Design PC

Hardware Components – When building a design PC the following elements are important:

  • CPU – Main processor used by the operating system and most applications
    • Intel Xeon or i7
    • Passmark score between 20-25k
  • GPU – Graphics processor is used in 3D rendering
    • NVidia Quadro
    • Passmark score between 12-18k
  • RAM – High speed memory used when processing data
    • 32-64 Gigabytes at the highest speed
    • Leave room for future expansion if possible
  • Hard Drive – [512GB SSD or NVMe] Storage for files & virtual memory
    • 512GB-1TB of Storage
    • Drive Should be a solid state drive (SSD)
    • NVMe is the fastest drive interface followed by SATA

Passmark benchmarks are used to determine performance of these components

Form – Laptops are very restricted, in that only RAM and the hard drive can be upgraded, when compared to a desktop PC. There is also a tradeoff between performance and weight of the system. Desktops have a greater capacity for RAM, GPU and are easily upgraded as component costs fall. For portability & performance consider a desktop with the addition of an iPad or low-cost laptop.

Special Features – Laptops offer additional features such as Wacom stylus, cellular modem and docking stations. These can greatly enhance user productivity.

Reliability – As low quality components age, systems become unstable and the loss of productivity and work increases. For this reason we have depended on these vendors because of the quality and stability of their products:

  • Dell – Precision desktops / laptops, Latitude laptops & UltraSharp monitors
  • Crucial – RAM
  • NVidia – Graphics cards
  • Samsung – Solid state hard drives

Reviews – Laptops are redesigned very frequently. We rely on the review site Notebook Check for detailed analysis on the latest models.

System Requirements – While photography, printed media and video production have a strong set of tools on Apple’s Mac platform, the same is not true of the tools used in the Architecture and 3D design world. A Mac can run Windows either natively or as a virtual OS (performance degrades). There is a high premium paid for the Apple branded hardware as well as a lack of upgrade-ability of core hardware components. Here are the system requirements by application for a few popular design tools:

Most Plug-ins that extend functionality are exclusive to Windows

Current Systems:

Full Details