So I am going to use the system for Art and retro gaming. I need tips on how to optimize the system for this.
Retro gaming... there are probably a hundred tutorials on Youtube. Start with ETA Prime on Youtube.
8-bit guy(?), Novaspirit tech and many more. .
If you need something to work 100% right now I would buy a 3b+.
Another valuable resource are the Raspberry Pi Forums
As this is quite a change in hardware, we have the problem that 90% of the existing retrogaming tutorials are out-of-date. The Pi 4 doesn't support 3D with the legacy driver, and even most 2D emulators make calls to GLES so they're now broken. RetroPie has no ETA because what's required here is a rewrite of many of things.
To your optimizing question:
- The main checkbox that comes to mind is to ensure you obtain a reliable 5.1 V, 3 A power supply and note these 3 A ones specifically for the Pi 4 are currently in limited stock.
- The 1 GB model is sufficient for retrogaming, but I don't know your needs for art and if those are memory-intensive you may consider the 2 GB one.
- Beyond that, better to get your programs running before attempting trickier optimizations like overclocking or anything in
- As @franksmcb said, get help on the Pi forums. We have active discussions in progress on packages like MAME which don't yet run at full speed.
As implied by that last bit, for your purposes you're better off with Raspbian Buster rather than attempting to get Ubuntu MATE to run with limited support.