
    get along without USB hubs as long as possible.

    --
    Michael Quack <>

    http://www.photoquack.de/glamour/1.htm
    http://www.photoquack.de/fashion/1.htm
     
    Michael Quack, Jan 11, 2004
    #12
  13. In article <YOLLb.11078$8H.30528@attbi_s03>,
    zeitgeist says...

    > since you will probably only have the one HD,
    > you should partition it so you at least have
    > a separate scratch disk, and can put your OS
    > and programs etc in one, your stored files in
    > another,


    No. Partitioning a single hard drive is done for
    security reasons, one can nuke the system without
    losing data, if the system is corrupted or compromised
    by a worm or virus. But forcing extreme head moves
    between partitions in fact decreases system speed a lot.

    Generating a separate partition on the same hard
    drive for the swap file will be like driving with
    the hand brake fastened.

    If you need some extra security, partition for system
    and swapfile in one partition (approx 10 GB) and for
    all data on the second partition.

    If you need max performance, format into one single
    partition for all and let Windows take care of the
    swapfile.

    --
    Michael Quack <>

    http://www.photoquack.de/glamour/1.htm
    http://www.photoquack.de/fashion/1.htm
     
    Michael Quack, Jan 11, 2004
    #13
  14. Recobee

    HRosita Guest

    >Michael Quack wrote:

    >I have yet to come across a laptop disk drive that
    >does more than 4200 rpm. Most even only do 3400 rpm.


    Dell has Inspiron notebook with hard drive of 5400 RPM nad even 7200 RPM
    (inspiron 5150).

    >No. It is an analog video output on a 15-pin D-Sub
    >plug looking *similar* to 9-pin D-Sub serial connectors,


    Correct, my mistake.

    >In theory. In reality USB-hubs tend to lose connection
    >to devices, produce hickups and other problems.


    Newer notebooks with XP perform very well with USB hubs. I have an Inspiron
    8000 that only has USB 1.1 but never had probems with the hub. I attach a
    mouse, an external hard drive, a zip drive, and a card reader with no problem.
    The USB 2 ports are faster and better.
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Jan 11, 2004
    #14
  15. In article <>,
    HRosita says...

    > >I have yet to come across a laptop disk drive that
    > >does more than 4200 rpm. Most even only do 3400 rpm.

    >
    > Dell has Inspiron notebook with hard drive of
    > 5400 RPM nad even 7200 RPM (inspiron 5150).


    Which brand disks? Might be interesting for upgrades....

    Nevertheless, 2,5" disks are always a lot slower than
    3,5" disks at the same rotational speed.

    --
    Michael Quack <>

    http://www.photoquack.de/glamour/1.htm
    http://www.photoquack.de/fashion/1.htm
     
    Michael Quack, Jan 11, 2004
    #15
  16. Recobee

    Guest

    In message <>,
    Michael Quack <> wrote:

    >If you need max performance, format into one single
    >partition for all and let Windows take care of the
    >swapfile.


    I agree, except that I find that Windows is still thinking in terms of
    1990-era disk conservation, and is too conservative in setting the
    minimum swapfile size (especially the Win9x/ME family). I always set
    the minimum size high enough so that the file is rarely resized on a
    one-drive system. With multiple drives, I tend to make a maximum-sized
    swapfile on the other (least busy) drives. For example, I have 3 hard
    disks in my Win2000 system, and 3 in my WinXP system. They each have a
    2MB pagefile on the system partition, and a 4GB min/max pagefile on each
    of the other 2 drives. This gives me 8 GB of pagefile, without getting
    in the way. If I start running low on disk space; I know where I have
    some reserved.


    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Jan 11, 2004
    #16
  17. Recobee

    HRosita Guest

    >Michael Quack wrote:

    >Which brand disks? Might be interesting for upgrades....


    Hi,

    Dell does not give the brand of the hard drive but they now can install a 7200
    RPM drive in the 5150 Inspiron model.
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Jan 11, 2004
    #17
  18. Recobee

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    Michael Quack wrote:

    > Rather W2k. If it has to be XPionage for some screwed
    > reason, then the professional version.


    IMHO it's overkill, unless you have more than 8 machines
    on a network (the only difference between XP Home and
    XP Pro is network capabilities.) XP Home will do fine
    and it will cost you half.
     
    Paolo Pizzi, Jan 16, 2004
    #18
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