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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Thanked 98 Times in 83 Posts

    Unhappy Looking to invest in a visual arts computer.....

    I'm without a desktop computer right now, and I'm thinking of investing in a new one.
    I'm looking to begin learning digital art, as I am planning on (hopefully) attending school specializing in digital work ranging from most aspects of 2-d to higher end 3-d work. Once in school there should be a computer lab with very high end computers, so this computer I'd want would be more for at home and personal use.
    So, for the first time I'm looking at a computer as more than just a means to write essays and make graphs.
    and I'm confused.

    1. I'm looking to begin teaching myself the basics of photoshop and maya (possibly blender because it's free). I regularly use adobe flash for recreational animation purposes.

    2. I may not need to use this computer much while in school since the school has the above mention, great computer labs.

    3. I, like everyone else don't want to spend any unnecessary money.

    Right now I'm looking into PC as it is easiest to upgrade, and after using Mac for awhile, I have grown weary of finding so few well establish programs that work for it.
    I am planning on using this for personal use, so It may not need to be quite to professional status yet.


    1. What are the basic components one should look for when building a computer specific for the digital art? What about to my specific above numbered criteria?

    2. I found and read though this thread: . Much of this sounded like another language even after looking up several of the terms. Where can I look/ go to to get a greater understanding of computer terminology? Computer mechanics?

    3. I would like to build the computer myself, as a sort of stepping stone, and also to again save money. What should I know ahead of time? Where can I find the best information?

    Thank you for your time in reading this, and any help would be appreciated beyond compare!
    And please, understand, though I love learning, and really want to learn more, right now I'm nearly computer illiterate, so please keep the technical speech simple, or at least provide a definition occasionally.
    Fudge this AWESOME place!!!

    My SKETCHBOOK: please critique! i can take it!

    To limit one's maximum knowledge is to maximize one's limits.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Torrance, CA
    Thanked 4,263 Times in 2,075 Posts

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Torrance, CA
    Thanked 4,263 Times in 2,075 Posts
    First thing you want to decide on is a Processor. This comes in with deciding what you want your PC for.

    There are two makers.

    AMD - which is generally more affordable and if you're using it for illustration it's pretty acceptable.
    The benefits to AMD is upgrade paths. Unlike most Intel CPUs, from what I understand a newer motherboard can still handle an older CPU as long as it works. This can save you some money if you need to upgrade your motherboard because you want more USB ports or features.

    Intel - this is the most established brand, and they generally perform better but depending on what you use it for it isn't going to matter as much. If you're doing 2D illustration, it's not going to be that much of a boost in a lot of circumstances.
    Usually video editors and those processing 3D will go with this brand. If you look at a lot of animation, movies that use a lot of special effects, 9 times out of 10 you'll see an Intel mention in the credits. This is because time is money and it's where these seconds come in that matter over AMD. So this is why'll you'll see a lot of debates over processors.

    Once you figure out which brand you want, you'll need to figure out the speed. I usually recommend an i-Core 5 if you go with Intel for illustration.

    AMD Phenom II - Quad and above are fine about 3.4ghz (I think they range about 90 bucks right now for this one and above for newer cpus).

    This will help you decide what motherboard to use.

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