Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shopping for a new computer?

If you use Adobe Creative Suite and are contemplating the purchase of a new computer, here's something you need to be aware of:

Today, even "low end" computers often have sufficient horsepower to adequately run Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. But before purchasing a new computer, be sure to read the system requirements for Photoshop CS4 closely. Among the various requirements listed, you will see the following language for both Mac and Windows computers:

Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0.

These "GPU-accelerated features" in Photoshop CS4 are really cool, such as extremely fast and smooth zooming in and out, "toss physics" (a neat way to quickly pan across a large image), arbitrary view rotation, high quality pixel rendering at odd zoom percentages, and, in Photoshop CS4 Extended: fast, accurate rendering and display of 3D images.

As far as I know, Photoshop CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, After Effects CS4 and Premier Pro CS4 are the only programs in the Creative Suite that take advantage of OpenGL 2.0. But its possible that in the future other components of the Creative Suite may take advantage of this capability. So even if you don't use Photoshop, After Effects or Premier Pro, it would be best to have a video circuitry that supports OpenGL 2.0 and Shader Model 3.0. To determine if the video card in your computer supports this technology, you may need to visit your video card manufacturer's Web site and read the fine print.

Keep this in mind as you evaluate new hardware.

(You can learn more about OpenGL here and here. A table showing support for OpenGL on various Macintosh video cards is here.)

1 comment:

nlx said...

that exclude MacMini at least…