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Real world system requirements for running Photoshop on Windows and Mac

Posted on 2008-10-06
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I've checked the Adobe website and what Adobe gives as minimum system requirements, but they seem a little lean.  Can someone offer what they'd consider minimum system requirements for both Windows and Mac?

Thanks!
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Question by:CraigSNYC
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by:lherrou
ID: 22655797
CraigSNYC,

I can't speak to Mac, but for the PC, it depends a bit on what you will be doing. If the user is going to be working with large print files, the RAM should be increased...

Min 1gb RAM, prefer 2-4 (RAM is cheap, compared to faster processers OR your staff's hourly rate).

2 hard drives (2 physical drives: one for system + programs, one for scratch disk)

256mb Video card.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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by:CraigSNYC
ID: 22655942
The person I'm looking into this for always works on RAW picture files.  So, they're quite large.

Is the second drive critical to have?
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lherrou earned 1400 total points
ID: 22656212
Critical? No. Important? Yes - but again depending on your workflow and file sizes. Photoshop versions through CS3 (CS4 is different, but since it's new, I don't know all the differences that well) use a portion of up to the first 2gig of RAM for both the program and the images you are working on. Some portion of that 2gig is also used for the OS, and of course for other programs you may have open. If you have more than 2gig, some of that other use can get pushed into the upper (above 2gig) region.

Once you have reached the limit of what's available for physical RAM, both windows and Photoshop will begin swapping some of what's in RAM into temporary storage on the HD. If you have a second disk, Photoshop can be set to use that, and it will greatly decrease the demand on the primary disk, which is called on for Photoshop itself, as well as the OS, various plugins, textures, filters, etc. as they are used in Photoshop.

The primary machine used for Photoshop in my office has that second HD. My personal machine, since I do a mix of tasks, has a single physical HD split into two partitions, drive C: and drive D:. Otherwise, they are pretty similar in configuration of processor, RAM, etc. I can see a distinct difference when working on the Photoshop machine vs working on mine once I get into complex, multilayer files and trying to run actions or filters.
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