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Thread: Computer specifications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kendal,Cumbria, UK
    Posts
    3

    Computer specifications

    Hi
    I have been using Artrage for a few years now, a really great programme, and will be fortunate enough to be able to afford a new 27 inch Mac soon. I want to do some big painting, 3ft x 2ft, that sort of size, and not be limited by computer specs (at the moment I get a certain amount of lag with some of the pallet tools for instance and big picture are not on) Can you advise me on Speed, RAM and video card specifications which would optimise Artrage? I know that obviously the best and most powerful of everything would do the job, but this could be overkill and gets expensive, the standard Mac video card is 512mb for instance but I thought perhaps 1024mb would be better,
    with kind regards
    Richard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ambient Design
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    3,504
    For speed, the primary consideration is probably going to be your processor. The graphics card isn't important. Regarding memory, any system with a fast processor these days is probably going to have more RAM than the application can use anyway. That is a pretty large image however, if you're working at 3 feet by 2 feet at 300 dpi that's 10800 by 7200 pixels which is right up at around the maximum I'd expect ArtRage to be able to handle ( lower DPI values will lighten the requirements however ) so even on a fast machine I'd expect to see some delays.

    One tip for larger paintings, if you hold down shift and drag your stylus left and right on the canvas, you can increase tool sizes up to 500%.
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Dave,
    I've been trying to get an answer to a similar question here, and haven't been able to get one. I currently use a tablet of for Artrage, and have only ever had one for it. It has a ULV 1.86 core2duo in it with 8 gb ram and a SSD. It does ok in Artrage up to around 3000 or 4000 pixels. I would also like to go bigger.

    Will a desktop noticeably improve performance? My understanding is they'll pull more juice from the wall and be faster, as they're full voltage. Of course, it would be a faster ghz too. Maybe 2.5 or 3.0. I also thought being quad core or multi-threaded would help too. But my memory from reading previous conversations here was that multi-threaded core meant less to Artrage than being multi-core?? Does being quad core help more than dual core?

    See, I don't need he biggest or the fastest desktop. I'm just interested in something better than what I have. I feel, from previous threads, that I'd be just as well served by a faster ghz dual core desktop as I would be by a lower ghz Icore with multi-threading, because Artrage doesn't take advantage of all that other stuff.

    So, I guess my question is two-fold: 1) desktop versus tablet pc/ laptop, and 2) cores versus threads, dual core versus quad, etc.

    Thanks. I know you must get asked stuff like this a lot. You are the expert though!

    Edit- also, as an additional point of comparison, my current tablet pc doesn't have a dedicated graphics card. I understand that CPU is more important than gpu for Artrage, but should I see an increase in performance from the move to a dedicated graphics card on a desktop as well? Or is that truly prett unimportant. For example, in Painter 12, it is specifically mentioned that a dedicated graphics card improves performance. As I have such an unpowered laptop on this point by today's standard, I thought it worth asking.
    Last edited by Steve B; 07-12-2012 at 06:48 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ambient Design
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    3,504
    ArtRage works best with faster processors with multiple cores. Hyperthreading isn't as worthwhile, physical cores are more important. I'd say that desktops are generally going to have faster processors and not be making as many power saving sacrifices as laptops, but it would depend on the system. You can get some pretty quick laptops too.

    ArtRage doesn't rely on your graphics card. It's possible that a non dedicated graphics card will eat into your RAM somewhat.

    I hope this is of some help. Sorry for missing your other thread!
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    That's a very useful answer. Thanks Dave.

    Final question, if you don't mind--
    Is Artrage setup to take advantage of more than 2 cores? i.e. is a true quad core (not a multi-thread dual core) better than a dual core cpu for usage with Artrage?

    Everything else seems pretty clear--
    -multi-threading not important
    -ram not super important (once you hit, say 4gb)
    -graphics card not particularly important
    -SSD isn't important for general performance, though it will help you open and save files faster

    -high ghz cpu IS important
    -multiple cores IS important


    Should something like this be a sticky? It would be very helpful to refer people to.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ambient Design
    Posts
    3,504
    ArtRage can take advantage of up to 8 cores currently. A quad core processor will tend to give more performance than a dual core processor - we break a number of tasks down depending on the number of cores.

    The only other thing I can think of is undo which is disc based ( data is written to disc at the end of each operation ). However in my personal experience I haven't noticed a difference between using a standard hard drive and a SSD.
    Dave
    Resident Bug-Hunter
    Ambient Design

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