Computer Specs

Here is some computer hardware advise for anyone using high end 3D software or graphically intensive software.

Practical Performance

Just remember that you can pay a huge premium for the “Best” components. This is especially common with graphics cards, double the price for 2% more performance.

Have a look on web sites like CPU Bench Mark to ensure that the extra cost is worth it.

Laptop v Desktop

Desktop computer are always going to be more powerful and cheaper than a laptop of similar performance. If you were to compare a laptop and a desktop computer of similar power (very hard to do in reality) the PC would be cheaper initially and much cheaper in the long run.

Laptop’s have to be small, portable and use power conservatively (when on battery power). Desktop’s can be upgraded over time, more of the components are replaceable, modular and upgradable or replaceable if they break. Think about the screens, hard disks, keyboard and mouse that can all reused when you buy your next computer.

Desktop can be bigger allowing for better and more advanced cooling (e.g. water cooling ect.) this alone can massively increase performance and life span of components. But laptops are portable, if you’re going to buy laptop for your main work computer you better use the portability a lot.

These days you should also consider that you can very easily remote into your big powerful computer from a cheap $400 laptop. To justify a laptop you need to be on the road a lot (more than 2 days a week), actually need to do the 3D work while remote and not be able to remote into a big desktop computer (i.e. unreliable access to fast internet).

My recommendation is a big powerful desktop than if you still have some money left over mid-range laptop.

When to buy?

When you buying your nice new computer it is very important to keep in mind that, probably the new week something better and cheaper is going to be released and you will get a little annoyed that you didn’t wait just one more week before buying.

BUT this is happening every week so don’t despair, new, better and cheaper computer hardware is being released all the time. There is something you can do to try and mitigate the risk of being very disappointed.

Buy the newest architecture or configuration you can (i.e. DDR4 ram slots in your motherboard, USB Type-C port ect.)

Also research the release cycles of your most important hardware components. You can buy the new models just as they become available. Or as I have done do before, research the new models and realise there is almost no perform difference between last year’s model and this model and you buy last years model for 30% cheaper (because it is not the “Best” anymore).

Most big manufacturers have a pattern of releasing new hardware at almost the same time of the year every year (e.g. Intel, nVidia, Samsung, Apple).

Unfortunately, most of them don’t line up and “release date” and actually available in a store near you are two very different dates. This “time to market” can vary widely, just because you’re watching a launch event on YouTube does not mean you can actually buy one any time soon (especially when you live in Australia).

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