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Processing laptop


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My trusty laptop of 7 years died on me last night. Running a diagnostic test revealed the ram has gone. This could be repaired, but I'd been contemplating upgrading anyway.

I'm currently using photoshop for my processing, and will continue to do so for now. However, I would like the option of moving to pixinsight at some point.

I see pixinsight minimum requirement is an i5 processor with 8gb ram. But what is the reasonable real world minimum which would make it workable without taking a day to process one photo(I've heard some operations take a long time).

I have a budget of about £500, and a refurbished laptop seems the best option. I've seen a few options with i7 processors and 16gb ram for about my budget, but was wondering if anyone had some recommendations. Would the options below be any good?Screenshot_20220115-091255.thumb.png.306a4008c2def23612e1a6f9896cff03.pngScreenshot_20220114-234011.thumb.png.1fc3fce7061ec2aa9306f9fee4f7db46.png

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There's lots to choose from, PS will eat RAM and will slow down if you don't have enough though I've never ever had a computer use more than 8gb RAM even under very heavy load, you will need a 64 bit operating system to utilise more than 4gb of RAM so check on that.

Nowadays an SSD is a must but they are not all built equal, Samsung Evos generally are the best and an NVME one will have faster bandwidth than a Sata one.

I would also check on the CPU processor clock speed as multi core is all well and good but most programs don't multi thread so multi core can be negated whereas a faster core clock speed will benefit.

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10 minutes ago, Elp said:

There's lots to choose from, PS will eat RAM and will slow down if you don't have enough though I've never ever had a computer use more than 8gb RAM even under very heavy load, you will need a 64 bit operating system to utilise more than 4gb of RAM so check on that.

Nowadays an SSD is a must but they are not all built equal, Samsung Evos generally are the best and an NVME one will have faster bandwidth than a Sata one.

I would also check on the CPU processor clock speed as multi core is all well and good but most programs don't multi thread so multi core can be negated whereas a faster core clock speed will benefit.

Thanks for the reply. What kind of clock speeds are we talking about, the one I'm looking at has 2.6ghz, is that acceptable? It's been a long time since I shopped for a laptop, and I feel a bit out of touch

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2.6 I would say is around the norm, it's decent, newer specific intel CPUs where the bios permits can run in turbo mode where 1 core can run sometimes 1-2 GHz faster than its base clock. If it's running multi threaded programs it however will not run in turbo mode. If it's a slim chassis laptop the CPU will also throttle (slow down) when running CPU intensive tasks to keep the temperature down on the processor.

I have an older laptop which is over 5 years old, I think a generation above the latitude you posted in your original link. Its base clock is 2.7-3.7 GHz and it still processes just as fast or faster than a 1-2 year old laptop because CPU manufacturers have thrown the marketing at multi core rather than the old strategy of making CPUs faster in single core, newer laptop base clocks as a result don't run as fast as they used to as energy efficiency is also a factor.

Nowadays AMD ryzen 9 also way outperform intel but again mainly in multi threaded applications. If you get a decent i7/i9 or a ryzen 7/9 I think you can't go wrong but all the specs have to be taken into consideration. Pair it with an SSD and a decent amount of RAM and I think you'll be alright. RAM tends to be more important in PS as well as the HDD as it's reading the source files. A discrete graphics card may also be of benefit (not sure how well GPU acceleration is implemented in PS). I don't use Mac but the M1 processor is supposed to be fast but another route entirely.

I can still process on a decade old computer but obviously it takes longer, especially when stacking, depends how patient you are.

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