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Author   Topic : "Tech thing : Athlon and photoshop/painter"
BooMSticK
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 4:26 am     Reply with quote
hi.. Been to busy at work to do any painting lately, therefore my first post in the new year is this boooring techpost...

I've been wanting to upgrade my system for a while and will do within the next few weeks. I was wondering about if any of you have been trying out how Painter and Photoshop fares with the new Atlon Thunderbird processors running WinNT or Win2000. especially the 1Ghz processor. I'm not totally convinced into buying Athlon over Intel, so any info/experience you can provide would be very much appreciated...
thx
,Boomer
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toast!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 5:10 am     Reply with quote
hi boomstick;

I've switched from Intel to AMD; an no regrets ; the new amd processors are very far from the previous ones (i mean k6 processors); i m running win2k and i haven t encountred any problem so far (hardware / software incompatibilities , stability etc..)

I've personnaly chosen a duron processor wich works fine at ghz ; some friends of mine have purchased thunderbirds/athlon at the same frequency and there is very few differences between the different processors on programs like photoshop or 3dsmax (only on specific tasks wich need a great amount of cache) .

If you are talking about painting stuff on the programs ; i ve switched from 500 mhz to 1Gghz and i didn't notice much difference ; only on great resolutions(but maybe you should better increase the ram in those cases ...). Photoshop 6 is still slow even at this frequency ; painter 6 works fine. 3d renderings are twice faster (that s the best improvment I guess).

By the way, if you already have a motherboard wich accepts the lastest PIII ; it would be fine to keep your eyes on the intel way . If you want to change many things , AMD is the way to go (the next problem will be , which Amd, depends on what you do and which budget you ve got)

This was my opinion on the case , hope it would help you a bit

see you

Toast


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BooMSticK
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 5:56 am     Reply with quote
Hiya Toast!
Sounds great. I'm sitting on a PII350 at the moment, so I'm really lookin forward to the new system I do quite a lotof work in Max so it's great to hear that your running that with no problem. I know that Photoshop6 is slow, which is why I haven't upgraded from 5.5 (and because of some other things in v.6 that I really don't like). I'm hoping to get some more speed in Painter, which is running very slow right now. I have 256megs installed and since the ram is so cheap at the moment I'll probably upgrade to 512megs also...
thanx again for sharing....
,B
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elam
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:15 am     Reply with quote
I just upgraded from a PII400 to an Duron 800. The chip cost about $80.00. I haven't noticed a real difference in Painter or Photoshop. I think those rely more on memory and hard disk size and speed. But my render times are amazingly fast. I would definitely recommend an Athlon. But it's a bitch to get the fan on those socket A processors.
elam
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Chapel
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:25 am     Reply with quote
I'm a techie. From the benchmarks I've seen and from listening to my colleagues the Athlons out perform the Intels in several categories. I have a PII 450 right now and I'm planning on upgrading to a Thunderbird (most likely the 1 gigga) and 512mb RAM sometime soon. If you are looking a inexpensive upgrade that will get you good performance the Duran is not a bad way to go. Cheap, easy, and fast.. like how I like my women. (That's just a joke for you females reading.. I'm really a nice, charming, sensitive guy for the new millennium.)
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BooMSticK
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:37 am     Reply with quote
Well I know that Photoshop works pretty fast on 800+mhz machines. A fast harddrive and lots of ram is the key when working with big filez. Painter on the other hand I have no clue on how to optimize. (other than fast harddrive etc.). As far I know some people believe that Painter is faster than Photoshop and some don't.. Mine is slow as a big heavy cow! Even when working in sub 1000*1000 pictures I can't get fast response when painting with a fairly large (30+) round camelhair brush. Beats me! :/

But I'll most like go for the Athlon Thunderbird 1Ghz system...

But keep posting. Would like to hear some pro intel opinons (if there are any, ehehe!)
;B
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NexxThe
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:36 am     Reply with quote
OK, guys, take a look at this
website

As it says P3 or P4 sucks comparing to Athlon proc
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plasticsun
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:42 am     Reply with quote
The hard drive bottleneck will be your biggest problem, but due to our wonderful economy, HDs are super cheap right now, and the Abit KT7 RAID motherboard will do a raid setup of two hard drives. This means you buy the Abit Kt7 Raid MB, for around 120, and two cheap 30 gig drives for about 80-100 apiece, and RAID them at UDMA 66, this WILL double the speed of the hard drives by making them copies of each other, this eases the pain of the hard drive bottleneck seriously, and gives you all the extra advantage of that fast AMD processor

------------------
Either our lives become stories or there's no way to get through them
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ZenDrag0n
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 2:24 pm     Reply with quote
You guys bitch a lot !LOL!. I have a Cyrix 6x86 200+ and only 196 megs of ram. I use PS6 and do the 1000x1000+ size images, and large brushes are a bitch, but they teach infinate patience.

Of course I just found out how cheap the new Athlons are, and as soon as I get a new job and a couple hundred bucks, I'm definately upgrading.
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Sieb
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:35 pm     Reply with quote
Hiya, Ive been looking into getting a new Alienware (already got one, bitchin machines, highly recommended!). I currently run a PIII500 rigt with 256 megs of mem and a 30gig hdd. It runs nicely with win2k on it, no probs. Im looking to get my new one with a 1.2 GHz Thunderbird. So far from what Ive read and looked into, the Athlon outdoes the PIIIs in floating point calcs and much more (bigger L1 cache also). You need those floating points for 3d stuff (PIII has 2 FP pipelines and the Athlon has 4 or 6). Dont even waste your time on a P4, it performes worse than the PIIIs and Athlon outdoes both even running at 1.2 GHz compared to the P4 1.5 GHz. The Duron is also better than Intels Celes by a long shot. It runs at the full FSB of 133 instead of 66 like Celerons.

The only good thing about a P4 is that its FSB (front side bus-how fast the mobo and chip talk) is 400 MHz, but that still doesnt save it. A RAID array would be good also to clear up the harddrive bottleneck. But unless your going to be doing a dual proc system with PIIs, I would go for an Athlon.

BUT-- The only drawback is that Photoshop is optimized for the SSE instructions in the Pentiums so you will be loosing some overhead power since Athlons use the 3DNow! instructions. But other than that, go for an Athlon. I know I am. Athlon 1.2 GHz are what, under 800 bucks. A PIII800 is around 800 bucks. A P4 is around $1k.

Note-P4 is a marketing tool, its a piece of crap. stay away for a while. Intel just wanted the room to expand into GHz range over AMD. Speed instead of quality.

*Steps off soapbox*
Sieb
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Sieb
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:39 pm     Reply with quote
I meant to say a dual proc system with PIIIs, it does pretty good. To get the lowdown on everything, check out www.Tomshareware.com.

Sieb
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Chapel
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 3:43 pm     Reply with quote
Alienware?? Are you kidding me. don't recommend that stuff. We are artists.. we like to save money. I suggest you find a nice techie buddy and have them put a machine together for you or if you know how to do it yourself. I can put together the same machine alienware can and save over a $1000.

that link should be http://www.tomshardware.com

go to http://www.pricewatch.com to get an idea on costs.

And for those of you who bought a system from AlienWare or Dell or wherever.. you might want to price out your system too just to see the difference.

[This message has been edited by Chapel (edited January 05, 2001).]
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Jyashuwa
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 4:03 pm     Reply with quote
I haven't read about the benchmark comparisons, but I just upgraded to a Athlon TBird 1g with 512 ram, and Photoshop and Maya run like heaven. If you plan on using the A7V motherboard, becareful cause I had constant hanging issues when the Preformance was set to "Optimal". Other than that it runs great.
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Guy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 7:15 pm     Reply with quote
i have an athlon 700 (not t-bird) but i like it. just make sure your system is compatible. i got an asus K7V motherboard with and asus tnt2 pro. so it works together quite well and im also running win2k server right now, so yeah. i suggest AMD over intel anyday
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AliasMoze
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 8:06 pm     Reply with quote
Boomstick,
I recently got a Ghz Thunderbird with an A7V motherboard, and I have been extrememly pleased with the setup. I stayed with Intel for the longest time, but the price of the Athlon tempted me. Now I'm never going back. I would HIGHLY recommend it.
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Flinthawk
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:12 pm     Reply with quote
Have to agree with Chapel there...when I was looking for my first major computer I started by looking at Dell and other major companies. A friend told me to forget about it and told me he'd help me put a system together. I went straight to pricewatch.com, bought the major pieces like the video card, processor, motherboard, RAM and monitor and then went to the local, small computer shop for the stuff like keyboard, case, mouse, etc. All told I came out saving much more than $1000. This was more than two years ago and I mangaged to put together a PII 450, 128 RAM, 12GB hard drive, 16MB TNT card and a 21" monitor for well under $2000. Comparable computers from those places like Dell and Gateway were running around $3000. Having the knowledge to now get under the hood and replace anything I want in my computer is also a big plus. It's really easy stuff to grasp once you've got somebody who's done it giving you a quick run down.

-Flinthawk
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Sieb
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 9:46 pm     Reply with quote
Yes, Im quite aware that Alienware and whatnot are expensive. I like the company and their performance. I use the power for 3d work and, AH! games! heaven forbid! Yes, I could put a computer together with my eyes closed for a fraction of the cost, but I dont have a Computer Warehouse down the street. Everything I would want I would have to order online which would run me more in the end. Or I can get it all from the same place at once and save myself the time and headach trying to get it all to cooperate. Sorry for the mistypes (TomsHardware.com).
If you can piece it together for cheap, by all means. I will be pieceing a server together soon. But come one.. Alienware, I can get it in Yello! How cool is that?!


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Flinthawk
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:54 pm     Reply with quote
you know, the money you're paying to get it in yellow is easily the cost of any shipping you'd get from ordering online. It doesn't take a warehouse to get the generic stuff, practically any shop will do and for every piece I ordered online I got free shipping anyway. When I went to buy the case and whatnot I was looking at getting it in black...guess what, it easily quadrupled the price of those pieces...for that I'll paint it myself and probably come out with something cooler, I mean, com'on, we're artists here, right?

Only headache I had putting my system together was that fact that my processor was bad..sent it back, put the new one in, no problems what so ever. I run my DVD, 3D MAX and Photoshop all at the same time without any problems. Plenty of power there. Only thing I could possibly use is some more RAM and a professional level video card, but I get by fine with what I've got.

But to each his own, just pointing out that shipping isn't a big deal.

-Flinthawk

*yellow, Sieb? *

[This message has been edited by Flinthawk (edited January 05, 2001).]
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Zeno
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:04 pm     Reply with quote
BooMSticK::

Here is my take on system upgrading...

The new AMD Thunderbird processors have been getting very good reviews lately (I read they have very good FPU performance also, which is important for doing 3D work) but it doesn't matter too much as to which brand you buy (AMD or Intel). Just remember that there will *always* be something better and faster around the corner waiting to make your current purchase of joy obsolete (next week).

Your CPU isn't the only bottleneck (as someone pointed out earlier) you'll encounter when working with Photoshop, 3ds max or any other program. Your hard drive, RAM, and your video card are also very very important.

Make sure you get at least a 7200RPM hard drive (ATA66 or ATA100 also helps speed). In general, the new, larger hard drives (I prefer IBM and Quantum) tend to be better performers.

A fast videocard (I prefer Nvidia cards, but thats just me cause I like to play games too) with **mature** drivers is an absolute must. Under-developed drivers will cause many problems with stability, which is something you seem to be concerned about. I can't tell you how many people I've seen bad mouth programs and/or their operating system, simply because they didn't buy a product with stable and mature drivers.

Also, RAM is really cheap right now so get as much as you can, simply put. Check out these sites, if you haven't already that is.
www.anandtech.com www.sharkyextreme.com www.hardocp.com www.pricewatch.com www.mwave.com - place I buy my parts, but I'm not sure if they ship to Denmark.

I hope this helps some.. feel free to ask more questions. Take care.
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Sieb
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 12:14 am     Reply with quote
Yes, again, before I found alienware, I was custom building my rig, but that was when everything was booming and hardware changed daily. The rise of the PIII. Parts weren't as readily avaliable as they are now, to me anyway. So I just chose something solid, I chose Alienware. I dont like OEMs like Dell or HP. Besides, with my Alienware rig, I got one of the few Hercules TNT2 Ultras . I had to wait a couple extra weeks for them to get a hold of one. (R.I.P. Hercules, pre Guillemont days.) Im proud of it, its a tough motha. And I haven't had any problems with my rig.

*Flinthawk* yes, I know, Yellow. I get tied up in writing. I also had surgery not too long ago, so Im still not with it. Thus, my lack of spelling skills lately, I promise I will get better though! And Ive been racking my brain working on getting a grip on Maya. Mmm.. Maya good.. 3dsMax is still good though. My copy of Truespace 4 is slowly fading away.. Anyone else use TS4? Or am I the only person..?

Only thing I wouldn't mind spending money on though is a good pro grafix card too. Mmm, Wildcat.. (note-costs just as much as my computer )

On a side note, except for the price, Is anyone using any flat LCD monitors? I was interested in seeing what people thought of them for graphics use wise.. (Not that Im going to buy one, I can run dual 19" monitors for the price of 1 15" LCD..)

Yes, Ram is good, Ram is cheap (except DDR- also used w/P4s). Im currently running 256, which is more than enough right now with PS and 3d stuff. Be careful though, too much and your wasting money, once you get to 128 or 256, performance increase is hard to notice unless your running a server or something. (or doing lots of huge PS files/filters) With the AGP at x4 now and graphics cards toping 200+ MHz, they dont pose much of a bottlneck anymore unless your pushing 3d stuff-most mobos still run at 133 Mhz (thats where a Wildcat is good). It mostly lies in your harddrive since its doing physical work, but most new stuff is pretty fast anyways. *If only everything in a computer ran the same speed.. hmm 1Ghz harddrives, mem, and gfx cards.. Someday..*

Sieb
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Flinthawk
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 12:24 am     Reply with quote
Haha, what's sad is that I didn't catch the spelling error until you pointed it out! I was just commenting on your choice of color

Man, we were thinking about changing over to Maya here at work but figured that the learning curve would be too much to deal with since we're already in the middle of a project and everybody here was deeply rooted in MAX. I have a friend that got hired on at another company that literally paid him to sit there and learn Maya for a month. He had the same experience that I had in MAX and he says that it wasn't too hard to learn, a lot of the same stuff, just in different places or done in a different way. He likes it better than MAX.

-Flinthawk
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Sieb
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 12:51 am     Reply with quote
Haha, yes, yellow would be a sweet color with black, my bumble bee rig. But their blue and silver colors are nice also. Hey, im and artist, I have to be different..

I love Maya, its a really powerful and sweet program. It does everything, almost.. ILM, Square, the big guys use it along with SoftImage.. Though I dont care much for SI.. Max has its cool set of evironmental tools like engines, explosions, and stuff. Maya will do anything you want it to do, you can even code what you want if its not there with MEL scripts. Maya is an 80 ton gurrila of power. Very versitile, I like it alot. Its far superior to TS4, and Max is kinda low key, but has some good stuff in it. Ive only really latched onto TS4 (ive been with Truespace ever since 1.0) so its hard for me to juggle between max and Maya. Maya isnt complicated, just depends on what side of your brain you use. Its just very deep and versitile and takes a while to discover everything, theres just so much it can do. But once you get it, its awsome. Their books are good to, the tutorial manual is a breeze to get through, and the new book, "Art of May" is very nice. Im trying to get a hold of the big packages before I stake my claim with a company so I can be pretty versitile.
I feel that Maya will pick up as a forefront program like SoftImage used to be. AW is pushing a big ad campaign behind Maya. Well worth it, especially at $20k, it better be... Also, you can code/develope entire games in Maya (ie: Vampire:The Masquarade). Neat stuff I tell ya..


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Chapel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 1:33 am     Reply with quote
Sieb: I really doubt shipping would have made up the difference in price. If you ordered parts from the same place it cuts down on cost and I really don't think you would come close to $1000 in shipping charges. If you just wanted a complete system you would have been better off getting one off of auction like http://www.ubid.com
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BooMSticK
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 4:51 am     Reply with quote
Hehe... what a cool thread... (computers in yellow, a company called alienware... Lots of fun stuff... )

though its sad to see a thread about tech stuff reach higher posts than my usual art post... ahh well. Guess it tells more about my art than you guys

I just bought a UDMA100 IBM harddrive but since I'm only running an old IWill dual motherboard that supports UDMA33 I'm not really getting the speed out of that one...

chapel : thanks dude. great info.
AliasMoze: Yeah, I know what you mean. Intels was usually the 'safe' way to go, but now AMD has matured and the processors look mighty fine

Zeno: I dont think those companies would ship overseas and anyway I would have to pay the danish tax to get the stuff into the country and I wouldn't safe any money in the end. But we have online stores here also.

thaks all of you. You made it quite easily to make up my mind.

this is the system I'm planning:
1ghz Athlon Tunderbird with compatible motherboard which hopefully supports UDMA100, 512 MB SD133 Ram, UDM100 IBM harddisk (until I can pay for my wanted scsi160 setup) and Guillemont GeforceDDR Prophet graphics card. Plus I'll be setting up a dual'something'mhz machine for 3d rendering...

;Boomer (feels good to be techy)


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ZenDrag0n
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:07 am     Reply with quote
You can get cases in all sorts of colours, shapes, sizes, transparent or whatever from computer shops as well. They aren't much more expensive than plain ones either. I say, SPRAY PAINT! You're an artist, pick up a brush *giggle*
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Crix
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 11:03 am     Reply with quote
Damnit !
ZenDrag0n said that he got only 196MB of RAM.
Ive only got 128MB. Is it such an increase of speed with more?

btw: TB 900MHz + Abit KT7 RAID ROCKS !
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Crix
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2001 11:08 am     Reply with quote
Hey BOOMSTICK !

Do NOT buy an IBM harddrive if you want good support !
It took me 3-4 weeks to get my HD back from IBM after I send it to them due to a failure.
Someone I know had a similar HD and almost the same type of HD-crash occured after almost the same time !
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Zeno
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2001 12:57 am     Reply with quote
Sounds like a solid system BooMSticK. Good luck with the upgrade! Let us know how it turns out ok?
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