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From a hardware perspective, your system sounds fine, and with the specs you've quoted, you should be outperforming a Surface Pro. The only opportunity I see for improvement is the video card: GTX 7xx are a few years old, and a newer card would gain you some performance in the area of GPU acceleration (which could be causing some lag). If you're buying a new NVidia video card, consider getting one with the last two numbers of 70 or higher (like GTX970 or GTX1070).
If I were you, I'd start by looking at your Windows install, what programs are running, and whether all drivers are up to date (especially for the video card). Use Task Manager to identify programs and processes that are consuming system resources including memory and disk. You may have to do some digging.
Thanks for the insight, Michael.
A friend has suggested a new video card with lots of RAM, too. Even pushing it to the 9 series would be a big jump for the money, and while I wouldn't mind bumping up the systems stats for non-work related endeavours I'm viewing it as a last resort. I'd like to see if I can find any bottlenecks/problems before the upgrade like that.
Although I've combed through the Task Manager previously and disabled everything on Start-Up bar CC and Google Drive, I am looking into disabling some more background processes...Like Cortana and the Xbox DVR related stuff I just found and that I've never used!
Everything is up to date that I can tell, bar the Wacom Intuos driver as it's having issues of its own at the moment, but any other advice is appreciated.
RAM is cheap. Upgrading to 32 or even 64 GB would give you the most bang for your bucks.
Next would be Video Card.
- SSD for OS and working files
what opperating system is it? W7 will not like running from a ssd but w8, w8.1 or wx should be happy
I'd also consider the network as a bottleneck point... are you loading everything onto wifi perhaps?
It's something I am definitely considering. With the Task Manager open, I seem to be okay for the smaller elements of the projects, but I could always use some wiggle room in the future!
I am on Win 10. Seems to cope okay, but I am curious as to what you mean by loading everything onto the wifi. My network isn't great so might merit looking into.