advice please: running photoshop on what mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by arcterix100, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. arcterix100 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2004
    my gf is currently studying graphic design at a school where they run on macs.. She would like to buy one so she could work at home (on another cpu than her pc that keeps crashing).

    No I have photoshop cs2 on my ibook 1ghz G4 with 768mb of ram and it runs fine for what i do. The thing is she dosent want to spend a fortune on a computer.. about 650us.

    She will mainly run photoshop and illustrator.

    - I was thinking an older Powermac G4 (like a 500mhz with 1ghz of ram and probably upgrade the 16mb video card to a 64)
    - or and older emac G4 (will a 32mb vram card cut it??)
    - one of her teacher suggested a mac mini (which would be a little too expensive considering she dosen't have a monitor) but then she would also need to upgrade the ram probably to 1ghz.. So this is kind of out of her budget..


    (sorry for the spelling.. I speak french)

  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I strongly recommend looking at the Apple Store's refurb site (go to the Edu site, click on the red "Save" tag in the lower right). There are deals there for a bit more and a bit less than $650.
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    A Mac mini (with a cheap LCD) or eMac will run Photoshop and Illustrator quite adequately (much faster then your iBook). Just fill up as much RAM as you (or rather she) can afford, preferably from somewhere else than Apple who charges too much for RAM.
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    If she plans to use larger files in Photoshop, save some of your money for RAM - you'll need it. 1 Gig should be a minimum requirement.

  5. arcterix100 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2004

    and what about the power mac g4...
    a mini with 1ghz and screen will cost about 1000cad
    there are some g4 500mhz with 1gig of ram and 80gig harddrive for around 600cad with display.. is i worth buying this and upgrading the 16mb graphic card?
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    No, the Graphite G4 500 uses much slower RAM, slower memory bus and ATA bus, and the CPU is about 60% slower than the Mini even. No warranty of course. By the time you up the video card for about $70 its no bargain.

    Your minimum would be a Quicksilver G4, although the Mirror Drive Door models are better with DDR RAM. Ideally, she should be thinking of a used or reconditioned G5.
  7. Willy S macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2005

    It has Apple CRT monitor and that's a big plus for Photoshop, and it's a good buy for the price also.
  8. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    Forget the G4 500Mhz, infact I'd stay clear of anything less than 1Ghz with Illustrator. Redraw times can become a pain once you start working with complex files. I'd agree with jsw and try Apples refurb store combined with education discount. Whatever you get remember to cost in at least 1Gb of ram, it's amazing what that will do for workflow speed.
    Emac is a good option, mac mini less so due to its slower HD although it means it would be portable between home and class if that is a consideration.
  9. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I don't think the respondents get it. The original question is, for a budget of $650, what's the best computer for Photoshop. If you're working with only $650, I wouldn't spend it on RAM over 512 MB. That would be fine for running photoshop as long as no other apps are open. If she finds the RAM isn't enough for her needs, she can always upgrade in a few months when she has the money.

    I've seen 1.25 GHz eMacs on eBay for $650 "buy it now." That's not a bad deal. If you can get a 1 GHz plus eMac for less than $650, then maybe spend the rest on memory.
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I think the best buy for that budget is a new Mac mini 1.25 GHz with 512 MB RAM which should be $550, and then find a 17" CRT at about $100, somewhere (This first place I found when googeling "17" CRT" has a lot starting just over $100).

    We bought a Mac mini the configuration above to my father in law (only we got a 17" LCD and not CRT). And that machine was MUCH faster than my iBook G4 @ 800 MHz with 640 MB RAM, when I configured and tested it for a couple of days before we handed it over. He has a trial of Illustrator which he uses for some technical drawing and has yet to complaint over performance.

    My girlfriend works with Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator daily on an old Pismo with a G3 @ 400 MHz and 512 MB RAM, and manages. Of course she would like to upgrade, but as long as the Pismo is working she cannot justify the cost.
  11. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    My 933Mhz Single Proc. Quicksilver runs photoshop great. Processor speed (once about 800Mhz G4) isn't as important as RAM...get lots of RAM!

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