Laptop specs required to run Photoshop software

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Hi, I'm looking to purchase a laptop to use photoshop on and would like to know necessary specs, such as is i5 ok or is i7 needed, do graphics need to be nvidia or Intel HD, should memory be 4GB or 8GB etc, any other specs to look out for?

One laptop I'm considering is a Lenovo Thinkpad E540 Touchscreen, it's got below specs:

Processor: Intel Core i5-4200M Processor( 2.50GHz 1600MHz 3MB)
Operating system: Windows 8 64
Display type: 15.6" HD AntiGlare 1366x768
System Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 2GB
Total memory: 4.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
Hard drive device: 500GB 7200 rpm
Optical device: Multi Recorder
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Stephanie McDougall

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Posted 4 years ago

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Chris Cox

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That depends a lot on what sort of images you commonly work with.
Web graphics might be fine on that machine. But DSLR photos, panoramas, or documents with a lot of layers would be hampered by not enough RAM or HD space.
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Stephanie McDougall

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Thanks

It will actually be used for my mum so I'm not 100% sure but she currently has a "PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GM1" Camera and is learning how to use Photoshop Elements at a course.. so looking for a computer that can handle working on that software and then being able to advance skills / photoshop software over time.

So is NVidia graphics sufficient for Photoshop softwares?

In regards to RAM and HD, would a similar laptop specs but with 8GB RAM and 1TB for HD be sufficient?

Also, is i5 ok for Photoshop software of i7 really necessary?

The next one up in Lenovo for specs you mentioned appears to be below, would this if it had 8GB be ok for Photoshop softwares?

Thinkpad Edge E540

Processor: Intel Core i7-4712MQ Processor -vPro
Operating System: Windows 8.1 64
Display: 15.6" HD Touchscreen Antiglare Display (1366 x 768) Midnight Black
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForceĀ® GT 840M with OptimusTM technology (2GB)
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz (1 DIMM)
Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 RPM HDD
Optical Device: DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer
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Chris Cox

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That system should be ok for Elements and casual usage.
Just don't expect it to perform well for professional use.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Photoshop Elements on Windows is currently only 32-bit so could only address up to 4GB of memory but I'd think 8GB would be a reasonable minimum. Regular Photoshop and Lightroom both are 64-bit so can use more memory.

Is she more interested in using Adobe products to perfect individual images as a photographer might, or more about creating things that include images, like scrapbooks or collages or newsletters or panoramas or something more complex than single-images?
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Stephanie McDougall

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Thanks Chris & Steve,

I expect that my mum would like perfect images, collate images, I would assume work with some panoramas...

So is Elements being a 32-bit ok to operate on a Windows 8, 64-bit computer?

I guess the question then is, if the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E540 specs would not suffice for all photoshop software use, what specs would suffice? what extra or different specs to ones already mentioned would ensure no limitations to proper use of photoshop software (eg even more than 8GB memory, different graphics software etc)?

Thanks
Steph
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I would say 8GB minimum RAM for full blown Photoshop CC+ and I don't see any 3-digit graphics cards listed in the Intel-HD section PS-tested-with specs page, but am not sure if either of the cards you list are ok or not:
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/p...

The 768px high for the display might be a little short to see all the sliders in the Camera Raw plug-in if there is going to be a task bar along the bottom. For example, here is a screenshot of Camera Raw that is as narrow as I can make it and just tall enough to see all the sliders in the basic toning area:

The Camera Raw plug-in can be shrunk up to about 539 pixels high but there'd be a bit of scrolling involved in getting to the lower sliders.

The smallest I can make LR is 950x720px which would fit on the screen, but the central area is a bit small:


Is there a chance this laptop could be hooked up to a larger monitor like 1680x1050 or larger when serious work was being done?
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Stephanie McDougall

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googling, it looks like the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 2GB from 1st laptop mentioned is supported being under 700 series, but the NVIDIA GeForceĀ® GT 840M with OptimusTM technology (2GB) which would be under 800 series is not mentioned under the tested video cards link you've supplied, but I would have thought if it's the next series up it should be ok, guess that is something I can check Lenovo thoughts on...

My mum has a monitor already but I plan to source another one so can make sure it's the right size for 1680x1050 or larger as you've mentioned...

thanks for your help
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Stephanie McDougall

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with the Graphics cards, what is a recommended graphics card/s? I can see on link supplied that there are quite a few no longer to be supported, so I'd be interested to know if the remaining ones are likely to be supported for a while, or there is another direction of graphic cards photoshop are leaning towards for future?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The M at the end of the graphics cards mean they are the Mobile variety. I don't see any xxxM cards listed with Photoshop so am not sure if they are included or not. On one had the cards having 2GB of memory would seem to be sufficient but I don't know about the performance. You'll also notice that OpenGL 2.0/Shader Model 3, or OpenCL 1.1 are needed. These are GPU capabilities on the graphics card.

The main problems with the laptops you've given is the lack of RAM and the smallness of the hard-drive on the first one, and laptop hard-drives tend to be slower.

A desktop will give more bang for the buck. Does your mother need to roam about the house with her computer?

As Chris Cox said, the laptops you're showing would work for Elements ok but maybe not for Photoshop or, I would add, 4GB for Lightroom is a bit small.
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Stephanie McDougall

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Thanks for your advice. I was originally looking at hard drives but then laptops seem more versatile. I mentioned laptops not being as good to use to my mum. She said everyone in her current camera class, which includes learning photoshop, is using laptops for photoshop. So I've asked her to get some opinions on how they go using the laptop with photoshop

looking at desktops again, I come back to the question of whether i5 is ok or really need i7 for photoshop. It seems like there are many varying responses.

I have found a couple of Dell desktops I like (screen will look at separately.

One is an i5 but has 8GB memory, windows 7 pro, 1TB HD,. Nvidia Geforce 705 1GB DDR3, so seems ok, would you agree? or you think has to be an i7?