I am new, and surprised at how few posts I find here (and in IMSI knowledgebase) on hardware and OS optimization, both as to speed and stability. I have several questions, which require some thought - but I believe that the responses might be widely appreciated.
I have purchased TC v16 Pro Architectural at an attractive price as a student, and have not yet decided on what to load it. I tinker with hardware and have flexibility within a limited budget. I am at present mostly concerned about TC operation rather than a hardware upgrade path as I will likely get a nicer system early next year. I think I am learning from the few posts I have found that: TC16Pro uses only a single core; that it does not need a high-end graphics card; that it might or might not have problems with Vista - especially 64-bit Vista.
I addressed a question about likely Windows-7 compatibility to IMSI support and received the following response, which is appreciated (as I barely expected a reply) but to me somewhat inscrutable:
QUOTE: TurboCAD v16 doesn't support work under Windows 7 operating system. However itâ€™s quite possible that TurboCAD 16 will run without serious issues on Windows 7. But Iâ€™m not sure that the next patch for TC v16 will be compatible with Windows 7. - Ksenia Novitskaya ENDQUOTE
As to the lack of multicore support, does that imply that I would do better to use an older but fast (3.2 to 3.7 GHz) single core system? Does it suggest that dual core systems might be good, considering that other processes are likely running even in a relatively dedicated system, but that quad core would be of limited incremental benefit? What about the impact of possibly improved speed or efficiency in newer RAM arrangements? Maybe a fast dual-core with fast RAM would be best?
What about the O/S? Does anyone have better expectations that the koan I cited about likely W-7 support? Should I avoid Vista 64? New systems available to me generally are sold with Vista but with downgrade to XP (mostly limited to Dell) or with upgrade to W-7, but not both; I do not have any extra 64-bit XP OS, so I might have to buy that separately. I assume that other O/S version limitations (home/pro/ultimate/etc) should be of no serious impact on the TC performance.
As to RAM, I could remain under 4GB with 32-bit XP, but would go higher if it would be likely to buy me anything substantial in performance (implying 64-bit OS of course). I would plan to maximize RAM performance within MB & CPU limitations, but would probably not want to overclock.
As to the graphics card comments I am unclear whether this suggests that the card is relatively inconsequential or simply that a card optimized for gaming is not particularly advantageous? Is anything substantial to be gained by applying a hack to convert to Quadro-type card functionality? Will modern integrated graphics in a cheap commercial i7 system be adequate if allocated ample RAM?
I have also bought but not yet loaded student Adobe InDesign CS-4 suite. If one platform system might be reasonably optimal for both softwares within the limitations of budget - ie, the cheapest of commercial i7 systems as maximum - I might spring for that; otherwise, I will probably hack something together for now and upgrade to a new system early next year. I will probably reserve one system for graphics educational work. (My understanding is that XP support for commercial i7 systems has limitations, and that I would do better to select an i7 system that comes with XP downgrade rather than one which comes with W-7 upgrade and expect to downgrade it myself.)
I would very greatly appreciate any advice on the relative importance of the CPU speed and core support, the O/S type and bit support, the RAM amount and speed, and the graphics card - and any guesses about Windows 7 support. I believe that informed advice about optimization and likely problems or instabilities in these areas will be of interest to many readers.