4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2013 6:09 AM by PayodPanda

    Help with laptop selection for Photoshop

    PayodPanda Level 1

      Hello people!

      To start with, I know this has been asked here a lot, but I need a little guidance with selecting a laptop for primarily Photoshop work. I don't have a desktop and the laptop will be my primary machine, so it needs to be powerful enough. A desktop is not a feasible option for me right now. Also, I am a student and don't want to blow my dad's wallet, the budget I'm aiming for is $1300 (which I still think is pretty high).


      I will be talking in terms of USD rates.


      My main usage of the laptop will be for web design, but I will also be creating digital art (paintings) on a large scale. I also do fractal art, and the rendering would be CPU intensive. I have some projects that I couldn't complete and are just lying around on my current laptop because a single brush stroke in those files takes 10-15 seconds to register (it's a four year old budget laptop, 4GB RAM, slow HDD, Core 2 Duo). I might print some of the paintings but only for personal use, not for commercial purposes.


      From my search on the internet, I have decided to go for what people call a "gaming laptop". This is mainly due to the fact that I can not afford a mobile workstation, and a gaming laptop is probably the next best thing there is. I am not considering MBP because of the price / performance. I know they are stable, and would probably last long, and they use quality components, but the performance wouldn't be as good as, let's say, a gaming laptop for the same price ($1300 budget)

      The laptop I am considering right now would have a good processor (Intel Core i7 4700MQ), plenty RAM (16GB, upgradeable to 32GB), and one HDD bay and 2 mSATA slots for SSDs. The GPU is overkill for my needs, the nVidia GTX770M. The screen is a TN panel, with an option to go for a 95% NTSC gamut display, but it is still a 6 bit TN without Hi-FRC, so I don't see any point going for that since my major work is web design and I'll (probably) see a lot of banding with a 6 bit high gamut display (even with dithering to 8bit). I can clearly see banding on my current display screen with standard gamut in gradients, so even the thought of a higher gamut with lower bit depth scares me.

      This setup is for ~$1300 (excluding the SSD which I will be paying for from my savings so I'm not counting that).


      Another setup, which has an IPS panel, a lower-end GPU (GTX 750M), and 16GB RAM but NOT upgradeable (2 DIMM slots), is for around $1100 but it has a lower build quality overall and bad heat dissipation as well.


      According to you, do I require more than 16GB of RAM? I intend to use this laptop for at least 4 years. The projects I have on hold have PSDs 1.7GB in size, and I plan to go the PSB route with the new laptop. Having 16GB RAM with an SSD for scratch disk, would that enable me to work normally without frustration?

      Should I keep the display panel above the memory size in my priority list? I feel that performance should come first - what's the use of a beautiful screen if the computer itself doesn't perform smoothly?


      From my understanding, the ideal system for me would be:

      Standard gamut IPS display

      Core i7 4700MQ

      16GB RAM for now but upgradeable to 32GB if I need to

      nVidia GTX 750M (Quadro and FirePro are really out of my budget and I'm definitely not going to use 10bit displays for a while)

      256GB SSD for OS, Photoshop, scratch disk, and active project files

      750GB - 1TB 7200RPM HDD for storage.

      And a decent build quality, of course.


      I do not care much about the battery life, and noise levels; although good heat dissipation is a must.


      Sadly, I can not find anything with this configuration. To say I am seriously confused would be an understatement.


      Can you guys help me out with your experience? Any recommendations about specific laptop models would also be greatly appreciated.





      EDIT: These are the models I'm looking at right now:

      Sager NP8265 / Clevo P150SM

      Sager NP6652 / Clevo W650SR

        • 1. Re: Help with laptop selection for Photoshop
          Level 5



          One piece of advice:  keep your posts as concise as possible.  Few contributors are likely to read such a long post.


          It's good that you give some information about your requirements; but it shouldn't extend that long.

          • 2. Re: Help with laptop selection for Photoshop
            PayodPanda Level 1

            station_two, sorry about that. Making things concise has always been a problem with me. D:


            I would've edited the content now, but strangely I don't see an "edit" button any more (for my post). I just see "was this helpful?" (which shouldn't really be shown on your own post, right?)


            And I had made the important points bold, thinking maybe that would help sift through the (long) post.

            • 3. Re: Help with laptop selection for Photoshop
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              What Station said.  I read the first paragraph and got bored.


              16Gb is plenty of RAM for Photoshop.  I recently bought a laptop specifically for Creative Cloud apps, and found that the gaming laptops offered amazing power for the money.  I went for an MSI GT70 which has two SSDs in a raid0 plus a 750Gb HDD, i7-3630QM CPU and GTX680M with 4Gb.  It is rediculously fast, and will load any of the CC apps in about one second.  Smaller programs like Powerpoint load instantly.

              • 4. Re: Help with laptop selection for Photoshop
                PayodPanda Level 1

                Hi Trevor!

                Really sorry about the long post. :(

                I have seen your posts in other laptop threads here, I have already checked out your model. It's beyond my budget. :)


                How much RAM do you have? What kind of file sizes do you work with? As I said, I might be working with rather huge files from time to time, even PSBs possibly.