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Thread: What hardware upgrades best improve Artrage performance?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    What hardware upgrades best improve Artrage performance?

    Hi,
    I'm making 12 X 18 designs for clients at 300 dpi, with some layers etc. I'm definite experiencing some hefty lag when I'm opening & closing canvases, merging layers, or using big water color brushes. Sometimes enough lag that I leave the program and come back to it in a bit. I'm using a motion computing le1700 slate, with a 1.5 ghz dualcore processor , 4GB DDR2 ram, win 7 32 bit, and a HDD.

    I'm been thinking about upgrading my computer, but don't know what will really help out when running art programs like Artrage, Painter, and Sketchbook Pro.

    More Ram? DDR2 versus DDR3 ram? A 64 Bit os? A SSD? A faster processor?

    I'm not doing 3D work. And I could really care less about boot times. But I'd love to have a really fluid creative/work experience on the programs listed, using big canvases. I just don't really know what's going to help with the lag I'm experiencing. I thought you guys might know more since you might have more experience with Artrage and other art programs. I'm sort of a newbie.
    Last edited by Steve B; 02-03-2011 at 06:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    ArtRage pushes around a lot of data and at that size there's a lot of calculation going on in most of the operations you mention. Watercolour is a particularly taxing tool as it has to go through the fluid calculations we use to monitor how the pigment is interacting with other things.

    Memory-wise, the app is 32-bit so more RAM won't help. The sheer size of the document is going to require everything you've got. Layers in ArtRage track more than just colour and transparency, anywhere up to 5x as much data as simple colour apps, so that can definitely be an issue if you have many full layers in the document (layers with only a small amount of stuff on them don't use that much memory).

    Processor speed will have some impact on the speed of calculation so that could be a possible improvement here, but again the size of the document means that I'm not sure what kind of improvement you would see.

    We're looking in to ways to speed the app up and we're working on some new technology that we hope to wrap in to a future update to help with this.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Thank you, that was really very helpful, despite not being all roses and unicorns for me. If I do upgrade anyways, do you guys think you'll be putting out a 64 bit compatible version anytime soon? And if so, will we have to pay for it, or will it be a free upgrade?

    Also, do ssd's really help at all with running applications like Artrage faster? You didn't mention that in your response.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    We do want to do 64-bit but we're not sure about the schedule for that yet, there are some fairly large systems that need rewriting and I don't know what kind of update it could go in to.

    As for solid state drives, I would imagine that if their transfer speed is faster than the hard drive and swapping would be a bit faster, so it may help, but with ArtRage sitting inside the 4GB limit anyway it might not make much of a difference.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  5. #5
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    Is Artrage designed to take advantage of multi-threading? For example, does a Core2Duo 1.5 ghz processor run Artrage any faster than a single 1.5 ghz processor? My understanding is that Core2Duo processors help you multitask better, but that, if the program you are using isn't designed for multithreading, it makes no difference in terms of functional processing power while using a single application.

    It'd be nice to know if I'd get just as much out of a single 1.5 ghz le1600 as I would out of a Core2Duo 1.5 ghz le1700. I'd just as well downgrade, save the money, and put in a ssd if they'll work the same, as I'm using the slate really only for drawing purposes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    I love ArtRage but I also dabble in 3D (Vue Complete ver 9, 3DCoat 3.5, Hexagon ver 2.5, Wings 3D, Sculptris) and one of the best upgrades for my 3D apps was a recent (2 weeks ago) upgrading my Geforce 8500GT 512 mb video card to a GeForce 250GTS 1 gig vid card... (I also had t upgrade my powersupply from a Corsair 550W to a Corsair 750W to accommodate the card)...

    It made a significant performance gain in the 3D apps and not much in ArtRage or Paint Shop Pro...

    I have a tri-core AMD Athlon (X3 710), Windows 7 64 bit with 8gigs of DDR2 and ArtRage can get quite sluggish on a big file with many layers...

    So I too am interested in how to optimize AR with hardware or software tweaking...

    Cheers

    Ken

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    That's interesting to hear about the Ram. It clealry implies more ram is not what's going to make Artrage run faster. I assume it's really the processor. I would still like to hear about multithreading and multi-core processors, because I don't think most art programs really take advantage of that.

    I'm beginning to wonder if we're all upgrading to overspec'd computers in some ways. ??? When what we really need is a more powerful processor.

  8. #8
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    AMD has the 6 core cpu (socket AM3) and Intel just recently released the new socket LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge series of processors...

    My next cpu upgrade will be either of these two. My existing computer uses a Gigabyte AM3 socket motherboard and will accept an AMD X6. If I go the Intel route I'll have to get a new motherboard as well... Plus my existing setup uses DDR2. Intel LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge cpus require DDR3...

    AMD X6
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103913

    Intel LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge
    http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57...ufacture=Intel

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    ArtRage doesn't currently use multi-threading, but that's something we're looking at for the future. I doubt an SSD would make much difference. ArtRage uses the hard drive for temporary undo file storage only, and this information is stored at the end of each stroke.
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

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