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Need Some Help And Some Advice


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10 replies to this topic

#1 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:53 AM

Hello, I am new here and I really need some major advice advice before I went out and made a purchase.

I needed to know what I should do, I am a graduate of the Atlanta College of art and design and I have a bfa in animation. In school, we used macs for our 2d animations and pcs for our 3d animations in maya. I was more 2d. My problem is, is that I am unsure if I should invest the money and get a mac laptop so I can used both for my graphic work or can I just juice up my pc with all new stuff.
For animations we sometimes used final cut pro and after effects, which after effects eats up the ram on my pc in no time.

I don't want to go out and spend a wad of cash, on something I'm not really going to need. so that is why I came here for advice. I posted on another forum and no one would give me an answer only saying that I shouldn't get a black notebook because it felt leathery. UGH.

Also, if I do get a mac, would it be bad to go back and maybe get a refurbished ibook? why did they stop making ibooks anyways?

well I hope I wasn't rambling on and made some sense. thank you for all your help in advance.

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#2 groovicus

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:24 AM

I don't know why they stopped making I-Books.

As far as how to best invest your money, that is sort of a difficult question to answer. How much money will you need to spend to bring your PC up to speed? Is the only alternative a Mac Laptop? Will a laptop be the best investment (ie, will you be able to upgrade the system easily in order to keep up with advances in the graphics field?) PC's are easily upgradabe, as long as you have a decent base to start with. That means, in general, that if you have a Dell, E-machine, etc, that they will not be very upgradable, because that is not in their best interest. They want you to buy a new machine every few years, not upgrade.

AS far as buying a refurbished laptop, it is true that they will be somewhat cheaper, but are they going to have the capabilities that you need? Buying yesterday's laptop isn't going to help you keep up with tomorrow's graphic applications, so that may not be the best choice. And IMHO, any laptop is costs a wad of cash.

#3 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:54 AM

my pc is pretty low grade. I mean we made it just so I could go to school. I wish I could give you the specs but I am on my husbands pc. it locks up most of the time when I try to run photoshop. My husband states I need a total overhaul which will probably be about 2 k, over estimating.

I just get so confused with all these jobs stating mac proficiency. I have used a mac and I can use one very well. but should I have my own personal one.
so many hard decisions

#4 groovicus

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 10:23 AM

Then your best option may be to look at purchasing a new Mac then, though it will probably cost more than updating an existing computer... that is, if the computer you already have is upgradable. I can build a pretty beefy computer for around $600. For another $200, I can beef it up even more to handle the graphics intensive. If you have a computer that already has a decent base, you may be able to get away with spending $400 or $500. Of course, if you can't build the system yourself, then going with an off the shelf solution is going to cost you a bunch.

I can't comment about the graphics capabilities of Macs since I have never used one. I do know that Mac is considered the de-facto standard for graphics.

The short term solution may be to drop some more memory into your existing computer until you can decide what the best investment for you may be.

#5 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:25 PM

yeah. we built the computer I have so I'm sure it can be upgradable.

maybe you can answer anohter one of my questions then. if I was to upgrade my pc, what are your opinions on shuttle cases ( micro atx towers). My husband is a no go on them because so little space makes a pain in the butt to tinker around with on the inside.

#6 groovicus

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:37 PM

Since I don't really know anything about them, I had to do a little research. They certainly are sharp looking, but I would have to say that I prefer a case where there is ample room to work. Less of a chance of accidentally knocking something loose, plus better visibility. Plus they (micro atx) are sort of expensive. I personally don't care too much about the case.... the case for my server cost about $30, and it came with a 500 Watt power supply. Granted, the walls are not much thicker than a beer can, but it sits on a shelf out of the way, so I am not too worried about it being damaged.

#7 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:55 PM

okay. I really wish I could give you the specs on my pc so you could tell me what I should do. hold on and let me try.

#8 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:58 PM

oh and btw. thank you so much for helping me out. you have been a great help.

#9 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:07 PM

I dunno if this helps at all but here you go:
Windows: Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 2

Internet Explorer: 6.0.2900.2180

Memory (RAM): 1024 MB

CPU Info: mobile AMD Athlon™ XP-M 1400+

CPU Speed: 1201.0 MHz

Sound card: VIA AC'97 Audio (WAVE)

Display Adapters: RADEON 9200 SERIES | RADEON 9200 SERIES - Secondary | NetMeeting driver | RDPDD Chained DD

Screen Resolution: 1024 X 768 - 32 bit

Network: Network Present

Network Adapters: VIA Rhine II Fast Ethernet Adapter

CD / DVD Drives: D: PIONEER 16X DVD-ROM | E: HP CD-Writer+ 9500

:

COM Ports: COM1

LPT Ports: LPT1

Mouse: 3 Button Wheel Mouse Present

Hard Disks: C: 37.3GB | K: 114.5GB

Hard Disks - Free: C: 3.8GB | K: 97.7GB

USB Controllers: 4 host controllers.

Firewire (1394): Not Detected

PCMCIA (Laptops): Not Installed

Manufacturer: American Megatrends Inc.

Product Make: M825VXX

:

AC Power Status: OnLine

BIOS Info: AT/AT COMPATIBLE | 02/11/04 | AMIINT - 10

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

Battery: No Battery

Motherboard: ECS M825VXX

Modem: Not detected

#10 groovicus

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:46 PM

Those specs are not all that bad, but right off, your primary disk is pretty full, and that will effect your speed some. Large files utilize swap space on the disk, in addition to the swap space Windows needs to operate. If they start fighting over space, then you will run into serious lag. Defragging the C: drive might help reclaim a bit of space. You may want to look at moving some of the files to your K drive also. IIRC, Windows likes to have around 4 gigs of swap space. (Or maybe Windows can address up to 4 gigs per application). At any rate, if you have memory intensive applications, you will want to make use of everything that Windows has (or should have).

I can't find a manual for your motherboard, but it appears from what I did find that the max memory it can hold is 1 gig (which is what you already have). Do you know if it has two 512 Meg sticks of memory, or a single 1 Gig? I am guessing the former, which means you will not be able to pump any more memory into it.

You might want to try moving your swap drive to your K drive, which would give it more space to work, but would really only be a temporary fix. Personally, I would pick up a new motherboard that is compatible with the processor and memory that you already have, and buy a bigger(and faster) hard drive..... shopping around should get you those for less than $200. The next step would be to beef up the memory as much as you can afford. Last step would be to upgrade the processor. I think by far the biggest concern at this point is the hard drive.

I can't be more specific without looking at the manual for your particular board.

#11 kayla

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:01 PM

it is 2 512 sticks.
yeah the board is very genereic and just says motherboard on the box which scares me.




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