BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Computers and Peripherals

Photography Question 

How Much Computer Needed for PS Elements 6?

I would like to purchase Photoshop Elements 6, but read somewhere that some people were having trouble with running it on older PCs. My PC is approximagely 5 years old - 512mb ram and 2GB hard drive. I know, don't laugh, it's got me this far. I'm kind of on a budget but was wondering if someone could offer some opinions as to system requirements. We are looking at a new PC but I would like to go shopping with a bit of knowledge. Thanks.

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12/7/2007 7:41:24 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  At Adobe's Web site, they specify the software's system requirements. For Elements 6, it is a process running at least at 1.3 GHz, 512 Mb RAM, and 1.5 GB of free hard drive space. Consider that an absolute bare minimum. I would get at least a 2 GHz processor and 2 Gb or more of RAM. Hard drives are commonly 100+ Gb. Bigger is better, as is faster = look for a hard drive spinning at 7200 RPM rather than 5600 RPM. Upgrade video card would also be preferred.

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12/7/2007 8:01:50 AM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Just to second the notion: So long as you can find the system requirements on Adobe's site, those are the minimums. Keep in mind that this is in addition to the operating system requirements and any other programs you expect to run at the same time.
I tend to see how long I can last with a system, as the change is not always a lot of fun (see some of my philosophy of upgrades blog), but my 5 year-old system that I am replacing was 2GB RAM and 4x 60GB hard drives. Granted, my demands are on the high end because of the work I do ... but RAM and hard drives these days are cheap.
You can see more of my recommendations in my building the ultimate machine blog. Just a few ideas (and gift ideas ;-).

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12/7/2007 8:56:22 AM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005

While you can get by with your slower machine, it will be exasperating if you do a lot of post processing; esp when applying filters.
Adobe software designers built Adobe with a simple adage; "Gimme' memory!" LOL It's a memory hog to be sure!

Getting too much machine has diminishing returns. (i.e) You could spend thousands on the latest whiz bang nitrogen cooled blah blah blah and NOT run any faster then a good solid MAC or PC running at 3 Ghz w/ 4mb of RAM.

There are many computers out there, good to go; for around $600-$1000.

Is it "The Ultimate machine?" No; of course not, but I am sure it is far and wide much better than 5 yr old technology.

all the best,


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12/7/2007 4:53:42 PM

Alexander Czernin-Morzin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2006
I am running PSE since several years, right now 5.0 (don't find anything I want in 6.0) on a Dual Core CPU with 4 GB (the max under Vista Home), lots of disk andfind it finally quite pleasant. Upgrading the core and disks did not cost me a bomb anymore! And, I agree, especially some filters are CPU killers!
Enjoy and have fun!

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12/11/2007 7:49:48 AM

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