We Lose Signal,

Main screen turn off….
Compy is down for the count for now, what started as small overheating issue has turned into it not booting up anymore. Hopefully it’ll be sorted out soon but in the mean time I am stuck to the netbook and will probably be ordering a new set of components. Sure I was going to wait until next year to upgrade, buuuut I may not have much of a choice on that now. So let’s segue into important components for photographers/digital artists who are taxing their systems on their *cough* impossibly large projects.


Let’s look at individual components:

CPU
Most CPUs are multicore now, as it happens current silicon technology cannot go any faster without melting into mineral goo, to prevent this and still get speed boost companies started merging multiple chips together. Now that doesn’t mean 2ghz + 2ghz + 2ghz + 2ghz = 8ghz of processing power, it means programs like Photoshop can divide the work amongst the 4 cores instead of taxing 1 core to do the job.

Graphics card:
Not terribly important, moving on.

RAM Memory:
Photoshop is all about RAM and CPU, fast plentiful ram is super important for any photoshoper. Take it from me and said large project, I cannot edit my project very effectively with my current 4gb ram, as soon as I zoom in a bit I fill up my available memory pretty damn quick. My future upgrade should alleviate this as it will be 16gb @ 1600 mhz, which brings me to the next important feature to look for in ram, the speed. Speed of ram will also greatly affect how fast your Photoshop performs, it’s like having 8000 people trying to leave a convention centre that’s on fire, the more fire exits the quicker people escape.

OS:
Mac vs PC crap aside go for something with 64bit, it provides you more access to ram and faster CPUs. In my personal experience a 1gb Photoshop file on 32 vista would take about 5 minutes to open, same system upgraded to 64bit windows 7 opened the same file in about 35 seconds. Now yes I’m aware vista is a bloated abortion crammed on a sillicon disk and 7 is much more streamlined, but my experience aside 64 bit is much better all around.

COOLING!:
As I’m coming to realize my factory standard heat sink and fan just doesn’t cut it, do yourself a favor, spend an extra $30 bucks and get a much bigger sink/fan. Case fans will also aid in overall temperature reduction, having fans and heat sinks for you RAM wouldn’t hurt either. Keeping dust out of said cooling bits helps a lot too, this was the immediate reason to my CPUs overheating, despite having just cleaned it out no more than three months ago. Just goes to show you how fast dust can build up, especially if you have 5 large fans pulling room air through your components.

Lastly a scratch disk doesn’t hurt either, a spare hard drive you may have laying around helps, but if you can pop a solid state hard drive in there for that you’ll be laughing.

All of this upgrade nonsense started a few months ago on an innocent wish to upgrade my RAM for Photoshop, but to get the more ram at the faster speeds I needed a new motherboard, which lead to a new CPU being needed, which lead to a new heat sink for the bigger processor. I hope my quest for more power *Tim Allen grunt* *slap self for cheesy 90′s pop culture* has helped someone out there in similar shoes, keeping in mind this will probably be useless by next year as new technology comes around.

~t

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