Most important hardware specs (CPU vs RAM vs GPU vs GPU RAM vs drive speed)

Hi - I have a small firm doing television post in a small non-US market.

We have an opportunity to expand into some 2D animation work, and have identified Harmony + Cintiq as our tools of choice.

We’re a Mac shop, so want to spec some new machines for these seats - I’m thinking iMacs since the new Mac Pro is unknown in terms of pricing and real availability right now.

So wondering what matters the most and least for performance and rendering in Harmony (and other Toon Boom tools) - CPU, RAM, GPU, GPU RAM, hard drive speed?

On the one hand our upgrade cycle is long, so we tend to spec out everything we get to the max, but on the other hand upgrading the CPU, the GPU, etc. on the BTO machines can add up.

Any thoughts welcome.

Regarding the current iMac’s, my personal choice would be:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX with 2 GB GDDR 5 Graphic Card.
16 GB of RAM.
3.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor.
Extensive Hard-drive space (SSD- / Flash-storage if possible)
Or external Thunderbolt storage.

In terms of processor, current systems should be up to the task. Remember to include enough RAM for the scope of your intended projects.

The real bottleneck will be the graphic card. Try and avoid onboard graphic cards if possible as these come with limited cache and share system RAM with the motherboard. Try and get a system with a graphic card in the mid- to high-end range. It’s worth spending a little extra on the graphics to ensure that you get the most out of the program. Most often animators are using more than one monitor and that the resources of the card are split between each display.

For online editing of projects, ideally it should be done on the internal hard drive or a drive with comparable speed (7200 RPM or better).