>My question is what is the minimal machine configuration for Gimp to
>work reasonably fast?  What CPU, how much RAM, what video card (to

As CPU a K7, ie, but the serious point about this is lots of RAM and fast
HD, cos if all the task can be done in RAM, you will go really fast. If for
some reason you have to touch HD, it must be fast, maybe get two smaller
instead of one big.

An unacceptable thing is to get a really fast CPU with few RAM and slow HD.
You are wasting your money. For example I guess that a K7 500 with 128 or
256 MB will run faster than one at 750 with only 64, while price will be
similar. The machine must be balanced.

About buying RAM, each RGBA layer at 1600 * 1200 means 8 MB or so (maybe
more for extra info). The more RAM you can get the better, cos you will keep
undos in RAM. I am happy with my current setup (I do not work in big images
normally), but next machine will be 128 or 256, sure, so I can keep other
apps or multiple images without seeing the red light blink.

>drive a 21" Hitachi at 1600x1200)?  Does it make a big difference if

Matrox G400, nVidia TNT2 or GeForge, latest ATIs. Something with 16 or
better 32 MB. Visit XFree 86 site and check which cards are getting support,
you do not want a card whose company does not help. That or spend bucks
buying a xserver.

I would try first the XFree 86 cards... I am a bit against the commercial
xservers, never seen spectacular performance to justify the price (got one
with a Linux distro), and now that companies release specs and source, I
have less reasons to buy drivers and more to buy cards of the colaborative
companies.

>my home (where gimpswap resides) is local instead of NFS mounted?

Of course, </irony> NFS is faster, after all it means New & Fast Filesystem
</irony>. You are mad, no? Use a local fs for all disk intensive things. NFS
is really slow, by definition and by using network.

And increase the default cache size (Gimp's Preferences) so it uses as much
RAM as you can afford. See how much RAM you need without Gimp (xserver,
kernel, wm, terminals, clocks, daemons, etc) then set your cache to a bit
less than your free RAM (start the system and check free and cache... this
is a bit tricky cos Unix memory management makes measurement a bit rare). I
have set mine to 30 in 64 MB machines.

GSR
 

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