Wacom released new drivers for the PC and the Mac yesterday. As usual, my desktop center didn’t notify me, but my friend Miguel did. If you aren’t having any problems, then you may not need to upgrade. Per usual back up your settings, uninstall old drivers and install the new drivers. Disconnect your tablet, too.
OK, so I have told you folks that I was in the market for a new computer, but before I bought it, I wanted to install Windows 10 on my old system. Many of you will remember my post about the difficulties I had with Microsoft support and then never got Win 10 loaded. They did take copious notes. But many folks told me it was my system or me or both. It wasn’t. A couple of days ago, I decided to try the upgrade again. Fingers crossed, I started the upgrade. It took less than an hour. I had no problems…well…there was one minor one with Outlook, which is a Microsoft product. I must tell you, everything I had seen about Windows 10 looked inviting. I really wanted to use it from the get go, but it just wasn’t possible. Maybe those copious notes did help, because now everything is working fine.
OK, so what computer did I buy? As you know, I was considering going Mac. I looked at a Mac Pro and an Alienware Area 51. Both machines looked mighty fine, but I went with the Alienware Area 51. Why…old versus new is the answer. The Mac Pros haven’t been updated in a while and talk on the street indicated that there would be a new Mac Pro out last August and continue to this day. I had to buy before the end of the year. I simply couldn’t wait any longer and I didn’t want to buy the current Mac Pro and have a new one come out a week or two later. I know…I’m crazy, but that is how I was thinking.
So, what did I get with my Alienware Area 51. It is a screamer! Here are some of the basics.
Intel Core i7-5960X (8-cores, 20MB Cache, Overclocked up to 4.0 GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
32GB Dual Channel DDR4 2133MHz (8GB x4)
Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with 4 GB GDDR5 each (NVIDIA SLI Enabled)
512 GB SSD 6Gb/s Main + 8TB SATA storage
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 @ 5GHz + Bluetooth
Alienware 1500 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Win 10 Pro (64 bit) English
OK, that’s enough stuff. I’m sure you don’t care about key boards, monitors, speakers, and optical drives. Maybe I will take some pictures it is all set up, or not. In the meantime, check these screen shots from Alienware’s web site. I do love the design of it. It is so much easier to get to the ports.
I did purchase one thing that has been a big disappointment. I got Laplink’s PCmover with a high-speed cable. They offer 24/7 free installation service as well. Don’t believe it. I tried contacting them for three days and stayed on the phone about 30 minutes each time. At the end of the 30 minutes, I would get a recorded message telling me they were having trouble with their phone systems and to call back later. I was able to do all the required setup without tech support help, but when it came time for the actual transfer, it was going to take 156 hours. What? Instead, I have reloaded the software manually and am transferring data via my network. I was really disappointed in PCMover. The hype promised to move software and data…sigh.
Well that’s it so far. I have a few more goodies coming and I’ll talk about them next time.
I hope everyone has a fabulous Holiday Season and the Best New Year ever.
Skip, this has been very helpful to me as I need to be on the lookout for a new computer. I am still in Windows 7, but only because I have had no problems, as of yet). Wheres the wood? So thank you for sharing this information and I hope you have the best holiday season ever!
You are most welcome Mayra. Have a Merry and a Happy!!!
Getting new stuff is so much fun, I hope that all your problems are small ones, Merry Christmas to you and your family >
Hi Skip! So you played Santa to yourself and got a new computer. It sounds great. I would be interested in the rest of the specs. I’m always checking out computers. Sorry about the mover app. You have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🎅🏻🎄🎁🌟
I had all sorts of problems getting the Windows 10 upgrade to take root. Persistence has eventually paid off. I’m still finding my way with Win 10, but it appears to be working and stable.
I hear you. I had huge problems getting it to install when Win 10 was first available, but it seems to be working nicely now. I hope it stays that way.
I have admired your work and enjoy receiving your emails
for the past few years â great work
My name is Gary Sugal I âm a professional artist .. photographer
I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface BOOK 512 .i7 ..
I use PS CS 6 extended ..
Lightroom ,, Corel Painter.daily.
After installing PS CS 6 and Lightroom on the SB I noticed the MENU ITEMS
TOOLS (crop, magic wand eyedropper etc.. ) show up as tiny âantsâ.
I have called ADOBE support and they insist it is a Microsoft issue .
..but I should subscribe to there cloud.âand I wonât have the âantâ issue.
Have you checked your display settings. In Windows 7 or 8 go to the control panel and click on Personalization and the Display…I think, I’m doing this from memory. Anyway, there is an option to set fonts and other items. Check and see if it is at 200%. I think that might fix the problem, but right now, I don’t have Adobe active on my Surface Pro 3 because I am installing on my new computer. If you are using Windows 10, go to Settings > Display and change the first item to 200%. Hope this helps, Skip
Ha ha! What an excellent treat .. Nothing is better than a holiday present that you buy for yourself. For me, I got the iPad Pro with the pencil and the keyboard (yes, I dranl the ENTIRE Koolaid). I got the iPad pro weeks ago, but the pencil and the keyboard only showed up on Christmas eve!
It’s nowhere near as otherwordly as your “area 51” (which looks amazing, btw) but it is a beautiful improvement for drawing on the iPad. For me, the top priority was drawing mobility with a natural and acurrate stylus and a bit more girth for a suface area.
But I also wanted it to work as a portable input for Painter, so I bought Astropad. They claim to be the best solution for using your iPad as a dual monitor. It is supposed to be a pretty good tool, but it is not really ready for iPad Pro, as it needs to use the Apple Pencil functions. I had it all hooked up and was looking at Painter with it but I had no pencil to take it for a drive.
But those things will be coming, I am sure of that. Just like I’m sure that not long from now, Apple will natively allow iPad to hook up to a MAC as both a second monitor and digital tablet drawing device.
I have heard great things about the iPad Pro and I bet it is fantastic with the pencil and keyboard. I have never gotten an iPad; not sure why. I have had an iPhone since they first came out. I do have the Surface Pro 3, which I like, but I don’t think I will upgrade to the 4, yet. I do like being portable and I want the ability to do plein air. The SP3 works well for that as long as I am not in bright sunlight. Hope you have a the Happiest and Best New Year ever!!!
It’s a year later. Are you happy with the specs or would you do something different? I’m running off an older Mac laptop and need more juice. Windows machines are cheaper so I’m okay with going your route to run Corel. Thanks in advance.
Hi and sorry to be late replying. I am away from home helping with my sister, who has been ill and just got out of the hospital again. I am very happy with my machine, but I will say that the Area 51 have gotten even better since I purchased mine. I would go for the top of the line if possible. They are terrific machines. But…please understand…it is just my opinion. Do shop around. Enjoy, Skip