Best processor and vid card combo for Photoshop

willcgi

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Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?

I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d
 

clue69less

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Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?

I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d
Pretty much any dual processor CPU will do a decent job. It would help if you'd be a bit more specific about the kinds of Photoshop projects you do. In the stuff I do, HD needs can easily eclipse CPU needs. For example, I occasionally work with very large images. If you're like me and you do saves after each successful operation, write time can be huge over the course of the day. Sure, a dog CPU will kill you too. But what I decided to do is this: 1) I put my OS + apps on a RAI0 pair of 74GB Raptors. I also set aside a large partition on that RAID0 that I can use for intermediate saves. My actual image archive is on a separate pair of larger drives that are RAID1. So when I'm in the work process, I do saves to the RAID0 for the speed advantage. When I get something final or of value, I'll back it up on the RAID1 - ditto when walking away for a break.

Regarding graphics cards, again it depends on the specifics. For more or less routine Photoshop, many fairly inexpensive cards will do fine. But as image size or monitor size goes up, the speed of the card matters more. I worked with a Sun workstation a few years ago that was dedicated to high res Photoshop and high speed video work. It had an incredible video card, the maker of which I can't remember (sorry) but it did a great job of showing low contrast features at both the dark end and at the bright end of the spectrum. Many cards fail at that challenge, but then again, so do many monitors.
 

EllisD420

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We do photo manipulation and graphic design here at work using CS2 and just to give you a comparison, we use Pentium D's @ 3.0Ghz, with 4gigs of ram (though windows only sees 3.5, not sure how much its hurting it) and 6600GT's and they work pretty nicely. We are handling files upwards of 1.5gigs and it does take a bit of time to save (on a 1.5gig file, could take up to 5 mins sometimes, but we also save to network drives most of the time).

So i would think that as long as you get something along the lines of this, i probably wouldnt go any lower, you should be just fine.

EDIT: Forgot about the harddrives. I dont know much about raid setups...im going to learn about that soon enough...but we have 4x200gig drives in our machines, 2 are in raid_? (they show up as 1x200gig drive) and 2 are in raid_? (they show up as 1x400gig drive)
 

willcgi

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Im planning on building a workstation, for inensive image manipulation, with rather large images sizes of up to 1.2 gig and many layers.
As well Im going to be doing extremley complex illustrations in Illustrator and 3d modeling/rendering in maya 7.

for the harddrive Im planning on using one of those 4 gig solid state drives to run the OS the Applications, I will also be using either a Good sata or a Raid drive as the primary storage.

I will put 3-4 gig of ram int he rig as well, and I have 2, 20 inch monitors (lcd)


Question
Do the videocards out there now actually accelerate the performance or is it only the processor that takes the brunt of the load.

If i have to wait for a quad-core or a octo-core i will, but i dont want to wait till next year to build this graphic beast. I will settle for a dual core if need be.
 

linux_0

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I would suggest something like this:

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/WishShareShow.asp?ID=1899867

with a Tyan S2895A2NRF motherboard and 7900GT or GTX graphics.

A Dual Dual core Opteron with 4 cores would be ideal for something like this.

Opterons Scale incredibly well and Opteron memory bandwidth increases as you add CPUs and memory to the system.

With 2 CPUs and 4 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 2x6.4GB/sec )

With 4 CPUs and 8 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 4x6.4GB/sec )

With 8 CPUs and 16 memory sticks you have 2x the memory bandwidth ( 8x6.4GB/sec )

In Xeon systems:
with 2 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/2
with 4 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/4
with 8 CPUs your memory bandwidth is 1/8 ( theoretical )


The CPU would be an important factor but RAM is important as well.
 

mitch074

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You can install WinXP + apps + 1 Gb swap on a 4Gb partition - provided you disabled restore points on that drive and disabled IE (and its cache). Photoshop is nice in what you can set several scratch disks...

So a solid state HD would be a nice idea there.
 

linux_0

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You can install WinXP + apps + 1 Gb swap on a 4Gb partition - provided you disabled restore points on that drive and disabled IE (and its cache). Photoshop is nice in what you can set several scratch disks...

So a solid state HD would be a nice idea there.


On a system like that you would be much better off getting as much RAM as possible and configuring the OS to use 0 (zero) swap if possible ( Linux, *BSD, etc can run with NO swap ) or set the swap space to it's minimum value ( IIRC windows requires at least a few meg of swap regardless of how much RAM you actually have ) .

If you have enough RAM there is no need for swap.
 

mitch074

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The problem is that Photoshop runs on Windows and Mac (not Linux, except if you start tinkering with Wine), that Macs don't allow (as far as I know) that much tinkering leaving you with Windows as only choice, and swap + temporary files are what use up most of the disk traffic. Moreover, Windows can't deal efficiently with more than 3 Gb of RAM installed, while a swap file can be much bigger.

For Windows to run well with as much RAM as you can get, installed RAM should be 2 Gb dual channel, a 4 Gb swap on a solid-state drive, and the system itself installed on a fast rotating 80 Gb drive (add PS scratch space there too).

That is, of course, valid for 32-bit versions only. The 64-bit version should be able to deal with more RAM directly, but there are no 64-bit version of PS available yet - which could lead to problems on high memory use.
 

linux_0

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The problem is that Photoshop runs on Windows and Mac (not Linux, except if you start tinkering with Wine), that Macs don't allow (as far as I know) that much tinkering leaving you with Windows as only choice, and swap + temporary files are what use up most of the disk traffic. Moreover, Windows can't deal efficiently with more than 3 Gb of RAM installed, while a swap file can be much bigger.

For Windows to run well with as much RAM as you can get, installed RAM should be 2 Gb dual channel, a 4 Gb swap on a solid-state drive, and the system itself installed on a fast rotating 80 Gb drive (add PS scratch space there too).

That is, of course, valid for 32-bit versions only. The 64-bit version should be able to deal with more RAM directly, but there are no 64-bit version of PS available yet - which could lead to problems on high memory use.

$Solution="http://gimp.org/"; :-D

Semper Fi Carry^H^H^H^H^H Linux on!
 

mitch074

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While the Gimp is indeniably a very good tool, professionals would prefer Photoshop for one simple reason: Pantone.

Gimp has a few problems with RGB->CMYB, and doesn't include a calibrated Pantone palette.

For RGB creation though, the GIMP rulez.
 

linux_0

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While the Gimp is indeniably a very good tool, professionals would prefer Photoshop for one simple reason: Pantone.

Gimp has a few problems with RGB->CMYB, and doesn't include a calibrated Pantone palette.

For RGB creation though, the GIMP rulez.


You can run Photoshop under WINE, Cedega, CrossOverOffice, under VMWare, QEMU, etc

Of course GIMP will run faster because it is 64bit.

Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option :-D
 

mitch074

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Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option Very Happy
You like having to dual boot to work on a single file? No.

Emulators such as VMware are resource hogs - you need huge amounts of RAM for the VM, and considering you also need huge amounts of RAM for Photoshop... well, you see the problem.

Wine/Cedega/CXoffice (well, Wine-based solutions) are indeed an interesting option, but once you've spent $800 to get a PS licence, and it just does the job, why use the Gimp? (devil's advocate here)

64-bit support in the Gimp is nice especially on sRGB images.
 

linux_0

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Nothing would prevent a 2D/3D professional from running GIMP for some tasks and Photoshop for other tasks on the same Linux machine.

Dual booting is also an option Very Happy
You like having to dual boot to work on a single file? No.

Emulators such as VMware are resource hogs - you need huge amounts of RAM for the VM, and considering you also need huge amounts of RAM for Photoshop... well, you see the problem.

Wine/Cedega/CXoffice (well, Wine-based solutions) are indeed an interesting option, but once you've spent $800 to get a PS licence, and it just does the job, why use the Gimp? (devil's advocate here)

64-bit support in the Gimp is nice especially on sRGB images.



You're right about the dual booting -- it wouldn't work in real time.

The WINE / WINEish solutions are better.

Also please note Linux has other advantages over windows particularly in 64bit, SMP, networking, etc. *BSD and other Unix OSes have similar advantages as well.

VMWare server is actually better than you might think... I have used it and it performs pretty well. Also VMWare Server beta is now free.

:-D
 

linux_0

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I rather prefer qemu myself - it's fast, it's free.

You're preaching an addict: I'm typing this in enlighenment 0.16.7 / Mandriva 2006 64-bit :p
:-D

Linux hostname 2.6.15-1.1831_FC4 #1 SMP Tue Feb 7 13:37:59 EST 2006 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

on AMD64

Haven't upgraded to FC5 yet.
 

levicki

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Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?
http://www.driverheaven.net/photoshop/

Results (disregard the idiot in the first place which submitted so obviously fake numbers):
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results.php

I can confirm this result (ranked #7) as authentic because I know the person who submitted it:
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/view.php?id=197

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?
I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d
If you want to work with large LCD displays nVidia is the way to go. If you need OpenGL for 3D graphics, then you should consider Quadro family depending on the software you use. Some 3D applications can benefit from professional OpenGL capabilities of modern video cards. Again nVidia is the way to go.

Dual, Quad or 8way Opteron with SLI and one or more 7900GT / GTX VGA on a Tyan S2895A2NRF.
Is that a dream machine over which you are wetting your pants, or a suggestion?!?

IMO, spending that much money that way is a nonsense.

Most important thing for Photoshop is the RAM amount and HDD speed. Larger CPU cache also helps.

I would advise you to get 975 based mainboard and 8 GB of DDR2-667 RAM, Pentium D 965 (#1), (#2) and best Quadro you can afford along with Windows XP x64 Edition because Windows XP with SP2 can see only 3GB of RAM.
Get 2x 150GB Raptor drives (WDC WD1500AHFD) and set them as RAID0 with two partitions -- first for swap/temp/scratch (32GB FAT32) and the second one for the system/apps and 2x 400GB RE2 (WDC WD4000YR) drives also set up as RAID0 for data.

At the moment that would be the best choice for the job you want to do.

Solid state drives could be used as a scratch disks for photoshop but not for much else due to their limited capacity unless you find one in which you could fit 16GB to hold the swap file on it.

Everyone who recommends you to turn off swap doesn't have a clue about virtual memory and the way OS works. Whatever amount of RAM you have swap should not be turned off because system is designed around paging (check this if in doubt).
 

mitch074

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My home systems are running Mandriva cooker - one is AMD X2 with SMP 64-bit kernel, the other (an old laptop) runs a custom compiled single P3 kernel. I'm waiting a bit before I try the 2.6.16 kernel (rev. 3 or 4 I guess)
 

linux_0

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Does anyone have a reliable benchmark or just knowledge for processors and vid-cards for using Photoshop cs2?
http://www.driverheaven.net/photoshop/

Results (disregard the idiot in the first place which submitted so obviously fake numbers):
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results.php

I can confirm this result (ranked #7) as authentic because I know the person who submitted it:
http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/view.php?id=197

What is the best combo CPU and GPU if price is not an issue?
I also do 3d graphics
- animations 2d/3d
If you want to work with large LCD displays nVidia is the way to go. If you need OpenGL for 3D graphics, then you should consider Quadro family depending on the software you use. Some 3D applications can benefit from professional OpenGL capabilities of modern video cards. Again nVidia is the way to go.

Dual, Quad or 8way Opteron with SLI and one or more 7900GT / GTX VGA on a Tyan S2895A2NRF.
Is that a dream machine over which you are wetting your pants, or a suggestion?!?

IMO, spending that much money that way is a nonsense.

Most important thing for Photoshop is the RAM amount and HDD speed. Larger CPU cache also helps.

I would advise you to get 975 based mainboard and 8 GB of DDR2-667 RAM, Pentium D 965 (#1), (#2) and best Quadro you can afford along with Windows XP x64 Edition because Windows XP with SP2 can see only 3GB of RAM.
Get 2x 150GB Raptor drives (WDC WD1500AHFD) and set them as RAID0 with two partitions -- first for swap/temp/scratch (32GB FAT32) and the second one for the system/apps and 2x 400GB RE2 (WDC WD4000YR) drives also set up as RAID0 for data.

At the moment that would be the best choice for the job you want to do.

Solid state drives could be used as a scratch disks for photoshop but not for much else due to their limited capacity unless you find one in which you could fit 16GB to hold the swap file on it.

Everyone who recommends you to turn off swap doesn't have a clue about virtual memory and the way OS works. Whatever amount of RAM you have swap should not be turned off because system is designed around paging (check this if in doubt).


I agree with you on nVidia their workstation cards are very nice.

I'm not drooling over the S2895 because I actually have 3 AMD64s one of which is an Opty S940.

That was a perfectly legitimate suggestion for a high end graphics workstation.

An SLI capable Dual or Quad Opteron with 4+GB RAM would make sense.

A lot more sense than a P4 or a P4 Xeon or any other Intel CPU for that matter.
 

levicki

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As I can see from the application benchmarks on many review sites including THG, Intel Pentium 965 EE is better choice for Photoshop CS from any other AMD CPU.
I am not saying that it can compete with Quad Opteron, just that he could make decent workstation for his needs without resorting to expensive (and sometimes incompatible) server boards, CPUs and ECC RAM.
Anyway, it would be much easier if he asked his question differently, like this:
"I have xyz $$$ to spend, what would you recommend for Photoshop CS2 and maybe some 3D in ____ (insert your favorite 3D modeler/renderer)?"
SLI wouldn't make any sense in Photoshop CS2 and neither in the 3D modeling/rendering applications. Only Quadro could make any difference, that is why I am suggesting to save money on Opterons and spend money on Quadro if he is going to do 3D modeling/animation.
 

linux_0

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As I can see from the application benchmarks on many review sites including THG, Intel Pentium 965 EE is better choice for Photoshop CS from any other AMD CPU.
I am not saying that it can compete with Quad Opteron, just that he could make decent workstation for his needs without resorting to expensive (and sometimes incompatible) server boards, CPUs and ECC RAM.
Anyway, it would be much easier if he asked his question differently, like this:
"I have xyz $$$ to spend, what would you recommend for Photoshop CS2 and maybe some 3D in ____ (insert your favorite 3D modeler/renderer)?"
SLI wouldn't make any sense in Photoshop CS2 and neither in the 3D modeling/rendering applications. Only Quadro could make any difference, that is why I am suggesting to save money on Opterons and spend money on Quadro if he is going to do 3D modeling/animation.

A 965 EE at over $1,000 doesn't make any sense.

For LESS than $1,000 you can get 2 Opteron 270s for a total of 4 cores instead of 2 with 12.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Dual Opterons are more affordable, offer great features and scale linearly - there is no comparison.
 

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