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Carm3D
04-29-2005, 12:34 PM
Hello,

I am looking into building a new computer to be a Lightwave workhorse. Can anyone recommend a good motherboard? Should I go with Pentium, Opteron, Xeon or something 64-bit?? Is DDR400 the best memory to use?

Thanks!

mattclary
04-29-2005, 12:42 PM
I swear by Abit for AMD chips, I get Intel boards for Intel chips usually, but I hear you can get nForce4 chipsets for Intel now, so might still go with Abit if they make them.

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 12:53 PM
Since LW is optimized for Intel I should go that way, yes?

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 01:56 PM
Okay.. this is what I have in mind:

Gigabyte GA-8IPE775G Socket 775 Motherboard: $99
Intel Pentium 4 640 3.2 GHz 2MB Cache S775: $349
1 GIG PC3200 DDR 400 memory (under manufacturer it says "Generic"): $135

How does this rate with you all? I expected the motherboard to be more expensive.. Are there better ones?

nemac4
04-29-2005, 02:02 PM
If I build my own, I tend to copy hardware choices from existing PCs to lower chances of odd problems.


this is what BOXX is using in the animation PC:
http://www.boxxtech.com/products/cf_step2.asp?ModelInstanceID=567

AMD Dual Core Opteron Processors
NVIDIA Nforce Professional 2200
NVIDIA Nforce Professional 2050
AMD 8131 PCI-X Tunnel
Dual Channel DDR-400 Reg ECC
. . (8 DIMMS) up to 16GB
(4) Serial ATA 3Gb/s ports
. . (RAID 0, 1, or 0+1)
(1) Parallel ATA IDE interface
. . (2 devices)
(2) Nvidia MAC Gigabit Ethernet ports
Enhanced AC'97 Audio
. . Front panel mic + audio out
(6) USB 2.0 ports:
. . (2) Front, (4) Rear
(2) IEEE 1394a Ports:
. . (1) Front, (1) Rear
(1) Serial port
Floppy drive
600W Power Supply
4U: 7"w x 17"h x 18"d

Expansion options:
(6) 3.5" hard drive bays
(2) 5.25" drive bays
Optional Dual Channel U320 SCSI
(2) PCI Express x16 (one from NVIDIA 2200, one from NVIDIA 2050)
(2) PCI-X 100 MHz
(1) PCI-X 133 MHz
(1) PCI 32-bit 33MHz

js33
04-29-2005, 03:18 PM
Hmmm, sounds expensive.

Carm3D, I would definately build something 64bit now. Don't throw your money away on obsolete processors. Even if you don't need alot of memory right now give yourself room to grow. The 640 is the first P4 with 64bit ability so it may not be a bad choice but you can get the Pent D which is basically the same chip but with dual core and it is only $240.

Cheers,
JS

jacross
04-29-2005, 03:20 PM
Although this isn't the case for all computer components, when it comes to memory I'd stay away from "Generic" memory. Corsair, Crucial, and Mushkin are some of the best memory you can buy and I've used all 3 with great results. There is more of a trend now to not test memory chips because it's cheaper to replace chips than to test them in the first place. This isn't happening with Tier 1 memory suppliers. Bad memory can cause system instabilities. I'm not saying to go for the most expensive, but instead choose a brand that has a good reputation. Just my $.02.

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 03:58 PM
I just noticed that for memory there is "DDR" and "DDR2," which is twice as expensive. Would the DDR2 memory give me a noticable speed increase? I guess I would need a different motherboard to accommodate it.

Architook
04-29-2005, 04:06 PM
DDR2 is mostly for Intel processors. Your motherboard will support just one flavor. DDR2 is not a big deal. It is not superior to DDR! It basically allows higher clockspeeds at the expense of more latency. LightWave is CPU limited, so the memory type and speed just don't make a big difference.


As for buying a system, get dual CPUs! Always! LightWave loves them.
Games don't care.

Best LightWave chip is an Opteron if you can afford them.. nothing's faster.

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 04:09 PM
Could I get a dual-CPU motherboard and just start off with one CPU?

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 04:18 PM
I just looked into it.. I also have to double-up on the memory.. I think I'm shooting too high for now.. Maybe down the road I can afford a dual sytem. I'll go for a single P4 or Xeon. Xeon is pretty much equivalent to Opteron yes?

Interesting... the P4 has a 2MB Cache, and the Xeon only has 512KB (advanced) Cache

js33
04-29-2005, 04:46 PM
At least get a dual-core then you have a single processor system equal to yesterday's dual processor system. A dual-core dual processor Opteron would be sweet but they aren't cheap.

Cheers,
JS

nemac4
04-29-2005, 04:53 PM
At least get a dual-core then you have a single processor system equal to yesterday's dual processor system. A dual-core dual processor Opteron would be sweet but they aren't cheap.

Cheers,
JS


Agreed,.. you don't want to look back in 3-6 months wishing you had dualcore and 64bits. Better to spend a little more now and get something that will last more than a year before it is totally outdated.

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 05:10 PM
I am curious why people are recommending the Opterons instead of the Xeons.. Isn't Lightwave optimized for Intel processors? Don't AMD chips run hotter than Intels?

Is it simply because Opteron is around $25 cheaper than Xeon or is there another reason?

js33
04-29-2005, 05:23 PM
The Opterons usually have the highest benchmark scores and are dual processor capable systems like the Xeons. Also the Opterons are dual-core now as well as MP capable. They have newer technology in them compared to the Xeons which haven't changed much in years except for the recent 64bit and now dual-core also. At this point I'm personally not sure which is better. But soon more systems will come out and we will have a better idea.

Cheers,
JS

koots
04-29-2005, 08:58 PM
AMD, Those Opterons are 30%-40% the the Xeons. My opinion AMD!!! and no I don't work for AMD

mattclary
04-29-2005, 09:05 PM
Since LW is optimized for Intel I should go that way, yes?

That's not true (anymore). Intel had SSE2 whereas AMD did not. The AMD 64 line now has SSE2 (maybe even SSE3).

Go to www.blanos.com to compare benchmarks and base your decision on that. I would NOT consider anything that was not 64bit. We are some of the small number of people on the planet who will actually see a benefit from 64bit.

mattclary
04-29-2005, 09:06 PM
Don't AMD chips run hotter than Intels?


That was true YEARS ago, but not anymore.

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 10:24 PM
AMD, Those Opterons are 30%-40% the the Xeons. My opinion AMD!!! and no I don't work for AMD

30%-40% less calories?

jorbedo
04-29-2005, 11:38 PM
How much money you want to invest on this new computer?

koots
04-29-2005, 11:54 PM
30%-40% faster... Sorry Long Day

Carm3D
04-29-2005, 11:58 PM
How much money you want to invest on this new computer?

Well I was originally thinking I would have to spend around $2.5k, but when I totalled up the P4 I got around $1300 which was pretty cool. If I can keep it under 2k it would be great.

Lamont
04-30-2005, 12:18 AM
Hmmm... 2k, I think I can make something.

I'll do an AMD and Intel for 2k. I am assuming you are using the same OS that's on your old comp, and putting the old comp in the grave yard for parts.

Carm3D
04-30-2005, 12:21 AM
Hey Lamont,

No the only thing I will salvage from the old computer is the graphics card.

Send me an email via my website.

hrgiger
04-30-2005, 01:31 AM
Are you in a hurry to buy Carm? Because I'm also in the market for a new system but I was kind of waiting around to see what was going to happen with the new dual-cores and of course the 64 bit platforms. I'd like to hear from some other users once people start using them. I'm giving it a few months myself.

Lamont
04-30-2005, 01:32 AM
Waiting a couple of months won't hurt. New Mobo's are coming out.

Carm3D
04-30-2005, 01:42 AM
Nah I'm in no hurry... It may be a few months before I can afford it.

hazmat777
04-30-2005, 05:08 AM
Hey Carm

Just curious, what is the system that you are considering putting on the shelf? Could you possibly throw a few bucks it's way to keep using it as a Modeler station while your new workhorse will be cranking out the renders? That's what I'm planning on doing with my current system and the "add a seat" promotion. :)

Lamont
04-30-2005, 09:57 AM
I say July/August is a good time. A lot of things will have lowered in price, nForce 4 for Intels will be out by various vendors...

Carm3D
04-30-2005, 12:10 PM
What is nForce 4?

Hazmat,

My current system is a P4, 1.8GHz with SDRAM memory. With a fast video card it would be a decent modeler.. But I can't afford a 2nd seat or extra video card right yet.