Recommend Cost-Effective PhotoShop Upgrade

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

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!
Question by:MrChip2
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    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.

    Author Comment

    Hi Jonah,

    Thanks for the reply.  Do you have more than 4GB on your PC?  If yes, does your version utilize it?
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    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.

    Author Closing Comment

    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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