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Best processor to choose?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My computer is two years old and I'd like to upgrade before starting college this year, for me to do well in Graphics Design my computer needs to be able to run Photoshop smoothly! wink.gif

Currently the specs are the Gigabyte G41MT-S2P and the Celeron E3400 (both Socket 775) with a Geforce GT 640.


Will a cheap i3 be enough to run Photoshop smoothly, or is it worth investing in an overclockable i5?

Some recommendations on motherboard upgrades would be great but I'm sticking with my graphics card for now.
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post #2 of 28
I think that entirely depends on how in depth you get with Photoshop. There would obviously be a huge difference between a cheap i3 and 4670k. I think we need to know what kind of work you do before we can give you an answer.
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post #3 of 28
Overclocking is irrelevant on a work computer, you just need to focus on stability and saving your work quickly.

My wife is a Graphic designer and Web Developer by trade. She currently uses an i5 2400 in her laptop and it does the trick. Photoshop is not super demanding on the CPU on GPU really. What it really does eat up is RAM. 8GB is pretty much minimum and we set the VRAM up to about 16GB so as to not crash all the time. Also she runs on an SSD which is a life saver. If you can try and get an SSD you will be so happy because photoshop loves to crash when it's used alot and saving quickly is essential. Get the i3 or i5 but definitely look into an SSD!
Edited by aHumanBeing - 1/7/14 at 1:22pm
     
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post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackblack644 View Post

My computer is two years old and I'd like to upgrade before starting college this year, for me to do well in Graphics Design my computer needs to be able to run Photoshop smoothly! wink.gif

Currently the specs are the Gigabyte G41MT-S2P and the Celeron E3400 (both Socket 775) with a Geforce GT 640.


Will a cheap i3 be enough to run Photoshop smoothly, or is it worth investing in an overclockable i5?

Some recommendations on motherboard upgrades would be great but I'm sticking with my graphics card for now.

That's quite a bit older than 2 years..

I'd recommend an overclockable Haswell (4670k) and Biostar Hi-Fi z87 motherboard.

oh oh ..and 16 gb kit of ddr3 2400 or more.
Why 16 gb? because all the 8gb kits now are single-sided Hynix. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
Maybe the G.skill stuff is still Samsung..maybe..I wouldn't count on it.
 
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post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post


I'd recommend an overclockable Haswell (4670k) and Biostar Hi-Fi z87 motherboard.

oh oh ..and 16 gb kit of ddr3 2400 or more.
Why 16 gb? because all the 8gb kits now are single-sided Hynix. thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
Maybe the G.skill stuff is still Samsung..maybe..I wouldn't count on it.
You don't need to OC for Photoshop, nothing to be gained, just a moderately fast CPU. I've never had any issues with my build and I do a lot of photo editing. Similarly you don't need superfast RAM either but you do need a minimum of 16GB.
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post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replies guys, I've only used Photoshop on school's art laptops and it seems to run just fine on an i3 with 8gb of RAM.

Two Gigabyte boards have caught my eye but what's the difference between B85 and H87?
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post #7 of 28
Contrary to popular believe:
  • What you will end up spending the most time with in Photoshop is NOT multithreaded. Any performance advantage of a i5 (or i7) will come in a handful of operations / filters etc, saving you a couple of minutes or just a few seconds, when your working sessions might span hours. Even a Haswell "Pentium" would be similarly fast with a 4670/4770 @ same clocks.
  • Fast RAM is useful to all applications up to an extent, but fast RAM is 1866 (vs. "slow" 1333). 2400 is certainly a waste for photoshop. That's with current generation CPUs and Apps. Things might change, but guess its too late for Haswell.
  • "A bit more than you need" of 1333 RAM is better than "barely enough" 2400.


Overclocking will help, but again, for shaving those seconds here and there.
Same goes for a SSD drive: things will open and save faster, but again, the saving and opening might be a fraction of your time spent. For sure a SSD for the windows / adobe suite + your working files will give you a far more notable "boost" in speed than an overclocked i5 over a stock i5.

16GB of RAM is a good start. Make sure to get 2x8 GB, not because of memory manufacturer, but for the possibility to upgrade to 32GB on a 4-slot mobo in the future, should you need to. Going 4x 4GB, means your initial investment in sticks will be obsolete (at least you will have to sell at a loss etc) if you need 32GB in the future.
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post #8 of 28
A few things to consider for a Photoshop build:

CPU: Every modern CPU can run Photoshop well, but there are some that offer better value. Photoshop is still a mixed bag of parallel and lightly threaded workloads on the CPU, so benefits from higher per core performance AND higher core counts, but not always both at the same time. Different levels of CPU strength deserve different considerations for GPU pairing to offer the best value. I do not personally recommend overclocking a workstation.

GPU: Photoshop uses the GPU for 2D accelerated functions, which primarily means your interaction with the file (scrolling, paint brushes etc). Photoshop also uses the GPU for a handful of operations, filters, and effects to speed up productivity via openCL. However, it's important to note that the way this is coded causes there to be a limited amount of performance gain that can be had from scaling up the GPU strength. Anything above the muscle of a ~$80-100 GPU does not deliver any improvement in performance at all in this program (the openCL acceleration winds up being CPU bound to single threaded CPU performance, interestingly enough). As it would turn out, your GT640 is a perfect high value photoshop GPU. It will "max out" almost every GPU accelerated function in photoshop.

RAM: There are no significant operations in Photoshop that are bandwidth bound. Within the scope of available DDR3, speed does not matter at all in any discrete GPU build for Photoshop performance. However, the QUANTITY of RAM is important, as even a few hundred MB file can require several gigabytes of working space in RAM to "work" with. 16-32GB of 1066MT/s speed RAM is better than 8GB of 2400MT/s speed RAM for Photoshop work. In fact, you could use 1600MT/s RAM in a single channel configuration and not have a noteworthy negative effect on Photoshop performance. The only time where RAM speed might cause a difference in performance that doesn't fall within a margin of error for the test, would be in the case of a build that uses integrated graphics (and as such, uses system RAM for VRAM and for GPUopenCL operations).

Motherboard: For an Intel build: A well made B85 with 4xRAM slots and high efficiency VRMs if you're using all mechanical storage, or a manually configured SSD boot/app/work space. Otherwise, an equally well or better made H87 if using an SSD cache drive instead.


I don't know what sort of budget you have, but my suggestion is as follows:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.48 @ SuperBiiz)
This is the highest performing CPU for photoshop in it's price class. up to ~35% faster than similarly priced flagship i5 chips at stock clocks.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Nice microATX H87 board with heatsunk VRMs. (Alternative: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gab85md3h )


Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.95 @ B&H)
Total: $478.41

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 17:17 EST-0500)
Edited by mdocod - 1/7/14 at 2:24pm
     
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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

A few things to consider for a Photoshop build:



I don't know what sort of budget you have, but my suggestion is as follows:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.48 @ SuperBiiz)
This is the highest performing CPU for photoshop in it's price class. up to ~35% faster than similarly priced flagship i5 chips at stock clocks.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Nice microATX H87 board with heatsunk VRMs. (Alternative: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gab85md3h )


Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.95 @ B&H)
Total: $478.41

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 17:17 EST-0500)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

A few things to consider for a Photoshop build:

CPU: Every modern CPU can run Photoshop well, but there are some that offer better value. Photoshop is still a mixed bag of parallel and lightly threaded workloads on the CPU, so benefits from higher per core performance AND higher core counts, but not always both at the same time. Different levels of CPU strength deserve different considerations for GPU pairing to offer the best value. I do not personally recommend overclocking a workstation.

GPU: Photoshop uses the GPU for 2D accelerated functions, which primarily means your interaction with the file (scrolling, paint brushes etc). Photoshop also uses the GPU for a handful of operations, filters, and effects to speed up productivity via openCL. However, it's important to note that the way this is coded causes there to be a limited amount of performance gain that can be had from scaling up the GPU strength. Anything above the muscle of a ~$80-100 GPU does not deliver any improvement in performance at all in this program (the openCL acceleration winds up being CPU bound to single threaded CPU performance, interestingly enough). As it would turn out, your GT640 is a perfect high value photoshop GPU. It will "max out" almost every GPU accelerated function in photoshop.

RAM: There are no significant operations in Photoshop that are bandwidth bound. Within the scope of available DDR3, speed does not matter at all in any discrete GPU build for Photoshop performance. However, the QUANTITY of RAM is important, as even a few hundred MB file can require several gigabytes of working space in RAM to "work" with. 16-32GB of 1066MT/s speed RAM is better than 8GB of 2400MT/s speed RAM for Photoshop work. In fact, you could use 1600MT/s RAM in a single channel configuration and not have a noteworthy negative effect on Photoshop performance. The only time where RAM speed might cause a difference in performance that doesn't fall within a margin of error for the test, would be in the case of a build that uses integrated graphics (and as such, uses system RAM for VRAM and for GPUopenCL operations).

Motherboard: For an Intel build: A well made B85 with 4xRAM slots and high efficiency VRMs if you're using all mechanical storage, or a manually configured SSD boot/app/work space. Otherwise, an equally well or better made H87 if using an SSD cache drive instead.


I don't know what sort of budget you have, but my suggestion is as follows:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.48 @ SuperBiiz)
This is the highest performing CPU for photoshop in it's price class. up to ~35% faster than similarly priced flagship i5 chips at stock clocks.


Extra threads..good! thumb.gif



Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Nice microATX H87 board with heatsunk VRMs. (Alternative: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gab85md3h )

Not as good as:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138381 Same price,ATX,10 phase,full-featured.

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.95 @ B&H)
Total: $478.41

eh..I plan on getting some double-sided Crucial someday before it disappears..budget allowing. biggrin.gif
however..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682014871 16GB Ballistix 1866 =$128


(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 17:17 EST-0500)

I don't deal with the superbiiz guy;He made me mad.
Don't let it stop you, though;but don't put up with any garbage if he sends you dead stuff,either.
Edited by Schmuckley - 1/7/14 at 2:40pm
 
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Thuban Powah!
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cheap! Newegg box panel ibeats with onboard. 
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post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdocod View Post

A few things to consider for a Photoshop build:

CPU: Every modern CPU can run Photoshop well, but there are some that offer better value. Photoshop is still a mixed bag of parallel and lightly threaded workloads on the CPU, so benefits from higher per core performance AND higher core counts, but not always both at the same time. Different levels of CPU strength deserve different considerations for GPU pairing to offer the best value. I do not personally recommend overclocking a workstation.

GPU: Photoshop uses the GPU for 2D accelerated functions, which primarily means your interaction with the file (scrolling, paint brushes etc). Photoshop also uses the GPU for a handful of operations, filters, and effects to speed up productivity via openCL. However, it's important to note that the way this is coded causes there to be a limited amount of performance gain that can be had from scaling up the GPU strength. Anything above the muscle of a ~$80-100 GPU does not deliver any improvement in performance at all in this program (the openCL acceleration winds up being CPU bound to single threaded CPU performance, interestingly enough). As it would turn out, your GT640 is a perfect high value photoshop GPU. It will "max out" almost every GPU accelerated function in photoshop.

RAM: There are no significant operations in Photoshop that are bandwidth bound. Within the scope of available DDR3, speed does not matter at all in any discrete GPU build for Photoshop performance. However, the QUANTITY of RAM is important, as even a few hundred MB file can require several gigabytes of working space in RAM to "work" with. 16-32GB of 1066MT/s speed RAM is better than 8GB of 2400MT/s speed RAM for Photoshop work. In fact, you could use 1600MT/s RAM in a single channel configuration and not have a noteworthy negative effect on Photoshop performance. The only time where RAM speed might cause a difference in performance that doesn't fall within a margin of error for the test, would be in the case of a build that uses integrated graphics (and as such, uses system RAM for VRAM and for GPUopenCL operations).

Motherboard: For an Intel build: A well made B85 with 4xRAM slots and high efficiency VRMs if you're using all mechanical storage, or a manually configured SSD boot/app/work space. Otherwise, an equally well or better made H87 if using an SSD cache drive instead.


I don't know what sort of budget you have, but my suggestion is as follows:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V3 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($244.48 @ SuperBiiz)
This is the highest performing CPU for photoshop in it's price class. up to ~35% faster than similarly priced flagship i5 chips at stock clocks.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($98.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Nice microATX H87 board with heatsunk VRMs. (Alternative: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gab85md3h )


Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.95 @ B&H)
Total: $478.41

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-07 17:17 EST-0500)


Wow. I was looking at i3's a minute ago. o.O
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First Computer
(15 items)
 
  
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Intel Celeron E3400 Gigabyte G41MT-S2P Nvidia GeForce GT640 Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) 1066Mhz 
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Samsung F3 250GB LG GH22NS50 Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Sharkoon Silent Eagle 
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Windows 8.1 Professional Dell Ultrasharp 2405FPW Logitech K260 Corsair CX430 
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Antec Three Hundred Logitech K260 Onboard 
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