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  1. #1
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    A new graphics card vs a new HD (maybe SSD) to improve performance

    I've just installed Windows 7 64 bit, updated all drivers, downloaded all Windows updates, but still, the speed and performance differences for opening and using high graphic manipulation programs, which I use quite often (especially Photoshop), and for opening and browsing through folders with a lot of files or photos (which I have a few) is not that drastic compared to what I had with Windows 7 32 bit.

    It looks like an upgrade is in order, but I don't know if I should get a new graphics card or a new HD (maybe SSD).


    What do you think?

    TIA

  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    On identical hardware, any performance differences between x64 and x86 Windows is likely to be very small, especially with 4GB of RAM or less. x64 software will be able to use more memory but it won't really translate to it 'feeling' faster.

    A change to an SSD will make a huge difference in the speed of all loading and saving tasks, a graphics upgrade should make interactions with anything on screen a little snappier and make certain aspects of Photoshop process a lot faster.

    What are your current hardware details, motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM amount, etc?

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    On identical hardware, any performance differences between x64 and x86 Windows is likely to be very small, especially with 4GB of RAM or less. x64 software will be able to use more memory but it won't really translate to it 'feeling' faster.

    A change to an SSD will make a huge difference in the speed of all loading and saving tasks, a graphics upgrade should make interactions with anything on screen a little snappier and make certain aspects of Photoshop process a lot faster.

    What are your current hardware details, motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM amount, etc?
    Here:

    Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H67M-D2-B3

    CPU - Intel i5-2400 3.10GHz

    Memory - 16 giga RAM Kingston DDR3 667 MHz

    Graphics card - ATI Radeon HD 4850

  5. #4
    3 Star Lounger bassfisher6522's Avatar
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    My suggestions:

    new mobo, new cpu, new ram, SSD and a new GPU....now if this can't be done, then the 2 biggest upgrades to increase system performance would be new Ram/DDR3 1333 and a SSD. Those 2 will impact your system performance the most and dramatically. If you can swing it a new GPU would be in order, a AMD 270/280 are your best bang for buck....that is if your PSU can handle a new GPU otherwise a new PSU would be needed.

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  7. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Something like the GTX 650 (or newer/higher) should give you a boost in certain PS situations, is much better for x64 applications generally (I think the HD 4xxx series drivers are blocked from hardware acceleration in many x64 browsers, for example, too old/buggy). http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/co...5&cmp&#91;]=24 <- ensure it's a 2GB+ GDDR5 version, 1GB and GDDR are much slower! It only uses ~55% of power compared to the 4850 too.

    It's getting old but gives an indication of how PS6 uses GPU acceleration: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...eleration-161/

    For an SSD, I'd suggest a minimum of 240GB SATA 6GB/s latest generation drive like the Crucial MX200: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ssd/ct250mx200ssd1 and use your current drive for data.

    EDIT: bassfisher6522, DDR 3 667 is 1333, you forgot to use the D multiplier = Double
    Last edited by satrow; 2015-04-24 at 11:40.

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  9. #6
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    If you're going to install a 240GB SSD then you might as well use it for your data as well, otherwise most of the space won't be used - what a waste
    You can use the existing / old drive for internal backup to protect against disk failure, then backup / copy to external for disaster recovery.

    cheers, Paul

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  11. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Drives smaller than 240GB are noticeably slower at writes, those in the next (480GB) bracket up have read/write speeds that essentially max out the SATA 3 bandwidth but they're more expensive. 240-256 is the sweet spot.

    You really don't want to use more than ~75% of the SSD space. PS users often have very large numbers of big RAW files to work with and the difference made by loading/saving them to/from a HDD compared to an SSD is probably a lot less than you might think by comparing the raw benchmark numbers of the drives themselves.

    Having your data stored separately from the System/Program files also makes backups easier to handle - backup the System drive before any software change and create an incremental data backup daily/weekly (and don't wipe camera cards before you've done a backup!) for example.

    In an ideal world, we'd all use 2 SSDs plus an HDD for rarely used data, plus 3 sets of external backup devices used in rotation, plus copies for storage offsite, plus Cloud backups. I can't see that being feasible for most users, though.

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    I still don't see where the 75% figure for SSDs is relevant. If most of that data doesn't change it's not going to impact the performance.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Not much point using PS if you're not going to change anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Not much point using PS if you're not going to change anything.
    What do you mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Something like the GTX 650 (or newer/higher) should give you a boost in certain PS situations, is much better for x64 applications generally (I think the HD 4xxx series drivers are blocked from hardware acceleration in many x64 browsers, for example, too old/buggy). http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/co...5&cmp&#91;]=24 <- ensure it's a 2GB+ GDDR5 version, 1GB and GDDR are much slower! It only uses ~55% of power compared to the 4850 too.

    It's getting old but gives an indication of how PS6 uses GPU acceleration: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...eleration-161/

    For an SSD, I'd suggest a minimum of 240GB SATA 6GB/s latest generation drive like the Crucial MX200: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ssd/ct250mx200ssd1 and use your current drive for data.

    EDIT: bassfisher6522, DDR 3 667 is 1333, you forgot to use the D multiplier = Double
    By "use your current drive for data" you mean using the SSD for Windows, program files, and, of course , Photoshop, and my current HD for other things?

  17. #12
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfe777 View Post
    What do you mean?
    People don't buy Photoshop to not make changes to their photo's, PS will convert to its' default (PSD?) format, you'll save several different versions at times, PS will create temp. backups, etc.

    If your original plus saved photo's are on the data drive, PS has more space to use on the SSD and Windows defrag will automatically keep those files contiguous for quick loading from the HDD. There will be less disk I/O on the SSD and the HDD will be used only a fraction of the time it is now.

    Other save data is also best on the data drive, especially things like movies and music (unless you edit those as well), they simply don't need the extra transfer speed of the SSD, the HDD is plenty fast enough.

    So, yes, I'm suggesting Windows + programs on the SSD, data, documents, movies, music, original and finished photo's etc. on the HDD

    Most modern video editing Workstations would run 2+ SSDs and 2 HDDs or more, heavy PS users don't often need that kind of disk I/O

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    I hope satrow is correct and it is a driver issue because Photoshop doesn't really have a huge boost from the GPU (there is some however for some things) and flaky x64 drivers on an old GPU would makes sense to me of why your current setup is slow. You could just buy the GPU and see if it leaps to life and transfer it to a new build later if you want to try something else.

    A i5-2400, 16GB of RAM and that 4850 should scream under PS I would think. They are good components even by today's standards.

    I agree with Paul that unless the image collection is on the SSD (unlikely due to space limitations) it won't open any faster.

    If you can essentially replace the guts or buy a new PC or build a new PC with modern components then it will definitely be faster. I just wouldn't expect it to be that much faster.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-04-24 at 20:47.

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  21. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfe777 View Post
    I've just installed Windows 7 64 bit, updated all drivers, downloaded all Windows updates, but still, the speed and performance differences for opening and using high graphic manipulation programs, which I use quite often (especially Photoshop), and for opening and browsing through folders with a lot of files or photos (which I have a few) is not that drastic compared to what I had with Windows 7 32 bit.

    It looks like an upgrade is in order, but I don't know if I should get a new graphics card or a new HD (maybe SSD).


    What do you think?

    TIA

    Photoshop and photo manipulation applications respond better to multi core processing power & memory than they would to a graphics card upgrade.
    An SSD would be a better choice, as far as between the two choices you're offering.

    Here:

    Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H67M-D2-B3

    CPU - Intel i5-2400 3.10GHz

    Memory - 16 giga RAM Kingston DDR3 667 MHz

    Graphics card - ATI Radeon HD 4850
    The SSD is what you need, but that memory could definitely use a clock adjustment .
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-04-26 at 11:09.
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  23. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Photoshop and photo manipulation applications respond better to multi core processing power & memory than they would to a graphics card upgrade.

    ... but that memory could definitely use a clock adjustment .
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb...l#cs6_features and post #5, the Pugetsystems URL.

    Again from #5: "DDR 3 667 is 1333, you forgot to use the D multiplier = Double"

    Agreed that the SSD should come first but if the primary concern is PS performance, considering a shift to a modern GPU shouldn't be dismissed.

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