Building for a Graphic Artist

I just finished building my first computer for myself and I love it. Now I am thinking of building one for my wife, who is a graphic artist. The problem is, when researching for a gaming rig, it is easy, because gamers (generally) know computers. However, I am having problems finding graphic artists that know about computers. My question is, what am I looking for in a graphics card for someone who uses Illustrator and Photoshop, A LOT? Anything special or am I looking for the same thing for gaming? I'm thinking of going with an Athlon X2 4600+ cpu but have no idea about the vid card.

Any help would be appreciated.


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  1. This question is probably best asked in the graphics card section.

    Generally speaking, any card should work nicely for the programs you mentioned. Since those programs do not use any 3D rendering. You may want to consider Matrox cards since they are specifically design for 2D graphic applications (translation: very, very poor gaming performance).

    I would be more concerned with the type of monitor being used since color accuracy is probably the most important factor. Generally speaking, a CRT monitor is better than an LCD (in my opinion). However, if your wife plans on buying an LCD monitor in the future, then it is best to look for a monitor that uses a S-IPS panel. These are relatively expensive, for example, a 24" LCD using S-IPS usually costs in excess of $1,300 and may not be ideal for gaming.

    For questions regarding LCDs you should look in the CE (Consumer Electronics) section of the forum. The category is called "Flat Panel / LCDs".
  2. Two things I have heard about photoshop, it uses drives and likes RAM. I hear people use 3 drives, one for OS and apps., one for swap-scratch disks and one for data. I believe Photoshop has a 64 bit version, so by running XP Pro 64, you can addreess more RAM, like 4GB.
    Agree, the card you choose should run the monitor in native mode.
  3. I do alot of Photshop, CAD, and gaming. Any decent graphics card will work for Photoshop. To be honest, that's not the issue. Photoshop love alot of RAM and the filters, etc largely depend on CPU speed. It's all about the CPU horsepower and RAM. Fast hard drive(s) help, and a GOOD monitor is obviously needed.

    Graphics card isn't a big deal. 2-4 gigs RAM is. FAST CPU is. A Core2Duo CPU will chew through Photoshop faster, especially an overclocked one. PS loves high clock speeds, plain and simple. More CPU power = faster renders.
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