Adobe Experts: Help Building a Graphic Design PC

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Signals, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    I just posted this over on Adobe's forums but who knows whether or not I'll get any replies in the next 48 to 72 hours so I figured If I posted here, at least I'd get some advise pretty quick. This thread is more or less a spinoff of my other thread asking about the ZT PC. So below is my more specific question.

    Please bare in mind that I have NO relevant experience with Adobe design products or the specific requirements a computer system needs to comfortably use Adobe CS6 products, so go easy on me if you decide to take a critical spirit about my questions. ;)

    As I mention below, my intentions are to get the $30 monthly subscription to Adobe CS6 Cloud, which gives me access to all their design products without spending thousands to outright purchase the software.

    I know there must be several people who frequent this forum who are experienced designers and would have some worthwhile advise on my approach to getting started on my limited budget.

    The more specific you are about the hardware requirements and what the hardware specifically does, the more useful it will be for me.

    If you are going to recommend building a system for scratch, could you please be very specific about the individual hardware components and why you suggest them?

    Here's my post over on Adobe's forum:

    Need Help Building a Graphic Design PC
    Dec 19, 2012 7:44 PM
    Tags: none (add)

    Greetings everybody, my name is David, and I'm hoping to get a little assistance building a computer system either from scratch or from a couple of computers I have picked out.

    I hope this that doesn't sound unrealistic but I only have around $600 in my budget to build a Graphic Designer machine. My intentions are to get a subscription to Adobe cloud whereas I would have access to all of Adobe CS6 products. (I won’t be using any of the Touch or Game developers applications.)

    I would like to post two links to two machines that I picked out that are in my price range and would like some advice as to whether or not either one of these machines have enough processing power to be able to handle all Adobe CS 6 products.

    I am aware that neither one of these machines have a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and that I would have to purchase one and add it. Which leads me to my first question; are the processors on either one of these machines capable of handling a GPU that is on the Adobe recommended list for processors?

    And secondly, if I were to build a machine from scratch, is $600 enough to build a machine that is capable of handling Adobe CS6 products? When building a machine from scratch can you tell me what the minimum requirements are for a motherboard? Or are there any sites that offer specific advise for building PC's for graphic design?

    I noticed after looking through the list of recommended graphics processing units that the majority of those are very expensive, in the $500-$3000 range. Can you please recommend a graphics processing unit that is in the $200-$300 range that would be fully adequate to handle Adobe products? Also what things do I need to take into consideration when building the machine from scratch to ensure that all my hardware is capable of handling Adobe CS6 products.

    What do I need to add to either one of these prebuilt computers to make them Adobe-ready, If they are in fact worthy at all?

    Here are the links for two machines that I have picked out:

    I do realize that neither one of these machines have a graphics card in them. Can you tell by looking at the specifications on either one of these machines, whether or not your typical graphics card would fit inside the case If they are indeed worthy in all other respects?

    And I realize that I mentioned that I only had $600 to spend, however if either one of these pre-built machines are powerful enough in all other respects, I don't have an issue waiting a month or two before buying the graphics card and installing a little bit later.

    So I have $600 I can spend now, and about $100 to $200 to spend on a GPU within the next month or so

    Thank you in advance for your input.


  2. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    What is your goal for your work with the Adobe suites with this computer? Are you looking to do intensive video editing, archive a family's worth of photos, learn and practice for a profession?
  3. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    I eventually want to learn video editing, but for now, I will start with Adobe's easier programs (photoshop, Illustrator... etc. and work up from there. I hope to get certifications from Adobe on at least 3 or 4 of their applications, maybe more.

    I guess the bigger picture would to have some web development expertise using Adobe's products as well.

    The truth is I want to spend as much time as I can in the next one to two years learning their applications so I can freelance. Their are probably some some specific area's that I'll excel in, but I don't know what those are yet. Once I start getting a feel for Adobe's products surely something will emerge that I am exceptionally good at. I just don't know until I start working the software over to see what stands out.

    A very important thing for me is to not have an inadequate system that is always tripping me up with frustration. I want to be focused on the programs, not crappy broken technology.

    I know only having $600 to start with then $200 more to upgrade in the spring time is bit limiting, but it is what it is.
  4. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    There are a few different things.

    If you are dealing with non-video, then memory and disk space are the most important.

    If Video, then memory, disk space and CPU is the most important.

    What do you have now as a PC? Is it capable of more memory? If not, does it have at least 2 to 4GB? (hell, a lot less depending on what you're doing) If so and you aren't working with large videos, then use what you have now.

    You are looking to get into something I'm guessing you aren't even sure you're going to stick with. When that is the case, start as cheaply as possible. (ie, use what you have if you can)

    What I'm saying is, if you PC isn't 8 years old with 512 megs of memory, then use your current PC and just get your cloud subscription. If you enjoy it and want to do larger projects, then buy a better PC.

    Actually, you may want to look into Gimp rather than Photoshop type products. They are free and extremely capable. Your entry into this area could start completely free. IMO, that is by far the best way to enter graphics design.

    Gimp has a free magazine that has many tutorials not to mention hundreds on the net and Youtube.
  5. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    The PC I have now is a laptop with only 2GB of memory and not upgradable. I installed Gimp on this PC once and absolutely hated that product. Many of the features of Gimp are much more cumbersome than even an old version of Photoshop I had on a previous PC. Actually looked around and had several FREE design programs installed on this PC and hated all the advertising crap they insisted on loading my PC down with, and I found the help files to suck to the Nth degree. With certifications from Adobe I know that will be a selling point when freelancing. When I recently looked at education requirements for designers on Monster and Career builder, none of them are looking for experts in Gimp, it's very ofter Adobe products they want their designers to know.

    Th a laptop I have has version of Win XP that is scheduled for Microsoft to quit writing service packs for in 2014. This PC is not worth relying on much less trying to update it.

    SIA, are the intel i3 or i5 processors on those PC's on those links in the original post capable of handling video editing?

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