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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 10 Feb 2011 (Thursday) 21:00
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a good PC Photoshop system

 
Sp1207
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Feb 13, 2011 21:48 |  #16

Show me a benchmark for photoshop or lightroom where the GPU matters at all outside of some specific CUDA based plugins (that don't run on any Radeons at all).


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ProwlingTiger
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Feb 13, 2011 22:11 |  #17

Sp1207 wrote in post #11838009 (external link)
Show me a benchmark for photoshop or lightroom where the GPU matters at all outside of some specific CUDA based plugins (that don't run on any Radeons at all).

You didn't specify it was for Photoshop, your post sounded vague as if video cards didn't matter at all on PCs. It's worth noting that CS4 and CS5 do use GPU acceleration on both nVidia and Radeon, in which case the video card matters very much as it has to have certain specs.


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tim
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Feb 13, 2011 22:12 |  #18

Photoshop does accelerate a few things with the video card, but not much yet. It'll get better over time. Windows 7 uses GPU for acceleration, as does Fast Picture Viewer.

Right now a midrange video card will perform pretty much the same as a high end video card for most photographers. In ten years things will be different.


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ProwlingTiger
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Feb 13, 2011 22:15 |  #19

tim wrote in post #11838177 (external link)
Photoshop does accelerate a few things with the video card, but not much yet. It'll get better over time. Windows 7 uses GPU for acceleration, as does Fast Picture Viewer.

Right now a midrange video card will perform pretty much the same as a high end video card for most photographers. In ten years things will be different.

Yes, especially with extensive tasks such as 3D rendering.


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tim
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Feb 13, 2011 22:30 |  #20

Anything that can be done with parallel threads will eventually be offloaded to a GPU. Things like RAW conversion, rending an image on the screen, 3D rendering of course, video decoding, anything really. Just not standard office tasks.


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tonylong
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Feb 13, 2011 23:36 |  #21

So, could we have an autoritative consensus here? It's been my understanding all along that a built-in GPU is a drain -- it "shares" the system RAM, whereas a dedicated card with a reasonable amount of memory is not going to drain the RAM. Is that true or not? Or are you all saying it no longer matters? or that newer built-in graphics systems don't handle things like that any more?

I've always advised people to get an external card with at least 512 MB or so. But, if for newer systems that's "old advice" I'd like to know.


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tim
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Feb 13, 2011 23:45 |  #22

Tony, I believe that's still good advice. Even if you have 16GB of RAM just sharing it takes up memory bandwidth, which will impact the performance of the system as a whole. The only question is how much impact it has.


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tim
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Feb 13, 2011 23:50 |  #23

Here's links about discrete vs integrated. Couple of years old but should still hold true

http://www.tomshardwar​e.com …lu-ray-video,2030-12.html (external link)


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uOpt
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Feb 14, 2011 11:25 |  #24

Sp1207 wrote in post #11838009 (external link)
Show me a benchmark for photoshop or lightroom where the GPU matters at all outside of some specific CUDA based plugins (that don't run on any Radeons at all).

I didn't measure but as I mentioned earlier upgrading my video card made my stuttering HD-DVD display work with no problems. That is although I know for sure the software does not offload any decoding work to the card. It must be just from an improvement in getting pixels over.

I didn't expect that either but there it is. It seems that cheap video cards can be severely crippled when it comes to 2D transfers. Unfortunately I didn't observe PP performance since I didn't expect this before changing the card.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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uOpt
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Feb 14, 2011 11:30 |  #25

tonylong wrote in post #11838635 (external link)
I've always advised people to get an external card with at least 512 MB or so. But, if for newer systems that's "old advice" I'd like to know.

i am sorry but this is bad advise.

The video card industry knows that some people are too lazy to read benchmarks and absolutely must judge things by one number only. In the case of video cards there would be useful numbers such as memory bandwidth. But those aren't on the box. So people buy by amount of video RAM. Then the gaming industry in their quest for easy to understand minimum hardware requirements started using amount of video RAM as a measure.

Subsequently the video card industry started pumping out cards that have huge amounts of RAM which is absolutely useless. Many of the lower performance, high-memory cards cannot even visit 1/8th of the memory they have for lack of memory bandwidth, and that doesn't even begin to look at doing something with the contents. This is nothing but a scam.

I recommend never telling people to buy video cards by amount of RAM. If they don't have much money you make them waste some of the precious money they have on useless junk with lots of memory.

Integrated video varies a lot in performance and capabilities. And you should have a lot of main system RAM anyway. As with video cards, there is no way around actually reading some benchmarks to find out which integrated graphics might get the job done and which don't. Finally, there have been cards that were standalone PCIe card with some amount of own memory which could still use system RAM in addition. Again, no research -> buy junk.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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sssc
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Feb 14, 2011 11:46 |  #26

From what i think i know. Don't your ram on your graphics card have a impact on the amount of the resolution you run on your display also?


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uOpt
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Feb 14, 2011 11:56 |  #27

sssc wrote in post #11841184 (external link)
From what i think i know. Don't your ram on your graphics card have a impact on the amount of the resolution you run on your display also?

It used to, until 1992 or so.


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trailguy
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Feb 14, 2011 12:24 as a reply to  @ uOpt's post |  #28

I load into Lightroom, and when ready, usually export into Photoshop CS4 for final work.
I know how to work photos, but have always used 'expert' advice for buying hardware.
How does this look for a new system.
Intel core i7 950 3.06 Ghz. Is hyper threading any use for my needs?
Video card: Can someone specify one with good bandwidth to use 512RAM?
Thanks




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ProwlingTiger
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Feb 14, 2011 20:54 |  #29

uOpt wrote in post #11841069 (external link)
i am sorry but this is bad advise.

The video card industry knows that some people are too lazy to read benchmarks and absolutely must judge things by one number only. In the case of video cards there would be useful numbers such as memory bandwidth. But those aren't on the box. So people buy by amount of video RAM. Then the gaming industry in their quest for easy to understand minimum hardware requirements started using amount of video RAM as a measure.

Subsequently the video card industry started pumping out cards that have huge amounts of RAM which is absolutely useless. Many of the lower performance, high-memory cards cannot even visit 1/8th of the memory they have for lack of memory bandwidth, and that doesn't even begin to look at doing something with the contents. This is nothing but a scam.

I recommend never telling people to buy video cards by amount of RAM. If they don't have much money you make them waste some of the precious money they have on useless junk with lots of memory.

Integrated video varies a lot in performance and capabilities. And you should have a lot of main system RAM anyway. As with video cards, there is no way around actually reading some benchmarks to find out which integrated graphics might get the job done and which don't. Finally, there have been cards that were standalone PCIe card with some amount of own memory which could still use system RAM in addition. Again, no research -> buy junk.

Having a video card with more RAM keeps it from using the system RAM. It does help to a degree, depending on what task, mostly in gaming. Here's a good article at Tom's Hardware about the issue: http://www.tomshardwar​e.com …ics-ram-4870,2428-10.html (external link)


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uOpt
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Feb 14, 2011 21:06 |  #30

ProwlingTiger wrote in post #11844679 (external link)
Having a video card with more RAM keeps it from using the system RAM. It does help to a degree, depending on what task, mostly in gaming. Here's a good article at Tom's Hardware about the issue: http://www.tomshardwar​e.com …ics-ram-4870,2428-10.html (external link)

Yeah but that's useless, too. First of all, it won't ever happen outside games. But the games that are so heavyweight that they exceed medium amounts of video memory will not be playable on one of those scam video cards which are very slow but have lots of memory. If the game allows you to turn down settings texture quality is the first thing to go, and that means memory usage goes down exponentially. In the end you gain nothing from having lots of memory in a slow video card no matter what you do. It's a 100% scam set up to sell cards to people who need a single, simple number to decide.

Of course if you have the graphics power and you play advanced enough game you will want video memory, too. But you will find that there are no cards for sale with fast GPU, fast memory but insufficient amounts of VRAM.


My imagine composition sucks. I need a heavier lens.

  
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a good PC Photoshop system
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