Design Me A Graphics PC System

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Thread Starter
Apr 20, 2004
Design Me A Graphics PC System
Hi folks,
I work in Draw, PhotoShop, CAD, FrontPage, Macromedia and other development software, running under Windows XP Pro.
I am using a Dell PC SCSI workstation with a P-III processor. This 3 year old system just can’t cut it. It never could from day one…It’s been a real disappointment! I am having crashes constantly. The machine is extremely slow and stopping due to the amount of programs running in the background but mostly due to the intensive graphics programs that are running. These are the programs that I work in. I can’t keep two programs open at the same time like Draw & PhotoShop without it crashing. I upgraded from Windows 2000 Pro thinking that this might improve my situation but it has made it worst. There is more for this old computer to do now, than before the upgrade! I can’t keep Norton Internet Security running and do work in any graphics program without the system crashing. I ended up removing NIS even though it is a worthwhile program, just so I could work.
If you have extensive work experience and knowledge in these graphics intensive programs you probably know what is required. What hardware would you suggest if you wanted to build your own computer from scratch and not be saddled with what seems like poor off-the-shelf choices?

1-What processors would you use? Dual Xeons, Dual Opterons, or single P-4. I interpret that Opterons have a slight edge over P-4’s. Do you know anything about this comment?
2-What Motherboard would you use? Abit, Gigabyte, Intel, Tyan, MSI, IWill, etc.? Duel or single processor capable, and why did you make this choice? Would the Intel E7505 Chipset have a bearing on your Motherboard choice?
3-What advantage would a dual processor have in supporting multiple programs open at the same time, and also in the printing queue for the two printers I use, both Epson wide format units. My current Dell stops when I send through a print job. Very frustrating.
4-I use a small server for file storage.
Hard drives could be 10K or 15K don’t you think? SCSI or SATA in a Raid 0 configuration! Does the Motherboard have to support SCSI or can you install a card to support this type of system? Not many Motherboards out there that are SCSI with available Raid and adequate available PCI slots!
5-Memory would be 2GB DDR or more, right?
6-Software is the issue in designing this system. Graphics intensive software at that! What type of Graphics Card would you use? Not for games, just graphics use with, 2-D and some 3-D usage. Known my above work requirements, how much on-board graphics ram is enough? 128, 256 what? Is there something else I should look for in a graphics card?
7-I see most Motherboard come with on-board network cards and on-board sound which is fine. Basic sound is all that is required.
8-Cases that support Motherboards are very confusing. There are so many. I thought that a plain high quality say $150.00 +/- mid tower would be fine, but a side, easy access is required. No, I don’t need flashing lights or snarling graphics faces on the side of the case. The case needs to support the dual processors if that’s what I finely decide on, and have room for the drives and proper power, right? So I have to make a decision as to what Motherboard and processor set first. Right?
This is a lot of work to ask anyone. I hope someone can help with this process.

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