What is the best value for Photoshop users?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by graphicimage, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. graphicimage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #1
    I need to buy new desktops for my business. We primarily Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Large layered files for print and web site design are the real challenges. I do have 40,000 photos and plan to buy Aperture to manage them better then iPhoto. I also plan to purchase video editing software (Primer and After Effects) and slowly get in to this but I'm sure my needs will be basic.

    I was going to pay up for the 2.66 octo with 8 gigs of ram but since my main concern is photoshop and small scale video it may be even better to get the 2.93 quad. With no solid bench marks out there yet I am not able to make a good decision. I know in either case they will be dramatically faster then my 2005 Power PC.

    I am also not into upgrading (even the OS) on these machines, just swapping out old for new works best for me and we have waited a while fore these machines...

    Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    2.93 Quad. Photoshop doesn't use all 8 cores on my 2008 Octo, so there's no point spending silly money on the octo machines. Getting the faster Mhz CPU in the Quad variant will see you get a better speed than you would out of an octo 2.23 or 2.66.

    Put 6GB or 12GB of RAM in (using 3 slots, so 12GB may be too expensive for now) and you'll have a great editing workstation.
     
  3. scanline macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #4
    Is 8 gb RAM on the quad the most Apple will offer shipped or is it the hardware limit? My thoughts that the 2.93 quad was limited to 8gb is the main thing keeping me from getting that over the octo.
     
  4. kimipt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #5
    Im on the same situation here. Same kind of use and the only thing that keeps me from going straight to the quad is the ram limit. 8gb for a machine that i hope to last at least 4 years seems very limited.
     
  5. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    In this instance, silly money appears to be represented by the price of 4GB sticks of memory. Unless 6GB is enough for someone's requirements, which is not the case in my case.
     
  6. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I have 4GB of memory in my 2008 octo core, and it works fine with Photoshop CS4 - I don't run out. I can't see why 8GB would be not enough, unless you're dealing with socking huge files with many layers.

    At the moment, yes. However, in the future the price of the sticks will drop.
     
  7. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #8
    Until people test, we don't know! It could be a hardware limitation, but Apple has understated the maximum amount of memory a machine can take in the past.
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #9
    4GB is fine if Photoshop is the only large concurrently running application, but for performance sake I would want more than that. In my case, I need to host a substantial VMWare virtual machine (a Windows Server-based data warehouse development sandbox), so 12GB in an 8 core machine is more likely to solve my problem.

    The quad core not officially taking 4GB memory sticks was a deal breaker for me. Hopefully that's a firmware limitation, because 8GB is not all that much memory nowadays, and it's a limit the purchaser of this sort of hardware is likely to bump up against before too long.
     
  9. clownjuggles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #10

    Agreed. If you only run one app at a time. You would be fine. But bear in mind you must have scratch disks set up properly as well. I would consider 4 gb a machine minimum these days.
     
  10. graphicimage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #11
    Thanks!

    Thank you, all the replies echoed my suspicions. The Mac rep did day 8 gigs is max but I think he was reading from a script... it will probably take more later, just trying to support the market campaign... the limitation is designed to make you move up to a more expensive machine.

    I think the faster processor speed will ultimately benefit me the most and to go there on the 8 core is about twice as much $$$. I will keep my eye on the pending benchmarks just before pulling the trigger just in case.

    On the subject of RAM, for me, I think I will be fine with 8 gigs, most of my multi layered files are web based / low res... the really high res stuff usually has little or no layers... mostly photo editing files from a canon 5D.

    Saving several thousand on a few machines is sounding real nice right now too!

    Thanks Again.
     
  11. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    FWIW- in a newsletter from OWC today they addressed this very question as to whether or not it is a hardware limitation. Their take on it after doing some research is the memory controller actually does have a hardware limitation, but they do note that at this time they do not have 4Gb sticks in hand to physically test it. They say they will have the sticks in stock by next week and they will report back with the results.
     
  12. justit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #13
    You need to understand that here are 2 camps for photoshop users:
    1) Web worker/image for print layouts -

    – 8GB plenty, our 10GB machine is overkill.
    – PS4 requires atleast 512 on the video card when working with more than 4 opened files for effects.
    – Scratch disk or SSD
    – Entry or maybe Mid level MP CPU even for rendering effects

    2) photoshop artists / compositers opening 50Gb+ files -
    – 16-32GB Ram +
    – Scratch Disk SSD
    – Fastest CPU needed when adding effects for entire file

    Our 2.8 Quad with 10Gig is overkill since we work with many files during the day than working on a single 20 hour illustration.

    We're looking to invest in a faster hard drive rather than looking at a faster CPU.
     

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