How much memory do web designers need to run todays software?

I’m considering buying a new desktop. I’m thinking Microsoft Windows 7 OS, 64bit, and 4GB DDR2 memory.

Is this enough considering that, like many of you, I have all of the following open simultaneously;

Photoshop/Illlustrator, Dreamweaver, 10 tabs on my browser open, and an FTP program.

And this is like the minimum for me!

What’s been your experience? Thoughts? I’m thinking getting 4GB since I’m on a budget but ensuring it’s expandable to 8GB.

Yeah that set up looks pretty similar to what I have and it works like a charm.

Make sure you have a decent dual/quad core chip in there and a good graphics card and you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. Dan’s recommendation of the nVidia video card looks about right for the task and at a good price.

As for the HDD, a 7,200 RPM should be fine for the vast majority of uses. Yes SSDs will launch things slightly faster, but from what I’ve seen the actual performance increase is not yet worth the price difference on balance.

It all depends on your budget though obviously.

As far as graphics, I recommend an nVidia GeForce 9500 GT 512MB to most people right now. It’s a generation old so you can get one for under $50 bucks, but it’s only a generation old so there’s nothing it won’t be fast enough for.

That’s pretty much always the case over time… the last model line’s video cards can run anything in stores flawlessly but cost 25% what the latest top end card costs at the time.

In my previous PC I had a standard 7.2K rpm HDD, which is fast enough, but an SSD just makes everything start up faster (system boot and programs).

The Raptor disks from WD at 10K rpm are also quite fast but they make a lot of noise!

As far as graphics cards go, anything available nowadays should be able to handle simple programs and photoshop afaik. It gets interesting when you’re going to do video editing and/or gaming.

Basically, with HDD the faster the RPM the better (so you want a good balance between RPM and GB/TB of space), and graphics card (VERY important for stuff like photoshop for rendering) you’ll want to have dedicated graphics (not shared) and the more MB the better (keeping things simple). :slight_smile:

any thoughts on graphics card and HDD speed? i’m overwhelmed by the choices!

4GB seems fine, but I agree that processor, graphics card and HDD speed will also be major factors (which you’ll need to better describe if you want to know if the machine is suitable). RAM only dictates how many things you can have open, the speed of running multiple things at the same time will be down to other factors. :slight_smile:

My PC is also running on 4GB and I have roughly the same programs open as you have (well, NetBeans instead of DW, but okay :))

Of course it also depends on your processor speed and HDD speed can also play a role. I have an SSD in my pc… fast!