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  1. #1
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    Icon Computers and the digital art world

    I was hoping to get some opinions on what kind of computers some of you have. The reason I ask is because I'm trying to decide if what I have right now is going to be good enough to last me longer or if I should start upgrading.

    Part of the reason is also that I'm buying a wacom intuos3 next month and while the actual reqs are low a friend of mine was telling me that if I want it to run real smoothly and be able to effectively work in photoshop/painter that I need lots of ram and a faster computer.

    If this topic has been done to death I apologize but right now the search function isn't working for me. Hasn't been for about two hours now.

    Here's what I've got right now since that question might get asked;

    -Athlon XP 2600+
    -GeForce 6800 GT 256
    -512 2700DDR ram
    -My monitor is an incredibly nice one, true color and high resolution, albiet only 17" diagonal buuuuut it is sooo dark! I max out brightness and contrast but it's just totally dim. Most of those programs for setting the monitor to a proper color setting want me to match gray with black on the top two bars of a gradient scale... well it's usually black about 4 bars down, maxed out. I have to use gamma correction to make it bearable. This was never the case until after I moved so I think something is loose but I was wondering if any of you know how I might fix it? I'm pretty experienced with electronics. Otherwise, is there a point in taking it to a repair shop or should I bite the bullet and go buy some new expensive (but nice) monitor. Also, would anyone suggest a particular model for digital work?

    Thanks for any info you guys can provide


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  3. #2
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    Your system is fine. Maybe throw in another 512 mb ram but with DDR2 being the standard on AM2 it may not be worth the bother in the long run.

    It's not really the wacom that likes a fast system, but photoshop. Something that you may experience is slightly sluggish brush response on obscenely complicated brushes or those >100 px diameter, from personal experience on a 2400+.

    If you're going to upgrade, remember that PS loves to multithread! Hyperthreading and dual core systems make PS happy.

  4. #3
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    You definately need to up the RAM for PS. Mine runs nicely on the 2 gigs of ram I have, but still slows some on the complex brushes set to large sizes. At some point I'm going to up it 4 gigs.

    As far as your monitor goes, well...I'm not sure about that one. Never had to deal with that problem yet. I'd try googling your issue and see what kind of results you come up with on the tech forums. That's how I've solved every issue I've had on my computer.

  5. #4
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    I always heard that PS relied more on the processor than RAM, so I'd suggest looking along those lines when upgrading. Also, while windows XP allows for up to 4 gigs of ram, it stops being meaningful after about 2 gigs. At least get another 512 for yourself sometime, since RAM's kinda cheap.

    Otherwise, your vid card is completely fine and, well, I dunno what to say about the monitor. Hope that works out.
    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com

  6. #5
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    Fancy videocards are ultraspecialised in rendering polygons and slaping multiples textures on top (and other real time effects like shaders.) Photoshop is process intensive for the file treatment not for the display of the file (it's about as hard on your videocard as conceptart is.)

  7. #6
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    PS is more ram.. it's one of the biggest mem hog out there.. and you definitely need more ram.. I would suggest you upgrade to another 512. Save some money and upgrade motherboard, cpu, ram down the track..

  8. #7
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    Alright guys, thanks for the info. I just wanted to make sure I was going to be justified in upgrading this computer. My girlfriend was a little shocked at how much it'll run me but then again what I gain she gains. Not to mention that she'll be receiving what I'm running now so good times ahead for her.

    Did some research on the monitor... I should be able to fix it if it isn't burning out. Sometimes after it has been jolted around an internal switch controlling voltage will stop giving it all the volts it needs. Gotta be careful but that might do the trick, although first I think I'm going to see if a professional will do it for a reasonable ammount of money.

  9. #8
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    If your monitor has an OSD menu, check to see if there are controls for input voltage in there. On mine I can select a +0.7 or +1.0 volt input, which adjusts the brightness accordingly.

  10. #9
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    Your system will be fine with another 512 ram in there.

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