Illy is still going to crash when it wants to, no matter how tricked out your machine is!
I absolutely agree
However I am really amazed at the investments that you are making in just one system, 4000-5000 Euros and software would be additional. I had invested in two machines (one Desktop and one laptop, both Windows 7) almost five years back and two licences of Illustrator and one license of MapPublisher with Label Pro. The total costs came roughly to $4000 and that includes the cost of the software too. The machines are okay, Intel i7 but the RAM is less just about 8 GB in both. Only once I faced serious issue of RAM when I was working on a large map for a client, so I had to work on the map layer wise. Rest of the time the maps were small and never faced any issue.
The other major factor here is the ROI or return on investment. Believe me, I spent $4000 which is the capital expenditure, the working expenditure like the maintenance contracts for the hardware, software and running costs like provision for air-conditioner, electricity charges and other peripherals are additional. Now after adding all that in the last five years, on an average I have earned approx $7000/- per annum. And right now I am sitting idle for the past five months, the last job I did in March and that was it. There are hardly any jobs forthcoming now-a-days. The good period was about four years back with cartography work, even some GIS tasks, totalling well above $15000 mark but then the things started slowing down. The way this year is progressing, I don't think I will reach even $1500 mark this year.
So overall, is it really worth spending so much on just one machine and that too just the hardware part. The basic minimum software that one needs for cartography work would add roughly $3500 more, namely $700 for Illustrator, $2000 for MapPublisher with Label Pro, if you want to add Imager another $700, then you will need either FME or Global Mapper to do a bit of conversions quickly add another $400, you will also need the MIcrosoft Office Suite, well we have been working on Word, Excel, Outlook for a long time, so add another $200-300. Now these are absolutely essential software, so practically you cannot start a GIS Cartography shop unless you have an investment of around $10000. Such sums of money are tough to find in the developing world.
Also if you have invested $10,000, then you should be able to earn at least $20,000 in the first year and increasing subsequently if you want to live off it. But such earnings are just not possible in Cartography today. Any contrary views on the scope of cartography / GIS, especially the home based or off shore or freelance type of work.