View Full Version : Lightwave and powerbook...?

Karl Hansson
04-09-2003, 02:21 PM
Has anyone tried lightwave on a powerbook. I heard that 3d and portable pc computers dont mix well. But hows the new powerbooks? How much slower are they compared to a stationary powermac when it comes to 3d and lightwave?

04-09-2003, 02:49 PM
A 1GHz powerbook renders as fast as a 1GHz desktop. The drawback in portables are the slower 2,5" HD's compared to the 3,5" hd's used in desktops. If you do highresolution rednerings, for print, i think its not such a good idea to use a powerbook. But that depends on your personal preferences. The big plus, the powerbook is totally quiet.

04-09-2003, 03:56 PM
You are also limited on your display resolutions (without external monitors), and the graphics chip is only 32 or 64 MB "mobility" chip, not as good for OGL performance as a desktop.

In general, a Powerbook is a great workstation if you live in airports or on the road, but if you have a desk or a budget, the cost offset is HUGE. For the same price as a 15" Powerbook you can get a dual 1.42 GHz desktop (assuming you own a monitor). Throw in a 17" flat panel and you are still price matched to the 17" powerbook, but you get dual 1.42 GHz processors, and that will make a BIG difference in rendering times.

I've sat in front of an 8600/200, G3/450, G4/2x800, PB G4/400, and iBook 600 with various versions of Lightwave and other graphics packages, and performance never stacks up 100% across the board with the laptops. If you aren't a road warrior, the cost-performance ratio of a laptop doesn't favor you. If you are independently wealthy, buy both, but for $3200 the G4/2x1.42 + 17" FP Monitor is better bang on the buck.

04-09-2003, 04:59 PM
I recently picked up a 12" powerbook specifically so that I could take LW with me. I'm very satisfied so far. Compared to my 400 mHz desktop, it's zippy, and the small screen is not a huge liability, if you're willing to toggle your views around. Just don't forget your dongle when you're on the go....

Karl Hansson
04-09-2003, 10:43 PM
Thanks guys. The Powerbooks are kind of expensive, arn't they. I'll probably buy a stationary mac when the new PMs comes.

04-10-2003, 10:50 AM
if you can stomach the 12" screen and fixed 1024x768, the iBook will run LW decently. Obviously, you wouldn't want it to be your main workstation, since the G3 chip will slow your renders down, but the Radeon 7500 32MB gpu should give you sufficient openGL rendering in modeler and layout.

04-10-2003, 11:17 AM
I use LW with my 500Mhz G3 powerbook Pismo, works ok for me. 5hours battery life with 2 old batterys. I guess I would get 8hours on a set of new batterys.
My father have a Tibook 1Ghz, but its way to noisy for me ;) and it has maximum 3hours of battery time.
Guess the 867Mhz is a quiet Pb and will do just fine for LW use.
Even runs ok on my iMac 233Mhz, but I cant play with LW while sitting by a desk anymore, I prefere legs high up and the comp in my lap and my wacom by my side and sometimes I use a usb-keyboard to protect myself from moving at all :D
But I'm about to get myself a PC renderstation to avoid nervous breakdowns while rendering :D

04-11-2003, 09:40 AM
I use an 800mhz ibook 14 inch, and it works fine. A lot less choppy than my 400mhz imac, and I can finally use 70,000 polygons without it crashing..

My only problem is the hardware key - when on a chair or couch, you run into bending problems - I had to get mine replaced... A more streamlined, perhaps staple-shaped one would possibly more stable, and less cumbersome. I'll 'wave it sometime if you want to see it.

04-11-2003, 11:56 AM
Ok, here is my own personal experience. This piece is for those LW users who need to use LW on the go and would like to know how the new 17" Powerbook compares to the new PC notebooks.

This is aimed at users who use high Polygon count Models not gamers or low Polygon Modelers. They need read no further also if LW is only one of many programs you use when traveling, you donít need to read the rest just go and buy a Powerbook..

I am a mac die hard, but because until only recently the graphics card in the Powerbooks were so poor, when traveling, I have been using a Dell M50 which is probably the best PC notebook you can get for LW.

I have just upgraded my old Powerbook G3 Pismo to a brand new 17" Powerbook. Without a doubt it is amazing. The best notebook money can buy. Everything you have read is true. Itís a joy to use, on every application I have tested it on, except, of course LW.Modeler.

I am afraid the graphic card, be it Apple, Newtek or Nividaís fault is still poor in comparison to the card in the Dell.and I mean POOR. Thatís not to say that the card is not good on other 3d applications like Maya, but with LW it sucks. Layout seems OK, but Modeler is unusable with high polygons.

I opened a 32194 Polygon model on the Powerbook which the Dell handles without blinking. Even simple tasks like moving single points took forever. Yes it completed the action but 30 seconds after you stopped moving the mouse making it useless to work within real time.

Thankfully with OX all the freezing and crashing has gone that was the bain of my life in 9 and rendering large scenes is a joy without vitual memory, but the video card simply sucks in LW.

Bottom line, even though I hate saying it, if want to buy the best notebook in the world for most programs buy the 17' powerbook.. If you want to buy a notebook to only use only with LW, buy a PC notebook.

Dell m50
Windows 2000 S/P 3
2.0 mhz
1GB Ram
NVIDIA Quadro4 500 GoGL
LW 7.5b

Mac 17" Powerbook
OX 10.2.5
1.0 Mhz
1GB Ram
LW 7.5

04-11-2003, 12:47 PM

I hope you're exaggerating about that 30-second lag time. I have a ~44000 poly model open on my 12" powerbook (640 MB RAM, 867 mHZ G4, OS 10.2.5, NVIDIA GeForce4 MX, LW 7.5), and I'd say that the lag time moving points, polys, etc. is no more than a second, if that. It's not instantaneous, but it's acceptable. Maybe you have a bum card? (Performance is worse with a subpatch model, natch....)

04-11-2003, 01:11 PM
Yes I used a bit of artistic license to explain my point. It's not 30 secs, it just feels like it, but it is almost impossible to drag points around without draging the point many times and not in real time. As I said it is a personal opinion and the problem may well be my own card, but when all my other programs work like a dream the finger points to LW.