Investing in a new computer is a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new laser equipment. Why? Because today’s software requires a lot of computer processing speed and memory to function properly. A good computer won’t make a huge difference in how your laser runs, but when compared to a slow computer it will save untold amounts of time and frustration setting up the artwork that you “print” to the laser. Many users do not purchase new computers for use with their new laser because their current computers are perfectly adequate. There’s no magical cut-off that makes a computer too slow. If you’re comfortable with the performance and speed of your current computer, there’s probably no reason to purchase another one. The following recommendations are just options to consider if a new computer is necessary.
A new computer doesn’t have to be expensive to work well! Even many of today’s lower-cost computers work well for laser applications. As long as you don’t buy the cheapest computer you can find you should be fine. One thing to avoid is the Intel Celeron processor – while they are good processors, and will work with the laser, they don’t process graphics with the speed most laser users desire.
Operating System: All current production Epilog lasers are designed to work with Windows 7,8, 10, and 11 operating systems.
RAM (Random Access Memory): 512 MB is recommended. RAM is kind of like short-term memory. It’s fast, readily available for the computer to access and makes time consuming tasks go much quicker if you have lots of it. Most users won’t notice a difference if they add more than 512 MB to their system, but almost all uses will notice the speed difference that 512 MB provides when compared to 256 MB (256 MB is essentially the next step down from 512 MB).
Processor Speed: A faster processor will allow you to do more tasks in less time. While it’s not necessary to purchase the fastest processor available, you’ll want either an AMD Athalon processor or an Intel Pentium IV processor (do not purchase a computer that is using an Intel Celeron processor – they’re too slow for graphics applications). Processor speeds are always improving, but processor speeds of about 2.0 GHz or faster are a good place to start.
10/100 Network Interface Card (NIC): All new computers have a 10/100 network connection as standard equipment. As well as allowing multiple computers to be linked together in a network, this technology also allows direct printing from the computer to the Epilog system. Epilog supplies a network Crossover cable with each laser system that allows one computer to print to a single Epilog system.
20-30 GB Hard Drive: This is the permanent memory in your computer. Many users feel that you can never have a large enough hard drive, but for most laser applications 20 or 30 GB’s is going to be adequate for years of storage. Luckily, most computer manufacturers put at least 20 GB drives in new computers these days. When in doubt, buy bigger than you think you might need. It’s so inexpensive that it’s worth the peace of mind to have it available.
Interested in learning more about Epilog Laser cutting and engraving systems? Contact Epilog today to discuss your needs with an experienced sales representative!