How Much Memory Did The Old Apple 2 Computers Have What Makes For a Good Graphics Design Computer?

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What Makes For a Good Graphics Design Computer?

People who use their computers for graphic design work need computers with different specifications than will be sufficient for general users. Since the hardware configuration plays such an important role in the quality of the end result, most graphic designers go to great lengths when choosing their computers. For a long time Apple was the first and virtually the only choice and Macs set the standard for graphic design capabilities that others have tried but could never match. Today, companies like HP and Dell have introduced PCs and laptops that can compete with Apple. But the best way to define what makes a good graphic design computer is not to look at competing makes and models, but to define the specs that make a computer the right one for a graphic designer.

It won’t be cheap

A graphic design computer will be a high-end computer, with many expensive options. Although there are a lucky few for whom money is not an issue, for most of us compromises will have to be made. These trade-offs need not affect computer performance if thought through wisely. For example, someone who designs as a hobby won’t need huge storage and can get by with a smaller hard drive. Those who don’t do high volumes of work might consider a cheaper processor since speed isn’t a critical area for them. There’s only one thing you should never compromise on and that’s the graphics card – always get your best.

The basic specifications of the graphic design computer

Let’s start with the operating system – you must have the Windows 7 64-bit version (unless you go with Apple). Next is the optical drive – any high speed DVD RW will do. Blu Ray is an unnecessary expense. As for RAM, you should look for at least 6 GB of DDR3. You could go for cheaper, but as mentioned before, it will slow you down. Don’t make the mistake of looking at the hard drive only in terms of capacity. Although 500 GB is the minimum, you should consider one of the newer 10,000 RPM drives rather than the older 7,200 RPM ones. The speed at which you can open files will be a blessing. If you can afford it, go for the newer SSDs – very reliable and fast. You will need a second storage device and a 1TB external drive is best.

Two critical components are the screen and the graphics card. Although screen size depends on personal preference, most designers use at least a 17-inch screen. Of course, it must be a high definition LED display so that you get the best images of your designs. When it comes to graphics card, nVidia has long been the best on the market and their Series 2 cards are the best you can get. However, new ATI cards are also very good and if you buy a computer with ATI installed, make sure it is a new 5-series card.

Two Options

A computer with anywhere near those specs will set you back around $2,000. Spend some time checking out the different options available to get one that best suits your needs. Dell recently introduced the Studio XPS 9000 which is one of the best graphic design computers available today:

– VIDEO CARD: nVidia GeForce GTS 240 1024 MB

– DISPLAY: 22″ Samsung HD LED

– HARD DISKS: 2 x 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA

– OPTICAL DRIVE: 16X DVD+/-RW drive

– PROCESSOR: Intel i7-920 processor (8 MB L3 cache, 2.66 GHz)

– OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64-bit

– MEMORY: 9 GB DDR3

It costs around $1,800, which is about the same as a good Mac. The choice of a Windows or Apple computer is therefore up to you.

The other options are those that could save you money. It’s for building your own computer exactly to your specifications. You will be able to get a higher spec computer for less than the cost of a brand name computer. But unless you’re sure what you’re doing, don’t try. There is no warranty or support service to help you with any issues.

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