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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Hi, I just joined today.

    I would like to ask a question of all of you.

    What are you looking for in the awesome graphics computer? Sorry Mac guys, this is a PC question.

    If you had the oportunity to get the exact hardware you want, what would it be?

    I'm am considering building a system and wanted some input from other designers before I made any choices.

    Your suggestions can be general (RAM, Monitor, video card, etc..) or specific (Crucial, Viewsonic, Appian, etc...).

    Thanks!

    [This message has been edited by heavy (edited June 27, 2000).]

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    This will be fun!

    But first, what kind of budget are we talking about?

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    We can have so much fun dreaming of these computers.

    Assuming an big budget...

    Use a Pentium Processor - the fastest you can afford. While Athlons are much more powerful at the equivelent speed, when you use applications such as Photoshop, you will see an enormous improvement in performance running on a PIII. This is because of the SSE optimizations (I think).

    Get as much RAM as you can afford. If you are really serious, you should go for 512MB of RAM. Sounds like a lot, but it will really come in handy.

    Get a Sony monitor (or maybe Mitsubishi). They are the best makers.

    For videocards, you could get a GeForce card if you were doing 3D modelling, but for 2D image editing, another card would be better. I am not sure what card offers best 2D performance though.

    You'll want a beefy hard drive, and if you can cough up the cash a RAID system would be really good, but it is certainly not necessary.

    You won't need good sound or speakers, so you don't need to spend too much on that.

    Use a MS Intellimouse Explorer. They are extremely accurate, perfect for designers.

    You'll need good removable media - use CD-R's and ZIP disks (ZIPs because they are common and easy to exchange with)

    Software is up to you of course.

    I am not a designer myself, but that's my two cents.

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  4. #4
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    Any budget. As high or low as you want. I will take all of the suggested specs into consideration.

    It just so happens that this system will be paid for by someone else. The best kind.

    But, I would like some low end suggestions as well. A partner and I will likely need to build another less extravagant system.

    So, dream away! And then, be practible(sp?).

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I already posted my dream machine. I am kinda busy right now I will post something a little more down-to-earth when I get the chance.

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Well heck...I guess this is the most powerful personal computer available:

    800mhz, 512MB of RAM, 20GB hard drive, Pentium III...

    Adobe Photoshop 5.5, Paint Shop Pro 6.0, Fireworks 3.0, Macromedia Shockwave (or is it called Flash?), and Xara 3D (whatever the latest version is)...



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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    its called flash.

    Shockwave lets you view .swf animations.

    There are better PC's available. Dell and alienware produce some of the most powerful of all. Often buying from a company can make a better computer - for instance Dell (i think) is the only company that has computers with GeForce 2 cards. Also, Dell is one of few companys with a certain type of ram (I think DRDRAM or something like that)

    Buying is different than making though. He wants to make one, so there are a lot of specifics involved.

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Also get rid of the G3/G4 keyboard. I just hate it!

    Heavy (the creator of the post) wanted to make a computer, so an out-of-the-box solution such as the G4 wouldn't work for that.


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  9. #9
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    Ok if we are talking about 2D graphics then 512 megs of RAM, a 21" Sony and the Matrox G400 Ultra are musts.

    I'll swop the G400 for an Oxygen for 3D graphics though .

    Other important stuff needed are SCSI hard drives and CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, a great scanner, good soundcard and speakers (to set the mood) etc etc.

  10. #10
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    i know your looking for a pc but maybe you'll see the error of your ways!!

    i just read a review that the G4 500mhz macs outperform every pc up to a GB of ram, course they come up to 20 GB hard drive dvd built in case you need one, soundcard already there.

    have worked on a G4 400mhz before and if that was anything to go by then this far exceeds my dream machine!!

    gar

  11. #11
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    Ok, not my dream machines (maybe later) but this was posted on ArsTechnica on 27/06/00

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Ars recommended systems

    Posted 06/27/2000 - 12:02am EDT

    Another month, another update to the Ars Recommended Systems. This month, the God Box is sportin' dual 800MHz PIIIs and a schmancy RAID setup. Meanwhile, the Hot Rod sees the advent of ATA/100, and the Budget Box proudly provides even the cash conscious with some GeForce lovin'. Here's a snippet from the God Box:

    &lt;sigh&gt; I hate taking the Klipsch Pro Media's out of the recommendations, but as a-d0gG keeps reminding me, Klipsch is back ordered 'til forever on those speakers. If you're looking for speakers, and have no time frame (and some patience) I'll stand by the Klipsch as the recommendation. For those of us who require instant gratification, there's Altec Lansing to the rescue. Featuring an 8" Sub and a four speaker setup, these speakers'll get ya in trouble with the neighbors. To add to the geek chic there's an included remote control.

    Ooh, tough choice that one. Come see what other surprises are in store. -Ator<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The guys at Ars really know their stuff.

    rgds

    Alan

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by Garrett_44:
    i know your looking for a pc but maybe you'll see the error of your ways!!

    i just read a review that the G4 500mhz macs outperform every pc up to a GB of ram, course they come up to 20 GB hard drive dvd built in case you need one, soundcard already there.

    have worked on a G4 400mhz before and if that was anything to go by then this far exceeds my dream machine!!

    gar
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I totally agree with this. G4s are amazing. I use a G4 server all the time (i am the network admin). Very cool.

    G4s are WAAAAY better than PCs when using Photoshop. Trust me on this one.

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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Well first of all you'll want two monitors. That's a MUST for all really really serious graphic design.

    For a PC, get at least 256MB of RAM, a huge hard drive, a GeForce video card, a MS Intellimouse Explorer mouse, a CD burner (for backups), and a drawing tablet, &gt;=500MHz/p3.

    For a Mac, get a G4/500 if possible with 384MB/RAM (at the least), a MS Intellimouse Explorer mouse, a drawing tablet, &gt;=32MB/VRAM, &gt;=30GB HD, and be sure to toss the included iMac/G3/G4 mouse. They suck.

    Adobe software has long favored the Mac and I think that they write their software first for the Mac but also optimize it about twice as much as the Windows version. Macs are always going to be better at Photoshop, so obviously get a Mac if possible.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru CJ's Avatar
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    Here's my dream machine:
    2x AMD Athlon 1200 mhz (I like AMD)
    1 GB RAM
    Guillemot Videocard with TV output
    DVD 6x
    5 usb outputs for
    - scanner
    - cd-rewriter
    - HP 1200 printer
    - ZIP

    21' screen from Sony
    Compaq internet keyboard
    Logitech Internet Scroll Mouse

    Sounds pretty neat hé?
    Still costs about 50000$ though

    Christophe



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  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I remember an office a family member worked at that had a G4 installed since the entire office was using Macs...everything I've heard about it says it's highly powerful...they ran all their computers off that thing...like 4 in all...and they say they could hook a few more up no problem.

    But still: I'm shying away from Macs...the only major advantage I see now is that they don't crash as often, but I think WinMe ought to fix that...



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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Macs not crashing often? I don't know about anyone else but I've got an iMac DV Special Edition with Mac OS 9 (I never use it thank god) and I try to play Quake...oh...dang...it froze. I open up MS Word. It froze. I open up "Documents for Quinn." It froze. I download songs to my rio...it froze. I open up the network server. It froze. &lt;/offtopic&gt;


  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Glad that iMacs and G4s are different.

    A G3 server at my work hasn't crashed since it was bought - has been up for 1 year and 1 week.

    Another G3 computer (that is not a server) I use more, and crashes every now and then. I had to restore the system twice (including once today). It isn't the computer's fault, it is my fault. You wouldn't believe how much stuff is on it.

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  18. #18
    Misfit
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    Most design firms use Apple G4s for their graphics, especially when using Photoshop and Illustrator. I would personally get a Silicon Graphics computer if I had that much money...

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  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks guys(gals?)!

    You've given me a lot to look into that I've never heard/thought of before.

    I'll keep you posted about what I do.

  20. #20
    ********* Evangelist
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>
    Originally posted by TWTCommish:
    But still: I'm shying away from Macs...the only major advantage I see now is that they don't crash as often, but I think WinMe ought to fix that...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Um, Macs not crashing as often? I'm with Quinn (d3v) on this one... every time I've been on a Mac the screen either freezes or the computer crashes entirely. I mean every time. Hehe, I was just thinking about this, and I have never once shut down a Mac - they've always crashed before I was through with them. Turn on the Mac... open a document... [crash]. Turn on the Mac again, log onto the network... loading... [freeze]. Reboot... log onto the network (success!)... open ClarisWorks... [crash].

    See my point? What I really hate is when I have been working on a document for half an hour and go up to the menu to save the file and [crash] argghh!!! The MacOS is the only platform on which I have ever needed to save my files every two minutes to prevent loss of data.

    BTW, my experiences with Macs have been with many, many machines... from PowerMacs to G3s to G4s and anything between - always ends up crashing. Even my Win95 box isn't that bad (2-3 crashes a day on average).

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I was just talking about iMacs when I say Macs crash. Every monday I work on a G4 with somewhere near 512MB/RAM and a 22" flatscreen monitor (ok, enough bragging ) and it never freezes. On the other hand...my other computer, the iMac Special Edition DV Graphite Mac freezes constantly. But then again most people who use iMacs can withstand a freeze, since you can't have much open documents with only 128MB/RAM. On power computers freezing is a more agonizing process, that's why I use Win2k and Linux.

    (got kinda off topic at the end)

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by d3v:
    [B]you can't have much open documents with only 128MB/RAM.[B]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well I am proud to say that I have roughly 50 windows with SitePoint Forums content open now in IE. Not too many documents open? Try 80MB on a 166MHz Pentium. I can do it.

    My computer never crashes, but mysteriously it begins to lock up every 13th day. The other 12 are just fine.

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  23. #23
    ********* Evangelist
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    Yes if you want a system that never crashes, then Linux and BeOS (and maybe even Win2K if its a business machine) are certainly the best choices.

    For graphics though, many people agree that the Mac OS x, compared to Win 9x, is a better platform for graphic creation when it comes to Photoshop and similar programs... although you will still have to get used to the crashes.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Weird stuff, Aidan.

    As for Macs crashing: I was simply referring to my experience...everytime I've used them I cannot recall them ever freezing up...however I havn't use an iMac yet...



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  25. #25
    ********* Evangelist
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>
    Originally posted by d3v:
    since you can't have much open documents with only 128MB/RAM.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Is this a Mac thing or are you talking about in general? I've got 32 MB RAM on my PC and I consistently have over 20-30 windows open at any given time. I can do it, so can Aidan.


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