View Full Version : Hardwear.

02-25-2004, 02:34 AM
Hi all.

I need to know about the best and cost effective hardwear for just animation. Im rebuilding my computer to suit my future goals and being a newbie to Animation and lightwave, I dont have the knowleage to move forwoard with my purchese. im looking for faster render times and better hardwear that suits animation programs. I will be getting some Good cash flow starting in the next two weeks and i need profesinal information on what i should be looking to buy. this is what i have so far in my computer,

P4 2.66 Ghz (utter Crap)
1024 Mb pc2700 ram
Ati Radion 9600 Pro (128mb)
WD 120 8mb cach HD.
Viewsonic p9f+ 19"

The things i would like to up grade is my mother board, Maybe a duel proccesor board, with two P4 3.2C Ghz Chips Or zeons. this is where i need the most info.

new graphic card (openGl) any ideas?

New Monitor ( dam thing starts Flickering bad in the coners after 3 months of use) (grrrr) (1600 X 1200 @ 85hrz )

And any other hardwear, that would help me out..

What are your tried and tested hadwear, what works bette rwhat dosent, what opengl cards are better what arnt, any thing.

Thanks all for the time and info..


02-25-2004, 03:31 AM
if your on intel..get a dell..if other then a apple dual g5

oh n get f prime to turbo charge your renders too!


02-25-2004, 04:41 AM
I'd go 64-bit. You're a Windows user, so that would mean AMD64.

(Mac users have the 64-bit G5).

Cost effectiveness should also take into account the longevity of your machine. When the 64-bit Lightwave arrives, you'll want to be able to run it.

AMD64 is available now.

02-25-2004, 04:57 AM

get 2 lacie 21" CRT screens for lightwave

basically get a dual screen setup..you workflow will get faster.

g card..get a new nvidiafx500 with dual outs and 128mb ram or more...

chip?..i'd go for intel p4 3.06 gighz..has see2 instructions and lightwave was made fo it..it also has hyperthreading for faster renders like a dual cpu on a single system.

i priced a basic system from dell the other day...

3.06gig p4
512 ram [okay could get a gig of ram...for 100 ontop]
128mb fx500 dual output Graphics card
2 x17" monitors
80gig 7200 rpm hard drive
dvd re writer with software [not great dvd software though]
xp home [xp pro is +50]

inc vat and delivery 860.00

02-25-2004, 01:31 PM
dell. is a nice company but, they charge way to much, this is where i get all my comp parts its all canadian. i can order any thing for a great price. www.a-power.com ..

what would be the best video card for animation ..

thanks for the replys keep em comeing.

02-25-2004, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
if your on intel..get a dell..if other then a apple dual g5

Dells are not the best, as Boxx or Alienware are equal in price and you get power supplies that are not under 350 Watts.

02-25-2004, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Elemental233

what would be the best video card for animation ..

thanks for the replys keep em comeing.

It depends on what you want to see while you are animating. A QuadroFX GFX-card is supposed to be better than any consumer card, like GeForce and such (OpenGL acceleration). But, going for Quadro means that games will be slow and a fairly high price (but I guess you are not going to play games on your workhorse machine). ;)

Whatever GFX-card you are using, its a painkiller to make low polygon versions of the objects you are going to animate. When everything is animated and ready for rendering just replace the low polys with the real ones!

02-25-2004, 03:58 PM
Do some research and build your own!


Here are two links that I goto every day, excellent resources..




There are more, but these are my favorites

02-25-2004, 04:16 PM
Since you are just starting out, there is no need to go out and waste a lot of money on hardware you do not need. Don't blow your money on a G5 or an alienware pc or a dual Xeon because you'll be kicking yourself in 6 months to a year when you see how much that system is worth.

The great thing about Lightwave is you can run it on a pretty minimal system. I would advise you to get the $400 dell system that comes with the Pentium 4 processor (Lightwave is currently optimised for the pentium) and use all that extra money for more memory and a nice video card. In 6 months to a year, you can be getting a new system instead of kicking yourself for spending 2 or 3 grand on the systme you bought a year ago. Not to mention, there are quite a few really awesome plug-ins you could be buying instead of wasting it on a marginally faster computer. As far as the video card, a nice 256MB GeForce 4 card will run quite nicely and it will give you the best bang for your buck.

But that's just how I do things....

02-25-2004, 05:02 PM
hrgiger is correct, dell have a good build quality and their cheap pc's will run lightwave very well..my dell 700mhz has never needed a re install of o/s and has win98se and win2000 [dual boot] and has served me well with lightwave 7.5 and 3dsmax3.1 & 4.2 plus combustion 2 and prem 6 with the dv500plus capture card...still working okay as i type on it!..this'll become my "email machine" when i get my next pc or mac for lightwave in about a month or so...if i go for a pc it'll be the dell..and if mac then a emac or a g5 system.


02-25-2004, 09:52 PM
I build all my own PCs. Always have. I think I've spent less than $2,500 on my last 3 machines altogether.

My latest one was around $800.

P4 2.6GHz CPU OC'ed to 3.3GHz
ASUS 800FSB mobo with 1394, USB 2, AGP 8X, 1000BT LAN Hyperthreaded
2GB PC 3200 RAM
80GB and 200 GB SATA 7200rpm HDs
Gainward GF FX5600 pro/256 video card
430watt powersupply, Antec 1080AMG case
Soundblaster 5 channel audio card

Win 2k Pro I already had.

All this can be yours if you spend some time shopping around. :)

Pricewatch.com and Newegg.com are your friends.

02-26-2004, 08:26 AM
AMD Athons (and Athlon64) starting with the 'Barton' Core (any one with a 333 or faster FSB for plain Athlons and ALL Athlon64 and opteron Processors) have SSE2 support.

Intel still renders a little faster in 32 Bit windows. 64Bit windows is NOT ready from prime time yet. You can tell because I have a copy of the open beta, and I am not using it. There is a real issue with getting drivers for everything.

Nvidia cards support openGL better than ATI. You can get a GeForce FX, or one of the Quadros if you are willing to put up with the limitations above (and the expense).

You could probably do with one FAST processor over 2 slower ones. Lightwave is multi-threaded, but not everything that goes with it is. I do not run multi-processors, so I cannot tell you much on this.

I would not trust www.tomshardware.com to review a newspaper ad, much less my hardware upgrades. It isn't even the BEST opinion money can buy.

Anandtech is better, or www.aceshardware.com.

As forthe exact system, it will depend on what all you wish to do on it, but novadesigns looks good. I would not overclock a workstation, though I have nothing against the practice. It is just a little hit and miss for things like stability and longevity. While I can live with burning up a processor in a year (instead of the 11.2 years it was meant to last), I hate unexpected crashes. While nova's may run stable, that is not guaranteed when overclocking. You really need to know what you are doing or you can get very frustrated very fast.

www.pricewatch.com is surely your friend here.

I can't give great advice on intel since I use AMD exclusively. If you would like to go AMD, then I advise the MSI K8 NEO motherboard and an Athlon64 XP3400+ for a single processor system. It is what I run now and I can speak will of it.