I wouldnt use the laptop for anything more than texturing and playing your games, then re-install your os with nothing but Maya and photoshop, then RAM is a huge help in load times so it would greatly improve the speed.... as for video cards... check and see if your mother board supports/ boasts pci fast slot, if it does go for a 256 video (not agp) pci fast slot, if your M-board dosnt support it, you might need to get one to, but try the ram stick FIRST, see how it performs, OR compare prices of ramstick VS. Motherboard + video card (get cheaper first
) hope this helps
edit: for network render youl want to download: Muster
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