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Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: pipiens
Date: April 13, 2007 04:20PM
My S.O. is a Photoshop junky. She has been waiting for the 8 core gizmo for some time. How might I configure it to maximize the performance? I have seen the reports that show negligible improvements for Adobe applications but I suspect that in real life - doing lots for different things concurrently ( lightroom,PS2,printing,etc ) The 8 cores might show their worth. In any event %difference in cost once you load up the machine with RAM ,disks, and software is pretty small. She is currently running lightroom and CS2 but will no doubt upgrade to CS3 when available.

What do you think about RAM ? any thing to be gained by going over 8GB ? Will filling all the slots improve memory bandwidth any?

What about disks? The base machine comes with a 250GB drive. Does adding another 250 and configuring them as a Raid 0 for a scratch disc make sense? Will the Mac be able to use the 1TB drives in the remaining slots ? The configure page show 750GB max.

What about Video ? She currently uses a 30' and a 23' screen. Does upgrading to any thing more than 2 dual DVI channels make any sense?

Any other ideas?

My goal is to make her as productive as possible, I of course get the dregs after every upgrade.

The stuff will get some real use. Right now the current system is running image processor on 9000 images from our last photo trip to resize them for copyright registration. Her all time record was 1700 shots in on afternoon.

Thanks for the help.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2007 04:23PM by pipiens.
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Re: Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: papercup
Date: April 13, 2007 04:30PM
PS CS3 will still only use 4GB of ram, anything above that is good for running addtl. apps and the OS. Leopard could change that, it's the OS that is imposing the 4 GB limit. BUT, PS CS3 is still a 32 bit app. Will be for years.

Adobe has said once Leopard ships, it will tweak and issue an upgrade to utilize any new OS changes.

8 gig of ram, fast, dedicated scratch disk, and mid-grade graphics card is the best for PS.

If the 700 buck upgrade isn't an issue, get the Octo.

Spend $$$ on an Apple monitor(s), or better (Lacie, Eizo) and calibrator. This is where to splurge.

Several internal HDs, too.
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Re: Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: April 13, 2007 05:29PM
8 Core Mac Pro versus 4 Core Mac Pro []

Seems to be money would be better spent elsewhere until they get the OS sorted for better performance with multiple cores.


We did run the "test-compute-speed" with digLloydTools (DLT) on the 8 core. Its aggregate rate was 1204MB/sec (versus the 4 core's 601MB/s). That says that if the task is pure CPU, the 8 core is twice as fast as the 4 core. But if your task has to do a lot of interaction with memory, the advantage drops almost to nothing -- as we saw with Photoshop CS3 and Aperture.

"Yes, the memory bus is weak, but the biggest problem is that OS 10.4 (Tiger) does not know how to deal with so many cores. Perhaps 10.5 (Leopard) will. the problem is that the OS does not know that it should keep a thread on the SAME core instead of swapping it around to any one of the 8 cores. When a thread moves to a different core-group, the cache has to be reloaded on the new core. Since Intel quad-cores are two Core 2 Duos "duct-taped" together, the problem is worse than it would otherwise have been. When this thread/core shift happens repeatedly, it makes the cache ineffective and floods the memory bus with activity." (Though put forth by a yet-to-be named BF reader, this analysis has been confirmed by Lloyd Chambers where he discussed "core swapping" on his latest blog entries regarding the 8 core Mac Pro.)

Aloha, Ken

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Re: Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 13, 2007 05:34PM
just make sure that photoshop can actually take advantage of whatever you're buying. i'm really skeptical that the 8 core machine will be worth it over the 4 core.

i agree with papercup on all else.

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Re: Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: laarree
Date: April 13, 2007 06:49PM
Don't forget drives for backup, especially if you're going to do a RAID 0 thing.

*We are just a quarantined people under an evil sun.*
--- Richard S. Shaver
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Re: Best Photoshop machine ?
Posted by: pipiens
Date: April 13, 2007 07:47PM
Back up is indeed another problem. The RAID 0 would only be for a scratch disk.
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