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I'm looking to get a new PC or Laptop for Christmas. One of my main concerns, as it plagues me with my current PC, is memory usage while multi-tasking.
I often have several 2d editing tools like Photoshop, XNA/VisualStudio/C#Express, a PDF, Firefox, and a media player open while working.
Further, my next project is going into 3d, so I need to know what types of things allow for a smooth experience.
I HATE it when I'm going along and all of a sudden photoshop takes a million hours to load up all the images I had open and all the animations I was working on. Same goes for maya and mudbox once I get them going again.
What specs/hardware improve this sort of performance? RAM? GPU? CPU? I dunno, I'm a total hardware illiterate. Help me out!
if you're going to buy a whole computer (from like dell or best buy, etc) you'll want to go with a quad core processor. Whether it be AMD or Intel, look for around 2.66 GHz to 2.8 GHz for the processor.
Memory: The new wave is DDR3. 6 GB of RAM will be standard soon.
If you're running 3D, you'll need a heavy duty graphics card. Not to sure on these. Geforce has good cards, I think the 8000 series is new. Be sure to find one that has at least 512 MB on it.
Ask your retailer how upgradable the system your looking at is. Can you replace the graphics card? Can you upgrade the memory? How about the processor?
You could also find a friend that has built his own computer before and see if he'll find good hardware for you and help you put it together.
I personally think prefab computers are a rip off.
Also, if you got the cash, get a mac. Usually don't have to worry about upgrading those
seems like you would benefit from more ram. the 32 bit versions of windows only recognise about 3gb of ram, so if you want more you will have to have a 64 bit version. i think theres still some driver issues with 64 bit windows so you will have to check if all your hardware will work.
as for graphics cards, good bang for the buck at the moment are the 8800gt, and 9600gt but it depends on your budget. if you get a geforce card just make sure its at least a gt.
Have you thought about profiling your current system?
Assuming XP, bring up the management console and what you want is "counter logs" under "Performance Logs and Alerts". The quick and dirty way is to just use taskmgr's performance tab. The point of this is to determine if your working habits/software is CPU, RAM, and/or DISK bound.
as for a graphics card, if you're choosing between 8800gt or the 9600gt like peterhuman is talking about, the 8800gt is the better card, and also probably cheaper. If money isn't an issue, the nvidia 200 series is nice or the upper 9000 series are good too like the 9800 GTX+. I have the 9800 GTX+ and its a good card