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Photoshop Requirements, Setup, and Preferences

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This sample chapter will give you information on how various parts of your system work with Photoshop and how you can speed things up.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Photoshop 7's Minimum Requirements

  • Image-Editing Speed Demons

  • Setting Photoshop's Preferences

  • Photoshop Quick Fix—Replacing the Preferences

  • Photoshop in Focus

  • From the NAPP Help Desk

Photoshop 7's Minimum Requirements

Photoshop 7 is a rather sophisticated piece of software. As such, it won't run on just any old computer. There are certain minimum requirements for both the computer's hardware and the operating system. Of course, in addition to the minimum requirements, it's good to know what you can do—both hardware and software—to make Photoshop run faster. This chapter looks at computer equipment that can make your production speedier, as well as Photoshop's Preferences and how to set them for improved efficiency.

Windows Requirements

Photoshop requires at least a Pentium III-class processor, 128MB of available RAM, a video card capable of 8-bit color (256 total colors), and a monitor capable of displaying a resolution of at least 800x600 pixels. Realistically, consider at least 192MB of RAM (128MB for Photoshop, 64MB for the operating system) and a video card with at least 16MB of on-board video memory (VRAM). In addition, you'll likely want a monitor displaying a minimum of thousands of colors with resolution set to at least 1024x768 pixels—with the minimum resolution, you'd not be able to take advantage of Photoshop's Palette Well.

In addition to the hardware requirements, the operating system must be one of the following:

  • Windows XP

  • Windows 2000

  • Windows NT 4.0 (service pack 6a)

  • Windows ME

  • Windows 98 SE

  • Windows 98

Note that Photoshop 7 will not run on Windows 95.

Macintosh Requirements

Adobe lists the minimum Macintosh requirements as any PowerPC G3 or G4 processor, 128MB of RAM, an 8-bit video card, and a monitor set to 800x600 pixel resolution. Photoshop also requires Mac OS 9.1 or later, or Mac OS X version 10.1 or later.

In reality, a suitable system starts with at least a G3 processor, preferably running at 350MHz or faster (Blue and White G3). With 256MB of physical RAM, both Photoshop and the operating system can fulfill their needs (although Virtual Memory would still be a good idea). The video board should have a minimum of 16MB of on-board VRAM and be capable of supporting a monitor displaying 800x600 pixels at thousands of colors. Remember that at 800x600, the Palette Well doesn't appear in the Options Bar.

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