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I've been seeing a lot of 'build your computer' magazine issues, but most seemed aimed at gamers. What tweeks do A:M users prefer or recommend for their computers to make working with A:M better, faster, easier, etc.?

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I primary tweak that has benefited me is a pretty straight forward one and that is to increase RAM.

This also means that if running on a 32bit operating system there is a need to upgrade to 64bit in order to access that RAM.

As far as how much RAM... the more the better!

 

As a case in point, there were a few features I never got along with very well (such as particle hair) *until* I moved into a 64 bit system with additional RAM.

Then all of a sudden I was starting to like those feature more because they were more responsive.

 

Most of the other thing are user controllable things like closing applications to free up more RAM, saving often (because that releases RAM), etc.

 

I have heard that SSDs work better/faster but I don't have one yet. That will very likely be on my list of things to get when I purchase my next computer.

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I like having a 4-core CPU so i can make use of netRender without needing a "net"

 

You'll want the 64-bit version of Windows so you can go past 4Gigs of RAM.

 

4Gigs worked fine for most stuff but 8Gigs has met all my needs so far.

 

A lot of mother boards just have two slots, and since the RAM works best in pairs you have to decide right away how much you're going to put in. But with a 4-slot motherboard you could fill two slots now and upgrade later with the other two slots and not have to toss out the RAM you started with.

 

My SSD has made booting and loading faster but my motherboard doesn't support its fastest mode (AHCI) so I'm not getting the full benefit.

 

I think some of the fastest SSDs now plug into one of the short PCI slots rather than use the SATA interface.

 

I have a 250GB SSD for my OS and programs and all my data is on a 3TB hard drive.

 

You'll probably want a large hard drive.

 

 

The best addition for using A:M is a second monitor. When I'm animating it is fabulous to be able to take the PWS and spread it out on a whole screen so I can see lots of key frames without needing to pan around all the time.

 

Make sure your video card can support two monitors.

 

Any cheap, used monitor will do but you want it to have the same vertical res as your primary monitor

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The best addition for using A:M is a second monitor. Amen amen amen amen. I have three monitors and just got a new video card so I can go to five. Two of my monitors came from a landfill (one single pixel broken, NBD) and one from Salvation Army for $10. So it isn't a big financial hardship.

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The best addition for using A:M is a second monitor. When I'm animating it is fabulous to be able to take the PWS and spread it out on a whole screen so I can see lots of key frames without needing to pan around all the time.

 

Make sure your video card can support two monitors.

 

Any cheap, used monitor will do but you want it to have the same vertical res as your primary monitor

 

So lets say I have a monitor with a vertical resolution of 1440 or 1600 pixels, is using a secondary or 3rd monitor limited to 1080 pixels a problem?

I've got a couple older 19" LCDs that I had been planning on setting up to flank my primary display. Although I think the backlight on one is going out :(

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@roger: Not really... you can combine any resolution... but you may find it a little inconvenient from time to time...

 

@phatso: Using 2 displays is great... 3 can still be a good thing but 5 – you're a display maniac ;).

 

See you
*Fuchur*

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The problem I've noted is that the PWS can't be resized to any larger than the primary monitor, So you can't stretch it to fill a second monitor that is bigger.

 

A smaller second monitor will work but I find it annoying when mousing between the two very different sizes.

 

 

Although I think the backlight on one is going out

 

 

If it is indeed just the light bulb, those can be found cheaply on ebay. Not all monitors are easy to disassemble for that purpose.

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For many years I used Intel based systems and one time I had an AMD workstation that served me well. Recently my dual chip xeon workstation finally died and I had just built a gaming system that was pretty inexpensive with a Gigabyte board and AMD 8 core black box edition 4.0-4.2 tubro. Board and chip ran around $225 or so. So far this little machine is a screamer and runs AM well. I do like the Radeon R9 video card but feel Nvidia still handle OpenGL better. The reason I went with ATI for video was because EVERY Nvidia card I owned over the years including some very expensive Quadros ALL burned out and failed over time. The few ATI cards I had never burned out but tend to be a little slower though not noticeable in day to day use.

 

My 2 cents

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The problem I've noted is that the PWS can't be resized to any larger than the primary monitor, So you can't stretch it to fill a second monitor that is bigger.

 

I will have try this with 1080p monitors, one jusy doesn't cut it with several windows open.

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