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LWnexgen
10-13-2004, 04:31 PM
I will hopefully be building a PC at the end of the month, and would be very grateful for any feedback regarding LW performance on this machine. Currently, I'm running 7.5 on a 500 Mz PIII with 96mb of ram, so anything is an improvement :)
Here are the main specs

Processor : Athlon64 2800+ with 512k L2 cache
Ram : 1 GB (2x512mb) Corsair PC-3200
Video Card: CHAINTECH nVIDIA GeForce FX5500 Video Card, 256MB DDR, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "SA5500T2" -RETAIL
Hard Drive: Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM IDE (hopefully soon to be upgraded to 100GB+)
Motherboard: CHAINTECH "SK8T800" K8T800 Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket 754 CPU -RETAIL

Price w/case, keyboard, cd drive, etc.: $607.98 with shipping at Newegg.com

I have an old 17" Flat Screen CRT that I'll be using until I secure the funds for a larger one, and I will be running Windows 98 until I secure enough cash for XP.

Thanks!

gjjackson
10-14-2004, 09:45 AM
The first thing I'd do is upgrade to Win2K or XP. Win 98 is a poor operating system for something as taxing as LW. Don't be surprised if you get lock-ups , crashes etc.

cappie
10-15-2004, 04:38 AM
If you're going to use Lightwave I recommend you get a PCI-Express enabled board and the XFX GeForce 6600 .. which should be around 180 to 200 dollars.

That thing is going to beat the hell out of that FX 5500.. hell.. even my old GF4 Ti4600 can beat that FX5500 when it comes down to fillrates:

Ti4600 : 4.8 Billion
FX5500 : 1.1 Billion



Fill rate is the number of pixels that can be rendered per second. (Pixels, or "picture elements," are literally the dots that appear on your computer display.) The process of rendering a pixel entails performing all of the 3D operations necessary to calculate the correct color for that pixel. At a resolution of 1024 x 768, thousands of pixels are actually displayed on the screen (786,432 to be exact). It's easy to see that the pixel fill rate is directly related to a game's frame rate, or the number of frames that are drawn in a second. This is where graphics boards like the 3dfx Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 families come into the picture. In order to experience games at their peak levels, your card must have the ability to sustain an extremely high pixel fill rate. Low frame rates produce stuttered motion and a poor experience. High frame rates, especially 60frames per second and higher, produce fluid, realistic motion and a much better experience. A 3D accelerator card with extremely high pixel fill rates is a must for serious gaming action.
And vertices per second too:

Ti4600 : 136 Million
FX5500 : 68 Million

Ok.. you won't have advanced pixel shaders, but then again: you don't need that for Lightwave usage.

However.. I recommend you stick with the newer XFX GeForce 6600 (and get a mainbord that handles PCI-Express).. its faster, easier to get, it will give you more an even HIGHER fillrate AND that way you can also enjoy newer games :)

LWnexgen
10-15-2004, 07:09 AM
I definitely will be upgrading to XP as soon as I get enough money. However, i run LW on a Win98 system right now,and I've never had any problems, at least in regards to the OS.

mattclary
10-15-2004, 07:37 AM
If you're going to use Lightwave I recommend you get a PCI-Express enabled board and the XFX GeForce 6600

If you can get it at a reasonable price, i say go for it, but don't pay the premium I suspect will be neccesary. LightWave does not currently saturate the AGP bus, so PCI Express will be wasted on LightWave.

Any slowness in LightWave is due to poor implemenatation of OpenGL and more bandwidth will not resolve that issue.

cappie
10-16-2004, 01:41 PM
If you can get it at a reasonable price, i say go for it, but don't pay the premium I suspect will be neccesary. LightWave does not currently saturate the AGP bus, so PCI Express will be wasted on LightWave.

Any slowness in LightWave is due to poor implemenatation of OpenGL and more bandwidth will not resolve that issue.

Not wanting to pulldown your statement about Lightwave's OpenGL implementation, but I've had models at around 400k polygons on my system at home (GeForce 4 Ti4600) running at a higher framerate than on the GeforceFX 5700 I have in my workstation at work.

Those new cards are a pain in the ***...

Lynx3d
10-17-2004, 12:46 AM
In my experience OpenGL performance in LW is highly CPU dependant, so to compare video card performance you definitely need the same CPU...

Fillrate is pretty nonrelevant, and the theoretical vertex processing power is also well...theoretical.

Exception
10-17-2004, 09:21 AM
AM64 is a good choice... but WinXP really is a must...
I would definately try to save on a component so you can get winXP... For isntance, Corsair memory is nice but quite expensive. Why not go for infineon? For regular usage just as good and saves you money...

Also you could get a secondhand 21" CRT instead of a new bigger LCD for the price of a nice dinner with your girlfriend. Saves a bundle, and a big CRT is just as good (if not better!).

mlmiller1983
10-19-2004, 07:33 PM
I just bough Lightwave 8.0(Education) a few days ago and I just purchased parts for a new PC from newegg.

3.2C Pentium4
1GB Kingston DDR400(2x512MB)
256MB PNY GeForce 6800 GT
SB Audigy 2 ZS
Intel D865PERL Mobo


Use it mostly for Lightwave and Gaming!!

The only thing missing is a good tv tuner card. Probably going to buy a Theatre 550 Pro when it comes out. :)

mattclary
10-20-2004, 06:04 AM
..400k polygons on my system at home (GeForce 4 Ti4600) running at a higher framerate than on the GeforceFX 5700 I have in my workstation at work.

I'm not saying you won't see ANY gain moving from a less potent card to a more potent card. What I'm saying is that 400k model in another 3D app would probably twirl like a top, and using a pro card (Quadro, Wildcat, FireGL) will not give you a performance gain over their consumer-level counterparts (the same core technology) in LW.
And PCI Express DEFINITLEY won't buy you any additional performance. The gain you are seeing between a 4600 and 5700fx is due to the inherent superiority of the (albeit older) 4600 core OR you have superior CPU in the machine with the 5600.
I've used lots of different cards with LightWave, and every time I upgrade, I test LW to see how well it does, and rarely have I seen a detectable difference. Now, if I tested my current card (Geforce 5900se) against my first LW card (Oxygen VX1), I'm sure I could detect a difference.

adamsanders
10-21-2004, 04:54 PM
I just bough Lightwave 8.0(Education) a few days ago and I just purchased parts for a new PC from newegg.

3.2C Pentium4
1GB Kingston DDR400(2x512MB)
256MB PNY GeForce 6800 GT
SB Audigy 2 ZS
Intel D865PERL Mobo


All great until the Intel motherboard. Man. Shoulda gone with an Abit or Asus or MSI or just about anyone else and you could have had PAT enabled, plus better overclocking and DON'T tell me you're against overclocking, because you deserve the best that your purchases can give you. Even without overclocking, the PAT enabling is warranty non-voiding. Just think, you could be at 3.5 to 3.8 easily on stock cooler at default voltage. Don't let The Man (intel) tell you what to do with your stuff.

mlmiller1983
10-21-2004, 05:54 PM
I canceled order before it was completed. I decided to wait a while long and build a socket 939 based system. Going with an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ and ASUS AV8 K8T800 Motherboard.

mattclary
10-22-2004, 04:58 AM
with an Abit or Asus or MSI or just about anyone else and you could have had PAT enabled,

Or get an Intel board with the 875 chipset.

When using AMD processors, I go with Abit boards, but when using Intel chips, I prefer Intel boards. The things are solid as a rock.


mlmiller, sounds like a good decision.

Exper
10-22-2004, 05:28 AM
K8T800 MotherboardI'd go for an NForce 4 Ultra or SLI...
a must have with some valueable adds like an hardware Firewall (just to name one)! ;)

mlmiller1983
10-22-2004, 08:17 AM
I'd go for an NForce 4 Ultra or SLI...
a must have with some valueable adds like an hardware Firewall (just to name one)! ;)


Your right. I just checked that out at www.hexus.net and I decided to wait. Besides might has well go with PCIExpress since its the future fod graphics board.

lardbros
10-22-2004, 12:27 PM
HEY LWnexgen.... definitely upgrade to the 100gb harddrive, it'll be well worth it, i have a 40gig one and used it up especially if you're into animating, and especially compositing. I bought a 160gig HD for 60 something quid, which is SOOO cheap here in blighty, its a maxtor too, and got some cooling fans free with it too! YAY.

Exper
10-29-2004, 02:36 AM
For everyone interested in nForce 4 mobo...
take a look here:
nForce 4 A02 Problems (http://www.flexbeta.net/main/comments.php?catid=8&shownews=10080)

The problem will be fixed in A03 silicon.

mlmiller1983
10-29-2004, 08:07 PM
For everyone interested in nForce 4 mobo...
take a look here:
nForce 4 A02 Problems (http://www.flexbeta.net/main/comments.php?catid=8&shownews=10080)

The problem will be fixed in A03 silicon.




Crap. Thanks for the post. Guess I'll hold off buying one a little while longer.

Exper
11-03-2004, 02:55 AM
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2264&p=3

mlmiller1983
11-03-2004, 10:42 AM
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2264&p=3

Nice article. That should be really good for AMD. Man computer technology is advancing so rapidly. First i wanted to wait until there was PCI express motherboard for AMD skt 939 cpus. Now they are getting AMD CPUs that support SSE3. I guess this is a good thing cause I wasn't planning on building a new PC until sometime early or middle next year. Good things come to those who wait. :rolleyes:

mattclary
11-03-2004, 11:25 AM
And you know next summer there will be something even better around the corner. ;)

mlmiller1983
11-03-2004, 06:01 PM
I've decided to go for under $1000 for a new PC.


2.4C Pentium 4
2 512MB Kingston PC3200
128MB ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
120GB Seagate HD
SB Live 7.1
ASUS P4800SE Motherboard
Plextor DVD Burner

All this only cost me like under $1000.


This otta hold me over for at least a year.

mattclary
11-04-2004, 05:10 AM
I (and most here) would recommend going with an nVidia card for LightWave.

nthused
11-04-2004, 06:27 AM
Don't forget a good case and power supply.


I've decided to go for under $1000 for a new PC.


2.4C Pentium 4
2 512MB Kingston PC3200
128MB ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
120GB Seagate HD
SB Live 7.1
ASUS P4800SE Motherboard
Plextor DVD Burner

All this only cost me like under $1000.


This otta hold me over for at least a year.

mlmiller1983
11-04-2004, 09:47 AM
Don't forget a good case and power supply.


Of course. I bought an Antec case with 350W PSU

mlmiller1983
11-04-2004, 09:49 AM
I (and most here) would recommend going with an nVidia card for LightWave.


If I have any problems with the ATI card on Lightwave i'll buy an nvidia card and just sell the ATI on ebay or something.

Exper
11-04-2004, 09:58 AM
LG DVD Burners are good and really low cost ones! ;)

mlmiller1983
11-05-2004, 09:12 AM
I change my mind too much. I canceled my order before it was processed. I'm going to bite the bullete and SAVE $$$ for a good system. And I will go with an EVGA Nvidia Geforce 6800 GT and AMD Athlon 64 Skt 939 Processor(either 3500+ or 3800+) but I don't know whether to wait for the new Nvidia motherboard chip set that supports PCI-express or just go with the current one now. Any suggestions. :confused:

Draven
11-05-2004, 02:57 PM
Wait for the NForce 4 to ship. either way, you can save the extra $$$ to go NForce 4, or enjoy the price drop in the NForce 3 250 boards.

LWnexgen
11-11-2004, 07:51 AM
Well I actually built this thing. Here are the final specs.

AOpen Case w/350W PSU
2.8E gHZ P4 Socket T
128 mb NVidia GeForce 6600 w/ PCI-Ex
Rosewill 52x CD Burner
512MB PC-3200 Kingston RAM
Samsung 1.44 Floppy Drive
ECS Mobo, PCI-Ex, AGP-Ex

Price: $609.92 w/o monitor, keyboard, etc. I already have all of those, soon to be a 19" Flat CRT

P.S. Exper: Kick a** signature. Floyd all the way!

Joebob
11-11-2004, 11:35 AM
For everyone interested in nForce 4 mobo...
take a look here:
nForce 4 A02 Problems (http://www.flexbeta.net/main/comments.php?catid=8&shownews=10080)

The problem will be fixed in A03 silicon.
So when will we be seeing this A03 silicon?

spartan2
11-23-2004, 10:12 AM
I got a new system recently which is as follows:

MSI Neo Platinum
3400+ 64bit 1mb L1 Cache (they stopped making this for some reason :S)
WD Raptor 10,000 RPM 74gb HDD
Geforce 6800 Ultra 256mb (Point of View)
Corsair 1GB DDR XMS3200XL Pro TwinX (Low Latency 2-2-5-2)
Globalwin Sapphire 520w PSU
DVDRW and a CDRW
Lian Li PC6070 Silent Case
Mitsubishi 930sb Diamond 19" Flat Screen Monitors X 2

Its a good solid system, however due to the parts being new(ish) drivers are a little dodgy at the moment, and my Geforce has got some problems displaying the grid at the moment on lightwave when it starts up. But im going to be installing another driver and getting all the latest drivers and starting from scrath soon so hopefully that should fix it.

I would recommend going for decent memory, processor and board as these are the core components, the graphics card either try and wait and get something fancy after a few months or sacrifice speed of the core components for a decent graphics card.

mlmiller1983
12-03-2004, 09:11 PM
Using the money I got from Uncle Sam I decided to build a good workstation PC.

3.4C P4
2GB Corsair DDR400
256MB PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 3000
Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Video Editing Card
SB Audigy 2 ZS
Plextor 712-A DVD Burner
ASUS P4C800 E Deluxe Mobo
Antec Case and 480W PSU


Yeah I know what your going to say. Lightwave won't utilize the video card. yeah I know. I got it cause i my school uses maya and 3ds Max. I got a good deal on the video card, only $630 on ebay and it works like dream. The matrox card I got for $500 and it came with most of the adobe software. All I had to buy was After Effects 6.5 Pro. Well thats all for now.Later

howardt
12-08-2004, 05:19 AM
Hey spartan2, how's it working out? Still "dodgy"?

I'm building a new system too, and am trying to choose between:

processor: Athlon 64 3500+ (90nm) 2.2GHz
motherboard: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (nVidia nForce3 Ultra)
memory: 1GB (2x512) Corsair 3200 DDR
video: eVGA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB DDR3/AGP-8X/TV
hard drive: Seagate 160GB 7200 RPM SATA
optical: NEC CD RW DVD RW ND-3500A
floppy: Mistsumi
case: Antec SLK3700-BQE w/ 350W power supply
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
(parts cost: about $1600)

or, after reading the VT hardware forum, I've been tempted by something like the following, which would put me back about $700 more...

processor: two Opteron 242's (1.6GHz) with Thermaltake heatsinks/fans
motherboard: Tyan Thunder K8W S2885ANRF AGP 8X AGP PRO
memory: 1GB (2x512) Corsair DDR (400) 3200 REG ECC
video: eVGA GeForce 6800 GT 256MB DDR3/AGP-8X/TV
hard drive: Hitachi (HDS722516VLSA80) 160 GB/7 SATA
optical: NEC CD RW DVD RW ND-3500A
floppy: Mistsumi
case: Lian-Li PC-V1200 Aluminum Quiet T
power supply: 460W
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
(parts cost: about $2300)

Comments? Has anyone built anything like either of these systems and if so, how well have they worked? If I were going to spend the extra $700, would going for the second system be the best plan? Do I need another GB of memory for the second system?

My main intended use is Lightwave animation, but I'd also like to be able to experience the latest games in all their glory.

mlmiller1983
12-08-2004, 07:12 PM
Does anybody know if Lightwave can render single frames or mutiple frames across mutiple PCs. Thankyou.

Lynx3d
12-09-2004, 03:58 AM
Single frames: No, not without some stitching magic...
Multiple frames: Yes, via Screamernet.

@howardt: I really wouldn't choose 2 such slow Opterons over a single Athlon64...
it's maybe 20% or max. 25% faster than an Athlon64 3800+ with LWs renderer, and a lot slower with something not multithreaded like FPrime...or for all the viewport work.

howardt
12-10-2004, 07:29 AM
Thanks, Lynx3d. I decided to go with the first system (upping the hard drive to a 250GB Western Digital).

Alliante
12-10-2004, 08:44 AM
Either one was a good choice, Howard (I'll probably end up getting the new Asus AMD64 motherboard with SLI PCI Express capability (http://usa.asus.com/powerup/main.htm)).

If you plan on screamernetting later, the dual opterons make good, semicompact nodes (running two instances of screamernet).

I've yet to find an affordable rackmount dual opteron system though.

mlmiller1983
12-11-2004, 07:15 PM
Either one was a good choice, Howard (I'll probably end up getting the new Asus AMD64 motherboard with SLI PCI Express capability (http://usa.asus.com/powerup/main.htm)).

If you plan on screamernetting later, the dual opterons make good, semicompact nodes (running two instances of screamernet).

I've yet to find an affordable rackmount dual opteron system though.


The just decided to go dual Opteron and ordered a Tyan Tiger K8W. Dual Opteron motherboard that is ATX. 8x AGP Slot, 2 940 sockets, and 5 pci slots. I am going with two AMD Opteron 244(1.8GHz).

Exper
12-14-2004, 01:43 AM
AMD And IBM Debut New Silicon Technology
http://spdrivers.net/sp/article.php?story=20041213153931456

:cool: :cool:

mlmiller1983
12-14-2004, 08:38 PM
This is my PC. FINALLY

3.2C Intel Pentium 4
128MB PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 2000
2GB Corsair DDR400
Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro
Plextor DVD Burner
SATA 74GB WD Raptor w/ 10K RPM & 8MB Cache
SATA 250GB Maxtrox w/ 16MB Cache
SB Audigy 2 ZS
ASUS P4C800 E Deluxe
Antec Case & PSU



Well what do you think.

Just so that you know I got the video card and video editing card for alot less than the retail price. Quadro FX 2000 for only $400, about the price of a GeForce 6800 GT, and the Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro for $450. I got the CPU for only $150. The rest of the stuff I'm buying retail.

mattclary
12-15-2004, 05:21 AM
I won't speak as to the Matrox card, I guess you need that for video editing, but as to the Quadro, you could have saved yourself some money and just gotten a consumer level card. You aren't going to see any speed increase with LightWave and a pro card. I would have spent the extra $200 on a 64bit motherboard and cpu. With the money you already spent on cpu/mobo, you would have had top of the line.

You might have even been able to go dual CPU.

moondog
12-15-2004, 02:20 PM
mimiller. The asus motherboards overclock nicely but be sure to get enough cooling the heat really mounts up.

Finished bulding a new PC.

Asus P5GD2
intel p4 3.4
corsair ddr2 memory -2 gig
Nvidia 6600gt
SATA main drive
3 auxillary hard drives

Yes I know the latency on the ddr2 is lousy (444),but the performace is
rather good compared to the old p4 1.7 with Rambus memory I had. I had
thought of building an opteron system, but that got very pricey with
the required ddr ecc registered memory the price of the cpu.
Installing the stock cpu fan was scary. Very poor design. I could not
get all 4 of those plastic pins to snape in. One side would pop out
after pushing in the other. It finally went into place but in doing so
I saw the thermal material separate some . So I feel it is running a
little hot. The temp inside the case is 42C degrees. It idles at 55C
degrees and under full load at 3.4 mHz it hits 72C degrees. At 3.6 mHz
it heats up to 75-76C degrees.The memory overclocks nicely but I have
only tried it at 220 front side bus. I have heard of hotter running
machines so this will have to do for now. Should have used the artic
silver.

If anyone has a suggestion of how to cool this thing off please let me

know.

mlmiller1983
12-16-2004, 10:25 PM
I won't speak as to the Matrox card, I guess you need that for video editing, but as to the Quadro, you could have saved yourself some money and just gotten a consumer level card. You aren't going to see any speed increase with LightWave and a pro card. I would have spent the extra $200 on a 64bit motherboard and cpu. With the money you already spent on cpu/mobo, you would have had top of the line.

You might have even been able to go dual CPU.

My school teaches animation classes in Maya so a consumer level card probably would give me trouble down the road. Also, There aren't any AMD 64/Opteron boards that Matrox recommends for the RT.X100 Xtreme Pro. Including NForce 2, 3 and 8000 chipsets.

AMD 64 are good for gaming but for rendering and video editing Pentium 4 HT are better. Of course dual Opterons can smoke a Pentium 4 they also cost alot more money and require special motherboards, except Tyan Tiger K8W. 64Bit is the future but when that future going to come. I don't see 64bit OS becoming the norm for a good 2-3 yrs. I am doubtful Microsoft is going to release a good 64bit Windows the first time around. I could be wrong but that just how I feel.

Exper
12-17-2004, 05:37 AM
AMD 64 are good for gaming but for rendering and video editing Pentium 4 HT are better.Not agree for rendering (price/clock comparison) but quite agree on video editing:
it's really sad in seeing all that big companies not giving certification to AMD chipsets when they no more suffer of bus bandwith problems (like in past with the first VIA one for Athlon)... but just simply sitting on Intel side. :(

Pinnacle, as far as I can remeber, is the only one who acts in a more correct way certifying some AMD mobos... take a look here (Athlon XP and Athlon 64): http://www.pinnaclesys.com/docsupport1.asp?division_id=8&langue_id=2&product_id=1474&product_name=Liquid%20Edition&page_id=343
:cool:

LWnexgen
01-15-2005, 01:24 PM
After building my PC in October and using an old 13 in CRT that someone was trashing, I finally saved up enough for a high-end LCD. The one I chose was the ViewSonic VP171b, and I'd highly reccommend it. It has a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 (no surprise there) but the real value comes with the DVI input and 8ms response time. It works great with my GeForce 6600, and the 8ms response is great for gaming. No noticable ghosting on Halo for the PC on 1280x1024 (same for Need For Speed Underground). The resolution is awesome for LW. The only strange thing is that LW 7.5 won't work when the monitor is rotated to portrait mode. Hmm. Not that I'd want to do anything with LW in portrait mode anyway. Overall, I'd reccomend the monitor for anyone looking for a relatively cheap but awesome LCD. (only $368.98 @ newegg:)

Lamont
01-16-2005, 04:13 PM
LCD's are sweet, but Lamont needs 1600x1200 or higher ;).

Dell makes a sweet LCD, but I think I am going to stay on the CRT wagon a bit longer.

starbase1
01-17-2005, 09:30 AM
Well, if I was getting a new one right now...

Memory is cheap and the ONLY way to render big scenes / objects. I currently have 2 Gb I'd like more.

HD. From now on, I get pretty much everything USB - its ten times easier to move when you upgrade. And that particularly applies to Hard Disk - with a 20 quid USB disk caddy, you can made any drive portable, and you won't be limited to a couple of them.

And if you are going to put everything USB, get a couple of cards with extra ports. By the time you have your keyboard, sound hard, a couple of HD's , scanner, webcam, printer, modem, etc etc, you'll be really fed up with swapping connections!

And on a personal note, don't forget a decent power supply - the one in my HP just blew, and I was very disappointed to find it was only 250 Watts. The smallest one they sell in my local pc bits shop is 300!

Nick

LWnexgen
01-18-2005, 07:18 AM
personally, I prefer internal HDD. They're cheaper, and its not really that tough to transfer them when you upgrade. If you go SATA, the transfer rates are very nice. Oh, by the way, what is a 'quid'? I'm assuming its something like our dallar?

Lamont
01-18-2005, 08:41 AM
Quid is like the UK Pound (currency)... it comes from that little squiggly symbol that's like the dollar sign. Quid is one pound, fiver is five pounds and tenner is ten pounds.

Too much BBC for me...

Back on subject. Every artist should have 100+ gigs of USB storage. Moving files around is something you're going to have to do at some point. Buying a top quality external enclosure for 30~40 bucks is common, topped with ultra-cheap HDD storage :) you can't go wrong.

kopperdrake
01-18-2005, 02:59 PM
LOL...and the first usage of the word 'quid' was reported in 1688 and is commonly thought to have derived from the Latin phrase 'quid pro quo', translated loosley as 'what for which' and meaning 'something in exchange for something'

I notice you stopped at a tenner ;)

score = twenty quid, or a couple of tenners
pony = 25 quid
monkey = 500 quid

Sorry for being off-topic :)

Staying on topic, looking to build a new PC in a month or so and have been twiddling up and down about Intel, AMD, Xeon or Opteron blah blah.

Priced a dual Xeon up and it was coming to about 1700 ($3400) which was scaring me as I really want to use Lightwave and FPrime to render large A4 @ 300dpi renders for building developments, and FPrime can't use the 2nd CPU so it would just be there to render the occasional non-Fprime render, and even then not at 200% the speed of a single CPU.

So obviously amount of RAM is right up there with CPU speed. Whilst a dual would help with Lightwave internal renders, it's not going to help with FPrime afaik. My current thinking is to go for a single AMD 3500+ Winchester (seem to be best bang for buck) as this will allow me to use good old DDR memory in dual channel. I thought 2Gb would be ok, but hankered after 4Gb, but listening to people I need to use either Win XP Pro or Win 2000 Pro to push the 2Gb limit to 3Gb, and even then Lightwave will only be able to use a 2Gb chunk of RAM due to the 32bit nature of the OS. However, the 3rd Gb spare will get used by the OS and other processes so at least Lightwave will get a full 2Gb :) I'd love to push for Lightwave using 3-4Gb but it all sounds a bit hit-and-miss for those kinds of numbers.

As it stands I'm looking at:

SilverStone LC10M HTPC case (so I can use it for media content in a year or so...at least this box is going to be useful in the future as opposed to just sitting around waiting for a screamernet project to come in ;) . I'll just stick it in the living room with a wireless card in it when it's put out to pasture :)

Abit KV8 Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester
XFX GF 6600GT AGP (the 6800GT is double the price for slightly faster)
3Gb Geil PC3200 DDR
2x200Gb Maxtor Diamond Max 10 SATA for mirroring
A decent 450W PSU - not specced yet.

I figure this will be cool for single renders, and I still have my old Intel 2.4 on the network (plus 3 older PCs). If I need more for an animation I can build a dinky Shuttle with an Intel 3.0 and 1Gb of RAM for around 350 to stick on the network - and they're so small you can tuck them anywhere :) Essentially, for the price of one dual Xeon system I can build one Athlon 3500+ system and 2 Intel 3.0 render boxes.

Of course, I'll change my mind between now and then ;)

Lamont
01-18-2005, 08:20 PM
You should go ahead and make it 2 or 4 gigs of ram, runs faster in Dual Channel mode.

I didn't know monkey was 500... The more you know... ;)

kopperdrake
01-19-2005, 03:16 AM
Thanks Lamont for the advice :) Would that still be the case if I bought 2 1Gb sticks and 2 512Mb sticks, or is that asking for trouble?

Hehe...the pony thing may be less-known as it's not often you carry that much in your back-pocket ;)

starbase1
01-19-2005, 05:24 AM
Good grief what did I start?!?!
:eek:

Anyway, one pound is a shade under 2 dollars, (unless you are buying stuff, when they become typically equivalent). :mad:

But at least those nice chaps at Newtek have just lowered there pound (quid) prices to something a lot nearer the exchange rate equivalent!
:)

Lamont
01-19-2005, 09:27 AM
I always buy the same size for all slots, but I *think* dual channel mode only works when they are all the same 4x1gig-4x512... find out with the mobo maker. I have never seen benchmarks for LW with ram speed taken into consideration.

My mobo will do dual channel with an odd number if placed in certain slots.

Darttman
01-19-2005, 11:49 AM
You better pay close attention to exactly what kind, type and size of ram the motherboard can handle. As a general rule of thumb more than 2 gig of ram and you better look into ecc registered type of memory. Read up on using large amounts of ram you will be suprised at how much more stringent memory quality has to be!
All the memory in the world is of no good if the bios on the motherboard is not set up for it. I also remember that windows (2K) doesn't effeciently use anything over 2gig that well either... do some more research.

Tandor
01-20-2005, 01:49 PM
This info is useful, am in the market for a dual proc system.
Not sure about Dual Opterons, Dual AMDs or Dual Xeons.

kopperdrake
01-24-2005, 04:24 AM
Well that's sorted then! Thanks to everyone on the forums for their help in getting my head round what's on the market :)

After dismissing a dual proc system as being too expensive, I found a chap on ebay off-loading a couple of HP dual 3.2 Xeons workstations (XW6000), and whilst about a year old, will still be a hefty upgrade from my current single 2.4GHz Intel. So I bought one :) Plus there's 4Gb stuck in it :D I figured that whilst the Athlon 64 route was the most future-proof, I tend to upgrade every year or so and at least this way I get 2 procs on the render network. It's a dead-end system but then I never seem to upgrade an existing system, prferring to build afresh and put the old one out to pasture as a file server, email machine or glorified mp3 player ;)

Anyway, just wanted to thank all of you that had helped me make my choice :D

Dunk