PDA

View Full Version : Looking to upgrade my computer? Need recommendations!



jtimberlake
09-08-2003, 11:22 AM
Hi All,

I currently use Lightwave 3D verz 7.5.
My current machine is a P.O.S.

The company I work for is FINALLY thinking about getting us some new equipment. What I am interested in knowing is what should I look for as far as specs for a new system. Windows that is, wish we were running LW on a Mac, but thats another story.

I am basically looking for any technical information, processor, motherboards, etc.

Thanks in advance.

sbrandt
09-08-2003, 11:51 AM
If you move this post to the VIDEO TOASTER - VT HARDWARE forum, I'm sure you'll will get tons of knowledable advice!


Anyway, here's a list of parts that I've heard no complaints about...

SUPER MICRO X5DAL-TG2 (Will use both registered ECC and nonECC memory)

http://www.ajump.com/ajump/product....&dept%5Fid=5173

$437.00 (or and X5DA8 of you can spend a little more)


2.4 Xeon

http://www.partspc.com/store/product4546.html

$224.68


SUPERMICRO SC762 CSE-0762-420 FULL TOWER 9BAY EATX 420W
(This case is built for the board and comes WITH power supply and I'd drop all the costly watercooling. I don't know anyone that uses it.)

http://www.axiontech.com/prdt.php?src=PW&item=33537

$195.95

then add,

3 or 4 SEAGATE SCSI 73GB 10,000RPM, MODEL# ST373307LW
Cheetah Ultra320s for Video

2 WESTERN DIGITAL SPECIAL EDITION 80GB 7200RPM EIDE HARD DRIVE MODEL # WD800JBs

2 512MB sticks of registered Corsair memory (per motherboard specs.)

...and the usual collection of floppys CDs and DVD burners.

Then top it all off with a good NVIDIA GForce 2 or better Video Card (Do NOT use ATI, stick with nVidia).

Beamtracer
09-08-2003, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by jtimberlake
Windows that is, wish we were running LW on a Mac, but thats another story. The Apple G5 is the ONLY 64-bit workstation capable of running Lightwave.

WizCraker
09-09-2003, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
The Apple G5 is the ONLY 64-bit workstation capable of running Lightwave.

cough, cough, the G5 is not the ONLY 64-bit computer capable of running Lightwave it was not also the first. The 3DBoxx M4 was the first by a entire two months before Apple.

http://www.boxxtech.com/asp/cf_step2.asp?ModelInstanceID=180

Beamtracer
09-09-2003, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by WizCraker
[B]The 3DBoxx M4 was the first by a entire two months before Apple.
Can you use Modeler or Layout in 64-bit mode (ie access 4gigs+ of RAM) on a BOXX? No you can't.

The reason is that the Opteron processor is hobbled by Microsoft who haven't released a 64-bit Windows that'll run on it. Therefore BOXX can only run Lightwave in 32-bit mode.

The Apple G5 is the only viable 64-bit platform for Lightwave.

sbrandt
09-09-2003, 12:33 PM
I always stay out of Mac v PC pissing matches, but this one is just too absurd.

I'm observing that:

1a. The high end G5 has a somewhat reasonable pricepoint at $2,999 for a machine with a single ata 7,200rpm hard drive.

2a. The G5 has current 64bit software.

3a. The G5 runs about 41% faster than the best Dual Xeon box.


However:

1b. When you add just another half Gig of memory and a monitor (not to mention anything else, the price jumps to: $4, 073). Opteron systems are already availabe FULLY loaded with a Gig or more of memory, monitors and multidive SCSI arrays for half that much.

2b. I don't know what planet you're living on but the PANTHER OSX is NOT a full 64bit OS. Go here for Apple's Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware products rationalization: www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/31995.html
AND...Microsoft is not going to sit still. The 64bit OS wil be out soon and for the cost differences, I can easily wait.

3b. The fully 64bit Opteron system will run 35% faster than the G5 and that is just the beginning round of processors. As usual the upgrade cycle of Mac will take many months if not years before the G6 is released. Meanwhile AMD and Intel will FAR surpass Apple.

G5 is a hot machine at this very moment... but it won't last for long.

Intel senior VP and chief technology officer Pat Gelsinger told the Edmonton Journal: "Steve Jobs has made the wrong CPU choice for 20 years. HE JUST ADDED A FEW MORE YEARS TO THE LIFE OF HIS BAD DECISIONS. Steve's not an illogical guy, he's passionate and opinionated about the directions he wants. It's a poor path for the company as well as a poor path for the users".

Beamtracer
09-09-2003, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by sbrandt
PANTHER OSX is NOT a full 64bit OS. That's right. It's not a "full" 64-bit OS because it's a hybrid 32-64bit OS. It allows applications to access 64-bit features, in particular 8 gigs of RAM. No BOXX on the market right now can do that with Lightwave.


Originally posted by sbrandt
Microsoft is not going to sit still. The 64bit OS wil be out soon and for the cost differences, I can easily wait. And wait you will! And wait, and wait. Microsoft's OS for Opteron is running late, and there's a lot of speculation about when it will arrive. Maybe MS is trying to give their buddy Intel a boost with its Itanic processor by suffocating AMD a bit longer.


Originally posted by sbrandt
The fully 64bit Opteron system will run 35% faster than the G5 Funny how that figure comes out before MS has a 64-bit version of Windows for it. I've seen other figures showing the G5 beat AMD/Intel offerings.

The G5's competitors are other 64-bit class processors, ie AMD Opteron and Intel Itanic. The G5 won't have much trouble competing against these.


Originally posted by sbrandt
Meanwhile AMD and Intel will FAR surpass Apple. The G5 is a variant of IBM's Power4 processor, the fastest processor used in supercomputers today. It is also the first of a new breed of processors, and the roadmap looks very rosy for Apple.

Will AMD and Intel surpass the G5? They haven't yet. Intel must be getting very worried by their 10-year-old Itanic experiment that still hasn't delivered results.

The Itanic, or derivatives of it, are destined to replace the Pentium, and allow Intel to migrate from the legacy 32-bit Pentium to a new 64-bit platform. So far, after 10 years of effort it has failed. Does that sound like a good roadmap?


Originally posted by sbrandt
Intel senior VP and chief technology officer Pat Gelsinger told the Edmonton Journal: "Steve Jobs has made the wrong CPU choice...". Of course Intel would say that. I think most Mac users are very very glad that Apple has gone with IBM for the 64-bit RISC-based G5 processor rather than Intel's Itanic.

If you love Microsoft Windows, that's fine. However if you want to move to the next generation 64-bit processors Windows is not there yet. You'll have to wait.

In the meantime it holds true that there is only one 64-bit platform on the market that is able to run Lightwave now... the Apple G5.

-cheers!

CoryC
09-09-2003, 04:21 PM
Beamtracer. take it private. That is what PM and email is for. This thread is not the place for this kind of platform war crap.

Jtimberlake, sorry your thread was sidetracked. Unfortunately there are always those few in every crowd. To get back to your topic, are you able to build your own system? You will get a lot more for your money. If you are looking get prebuilt I would suggest Alienware, Boxx, or if budget is more of a consideration Dell. The only thing I have had issues with regarding Dell is it seems they skimp on the power supply and case fans.

Go for fastest processor you can and as much RAM as you can get. If you can build your own, I'll give you some more suggestions.

sbrandt
09-09-2003, 04:37 PM
Anyone that's looking at buying a G5, DON'T.
In very short order the OPTERON will surpass Apple, and as usual it will stay that way for a very long Apple development cycle.
Regardless of the wishful thinking of ManIntrash addicts.

I agree, sorry about interupting the thread.


--I will now revert to not participating in Mac v PC debates--






...*poof*...

Beamtracer
09-09-2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by CoryC
are you able to build your own system? You will get a lot more for your money.
Homebuilt boxes are fine for home hobbyists who enjoy this sort of thing. I wouldn't suggest them for a professional environment where you can't afford breakdowns.

If you buy from a manufacturer you get a system that has been tested. If something goes wrong then the manufacturer takes responsibility for the whole machine as part of their warranty obligations.

In a home built system there is no manufacturer who'll take responsibility for the whole thing. For example, a fault in a processor can often damage RAM. Would your RAM manufacturer take responsibility if their RAM was destroyed by your processor? I've even heard of processors destroying hard drives.

Sure, there are some people who have had no troubles with their home built systems. It's just a matter of chance, and if you're a professional, a home built machine is probably not worth it to save a few bucks in the beginning.

CoryC
09-09-2003, 07:22 PM
jtimberlake - If you are not comfortable with the idea of building your own definitely go for prebuilt. If you are interested in building yourself don't let comments like the previous post deter you. A lot of pros use custom machines and prefer to choose the components. Building a system is not a matter of chance as has been suggested but more a matter of doing your research and getting good components. There are a ton of web site forums that can help you learn what to avoid. For example, asusboards.com is a good place to find out what issues people are having with Asus motherboards (one of the better brands) and what is working well. If you go the building route be sure to learn as much as you can from as many people as you can and always consider the source. Like anywhere else online, there are always those people that think their choice is the best and yada, yada, yada you know their rant. I have to say it is pretty cool to put it all together, plug it in, and have it boot up perfectly.

Alienware makes custom quality machines with maybe the wildest case on the market if you want something prebuilt with a warranty.

What type of work will you be doing with LW? That would effect the other specs.

sbrandt
09-09-2003, 07:37 PM
I agree with Cory, Alienware build a tight system.

I used to run my own Computer retail biz and have been an IT with a large insurance brokerage for 12 years. I've seen and built a lot of rigs and many big name resellers (like Dell for instance) are OK, but skimp on goodies the average consumer is not up to speed on. Like advertising their machine has a 533MHz capable processor but the might have it running on a 400MHz or slower motherboard, fer instance.

But Alienware uses boards with all the GOOD chipsets... Intel e7507, nVidia nForce, VIA KT series... etc. They don't cut corners on system integration.

WizCraker
09-10-2003, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by sbrandt
big name resellers (like Dell for instance) are OK, [b]

Dell is not a reseller they are a direct manufacture with every system customized by the customer. If your [or another company] is a retailer and resold Dell products you would be a Reseller not Dell.


[b]but skimp on goodies the average consumer is not up to speed on.



I can guarentee you Dell does not skimp on the components in their systems. I have first hand knowledge of this if you are wondering. Dell however does get the components cheaper than any other manufacture as they build and ship more in a day than the competion.


Like advertising their machine has a 533MHz capable processor but the might have it running on a 400MHz or slower motherboard, fer instance.

Again this goes to what the customer orders and wants in the system and how they want things set. If they order a machine that has a processor that is at 533MHz FSB [or 800MHz FSB, as not many of the systems I see are the slower] then when the system goes to downloading is automaticly set by what the customer chose to the correct settings.

CoryC
09-10-2003, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by WizCraker
I can guarentee you Dell does not skimp on the components in their systems.

Guarantee eh? I can get you a shipping address. We need 3 power supply units and a dozen case fans. :)

Most of the computers in our office were switched over to Dell including our servers. The only problems we have had that are consistant through all the machines is case fans that start to run slow and sound more like a food processor and power supply units with bad fans or just plain fail. We have 2 machines right now that are dead due to this. I still recommend them to people asking me which computer to get for general home use. They owe me a lot of commision.

meshmaster
09-10-2003, 10:08 AM
I have one of those here at work. It's an alright computer... when you can keep your OS... several times, this computer has had problems shutting down. When you push the power button to help it along it's way, it's been known several times to totally wipe out the operating system. It's definitely a hardware issue, and luckily IATS will be giving me a new computer in about a month. It's setting in the corner but they aren't putting it up until I move to my new office...

sbrandt
09-10-2003, 11:55 AM
I meant retailer not reseller, it was a typo.
And that post was a "fer instance". My actual experience with Dell is this:
My last contract that put me in contact with Dell machines was a kid from Arkansas that was writing agency software for insurance, annuities and financial products.
They had 5 Dell machines that were a year or so old at the time.
He is a whiz at engineering software but a little shot on hardware savvy.
He ran into trouble when he tried to upgrade his office to Win2K pro.
All 5 machines were jacked up and he was dead in the water.
I don't recall if he had Dell "custom build" the machines for him, but the motherboards had no markings on them, and to this day I don't know what they were.
Also the OS had a proprietary functionality built in for the Dell BIOS and when I iinitially tried to reinstall the old OS from the Dell disk, to try to get back to square one so I could figure out what he had done--it kept trying to load things we didn't want.
When I had one machine restored I began the W2K upgrade, watched everything closely and bam, it did the same thing to me it had done to him.
...anyway to make a long story short, I ended up pulling the HDs out of all the machines, formating and installing the OS on a differenct machine with an Intel motherboard that was configured close to the Dells, and put them back in the Dells and let the system scan for hardware changes and replace the system devices.
After wrestling with some obscure drivers, but finding them, I finally was stumped by the audio driver.
After an FCC search I found it was from a Taiwan company that was out of business.
So, the last thing was to turn the onboard audio off and install 5 little Asound express cards.
After the mess was cleaned up I convinced him to let me build him a custom built IWill KA266-R box. (at the TIME the ALi ALiMAGiK was a hot chipset)
He was THRILLED at the speed he could compile his code and had me another without the raid for his assistant before I left.

I only said Dell is OK I guess, because so many people buy them and don't SEEM to have many complaints.
Personally I think they are unadulterated pieces of CRAP and wouln't give 10 cents for the whole lot of them. That's my DIRECT, FIRST-HAND experience with Dell. I don't know what in the Devil you were talking about.

...and what's with cutting and pasting GIANT blocks of text from previous posts... you don't think people can remember what they said, and is it supposed to make your "point" more profound and meaninful if the copy is ten time bigger.

P.S. My contact with Alienware boxes is from LAN parties, and everyone I ever talked with knew the details on ALL the goodies in the system and they were always first-rate components. And their machines FLY.

jtimberlake
09-11-2003, 09:51 AM
Thanks for all the responses.

NP with the MAC/PC flame war. I'm a hard-core MAC guy, but I use a PC for work and do see the advantages of PC's.

"Come over to the dark side Luke"

Have checked out Alienware/Boxx systems and they look pretty nice. Especially Alienware (sweeeeng).


Has anyone used the Ultimate M5 system from ABS Computer Technologies. Would anyone recommend this system. Was checking their site out and trying different configurations, and they see, to have some nice stuff.

Basically I'm trying to get the most for my dollar.

Thanks.