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Suggestions Need a new Design computer

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by edsullivan1, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. edsullivan1

    edsullivan1 New Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    Asheville NC
    Looking to buy a new design computer for general sign making using Corel, Adobe products and Flexi. I was looking at a SignBurst Inferno, any other suggestions?
  2. crny1

    crny1 Member

    Mar 22, 2015
    +1 for signburst. Casey is great to work with!
  3. JR's

    JR's Very Active Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    swansea Ma 02777
    I agree A+ for signburst.
  4. Zendavor Signs

    Zendavor Signs Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Peoria, IL
    I have used Origin PC for a handful of years. Very good quality components. I like their website, you can build it just how you like it.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  5. kheebl

    kheebl Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    MPLS, MN
    I had my PC custom built at micro center. I was going to build it myself but for $99 i believe it was I was able to buy an additional warranty on all the components.
  6. CL Visual

    CL Visual Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Copiague, NY
    Just about to purchase an imac pro. Very tempting to go PC and save a couple grand. Imac will be about 9 grand all in with my configuration. Adobe just seems to run better on mac.
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Macs are PCs. Gotta love Apple's marketing department for that one.

    I know I'm wasting my breath keep on mentioning that, it's too well entrenched, but they are PCs. At least with how we are using them.

    As you noted, it's all about the configuration. It runs the same on both, providing how one configures the computer.

    I've seen a lot of people that think getting a gaming rig loaded with as much resources as they can monetarily handle to be the best route, when it really isn't.

    To the OP: If you don't know what specs are good or don't want to deal with it, I would suggest going with someone (like SignBurst) that would know good configurations to optimize for this particular application.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    For what it's worth, I've built several PC's for our own design use. If I were to do it over I would use a third party just to save time and aggravation getting everything optimized. Probably the most common misconception would be to focus on a graphics card. Unless you plan on doing heavy 3D work, you just need a modern, basic card with stable drivers (such as NVidia workstation cards or their consumer grade counterparts) that have the correct outputs for your planned monitor setup. Adobe CS and Corel etc. are 2D programs which place a premium on the processor (Multi core) and memory cache. Also the write speed of your disc system will influence performance so an SSD or msata setup to run applications and as a 'scratch disc' will improve performance. One of our design stations serves as a file server so I have that set up with a four disc RAID 10, but that is probably my over-abundance of caution since RAID is no replacement for our onsite and cloud backup plan for seven years worth of design files. I felt our money best spent on decent monitors and color calibration.
  9. Chasez

    Chasez Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    I just built a new design rig over the break... It will depend on your skill level and how much time you have. I did some research on parts etc. and purchased the parts separately and built the system myself (also because I love doing that). If you know what your looking for and have the time to built yourself I would go that route, you could also go into a local computer parts store and speak with the reps there and I'm sure they could set you up with the parts best suited for your applications (and even built it for you - OS ready). Then all you would have to do is install all your programs etc. Again this is all time consuming but will defiantly save you some bucks.

  10. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    Another for Sign Burst. I have an Inferno and love it. The customer service is amazing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    1) Signburst
    2) Dell Precision Workstations
    3) HP Z Workstations

    The key difference between these and typical "consumer" computers are
    - true business class machines with pro grade workstation hardware that are engineered and purpose build for bullet proof compatibility and 24x7 reliability
    - the top models will have additional features like Xeon processors, registered ECC memory, enterprise class storage, supports much more RAM
    - general lack of bloatware and other junk software that just slows a computer down and really does not need to be on a business class machine
    - almost all of the higher end models of the workstations also still have true legacy ports like serial, parallel, PS2 keyboard and mouse ports which are often still used for business class devices

    Those other enterprise class features in a bit more detail. ECC memory - notice when your home computer sometimes just freaks out and a program just closes on its own or Windows itself just bluescreen crashes? That could very well be a memory glitch. ECC memory detects that, maps the glitch out behind the scenes and just keep on working. Xeon processors generally have better memory controllers and more cache and many have far more cores. That being said, the majority of what we do in the business is still single threaded. When looking at Xeon processor based machines you should focus more on raw clock speed than the number of cores a processor has. Tests by many have shown that even modern multi-threaded programs like Photoshop quickly have diminishing returns when going to more than about 6 to 8 cores and have a greater benefit from higher clock speeds. In other words a 2.4ghz 14 core Xeon is going to be a dog compared to a 3.4ghz 6 core Xeon with the software we use. With todays modern 64bit systems and software, the more RAM the merrier. Shoot for a minimum of 32GB (ours have between 64 and 128). One or even better two SSD's. A decent sized SSD of at least 250GB (500GB would be better) for the boot drive and software. Then ideally a second smaller one of maybe just 80 to 120GB dedicated as the scratch drive for Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Finally a traditional hard drive for bulk data storage (unless you just have the money then add a couple of 1TB SSD's for bulk storage too). As mentioned - the vdeo card is really not all that important for what we do. You do NOT need the latest and greatest 3D gaming card. While they cost a bit more I personally like the pro Nvidia Quadro K series cards. A bit older but rock solid stable and far more stable drivers than the consumer cards. The K2000 or K4000 are both excellent choices but really any halfway decent video card including the consumer models are just fine.

    If you look on online or on eBay you can also find valid and legitimate license keys for Windows 10 LTSB. The LTSB is key and is technically only sold through enterprise licensing agreements. LTSB is the real "business" edition of Windows 10. There is no Cortana, no Edge browser, no Store, no tiles and pointless apps, no Candy Crush and other stupid apps getting installed whether you want them or not, no Xbox, etc. NONE of that really has any reason to be on a business computer system in my opinion.

    Personally we use Dell Precision's here. Actually just bought 4 of them a couple of weeks ago to upgrade the RIP and the designers workstations....
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  12. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    To me, this is going to depend on the components. I run a Lenova ThinkStation with Xeon Processor and 32 GB ECC Ram. I virtualize all my Windows needs. Nothing of Windows runs on bare metal. In that case, it's just 16GBs of RAM (although I can run more as my host OS uses the XFCE DE). It runs better in a virtualized environment then it did on bare metal with the same amount of ram just on the higher end consumer side. I can still render video and animation in a VM and that's usually a big no-no in a virtualized environment.

    I would say video cards are important, just have to get the ones that fit the needs. Like you said gaming cards aren't it.
  13. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

    Apr 17, 2012
    Intel Xeon processor with Nvidia Quadro series graphics card seems to be the best choices for sign making/Photoshop/etc. At least in my machine.
  14. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    I've been getting my shop computers built in town. Current one is less than a year old and it's a beast. Shop that built it interviewed me about the programs I use among other things. They laid out some base recommendations. Then they researched the programs I was using to make sure there were no issues with the build.

    Long story short they built an enterprise level PC running Win 7 Pro. Athlon Black Series, SSD, 16 gigs etc... It flat out rocks. If there is an issue they are less than 10 minutes away. Very happy. Go local, having same day service is priceless.

    Just my two cents, not knocking any of the recommendations.
  15. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    I really appreciate the recommendations! It is a very busy time of year and I haven't been on the site as much as I would like. I would be happy to help with anything that I can, even if it is not one of our computers. Feel free to contact me anytime. I hope that everyone is having a fantastic New Year!
    • Like Like x 2
  16. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

    Sep 6, 2014
    Anchorage, AK
    I would look at something with a AMD processor (sorry Intel but you know ....) and SSD drive to run everything off for speed.
  17. CL Visual

    CL Visual Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Copiague, NY
    Just got a crazy setup Imac Pro. 10 core processor, 128 gb ram, 64gb graphics, SSD, etc. Spent almost 10 grand on it. It's better for sure but not as good as I would have hoped. Most files I work on are 2-6 gb and I'm not designing. I'm just prepping for print so a lot of cropping, mirroring, saving, etc.
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Did you turbo boost your processor? I think the default settings is 3 and mine is at 3.7 (I think you can boost yours to 4.5) and even mainly working in VMs (I run Linux on a Lenovo workstation, VMing Windows) this thing screams and Adobe and Wilcom productions do not have direct access to hardware (as they are VMs). I would imagine yours, if it's only on bare metal, should be far better. And I only have 32 GBs of total system memory (VMs see 16GB at most).

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