fast dual core or quad core for photoshop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Acorn, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    What does Photoshop stress the most. Memory or something like video card. Does Photoshop take advantage of quad core or is a fast duel core better for large canvases and hi DPI. Would a 2014 Mac mini with i7 be better then a 2012 refurbished quad core for just Photoshop.
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Photoshop relies "somewhat" on memory available to the video card, but I am fairly certain the Iris Pro is well supported. Benchmarks are often misleading on this, leading people to believe that a gpu makes a difference. Some filters run faster with a faster gpu, but they often run unrealistic combinations on large image files just to really measure the difference. In actual use anything from the past couple years is basically fine. The 2012 will be faster for some things, but you can get quite a bit of life out of either. Overall I might be tempted to go with the 2012 because it's cheaper to upgrade ram. Photoshop will use as much ram as you throw at it, and without ram it uses scratch disks. Scratch disk HDDs are much slower than SSDs, and the mini comes with an HDD by default. Bear in mind that a really large file with a lot of history states can mean many GB of scratch data in a given session. It's all relative though. I dealt with high resolution and 100 layers. That shoves around an enormous amount of data, but even then it was possible on a mac pro 1,1.
  3. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
  4. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    It really depends on your workflow (e.g. The size of your picture, or which filter to be used, etc.) In my personal experience, the most important single factor is RAM, the more the better.

    If RAM is enough, then the single core CPU performance affect it most.

    However, if not enough RAM, the HDD may become the bottleneck before the CPU. So, a SSD will help a lot.

    GPU only works for few filters, definitely the least important one for general usage.
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    In general QUAD is better than dual. More RAM is better than less RAM. GPU falls a distant third unless it is a fairly high end card that is truly accessible by Photoshop (which needs to be set up to exploit and then only a limited number of filters show the advantage).

    Whether you get a dual or quad machine, consider making sure your Photoshop settings are set properly which includes limiting the history (whatever is good for you) and a bit more. I suggest looking up on the internet how to optimize Photoshop settings.
  6. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    this website helps a lot setting up Photoshop.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Digilloyd does well to explain many facets of hardware for Photoshop. My set up is a quad core which works reasonably well. Wait times on actions are acceptable. Next year, I'll most likely move to a hex core set up or a marked speed improved quad (PC or Mac at this point since Apple is insistent on their pathetic market model to cripple their own products).

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