If one were to build a computer to do some souped up digitial webcomic making what would you get? Mac or PC? Which kind of Mac? What kind of PC (especially any extra parts)? Wacom tablet? Monitor? Scanner? What things would you splurge on if you had the budget? Tell us about what you have and what you would have done differently on your current setup.
Currently, I’m in the process of specifying what parts I want to get for my next machine, and since I’m a PC user who uses Illustrator to make my comics, I would do the following config… Hope this is helpful:
MSI K8T Master-2 FAR Dual Opteron Board
Dual AMD Operton 244 (2-Way 1.8GHz) Processors
2GB of Corsair DDR333 RAM
Two 80GB Seagate SerialATA 7200RPM Hard Drives on SerialATA RAID0 for the system volume.
One 200GB Seagate SerialATA 7200RPM Hard Drive for a paging file and media storage
One 40GB Seagate ATA/133 7200RPM hard drive for exclusive use as a photoshop and Illustrator scratch disk.
Gainward GeForce FX5700 Ultra Dual DVI Video Card
Two Samsung 172X-Silver 17″ DVI LCD Monitors
Antec 550 Watt EPS12V Power Supply
Antec Performance Plus Server Case with side window and fan.
Plextor SerialATA 12x DVD Burner
Samsung 16x DVD-ROM
Those are the basic specs. There’s obviously more components involved, but that’s a pretty good base, I think. My philosophy is to try and eliminate most IDE devices since they can’t do simultaneous data transfers with other devices on the same chain, and stick with SerialATA which is about the closest consumer equivalent to LVD SCSI devices available. The LCD monitors would be perfect for reduction of eye strain, and having two is almost essential for any person who’s really into graphics.
After putting this system together on paper with everything, I found it came to about $3,100. Not bad, huh?
Okay, my thoughts.
I am currently using an HP Pavilion zd7000 laptop for my comic.
3.06 P4 533mhz
512megs of Ram
60g Hard Drive
128meg Nvidia Graphic Card.
I do my comic entirely with 3d rendering software (Bryce, 3d Studio Max, and Poser) and have had no problems with this system bogging down or over heating. It ways in at around 9-10lbs and it has about two hours of battery life to it.
While it is not the most power efficient thing in the world….I was able to do several comics on a recent airplane flight from Providence, RI and Detroit, MI with it. Screen size runs in at 17″ Widescreen(the guts of the display panel are the same as the 17″ Powerbooks) and it has 4 usb ports which are enough to handle my Wacom Graphire, optical mouse and trackball.
I recommend the setup highly. “Silver” hasn’t let me down yet. I think of it as the best of both worlds (portability and desktop power), and it has serevd me very well.
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