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Getting a new computer


Active Member
I'm not sure what little processing power you are talking about. Our RIP at times will process a file in only a minute and other times for hours on a single job. I'm pretty sure that the computers today, with most applications (some do well like Affinity and Apple), do not take advantage of the technology that has been built in to Windows or MacOS for the last 10-15 years. Waiting 5 minutes for the progress to move from 9% to 10% is not fun when you know it's just because of poor programming and the subscription model of software just enables the companies to keep it the same.

This is true. Some will make calls to APIs etc that they shouldn't need to in this day and age. MS leaves them in there, because they don't want people complaining that something is no longer working as that would affect a huge demographic for them.

It could be something like your talking about or it could be as simple as making a user run the program as admin (after installation and/or updating the program, which those should be done as admin).

Then, of course, do they take advantage of the GPU, even 2D programs can take advantage of this.

Affinity though has the advantage of being relatively "young", so what is it going to be like in 10 or more yrs? Will it to have the bloat that Ai and DRAW have now at ~30yrs or will it always be lean? By being lean, that's also going to mean certain sacrifices for the users (support for older files, certain hardware as newer versions come out etc).

I do believe that there is complacency with the subscription model on the vendors end. I unfortunately don't think that's going away in the closed source commercial world. Even programs that might offer dual licenses now, more then likely will not in the near future, especially if they are already going on that 1 yr release cadence (which is really too quick for production software, it can't have quite the beta testing that it should before release).


Old member
brycesteiner: It is impossible to recommend the correct processor and RAM configuration without knowing the workflow requirements. My point is that the processing technology has been somewhat stable for the last ten years or so. An older computer with decent specs (maybe 4 cores with at least 2GB RAM each) will likely get the job done, but, again, it depends on your needs. Years ago I was running a Caldera RIP on an older Mac mini with two Core i3 and 8GB RAM with no issues to run an Epson 9600.

File size can choke a RIP. It is important to be mindful of the appropriate output resolution (viewing distance and dpi). Careful management of your image sizes can make an enormous difference in how the RIP handles the processing. I've received files that were hundreds of megabytes that I was able to pare down to several MB by adjusting the size of the linked files. Output quality was not compromised when considering the viewing distance.

Note: ironically, most resolution problems I encounter are images that are way to small. Low res images may look OK on a 72 psi monitor, but can be bad news when scaled up to output size (I don't recommend extrapolating extra pixels, although there is some software third party software like Alien BlowUp that attempts this with varying results - usually disappointing). I try for vector art as much as possible, and make certain that the bitmap images are available in the file directory before sending it off to the RIP (otherwise the RIP may just process the low res preview image embedded in the file).

Most of you pros know this stuff already, but it can be a steep (and expensive) learning curve for beginners!
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Active Member
I think people are going to two extremes here.... Building your own computer VS buying Signburst..

At least for me, those would be better options then off the shelf because off the shelf has been lack luster. They typically use components that are a year or two behind the times as it is and for my workflow, they don't keep up, it stress the computer (I have programs that deal with real time 3D rendering as well, I would have to run in outline/wireframe on some of these computers that I've had to where they wouldn't slow done (and one of these program isn't a dedicated 3D program, it just has real time 3D rendering for realistic view).

Since at that point, I would have to go with a "higher end solution" of a store bought computer, it's sometimes more fiscally responsible to get a custom built one, either done by "yourself" (if properly done the research to make sure "you" did the build correctly) or pay someone to do it for you.