Hardware Requirements
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Hardware Requirements

Underwater Photoshop

Prerequisites – Hardware Requirements

It is recommended that you have 4Gb of RAM for CS5 . It should go without saying that if you can afford more RAM then you should obtain it. Likewise get the fastest processor that you can afford. I can give no other recommendations on this because, of course, processing power constantly changes.


It is also recommended to get some accessories that will make your graphic editing easier, e.g. a Wacom tablet. This is a graphics tablet with a pen that allows you much finer control than a mouse and is also touch sensitive.


It is recommended that you get the largest screen with the fastest refresh rate that you can. Some people recommend dual monitors but this is not necessary, a large screen should enable you to open your Photoshop window with all the toolbars, image, and palettes open, and give you plenty of spare screen real estate.

Dual monitors are a luxury but are helpful. You don’t just get more screen ‘real estate’ you can use it more effectively. For example you can have the help file (or our course) open on one screen and Photoshop open in the other! The problem is that you need a video card with two screen outputs to run dual monitors – or you have to add another video card!

Or, you could just buy a new monitor that is as big as two screens! If you don’t have two screens hanging around doing nothing this may be the cheaper option. Only a bit of research will tell you which is most cost effective.

geat advice! It is worth checking at this time whether your screen actually displays sufficient colors for photo editing. If you are a PC user, right click on the desktop, select properties and check the monitor is set to 1024 x 78 pixels or greater and that the color s are set to millions. Also check the default color temperature of your monitor, set the target white point to d65 or 6500K. This is roughly equivalent to the same color temperature as daylight. Also select a gamma of 2.2.

trade secrets! Things the pro's don't want you to know! The only way to be absolutely certain that your monitor is calibrated to show accurate color is to use a device specifically designed for that purpose. Several manufacturers produce such devices, I personally favor the Spyder from Datacolor and we have a video on the subject of how to calibrate your monitor using the Spyder.

geat advice! Set your monitor to 6500 degrees Kelvin with a gamma of 2.2 (even if it is a Macintosh), and 100-140 candelas per square meter .

Consider where you site your monitor, keep it away from any bright light sources that can reflect off it, such as windows behind you.

Video Card

Photoshop CS5 leverages the graphics display card's GPU, instead of the computer's main processor (the CPU) to speed its screen redraw. For Photoshop to access the GPU, your display card must contain a GPU that supports OpenGL and has enough RAM to support Photoshop functions--at least 128 MB of RAM--and a display driver that supports OpenGL 2.0 and Shader Model 3.0.

Card reader

A card reader is a fairly standard option on most computers these days but - just checking!


A USB external hard drive of a couple of Terrabytes should do it!

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