I'm wanting to upgrade my PC, advice needed

  erkmatrix 14:38 16 Nov 2008

Bit of a dilema to decide which to go for for the best.

First off my PC is only a year old but runs photoshop quite slugish and I want to speed it up.

Should I go for

option 1

Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor SATA 2 Hard Disk Drive 16MB cache 10000 RPM

get 4 X 2GB memory

new processor Intel Core 2 Quad 9300 2.5GHz LGA775

And Windows Vista Ultimate 64

Option 2

All of above but Windows XP 64

Option 3

All of above but Linux

I've heard though 64 bit is quite uncompatible with certain software so still unsure really. Is it easy to say set up dual boot and have XP home still on my machine but add another internal sata faster drive and have Photoshop and 64bit operating system.

Another question, if I switched to Linux, would say Photoshop work and other software.

current set up is

Gamers Intel Core 2 Duo 8800 (Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0 GHz 4Mb Cache,
4Gb Corsair Memory DDR 800,
500GB SATA Hard Drive, ,
8025-C43 Midi,
Atrix 720Watt Silent Dual Fan ,
768Mb Nvidia 8800GTX graphics card DX10,
QC - Gigabyte N680iSLI-DQ6-1333fsb-DDR1066x4 SLI (Dual graphics),
DVD+/- RW - 18X Samsung Lightscribe,
Floppy Drive - SILVER, I
integrated Sound Card,
Intergrated Monitor Speakers, ,
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition


  howard64 14:42 16 Nov 2008

your problem is probably too much memory. XP 32 bit has a problem with more than 3GB installed. Is it possible to measure the time taken for a specific task then take out a bit or ram and try the same thing again.

  erkmatrix 14:53 16 Nov 2008

yeah but I do want to make it as fast as it can be really then I'd never have this lack of memory to perform this task error in Photoshop. I want to upgrade to use more memory but its the 64bit that makes some programs unusuable as made for 32bit putting me off and wondered if it was east to set up a dual booting system with an operating system on two drives and choose which one you want when you turn it on.

  howard64 17:36 16 Nov 2008

you could or you could buy vista which can handle the larger memory

  MAJ 17:53 16 Nov 2008

junipaire said he wanted to speed it up, not clog it up with rubbish.

junipaire: Your computer should, on paper, be well capable of handling PS, there's something not right wrong with your PC if it can't handle PS with that spec. Do you have PS's swap file on a different drive, which is recommended.

  erkmatrix 18:10 16 Nov 2008


I have it installed on my main C drive with the scratch disc set to an external drive I have.

Its probably a case of I have it cluttered up with unwanted stuff and needs a good cleanup of old software I don't use. But I just though along with doing a cleanup I could upgrade just to give it that extra speed in working with larger size photoshop and illustrator files.

So you wouldn't recommend vista, does the 64bit xp give it the ability to handle 4GB + of memory or is that only vista 64

  MAJ 18:21 16 Nov 2008

Yes XP 64-bit can access more than 4GB of physical memory, junipaire.

PS uses a maximum of about 1.5GB of physical memory, it then starts to use it's swap file, or as you rightly call it, it's scratch disk. If both PS and XP are trying to access your physical memory at the same time, you could see the problems you are experiencing I would imagine. I'm not sure that your external drive's transfer rate is up to the task if you're using large PS files. Have you tried creating a smallish partition (about 5-10GBs) on your internal Sata drive and using that as the scratch disk, to see if it helps?

  erkmatrix 20:42 16 Nov 2008


right thats good to know about xp cause what I've seen of vista I don't like much, things are too scattered about to find in my mind and with XP I'm so used to, but again it begs the question how long will xp last.

No I haven't tried that partitioning the main sata. Is it easy to do? I certainly could give it ago before I spalashed out on another raptor drive.

  MAJ 20:49 16 Nov 2008

m800afc posted a link to a free version of Partition Manager 9 Express yesterday click here you could try that, it looks okay, I installed it but haven't used it yet. XP will last until 2014, in that it is supported until then, as far as I know.

  erkmatrix 23:31 16 Nov 2008

cheers, I'll have a look into Partition Manager 9, and that's ok if XP lasts that long, should be ok.

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

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