Computer Specifications vs System Requirements

My daughter needs to buy a computer that can run Adobe Creative Suite C3, and she is considering the Asus A53E-XE2. The link has the specifications for this machine, but we are having a hard time matching these up against the Adobe system requirements. I don’t know if what we need is a more detailed specification list, or if we simply don’t know enough about computers and that to an expert is would be obvious that such-and-such specification implies that it meets/doesn’t meet such-and-such system requirement.

I assume there are experts here who understand such things.

[For some reason the Adobe link coding doesn’t seem to be working - the link is]

Your CPU is more than adequate. Intel Core i5 > Core Duo > Pentium 4. You have more than enough RAM. The thing that’s most likely to get you into trouble is the graphics card. The Intel HD Graphics 3000 is an integrated graphics card; that is, it is integrated on the system board and uses a portion of the system memory. The performance for integrated graphics is generally nowhere near the performance of dedicated graphics cards, such as the nVidia and ATI cards that Adobe recommends, though the gap between integrated graphics and low-end dedicated graphics is narrowing.

How much of an actual problem this will be, I don’t know. It will take someone with some knowledge of Adobe software (of which I have none) to answer that question. It may simply be a case where your performance might be somewhat degraded, or it may make the application completely unusable; I can’t say.

Most non 3d drawing suites use very little if any of the capacity of a video card. Go big CPU and lots of RAM

What exactly is she planning on doing? If she is planning on doing alot of real graphics work, even good laptops are going to be poor platforms in general if you want to be able to see what you are doing and have the I/O speed to juggle large files effectly and apply heavy effects promptly.

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I use Photoshop CS4 every day on a laptop with worse specs and an Intel Mobile chipset integrated graphics card and I very rarely get any problems - even working with poster sized prints.

Edit - the real issue with using Photoshop on a laptop with an integrated graphics card is the resolution of the monitor. Photoshop now has a right hand menu that takes up too much of the screen and makes it difficult to use on a laptop

Im sure she will be fine then

Assuming the Intel HD3000 video is supported by the motherboard properly, there will be no issue. It is worlds better then past solutions, in part because it is a multi-core graphics engine built directly onto the CPU.

I use the built-in HD3000 graphics to power up one monitor, and a GTX-580 card for the other, and I have no issues even running two instances of graphics heavy games, one on each monitor.

Thanks a lot, guys. You’ve been extremely helpful (& educational).

One other question: what do you think of the screen resolution, for her purposes?

Specs are 1,280x1,024. Machine has 1,366x768.

The program will work fine at that resolution, but it may feel a little constrained vertically in terms of how easy it is to use. 1280x1024 is a traditional monitor size, whereas 1366x768 is a widescreen size.

On the other hand, it’s not an overly large laptop, so the resolution is tailored to the actual size of the screen. I doubt it will be a big issue, though if she intends to do a lot of heavy graphic design in the future she may benefit from having a larger canvas available to her without needing to zoom in and out.

Why are you going for a laptop in the first place?

And even if you have to have a laptop, you should get an external 1080p monitor - a nice big 22"+ IPS display. Size really does matter