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New Computer Reccomendations

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I am interested in getting a new computer, primarily to run Vectorworks 9.5 with Mac OSX for architectural drawings.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Will the duel processor machine offer any benefits? Would there be any benefit to ordering an upgraded video card?.I currently use a ?PCI graphics? 400mhz G4, with 512 MB of ram. This has been a great machine, but it seems to be getting a little slow with OSX and large files. My Vectorworks files are often 25-40 MB. I do not use Vectorworks for any 3D work.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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I can speak in regards of the dual processor - right now, VW does not take advantage of the dual processor, however in the future there may be a chance that some functions within the application will utilize the dual processor.

[ 04-08-2002: Message edited by: Katie ]

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we have been looking at upgrading our machines and will probably go with at least one 933 G4 and maybe a couple of 733's if we can find them. i would not opt for the DP since VW does not use it (which NNA should really work hard to change for the next release). if you can wait to june, apple will probably release a SP 1 gig machine at the 2500 - 2800 price range.

just a question - why are your VW file so large? we do full 3d and occassional incorporate hi-res jpeg's and dont get files that large, even on 25000 sf plus projects. i run vw 9.5 on a G4 pbook 400 w/ OS X and have no noticeable lags. just curious...

hope this helps.

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Yes, I agree, wait. At the rate Apple puts out new products I would wait so that you can get today's Macs at a much reduced price. Although DP is not supported in VW, it is still not a bad machine and I'm sure VW is not the only app you run on your mac. However, if you have the patience, Motorola has spilled a few beans about their new G5V processors and we're sure to see the new G5s in the near future.

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I would spend your money on maxing out your RAM to 1.5 GB, dropping in as fast a hard drive as you can (or look into www.sonnettech.com's tempo raid 133, or similar) and one of those NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium graphics cards. If you are working with large files which are bogging down, I really think that you will have a better bang for the buck maxing out the above rather than going for the faster processor.

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Thank you all for the suggestions.

It is a good question why my files are so large. Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Most of my projects are residential, and a typical set consists of about 20-25 D size sheets, with perhaps 3-5 scanned and imported photographs or freehand drawings in the set. The Vectorworks drawings tend to be rather detailed, and contain hatches and rendering that seems to increase the file size.

I have found that using the "Import PICT as Picture" command seems to result in smaller files, but I do not really understand the differences between the options for importing images. The images are first imported into Photoshop and converted to black and white.

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I don't know either, but bitmap images certainly take up a bunch of space. As far as your converted black and white images go... make sure that after you "convert" them the bit depth is also changing. There should be a marked difference in the size of the file in the finder before and after doing a color to black & white conversion. You also may want to play around with various image import formats-- try jpeg, etc. I don't know how VW deals with bitmap image compression, but there may be some differences between formats. You may find graphicconverter (www.lemkesoft.de) a faster tool than photoshop for trying various format iterations.

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I must admit that I know nothing about the "bit depth" of the image. As I recall, Photoshop gives you a choice of 2, 4 or 8 as the bit depth. I have just been leaving it at 8. Should I change it to 2 or 4? These images are generally printed on a plotter at 300-400 dpi.

I'll experiment with the bit depth next time I'm using Photoshop, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

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2 bits depth describes black and white...if you leave it at 8 bits, you get 256 colors (my math might be rusty,) so if you use black and white only, change to 2 bits to save a good deal of space.

If you play with scanner settings, you can check your savings pretty quickly; just toggle the depth settings. (on many packages).

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Actually 2-bit would be 4 colors. 1-bit is black and white.

Since each bit is either 1 or 0, bith depth of x would be 2^x colors. So if your dealing with black and white data, you get a huge savings when saving it at 1-bit opposed to 32-bit.

A raw 1000 pixel by 1000 pixel 1-bit graphic would be roughly 976kb, while a 32-bit version would be 31.25mb.

AFAIK, VectorWorks doesn't think about the image too much and check how many distinct colors there are. It just imports it as you tell it.

Matthew Giampapa,NNA Technical Support

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