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Recommend Cost-Effective PhotoShop Upgrade

Hello,

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!
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MrChip2
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MrChip2
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1 Solution
 
jonahzonaCommented:
I have Web Premium. It comes with a great array of apps - Photoshop CS5 (64bit), Illustrator, Bridge, Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro and a couple others.

$350 sounds like what I got mine for.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Hi Jonah,

Thanks for the reply.  Do you have more than 4GB on your PC?  If yes, does your version utilize it?
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jonahzonaCommented:
Photoshop 64bit does utilize more than 4 gigs of RAM.


I have a Core 2 Quad with 6Gbs of RAM, Photoshop flies on it. Illustrator is not 64bit, unfortunately. But Photoshop is able to utilize as much RAM as you can throw at it.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Thanks so much.  One final question, if I do not plan to use Illustrator or Dreamweaver, would the cheaper options I listed work just as well?
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