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New build for Graphic/Fashion Design

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July 30, 2007 9:36:33 AM

Hi Guys!

I do graphic and fashion design. My current system is too slow, and I need (ok.. want!) to upgrade to a better set-up. I'd like to ask the help of you computer experts out there about what I should get!! :D 

My biggest gripe about my current system (a few years old now) is that graphic programs take wayyy too long to operate, especially on complex renders. I use mainly Adobe stuff (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, plus Bridge), plus a little bit of 3d (Maya... what a nightmare to use on my system, not to mention the learning curve anyway.. sigh lol).

I don't play any games on my computer.

I want to build a system around the Intel e6750. That's based on friends' recommendations, plus my own surfing around in the last few hours. Seems like a fast processor to speed up my operations, but still reasonable price as compared to the quad types. I see it for $212 at Amazon, so seems like a very good power-to-price ratio for what I do... but if anyone has better suggestions to improve this power-to-price, let me know!

What type of motherboard would you recommend for this?

And do you recommend a separate video card? I'd prefer onboard video because it seems easier, cheaper, unnecessary since I don't game, and won't require extra power/cooling (at least that's how I understand it), but let me know what you think. I'd get a video card too if it's important - let me know which one you think might be best!

Total budget for CPU + motherboard + video card (if needed): $400-$500.

Just fyi, I was figuring on putting in around $125-$175 worth of RAM. Looking at prices, I might be able to get up to 4gb with that hopefully..?

Thanks for your advice!!!

:D  :)  ;) 

July 30, 2007 10:01:04 AM

If you can stretch to it you'd probably get a significant efficiency boost by getting an Intel Q6600 CPU, since you're using software that can take advantage of the additional cores. However if you can't justify the extra cost, the E6750 is a good bet.

I'd probably say go for a Gigabyte P35-DS3R motherboard so that you're ready for Intel's new processors whenever they come around, and that way if you don't get a quad core CPU now, it'll be less faff to move to one in the future. They're about $130. You could perhaps save a little money here on a cheaper model, but I'd definitely recommend a P35 chipset board.

A video card would probably be beneficial to be honest, but there's no need to go crazy. I wouldn't recommend a Geforce 8600 series card for anyone who wanted to use it for gaming, but I gather they're pretty decent for video editing and the like, so one of them might be a good bet. The 8600GT is about $115, and the GTS model is about $150 if you want a bit more oomph.

If you get lucky with mail in rebates you should easily be able to fit 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM for that much.

Good luck. :) 
July 30, 2007 12:54:34 PM

For what you are trying to do, it is all about RAM, Hard Drive speed and space. Get the most and the best you can afford. Aim for low latency RAM. I would definitely go with at least 4GB of RAM. Anything more and you might have to upgrade your OS to Windows Server (x32). Not all of Adobe's products work effectively on x64 OS's.

For Hard Drives, I highly suggest one of either two options. Get a Western Digital Raptor drive as your primary drive or get two smaller hard drives and setup RAID-0 for your OS and App installations. Then get a large second and third drive for primary storage and backup in either scenario.

Also, get a dedicated graphics card. The 8600GT is good enough for your purposes, especially if you want to create HD videos. If no HD is on your mind, the 7600 GT would work just as well and you can shave off about 20 to 40 bucks.

The CPU choice is fine but you could actually go a little lower. The e6550 will serve you justice and you can save about 40 bucks as well.

The Motherboard provided by foxrocks will work as well. There is also a lesser $90 version from Gigabyte as well.
Related resources
July 30, 2007 1:13:57 PM

You are forgetting that You'll need a case, PSU and Hard Drives. Do you have those already? Are the hard drives IDE or SATA?
July 30, 2007 2:15:39 PM

For the Adobe programs, most video cards should be good(8600GT and up should be nice for you. For Maya and other 3d apps you would need a high end video card or the Gefore Quadro series. The quadro series are made for maya, 3dsmax and others. Those cards are a lot of money though so yea. The processor is good though.
July 30, 2007 4:24:26 PM

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions! :)  :D 

With your help, here's what I'm thinking, with prices I found (retail unless noted):

CPU:
e6550 (newegg $184) [photoshop time: 2:07]
e6600 (newegg $223) [photoshop time: 2:01]
e6750 (newegg $225) [photoshop time: 1:52]
e6850 (amazon $307) [photoshop time: 1:39]
q6600 (amazon $302 retail... tigerdirect oem: $290] [photoshop time: 2:02]


I care most about Photoshop rendering. At that, the e6850 is significantly faster than the others in the Photoshop rendering test (link below as well as times listed above):
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/07/16/cpu_charts_2007/page31.html#adobe_photoshop_cs3_image_processing

(Oddly, the e6750 is much faster than the q6600... I don't understand why that is).

At the $225 price level, it looks like the e6750 is clearly better.

But I spend huge amounts of time rendering (and waiting for renders), so for $75 more I think it's worth it to go up a step (I'm a valuable girl, after all! hehe).

At the $300 price level, I'm surprised to see that (based on the Photoshop test) the e6850 is better for me than the q6600. I'd have gone with the q6600 (quad sounds so much sexier, no??), but performance is what I care about the e6850 is better. Or am I missing something there?

What do you think?


Motherboard:
I looked at these 3:
ECS NF650iSLIT (amazon, tigerdirect: $100)
ASUS P5N-E SLI (newegg $125)
Gigabyte P35-DS3R (newegg $130)

I read all the specs, but I have to admit that I couldn't understand half the differences between these, so I'll go with the Gigabyte P35-DS3R because Foxrocks recommended it! :) 

Video Card:
You all recommended getting a separate video card, so:

7300GT: (amazon $58)
8600GT: (tiger $100 after rebate) [note: this is the EVGA 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16, the tomshardware review said to be sure to get gddr3 and not just ddr3]

Can I ask a stupid question:
How much of a difference would I notice between 7300GT and 8600GT? (I don't play games - just graphic design on Adobe products, some video on Premiere, a bit of 3d on maya).

[AdamJ, are you saying that neither card would work for 3d such as maya, blender, etc?]


RAM, Hard Drive, etc:

Thanks for asking about the RAM, lfranklin. I hope I'm not too naive, but I kinda thought RAM is basically RAM, and I was just going to get some normal DDR2 667 RAM. I saw these:

$30 (tigerdirect, after rebate): HP 1024MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory
$32 (tigerdirect, $33 after rebate): Centon 1024MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory
$40: CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory - Retail

So 4gb of them are around $150-$160. So any one of them should be OK, no?

I don't understand the "low latency RAM" you recommend. I'm scared now! Are these OK?


Hard Drive:
I just use one SATA 160gb hard drive now (I backup my work files to an external drive every night when I'm working.)

I figured to just buy a new SATA 160gb hard drive and keep doing the same thing.

Am I being stupid in thinking that all SATA 160gb hard drives are basically the same and any reputable company's drive I can find for a good price is OK enough?


Case/Power supply:

Thanks for the question, merc14!!

I'd basically figured on finding a cute case (I want it to look nice in my studio) and thought I'd just get whatever power supply I can find. What power supply do you recommend for this proposed set-up?




July 30, 2007 4:50:28 PM

Hey Julia, check out the website for Maya:

http://www.alias.com/eng/support/maya/qualified_hardwar... in.html#cards

It has the list of cards they recommend for the program and it seems out of those the cheapest one is around 160-170 dollars.

Low latency RAM means that it will send and receive data at faster speeds, meaning it will respond faster. I think for your build DDR2-667 should be enough.

Power supplies are actually pretty important so don't really skimp out. The power supply powers your system and if you get a cheap one it would die quickly and damage your entire system. That would be horrible for something you just payed good money for. It's worth it to invest in a good unit that would last you for years and years.

Something like this would be great:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

July 30, 2007 4:51:33 PM

8600gt is much better than 7300gt.Of course if you do most of the work on maya and photoshop,you should seriously consider quadro series.
as for ram get 2 2*1 gb kits.ddr2 667 should be just fine.
try to get a 500 Watts psu.
July 30, 2007 5:08:55 PM

About ram, I'd go with two of these DDR2 800 incase you feel like upgrading in the future your CPU:

(2) G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They won't cost you a whole lot more and will run in dual channel.

Im usually the guy that recommends high quality, high powered, stable PSUs for everyone, so I'll make my usual Corsair 520HX or Antec NeoHE 500/550 recommendation, but in your case I have the feeling that you're also very concerned about aesthetics, so I'll throw in also a HIPER Type-R 580W to the mix, see which one you like the best (For high performance PCs with high end Graphics card the choice is between the Corsair HX and NeoHE, but for aesthetics I think the Type-R wins)

HIPER HPU-4R580-MS ATX12V v2.2 580W Power Supply 100 - 120V UL, CE, TUV - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply 100Vac to 240Vac +/- 10% UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... c%2bNeoHe%2b500

Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... E%2b550

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... air%2b520

PSUs wattage is really a secondary thing nowadays in order to measure the kind of output needed for a system, however any of those four will be just fine, I just have the feeling that you really don't want me to make a whole post about power supplies either.
July 30, 2007 5:10:09 PM

I think Solariscs has it all right. Don't skimp on the PSU.
Julia, being in fashion design, your idea of "cute" in a case may be entirely different from that of the geeks on here. Do you want lights and windows, or austere and unobtrusive? Whichever you choose, you will almost definitely not use any PSU that comes with it; they are typically among the worst, regardless of claimed wattage.
Will you use Windows XP or Vista? If you want to use Vista, be absolutely sure that your chosen programs are known to work with it. If it were me, I would choose XP, since I know it works. To be able to use 4GB of RAM, you'll need XP64, otherwise you'll only see about 3.5GB of it (which may be fine). RAM should be installed in pairs, to take advantage of "dual channel" mode, which is slightly faster. Since you may go over budget on video, perhaps you could do with 2GB initially, and add another 2GB later. What is in your current system?
July 30, 2007 5:15:40 PM

Onus said:
I think Solariscs has it all right. Don't skimp on the PSU.
Julia, being in fashion design, your idea of "cute" in a case may be entirely different from that of the geeks on here. Do you want lights and windows, or austere and unobtrusive? Whichever you choose, you will almost definitely not use any PSU that comes with it; they are typically among the worst, regardless of claimed wattage.
Will you use Windows XP or Vista? If you want to use Vista, be absolutely sure that your chosen programs are known to work with it. If it were me, I would choose XP, since I know it works. To be able to use 4GB of RAM, you'll need XP64, otherwise you'll only see about 3.5GB of it (which may be fine). RAM should be installed in pairs, to take advantage of "dual channel" mode, which is slightly faster. Since you may go over budget on video, perhaps you could do with 2GB initially, and add another 2GB later. What is in your current system?


That would only be fine from a gamer's point of view (And a very odd one, because there's nothing wrong with 64-bit OS, in fact they are far superior to 32-bit ones), but for what she does, she needs ALL the ram she can get, those applications are serious ram hogs and she can't afford to have 500-1GB of unaddressed ram because she's running on a 32-bit OS.
July 30, 2007 5:55:41 PM

That's partly why I asked what she is running now. Some improvements can be incremental, for example adding RAM as the budget allows, especially if the current system only has 1GB.
July 30, 2007 6:07:25 PM

All the comments were good but I believe the focus has not been paid to the areas that you need the money to pay for itself. When working with large images you need a fast hard drive, as fast as you can.

For the primary OS hard drive I would recommend a Raptor as they are the fastest access times with the cheapest prices before you hit the SCSI prices. Second harddrive I would go with a a RAID array of 2 320gb HD's or whatever you can get cheap and in SATA II. The reason for the raid is to increase your large data file manipulation and scratch file speed for photoshop.

GET A QUAD CORE, I can't say that loud enough, the benchmarks are nice and all but it will be a better investment for a couple reasons:
1. with computers using more processes every day for everything from anti-virus and firewalls to multimedia applications, I'm sure that you use more that one program at a time especially using adobe products, I know I constantly am switching between photoshop and illustrator, the web and windows media player, this is where all 4 cores shine.
2. All the programs for graphics and 3d animation and simulation are being rewritten for multi-threading (i.e. using all cores to speed up the application)
*the reason the 6800 is looking fast is the fact that the chip is faster, but only when your talking about 2 applications at the same time. The quad core will be fast enough for what you need but the real benefit is going to come, you just have to be patient and you'll be glad you got it.

The video card is important in the 3D apps mostly because Maya, 3D studio max, softimage, etc. utilize OpenGL for graphics rendering, unfortunately all the newer cards are geared towards Directx. The FireGL and Quadro cards that you see for 1000's of dollars are designed to be fast in OpenGL with special drivers and all (that's what costs so much). Go with a 8600 if you can; it will help when/if you upgrade to windows vista and when/if 3D programs can utilize a DirectX API. If you really want to get into 3D look into a used FireGL, they can be had for not much these days, but make sure that have drivers for the windows version your using.

RAM, get as much high speed memory (i.e. DDR2 800+ & cas 4) as you can. 4 gigs will be a hugh benefit when working with photoshop because almost everything can be done in RAM.

Of course you need a good power supply and everyone has made good recommendations on it.

Lastly, being in the design business I would really save some money to get a high quality monitor and a good wacom tablet, they are essential for you kind of work. Hope that helps on your search.
July 30, 2007 6:55:53 PM

If you got an 8800 Ultra it would still be slow for Maya and other 3d apps. For you its probably not worth it to get an opengl accelerated card because you only use a little bit of Maya. The work you do is mostly 2d so therefore any card should do. Go with the 8600 GT or the GTS if u can spare some extra cash. You shouldnt run into a problem with Maya and the card if you currently use onboard right now. Theres no need for a quadro card or firegl EVER for you if you only use Maya and not that much. Consider Getting the Q6600. More and more apps will be using the 4 cores soon. if you want to spend less on the Processor then go for the E6750. It is a great processor. The P35-DS3R is an excellent board, stick with that. If you do get 4 gigs of RAM you will notice it using those programs. And stay with XP for those programs. Dual boot if you want vista. Good luck
July 30, 2007 7:04:56 PM

AdamJ said:
If you got an 8800 Ultra it would still be slow for Maya and other 3d apps. For you its probably not worth it to get an opengl accelerated card because you only use a little bit of Maya. The work you do is mostly 2d so therefore any card should do. Go with the 8600 GT or the GTS if u can spare some extra cash. You shouldnt run into a problem with Maya and the card if you currently use onboard right now. Theres no need for a quadro card or firegl EVER for you if you only use Maya and not that much. Consider Getting the Q6600. More and more apps will be using the 4 cores soon. if you want to spend less on the Processor then go for the E6750. It is a great processor. The P35-DS3R is an excellent board, stick with that. If you do get 4 gigs of RAM you will notice it using those programs. And stay with XP for those programs. Dual boot if you want vista. Good luck


You forgot to add that either OS that she chooses to use must be a 64-bit OS (XP 64 Pro or Vista 64), otherwise you'll have unaddressed memory that she won't be able to use.
July 30, 2007 7:14:08 PM

Right well taking on board what people more knowledgeable than I have said with regards to this sort of rig, and adding what I do know, how does this look overall:

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 -- $320, newegg

Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R -- $130, newegg

RAM
Crucial Ballistix 2 x 1GB DDR2-800 -- $80 x 2 (4GB), newegg (after rebate)

Video card
XFX 8600GT OC 256MB -- $120, newegg (after rebate)

PSU
Corsair HX520W -- $80, buy.com (after rebate)

Hard drives
Western Digital Raptor X 150GB -- $175, newegg (after rebate)

Seagate Barracuda 160GB 7200.10 -- $53 (RAID with existing hard drive?), newegg

Case
Depends on your definition of "cute". Personal choice, really. :) 
July 30, 2007 8:24:18 PM

i just wanna say its soooo cool that you are a woman that knows about computers and is feminine hence the fashion design thing
her is a "cute" case i think haha (im a 14 year old computer geek soo...)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http: //www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681111910...

and here is a good power supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 30, 2007 8:32:21 PM

That PSU is not good, Coolermaster is really a hit-or-miss kind of brand when it comes to PSUs (However I must admit their cases are pretty good, especially for the price) I wouldn't recommend a Coolermaster PSU to anyone to be honest.

And yeah, that's one hell of a pink case, but I've seen some even "pinkier" (it's possible, believe me)
July 30, 2007 9:54:24 PM

For the PSU I would strongly recommend getting Thermaltake Purepower 600W+ or a SeaSonic 600W. Every thing else looks fine. I recommend foxrocks list for the rest of the stuff. Make sure the case is "stable" meaning that it has good air flow, good # of drive bays, and possibly light weight. Since you are doing work Adobe Photoshop (CS3?) get a BIG harddrive as these files take quite a bit of space. I don't think that you might benefit from a 10k RPM HDD (WD Raptor) since most of your files will be saved on the Seagate 160 GB+. If you want the proformence of a WD Raptor look in to a RAID set up.
July 30, 2007 10:05:43 PM

600W is waaayyy more than she will ever need for her computer imo. She's better off spending the money on other parts.
July 30, 2007 11:27:14 PM

Hi everyone, thanks again to all of you for your suggestions. This stuff is tricky, so I really appreciate your help!

CPU:
Consensus seems to be Q6600 rather than E6850. I'll go with that.

KnightRunner, great point that altho the quad is slower than the duo e6850 for tomshardware's Photoshop test, I should think about real-world situations where I'm obviously running other applications at the same time (avp always, internet, music sometimes, plus you're right about having many Adobe products open at the same times and always switching between them). Because of your advice, I'll definitely get the Q6600.

Video Card:
I'm kinda confused here.

I researched more at the 3d side. You're all right, for the amount of 3D I do, a Quadro or other OpenGL, Maya-certified card is silly ($2000-$5000). It seems a GeForce card can do... slower, but I can survive as it's not my main thing. (Oddly, I read that the GeForce cards are very similar to Quadros, but with the OpenGL professional 3D stuff turned off... you can tweak them to act like Quadros, but it looks way too complicated and risky for me. Even the "basic" overclocking you all talk about is too much for me!)

But I'm still confused between these cards; I really can't understand the pros and cons, and on the forum there's pretty heated debate about them:
8600GT GDDR3
7900GS 256bit
x1950pro
x1950xt

Also, I totally admit my naivite now, but it looks like the chipset maker (nvidia, for example) is different than the maker of the overall card? So if that's the case, should I care about whether it's EVGA, XFX, Foxconn, MSI, etc...? Even for the same chipset and same maker, there are further differences (the XFX 8600gt that foxrocks mentions is different than other XFX 8600gt cards.. it's crazy!)

So even after deciding about which nvidia chipset to use, how do I then evaluate and choose the final product? I'm sure it's clear for you guys, but I have no idea!

In a nutshell, for less than $150 which exact video card would be best, do you think?

RAM / Motherboard / Hard Drive:
I'll go with what you all said, seems clear.


Windows:
Ummmm.... I was just going to use my standard XP (don't want Vista). So you're saying I can't use 4GB RAM with that, I'd have to use XP 64 Pro?

I know very little about 32bit/64bit (and until I just googled/wikipedia'd for the last 20 minutes, I knew nothing at all!!)

Will using XP 64 Pro cause me compatability issues with Adobe products? How about with any other normal type stuff I use the computer for (internet, music, movies, business accting/tax software)...? Any issues here I should know before I (pretty much blindly) jump into 64-bit? :) 


Case / Power supply:

Please shoot me for using the word "cute" (in red, no less!) in a computer forum! I learned my lesson! :)  I guess my punishment is a never-ending spiral of links to pink power supply units, not to mention a self-declared 14-year computer geek telling me that I'm cool for being "a woman that knows about computers". (And don't even get me started on that "feminine hence the fashion design thing", mr. suicidesilence...!! :)  :D  )

On a serious note, I wasn't positive after reading what you all wrote about power supplies. 520w? 600w? More? Less? Doesn't matter so much? I just don't want to destroy my new system, that's all...

As for the "cute" case, the less said any more, the better! ;-)




Finally, on a side note for Shadow703793: Yes, I upgraded Photoshop from CS2 to CS3, but big waste. It's a bit faster, which is always nice, but the functionality improvements are very limited imho and I regret paying so much for the upgrade.


Thanks again to you all! It's REALLY great to get such knowledgeable advice from experts like you!

:)  :D  ;) 

July 30, 2007 11:44:34 PM

CS3 products are all Vista 64 compatible which means 4gigs of Ram or more is your friend. (Can't get that in XP)

3dS MAx 9.0 is also 64Bit ready

Maya 8.5 (not sure yet) I use Maya at office and Max at home

Putting money into XP is a waste if you are looking to move forward go 64 bit to improve Photoshop and 3D software.
July 30, 2007 11:46:00 PM

There really isn't a compatibility problem on 64-bit OS anymore, people were led to believe that, but that was 2 years ago, some morons still keep singing the same old song. I use Vista 64 and I have no issues at all.

And im sorry if you didn't like the Hiper Type-R, I just had the impression that you wanted a very girly looking PC, my bad. Anyways I'd make my decision concerning the PSU between the Antec NeoHE 500, Antec NeoHE 550, or the Corsair 520HX (all are produced by the same OEM anyway, Seasonic, so just pick whichever you think you can get the cheapest in my opinion.).

As far as case goes, I think you'd be fine a with some of Coolermaster models, some that come to mind are the Centurion 5, Centurion 534, and Elite 330.

Im strongly against any GeForce 8 series that isn't the 8800 (Umm... expensive), it'll take a fair amount of reading to get the hang of which graphics card is better so I'll be brief, this is a very nice graphics card for the money.

EVGA GeForce 7900 GS KO / 256MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2458745&sku=E145-7892

nVidia does not manufacture graphics cards, they only make reference design and engineering samples, they have partners that manufacture and sell their nvidia cards. All cards essentially should be equal if the model matches (i.e. an eVGA 7900GS should be equal to an XFX 7900GS) however some manufacturers increase clock speeds to sell special "Factory Overclocked" versions of the same card. At the end is who you feel safer to buy from and who has the best warranty, and even though this is a very subjective topic, I can honestly say that eVGA beats everyone with their customer support, usually best prices, and quality standards.

What you read about the Quadros and GeForce is partially true, they are in essence the same except of a few tweaks here and there with different drivers and they load the card with a different BIOS. Before softmodding a geforce into a quadro was very possible, but I haven't kept up with these practices, so I wouldn't know.
July 30, 2007 11:56:20 PM

I did some research for you and with very little limitation you can run Maya on a 7300GT which you can get for around $60-70. You don't do any gaming so it would be perfect for you. Photoshop barely uses the graphics card if at all, so you should be perfectly fine with that low end graphics card, its mostly about the CPU you have.

As for 64bit, you will find that all adobe products support 64-bit systems, as do probably the majority of graphic design programs. Most other applications, like browsers and programs you are can run just fine on 64-bit systems and many are starting to get upgrades to run on it. With more and more 64-bit systems being sold, most of the main software companies are starting to support it.

Also, the programs that are designed for 64-bit systems run twice as fast as on 32-bit, so I would suggest using 64-bit.

P.S I sent you a pm about your build.
July 31, 2007 12:14:35 AM

I would get as much RAM as you can afford and or the motherboard will allow.

For the video/graphics card I suggest :
POWERCOLOR X1950PRO512MBAC Radeon X1950PRO 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $159.99 after rebate
Item #: N82E16814131055
This card has 512MB of RAM and has a 256-bit memory interface.

The 8600 GTS only has 256MB of RAM and a 128-bit interface.

For the same money you have a WAY better card for what you are doing.
July 31, 2007 1:48:31 AM

I just ran Z-Brush at 15 million polygons on my setup - ran pretty good considering lol - and that is with SLI EVGA 8800 GTX cards 768 Ram superclocked. Not sure if it's reading the SLI, but its a gaming card and runs really well without artifacts.
July 31, 2007 9:37:24 AM

SuicideSilence said:
i just wanna say its soooo cool that you are a woman that knows about computers and is feminine hence the fashion design thing
her is a "cute" case i think haha (im a 14 year old computer geek soo...)


Quoting for unintentional hilarity. :sarcastic: 
July 31, 2007 10:03:51 AM

Julia, with reference to the confusing video card thing: As Emp pointed out, Nvidia don't manufacture the cards themselves, they just develop the technology and the reference design, which is then in turn used by various manufacturers such as EVGA, BFG & XFX, who sell the video cards under their own branding.

However to confuse matters even more, each manufacturer will often sell two or three versions of the 'same' card. The variations might have different amounts of RAM (for instance each manufacturer will sell the 8800GTS in 320MB & 640MB variants), or they might be the same card but clocked differently (the XFX 8600GT I linked you earlier was their overclocked version, which would run slightly better than their stock speed model). Hopefully that explains that a bit better?

Regarding the OS issue, I take it you have standard 32-bit XP on your old 160GB hard drive? You could perhaps get Vista 64 and put it on the Raptor or second 160GB drive, and then dual boot? Just a suggestion because 32-bit XP won't recognise all 4GB of RAM so ideally you want a 64-bit OS somewhere.

As for the PSU, just go with the 520W Corsair unit I linked a few posts back. It's a rock solid unit, that deal at buy.com is stupidly good, and anyone who tells you to get a different PSU for your needs is just plain wrong; at $80 that is easily the best bang for buck PSU around and it'll power your rig with plenty of room to spare. :) 
July 31, 2007 3:12:51 PM

Dude... even at $125 that Corsair PSU is still gold :D 
July 31, 2007 5:04:15 PM

maya 8.5 is vista 64 bit compatible
!