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Need new hardware recommendation to run Adobe Design Premium

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2012-04-01
I need to purchase a new computer that can effectively run the Adobe Design Premium suite.  I see lots of options on the mac store but I'm not sure what type of product or what level of product will effectively run this software.    I am upgrading from a 2001 mac that ran OS9 and I intend to make a new purchase and ditch the old.    I have a limited budget and I just want this software to run effectively.
 
If you use this product on different macs what works best?  
Any expert recommendations?
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Question by:tmonteit
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LVL 9

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by:OCDan
OCDan earned 200 total points
ID: 37778848
What is your budget?

It depends upon how intensive what you are doing is. i.e. how large and complex the files you are dealing with are.

Do you want a laptop or a desktop?

If it is a laptop and you really want a Mac I would wait a couple of months as the current line of macbook pros are nearing the end of their life, and should soon be getting a refresh with the new Ivy Bridge processor pretty soon and likely screen improvements.

Also what programs in the suite are you using the most? Illustrator performance is closely related to Max clock speed, whereas photoshop scales across multiple cores more effectively.

So More cores for PS, higher clock rate for AI.
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by:maximus5328
maximus5328 earned 100 total points
ID: 37778913
In order of prefererence:
Any Mac Pro, $2,500 and up
Any iMac, $1,200 and up
Any 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro, $1,800 and up
The 2.5 GHz Mac mini, $800 and up

The rest of the Macs lack descrete graphics so I wouldn't recommend it.
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by:OCDan
OCDan earned 200 total points
ID: 37778941
On the subject of discrete graphics cards, it depends what you are doing. Although Intel HD3000 is lousy at gaming, it is more than capable of handling Photoshop.

That been said if you are doing any sort of 3D work then a dedicated GFX card would be a good idea.
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LVL 24

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by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 200 total points
ID: 37779018
I'm running CS5 Design Premium on a new 13" MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM. No dedicated GPU.

All the Adobe products run very well, including Photoshop - I regularly edit 100MB tif & jpg images in Illustrator and Photoshop - so much so that I've ditched my desktop computer completely.

Having said that, your mileage may vary. If, as OCDan said, you're into 3D work you'll need a GPU, or if you're handling very big image files then you may need 8GB or more of RAM.

Basically, it's horses for courses. Any new Mac will handle the programs you have, but the type of work you're doing will dictate how much RAM you need and whether or not you need a graphics card.
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Alan Henderson earned 200 total points
ID: 37779065
I should have mentioned in my previous comment that I'm running my MacBook Air with the outstanding (and expensive!) Thunderbolt display: http://www.apple.com/displays/) . for my usage that combo is outstanding.

This article may help you:
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performance-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html

In addition to RAM issues, if you're doing demanding work you may benefit from using a separate scratch disk, particularly with Photoshop. If that's the case, you'd need a Mac Pro with more than one HDD or (perhaps) a MacBook or an iMac with an attached Thunderbolt external drive - I've read that this works well but haven't tried it. .
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Author Closing Comment

by:tmonteit
ID: 37794280
Great recommendations all!
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