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What kind of computer is good for Graphic Design?

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December 29, 2003 1:54:02 PM

Hi, I need some advice. A friend of mine is searching for a computer for graphic designing and I intend to help her build one. The ideal computer for her will be a MAC, but we all know how expensive a MAC can be. Due to her budget constraint, MAC is out of her reach. Is an AMD system recommended for her, or should she go with an Intel? I know graphic designing is very reliant on CPU and memory, but is graphic card an issue to consider about too? Please advice. Thank you very much
December 29, 2003 3:21:03 PM

I know not much about ghaphic design, but i think that kind of application need more FPU power.

If that is true then I'll say AMD base system is better, their fpu perfomance still faster then p4.
December 29, 2003 4:28:15 PM

But I heard the P4s are faster than the AMDs. The only rumor I heard is the P4s are faster on software application, while the AMDs are faster on gaming. That is just a rumor.
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December 29, 2003 4:33:21 PM

It very much depends on the kind of graphics design. I mean, for many applications a second-hand system with a 1 GHz CPU should do just fine. She doesn't have to spend her whole budget if it's not necessary!

The graphics card only starts to matter if she works with 3D models. All current generation cards, even the cheapest, have sufficient 2D processing capabilities and most of that is done by the CPU anyway.

So what exactly will she be doing?
December 29, 2003 4:39:11 PM

I almost forgot...

Do -not- underestimate the importance of the display! A friend of mine bough an AMD Barton 2500+ which was about the fastest and most expensive he could get at that time, but with the cheapest 17" CRT he could find. He works with big satellite photos, so a fast CPU was necessary, but now he complains about his eyes if he has to work for several hours. So now he admits he had better chosen a slower CPU and spent the money on a quality LCD.
December 29, 2003 4:45:37 PM

Well, I believe that she will be using the old fashion CRT monitor like me. Since she has a tight budget on the computer, I doubt that she has money for LCD. :) 

You speak of 3D model graphic design. Yes, I believe that will be what she is working on. If that application is really graphic card dependent, is the CPU going to matter? Is it just like current generation games, where CPU is not a main factor anymore. The games today are more dependent on the power of graphic card rather than the power of CPU. Please advice. Thanks.
December 29, 2003 4:49:15 PM

A SAMSUNG SyncMaster 955df .20 pitch Monitor is a good display at 17" for price it claims to be a true flat screen but it is not completely flat but it has a Highlight option that can be used in boardroom meetings to highlight certain areas of the screen on a projector.
The neat trick you can do with the highlight option is to open it up full screen so when you are gaming you can lighten up even the darkest games or maps online in multiplayer and see the bad guys hiding in the shadows before they can see you.
The .20 pitch is excelent for CAD type software at home.

The NVIDIA Quadro® FX family delivers on the promise of the industry's fastest workstation graphics solution. Featuring the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 and 2000 at the high end, the 1100 and 1000 in the mid range, and NVIDIA Quadro FX 500 at the entry level, NVIDIA Quadro FX provides the ultimate in quality, precision, performance, and programmability. CAD and DCC applications acquire a new level of interactivity by enabling unprecedented capabilities in programmability and precision. For the first time, styling and production rendering become integral functions of the design workflow, shortening the production process and enabling faster time to market.



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December 29, 2003 4:59:49 PM

How much exactly can ur friend spend? Here's the trick: a Quadro FX card would be great for the type of applications she'll be using, but it costs a lot. So, instead, get a GeForce FX card (5600 ultra, 5900 ultra or better) and use a program called Rivatuner to trick windows into thinking its a quadro, thus enabling extra functionality and for software optimizations to work.
You also need a CPU that's good at FPU, but many companies have been heavily optimizing for P4, so that's a good choice as well.

The one and only "Monstrous BULLgarian!"
December 29, 2003 5:06:09 PM

I did heard about those FX 2000 and 3000 series cards. They are really really really expensive. They make the ATI9800XT 256MB looks really cheap. I'm not too sure about her top budget, but will check with her first.
December 29, 2003 5:33:32 PM

Quote:
The NVIDIA Quadro® FX family delivers on the promise of the industry's fastest workstation graphics solution. Featuring the NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 and 2000 at the high end, the 1100 and 1000 in the mid range, and NVIDIA Quadro FX 500 at the entry level, NVIDIA Quadro FX provides the ultimate in quality, precision, performance, and programmability. CAD and DCC applications acquire a new level of interactivity by enabling unprecedented capabilities in programmability and precision. For the first time, styling and production rendering become integral functions of the design workflow, shortening the production process and enabling faster time to market.


Nice copy and paste from the website. :smile:

Unless she's doing high-end CAD / 3D graphics, there is absolutely no need for a card like this. Spending $750+ on a video card when you don't need or use it capabilities is a waste.

The only reason people recommend Macs over PCs for graphics work is because of the apps. The Macs aren't necessarily better suited for the work... the applications used to work with the graphics are.



<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
December 29, 2003 5:38:35 PM

I work in 3D Applications on a daily basis. If she is going to be doing just 2D graphics design such as Photoshop work, then there isn't a need to get a workstation graphics card such as the the Quadro FX line. It also depends on what 3D app she'll be using. Maya's workflow is dependent not only CPU intense operations, but also int he viewports your graphics card plays a big roll on how many polygonal faces/verteces you can display at once. Also rendering is all pretty much CPU driven with limits on large scenes in regards to system memory. 3DStudio Max is also similar to Maya as far as it's hardware functionality goes. Lightwave/Houdini are both pretty much CPU driven and don't benifit much if at all from a workstation graphics card.

For starting out however, she's not going to be needing the best of the best. For a starting 3D Graphics system, you could easily get by with throwing in a single Opteron 140 series, at least 1gb of ram, and a GeForce FX 5900. I wouldn't recommend going with ATI cards at all with 3D apps as they don't deal well with them, they have a lot of known issues with the big 3 (Maya, Max, XSI).

I have a Quadro FX 3000 card in my system and there are times when I push it to it's limits, but I work with scenes with 3,000,000+ polys which isn't something she'll be doing for quite some time and there is absolutely no reason for her to spend that kind of money.

It all really depends on her budget, spending over $4,000 on a 3D workstation can easily be done very quickly, but for someone who is just getting into it, there's no reason to spend that much. Get a somewhat decent machine now, save up till later when she'll know what she'll be doing.

Emmortal
December 29, 2003 6:06:28 PM

WOW, thanks for the insight. I will ask her on what kind of software she will be using for her work. My understanding is that she will be doing freelance work. So, there is a chance that she might need a powerful graphic work station. Like I mentioned previously, she does have a tight budget. This is mainly due to the fact that she does not have a job, and that is why she is doing freelance work. $4000 on a graphic workstation is definitely out of the question. I will have to agree with you that it is best she start with something decent and spend more when she know what she is dealing with.

In your opinion, is the Quadro FX500 sufficient for her at this moment. It's around $300 and she might be able to afford it. The FX5900 ultra cost about the same and she might as well start with the quadro card right away. She won't be using the computer for gaming at all.

As for the CPU, you recommend the Opteron 140. How much does that cost? Is the regular Athlon XP or Intel Pentiums good enough for her? Thanks.
December 29, 2003 6:17:58 PM

Yes it was a nice copy and paste from the web site. The guy wanted information so I gave it to him.

Should I type up something that he doesn't want to know about or is that your goal in life on Tom's to make sure no one can learn anything because you think you should have information control. Hitler, Napoleon and Marx all thought the same thing, for some reason they got assasinated.

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December 29, 2003 6:19:05 PM

You're just full of it aren't you?!

First of all, that monitor isn't even 17"! It's a nineteen inch monitor. The Samsung 753DF is probably what you are looking for...an excellent 17" $115ish monitor. I doubt the highlight feature will be used in her case as she will be doing graphic design.

That second paragraph of yours isn't even yours, it's taken straight from <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com/page/quadrofx.html" target="_new">here</A>. Buying a Quadro is just st00pid, too, way too much $$$$. Sometimes you can even softmod the GeForce counterpart into the Quadro. The same can usually be done with a Radeon to a FireGL.

Damn Rambus.
December 29, 2003 6:25:25 PM

Hitler shot himself in the head. Marx wasn't assassinated, either, he died of a lung abscess.

Oh yeah, you didn't credit nVidia as the source before...that's illegal (since you didn't even put quotes around it).

Damn Rambus.
December 29, 2003 6:26:28 PM

Yes you are right Vapor my bad it is a 19" but I own one and I am typing this reply to you on it right now the problem is the damn thing looks so small I keep thinking its only 17 inches besides with a tape measure that's all you get is 17 and 3/4 corner to corner.

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December 29, 2003 6:26:30 PM

Quote:
Should I type up something that he doesn't want to know about or is that your goal in life on Tom's to make sure no one can learn anything because you think you should have information control. Hitler, Napoleon and Marx all thought the same thing, for some reason they got assasinated.


*Snicker*

Associating your posts with actually informing someone is hilarious. If you actually posted accurate information, I'd grant you that point. Since all you post is useless drivel/misinformation, as I said before... I'll be here making sure no one is taken in by your 'advice'.

I mean would you take advice from an idiot that can't even get an Athlon XP 2700+ or 2800+ (whatever the hell it was... it changes daily) to work on an nForce-based motherboard that fully supports it? I know I wouldn't.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
December 29, 2003 6:27:47 PM

You are a child grasping at straws Vapor...

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December 29, 2003 6:28:27 PM

Hence the 18" visible measurement :wink: .

Damn Rambus.
December 29, 2003 6:37:01 PM

Actually it has a black bar on the left and right sides so you lose another half inch on either side of the viewable picture, and all that is recessed behind thick glass.

So in fact you get less then 17" of viewable picture.

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December 29, 2003 6:49:46 PM

I really appreciate eveyone's opinions on this issue and I am not starting a flaming war here. Everybody is entitled to his/her opinion. We may disagree, but no flaming is necessary.

thank you very much.
December 29, 2003 6:59:24 PM

You will notice I am not flaming anyone ;)  God I like that word we don't use it at all in Canada they would look at you like you were queer or something.

In fact all the little flip words from Europe are very appealing in their own right. Much better then the swear words we use over here all 4 letter words.

In fact you will notice the post was going along quite nicely until the 2 flamers showed up LOL.

Accept for my bad on the monitor size it really is small and that is a very old wound with me about manufacturers using the design of computer monitors to Shag the public out of viewable desktop.

I was very disappointed with the viewable desktop that I got on this monitor I went from my old IBM 17 " that was actual 17 " viewable desktop but it had a slightly rounded screen, to this new 955df that claimed 19" but after I have used it a bit along with the .20 pitch resolution I have come to love it. It will give me 120 MHz refresh rate at 1024x768 in online games and simply out performs any other monitor I have had.

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December 29, 2003 7:11:51 PM

I get 17.8" of viewable area on my 19". Glad I didn't get that Samsung. Also, are you sure you are measuring with a fabric (or other flexible material) ruler?

Damn Rambus.
December 29, 2003 7:19:07 PM

If it is only 2D graphics work, an entry level computer of any kind, mac, amd, intel even via will suffice. I'd recommend getting large amounts of ram, half gig will do. If the work involves vector graphics then, something with a little more power than the entry level pcs will be fine.

If it is 3D work, then she would have to spend a bit. Unless there is a lot of final renderings involved, a mid range computer would be more than fine. It will need a lot of ram and a good graphics card, especially if she's gonna work with large scenaries.

You do see differences in benchmarks between the different processors, but in real life if you notice the difference between different processors of similar speed, you need a breath of fresh air.


<b><font color=red>"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."</font color=red><font color=blue> - Benjamin Franklin</font color=blue></b>
a b à CPUs
December 29, 2003 7:22:08 PM

You'll hear a lot about Macs being good with Photo Shop, but PC's are good with Photo Shop too. In fact, unless she's working with huge photos (like posters), she probably doesn't need a high-end system.

Of course you can get her CLOSE to the high-end without paying nearly as much. Consider an Abit NF7-S version 2.0 motherboard, it's fast and comes with a very good audio solution (a small bonus for when she does other things). Next consider the XP2500+. Most of these can be overclocked to XP3200+ speed simply by increasing the bus to 200MHz. Even if it doesn't do that you've still got a good CPU for a good price!

Now consider some PC3200. I've had good luck with Geil. A lot of people recommend OCZ, you should talk with them.

Ideally she'd want 1GB or MORE just for when she DOES do large pictures. A couple 512MB modules would allow dual channel, which can give you a 1-3% boost in performance.

You'll want a good video card, but it doesn't have to be great at 3D. Consider the 9600 Pro, very good at just about everything and fairly inexpensive. I'm sure there are other suggestions floating around as well.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
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December 29, 2003 7:22:30 PM

Sorry SoDnighhawk, that particular was not meant for you. It is actually for "everyone" who has been flaming each other. I just clicked on the reply button and type. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
December 29, 2003 7:22:44 PM

Sorry SoDnighhawk, that particular message was not meant for you. It is actually for "everyone" who has been flaming each other. I just clicked on the reply button and type. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
December 29, 2003 7:48:35 PM

No I used a 25 foot Lufkin Contractors tape and did not even touch the monitor it was an average measurement. 17 and 1/2 at the most.

I could dig the manual out but it proly lies about the veiwable size anyways but if I come across the manual I will read it again.

It is downstairs with the 20 feet stack of computer boxes, games hardware.

All I have at my computer desk is the CD's I moved every empty box to the corner of my basement.

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December 29, 2003 7:49:10 PM

Its ok I knew who it was directed at.

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December 29, 2003 7:56:27 PM

At least this settle the CPU and memory portion of the question. The question remaining is the video card. I will find out what kind of software she will be using and then, I guess, you guys will know what kind of video card is best for her.
a b à CPUs
December 29, 2003 9:40:57 PM

The problem here is that even a fairly weak card is very good for 2D design. So you have to consider what ELSE she might be doing as well.

Tom's claims to have found an 8500 128MB card for $52. Heck, it wasn't even the cheaper LE version, at least according to the list. This would actually be a GREAT card for 2D rendering, and at a very low price.

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December 29, 2003 9:41:33 PM

I can't seem to find the Benchmarks i've found one time but anyway, I would get P4 rig for Graphics... the benches were title'd "ARE MACS BETTER FOR GRAPHICS" answer = a BIG NO!!! they faced up the best MAC and a DELL P4 rig....... DELL RIG DESTROYED MAC in EVERYTHING! not only by alittle, it RIPPED IT!........... and that was awhile ago... now look at what we got with these new graphics and the newest P4EE... deff get P4 for Graphics.

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December 30, 2003 1:07:16 AM

Quote:
The neat trick you can do with the highlight option is to open it up full screen so when you are gaming you can lighten up even the darkest games or maps online in multiplayer and see the bad guys hiding in the shadows before they can see you.

I thought you were the gamers gamer, :lol: 

If you want a real gaming monitor & not play with some phony "neat trick" monitor, go look at a real <A HREF="http://viewsonic.com/products/crt_a90fplus.htm" target="_new"> gaming monitor here. </A>
Notice this: I'm cutting & pasting this:
Quote:
2 brightness modes for work and play
For work, engage normal mode to see text and spreadsheets with perfect clarity.
For play, engage UltraBrite mode and step into high brightness entertainment for Internet, gaming, TV and video applications.

Yea, it's a button on the front of the monitor that you simply push as you go into a game, it has the same feature built right in as the "neat trick". There is also a whole line built off the + technology for gaming I've been running for a year now.

Course it's a gamers choice monitor, which I though you knew all about IMO, Huh!



Dazzle them with Brilliance, or Baffle them with BS! :wink:
December 30, 2003 3:00:21 AM

Religion is stupid but it serves as a great weapon.
Let's trick a room full of 50 illiterate people tell them that their book of god said to not only sacrifice their very own lives, but in return attack anyone who attempts to hold their land.
The smartest of smart bombs. Humans.

If everyone in America copied and pasted so mindlessly we would be in the same predicament. Real pioneers in technology build their knowledge off fact to eventually stray away from it. Our brain is a great tool and it's a shame to let it go to waste on simply copying and pasting.

A nice little side note: Spreading misleading information is another tool that BUSH, Regan and the entire UN practice. Why those didn't pop in your mind as fast as Hitler and Marx shows your mental conditioning.
Going off on a real far side note: Isn't america the one launching numerous "information and communication" satelites.. and aren't all of our phone conversations being listened into?
.... although i don't mind i have nothing to hide, maybe a few stories of under age drinking back in the day or ripping the tag's off of my matress....

After all that said i'm happy to live here in America, i could be a fool launching myself at buildings over a religion due to illeteracy.


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December 30, 2003 3:06:40 AM

That viewsonic ,rcpilot, you show is really a great CRT. I have been considering getting rid of my flat screen for it.. but it's so HUGE! It takes up the whole desk. But for the price the quality is great.

p4 2.8 533fsb
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December 30, 2003 3:29:35 AM

It's big for sure. If you look in the album for me, you'll see how it fills up my armoire.

Size wasn't really a consideration for me when I bought it. I wanted a super performing monitor. I always run the the biggest vid. board that I can buy. The last one I bought was my TI4600. This monitor will let the card work. Price wise, it's great IMO

The + feature is the biggest feature I like about it. No more gamma adjustment to see in the shadows when I go into a game. Hit the button & it's perfect. Come back out to the desktop & hit it again, perfect as well.

I can run it at 1024 x 768 @ 100 htz, but I don't. I run it & all my games that support it at 1280 x 1024 @ 75 htz. I like it better there IMO



Dazzle them with Brilliance, or Baffle them with BS! :wink:
December 30, 2003 4:49:20 AM

Yes Mr RCPilot the Samsung SyncMaster955df has that option and yes the button is right on the front of the monitor. I thought that is what I said ?

I could always use things like item 1 or 2 or 3 and make sure I put all text into brackets and in quotation so you understand.

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December 30, 2003 4:51:57 AM

I thought that was exactly how the Arab religion according to the Koran says to do. <-- hope I spelled that right

Kill ones self and anyone that looks like ones self.

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December 30, 2003 11:36:40 AM

Quote:
A SAMSUNG SyncMaster 955df .20 pitch Monitor is a good display at 17" for price it claims to be a true flat screen but it is not completely flat but it has a Highlight option that can be used in boardroom meetings to highlight certain areas of the screen on a projector.
The neat trick you can do with the highlight option is to open it up full screen so when you are gaming you can lighten up even the darkest games or maps online in multiplayer and see the bad guys hiding in the shadows before they can see you.

Quote:
Yes Mr RCPilot the Samsung SyncMaster955df has that option and yes the button is right on the front of the monitor. I thought that is what I said ?

Well I didn't get a button push out ot your first statement, if that's' what you meant, I sure didn't pick that out of there. Sounded more like some kind of tricked up BS program that came with the monitor. Seen a lot of that type of thing.

No need to call me MR. I'm like everyone else, I work for a living!!

Oh well, it's my $.02, just like I see your $.02 around IMO

Dazzle them with Brilliance, or Baffle them with BS! :wink:
!