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Tony3d
04-19-2005, 06:16 AM
Hello, I have been a Mac user for many years and I'm really thinking about swicthing over to the PC world. I am sick of Apple's puny upgrades for the G5, and lack of Lightwave plug-ins for the Mac. If I were to do this what suggestions would you have, what machine should I get, and what will the price be? I have about $4000.00 to spend. Thanks.

mrunion
04-19-2005, 06:35 AM
You should be able to get a great machine for that price! Try Dell or anyone. I got my machine here for a fraction of the price anywhere else:

http://www.zuke.com/

Lukesutherland
04-19-2005, 06:40 AM
This thread will give you more than enough info on PCs -

Strangely I was thinking of going back to the Mac because I thought their operating system and hardware combo was once again better than it's windows counterpart...

Anyway goodluck if you make the switch - when I did I found no hassle adjusting to the pc, only thing I think is that the apple key is far better ergonomically placed than the control key on the pc.



http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=35659

Captain Obvious
04-19-2005, 06:53 AM
I am sick of Apple's puny upgrades for the G5
In the same time the Opteron has gone from 2GHz to 2.6GHz (right?), the PowerMac has gone from 2GHz to 2.5GHz. I'd say they're about the same in terms of progression.



and lack of Lightwave plug-ins for the Mac
That, however, is a valid complaint.



As for the computer, if it's just one computer and you're reasonably handy, you could always build it yourself. Dell is generally quite cheap, but I haven't seen a single higher-end workstation for sale by Dell, HP, or whatever, that didn't cost twice as much, or more, than it should. With low-end computers, big chains can be very cheap, but with workstations, building it yourself is almost always a lot less expensive.

mattclary
04-19-2005, 07:00 AM
I'm assuming being a long time Apple user you probably don't want to tackle building your own? Barring that, I would go with www.boxxtech.com For $4000 you should be able to get a [email protected]$$ system.

5100 Series
Dual Opteron 248
4GB DDR400 memory
Quadro FX 500 128mb (AGP 8x)
80GB SATA HD
16x dual layer DVD burner

$3875

JML
04-19-2005, 07:05 AM
building it yourself is the best, BUT if you are not sure how to build it yourself, don't, because you may get an unstable machine

when you go to the thread "dell vs boxx" , remember that the person interested in buying the pc in that thread wanted the best, and that's usually overprice.
you will see, that thread is pretty interesting I think.

(overprice example, dual xeon 3.2ghz = single xeon 3.6)

blabberlicious
04-19-2005, 08:34 AM
I was in your position a few months ago.

I spent ages looking into building a miracle PC that would perform well for 3D AND (note this flamers) compositing and DVD authoring work.

I found a few custom builds that were fast - but VERY noisy - unbearably so, if you work at home and value your sanity.

I got a beautiful, water cooled Mac than was virtually silent for just over 1000 (trading in my old G4)

Video Editing & DVD authoring - Mac wins hands down.


What about plug ins?

I use my own generic Lscript called:

where_there's_a_will _there's_a_way.ls

;-)

More importantly, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with upcoming LW releases - it looks like the mac is getting the attention it deserves.

Same goes for OpenGL for OSX - if Apple's recruitment releases are anything to go by.


NT are listening to Mac users in a way they never did before, so IMHO, I'd stick with it and make yourself heard.

mattclary
04-19-2005, 08:56 AM
I got a beautiful, water cooled Mac than was virtually silent for just over 1000

No flame here, but note that a liquid cooled PC will also be silent. ;)

blabberlicious
04-19-2005, 09:05 AM
No flame here, but note that a liquid cooled PC will also be silent. ;)

Useful to have water close at hand with these kind of threads ;-)

I found water cooled PC systems, but I'm no mechanic, and custom building a system with little or no experience was overwhealming.

For me at least.

I sure there are GREAT systems out there, and you have kindly posted me advice in the past - so don't think I out to bash PC's with my take on his situation.

Just passing on my experience.

Best wishes.

JML
04-19-2005, 09:33 AM
I found a few custom builds that were fast - but VERY noisy - unbearably so, if you work at home and value your sanity
by building it yourself you choose every component you want to put inside your computer.
and that include, cooling systems.
water or air cooled, there are a lot of options
(I had a 12 inch copper tower heatsink on my other computer, cpu was overclocked and the fan speed was like 1500rpm, very silent.) temperature was
max 52celcius.
heatsinks are very important and so are the fans.

mrunion
04-19-2005, 09:35 AM
I don't get it. What's with the noise issue? There's a guy here at work that can't stand the sound of one fan running on the processor and one on the power supply! Counting all the fans in my PC, I have 11!

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but I just don't get the "I don't want to hear anything" approach. According to a SpinQuad thread it seems most people deafen themsevles with music while they work anyway. I'm sure that would cover the sound of most fans!

Opps! I strayed off topic. This will get it back on target:

If you do build your own PC don't forget to buy fans or a water-cooling system.

JML
04-19-2005, 09:42 AM
... Counting all the fans in my PC, I have 11!

(and you probably don't need 11)
on my first computer, it was built by somebody else and they put so many fans.
it was mostly to look cool than to actually cool.

after a lot of modif, I just put 1 low-speed in the front for the HD and 1 in the back,
and that was it for the case.

everybody is different, that's the thing of building it, if you don't care about the noise and like lighted fan, you have the choice to add it.
if you care about the noise, you can just get silenced fans and good heatsinks..
or water cooled systems.

blabberlicious
04-19-2005, 09:45 AM
I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but I just don't get the "I don't want to hear anything" approach. .


I animate.

A (great) animator called Richard Williams tell a story about a young man who once asked an insanely gifted animator why he didn't listen to music when he worked.

'Because I'm too stupid to do two things at once!', He replied.


I love music, but I like to give it some bandwidth to enjoy.

Must be my age......


;-)

Captain Obvious
04-19-2005, 09:55 AM
If you listen to music, would you really want fan noise to drown out your tunes?

Oh, and it's not the number of fans that matter, but rather how fast they spin. The non-water cooled G5 has like eight or nine fans, and it's still very quiet.

JML
04-19-2005, 10:52 AM
Oh, and it's not the number of fans that matter, but rather how fast they spin.
no , it's both. how many , and how fast each are going.
and also the design of the fan and what kind of grill are covering them..

and the heatsink is even more important, most cpu comes with cheap and small heatsink, larger copper heatsink helps so much.

Lamont
04-19-2005, 11:27 AM
Mac to PC eh? While Boxx and Dell make good comps, nothing will beat what you can make yourself, if you know how to do it. If you don't, I say find a friend who does. You'll save yourself a heap of cash.

This is my computer minus the second DVD burner and the two LCD monitors (gives me a headache when I play games).

NewEgg wishlist (http://secure.newegg.com/app/WishR.asp?ID=1471562)

NOTE, I screwed up and left the AGP videocard in there. It's supposed to be PCIe :p

JML
04-19-2005, 11:56 AM
nice selection..., but he may prefer to have 2 cpu for heavy work..
I was wondering why your wishlist was so expensive, then I saw the
two 20" lcd screen :)

Lamont
04-19-2005, 12:02 PM
Yeah, you can drop an LCD screen, and upgrade the mobo and get another CPU for around the same price.

dgon64
04-19-2005, 06:24 PM
I also like Zuke's. I've bought 2 computers from them and have had no hardware problems ( 3.06P4 , 1G ram, GeForce dual display )-only software problems ( my fault ). I'll buy my next one from them as well. I'd love to have the money to buy Boxxtech because they are state of the art with ( I hear ) great tech support but I don't have that kind of cash burning a hole in my pocket ( God bless those of you who do-our economy needs it ). The best you can get from Zuke's in a dual-chip config is a 3.06 or one of the latest single chip AMD/P4 but it won't be cutting edge or price. Motherboard selection is also limited so that could be another factor in deciding to purchase. Tech support is also average but you get what you pay for. Well anyway for under $3000 you can get the dual chip 3.06P4's, GeForce 6800 video card, 120G hard drive ( Raid config also offered ) 3G generic Ram ( better available ), DVD burner ,Firewire-ethernet capable also running Win XP or 2000. You can custom-configure different variations and get an instant quote. With the extra $1000, I can get 2 nice LCD displays and there goes my $4000! And if I have anything left-KRay or Maxwell-hmmm-choices,choices! My 2 cents on $4000. Happy spending!

Tony3d
04-20-2005, 05:37 AM
Just wanted to thank all you guys for all the great info. It really helps since Windows is a completely new experience for me. If I have anymore questions I'll be sure to ask, and I'm sure I will. I have been a Mac user since the late 70's, so it will be difficult making the switch. Again, thanks for all your help!! :D

BeeVee
04-20-2005, 07:01 AM
Wow! I know you must be old, and maybe your memory's fading, but since the Mac only came out in 1984 - remember that ad? - you must also be possessed of a machine that's able to mix Time and Relative Dimensions In Space. I put it to you, are you the new Doctor Who?! :O

PS. I AM KIDDING! :D

B

Tony3d
04-20-2005, 07:59 AM
No, though I have met Tom Baker in person! What I meant to say was I have been an Apple user since the 70's with the Apple 2. I then was one of the first in line to buy the Apple Mac 128 in 1984.

Captain Obvious
04-20-2005, 08:19 AM
no , it's both. how many , and how fast each are going.
and also the design of the fan and what kind of grill are covering them..

and the heatsink is even more important, most cpu comes with cheap and small heatsink, larger copper heatsink helps so much.
Well, yes, the number matters too. But a single fan at a high RPM with a bad heat sink will make more noise, and primarily a more annoying noise, than a dozen fans at a low RPM with better heat sinks.

JML
04-20-2005, 08:43 AM
Well, yes, the number matters too. But a single fan at a high RPM with a bad heat sink will make more noise, and primarily a more annoying noise, than a dozen fans at a low RPM with better heat sinks.

yes, that's what I'm saying.
I used to have a 2500-5000rpm on my overclock processor and it was very loud,
after a while I replaced the basic heatsink with a big copper heatsink and low speed fan, it was silent.
(I had total 1 in the front, 1 in the back, 1 on processor , 1 on the video card
and 2 on the powersupply..)
it was very silent, the harddrives were actually making more noise..
(when I purchased the pc, it came with a total of 8 powerful fans, it was loud..)

I bought one time a custom fan grill, and it was looking nice but was blocking
the airflow of the fans a lot and then seem to make more noise so I removed it..
I usually don't use fan grill anymore..

Captain Obvious
04-20-2005, 08:56 AM
The single fan in the Radeon 9800Pro in this G5 makes more noise than the rest of the fans combined. It's still quiet enough for me to be able to sleep in the same room, though, and I'm a fairly light sleeper.

JML
04-20-2005, 09:05 AM
yeah , I have a ati9800xt, and when I play games, after the while, the fan goes at full speed, and yes it's loud.

Fausto
04-20-2005, 11:02 PM
If you listen to music, would you really want fan noise to drown out your tunes?

Oh, and it's not the number of fans that matter, but rather how fast they spin. The non-water cooled G5 has like eight or nine fans, and it's still very quiet.

Until that G5 is rendering, than look out. I don't think I've ever heard a louder CPU in my life.

Just keeping it real. Use what you want, switch to what you want, it really doesn't matter to me.
On the PC side of things, a little research, Tom's hardware etc, you can gain the necessary understanding to build your own kick a** PC, and you'll save a ton.

Cheers,

Captain Obvious
04-21-2005, 07:12 AM
Until that G5 is rendering, than look out. I don't think I've ever heard a louder CPU in my life.
Really? This G5 is fairly quiet all the time. Do you have a dual 2.5GHz? I hear they can get quite loud at times... The fan in this one does rev up during long renders, but not much.

Fausto
04-21-2005, 07:20 AM
Really? This G5 is fairly quiet all the time. Do you have a dual 2.5GHz? I hear they can get quite loud at times... The fan in this one does rev up during long renders, but not much.

So that must be the difference then, so the singles are quiet? The duals are painfully loud. Even louder than my dual athlon, come to think about it, the single athlon machines are also easier on the ears than the dually.

I have to admit, I'm not a proprietary hardware fan. I don't care for apple, dell, Compaq, SGI or any other PC manufacturer because firstly they don't necessarily build the best machines, they can't and remain competitive, and secondly they're proprietary. I hate the notion that I have to go back to the original vendor for any type of part. I especially don't like vendors that force me to have their software running on my machine. Dell and Compaq used to do that and do that to a lesser degree now, apple do that still. I like to have choices, if I want to run one of many flavours or builds of Linux, flavours of windows or some obscure OS, I want to be able to do that. I hate being boxed in or forced into anything. I remember the AST computers used to ship their computers with their own windows skin, and if you didn't run their particular desktop your warrantee was in jeopardy.. I know totally goofy.

Sorry for the long rant.

Cheers,

kmscottmoore
04-21-2005, 07:46 AM
Tony,

I'll give you my 2, if you haven't already made a purchase.
I was in the same boat about a year ago. After an ordering debacle with Alienware, I finally went with Boxx, and I've been pretty happy with it.
One point that the "build it yourself" crowd leaves out is service and warranty. I got a three year warranty with the Boxx, and their tech support is very good.
These are very important considerations from a business perspective. I promote myself to my clients as an artist and an animator, not a computer technician. I would rather spend my time working than fiddling around inside the guts of my machines.

Tony3d
04-21-2005, 07:54 AM
Scott good point. That Boxx does look very interesting.

JML
04-21-2005, 10:32 AM
One point that the "build it yourself" crowd leaves out is service and warranty. I got a three year warranty with the Boxx, and their tech support is very good.
These are very important considerations from a business perspective. I promote myself to my clients as an artist and an animator, not a computer technician. I would rather spend my time working than fiddling around inside the guts of my machines.

you get warrantly on each part if you build your own.
that's true that "built it yourself" is not for everybody.