Computers and eCabinets

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Wizard Member
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Joined: Thu, Jul 28 2005, 10:18AM
Company Name: Dan Epps
Location: Rocky Face GA

Computers and eCabinets

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Jun 08 2007, 3:17PM

Are you trying to operate your shop using only a battery-powered, 6 ½” circular saw? I doubt it, so why do you try to use the equivalent when it comes to a computer?

I see it over and over again—complaints about eCabinets performance when it is not the software but the poster’s computer they should be complaining about. People, you simply cannot go to the neighborhood electronics or office supply superstore and buy a computer that is suitable for eCabinets. Sure, you can buy home computers, gaming computers and what the salesman will tell you is a business computer. What you cannot buy is a workstation class computer. In all likelihood, the salesman won’t even know what a workstation class computer is and will tell you that all of their computers are workstations. This is simply not true!

Thermwood has done extensive testing on systems in creating the recommended computer specifications. Why go against the grain and buy a computer that doesn’t measure up to these specifications then complain about the software? Try that with Microsoft or any other software company and see how far you get. You will get a very terse response telling you that your computer doesn’t meet the requirements for the software and that you must either upgrade or buy a new computer that does meet the specifications before you will receive technical support from them. Don’t bother complaining to them further because you will not get a response.

What you get here is best of class technical support (free) for best of class cabinet design software (free) and you want to rush out and buy a $300 computer for it. Let’s break it down in terms of real cost. If you were to buy the “other guy’s software” you would be paying upwards of $10,000 for the software and another $2000 - $3000 per year for support. Then you would still have to get a computer that meets the specifications for running the software, another $2500 - $4000. I don’t personally know how good that expensive technical support is but I have heard some horror stories about it.

You would end up paying $12,000 or more the first year and $2000 - $3000 every year thereafter just for the software and support. Add the cost of the new computer and you are easily up to $15,000 for the first year.

When you think of that, just what is the cost of buying a computer that has enough power to give great performance with eCabinets? It really doesn’t matter whether you buy a Dell, HP/Compaq, IBM or build your own as long as it meets the specifications. Whatever you do, don’t get a computer with a bunch of trial software junking up the disk drive. The best thing to do is to reformat the disk drive and install Windows and nothing more than you need to run eCabinets. Just make sure the computer came with a Windows XP installation CD and not a “Factory Restore” CD. The factory restore CD will just reinstall all of the original garbage.

Make sure you keep the computer updated with all of the updates provided by Microsoft. Keep all device drivers updated to the latest versions as well since many performance issues can be traced to a driver.

If you are not computer savvy and need help evaluating computers, post a message here or send an email to Whatever you do, do your homework and don’t rush into a “good deal”, it just might turn out not to be such a good deal after all.

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Al Navas
eCabinets Beta Tester
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri, Feb 17 2006, 5:22AM
Location: Near St Joseph, Missouri, USA

Postby Al Navas » Fri, Jun 08 2007, 6:06PM

Thanks for the terrific way you put it, Dan!

Following the advice of the Gurus and Wizards in this forum, I was able to buy a terrific laptop for under $2,000 at the Dell Outlet.

You are perfectly on target. The money spent for a suitable laptop or desktop workstation-class machine IS worth every penny, as the support provided to us users right here IS THE BEST I have seen anywhere.

Just for kicks, I now have a:

Dell Precision M90 laptop
512 MB (dedicated) NVIDIA Quadro FX 2500 M graphics
Virtual memory on external 250GB HDD

I bought this just before attending the 3-day eCabs training seminar in Kansas City a few weeks ago. I can attest that, for me, the seminar would have been a waste of time without this newer machine.

My old, 3-1/2 year-old laptop just did NOT cut it! 512MB RAM, shared graphics memory, etc., is NOT the way to go...

Thanks again, Dan! And thanks to Thermwood and eCabinet Systems for all the support, help, and TERRIFIC software. From a newbie (me) to you, the Gurus, Wizards, Seniors, Juniors, other users, and the Tech Support folks at Thermwood, a BIG Thank-You!

Suggestion: Could Dan's post be made a Sticky?

Sandal Woods - Fine Woodworking

Paul Huff
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Posts: 95
Joined: Thu, May 19 2005, 12:32AM
Location: Lubbock, Texas

Postby Paul Huff » Fri, Jun 08 2007, 6:50PM

Dan I know you are right about all of this but I would like to mention a couple of things about the other side of this coin and say a big thank you to Thermwood for making it possible to run eCabinets on a Compaq 1.8 GHz. AMD Athlon with 512 ram/nVIDIA NV36 128MB ram video card. I have managed to do a lot of things with eCabinets and this computer. Everything seems to be alright unless I have cabinet hardware displayed.

I am waiting for some cheap computer with fast dual processors and Vista.
But no hurry until eCabinets can work.

This is my home computer not the one we use at work.
Just glad it works anyway. 8)

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