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Looking to buy a new computer and looking for some advice.

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Looking to buy a new computer and looking for some advice.

I just started in the field of animation. And after using an old 12 inch macbook. I am starting to realize I need to invest in a new machine. I love laptops. But not sure something like a macbook pro would be adequate or not. I thought of buying a new Imac. Id love a Mac Pro, but unfortunately do not have the funds for that in the near future.

I will most likely be buying a macintosh. As Ive used them for years and they are preferable for me over a PC. My questions are:

Laptop or Desktop? Will I lose something by getting a laptop, if it is a good one. Or am I better off with a better monitor for graphics purposes? Especially if it is something like a 15-17 inch MacBook Pro?

How important is the graphics card? Is 256 RAM on a graphics card adequate or should I shoot for 512 for sure?

My understanding as much processing speed is ideal?

And from what Ive read so far a minimum of 4GB of RAM?

Anything else I should worry about? I will be running Maya, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

Any help is appreciated.

On a personal level...

I am on a desk top and I like it.

The thing that keep me from getting the lab top was the keyboard. I really hate the key pad of lab tops. I have fears that the bus is not large enough to keep the processing time down. That is about it, for me.

There are a number of lab top users here and they love their machines.

If there is no need to take your computer with you and space is not a problem, I would lean toward getting a desk top.

You should look at what specs the software manufacturers recommend for their products, and make sure the computer you buy meets as many of them as possible. Usually meeting the minimum requirements is just fine, but you should think ahead and try to surpass them so your system doesn't fall behind when future software releases come out, forcing you to upgrade your hardware as well as your software.

My personal preference is a desktop, and a work station at that, as you tend to get more bang for your buck. I do occasionally wish I had a laptop, but those instances are rare. If mobility is going to be a big issue for you, then get the laptop. Otherwise, spend that extra money on a better graphics card, processor, and/or RAM, they make a big difference, especially when it comes time to render.

Hope that helps. :)

Since you are into animation. You ought to have a powerful system. Go for higher RAM, a high end graphics card and a top notch processor to support all of that....:D
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8GB RAM, minimum
Quadro FX cards, 3000 series
Xeon Quad-core processors

You can get a weaker system, but then you'd have to replace it in about 3 years. The configuration above should last twice as long, provided you aren't creating gigantic Maya scenes.