I intend to buy a new computer to handle the files from my Hasselblad H3Dll. They're just to big to batch process with the computer I've got.
In order to allow CS3 to *see* as much RAM as possible, I intend to use a 64bit OS. But, which one?
A year and a bit later, is Vista OK now? I've read that the next generation of Windows is due out next year. Is this a sign that all is still not well with Vista, or just the natural order of things?
If not, which Vista 64bit is the one to go for? Ultimate?
Not sure what else I should be asking! ;-) I just want to spend less time in front of the screen. It's driving me nuts!
I faced this decision myself recently.
(1) Photoshop CS3 is not optimized for 64-bit. It is a ossible feature for the future, but it is not a high priority for Adobe. There's a blog entry from one of the Adobe system engineers on this point.
(2) Lots of software incompatibilities, especially driver incompatibilities, are likely for the immediate future with 64-bit XP or Vista.
(3) 4GB chips are currently $1000. So even laptops with 64-bit XP or Vista come with 4GB as 2x2GB dual channel memory.
(4) The current Duocore processors can run either 32-bit or 64-bit XP and Vista. So you can buy 32-bit OS today and upgrade later as optimized software becomes available.
(5) Vista offers the ability to use high speed flash drives as a read cache for files. Vista can use up to 4GB in this way. Some people describe it as a substitute for system RAM. Not really. But it can speed operations that make frequent hits to the Windows page file. Photoshop will definitely benefit. This makes Vista more attractive, IMHO.
I decided to go with a laptop with a T9500 Duocore processor, a pair of SLI GPUs, and a pair of 7200 RPM drives using 32-bit Vista Business Ultimate.
The major bottleneck on a laptop is the speed of the memory. Laptop memory is much slower than RAM on desktops. My new laptop has a 6MB cache on the processor and 667MHz RAM. That's about as good as it gets on a laptop. (Regrettably, even on desktops, RAM speed has lagged far behind improvements in processor speeds.)
You get about 3.2 GB of addressable RAM under 32-bit XP or Vista. The other 756 MB are used as shared video RAM. In my case, this complements the 512 MB of GRAM on the SLI cards.
IOW, if you expect an immediate benefit in performance froma 64-bit OS, you're being given more marketing hype than practical advice.
4GB of RAM, 7200 RPM drives, high end video card with lots of dedicated RAM -- those features will get you more performance increase than 64-bit OS.