View Full Version : recomend fastest PC for LW

tim pfeiffer
03-29-2003, 10:36 AM
I am a LW user on the MAC. (please don't hurt me)
I am debating switching over to a PC for LW. I'm looking at the new Dell Precision 450 Dual 3GHZ. Money is no object. Weel, within reason of course. I make my living with LW and must have the most powerful baby out there. Of course I'll also have to buy LW for PC. Can anybody steer me in the right direction. Thanks,

03-29-2003, 04:50 PM
Are the Dual 3's even out yet? That would be a good system if you can afford it. Give you nice quick renders.
Personally I think people are wasting their money by buying the fastest thing out there. 6 months from now you regret it when you see a faster computer out there for half as much as you paid for yours. If you're going to spend 3 or 4 grand on a computer, you might as well buy 2 $1,000 computers so you can keep working on one while the other renders.

Money should always be an object.

03-29-2003, 07:46 PM
<<Of course I'll also have to buy LW for PC.>>

Tim if you have LW 7.5 and a Duo dongle you already have both the PC and Mac version. Another great reason to own LW.
Also I own an iMac and it runs LW 7.5 OK but I prefer using LW on my 2.5 Ghz P4 and soon to have a Dual 3 Ghz also.


03-30-2003, 06:47 AM
I was working on MAC and (guess technically I still do via my laptop when traveling, but) I just had to 'Switch' to PC because of all the MAC-LW 2nd class crap going on, not just with NT, but with many 3rd party developers. I almost left LW altogether, but since I have contacts who use PC-LW, etc. it would be difficult to work with them if I dropped it for another 3D app. The others swade me to just build a PC for LW use only and I use the MAC for everything else. Never before LW would I have had a need to do this, but there ya go and I hopefully it'll all work out for the better.

Sorry, I was getting a bit OT there, but the point I was heading to is I was using OSX-LW v7.5 and not only had to buy a new PC-Installer CD-R from NT, but also had to pay for a dongle swap. $30 each ($66 w/s PLUS the cost of a PC) so calculate the total accordingly to your transition needs.

tim pfeiffer
03-30-2003, 06:52 AM
I don't have the duo dongle. They didn't have those back when I bought LW 5.0. But I see I can switch to a PC version for just $100.00 with Newtek. I'm thinking about ditching my G4 dual 1GHZ for the Dell Precision 3GHZ Dual and making the switch.
My problem is I have this Huge project with imported CAD models that I converted to .lwo with Polytrans. The polygon count is way into the several million polygon area. ouch! My Mac is on it's knees. I have a GIG of RAM but I can't even make the sligtest adjustment on anything withou having to wait for several minutes for just a wireframe redraw. This is taking me forever and the deadline is approaching fast! Do you think my plan for switching would really make that much of a difference?
Thanks for any input.

tim pfeiffer
03-30-2003, 07:07 AM
Just a stupid question BUT I do need to know, if I switch to PC will I beable to open my LW scene files that were created in LW on the Mac?

03-30-2003, 07:10 AM
If I'm reading you correct you're done with your modeling work and you're having problems animating it/them in Layout because of the system being bogged down due to the complexity of the model and/or models? May you could ask other LWO modelers if they know of a plug or technic to reduce the number of polys in your models.

Or how big is your LWO file? If a reasonable size and you wanted to send it my way I can load it and tell you if it's even managable on a P4 2.5GHz with 1GB RAM. I have OCed it safely to 2.9GHz before so with that I could give you an idea of a single frame render time if you also sent a LWS file and then you could roughly cut my render time in half and figure that's what you get from a dual 3GHz P4 system.

If that's something you want to do post let me know what email address I should contact you at.

03-30-2003, 07:13 AM
...for the most part! If you use any third party plug-ins, etc. you need the PC versions on that system as well.

03-30-2003, 07:27 AM
...you're using LW v5! I'm not as sure about all the above except with use of v7.5.

Are you planning on also upgrading your very of LW?

I don't think you'd being doing so much better on a P4 without some of the SSE2 code optimizations in the later version of LW.

tim pfeiffer
03-30-2003, 10:01 AM
I am using LW 7.5. I was just saying that When I bought LW 5.0 my first version only came with a single dongle key. Sorry for the confusion. I'm really ready to make the leap of faith. Should I order the new system with Windows 2000 or XP? Newtek requirements on the web say Windows 2000 and does not even mention XP. This seems strange to me. Is it true? Thanks for all your input. I'm glad I'm not the only one working all freakin weekend!

03-30-2003, 11:27 AM
What's a VaaaCaaaaTiooon too BTW? lol!

Ahhh yes you worded your sentence correct about having started with V5 I just misread it. Can you say sleep deprived... ;)

Well, it sounds as though you're in the same boat I was just a couple of months ago and given that after years now NT and their 3rd party developers still don't or can't provide equal footing for the MAC base I say do as I had to do to in order to stay on equal footing with my other PC-LW associates for projects and do go ahead and buy a PC system. It bites that we have to spend this much more $ in addition to LW itself and worse to have to fork out more just to switch to another platform just to stick it out with LW, but as I said before their ya go. Honestly NT should provide a free upgrade to the MAC users for the amount of extra time/$ it's taken just to stick it out with them. Okay sorry for the rant. That lack of sleep is speaking the truth for me now. ;)

I'm using XP Pro no problem... Here's why you haven't seen XP list with NT's offical OSs yet.


Hope it all works out for ya... I'm gonna catch a few ZZZs now hope I've helped even a bit. =)

03-30-2003, 05:34 PM
www.alienware.com (http://www.alienware.com) evryone should use them... top of the line...

04-04-2003, 08:42 AM
Ijust switch from a Powermac G4 933 to a HP xw6000 2.4 GHz P4 XEON, cool move it was. Thing to take notice about the Dell 450 is its a XEON not just a P4, so you can't go plopping a P4 CPU in it. If you going to order it make sure you get both CPUs. I made the mistake and order my box with one CPU, figure $210 for a XEON 2.4Ghz was a good deal, then I realize I needed a XEON 2.4 GHZ 533MHz CPU and a VRM which I can't find anywhere for a xw6000, so now I need to get the combo from HP for $600 , when it was a $300 upgrade option. Beside thats the only issues I have with server. It runs good fast.
I also have a Nvidia Quadra 4 NVS 200 Dual head card in it. Its not rated for 3D work, but it runs LW real good and Quake III.

04-05-2003, 04:50 PM
Hi Tim,

If you are unconvinced about making the switch to intel, try this site and run some comparisons of processor speed.


I made the switch from Mac to AMD about 2yrs ago. The truth is, it is not NewTeks fault, Mac cpus just do not cut the mustard. Speed wise they do not compare favourably with Intel/AMD.

Maybe when the new IBM PowerPc 970, which is being previewed in June at WWDC, then you might see a significant increase in speed.

I think it is also true of the Mac to say that, graphics cards are not comparable either, which affects the ability to update screen redraws. (Though with the amount of polys you are talking about, I doubt that anything could cope well.).

04-06-2003, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by tubal_c
If you going to order it make sure you get both CPUs. I made the mistake and order my box with one CPU, figure $210 for a XEON 2.4Ghz was a good deal, then I realize I needed a XEON 2.4 GHZ 533MHz CPU and a VRM which I can't find anywhere for a xw6000, so now I need to get the combo from HP for $600 , when it was a $300 upgrade option.

What's a VRM?
Can't you just get a boxed Xeon (should come with heatsink and warranty) and put it in? 600 is usury...

04-06-2003, 10:15 AM
VRM (voltage regulator module) In the past a lot of dual CPU boards use them, it was for the voltage of the second cpu. I could order any 2.4gig XEON 533 FSB cpu and pop it in. But with out the vrm It won't run. Being that its a HP workstation I need a VRM built for that board. In today times VRM are built into the board so just buying a second cpu will work. But companies like HP still wan't you to deal directly with them so the only way to get it is through HP. I would rather buy the parts from HP anyway to maintain warranty of the Workstation.

04-06-2003, 12:18 PM
Sound very archaic to me...so that's a HP board and no typical brand like Tyan, Supermicro etc?
Think that is more a disadvantage, like Bios updates, having to buy overpriced supplies, harder to get reliable info about compatibility etc.

04-08-2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by tim pfeiffer
I am using LW 7.5. Should I order the new system with Windows 2000 or XP? Newtek requirements on the web say Windows 2000 and does not even mention XP. This seems strange to me. Is it true?


I use Lightwave 7.5b on a single P3 800Mhz with 512 MB of RAM with Windows XP Pro and I have never had any problems with using LW on XP Pro. I'd say order XP Pro, its VERY stable in my experience...I have Windows 2000 at work and its junk compared to XP Pro.

Karl Hansson
04-10-2003, 03:51 PM
Im also interesting in buying a PC for LW. I currently use mac and do have a duo dongle. Im about to go to university (yes I will be studying computer animation:)). So Ill be on a budget. I need a good reliable and fast enough computer for a good price. I rather spend a bit on the graph 3D card to give me a smooth workexperience.

So does any one have any suggestions on a good PC and good 3D graphics card?

04-10-2003, 04:03 PM
if you're on a budget and want a good machine I say get a Dell Dimensions 8250. I just customized one a second ago to see how much it would cost you...$2047 for a Pentium 4 2.66 Ghz with 512 RAM, 64MB video card, surround sound card, 120 Gig hard drive, Windows XP Pro and a 19" monitor. Only things I might add are another 512 MB of RAM (for 1 Gig total), and upgrade that video card to a 128 MB DDR nVidia GeForce4 MX. Both those additions would cost another $500 or so. So about $2500 for a pretty kickass system that should run anything you'll need it for in school i would think. Hope this helps.

Not sure this link will work, but heres the customized system i made up:

04-11-2003, 03:19 PM
Man. $2047 is not what I call a budget PC! :) If you're on a budget, forgo the bells and whistles.

Look for things in this order:
1. MINIMUM 512mb ram
2. Good video card
3. The fastest cpu you can afford
4. Cut other items to improve the ones above.