I am looking for a cost-effective upgrade to my current Photoshop set-up. I currently use Photoshop CS3 Extended on a 3 year old Windows XP machine. I recently purchased a new computer that is running Windows 7 64-bit with a quad core AMD processor and 8 GB of RAM. Although CS3 runs on this new PC, it is not ideal for a few reasons. First, CS3 does not take advantage of the 64-bit OS or the extra RAM. Second, CS3 cannot read the raw files that come from my Canon 7D. Canon does have a utility that will convert my RAW files into a format CS3 can read, but I would prefer to have it read the files in native format.
I am looking for a cost-effective upgrade because this is a hobby of mine.
Which version of Photoshop will take advantage of my 64-bit OS and 8 GB of RAM? Adobe makes it sound like CS5.5 is written specially for 64-bit operating systems. But it looks like Photoshop is only on CS5. Sometimes I am working with 100+ RAW files that are 25MB each. I am sure the s/w will run much faster if it can access the full 8GB of RAM.
Through my school I can purchase one of the following:
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Standard for Windows - $200
Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard Student/Teacher Edition for Windows - $300
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium for Windows - $350
Will any of these work? Thanks for your advice!