Adobe CS3 system requirements question
April 19, 2007 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Can I run Adobe CS 3 Design Premium with only 512MB of RAM?

My school bookstore/Adobe are offering an astoundingly good deal on (specifically) the Design Premium version of CS 3 right-right now. Problem is, Design Premium's listed system requirements for memory is 1GB. I don't plan on using InDesign or the "Extended" functions of Photoshop much in the immediate future (or, for that matter, Illustrator), and I know that at least a few of the components have requirements of 512MB or less.

Slow functionality here and there aside, the deal isn't going to last much longer, and if possible, I'd like to avoid further blowing my undergrad money on upgrading my laptop's memory. Will the Adobe installer let me install the suite [or components thereof] without having 1GB of RAM? Thanks, all!
posted by stleric to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
No, probably not. You don't state your platform but Mac OS X 10.4, Windows XP, and, certainly, Vista all need at least 512MB of ram just to be happy. Trying to run anything as heavy as Photoshop on top of that is an exercise in futility.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:34 PM on April 19, 2007

I bet it'll technically let you install it, yes, but it'll barely run.
posted by gramcracker at 3:37 PM on April 19, 2007

It's XP Home SP2. After knocking out a lot of unnecessary background processes from DSL and printer installations, I've got my standard processes down to 200-300 before futzing with Firefox too much. Even if it just chugs along, I just want to know if the programs will even install!
posted by stleric at 3:39 PM on April 19, 2007

You will probably be able to get it to install, but I wouldn't expect much of anything out of it. 512MB of free memory is more of what you need to actually use any of the apps.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:43 PM on April 19, 2007

It will likely install, but I wouldn't count on it running enough to actually do anything.
posted by lekvar at 3:49 PM on April 19, 2007

FWIW, I can run any program out of CS2 / Studio 8 on my laptop with 512 mb. As long as I'm not multitasking heavily, it works pretty good. It's obvisouly not as fast as my desktop, but it gets the job done. I'm even able to run two programs (say, Photoshop and Illustrator) if I'm willing to wait a few seconds while switching programs.

So it'll probably* run, but you may or may not be happy with it.

*Come to think of it, I actually had to copy Disc 1, edit an .ini file to allow installation on 512mb, and reburn the whole thing just to install. This may be a problem too.
posted by niles at 3:55 PM on April 19, 2007

I did a whole album layout on an Intel Mac running PowerPC CS2 in (memory hog) Rosetta with 512 megs of ram. Not only that, the Photoshop files we used (due to poor planning) were several hundred megs each. It crawled sometimes, but everything worked. If the deal is that good, go for it, then get ram when you can!
posted by Brainy at 4:10 PM on April 19, 2007

Depends on how many assets you've got loaded at once, but it will run. You probably won't want to use many layers, though.

says the minimum specs are 512 megs of ram, and 64 megs of video ram.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:19 PM on April 19, 2007

Dunno about CS stuff, but my father-in-law just tried installing Lightroom on his 512MB WinXP box. It installed, but refused to run. It's minimum memory is listed as 1GB, so I'd believe the specs.
posted by lhauser at 8:49 PM on April 19, 2007

RAM is cheap. Buy more RAM.
posted by raf at 6:33 AM on April 20, 2007

Incidentally, to be on the safe side, I installed and tried the trial of Lightroom (it being 768MB minimum). Opening the program, importing large files (who knew), or resizing the window (since it basically automatically resizes all of the graphics within) takes a second, but generally, everything works gracefully enough, and I never had problems with it refusing to run or install.

Noting the 64MB of video RAM, I keep reading over and over in the suite packages that the 64MB is only in reference to: "Some 3D features in Adobe® Photoshop® CS3 Extended require a Microsoft DirectX 9 capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM." PS CS3 itself just lists "64MB video card."

At this point, I think that concerns me more than the RAM requirement does. I can always install more RAM in my laptop, but my 32MB laptop video card isn't going anywhere. Since I'd probably never use the 3D functionality, would the video card restriction stop me from using Photoshop, given that that's the main program I'd be buying the suite for in the first place?
posted by stleric at 3:34 PM on April 20, 2007

(I'll note that the Adobe UK site doesn't list the video card at all in the requirements for Design Premium.)
posted by stleric at 3:36 PM on April 20, 2007

I don't think your video card will be anymore of a problem than the RAM. Here are stats for my laptop model, which I haven't upgraded. As I said before, Adobe/Macromedia software runs on it, but sometimes slowly.
posted by niles at 4:08 PM on April 20, 2007

Epilogue: It warned me that I didn't meet the recommended RAM, let me click next, and as far as I can tell, it's working swimmingly. Probably couldn't hurt to get more memory at some point anyhow. Thanks, all!
posted by stleric at 7:19 PM on May 14, 2007

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