General: I'm thinking about BUILDING A NEW SYSTEM. Can you make any recommendations?

For anyone who is building or purchasing a computer and wishes to ensure the best performance from ZBrush 2, here are some guidelines:

:small_orange_diamond: RAM is probably the most important factor, as it has to do with how much ZBrush can do before it needs to access the virtual memory file (which is MUCH slower). More RAM means larger meshes and larger documents can be handled without accessing virtual memory.

:small_orange_diamond: CPU speed is important to all ZBrush operations, including painting, mesh editing and rendering. Multiprocessor systems or hyperthreading CPU’s will give a performance boost.

:small_orange_diamond: Hard disk speed comes into play whenever you exceed what your RAM can handle. The faster your disk access, the faster ZBrush can write and read the virtual memory.

:small_orange_diamond: ZBrush utilizes its own software-based rendering-engine rather than hardware-rendering. As such, your video card does not matter much so long as it can display at least 1024x768 resolution in 32 bit color (True Color). It is therefore best to select your card based upon the needs of your other software rather than ZBrush’s needs.

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Thanks for posting this topic Aurick, i’ve often seen people posting system spec questions and now I need help myself…and as I understand you’re the man to ask (but any advice from all you guys would be greatly appreciated!)

I’ve been using an ancient dell dimension 4600 for about 7 years now, mostly for photoshop work, illustration and some 3DS Max work. I recently got into ZBrush and it’s really pushing my system to it’s limit, it only has 1.5gb RAM, so after much financial juggling i’ve decided to get a new system. Now I don’t pretend to know bugger all when it comes to the best spec for my above uses but after some research and advice I’ve decided to go for the following spec’d Dell PC:

Intel® Core™ i7 processor 920 (2.66GHz,8MB 4.8GT/sec)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium SP1 (64 BIT)
9216MB 1067MHz Tri Channel DDR3 SDRAM [3x2048 + 3x1024]
640GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive
1GB NVIDIA® GeForce™ GT220 graphics card

My main app is ZBrush and I need to know if it with run smoothly and allow a large poly count. I’ve never used a 64bit OS, what are the benefits?

Also I choose the SATA drive over a RAID as I have heard of licencing errors when using RAID drives, is this correct.

Tri or Dual Channel memory? I’ve opted for a large amount because I often like to have 3DSMax and PS running as well.

I have heard of mixed reviews regarding Dell, but based on my current old system they seem great. Others talk of building one myself but I am no way confident enough let alone qualified to build one.

Sorry for all the questions Aurick but It’s a big investment and I would really appreciate yours and other forum members thoughts.


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