Sun 12-Feb-12 04:16 PM | edited Sun 12-Feb-12 04:18 PM by Clint S
A choice of computer components depend on what and how much you do at a time. Intel and Adobe recommend an Intel i7 processor for use with CS5 suites.
A 32bit operating system can only take advantage of 4GB of RAM. An Intel i5 and Windows 7 32bit will handle most graphics for a typical user. Add in a non integrated graphics processor and things will move faster. High end user should move up to Intel i7, a 64bit OS, at least 6GB of Ram, and a non integrated graphics processor.
Here is how much each version of Windows 7 64bit can access, Home Basic - 8GB, Home Premium - 8GB, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate - 192GB.
I'm currently using a Quad Q6700/2.66 processer, 6GB of RM with Windows Professional 7 64bit and a NVIDA GeFroce 9500 GS GPU. I will typically have Outlook, Lightroom, PS CS5.5, and two other programs open at a time. When ingesting more than a hundred photos (from a D7000) I can start to tax my system. By accident, PS was opening a hundred RAW files and locked my computer up for the first time. If I was to move up to the D800 I would be looking for a new system.
I can't speak as specifically about MAC's, but last year we replaced our dual core Mac Pros with new ones.